Just as I was beginning to give up hope on my bike search, I decided to do one more night of research on my laptop and visit one more bike shop.
My research consisted of skimming random “look at my bike” message board posts online or ecovelo gallery posts and then reading the comments to find one where someone would note that there was a similar bike model which was more inexpensive. Because while I love the Surlys, the Rivendells and the like, I wasn’t in the market for those this time around.
Somewhere along the line I ran into an old message board post from 2008 or so where a commuter posted about a new bike he bought. It was steel, it was rather simple looking and it was cheap. Off I went tracking down the current model year version to see if it had kept its values in tact. Sure enough, there it was, even better looking and right on the border line of my budget.
I picked up the phone the next day and called each of the area Jamis dealers to see what was available in stock. I wanted to seal this deal and move on to riding my bike in my new city. No one had anything in stock until I got to the last dealer on the list, Sports Basement. They told me they had one in stock that would be built up within the week, but that I could come test ride the other Jamis bikes to confirm I wanted it until then.
So off I went, taking two buses and one train to get there. They had a few of each Coda model in stock, though no Coda Sports in my size. Of all the color combos, I think the Coda Sport is the best looking. The blue and white just pop. It’s a borderline girly color, but I love it. The branding of Jamis is rather obvious, but in the same vain of the Bianchi and Masi bikes that pull it off oh so well.
I looked at the Jamis Codas vs the Jamis Coda Sports, and I also confirmed the pricing. I could pick up a Coda Sport for less than the list price of the Coda. The main difference between the models is a carbon fiber fork. While, I’m not into the whole racing inspired-ness of the carbon fiber, I was into the lighter weight and potentially higher resale value down the road. I test rode the female version of the coda in my size, and then test rode a Coda in a size too small. Check out this post on Isolate Cyclist to see a friendly discussion regarding the merits of carbon fiber forks.
I put my name down to reserve the Jamis Coda Sport, and was told the wait would be about a week. On the way home I happened upon an old Jamis Coda locked up out on the sidewalk. I took it as a sign that I was getting the right bike.
Luckily, two days later I got the phone call telling me I could come pick up the bike! Off I went on those two buses and one train to make my way there. I test rode to confirm everything, they “finalized” the bike while I shopped for a helmet and then I was good to go!
Later that day I rode through Golden Gate Park, out to Ocean Beach, and up to the Sutro Baths. And I got to remember why I love riding all over again.