a Cross Country Rider
from Red Lodge, MT
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2005
Strengths: Steel frame, Fox fork, Component spec., even my favorite saddle at a killer price
Weaknesses: cheap headset
Unbeatable frame/components for the price. When I saw that Jamis was discontinuing the Dakota XC for 2006 (it's being replaced by the Dragon Pro with 853 frame and same exact components for $600 more) I snapped one up. The 631 frame will weigh about 1/3rd pound more (~150 grams for you metric folks) than an 853, but ride quality is identical. I've even heard some folks say that 631 has a bit more forgiving ride since it's not as stiff as 853. Though I have to add that my frame builder friend pointed out that fit and geometry will have much more impact on ride quality than frame material. In any event this is my first hardtail in about 5 years and I love it. When I compared what you get on this bike to other steel hardtails in this price range, there was no comparison. If a steel hardtail is on your radar, you owe it to yourself to give a good look at this bike.
Similar Products Used: my last hardtail was an aluminum 96 Klein - can you say harsh. Most similar is my fully rigid Surly single speed.
Bike Setup: Swapped out the XT shifters/derailleurs/cassette/chain for SRAM XO shifters/X9 RD/991 cassette/89R chain, and replaced cheap headset with a King.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2005
Strengths: Steel is real, great ride, awesome spec for money.
Weaknesses: A little heavy but you don't notice it on the trail. Paint durability.
For the money I can't think of a better hardtail. I dirt crit it, all day epic it, and am now thinking of using it in my next enduro instead of the duallie. Fast but compliant ride, you don't feel beat up at the end of the day. Nuff said. Buy one !
Similar Products Used: Usual suspects - Giant, Cannondale etc.
Bike Setup: Answer carbon risers, XT hollowtech cranks, Thompson post, Shimano hydro brakes.
from south central (pennsylvania)
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2005
Strengths: 631. Great spec list.
Weaknesses: paint chips easily, headset, bb
This bike was great all around. I had to change the headset and bb within two months. I recently converted this to SS after catching the bug. I was going to buy a Bianchi SASS, but after the Jamis rep divulged that they are releasing a SS (and a 29'er) next season, I decided to wait. May keep this as a SS and do the 29 geared. The frame is simply unbeatable. I have no use for my XLT. If you haven't tried high-quality steel in the past, (or, even if you have) try this bike. It is a joy to ride. Not the lightest, but you don't need a week to rest your back after a race. And it handles like a dream. I truly believe it knows which line I should take before I do.
Enough gushing. If you want one, find one, and buy it.
Bike Setup: Right now, well, it has been converted to a single-speed. Surly 1x1 rigid fork, XT hubs w/Mavic 321 rims, Race Face bb, Salsa chainring, Cane Creek S2 headset, Thomson post and stem, FSA K-Force bars.
a Cross Country Rider
from Adelaide, South Australia
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2005
Strengths: Cold drawn seamless steel tubing, Complete XT groupset (including 2005 wheelset and hydraulic breaks,)Geometry, FOX Float RL forks. Best of all is how the bike feels undre foot on the road or on a trail
Weaknesses: No graduations on the seat post (splitting hairs I know.) Left crank keps comming loose, on the new 2-peice Truvative Stylo cranks with external cups. this problem is now fixed. Headset became pitted: was repalced under warrenty.
I ride this bike to uni every day with 1" (25mm) road slicks on it, and the ride is so soft yet so responsive. I do regualar road rides with people using specific road bikes, of distances up to 120km. Never feel sore, crampt or stiff as the geometry and frame take care of all that nonsense. Even the fox forks hardly bob on the uphills;)
IN XC spec (Hutchinson Bulldog tyres) this bike goes from strength to strength. The tyres offer great grip with the ride remains comfortable. On the downhills the geometry works well even with the seat reasonably high, and the 80mm fox forks take in the bumps with no complaints. While slightly heavier than oferings form other companies, I dare say that none for this price would ride remotly as well in rough conditions
The XT breaks are fantastic, but you have to set them up correctly other wise they feel terrible. I set mine up myself and they never rub, offer great modulation and stopping power. The NEW XT wheelsets have as yet given me no greif after 3 months of riding and close to 12,000km. As such I'd recomend them to anyone who loves their XC but also wants their bike to double as a road/commuter. They are a tubless wheelset though with punctures being the order of the day, I choose to run tubes.
I swapped off the standard wheels, breaks and pedals before I even got on the bike so I can ofer no opinion on them. thogh other suggest teh the Avid cables are fantastic and Candy 7 pedals to be execellent, though I prefer Times. These Items are for sale should anyone wish to inquire.
As it stands I have no reservations about this bike. I highly recomend it to anyone who wants a bike to cover all bases of Road, XC race and trail riding, because so far all I've had to do is oil the chain in 3 months.
Similar Products Used: nothing else really compares
Bike Setup: Standard 2005 spec with these extras: Shimano XT wheels and hyraulic breaks Time pedals
from Halifax, NS, Canada
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2005
Strengths: Light weight (For steel), smooth ride, wicked parts spec, great geometry.
Weaknesses: Weight (compared to Aluminum/ti), Long stock stem (120mm on 17" bike?- swapped for a 90mm), Paint chips easily...looks nice, but the finish has minor flaws up close, Saddle causes numb-nutz
Wicked biek fro the money...can't get better component spec for the price! I've ridden/raced the heck out of this bike and for the most part it just wants more!
The mavic wheels have been perfect, haven't even had to have them trued after a year of riding...still perfect!
Fork is plush, and although flexy in the shop its hardly noticable while riding. I did however find that my castings were bad (Perfectly dished wheel nearly rubbed the arch on one side) but I sent the fork back to manitou and they are currently switching the lowers. Isolated incident I suspect.
The headset will be soon to go as I have noticed a knocking sound when pulling nose-wheelies....a king headset should hopefully stop that!
Swapped the 120mm stem for a 90mm after I experienced soem back pain while riding. Now Its perfect!
Definately a very comfortable ride for a hardtail and it feels great for racing. Definately gets alot of attention due to the great looks of this classic-style steel steed.
I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for a great hardtail for all around riding or cross country racing. With a few mods here and there I bet this bike could be made to suit just about anyone. If youa re really really really concerned about weight you may want to look elsewhere....nuts to that I say.
Similar Products Used: Brodie Climbmax/Spark, Giant NRS, Cannondale F400,
Bike Setup: Stock except for: Answer Protaper Carbon Bars, 2004 XT Cranks/BB, Magura Louise Disk brakes, and Terry Zero Saddle...soon to get a Thomson or Easton seatpost, Marta brakes, new tires, King Headset
a Weekend Warrior
from Gold Coast, Australia
I've owned this fella for about 3-4 years now and just had to say a few words of veneration. Despite my cycling changing from cross-country to freeride-wannabe the Jamis has made the journey with me in style. I can't crank the Rock Shox out past 115mm before the front end gets too slack, but the bike handles abuse way beyond it's design and still keeps smiling. A quality and long-lasting ride.
Bike Setup: Psylo forks with U-turn, Wellgo flats, 50mm stem, riser bars...
a Cross Country Rider
from Tasmania, Australia
Date Reviewed: January 23, 2005
Strengths: great overall value, creamy smooth handling, light weight for a steel bike,
Weaknesses: nothing to fault so far
I have had this bike for nearly a year now and I am still thrilled with it's performance. I am quite new to the sport and wanted a bike that was going to last me a long time and would not require major upgrading if I moved into racing. I am a typical weekend cross country rider mainly fire trails, single track stuff around the Mount Wellington Park area and although I am not an experienced mtb rider, I know a good bike when I ride one.
This bike simply rides like a dream. Creamy smooth handling with precise direct steering and control. My riding has improved dramatically with this bike and the bike constantly impresses me the more I ride and the better I get. I would recommend this bike to anyone, even beginners because for $1800.00 (AUS) bucks you get a whole lot of bike with mainly XT stuff. I have not seen a comparable spec'd bike for this price anywhere.
I was sold on steel because I was told it would be less jarring, especially for epic rides,and the handling superb with just enough flex where you need it. Well how true, I am so thankful to the guy who recommended this. Although it is steel, it feels very light (24.7 pounds)and it is perfect for the cross country rider. I dont think it would be suitable for more aggressive riding but for what I do, it's awesome.
I had some problems initially with the tubeless tyres leaking air. However after some persistence and advice they are great. Only require inflating every 3 weeks or so and I have not had a pucture yet. When you first get this bike, my advice is to push the tyre sidewall into the centre of the rim and drown the whole inside of the rim with hot soapy water (washing detergent is OK) and then re-inflate. The tyre will 'pop' into place and then presto, no more leaking.
I have found the Avid mechanical brakes to be excellent. Simple maintenance and they work great for the riding I do. Great stopping power under all conditions.
The Skareb Elite fork with 80 mm travel is also excellent. Absorbs everything I throw at it and keeps my tyre planted to the ground with great all round feel.
I would buy this bike all over again. I am still in love with it and look forward to taking it out any chance I get.
If your out there looking for a good hardtail, please do yourself a favour and give this a test ride.
I rate this bike a 5 for value and also a 5 for performance.
Bike Setup: standard - xt front and rear derailluers, avid mechanicals, xt shifters, mavic crosslands, truvativ stylo crank, truvativ post and bar, hutchinson python tubeless
a Cross Country Rider
from Parker, Pa
Date Reviewed: October 17, 2004
Strengths: Excellent components (and even better frame) for the money. Very good brakes, rims, tires and comfy seat. Steel frame - hardtail ride second to none. 1" travel softails are a substitute for steel.
Weaknesses: Bottom bracket, headset, fork, front derailleur, not as light as manufacturers claim.
First of all, let me start by saying that I would buy this bike over again in a heart beat (I would also look at the Marin Pine Mountain.) If you have never ridden a light weight steel frame and you ride single track, you owe it to yourself to try one. I have no idea why anyone would choose an aluminum hardtail. This one in particular has tubeless tires and a comfortable seat, which makes for an even better ride. I really like the Pythons, even in mud, and even though they wear rather quickly. I have ridden this bike hard for 4 mths now almost exclusively on tight PA rocky, rooty, muddy singletrack without touching a spoke, and the Mavic rims are still very true. The Truvative cranks don't come loose like so many brands do. The Avid brakes are great even though they lack the feel of hydraulics - it's a fair trade-off since maintenance is so simple. The stock pads wore out in about 6 weeks.
Now for the bad stuff. I Don't care for the ultra flexy Skareb fork. My Lefty, Marzocci exr pro, and rock shox pilot xc were much better. If you don't beleive me, hold the front brake and push one grip down and the other up. It even causes the disc to rub and chirp when climbing. The best Skarebs are the same. Has'nt anyone else noticed this? I am only a 135 lb sport rider and it bugs me. I guess this is the trade-off for the light weight of the Skareb. Tire clearance for a snow tire is'nt happening either. I put a rigid Surly on yesterday and raced it today - loved it. The bottom bracket lasted six weeks. The headset lasted 3.5 mths (with lizard skins.) Keep the rear skewer very tight - the wheel likes to pop off during log hops. The carbon riser bar gives me way more control than the stock straight bar, and lock on grips are sweet. The rear brake cable needs lube often. A plastic piece came out of the seat where the point of the rails contact the seat in the front. I have been riding it for two mths without the piece and it has'nt wore through yet. Put tape on the chain stays soon or the paint will chip to hell. Lizard skins carbon adhesive guards will not stick even when warm and applied to a flat clean (rubbing alcohol) surface, so don't waste your money. Watch for cable rub on frame surfaces. The 15" frame weighs 25.8 lbs (not the claimed 24.75 lbs) and has only one water bottle cage mount. I reallize the seat tube is too small for one, but one on the underside of the diagonal tube would have been nice. The bike was advertised with Time pedals, but came with Eggbeater Candy SL's. They are similar but I don't like the Candy's as well as Times. The XT front derailluer is a top swing, top pull and is huge. It will collect mud by the handfulls. Remember, I have really ridden/raced the sh#t out of this bike, and it was only the minor items that were repaired/replaced. Except for the fork, the major components of the package are still great.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2004
Strengths: Components. This bike actualy comes with some very nice componets for the money. Skareb fork, hutchinson tubless tires, mavic crossmax rims, and Avid mechanicl disc bakes. The bike handles very well and the steelframe rides very smooth. A light, fast bike.
Weaknesses: none really. Time Attack pedas have no adjustments. A little too loose for me.
A fast light bike, thart handles very smoth and has some killer components on it for the money. Old-school steel frame gets bonus points!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Charlottesville, VA USA
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2004
Strengths: The geometry of this bike rocks. I recently took it out on a weekend trip to trails I had never ridden and it just climbed and handled awsomely. I also feel, as I have read in the past, that the geometry works well for women. The Rynolds 631 promises a smooth ride while the fork, if your a light weight rider, offers a plush landing. I had looked at purchasing this bike two years ago. Thankfully they were out of my size for the '04 is so much better. Packed with XT components and Avid mechanicals, this in the $1400 hardtail to go for.
Weaknesses: I feel like the bike comes w/ a ridiculously long stem. The 17" came with a 120mm. The Manitou Skarab Elite fork cannot handle a tire much larger than 2.1 very well. Leave those 2.5's at the shop!
This bike rules. Plain and simple. Many are going f/s, but if you relish the classic design of a hardtail and the smooth ride of steel, Reynolds steel, please, go for the Dakota XC and give it a lil' lovin'. You wont regret it when ya hit the trails. I think Jamis quoted it and its sibling the Dragon as having razor cutting geometry for qiuck curves on the trail. I agree. Even better, this bike is ready to race, whihc I hope to work up to this year. Not nessacarily a beginners bike, but if ya want it to be, why not? Maybe I'm just a lil' bias:)
Similar Products Used: My other mtb was my ghetto ride, a '99 Spec. Hardrock. While I was grateful to have had the bike, The Dakota XC just blows it outta the water 10 fold. My road bike too is a steel Jamis which influenced my purchase of a steel hardtail.
I'm looking at buying a used (2005) Jamis Dakota XC. It is in good condition, has quite a few paint chips on the frame but thats about it. Is $400 a good price for this bike?
This is what the bike looked like new: [IMG]http://www.bikepedia.com/Images/image.aspx?filename=2005-Jamis-Dakota-XC.jpg[ ... Read More »
Can someone point me in the right direction or tell me the weight of a Jamis Dakota XC frame that was built in 05 with 631 steel? I e-mail Jamis and they said roughly 5 pounds. The only thing I've been able to find that's relatively close is an 03 dragon 15 inch. Thanks in advance.Read More »
I am looking to purchase a new bike and am having trouble deciding between a few different ones. I would like to stay hardtail, but just can't come to a decision. Also am thinking of going with a 29r. I live in Tucson, AZ home of the world famous Fantasy Island. Typical trails in the area are very r ... Read More »
I just picked up a 2004 Dakota XC frame and have been trying to figure out how to spec it out. I can get a good price on the older style XT crank that uses the ocatlink BB, I know the shell is 63mm but I'm unsure of the spindle length. On the Jamis website it says 113 but that is for the stock ... Read More »
Tried to order a 2005 Dakota XC from my LBS this week, but no go. They are sold out and can't get any more from Jamis. No 2006's available yet either, but I heard a rumor that there will be no Dakota XC for 2006... can anyone substantiate?Read More »