Jamis’ Ventura Comp is good looking, and likely a workhorse for those shops that carry the brand. The Kinesis 7005 series alloy frame sports predictable angles, which set the tone, while a carbon steerered fork, and name brand Ritchey supporting components offer a story to tell that others in this price range can not.
Putting the Ventura Comp’s wheels to tarmac further enforce that first, shop floor, impression. While nothing really jumps out at a rider as thoroughly impressive, nothing ruins the pedaler’s experience either, and that — at this price point — means at least half the battle is won.
Ride and handling: comfortable, lively ride
Many manufacturers with Pro Tour pedigree are able to bring some of that feel to their price-point bikes, even those that come in at sub-$1,000 price point. Jamis does not have a World Tour level team, and it seems to show through here. It’s not that the Ventura Comp rides poorly; rather, it just doesn’t have the zing that Specialized or Felt seem to infuse to their models in our “Best Road Bikes Under $1,000” test.
And for the entry level rider, that pro zing, will likely never be missed. The Ventura Comp frame has a stable even flex through the frame that seems to offer a safe secure ride up or down, it does not, however, beg to be thrown hard into mountainous downhill corners, or dance spritely up goat path steep climbs. But again, that’s quite ok for the category.
The fit of the Ventura Comp is comfortable too, upright but not overly so.
Frame: respected manufacturing by Kinesis with a full carbon fork
Kinesis builds the Ventura Comp’s 7005 series alloy frame for Jamis and both the material and manufacturing craftsmanship is good for the category; it’s decidedly middle of the road.
We did find one small flaw, however, in that the way they’ve welded the cable boss for the rear derailleur on the dramatically shaped drive side chainstay puts it in the way of a riders heel, should they pedal with a close stance, and with their heels in.
Jamis have also found a way to include fork with carbon steerer at the sub-$1000 price point, which likely saves some weight and is definitely a rarity at this price point. We will question it though, since, generally, carbon steerer tubes require torque wrenches to maintain their integrity, and we do not suspect many will own, or even know that they need to own, a torque wrench to adjust their stem.
So while the carbon steerer is an admirable attempt to set the Ventura Comp apart it may be lost on the rider who buys this bike.
Equipment: it’s the parts that better the Ventura Comp’s sum
Jamis cobble together a drivetrain using parts Shimano’s Sora and Tiagra groups, a crank from FSA and cassette from SRAM. The end result is a transmission that works as well as any in the category, and seems to pack a bit more value; they’ve picked the best possible at the price from each manufacturer.
Braking is taken care of by Tektro’s R312 brake, which mates well with the Sora shifters for good braking performance.
The supporting components — Ritchey’s Logic stem, bar, and post and Selle San Marco — bring well-recognized brands into the mix. All of the parts proved comfortable; due to smartly spec’d sizes, and added a certain cache to the frame that is lost when a manufacturer simply slaps a house name on generics.
For the most important component, the wheelset, Jamis use a Mavic CXP-22 rim, which was actually a viable shop-built custom rim option more than a decade ago, to Formula hubs. The wheels sport 28 front and 32 rear spokes; the front is radially laced and the rear is cross three.
The custom wheelset is shod with a reasonably supple riding Vitoria Zaffiro 23mm tire; our only suggestion would be to bump to the 25mm version.