We toe the start line in ‘06 with our first factory singlespeed. This is the ultimate in stripped-down speed with a Reynolds 631 air-hardened steel chassis that climbs and corners the way a factory built racer should. Investment cast, track-style dropouts load from the rear, with a slotted disc tab for the Hayes Sole hydraulic caliper and a Manitou Axle Platinum Air fork with Click-It lockout to round out the package on this one sprocket rocket. Got a split personality? Dress it with slicks and it’s a bad-butt city stomper. This is 100-percent serious performance, zero-percent BS.
Strengths: This bike can go through hell and back and still kick butt. I ride XC, but I also do some jumping and the Exile handles it all. I am 5'10, and the 17" frame is a perfect fit. I put a Rock Shox Tora fork on the bike, and it added some weight but it's worth it. The bike is a totally comfortable ride, and has fantastic handling. Tough steel frame for those of you who ride a little harder.
Weaknesses: It's a bit heavy, but you can change out all the EA30 stuff for EA90 and it makes a difference.
This bike is fantastic! The XL fits me perfectly. The fork works well and even the lock-out functions fine. Couldn't beat the price. The crank replacement was partially my mistake, but the LX cranks are a good upgrade. Couldn't stand the grips or tires, but that's just me. The brakes worked for a while. They seem to have lost most of their power and I can't seem to adjust them any more. That's the next upgrade...
Similar Products Used: 1994 Diamondback Ascent EX converted to SS.
Bike Setup: Stock except Oury lock-on Grips, Specialized Resolution 2.1Tires, FC-M582 Cranks, other minor things.
a Weekend Warrior
from Fairfax, VA
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2008
Strengths: Great frame - steel is very responsive and has a sweet ride. Decent components - hits a nice price point for a complete SS with front suspension (if you buy discount). I like that it comes with disc breaks too.
Weaknesses: Manitou Axel Platinum Fork - the fork's performance sucks, plus at 5.5 lbs it is the heaviest component on the bike. Lockout cable got kinked and broke in the first month.
This is a very fun bike to ride - even stock. The frame is a real standout. It has such a sweet ride - and the black ano finish on my '06 model looks great. The WTB speedisc wheelset is rock solid. The stock gearing is a bit too steep for hilly terrain (33x16). The front fork is really junk. I've ridden this bike over a year now, and have upgraded it to my liking. I estimate the stock weight is down from 26.5lbs to around 24lbs (swapping the heavy stiff Manitou fork with the buttery smooth Fox saved 2lbs by itself).
This bike has improved my riding. SS makes me use my breaks less, look for the flow on all trails, rail the turns, and mash up the climbs. The hardtail improves my bike handling as well. Great bike for the money.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Stumpjumper (hardtail)
Bike Setup: Lots of changes from stock:
- 80mm FOX RLT
- On One Mary Bar and stem
- White Industries 18T ENO freewheel
- 2.1" Kenda Nevegal tires
- Stan's Tubeless system.
- Time ATAC pedals
- Selle Italia Flite saddle
- Oury grips
a Weekend Warrior
from Gateway City USA
Date Reviewed: August 27, 2008
Strengths: Basic single speed keeps the hassles to a minimum and the fun to a maximum. Steel frame is sweet. Bronze paint is very cool. Hydraulic disks are a nice touch for this price.
Weaknesses: The seatpost clamp is worthless, post slips in spite of various fixes. Wheels seem a little flimsy for a bigger person but have not broken or bent anything so far.
If you are looking for a factory built inexpensive single speed, this is it. Yeah, the fork is not a high end piece and it does not have 29 inch wheels. Those are a bit of a compromise, but in the end, the pure fun of a singlespeed and price out weighs these shortcomings. Perfect for local trails, running around the neighborhood, or hopping on the local rails-to-trails. Ride it hard and since it is a single speed, it can be put away wet.
Bike Setup: Replaced the stock 16 tooth rear gear with an 18 tooth for off road. Will replace the seatpost clamp shortly.
a Cross Country Rider
from Victoria, Australia
Date Reviewed: June 22, 2008
Strengths: Good off the shelf SS, steel frame, reasonable components.
Weaknesses: Forks and brakes do the job but were first on my list for upgrades.
Good bike off the shelf for a reasonable price. I like the steel frame with conventional track fork ends. Being built to a price some components are a bit ordinary but they do the job fine until you feel like some upgrades.
Bike Setup: Stylo SS cranks, Shimano Deore brakes, Surly rigid fork
from Nowra ,N.S.W.
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2007
Strengths: Its a Single Speed ,Its Black , Weighs in at 12.4 kgs with Time atack pedals .Nice wide bars ,Snappy ,Smooth as silk to ride ,love the feel of steel ,Its bomb proof , Ride it rain Hail or Shine.
Weaknesses: Axel Platinum forks suck with the remote lock out .Truativ cranks aren t my favourite thing and the head set doesn t have sealed bearings ,the rear drop outs have a quirky after thought set screw design that doesn t look good but works adequately . I would like to throw everything but the frame and bling it up to a sub 10kg race weapon.
Until you ride a Single Speed you ll never know what all the fuss is about .I d ridden duallies for the last 4 years ,until I bought the Jamis for a daily runner to work and back .Since I bought it I have ridden my Yeti Twice in 6 months .This sled has improved my riding to the next level . Now I pedal ,pedal ,pedal , coast ,coast ,pump ,pump for free speed . Bikes and Parts can be hard to get in Australia and the selection isn t as comprehensive as Europe or the States .As far as I could tell the Jamis was right on the money for value.I ve had a look at the 2007 model and most of what I didn t like on the 2006 model is changed on the new bike .Do yourself a favour and buy a single speed even if its not this one .I would give it 5 chillis for both but theres always room for improvement - I would have paid the extra money if Jamis had spec d up the bike a little better.
Similar Products Used: My other bike is a Yeti Asr sl - so the exile has some tough competition.
Bike Setup: Stock set up as came from the factory
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2006
Strengths: great geometry, smart track ends, burly and stiff without being too heavy. Canti and disc compatible. The matte black is hot. It's steel. It doesn't have an EBB!
Weaknesses: None, but it appears the complete bike comes w/o canti bosses. Set screws on the track ends are a nice touch, but a little cheesy and hard to adjust w/o a screw driver.
This is my first SS mountain bike (I've been riding SS cross and fixed road for a while). This bike is awesome. I bought the frameset and built it up with what I had lying around. I've been riding very nice handmade steel frames for a long time, and the Jamis impressed the heck out of me. The handling is excellent on tight single track. The bike flows like nothing I've ridden before.
Jamis totally scored with this bike. It is my race bike of choice this season.
Similar Products Used: Gunnar rockhound, Trek Fuel 100, Trek 8500
Bike Setup: Mix of XT, Avid Vs, Surly rear hub, Mavic 517 ceramics, old Marzocchi Marathon fork
from presque isle, me usa
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2006
Strengths: This bike is very light and responsive. It flys along the trail and flows very well. It's feel makes hard climbs even enjoyable.
Weaknesses: Price is a little high but the bike is a very well rounded package.
This bike is a very fun bike to ride. It tracks the trail very well and allows a rider to consintrate on the course laid out in front of you. It worked very well with little orno issues. I enjoy the looks on the guys faces when I can not only keep up with them but fly by on the rolling sections. It also allows me to be much stronger when I ride my other bikes.
here is my new ss build. it is going to be my commuter for the next 2 months then my trail ride when i pick up something else. 2006 jamis exile w/650b wheels built by me (my first wheel build) and some used and new parts off of ebay, the lbs and my own parts bin.
i am lacing the rear wheel atm (t ... Read More »
Interesting. My thumbs kept grabbing for the shifters.:) 32x17 seems a bit tall, I'm giving 32x21 a roll later today. It seemed more pure, more quiet and actually faster than riding geared. I may be sold. :thumbsup:Read More »
Going to be single speed and rigid
My question is, can I get by with just shortening the chain and hoping it fits or do I need a tensioner???
I found one at performance bikes for 25 bucks.... http://w ... Read More »
I have a 2007 Jamis Exile SS 26" coming tomorrow from Jenson (great deal). It is a 21" frame size. I am looking for a decent steel fork for it and I would like suggestions. The frame was designed around a 100mm suspension fork. I was toying with the idea of making it a 96er but I'm concerned tha ... Read More »