First Impression: Jamis Bossanova
by Karl Rosengarth, photos by Adam Newman and Karl Rosengarth
Different riders have different riding styles. Each person gravitates toward certain types of bikes that meld with their style. When it came time to outfit myself with a test bike, the Jamis Bosanova rocketed to the top of my charts. I was attracted to the Bossanova's versatile, utilitarian nature. It's short list of attractive features: full-coverage fenders, disc brakes, drop bars, triple crank, steel chassis, practical tires, and rack eyelets.
Steel is versatile and practical. I like steel. The Bosanova's chasis is made from Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly main tubes and chromoly stays. The Bosanova rolled down the road with a resilient and lively feeling. When pulling hard on the bars, or mashing the big ring, frame flex was well within acceptable limits.
The frame/fork both have eyelets for racks, a nod to the bike's versatility. Speaking of the fork, it's a carbon fiber unicrown affair with steel steerer and forged dropouts. The fork looks stout, but did not harsh out the ride. Actually, it seems to kill some of the buzz from rough roads.
For the geometry Jamis chose a middle-ground between quick/racy and stable/touring. The all-arounder geometry resulted in a bike with comfortable and intuitive nature. The handling felt stable and predictable, without feeling at all sluggish. Pointed downhill, the Bosanova held its line and carved high-speed sweepers without wavering. When called upon to dodge potholes or dice in traffic, the Bosanova was quick enough to comply without complaint. The term "well-behaved" comes to mind.
Sporting painted-to-match metal fenders and disc brakes, the Bosanova is wet-weather capable. On minor complaint is that there's some rattling coming from the rear fender, which I need to see if I can isolate and fix. My first rain ride sold me on the concept of disc brakes on road bikes. Wet braking power and modulation of the Avid BB-5 cable actuated discs was confidence-inspiring. Gotta love one-finger braking in the rain.
Rolling on Vittoria Randonneur Cross 700x28c with Double Shield puncture protection, this rig has been more than up to the task of tackling the mean streets and dirt roads. The full-coverage fenders shielded the stock tires perfectly, but it appears from eyeballing the fender-to-tire clearance that you'd run out of room pretty quickly if you tried to fit much wider tires.
I like having a bike with a triple-crank in my stable, so the Tiagra triple gets my thumbs up. I should point out that Jamis speced an FSA Vero triple crankset (with FSA PowerDrive bottom bracket), so the drivetrain is not full Shimano.
Look for my full review of the Bosanova in Bicycle Times issue #17 and subscribe today to make sure you never miss an issue.
- Country of Origin: China
- Price: $1,275
- Weight: 27.1 lbs.
- Sizes Available: 48, 51, 54, 56 (tested), 58, 61cm.
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