Our Coda series of flat-handlebar road bikes has won us legions of fans over the years and an Editor’s Choice award from Bicycling Magazine in 2011 for good reason—they’re quick, they’re nimble, they’re durable and dependable, and they are a blast to ride. They’re basically road racing bikes without the racing emphasis—flat handlebars and intuitively easy-to-use controls mean near-zero intimidation, but you still get the benefit of elevated performance and incredible efficiency. This year’s Codas are even smoother riding than last years thanks to the wider 32c Vittoria Randonneur tires, which make for perfect all-weather riding around town. And we made sure this years Codas are still some of the most versatile two-wheelers we build, thanks to a full brace of rack, fender and lock eyelets and a broad gearing range suitable for most any terrain.
I was looking for an all Cromoly hybrid frame (not easy to find these days). But had to buy the whole bike. I had read in other reviews how lousy the stock wheels are on Coda's. At the bike store (Tip Top bikes in Berkeley, Ca.) I asked the very nice woman with the English accent about the wheel issues and she assured me that Jamis had corrected the problem with their wheels.
I've owned the bike for 2 years now and have had nothing but problems with the wheels. Constantly going out of true (I only weigh 150 LBS) My advice: when comparing prices you need to add the cost of a new set of wheels to the Coda. ie MSRP is 560.00, the total cost of the bike will be around 750.00 or 800.00.
I do like the frame. It's a great all around utility ride. It could easily be use for fully loaded touring (after replacing the stock wheels).
Bike Setup: I slowly replaced the stock components with better components purchased from Craigslist:
Front Derailleur--- LX (an old used one in very good condition)
Shimano 105 5700 hubs -- Rims Mach1 RJ project 36 spoke
Bottom Bracket--- A cheap 68 X 113
Rear Derailleur--- Deore
Shifters--- XT 9 speed
Crankset--- an old shimano LX 28-38-48 with bio-space rings (like-new condition) 170 mm
Cassette--- Xt 9 speed. 11-32
Date Reviewed: June 28, 2012
Strengths: I have a Coda Sport 2011 -- which is in fact Coda Comp 2010 and 2012, with carbon fork. Beats me why Jamis can't decide on a name!
1. Comfort. Frame eats up bumps on road, plus the saddle is unbelievably comfy (Selle San Marco Elba). At first look saddle looked scary (uncomfortable) but the guy at LBS convinced me to give it a go rather than swap straight away -- what a great decision. Very gentle on the behind :-).
Stem is adjustable in height, so it's easy to adjust it for comfort. Also, grips are thick dual density ones, that are very comfy on the palms.
2. Speed/efficiency. Despite its weight, the bike flies. It flies off traffic lights, it flies up hills. A comfortable setup as above helps get the most out your pedal power, thus improving efficiency.
3. Steering/compliance. Due to geometry and I guess steel frame, bike is not bouncy like some stiffer aluminium ones. It goes over bumps with only a vibration in the frame (like a "thump"), while other bike(s) bounce high and upset the steering - or at least the confidence therin. Not to mention uncomfortable hit from underneath.
4. Geometry. I like to stretch out a bit on the bike but don't want drop bars. Most other flatbars I tried had a shorter top tube, on which I felt cramped and in danger of going OTB when braking. Particularly female specific models suffer from short TT -- do most bike manufacturers think that females are dwarfs in their torso? I bought a "proper" (non-Femme) model in 17" and it's a perfect fit for a female 165cm height (5'5").
5. Precise and quick shifting - particularly in the rear Deore derailleur.
Weaknesses: Lightweight front end. This may sound strange, but carbon fork and no suspension make the front end significantly lighter than the back. This makes the bike unbalanced when standing (on the kick stand) with even the lightest pannier attached to the rear rack (I installed one for commuting).
This is not a downside of course, but just a bit annoying having the bike tip over every so often, even when holding it by the handlebar.
I've had the bike for 10-ish months now, done around 2000km -- my commute is about 14km one way, riding on the road, with some hills. I have added mudguards and rear rack to make it very practical and even capable of some touring (haven't done any yet).
It is an absolute bliss to ride!! I am in LOVE with this bike! I tried many flat bars in the 2 months prior to purchasing this one. Big problem with other bikes was geometry (short top tube) and sometimes hard work pedalling. This bike has touring-like gearing (48/36/26 front and 11-32 9 spd rear) which makes it both ultra capable on many hills in Melbourne as well as zippy and fast on the flat.
I have changed stock tyres that were fast but bouncy and unforgiving (Vittoria Zafiro 28mm) for far more comfortable Conti Gatorskins and they, combined with steel frame, are now glued to the road, surefooted over any bumps. Saddle is a jewel on this bike, as it eats up any vibration that the tyres couldn't. I cannot comment how much the carbon fork absorbs the bumps, but I have tested other cheaper flatbar bikes and would say that both carbon and steel fork are far superior in comfort to an alloy one.
I have added small and stiff toe clips (no straps) to the pedals and they hold my foot nicely and add to efficiency.
And last, the esthetics. Blue colour on my bike looks way better than on Jamis web site. The bike has that great simple and streamlined look. I have also given it a pair of bar ends, for when it's windy. And a rear vision mirror -- IMO an absolute necessity for city commuting. All additions are gloss black -- look great contrasting bike's blue colour.
Similar Products Used: I have a folding 20" electric bike which was my 1st bike and has built my confidence in riding everywhere (having additional power up my sleeve). This bike has an important place in my life due to that, but I no longer ride it due to excessive weight (26kg) and crappy folding frame.
I also have a 16" folding mini bike that gets me a couple km to the train station if I can't ride my fave all the way to work.
Bike Setup: My other bike is a 26" alloy hybrid -- cheap and cheerful, which is set up very similarly to the Coda (with a flat bar, narrow-ish seat etc). It has 35mm puncture-proof Schwalbe tyres and I use it for bad weather. I have subsequently installed a lightweight motor on it and of course a compulsory (in my mind) mirror, so it's effectively an SUV of bikes. A great bike to transport groceries, fight massive winds or rain and being cheap I am not obsessive about a bit of mud on the derailleur. However, it is more bouncy and a bit slower than Coda -- even with the motor attached. As I commute 95% of days, I alternate this bike with Coda, as my trip home is all up hill and gets exhausting after a long day at work.
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2012
Strengths: Value for price, ride feel, durability.
Weaknesses: Lack of bling in the brand name.
I have an 8 year old Code that I have commuted with, 30 miles round trip, in all weather conditions with lots of hills. It is an urban beast and a solid and comfortable road bike. I have ridden it to the store and on an 80 mile pleasure ride. I have made many changes to the stock bike - I put on a carbon fork, upgraded the wheels, narrowed the tires from 32 to 28mm, ditched the old suspension post saddle for my favorite old saddle and am now on my third cassette, fourth chain and second set of chain rings. I increased the rear tooth count on the granny gear as this bike is outliving my stamina. People still comment on how good it looks (chrome finish) and I just keep riding and smiling. I enjoy the feel of a steel frame and I appreciate the flat bars, especially as I really need to keep alert in downtown city traffic. I took a spill a few weeks ago and my body was a bit wounded, but the Jamis was unscathed. You cannot go wrong with a Coda for commuting or an all round bike.
Strengths: Reynolds Steel Frame - smooth ride.
Deore gears - smooth effortless shifting.
Aesthetically a nice looking bike.
Price - this bike is an unbelievable value!
My bike is a 2009 Jamis Coda Sport which I bought for commuting in the city and fitness riding. I'm a big guy so I did a fair amount of research on what would be a suitable bike and I ended up narrowing it down to the Jamis Coda Sport and the Kona Hoss. In the end I bought the Coda Sport because the ride was just so smooth & easy. The Reynolds steel frame is a far smoother ride than the heavier beefed up aluminum frames and I found the gears to be silky smooth and just a fun easy ride. Two years later and I have no regrets and i've had no issues with the bike. I later ended up buying the Kona Hoss for trail riding and it too is a great bike and fantastic for trail riding, but in the city - no contest, Coda Sport wins hands down.
Strengths: The feel of steel on pavement! I've never ridden a Reynolds 853 or 953 steel, but this 520 steel is very good for my less expensive needs. Soaks up bumps nicely. Rear Deore derailleur is nice, too.
Weaknesses: The suspension seat post was the first thing to go (not sure if current models even come with them); also, I upgraded the Tektro v-brakes to Avid's
Here it is in 2011, and I've been riding my 2005 Coda Sport since I bought it in 2006. Is it still stock? Heck no. I've replaced the wheels/tires, brakes, and turned it into a 10 speed with a Dura-Ace triple front derailleur. I changed these out over the years by choice, not because of some inherent defect. I ride this on frequent 40-60 mile rides, and it handles flawlessly.