Jamis Xenith Elite – Review

February 1, 2011

2011 Xenith Elite

A lot of people have been asking how I like the new Xenith.  As of yesterday, I have about 350 miles on the bike over varying conditions and terrain.  The verdict?  I’m impressed.

Fit

The bikes sizes up just a little different from I was used to.  The top tube is 0.5 cm shorter, the head tube angle is 0.3 degrees shallower and the seat tube angle is 0.5 degrees steeper.  I initially set the bike up with the same measurements as the Addict and took it on its maiden voyage, but it just didn’t feel right.  A few days later Dave Wenger of Durata Training hooked me up to the Retul and we checked the numbers.  We ended up raising the saddle a full centimeter, reducing the setback and increasing the drop by 2.5 centimeters.  It took a few hours to get used to the new position but its seems to be working out well.

Time for a shameless plug:  If you’re in Texas and are looking for bike fitting expertise, there is nobody better than Dave

Comfort

Jamis claims that the two types of carbon in the lay up create strength and stiffness yet still eliminate road vibration.  I noticed this right away.   The frame does an excellent job at smoothing out the road even over some of the chip seal pavement that we have here in Austin.  It may have something to do with the different tires ( Rubino Pro’s verses Conti 4000’s) but the Xenith is much more comfortable that my last bike.

Stiffness

I was very concerned that the extra comfort was going to compromise the Xenith’s  stiffness and performance.  The BB30 bottom bracket shell, the asymmetrical chainstays  and the tapered head tube create a bike that is both responsive and quick.  Though I haven’t raced the bike yet, I have had a chance to push the limits on some training rides and the performance has been better than I expected.

Components

What can I say about the performance of the SRAM Red drivetrain and the Easton EA 90 SL wheels.  The components are smooth, responsive and light and the wheels are exceptional.

Weight

If there is a downside to the Xenith Elite its the weight.  The bike weighs in at a full 1/2 pound heavier than the Addict which uses an older heavier SRAM Force group and the same wheels.  Those who know me have heard me say on countless occasions that weight isn’t everything – performance, durability and comfort need to be factored into the equation.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the Jamis Xenith Elite.  My first races of the year are coming up and I’m looking forward to a good season

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