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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Jamis Bicycles History: 80 years!


26/01/2018 3 Comments

Very few bicycle companies that are still actively making bikes can boast a history that dates back more than 80 years.

Very few bicycle companies sell in more than 50 markets across the world. Very few bicycle companies create a range of bikes that includes everything from children’s first pedallers to pro rider’s road machines. And even fewer bicycle companies that can do all this are still owned by their founding families. In fact, the only company we can think of that satisfies all these criteria is a name you might not expect:

Now, Jamis might be an American cycle brand created by a Cypriot émigré, but there is a fair argument that it would never have happened without some British influence. It all started in 1937 when George Joannou left Cyprus to seek his fortune overseas. First, he moved to the UK, where he stayed for just less than a year while saving up enough money to make the journey to America. Upon arriving in the United States he noticed that the bicycles Americans cycled were far heavier and far more rudimentary than he’d seen here in Blighty, and often had just singlespeed drivetrains and coaster brakes.

Joannou’s initial plan was to create the G. Joannou Cycle Company to import and distribute these more refined bicycles first from Britain, then France, then Japan and finally — as with the rest of the bicycle trade — Taiwan. However, importing other brands alone wasn’t enough, and it soon became clear that there was the capacity to start Joannou’s own brand. In 1979 Jamis Bicycles was born.

New generation

George Joannou died in 1981, but from a young age his daughter Carine had been involved in all aspects of the business. Although only 20 years old and just one year out of university, Carine followed her father’s lead and has guided Jamis and its parent company, George Joannou Cycles, to far greater heights ever since. From offering 15 different models in 1990, Jamis now has a range of 140 bicycles. And rather than bringing foreign bikes into America to sell, it now sells its own bikes in 52 countries around the world.

Despite success that has seen Jamis become a player in the global bicycle market, it still retains the ethos of a family business. That has helped in a number of ways. For example, staff retention is high, which means that expertise (and enthusiasm) isn’t lost.

“The thing about being here at Jamis is that we can focus exactly on the sorts of bikes that we want to ride,” says Jamis’s mountain bike product manager Sal Crochiola. “We don’t have to answer to a big huge board or other investors. We’re a small enough team and if we think it’s a cool concept and we’d have fun with this particular bike, we can start developing it. We have the freedom to make any toys we want!”

That approach has certainly had a significant effect on Jamis’ reputation for innovation. As just one example, in recent years, while other bike manufacturers hedged their bets on the idea of 650B-wheeled mountain bikes, the team at Jamis decided to go all in. The rest of the bike market has since followed suit, but by the time they did, Jamis already had years’ of 650B research and development to draw from.

And that’s only one cycling discipline, what about road bikes, kids bikes, hybrids, cruisers, commuting bikes, tourers, lifestyle and leisure bikes, full-sussers, bikepacking bikes, hardtails, city bikes, adventure bikes, cyclo-cross bikes, fat bikes,…? They all feature in the Jamis catalogue and they all go through just as much development and design. Here are some of the technical and production highlights from Jamis’ history.


Jamis launches the Dakota, Lightfoot and Roughneck: three of the first high-quality mountain bikes available on the high street.


Jamis’ http://www.rbinc-sports.com/catalog/bikes/jamis-bikes/mountain-bikes is one of the first commercially-produced race-ready mountain bikes to go on sale, and its name continues in the range today.


The innovative Eclipse and Quest road bikes are designed to incorporate proportional component sizing and sliding frame angles and fork rate. Their influence continues in the http://www.rbinc-sports.com/catalog/bikes/jamis-bikes/roadroad range.


The Jamis Dakar Team is the company’s first 4-bar full-suspension mountain bike.


The revolutionary dual-suspension Diablo — the bike industry’s first vacuum-resin-transferred-molded carbon-fibre monocoque frame — is introduced.


Carbon Xenith Series road bikes feature Jamis’s ground-breaking SST (size specific tubing) technology.


The revolutionary Dakar 650B1 and B2 trail bikes adopt 650B wheel sizes, four years before the rest of the cycle industry fully commits to the format.


Jamis fits Nuvinci’s seamlessly shifting, continuously variable rear hub to the Commuter 4, reinforcing its reputation as an early adopter of breakthrough technology.


Jamis introduces the Renegade one of the bike trade’s first dedicated drop-bar adventure bikes.

Jamis Renegade Elite 2018 Adventure Road Bike

Such innovation is why, in its home US market, Jamis has won 14 Editor’s Choice Awards from Bicycling Magazine over the last 20 years. It’s also why, here at Evans Cycles, we are so proud to be the official UK distributor for Jamis products.

But please don’t just take our word for it, and don’t even accept Bicycling Magazine’s high opinion of Jamis; simply pop into your or www.rbinc-sports.com and see for yourself.





Blame it on the economy and the accompanying back to basics mentality. Or praise public awareness of green issues and the value of low-impact lifestyles. But all of a sudden bicycles are a Very Big Deal. Everyday people--folks who haven’t been on a bicycle in years, if not decades--have suddenly rediscovered the thrill of cycling. For us, passionate cyclists who strive daily to deliver products that get people of all ages, abilities and aspirations to love bikes and biking just as much as we do, it doesn’t get any better than that.

The bicycle is a marvelous invention, with an impact that is almost completely, one hundred percent positive. For individuals (exercise!) as well as for the environment (reduced carbon footprint). A bike is one of the world’s most powerful instruments for change. We know because cycling forever changed our lives, and we’ve seen it change the lives of so many others. That’s why we want to make cycling converts out of everyone, and that’s why there’s a Jamis for nearly every cycling arena, for almost any rider.

It’s that passion for cycling and everything cycling can do that fuels and sustains our efforts to build the best possible bikes. It’s why we build category-defining superbikes that put professionals atop podiums at road races and mountain bike events. It’s why our computers are humming day and night crunching FEA data and carbon fiber lay-up simulations. It’s why we devote precious R & D resources to making even our kids bikes and cruisers as light and easy to ride as possible.

But we’re at this not just to build better bikes. We’re in this to build better lives, to make YOU better. That’s pretty heavy. It’s a lot to carry on two wheels. But that’s how powerful a bicycle can be. And that’s why we’re so committed to building the best bikes possible.

When people ride bikes, good things happen. Experience it yourself, on a Jamis.

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