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by Scott Wilson and Andrew Yee
Jamis’ Supernova Team was brand new for 2013, and for 2014, comes decked out in a completely new outfit. At Dealer Camp 2013, we caught the 2014 Supernova Team only partially clothed, forcing Jamis racer Jamey Driscoll to race his Cannondale Super X cyclocross bikes from last season at Dealer Camp last year. However, we have the full details of the Jamis Supernova spec for 2014.
The frame remains the same: sleek carbon fiber design, tapered head tube, gigantic bottom bracket, disc brakes: all of the latest trends in cyclocross builds. We looked at the Supernova back at the 2013 Outdoor Demo at Interbike, and did a review of last year’s iteration in Issue 19, available in digital back copy. Back then, we found it to be a great ride, with a light frame and SRAM Red group, but just a bit heavy with the stock wheelset. You can see the 2013 Team carbon model’s specs here, though to get our full review, you’ll need to check out content-packed, bike review-heavy Issue 19.
Our review was not only invaluable to readers and potential customers, but also for the company itself. Jamis’ Todd Corbitt told us he tacked a printout of our review on his wall, and incorporated our feedback in helping refine the bike for the 2014 model year.
They did take our suggestions to heart, and the new version has American Classic Argent Tubeless disc wheels, which feature a 390g rim and should be significantly lighter lighter than last year’s beefy wheelset—a nice option for new disc brake converters who will race the stock wheels. Jamis also went with wider rubber, swapping out the narrow 32c Vittoria XG TNT tires for Clement’s significantly wider (as measured) PDX 33c clinchers. The higher volume will represent boost in speed for the inner tube racer.
The step away from tubeless tires is for us, bitter sweet. Tubeless works so well when set up right, but no OEM cyclocross bikes are coming set up as tubeless, and since few customers will do the conversions themselves, the not-tubeless wider (and lighter) rubber makes sense for most racers.
The one important note about the impressively light American Classic clincher wheels is that the American Classic tubeless Bead Barbs technology was designed for road (high pressure) only, we’ve been told by American Classic, so YMMV for tubeless cyclocross (low pressure) usage. Update: American Classic has clarified the Bead Barbs are also suited for low pressure (cyclocross) use with tubeless-ready tires, and so with a tire change and sealant you can give tubeless a try. We’re of course anxious to test them out in cyclocross use. [See our Tubeless in Cyclocross series for more on tubeless tires.]
SRAM Force 22 derailleurs (a change from last year’s SRAM Red) are paired with SRAM Red 22 hydraulic Double Tap levers and SRAM’s Red22 hydraulic disc brakes. Ritchey Pro cockpits come stock, and as for future upgrades, the EVO386 carbon BB shell and replaceable front and rear derailleur hangers are notable features. An FSA SLK Light EVO crankset is said to save over 100g over the MegaExo version. Braking will be provided by SRAM’s Red 22 hydraulic disc brakes (see our early sneak peek from Sea Otter here).
Jamis uses their proprietary Near Net Molding process to construct a monocoque frame that they say is “stiffer, lighter, and better riding” than other lugged frames. The short explanation of their process is that they lay up the crucial junctions and structural ligaments, like head tube and top/down tube joints, together with high and low modulus fibers. This style of monocoque construction is becoming more popular in the carbon frame world, not just with Jamis.
This year, there will be two carbon models of the Supernova available: Force and Apex groupsets. Jamis will be doing away with the aluminum Nova Pro Di2 model, and in its place is the SRAM Apex-equipped 7005 aluminum Nova Pro, with TRP’s HY-RD hydraulic disc brakes, perhaps a real sleeper among 2014 cyclocross bikes. Rounding out the line is the 6061 aluminum Nova Race, with 10-speed Tiagra and Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. Prices are to be determined. Stay tuned as we aim to review one of the 2014 models for our readers.