a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: June 22, 2003
Strengths: Not scary-light, tough frame, good stock spec. Manitou Mars fork is verrrry light and responsive (finally, the first fork I've owned where I know I'm getting max travel), but only with the correct coil spring. Other than that, I love the adjustable air spring!
Weaknesses: SDG saddle. Well, the shape is real nice, but the seams give me saddle sores. I've read bad things about the Titec X-wing 'post, so I put on a Thompson right away ($20 at bike swap meet!). The X-wing is strictly a spare. Shimano chain came stock with a stiff link. Hmmmm, what else...WTB grips sucked--twisted on bar and felt like I had Half-Pipes. Hutchinson Python tubeless tires feel good on flats, but not secure enough for anything else. The Manitou Mars fork sometimes feels too noodly under my weight (185#), and it came stock with a too-soft coil spring. Also, I sold the wheelset and tires for about $300--tubeless selection sucks these days anyway, and I needed the $$.
I love this bike. For the sale price I got it for, I was able to easily replace whatever crappy parts that came with it. After setting it up to the current spec, it's very hard for me to go back to my Sugar. The weight difference and fit of this bike compared to my Sugar is tough to beat. I've had some issues with the Mars fork, but because it's sooo light and user-friendly, I think I'll keep her for a while. The parts spec is complaint-free for now, but I can't wait to "dress her up" with some new stuff!
Similar Products Used: Trek & Specialized models (tested various models of each)
Bike Setup: Stock except for Selle Italia saddle
from Cleveland, Oh
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2001
Strengths: Awesome component spec., light machine, great ride feel
Weaknesses: It can't may my legs go faster
Can you say bang for your buck?! This bike is just plain fast. It seems as though it was made for me. Light and very agile. I was searching for a bike that would allow me to carry speed (momentum) through our tough home course in Wooster. I was looking at the new four-link designs that offered superior climbing to other FS bikes, but allowed all out downhill bombing runs. I was conserned relative to the structural compromises that have to be in those aluminum frames to make those FS bikes so light. I kept hearing of this and that breaking on them. I am a steel man, and this Jamis fit the bill. If you've ever ridden a quality steel frame bike, you know what I mean. The tubeless tires also do their duty in not just increasing grip, but add just a touch of compliance in the ride to take the edge off of small hits, and keep the rear planted on climbs...and yes, this bike will go down as well!(Much better than you might think for a hardtail.) Component-wise, there are no glaring weaknesses. Sure you can upgrade to any level you choise, but I got this bike and raced it on the second ride, right out of the box. At first, I was skeptical about not going the FS route, but to say I am not disappointed would be an understatement. I absolutely love this bike and would recommend it to anyone that's not hung up with FS, or even on the fence about it.
Do your homework, find the bike that fits you and your style, and just ride! For me, its the Dakota XC.
Don't buy if your style requires FS (drops). This bike is an efficient trail and racing bike.
Weaknesses: nothing that really matters, but the paint chips easily. Jamis sent me a free bottle of touch-up piant, so I guess not even that is really a weakness.
Amazing bike for the money. Some people pay hundreds of dollars more for pretty much the same bike from boutique steel-crafters. I have a 17" frame and the whole bike is still below 25 lbs.! Try finding another sub-25-lb. steelframe with this many quality components for around $1000 ... go ahead, I dare you.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairmont, WV
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2001
Strengths: fits perfectly, great part selection its worth lots more than it costs... very race-able steel frame is probably good for those who know the difference
Weaknesses: tubeless not for everyone (not me) fork isnt too stiff and has stiction, id rather have a SID xc or something but it works for now
paint job is cheap in some spots (dust got into the paint gun i guess and they decided to cover up the crummy spot with one of those green warning stickers, more than one place too...) weight is merely adequate
Great bike for the money ,lots of upgrade potential in the parts AND frame (upgrade the parts on the frame or buy a new frame for the parts) this thing is worth it. losing the wheels and getting something light would drop the weight a lot.... this thing will do the trick until i go full suspension or full titanium.... its bomber, dont worry about breaking it, its steel.... maybe lacking that oomph cuz of the heavy tires and wheels but its a great ride
Bike Setup: stock + flite ti saddle, avid 7 levers
from Scottsdale, AZ
Date Reviewed: August 19, 2001
Strengths: steel frame, avid brakes, hutchinson and mavic team up to make an awesome tubless tire setup---everything is great
Weaknesses: none as far as i'm concerned, but if i had to pick, it would be the manitou fork.
steel is the best frame material for the price. i got a smokin' deal on this bike. this bike is so comfortable. i love it. if you buy a hardtail go with steel. if you buy full suspension, then i think aluminum is the way to go. most importantly, just get out and ride your bike. LIVE IT!! LOVE IT!!
a Weekend Warrior
from Greensboro, NC
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2001
Strengths: Super frame. I love the ride of the steel frame. All the components were great for the price. Time ATAC's and Mars fork were great. Tubeless tire perhaps?
Weaknesses: tubeless tire perhaps? (limited choice of tires and air loss)
This is my first steel framed bike. I don't see myself ever going back to an aluminum hardtail again. Given the choice I'd skip the tubeless tires, but being able to run such low pressure is a definate plus.