Four notable “steel-is-real”, gravel grinding, adventurizing, bikepack-touring, or whatever you want to call them, bikes were re-released over the last few weeks. One is the new 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat, reworked with five bottle cage mounts and a sweet graphics/paint scheme for $1,200. Here are the details…

Posted by Logan Watts

Over the last couple of years there’s been an endless onslaught of new “adventure” bikes coming to market. We’ve already posted releases for three or four this year; and there’s probably twice as many that we didn’t write about. The increase in options isn’t necessarily bad. But with interpretations going in several directions, one might ask, “what exactly is an adventure bike?” And to further complicate the matter, the definition may vary depending on who you ask. As the bike industry currently [loosely] defines it — a drop-bar bicycle that can fit voluminous(ish) tires and is equally adept at handling tarmac, gravel, a little dirt, and a bikepacking load. From a geometry standpoint, this usually translates to a crossbreed of touring bike comfort and cyclocross maneuverability.

With people using such rigs for everything from gravel-grinding, to commuting, to multi-day, mixed surface touring and bikepacking, the popularity of these bikes is on the rise. As such, the category has developed a bit of a formula. This is manifested in both features and frame materials, where the use of steel and carbon has become the mainstay. The compliance of steel combined with the lightweight and vibration absorbing qualities of a carbon fork make a good pairing. It’s also a fairly cost effective combination. Throughout the next day we’ll post four news blips with rather affordable 2018 model year steel, drop-handlebar, adventure bikes… two 100% steel models and two steel/carbon hybrids. Starting with the new Jamis Renegade Expat.

2018 Jamis Renegade Expat

2018 Jamis Renegade Expat

The 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat just came to light in the last couple of days. With a full ensemble of bottle bosses — five pairs all told — a carbon front fork, and a slick new paint job, the Expat looks equally as pretty on screen as it does on paper — for a cool 1200 bucks.

  • Highlights
  • Frame: Reynolds 520 frame/Carbon fork
  • Angles (58cm): 72° Headtube, 73° Seattube
  • Bottom Bracket: 68mm BSA Threaded
  • Hub specs: 135mm QR (rear); 100x12mm Thru (front)
  • Seatpost: 27.2mm
  • Max tire size: 700x42mm or 650x47mm
  • Price: $1199 (complete)

Like others, Jamis introduced a size-specific frame geometry, which means that each Renegade — six sizes ranging from 48cm to 61cm — has a unique bottom bracket height, rear center, fork offset/trail, and rear triangle dimensions. According to Jamis, this translates to a consistent ride and feel for every rider. The Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly frame also features a 44mm head tube for a tapered fork, a threaded bottom bracket shell, seat stay disc brake mounts, and full top tube mounted cable housing. From an adventure standpoint, it has three water bottle mounts in and under the triangle, rack and fender eyelets, as well as clearance for 700x42mm and 650x47mm tires.

2018 Jamis Renegade Expat

  • 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat
  • 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat

The Renegade Expat comes with their “Adventure ECO” monocoque carbon composite fork. Specs include a 12mm Jamis MTS (Modular Thru-axle System) with stainless interface and carbon dropouts, a tapered steerer with 1.5” hollow formed crown, flat disc brake mounts, internal cable routing, and exposed fender, lowrider and water bottle eyelets (one pair per blade).

  • Frame Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly, size specific
  • Fork Jamis Adventure ECO monocoque carbon
  • Headset FSA Orbit ITA B Internal/External, 1.5 – 1 1/8”
  • Rims WTB i23 STP disc TCS (UST Tubeless), 32H
  • Hubs Formula 12mm front and QR rear alloy 6-bolt
  • Tires Clement XPlor MSO, 700 x 36c, 30TPI with protection belt
  • Derailleurs Shimano Tiagra RD-4700 GS rear and Tiagra FD-4700 front
  • Shift levers Shimano Tiagra ST-4700 Dual Control STI, 20-speed
  • Chain KMC 10-speed X10
  • Cassette Shimano 10-speed, 11-32T
  • Crankset FSA Gossamer MegaExo, 50/34T
  • BB Set FSA BB-4000
  • Brakeset TRP Spyre mechanical disc, 160mm rotor, Shimano Tiagra ST-4700 levers
  • Handlebar Ritchey Evomax Comp, 6061 aluminum, 73 reach, 120 drop with 12° flare
  • Stem Ritchey 4-Axis 3D forged 6061 alloy, 110mm (58/61)
  • Tape Jamis suede tape
  • Seat Post Ritchey Road, 27.2 x 300mm
  • Saddle Selle Royal Seta S1
  • Sizes 48, 51, 54, 56, 58, 61cm
  • Color Flat Steel
  • Weight 24.25 lbs
  • 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat
  • 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat

The 2018 Jamis Renegade Expat shares a few geometry characteristics with a couple other bikes we’ve tested and like. Most similar to the Niner RLT 9 Steel — 59cm Niner compared to the 58cm Jamis — which has an almost identical top tube length, seat tube and head tube angles, as well as very similar BB drop… with numbers changing slightly in standover height, fork rake and stack. So with the Jamis, expect a moderately aggressive stance, good handling characteristics, and a generally versatile bike, at its happiest splitting time on paved and gravel roads with a few stretches of double-stack thrown in for good measure. On paper, my one complaint would be that it can’t fit tires bigger than 42mm in the 700c category. But with that said, I’ve also found 42mm to be a good sweet spot for most gravel exploits… specifically when set up tubeless. EDIT: And, as I was reminded in the comments, a slightly more knee friendly gearing would be nice for loaded riding. We hope to test the Expat in the future. For now, get more information over at

  • V-twin

    That’s A LOT of bike for $1,200.

  • Rod Kimble

    Looks nice, but I wish manufacturers would put better chainsets on bikes that are meant to be loaded up and ridden off road. A 50t big ring and 34/32 lowest gear means either a lot of bikepushing or sore knees!

  • Yeah, meant to add that in the last section. Taking it a step further, I really wish companies would start speccing these types of bikes with mountain doubles… makes a lot more sense for a wide range drivetrain, IMO. I generally dislike road drivetrains and don’t really see a need for them.

  • Rod Kimble

    I think it’s because road shifters = road chainset. I’ve never understood why Shimano (or others) don’t make a 2x road compatible chainset with 104 BCD so smaller rings can be used. Maybe Middleburn do (did?) but it’s be nice to see a bigger company do the same. Friction shifters are one solution but STI are more user friendly IME.

  • Yeah, totally. As you said, friction shifters (but I agree that ST are nicer), or take the Sutra LTD for example; not a mtn double, but Aeffect crank with a Rival 1×11 (with a 10-42 cassette)… kind of a mountainish DT. Typing and wishing for the impossible I guess: reverse engineering STI shifters to work with a standard XT mtn 2×10.

  • Mark McGrath

    That’s nice – what are the next three you’ll be showcasing??

  • Wes Newman

    The cover photo shows a different wheelset, tires, and cassette. The rear cassette appears to be a wide range 11 speed SRAM. Is that a different build spec or a prototype photo?

  • WhatsMyName

    Nice write-up. I’ve been waiting on word about the 2018 Renegade series and it appears this is the most comprehensive write-up of updates so far. Is jamis planning updates for the rest of the Renegade line? This is a great write-up and I’m looking forward to the test of the 4-part series!!

  • BortLicensePlatez

    Why do none of these have flat bars (or Jones, etc)? I feel like I want the kind of geometry and materials combo (steel/carbon) but I want flat bars to come standard. Is there a reason the industry doesn’t push those? Thanks for all the writing!

  • Good catch… it is. They set it up with a ‘Road Plus’ 650b just to show the possibilities… the stock bike is 700c as shown in the spec list above.

  • Thanks. Not sure exactly re other renegade models. This one seemed quite appealing based on the pricepoint (and the graphics!). The Exploit looks nice as well.

  • Good question. For this style of bike, the geometry is loosely based on road (or ‘cross). For that, drops are the mainstay. However, Jones bars aren’t out of the question for a few of these, depending on the exact geometry. For example, my wife rides a Salsa Deadwood, originally specced with drop bars. We recently changed it to Jones H-bars and she loves the setup even more…

  • adamgnewman

    Years ago I was joking with a friend that I wanted a flat-bar specific gravel bike. He pointed out that they already exist: hybrids. There are some really nice ones out there if you look around.

  • BortLicensePlatez

    Thanks for the detailed answer!

    I guess I want something that rides gravel, road – especially tours – and hauls cargo in the city and can be adapted to bikepacking. A “do it all” :-)

    The Troll comes close but is too heavy.

  • BortLicensePlatez

    Fair dinkum. What do you recommend?

  • adamgnewman

    Well, not sure what your priorities/preferences are, but there are bikes like the Specialized Sirrus that are pretty impressive for the price when compared to drop-bar bikes.

  • Wes Newman

    Very interested in what components they used for that setup. Looks like they have a huge range with the double ring up front.

  • Mark

    Does it really have traditional IS brake mounts in the back and flat mount in the front? Weird!

  • Jamis Bikes

    This was an early release of just one model that Logan and his keen-eyed team picked up on via our social media. The full 2018 unveiling including the new Renegade Series will be within a few weeks.

  • Test Bed

    Ive done aporoximately 10000 km of mixed terrain on a 2016 expat. Its the only bike I have kept for more than two years. It pares well with a Brooks B17 narrow. I just wish the steerer was an inch longer but a stem change can remedy that.

  • Hweight

    Won’t the Wolftooth Tanpan work?

  • Guy Shelley

    What would be the best way to lower the range of gear ratios? is using a mountain crankset at all possible with the stock front derailleur?

  • essence

    I’ve got the 2017 Exploit. It is easily the fastest and most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden. And it’s STIFF, whippy and fun as hell. If you can swing it, I highly recommend it.

  • On this particular bike? Probably the Wolftooth Tanpan and a 40T Cassette Cog expander kit…

  • Dylan

    I’m torn between this ride and the Norco Search XR Steel, which I’m disappointed didn’t make it in this group of new adventure steel reviews. I’d love smaller gears for loaded riding, but alas it’s hard to get a big range in the back and also have a double up front….just requires too much chain. Anyways the Norco xr steel pairs the 105 11-32 cassette with a Praxis Alba 48/32T crankset. And if you have the cash, on the XR Carbon Ultegra model pairs the 11-34 ultegra cassette to the Praxis Alba 48/32T. So that helps a little….

    There are also a number of companies that make “sub” compact doubles, check ’em out at the link below. It sucks to buy a new bike and then immediately change a “major” component like the crankset…but if everything else on the bike works for you, it’s still much cheaper than building up a bike from a frame!

  • Wasif

    Hello! Really want to get this bike. The Exploit and higher models say it’s size specific 650B for 44/48, but is that the same for the Expat? I’m wondering if I have to buy 650 wheels.

  • Wasif

    I got my answer from Jamis by way of FB Messenger. They are all SSD, but the expat doesn’t come in 44. The 48 Expat also doesn’t come with 650bs :'( I’ll probably get this and roll with the 36s it comes with to start!

  • Sheepdog Nation

    Personally, I like the front chainrings, but I definitely agree that the rear needs a wider range for gravel bikes in general.

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