We lent out some bikes to a few guys around the company over the summer for a long termer review. From road to mountain, recreation to race, our ride squad put the bikes through their paces and after a few months have got off the saddle to write up their experiences.

Simon Alexander is a sales assistant at our Lakeside store and he has been putting some training miles in on a Jamis Xenith Comp road bike. So, over to Simon to find out a little more about his riding and how he got on with the bike…

About Me

Hi, I’m Simon, 20 year old roadie working part time in the Lakeside store.  I am a first category racer and I have ridden for the twenty3c.co.uk/focus team in 2013 winning one race and getting numerous top 10s at e123 level.

All of my training is done in Essex (and twice a year Majorca), we have a Wednesday and Sunday training group which some guys called Alex Dowsett and Mark Cavendish have been known to occasionally tag along on – Alex living in nearby Maldon. We generally head north towards Chelmsford or Stansted via the lanes occasionally stopping at the infamous ‘Blue Egg’ cafe. North Essex has loads of quiet lanes suited to longer road rides.

The Bike

I was unsure what to expect of the Jamis Xenith Comp road bike at first – I had ridden my race bike only that morning, so I was conscious that it might not feel as good. Once I set the saddle height up and got rolling I was impressed, despite the handlebars, saddle and chainset not being my preferred choice.

The bike felt extremely stable and once up to a good cruising speed, held its pace really easily with no extra effort needed to stay there. Every pedal stroke seems to be transferred efficiently to acceleration and although the frame is quite stiff I never once felt uncomfortable.

When it came to accelerating away from traffic lights (or the all-important town sign sprint on group rides) the Jamis more than held its own. As it did stomping up some of the short and sharp climbs in Essex. The Shimano 105 transmission performed flawlessly as expected with the Shimano compact chainset making light work of any climb.

This bike is certainly a perfect bike to start road racing and sportives and offers great value – giving many a more expensive steeds a run for their money. Over time you could upgrade the wheels and tyres to something with a little less rolling resistance and lighter and you’re on to a winner. The 2014 Xenith Comp looks even tastier with redesigned aero profiling and neat tucked away brakes.

My Kit

The right kit will help you get the most out of your ridding, particularly as the weather begins to change. Don’t be put off by a bit of rain, all you need a Gore Oxygen jacket – by far the best thing since sliced bread, maybe even better than. It makes winter riding almost enjoyable.

If you’re going to be sitting in the saddle for a few hours then a good pair of shorts are essential. My personal preference are Assos bib-shorts which hands down the most comfortable shorts EVER! If you’re just getting in to road cycling though and want something a little more affordable then try the Louis Garneau Signature Optimum shorts or the popular Gore Contest bibs.