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The Jamis Renegade line of bicycles are touted as adventure ready. If you were to survey one hundred cyclists and pick their top five answers, the definition of adventure would vary greatly between them. To cater to as many adventure-minded cyclists as possible, Jamis designed all of their Renegade bikes to be flexible – adventure ride on pavement all day? No worries. Adventuring onto dirt and gravel roads – Jamis has you covered. New for 2016 is the Jamis Renegade Exploit, a steel-framed machine based upon the company’s all-carbon Renegade Expert and Elite bikes from 2015. Click on through to read more about the company’s new Exploit rig…

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Equipped with Shimano’s 105-level 11 speed mechanical groupset, Formula / Alex ATD 470 tubeless-ready, center lock compatible disc brake wheelset, Clement X’Plor USH tires in 700c x 35mm, and finished off with Jamis / Ritchey cockpit parts and TRP’s HY/RD mechanical-hydraulic disc brake calipers, the complete-build Renegade Exploit is nicely equipped. Jamis chooses 50/34 compact chainrings for all sizes of the Renegade Exploit, along with Shimano’s longer cage 105 GS rear derailleur and 12-32 11-speed cassette.

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The Exploit’s frame is constructed from Reynolds 631 double-butted chromoly tubing, featuring size specific tubing and three different fork offsets. Performance oriented endurance geometry is found across all sizes of the Renegade Exploit.

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The Renegade Exploit is available in six sizes from 48 to 61, with effective top tube lengths starting at 51.9cm on the 48, to 60.1cm on the 61 model. Bottom bracket drop and chainstay length vary depending on the frame size. Adding to the adventure nature of the Renegade Exploit, the frame features rack and fender mount eyelets, mounts for three bottle cages and clearance for 40mm tires.

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Rounding out the front end of the Exploit is the Jamis branded monocoque all carbon, tapered steerer tube fork with 15mm thru axle, carbon dropouts, hidden fender mount eyelets and stainless steel axle interfaces.

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At 5’11” in height, Jamis would likely suggest I choose the size 54 Renegade Exploit. I prefer a more aggressive position, and opted for the size 51 with an effective top tube of 53.4cm. Admittedly, I have the seatpost positioned exactly at its limit line, but the configuration as pictured fits me well and feels great on the road. Jamis selects a Ritchey WCS 31.8mm stem in a 90mm length on size 51 frame, and a Jamis-branded carbon fiber seatpost with 20mm of offset. I substituted the 90mm stem for an older Ritchey WCS stem in the 110mm length, that happened to be laying around.

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The frame’s bottom bracket interface is the tried and true 68mm English thread shell, fitted with Shimano’s inexpensive 105 bottom bracket.

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Thus far, I’ve ridden the Renegade Exploit on just about every type of road surface, including a few not-so-technical mountain bike trails. Although weighty at 24lbs as a complete bike fitted with my personal King titanium bottle cages, Fizik Arione saddle and Shimano XT pedals, I have been pleased with the Exploit’s ride quality.

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While not intended as a race-going machine, the Exploit is proving to fulfill its role as an adventure bike that can go pretty much anywhere. Expect a full review of the Jamis Renegade Exploit in the near future.

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The complete Jamis Renegade Exploit build as detailed above sans bottle cages, computer mount and pedals retails for $US 1,949.00.

Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist.
Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

Jamis Bikes

17 COMMENTS

  1. You’re 5’11” and riding a 53cm top tube?!? I’m am inch shorter and typically ride bikes with 56-57cm top tubes. Odd fit aside, looks like a great bike.

  2. @Chris L – Typically a 54-55cm top tube is optimal for me on a road bike, but I usually go down a size on a CX / gravel bike – 53.4cm TT on this size was close enough. My fit isn’t for everyone, but thanks for the feedback!

  3. Looking forward to this review.
    Jayson, just curious, what is your saddle height (from BB)? I’m the same height but on anything under 56cm, my saddle to bb drop is way too much (granted I’m on a very race oriented frame, and the renegade stack is 35mm greater, and 7mm shorter reach).
    My bb to saddle height is just over 795mm.

  4. It’s obviously “old school undersized”. By taking one to two size larger you could use smaller stem and less spacer for better braking and cornering and reduced otb risk.

  5. I find the Renegade steel line interesting, and it gives decent options for affordable steel adventure/light touring bikes.
    However, I would have preferred a steel fork. I think it makes more sense for a steel bike, especially if it’s going to be used as a do-it-all or touring bike.
    And the shimano RS685 (mechanical shifting/hydraulic braking) would make more sense for the exploit build. It’s not much more expensive than 105/Trp Hyrd…

    Also, what’s with the cable routing? Everything is top tube routed, but with full housing, and under the top tube… it looks like a mess.

  6. @Tim:

    Those hybrid brakes are actually pretty awesome. You can still use any brake lever you want while still getting many of the upsides of a hydraulic brake such adjusting for pad wear and having both pads move instead of just one. I also found them to be less mushy and more positive feeling than purely mechanical discs. Finally, they’re much easier to install than a purely hydraulic brake as you’re still dealing with conventional brake cables/housing. That said, they’re still not as good as a fully hydraulic brake such as the TRP Hylex I’m now running (though they’re VERY close, I’d say at least 85-90% as good)

  7. “The strange set-up diverts attention from the product.” Huh?

    An aggressive position is strange? Better talk to the pro cyclists in Europe then, they are doing it wrong.

  8. I recently purchased a Jamis Renegade Expert 56cm sight unseen. After getting it set up, I could have easily gone with as 54cm, as I ride a 56cm Specialized Tarmac. The Jamis is definitely a more relaxed frame than a typical race bike so the larger frame size isn’t all that bad.

  9. As for a steel fork – the inexpensive unicrown steel forks one typically sees spec’ed on bikes like this ride best at lower speeds, with a bit of weight on the bike to damp the “springiness” of the steel. I’d much rather have the straight-tracking fork shown here given the intended use range.

    I know Jamis make great bikes, and the tube-to-tube welds look fine here, but those stamped department-store-style chainstay/seatstay ends at the rear dropout really cheapen the impression the frame delivers.

  10. @Burton- do you have any reason for that preference?
    @Chris L- I can see some advantages now that you’ve made them clear. But I guess the whole “hydros are better” is just something I don’t agree with. Undoubtedly hydros are lighter than the lightest mechanical setups. And they do offer self adjustment of pads, but that to me only really makes a difference on such long downhill runs or in such wet conditions that the pads wear noticeably, neither things that affect me. I’ve ridden both hydro and cable brakes, and have never thought that a hydraulic outperforms a well-installed mechanical one. I’ve test ridden XTR, and wouldn’t trade my Ultimate + BB7 combo for them. If two brakes- one mech and one hydro- have the same mechanical advantage, pads, rotors, and so on, their performance is going to be pretty similar. About both pads moving- there are some mechanicals that offer that- TRP and Rever.
    I think one reason mechanicals get a bad rap, esp. on road brakes, is Shimano changed the leverage ratio on their road levers, which makes mechanicals feel weird. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

What do you think?

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