Post image for Jamis Quest Steel Road Bike

Jamis Quest Steel Road Bike

by Jason Van Horn on March 29, 2012

in Gear, Stuff we like

I’m admittedly not a fan of hard core road cycling. Slicing and dicing with bumpers and throwing the occasional bird during my daily commute is about the extent of my pavement time, as I much prefer loamy soil to smooth roads. However, like a magpie attracted to shiny objects, when I come across clean lines and a nice shade of blue, I have to stop a moment to appreciate it. Thanks to the work of hundreds of small frame builders toiling to create one off creations, the basic steel bike has returned to its former glory, with many of the midsize bike companies reacting to the trend by releasing affordable quality models of their own. Take Jamis Bicycles and their sport level model the Quest. The Jamis Quest does a lot of things right with its take on the contemporary steel frame. First off, it’s fashioned from Reynolds 631 tubing. Reynolds tubing has been used in everything from BMX race and freestyle bikes to Fat Bikes, as well as road machines, so you know it’s good stuff. It has a 1 1/8″ composite fork with alloy dropouts with an eyelet to boot, which is matched in the rear of the frame, offering the frame versatility for the long distance commuter that wants to outfit it with racks or full coverage fenders.

As opposed to the old school 3″ inch headtubes of the past and their silly aero riding position that no casual rider will ever use, the Quest has a 160mm headtube and an aesthetically pleasing, minimal amount of steer tube spacers that add up to a relaxed, upright riding position suitable for dashing through the street.  (First pioneered by the small builders, and popularized by bikes like the Specialized Roubaix) Topped off with a 10-speed 105 spec, and middle-of-the-road components with the choice of a double or triple ring crankset (we’d choose the double for superior shifting performance FTW) the Quest lists for $1800, which is less than most any respectable one off, frame only. Plus you can roll it off a local show room floor today. With a listed weight of 19lbs, it’s light enough to line up with the early Saturday morning lycra crowd for the group ride and coffee after a full week of commuting.

Check it out: Jamis Quest

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim Warth March 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

How is 105 middle of the road? It is the bottom of the racing line up. Tiagra is middle of the road, and perfect on most bikes. 105 is more than most people need.


Jason Van Horn March 30, 2012 at 6:02 am

Fair enough. (updated for clarity) My last major road ride was in Morgan Hill on the infamous lunch ride there, on a sub 16lb. top-level Specialized S-Works with Electronic Dura Ace Shifting, so I may have a skewed perspective. I will agree- 105 works really well, is more than enough for a sport level rider, and possibly even overkill for a commuter. But that’s what I like about this bike. Well, that and I just like blue.


jamisbikes March 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Hey Jason…thanks for the write up!! The Quest has always been one of our best selling road bikes for all the reasons you list. However, I would like to clarify, we introduced the steel Quest in 1988 and have been refining and building this Reynolds steel model uninterrupted ever since. Next year will be its 25th anniversary!

Jamis has been committed to high quality steel bicycles in road and mountain bikes ever since we started designing and building high performance bicycles. Others may decide to jump back in the steel bike business as “fashions” change, but at Jamis we’ll always be committed to the ride of these ferrous beauties.

Thanks again for your interest in Jamis Bicycles!!


George H April 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

I hope to God you guys continue using Reynolds steel for your bikes.


Velosopher April 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Amen, George. I just ordered a Quest through my LBS, and couldn’t be more pleased. I got the Femme (fortunately, not marked as such) because I like a slightly shorter top tube. I also LOVE the candy-apple red.

The brisk, snappy feeling of this bike took me by surprise. Based on test rides, it rides like a bike five pounds lighter. I even climbed the beastly local hill on it and zipped right up. Yet it feels like it would be a comfortable all-day bike. Very intrigued!


jemima January 3, 2013 at 1:04 am

I’m considering a Quest at the moment.

I love the 2007 trad geo and frame colour though :)
Wish I could get my hands on one of those.


paul August 26, 2013 at 1:51 am

I am riding a 2012 58cm Felt Z85 with the seat placed forward and a 90mm upwardly inclined stem. Last week I rented a 56cm Specialized Roubaix with a 100mm straight stem, seat once again pushed forward. I wonder what size Quest I would feel comfortable on. Any guesses?


jason August 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Without knowing key information like your height, inseam, riding style and fitness level… no.


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