Exile was a huge hit in 2010, as more riders discovered the benefits of 29-inch wheels, and the dialed-in feel of our tweaked-and-tuned geometry. It takes more than giant hoops to make a great trail bike, and we've got it down to a science with perfect weight distribution for railing descents, awesome climbing traction, and perfect cockpit dimensions that let you muscle your way over trail obstacles with finesse. This year's Exile line gets expanded upmarket with our new Exile 3—top-tier parts like the Rock Shox Recon Silver Solo Air fork, Avid's bomber Elixir brakeset and SRAM's new X9 2x10 drivetrain gives you all the trail capability you could want. All Exiles feature the same incredible chassis, a Jamis-designed frame with an extremely low-slung main triangle for lots of standover, gobs of torsional rigidity that enhances handling and power transfer, expertly welded from double-butted Kinesis 6061 tubing for incredible trail feel.
Frame 7005 double-butted aluminum main tubes, crown-clearing goose-necked down tube, low-standover curved top tube, replaceable derailleur hanger
Fork Rock Shox Dart 3 29er, magnesium sliders, external preload and rebound damping, TurnKey lockout, 28mm stanchions, 100mm travel
Strengths: Solid as a rock. Great entry level 29er.
Weaknesses: Narrow stock handlebars. No steel threaded inserts on crank arms.
Bought my Exile 1 in 2010 (candy apple). Great bike for a 29er starter. Good components for the price compared to other bikes. Within the first few rides I had hit the pedal on a rock or root which caused the pedal stud to wallow out the threads in the crank arm. Replaced bottom bracket setup with SLX (steel inserts in crank arms) and have not had the first issue since. The stock handlebars were only 24" which seemed very narrow and hard to control. Replaced with a set of 27" bars and love it. The screw that clamps the seat rails protrudes through the clamp (upwards) and can be felt when riding hard. Replaced seat post and seat. Tektro manual discs seem to have plenty of stopping power and relatively quiet. Chain seemed to have stretched pretty quickly. Dart 3 shocks not adequate for a heavier rider. Keep in mind this is an entry level bike and the components are entry level as well.
Overall I have been very happy with the bike. I am 5'8" and weigh in at 245 lbs. I started racing last year and the frame has held up very well. All of the changes I have done to the bike have either been for fitment issues or just upgrades as original parts have worn out. I would highly recommend this bike to anyone. If you plan on doing racing or riding very aggressive I would recommend stepping up to the Exile 2 though.
Similar Products Used: First bike shop quality bike.
Bike Setup: Race Face Evolve 27" handle bars with 90mm Race Face Evolve stem. ESI grips. Rockshox Reba SL 29 fork. Shimano SLX hydraulic brakes with Ashima Airotor 180mm front and 160mm rear. SLX bottom bracket and crankset. Velocity Blunt SL wheelset with Shimano XT hubs and DT Swiss spokes. Maxxis Ignitor 29X2.1's front and rear (OEM and I love them). Original front/rear derailleur with original shifters. Crank Brothers Candy pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 21, 2012
Strengths: the bike it self awsome pricing,handling, the rdie and fit
Weaknesses: maybe the saddle its a little hard for me but thats something that could be fixed very easily
I've spent alot of time reasearching bikes i was an avid rider yrs ago and i'm just getting back into it, i bought this today at my lbs and wow i freakin love it, i got it home and went right to the trails, awsome entry level 29er and for the price couldnt be happier ive, been a long time gt rider but no more. im not to sure on the shifters, i used grip for a long time and just have to get used to them, i will say the work without a hitch i do like the clean look they give the bars tho. i love the fork lock out and the stand in is nice im 5'11 and about 200 lbs i got a 17inch frame and it fits real nice, over all i love it and would refer it to anybody you wont be dissapointed at all buy it
Similar Products Used: Gt agressor hard tail, 15 yrs old finally gave up on me
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 21, 2012
Strengths: This bike rolls over everything, the frame has great stand over clearance. It allows for unbridled confidence!
Weaknesses: The sun tour shock is less than appealing, it runs through its full 100mm cycle quickly under my 180 lbs. I would upgrade quickly.
Over all the exile 1 is a superb entry level 29er! It has taken everything I have been able to throw at it. I have an aggressive riding style, and it takes Birms like nobody's business! The model I have tried has upgraded tectro Hydrolic brakes, quite good stopping power with these, they do make a lot of noise, but they are new... The frame is excellent! The geometry is very inspiring, I have always ridden 26ers, and this 29er feels quite nimble despite the size of the rims.
A must have for anybody who wants to ride a 29er.
Bike Setup: Kona Caldera, Specialized Epic Pro, Cannondale Gemini 900
a Weekend Warrior
from hollywood, fl, us
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2011
Strengths: great frame geometry and set up.
I recently made the swich from a 26 goose to this bike. The first two rides i was regretting my decision reguarding this purchase, but now after getting used to the weight and enourmous wheels i am really enjoying the ride. this thing is fast and fun. as previously mentioned, the bikes only weakness is the weight. this thing is a tank. i was told that the wheels are what makes it heavy and that if i change them out it will make as much as a 4 pound diff.
Strengths: Quality frame and good components for entry level. Curved top tube is a plus. Has saved the jewels a couple of times already.
Weaknesses: None so far
This bike replaced an old mongoose 26" that was too small for me. Riding this bike compared to the old one is much more enjoyable. This thing rolls really well and the gearing is very smooth. Climbs well also. Currently just riding to get back in shape and have not had it off road/greenway...but plan to be in shape to try some of the mtn bike trails around here in the fall. I AM 6'1", 230# and this bike carries me where I want to go with ease. For anyone concerned about stand over issues that may be shorter, try this bike out.
Weaknesses: It would have been nice to have Avid BB7 brakes, the ones that come stock don't have the same feel/braking power.
Much like the other review on this site, I chose this bike over the Specialized Rockhopper 29er. The Exile 1 is a better overall bang for your buck in regards to the stock compenents. The standover height is great for me as well as I am 5'6" and was able to get the 17" frame, any other 29ers that I looked at I would have had to get a 15" frame. I did my research and this was the best I could find for the money. I would absolutely recommend it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Lincoln Ne
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2010
Strengths: Frame, sturdy (and beautiful candy apple red) Wheels (WTB speed disc) Shimano Deore Shadow rear derailleur. Maxxis Ignitor tires. The Rock shox Dart 3 impressed me. Bike is light and fast.
Weaknesses: Maybe only the brakes (tektro disc) Im used to avid BB 5's.
The tektro's dont seem to have quite the stopping power. Not sure if the larger wheel diameter mkes a difference?
I chose this bike over the Specialized Rockhopper comp 29er.
The Exile 1 has a better overall set up. better wheels, more bang for the buck. The Rockhopper comp does have avid disc brakes which was the only better spec I could find.
The geometery on this bike is great. The standover height is perfect. Im 5'7" and have the 17" frame. Bike feels very sturdy but light.. This bike is fast, once you get going, hang on.. I find myself in the large chainring up front alot more than on my 26" bikes.. Did alot of shopping around before this purchase. Overall very impressed.. Check it out If your looking to make the step to the 29er world.