Steel Road Rides for Under a Grand: The Jamis Quest

Jan 10, 2014

More and more riders are re-discovering the benefit of quality steel frames. Though aluminum provides a stiffer ride and marginally lighter frames, lots of folks are beginning to realize that shaving a pound off of their bicycle doesn’t really mean much when you’re carrying 10 pounds of textbooks to class, or a change of shoes and a laptop to the office. We’re fond of Jamis, in part, because they offer a lot of options for steel-framed bikes, particularly on the more affordable end. With 2014, they’ve abandoned the Satellite name on their entry-level steel road bikes, and opted for a seamless line-up with the Quest Sport, Quest Comp, and Quest Elite.

Beyond the name-change, the differences are substantial this year. With the Shimano 2300 group being replaced by the better-performing Claris (doing away with the inconvenient side-buttons often advertised as “Campagnolo Style”), road cycling is fast becoming much more enjoyable at the entry level. The Quest Sport boasts a 4130 CrMo frame, beefy double-walled rims, and a Claris triple crankset, which makes it a comfortable bike to get errands done while remaining more than capable of long weekend rides. At only $730 complete, the Quest Sport comes ready to ride for only slightly more money than comparative framesets alone.

2014 Jamis Quest Sport steel 4130 road bike Shimano Claris 8 speed

Who It’s For:

Casual road riders, Distance riders, City & suburban commuters, Slower-paced club riders

The Jamis Quest Comp is the next tier up, and gets much more than a different paint job and nicer components. With the Quest Comp, Jamis moves away from 4130 CrMo and up to Reynolds 520, a lighter-weight, smoother-riding steel. While the Quest Sport is a nice package to get started with road cycling, the nicer frame of the Quest Comp makes it the type of bike you can ride for years and upgrade in the future without being limited by your frame. Beyond the frame upgrade, the Quest Comp will come outfitted with a Shimano Sora 9-speed drivetrain, while retaining the versatile triple crankset., as well as nicer, lighter wheels. While the Quest Sport weighs in at a relatively heavy 25lbs, the Comp drops down to 23lbs complete, putting it in the realm of bikes like the Surly Pacer and All-City Mr Pink. For $980, you’ll still have enough cash in the bank to pick out a good set of pedals and shoes to get started with more intermediate road riding.

2014 Jamis Quest Elite steel 4130 road bike Shimano Sora 9 speed

Who It’s For:

Fast-paced version of all of the above, Century/Charity Riders, Riders who may expand into the sport in the future