Jamis have a large range of steel bikes, with the Quest sitting second to top in the lineup. It has 631 steel tubing and is unashamedly traditional, with features such as the brazed-on, gently curved seat collar acting as a nod to the lugged steel frames of old.
Highs: Sleek, classic lines, well equipped and forgiving on the road
Lows: Weight penalty over similar-priced aluminium and carbon bikes
Buy if: You want a sleek-looking bike that can turn its hand to most things
The long head tube is reinforced at the ends and takes a conventional headset, with a full carbon fork lurking inside. The fork has mudguard eyes, and there are rack mounts on the seatstays too, but if you want mudguards and a rack they’ll need to share eyelets at the rear dropouts. You even get a chain peg on the seatstay to hang your chain on when removing the rear wheel.
Shimano’s 105 group is the usual choice at this kind of price, and the Quest spec mostly consists of it, with the exception of the Shimano R565 compact chainset. The brakes are Shimano ‘non series’ R451 units with long reach to clear mudguards or bigger tyres than the 25mm Vittorias fitted.
Jamis have chosen not to extend the traditional feel of its bike through to the wheels. The Ritchey Zeta hoops, with 20 spokes up front and 24 at the back, are all laced two-cross. The spokes are all plain gauge, though, which means the wheels aren’t quite as light as they could be. The rather clunky quick-releases don’t look particularly at home on the otherwise-sleek Quest either.
Jamis quest: jamis quest www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk
You’ll certainly be hard-pressed to detect the difference between the Jamis’ 631 tubing and similar bikes’ 725 pipes through the bar and saddle – the Quest is adequately stiff under power, in a gently springy way, and suitably composed on rough roads. Larger or more aggressive riders will notice a bit of twist under hard efforts, but nothing that you wouldn’t expect from a skinny steel bike.
For big days out at a reasonable pace, this would fit the bill very nicely.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.