First Impression: Jamis Renegade Elite

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The Jamis Renegade was one of a handful of interesting adventure bikes that caught our attention at this year’s Interbike show. The Renegade brings a healthy dose of technology to Jamis’ line of adventure bikes, which had been anchored by classic steel touring bikes like the Aurora and Bosanova.

Two models of the Renegade will be offered; the $2,399 Expert and the $4,199 Elite. Both bike utilize the same frame geometry, but are constructed with different carbon fiber raw materials and spec’d with different components.

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On paper, one of the most interesting aspects of the Renegade is the attention Jamis paid to the frame’s geometry. Jamis’ goal is to provide consistent ride quality across all sizes of the Renegade. In order to do so, it is producing bikes with three different fork offsets, three different bottom bracket heights, and three different chainstay lengths.

Smaller sizes have shorter rear center lengths, lower bottom brackets, and slacker head tube angles with more fork offset to reduce toe overlap. As frame size increases, the chainstays lengthen, bottom bracket gets a little taller, and the headtube steepens while fork offset decreases. Since I’m unable to ride both a 48cm and 61cm frame in addition to my size 54cm, I can’t weigh in on the results first hand, but I will say all of these moves make perfect sense conceptually.

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But, as interesting as all that tech might be, I was excited to get my hands on the Renegade and see how this technological wonder felt on the road. It’s been a while since I’ve ridden a fancy carbon road-ish bike with components on the high-end of the spectrum, and I’m simply blown away by the Renegade’s performance. It’s fast and responsive and all the components work like a dream. I’m afraid I’ve become awfully spoiled by the Renegade’s Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The power and modulation are simply incredible. The Ultegra-level, 11-speed drivetrain is equally impressive. Shifts are super quick regardless of the situation.

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Let’s delve into some of the interesting specifics of the Renegade…

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Jamis’ Enhanced Compliance Offset (ECO) fork sweeps the fork blades forward a bit more than usual to increase vertical compliance, but rearward facing dropout maintains the desired offset. Just below the 12mm RockShox Maxle thru axle you can see the removable fender eyelets. Due to the forward location of the fender eyelet, the stays of some fenders will not be long enough. Only two of the four stays on my new Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders (sold separately) would reach, and even those are a stretch.

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The rear fender and rack eyelets’ location is more traditional, making fender fitment much easier. Note that burly mounting interface for the rear brake.

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These shiny aluminum fenders look awesome on the Renegade. Kudos to Jamis for producing a performance bike with practical details like rack and fender mounts.

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Speaking of burly, the Renegade’s EVO386 bottom bracket is massive. Fortunately it provides a very stiff pedaling platform.

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I swapped the stock 100mm stem for a 90mm to shorten up the reach just a little bit. The Ritchey Comp Logic Curve handlebar has a nice bend, but I can’t help but yearn for a handlebar with a little bit of flair on a bike like the Renegade.

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Internal cable routing keeps things tidy and clean.

Keep reading

So far, so good on this test, but I’ve only been on the bike for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the in-depth review in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times Magazine. Support us by subscribing to the magazine or our weekly email newsletter. Either way, you’ll have all our best content delivered conveniently.

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