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Jamis Allegro Sport Review

After my aging old steel warrior Land Rover Corazon decided to die a spectacular death in a scene akin to the Blues Brothers car disintegrating, it was time to get a new bike to tackle the daily commute. I’d been commuting on the Land Rover for nearly five years during which time it clocked up over 8,000 miles which was great value for money considering it only cost me £175 new. So in July 2015 I had £500 nestling in my bank account and started to research new bikes online. After a visit to my local Halfords I liked the look of the Boardman range until I found out they don’t cater for the larger person. I’m 6ft 6in and with their range only having a maximum frame size of 58cm and with me needing at least 61cm (21”+), the search continued. My next visit was to the Evans Cycles website where I found several large frame bikes available from Specialized, Trek & Jamis. The Trek 7.1 & 7.2 and the Jamis Allegro Sport were lightweight whereas the Specialized one of a similar price was a good deal bit heavier so it was now between the two Trek’s and the Jamis. After taking a test ride on all three, my preference was for the Jamis, lightweight, smooth gearing, v brakes and fast, which I certainly wasn’t used to! The price was £450, which seemed like a bargain so I ordered one and waited for them to get the correct frame size in. Three days later it was there and ready to pick up so I was back on the road! The first ride was the ten mile jaunt from Reading back home and went well apart from three things. The pedals Evans Cycles had put on were really cheap and nasty plastic ones (you know the type) and t he brakes were shockingly bad. Within three days the cheapo plastic pedals actually broke so I took the bike in to my local cycle shop to get a metal set. I phoned Evans to see if they’d replace them but they would only swap like for like which would mean having a new set of pedals a week! The brakes just didn’t do what they are supposed to. Even a slight descent meant putting the brakes on full at the top to have a chance of stopping at the bottom! The other slightly annoying thing is the large crank does not have a cover so it makes short work of chewing up any long flappy trousers or tracksuit bottoms you might be wearing. After a while I got used to it and started enjoying the lightness of the bike, so much easier to ride than the Land Rover especially up hills! Two weeks after the 6 week free service another problem reared its ugly head, a grinding metallic clicking noise from the bottom bracket area. This progressively got worse but sod’s law struck and it stopped making a noise when I took it back to Evans for them to look at it! They tightened all the bolts and adjusted the brakes once again and everything was great…for a fortnight. The noise was getting worse and now so loud people were turning round wondering what rickety old bike was coming towards them. Not bad for a bike only three months old! I guess it was taking a while for me to really get used to a new bike after having the Land Rover for so long. I knew every little click and squeak it used to make so experiencing a whole range of new noises was somewhat unnerving! When I took the bike back for a third time they took the bottom bracket apart and located the problem. Apparently there was not enough grease and so it was just metal against metal causing the metallic clicking. They assured me this was a fault from the manufacturer and not something they check on a pre-sale inspection. How true that is I don’t know. Anyway, it now sounded and rode like a new bike should and many hours of cycling bliss ensued throughout the autumn and start of the winter. The brakes were still poor and wearing out at an alarmingly quick rate. With the wet, gritted roads and cycle paths to come I decided to get them changed. Wow! What a cracking decision that turned out to be! New pads fitted for £10 in my local shop and I suddenly had a bike that actually stopped upon touching the brake levers. Just goes to show the poor quality pads that were on the bike from new. Maybe Jamis might like to have a look at that and not take the cheap option in future. It could of course be I was just unlucky and had a duff set of brake pads. I guess we’ll never know. Now, seven months and over 1,200 miles later, I would definitely recommend the Jamis Allegro Sport to anyone looking for a spritely commuting bike or those looking for a lightweight flat bar alternative to a drops road bike. I’m really looking forward to going out in the summertime through country lanes and taking on some of the hills I shunned when riding the Land Rover. My only advice would be to ask your cycle shop to change the pedals, (although if you buy from anywhere other than Evans they might put on decent pedals as standard rather than the cheap plastic ones you could probably find in any poundshop, yeah thanks for that Evans), and also jettison the manufacturers brake pads as quickly as possible or, alternatively, look at an Allegro with the disc brake option. You will have plenty of fun on a Jamis Allegro once the little gremlins are ironed out and it certainly makes the commute a helluva lot easier! Marks out of 10 From new: 6  With new pedals & brake pads: 8 Click here to visit the Jamis website to see further details of the Allegro Sport and the specifications. Thanks go to Dave for the great blog on his experiences with researching, buying, and the trials and tribulations of getting used to a new bike.
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Here’s an entertaining and informative blog review of the Jamis Allegro Sport from Dave Stephens. Enjoy!