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.
Strengths: A quality Reynolds steel frame offers greater comfort than the aluminum frames of most hybrids (I have only owned steel bikes but have rented Specialized and Trek aluminum hybrid bikes, sometimes for several weeks at a stretch). The parts mix is quite decent, with cheap and cheerful Shimano and a few no name bits but all quite functional.
The price was excellent given the above (I did get an NOS model from 2011) and the look is classy.
Weaknesses: Wheels were not all that well built on purchase but there's nothing really wrong with inexpensive Formula hubs and Alex rims. Supposedly had them "trued" when I picked up the bike but then took them to a real bike shop to have them properly tensioned by hand. It was a very worthwhile investment of around $40 and obviates the need to get a "better" set of wheels as one reviewer on this site had suggested.
The rear hub OLN width is 130mm road standard, so replacing it with a Deore or better would have required squeezing it in or cold-setting and is unnecessary in any event.
Unless you are commuting astronomical distances, in which case you might want a Deore drivetrain for durability, you don't need anything better than this (and could do a whole lot worse).
The Coda has an excellent steel frame, a good value drive-train and no superfluous and heavy items like suspension forks or posts. Rides well and feels lively when not carrying a load.
Similar Products Used: 1995 GT Vantara steel hybrid (also great); 2000 (or so) Jamis Nova cyclocross bike coverted to flat bar hybrid; several steel road bikes including some high end custom ones.
Bike Setup: Stock drivetrain, stock but properly tensioned and trued wheels. The only replacements that I made with with new parts were a Brooks B17 saddle and Ergon GP1 cork grips.
I also added a pair of lightly used Panaracer Pasela TG tires that I happened to have lying around. Accessories include bottle cages, Velo Orange aluminum fenders and bell, Shimano M324 pedals (clipless/platform on opposite sides), and a Blackburn rack that came with a Co-Pilot in which to carry my toddler.
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2013
Strengths: ..I was very impressed with the coda sport. it handled very well, shifting gears was easy. the seat was comfortable everything about this bike is awesome! i rode it 104miles without any problems or flat tires.
Weaknesses: i really do not know of any
I started training in May 2013 for my first century ride on August 2, 2013. I used an older 12 speed bike it wasn't until the week before the ride that i decided to purchase a new bike. my local bike dealer suggested the coda sport..when i took it for a test ride i knew right away it was the bike for me. I highly recommend this bike.
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2013
Strengths: Smooth ride, perfect upright feel, great fit for "hard-to-fit-petite" rider, at least the sport femme.
Weaknesses: Absolutely none, in my opinion.
I could never keep up with my friends due to, what I found out was not so much me, but a poorly designed bike.
I tried many much higher priced bikes and was so disappointed in the discomfort of the test ride.
Then I found the Jamis Coda Sport Femme.
With this bike I can keep up with anyone and even pass them most of the time, ride for long periods without wrist pain, back pain, butt pain.
Bumps that would have jolted me before, I barely notice.
I am no bike aficionado, just love to ride, so I couldn't be technical and tell you about the aspects of the fork, frame or anything else.
I just know how it feels and I have found my bike for life. If I ever need to buy another, which I doubt, it will be a Jamis Coda Sport Femme.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2013
Strengths: The Frame
Weaknesses: Without a doubt the wheels
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.
I just wanted to show-off my new ride. I normally do mountain biking on my Spec. Stumpy 29er, but decided to get some road miles in for weight loss. I tested some nice road bikes but just could not get comfortable with the drop bars and brifters. I read a lot of good things about the Coda model from ... Read More »
After seven years of cavalierly leaving my bike locked up on street corners overnight, some thief finally got wise and took my wheels. Sadly, my ride is an early WSD Trek 2000 equipped with 650c's (which means the thief is either a very saavy triathlete or kicking himself right now.) I've had no luc ... Read More »