I reviewed the Jamis Quest not so long ago; if you're looking for a steel machine for long distance riding then it's a fantastic ride, comfortable and fast. I've managed to keep hold of it to dome some of the kind of riding it's perfect for; first up is the 300km Old Roads Audax (www.ukcyclist.org.uk/oldroads) heading out from Honiton on Saturday.
Straight out of the box the Jamis is more or less perfect for long rides, but I've tweaked it a bit for Saturday's ride. Here's how:
1) SKS Chromoplastic mudguards (www.madison.co.uk)
It's not a proper Audax if you're not running Chromoplastics, is it? They're the benchmark mudguard for Audax and touring bikes. It's meant to be sunny on Saturday. You never can tell though eh?
2) Carradice Barley Harris Tweed saddlebag (www.carradice.co.uk)
Enough room for 300kms worth of stuff (hopefully) and a lovely thing to boot.
The Harris Tweed one was a limited edition, mine's number 4 of 16 and was made by Sue. Thanks Sue!
This pocket is now full of home-made energy bars to keep me going round the Devon and Somerset lanes.
3) Carbon seatpost
Actually this is more by luck than judgement: the 'post that came with the Jamis wasn't long enough and the only one I had to swap it out with was Carbon. Can't hurt though, eh.
4) Charge Spoon Ti saddle (www.chargebikes.com)
My favourite saddle ever. I've done longer rides than this Saturday's jaunt (356km from Bath to Colchester last year) on the Spoon with no issues at all. By lucky hap it was attached to the Carbon seatpost so I didn't even nee to get the 6mm Allen key out.
5) Brooks leather bar tape (www.brooksengland.com)
Collar and cuffs must match, say the rules. So brown bar tape it is. I've actually wrapped the Brooks tape over the existing tape, I've got big hands so I like the bars double wrapped. Also, the Brooks tape is hard wearing (this is the third bike it's been on) but not especially comfortable, having some normal tape underneath adds a bit of give.
6) Bryton Rider 40 computer (www.zyro.co.uk)
I'm currently testing this little gadget, and it should be ideal for the ride (although it should also be a good test of the battery life; I'm expecting to be out for about 16 hours…) The Bryton Sport website allows you to plan out a route and follow it on the Rider 40 so I've dutifully mapped out the 300kms and sent it over as backup in case I misread the route notes.
The Rider 40 comes with an HRM strap and cadence and speed sensors; I've fitted the cadence sensor more because it needs testing than because I'm desperate to know my cadence over the day.
7) Shimano M520 SPD pedals (www.madison.co.uk)
A firm favourite: they last for ever and you can walk in the shoes if you get touring or MTB ones. I've never really suffered for the contact area being smaller on the SPD cleat, and I tend to use SPDs for everything.
8) Two bottles
I nicked these ones off a test bike. That Carbon will make all the difference.
That's it. Did I miss anything? We'll be finishing in the dark, so I'll stick some lights on the Jamis too; probably a Magicshine or Gemini front light and a Nite Rider Cherry Bomb on the back. Next up after this is the night-then-day Avalon Sunrise 400km, and for that I'll be adding a dynamo system to this setup. Anyway, wish me luck!
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.