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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our story thus far... I have made the decision that the next bike I purchase will be either a Jamis Renegade Expat (2018) or a Salsa Journeyman 650b. This is the bike that's going to take me across the Katy Trail.

Today I tried out the Salsa Journeyman at a LBS in a 52cm size. It fits me very well everywhere - from standover to reach. Rode it around for a bit, got a feel for it, almost died twice forgetting where the brakes were. Drop bar horns are my new favorite things. It's like piloting a spaceship. So... $950+tax (closer to $1025) for a Claris (all aluminum) or $1200+tax(closer to $1320) for the Sora (aluminum + carbon fork)

And then...

I was thrown a curveball. I can get a 2018 Jamis Expat 48cm (steel frame and very sessy Tiagra groupset at just 1lb more) for just about $1k even. That's one hell of a deal. I like deals. Big But - it'd have to be shipped and I've never sat on one. None of the three Jamis dealers within a 100 mile radius have a 48cm Renegade (steel or aluminum) for me to throw a leg over to try out. I'd be going in blind.

LBS benefits: Local Dealer, One time fitment + Lifetime tuneups (including spokes - I can do derailleurs, spokes not so much...), support a local business, kick-ass employees.

Online purchase benefits: Get a steel frame, Tiagra groupset, and carbon fork for the price of the all-aluminum Claris Salsa. General satisfaction that I got a pretty good bargain on a much nicer bike than the Salsa I am leaning toward.

So should I bite the bullet and do a site-unseen online order? And, more importantly, is the fitment similar enough that if the 52 Salsa fit, the 48 Renegade will fit?

For the record...
Salsa:
https://salsacycles.com/bikes/journeyman_650b/journeyman_claris_650

Jamis:
https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/renegadeexpat.html

Your opinions. I welcome them.
 

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Wanna ride bikes?
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I didn't look at the geo charts but don't be tempted by a good deal. If it's the wrong size it's not a good deal, it's just the wrong bike.
 

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Cycologist
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A quick glance at the numbers and they look surprisingly close. I'd make a chart and put the numbers side by side and really compare them, if the Salsa fit great and the Jamis isn't really similar, not a good deal. And while I would prefer the Jamis if it is the right size, steel and better groupset, it doesn't seem like all that great of a deal to me. It is a 2018 and discounted $200 off of MSRP.
 

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Cycologist
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Jamis does have models of the Renegade that look to line up with the Salsa, Exile and Explore but a little cheaper. Check if your dealers have those in a 51 you could try.
 

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A quick glance at the numbers and they look surprisingly close. I'd make a chart and put the numbers side by side and really compare them, if the Salsa fit great and the Jamis isn't really similar, not a good deal. And while I would prefer the Jamis if it is the right size, steel and better groupset, it doesn't seem like all that great of a deal to me. It is a 2018 and discounted $200 off of MSRP.
^Sage advice here.

But, it does look close.

The stack is about an inch shorter on the Jamis, but you could flip the stem to gain half that back and used spacers for the rest if you need/want it.

Chain stays are longer on the Salsa, but the Salsa takes the bigger tires.

No 48s anywhere, unfortunately. It's killing me. Nearest 51 is 45 minutes away.
I would make the trip... 45 mins is nothing, and the 51 looks closer to the Salsa anyway.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I'm glad I made the trip. Got outta there with a Renegade Expat for $1200. Turns out I needed the 51cm frame after all.
Yup, this is the first I read through this thread, but I was definitely going to suggest you do that.

I've done 16hr round trip drives to demo bikes before (that one was for the wife). My own last bike, I drove 4hrs round trip to demo (it was owned by another rider), and then again a couple months later to buy the frame (he swapped parts to a different frame, and sold the one he let me demo - thankfully he gave me first dibs on it).

I'm definitely a fan of steel for bikes like this. I think you did well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Surprisingly the steel Jamis is also barely 1lb more than the aluminum one. I'm glad I went with the Jamis. Also met some really cool people, found out about some trail rides... that was the best bike shop I think I've ever been to.
 

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Surprisingly the steel Jamis is also barely 1lb more than the aluminum one. I'm glad I went with the Jamis. Also met some really cool people, found out about some trail rides... that was the best bike shop I think I've ever been to.
Interesting... did you weigh the actual bikes?

According to the websites, the

Jamis is 24.25 lbs
Salsa is 27 lb for 55.5 cm

but maybe the Jamis listed the weight for a 44 cm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Interesting... did you weigh the actual bikes?

According to the websites, the

Jamis is 24.25 lbs
Salsa is 27 lb for 55.5 cm

but maybe the Jamis listed the weight for a 44 cm?
I meant the Steel Jamis is barely 1lb more than the Aluminum Jamis. They're both lighter than the Journeyman. Didn't weigh them but rode them both in AL in small and could feel the difference in lifting 'em.
 
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