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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello ladies and gentlemen. My wife has really gotten the cycling bug and her Giant cross bike is just not cutting it for the riding she wants to do, longer rides of 50+ miles, centuries, short multiday tours.

She's finally started to listen to me and is open to purchasing a new bike, the problem is we live in an area with a severe lack of options closeby. Its pretty much Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant and none of their offerings either fit the budget or what she's really looking for that I've seen.

What she's looking for: A road bike with relaxed geometry, more like a touring bike. Steel frame. $700 or less. Does not have to be new, but I'm not much of a mechanic so building one isn't really an option and I'd be iffy as to fit.

The only thing I've been able to find that might fit the bill (and I fell in love with it) is the Jamis Satellite Sport Femme. The problem is our nearest Jamis dealer is slightly over an hour away.

I guess what I'm asking is, do any of you ladies have experience with that Jamis and have strong negative opinions that would say its not even worth checking out?

And, are there any other alternatives that I could be keeping an eye out for possible model end sales that would drop a more expensive bike into our price range.

Thank you in advance! When she does get a new bike, she's going to be blown away at the difference it makes!
 

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haole from the mainland
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Jamis is a good brand. And I much prefer steel to the aluminum that most entry-level bikes are made of. Granted, the steel on that bike is not high-quality steel, but what do you expect for $700?

How much of a difference she'll notice depends on things like how long she rides. I personally wouldn't want to ride a flat-bar bike for very long because of limited hand positions. And if her current bike has big tires, the skinny tires on a road bike will definitely be faster.

Buying a used bike is definitely a way to get more bang for your buck. But you'd want to know what size, obviously.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Sorry, I'm not a woman, but I think the Jamis looks like a really nice bike for the money.
Around here all the dealers sell for around 10% off of list price, and then usually give a small discount on extras also.
And of course the dealers' help in sizing and fitting is important.

The Shimano 2300 isn't the best but it does work well and should last a long time. The triple chainrings will really help her on the hills.
The 25mm tires are probably perfect for her; not as harsh riding as high-pressure 23s.

On the overview it listed a carbon fork but the specs say it's steel so ask the dealer which is right. I prefer carbon myself but steel is good, just heavier.

I think it's a pretty bike and a good value. If she rides and likes it, you're good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input! I know what we want is difficult to find (quality/inexpensive/steel) but that one seems to fit the bill as much as anything I've run across new.

We are definitely going to be checking our local shops to see if there is a chance of anything used in her size.

She's going to be transitioning from a riser bar (?) (not flat, but still only one hand position) to drops, or is she doesn't like drops a flat bar with bar ends, and I think she'll like that, and going from 38 to 25s will be wonderful. She'll feel like she's flying! :)
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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She's going to be transitioning from a riser bar (?) (not flat, but still only one hand position) to drops, or is she doesn't like drops a flat bar with bar ends, and I think she'll like that, and going from 38 to 25s will be wonderful. She'll feel like she's flying! :)
Yep, after riding mountain bikes for years my first road bike felt like a sports car! So quick and responsive.

I'm sure you know that for distance riding she really should get drop bars. Personally, I have to be able to move around to keep from cramping and switch between all 5 of the positions that drop bars offer.
I have the aux brake levers and really like them; she might like them too because you're never far from the brakes.

My bars are setup so that the tops are almost even with the seat so that position is almost as upright as she is now with the riser bar. And it's not too much of a stretch to reach the hoods or drops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think if she really plans on doing distance, she would regret flat bars, IMO looking at your first post you should up the budget a bit and avoid the disposable first bike experience.
I totally agree with flat bars not being a good choice. I'm not going to force her into drops, but I think it will just naturally be her choice.

I wish upping the budget was in the cards, but since we're in the middle of an ongoing remodel (no end in sight...joy....) much more isn't in the budget and I hadn't noticed anything within a couple hundred dollars that really made me think it was worth snagging. Possibly the next model up Jamis, the Satellite Comp which has a 520 reynolds frame.

Though, I somehow missed another obvious possibility, the Jamis Aurora. Its a straight up commuter/touring bike. It has the 520 Reynolds frame, but more relaxed geometry. Hmmm.

Well, this pretty much seals it. We need to schedule a trip to the nearest Jamis dealer and check them out in person. We could scrounge up a couple hundred extra if it was THE one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you everyone for the advice in this thread! We of course promptly ignored it... lol

That's not entirely true...but still. She went out on a longer solo ride (about 35 miles, longest on the road by herself ever), it was windy and hilly (for around here) and she was utterly miserable on her bike.

Saturday afternoon, stopped in our LBS, she tried out a couple of Felts and a couple of Specialized. She LOVED the Dolce Compact, but didn't pull the trigger yet.

Went to another shop about 20 miles away, everything there was out of our price range (and out of her size, she's 5'2). On the way back she decided she wanted the Dolce.

So, 1 phone call later, she's picking it up Monday. Its a leftover 2012 on closeout so the price is pretty good and the 2012 models still had the auxiliary brake handles mounted in the center as well.

Its not the bike I would have chosen, but I'm not the one who's going to be riding it. I think it will serve her pretty good for what we're planning on doing for the next few years of our riding right now.

Thanks again!
 

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If she'd consider an older but barely-used bike (no fixing-up required), I have a beautiful red Bianchi Vigorelli that needs to be ridden more. It's this one: Vigorelli | Bianchi USA

It's a small frame (will get you the exact size if she's interested) and I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

It's an excellent bike.
 

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Thank you everyone for the advice in this thread! We of course promptly ignored it... lol

That's not entirely true...but still. She went out on a longer solo ride (about 35 miles, longest on the road by herself ever), it was windy and hilly (for around here) and she was utterly miserable on her bike.

Saturday afternoon, stopped in our LBS, she tried out a couple of Felts and a couple of Specialized. She LOVED the Dolce Compact, but didn't pull the trigger yet.

Went to another shop about 20 miles away, everything there was out of our price range (and out of her size, she's 5'2). On the way back she decided she wanted the Dolce.

So, 1 phone call later, she's picking it up Monday. Its a leftover 2012 on closeout so the price is pretty good and the 2012 models still had the auxiliary brake handles mounted in the center as well.

Its not the bike I would have chosen, but I'm not the one who's going to be riding it. I think it will serve her pretty good for what we're planning on doing for the next few years of our riding right now.

Thanks again!
Congrats to her. Jus last week I bought a 2011 Dolce Sport Compact and love it! Went on a 13 mile ride to day with another couple.
 
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