The Bicycles In My Life: Jamis Quest

2013-07-11 Bicycles 07

The 25th Anniversary Jamis Quest

One of the regrets of my cycling life is letting go of the 25th anniversary  Jamis Quest.

I bought my Jamis Quest in 2013, looking for a capable bike suitable for commuting. I’d initially budgeted around $1,200, but fell in love with the $1,800 Quest after taking it out for a lengthy spin. The retailer offered the Quest for $1,650 during  a sale, then kicked back another 10% because I had a loyalty card. That brought the total price down to $1,500, not quite as big a jump from my original budget.

Shimano 105 class components

Shimano 105 class components

The Quest came equipped with a drive train built mostly with Shimano105 components, an OEM Shimano crank the exception. I upgraded the crank to an actual 105 compact double, shedding a bit of weight and gaining some stiffness. I eventually replaced the 25mm Zaffiro Pro tires with 28mm Continental 4000 All Season rubber. Carrying a backpack while commuting proved problematic, so I added a titanium rear rack and a set of Ortleib Downtown commute panniers.

Jamis builds the Quest using Reynolds steel.

Jamis builds the Quest using Reynolds steel.

Jamis constructs the frame using Reynolds 631, size-specific steel tubing. My first bikes used steel tubing, and steel offers a unique ride. Good steel is light, absorbs the road while being somewhat lively. Most steel bikes aren’t as stiff as a good carbon fiber frame, so the Jamis didn’t climb as well as my Trek Domane.

On the other hand, the Jamis ran smooth and quiet. One of the oddities of modern carbon frame bikes is the incessant creaking of the frames. It’s not loud, but I notice the creaking. The Quest frame remained silent during my commute rides, only the tire rolling noise and occasional shifting audible to my ear.

Toe overlap proved to be one thing that bugged me about the Quest. Most modern bikes have a little toe overlap, but the Quest’s relatively short 984mm wheelbase meant a little more toe overlap than I liked. The short wheelbase also meant panniers need to be carefully chosen, or your heel will strike rub against them when you’re pedaling.

Eventually, I no longer needed to commute, working full-time out of my home. Bicycling became my recreation and go-to fitness activity, and the Quest seemed oddly out-of-place next to the Trek Domane 5.2 that I rode most days. So I sold the Quest. In the end, though, I really wish I’d hung onto the Quest, a beautiful bike with a smooth ride and lovely handling.




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