The Jamis Renegade was already a wide ranging & capable gravel riding adventure bike family, especially when you picked one of the three affordable metal frameset options. Now for 2018 the steel & aluminum Renegades get expanded geometry offerings, opting for 650b wheels to bring gravel adventure riding into the grasp of younger & smaller riders with new 44 & 48cm framesets.

Jamis Renegade steel & aluminum gravel bikes

Since 2015 we have been on and off riding the steel Renegade on pretty much any kind of multi-surface riding we could dream up. And a year later we saw Jamis improving on every bike in the family with updated detailing & spec. Now that goes a step further with two different steel framesets and one from aluminum getting updated in 44 & 48cm sizes that swap in 650b wheels to deliver that same ride quality & versatility for small riders.

With our own small female tester out of our Europe HQ, we’ve seen firsthand the huge benefits of the smaller wheelsize on smaller frames, especially when heading off the asphalt. While lower standover heights on the two new sizes is a boom for youth & smaller riders with shorter inseams, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Most tiny riders suffer from significant toe overlap issues that become real barriers to comfortable riding when you start loading an adventure gravel bike down with bikepacking bags or racks and the weight of all those extra water bottles & gear for your adventure.

Not only is Jamis able with the smaller wheels to eliminate a lot of that toe overlap in the frame designs, but they also spec short 165mm cranks on all of these smaller 650b bikes. The end result is that the 44 & 48cm Renegade gravel bikes are able to keep the same 71° headtubes and 73° seat angles of the larger bikes, at the same time getting adjusted fork offsets. So finally smaller riders actually get the same handling & ride feel of the larger, more standard bike sizes. Jamis says the bikes come spec’ed with 36mm tires, but there is room in the frames for up to 700×42 or 650x47mm rubber.

Jamis Renegade Exploit 631 steel gravel bike

The $2200 Renegade Exploit is the top-level metal bike in the family, with its Reynolds 631 double butted steel frameset & monocoque carbon fork with 12mm thru-axles & flat mount brakes at both ends. It also is the top spec level for the new smaller 650b based frame sizes, with the 44 & 48cm bikes using the smaller wheels while the 51-61cm bikes sticking with 700c wheels. New for 2018 the complete Shimano 105 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, and also gets the new rotating 105 R5801 front derailleur with tech inherited from Dura-Ace for improved fat tire clearance.

Oh yeah, and did we mention the new Renegades have 22 mounting points. Between three regular bottle mounts at the front triangle, a pair on each fork leg, rack mounts at the back, and full fender mounts, the Renegades retain their versatility.

Jamis Renegade Expat 520 steel gravel bike

At just $1200 the Renegade Expat gets all of the same smaller geometry updates, this time in a Reynolds 520 double butted steel frameset. It includes the same monocoque carbon fork so gets a 12mm thru-axle & flat mount up front, paired with a IS mount & QR axle out back. The groupset saves money too, but still includes a Tiagra 4700 2×10 pulling TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. Wheels are still built around the same WTB i23 rims as the Exploit, offering tubeless tire setup.

Jamis Renegade Explore 6061 aluminum gravel bike

For $1000 the Renegade Explore goes with a 6061 aluminum frame with otherwise similar frame specs to the Expat, and keeps the same carbon fork. The Claris R2000 2×8 bike equipped with the same WTB i23 tubeless rims is the lowest cost of entry to get the smaller 650b wheel option for the 44 & 48cm bikes.

The full carbon Renegade Elite at $3900 & carbon Expert at $2700 do not get the newer wheel size option, nor does the all aluminum Renegade Exile at $800, all of which stick with the current 48-61cm frame sizes and all 700c wheel options.

Family Bikepacking Giveaway

Not to forget the big contest giveaway to support the family biking concept, Jamis partnered wth several other brands to set your family up for an adventure. On offer are a pair of Renegade Exile bikes, plus gear from helmets from Bell, framebags from Blackburn,
backpacks from Osprey, lights from Gemini and clothing from Club Ride. The prize valued around $4000 is open to US residents at their contest site until December 20.


  1. Bill on

    Yeah, the Renegade Escapade is going to be interesting. It’s not quite a steel Elite. Wheels use WTB Frequency Team i23s, but still laced to Formula hubs. And it still comes with the cheaper 30tpi Clement (Donnelly) X’Plor MSO 36c tires. I guess that makes sense as there’s still a good $1200 difference between the Escapade and the Elite.

  2. John on

    Cool. Can you also confirm that you can run 650B in any size & model Renegade? I thought I saw that mentioned in the 2017 model lineup, that you could use 650 x 2.0 in all models. Thanks.

  3. Threeringcircus on

    Big kudos to offering options for smaller riders. At 5′, my wife may well be interested in one of these setups. 26 x 2.0 wheels/tires will be even better on that 44cm frame.

    • Threeringcircus on

      Just looked at the geometry. As I suspected, the top tube of the 44 is still fairly long at 502mm. Will need a stubby stem to accommodate reach for small riders, but it’s still way better than almost every other manufacturer’s options. I suppose the tire market drives wheel size choices, which is a pity, because on bikes this size 26″ still makes a ton of sense, IMO, enabling a slightly shorter TT length and lower stack.

  4. BikeDude on

    There is, in fact, a Renegade Escapade in Jamis’ 2018 lineup. Its the same Reynolds 631 frame on the Renegade Exploit with an Ultegra build. Same retail price as the Renegade Expert (carbon 105 bike) at $2,699

  5. Mark on

    Am I the only one who noticed how many times it says ‘RenegaGe’ in this article instate of Renegade?
    It’s in the text and pic titles.

  6. Carlo on

    Pretty stoked on my Renegade (2017 Expat). I ride a 48cm and it fits a 700×42 WTB Resolute just fine. Curious if the 2018 model changed up the rear end any for the same size to accommodate the 650b setup. I feel like I could run an XC 27.5” MTB tire in my frame.


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