Bike Setup: has new specialized hard track tires and stem, apart from that is fully stock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Franklin, MA
Date Reviewed: March 16, 2004
Strengths: Great front and rear suspension, haven't had any problems. The bike is really strong and I haven't noticed any flex. Altough I'm only a teenager so I don't exactly weigh the bike down. The weight, 32 lbs isn't bad and doesn't feel really heavy.
Weaknesses: The trails I ride are really, really wet, muddy, and sandy so I'm not surprised the brake pads and tires wore out really fast.
Great bike for a begginer with such a low price and awesome components. The fox vanilla rear shock provides plenty of suspension. If you're thinking about getting into the sport this is a great bike that can go from the road to the woods with no problems.
Bike Setup: Stock except new chain, brake pads, and rock gaurd.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2003
Strengths: Pretty decent derailleurs, bar and stem, and the fox vanilla. The rear suspension geometry works well. Fork is Ok and overall ride and control good for the money.
Weaknesses: Chainstays crack which I think is direct result of light duty spring on rear suspension leading to bottoming out and heavy stresses. Mine was cracked at purchase as it was used. Also, formula wheelset is marginal and saddle uncomfortable. STOCK TIRES TERRIBLE, IF YOU BUY ONE OF THESE NEW WHICH YOU STILL CAN, TRADE THESE DUDS IN AT PURCHASE FOR CREDIT ON ANYTHING APPROPRIATE FOR WHERE YOU RIDE!
Fun, modestly priced trail bicycle, but you must respring it for your weight as appropriate. This is often the case with other manufacturers also so don't be too down on Jamis. If you need one, Jamis has chainstays still available as of 12/03, and they seem to be beefier than the original was and come in black only. I expect no problems with heavier spring and updated swingarm now installed on this bike. 3 chilis for value for hassles with tires and setup, 3 for overall performance of modest fork and components. Once again, these stock tires are awful. Compound has no grip and make bike very squirrely and undermine otherwise decent performance for the dough.
Similar Products Used: Older single pivot, y-frame bike which was by far inferior in ride quality, control, etc..
Bike Setup: LX 9 spd driveline, shimano wheelset, upgraded rear spring and chainstay, aftermarket stem, post, saddle etc.
a Weekend Warrior
from Santa Rosa CA
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2003
Strengths: great price, good value, strong frame, decent components, good basic platform for upgrades.
Weaknesses: brakes, stock tires
I bought this bike on the strength of a mtb mag review and haven't been disappointed. The extra weight compared to my old (99 raleigh) hardtail took a little getting used to. Had some "clunking" sounds from somewhere but that disappeared after a trip to the LBS and some minor adjustments and tightening. No chain suck problems, ever. Wanted to get the weight down some so I replaced wheelset and handlebars. Stock tires are ok in the dry but are useless in the wet. Major slip'n slide time. WTB's are much better. Stock brakes should be replaced immediately!! Took a hard fall in the wet last spring because of major brake fade. While recuperating, upgraded to Avid SD-7 levers and brakes. Much better. I'm a senior (55+) rider on a large frame so the suspension is a little stiffer. No major complaints except the rear spring could be a little stronger. Overall, great bike for a great price. Good entry level if you are just getting into MTB or if you're on a limited budget. Even with upgrades, the cost is less than going to the next level.
Bike Setup: bontrager race wheelset, avid sd-7 brakes, levers and cables, answer protaper carbon riser bar, ouray grips, wtb velociraptors, wtb speed V saddle, odyssey platform pedals
Date Reviewed: May 7, 2003
Strengths: This bike is great for starting out. It can be upgraded very easily! The frame is the best for your money.
Weaknesses: The tires Get rid of the rims and V brakes as well Front suspension depending on your weight
Great bike. If you plan on riding it very hard, you will have to do some upgrading. But in the end it is still cheaper and better quality than most other bikes you can buy. I ride the heck out of this bike, even the front suspension has held up fine. No chain suck yet I just put tape where it would get sucked in and has done the trick so far.
This is my first bike ever and it has served me well. It is probably the best full-suspension bike out on the market for beginners. I love how upgrade-able it is. I plan to get a Jamis as my next bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from long beach CA
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2003
Strengths: pretty rugged so far,
Weaknesses: lots of chain suck, kept jamming between chain rings and bottom bracket, got really frustrated one time and yanked it out, bent a couple links...
just this past weekend, i noticed the drive train side chain stay had cracked!!!! what the heck!?!?!? it cracked in the little "indented" area about 2-3 inches back from the bottom bracket.
This has been a killer bike, and after reading these other updates about the chainstay cracking, I am kinda worried about it happening again. Other than that and the chain suck issues, which have been solved by removing a few links, I love this bike. I plan on riding it till I run it into the ground.
Bike is in the shop, Jamis said they would send new part out tomorrow, (assuming rear sway portion). So, until then, its back to my Haro v2 hardtail.
Similar Products Used: none really, test rode specialized fsr, was bit pricey...
Bike Setup: havent changed too much, got rid of the weak 2.1 mosquitos for some beefy 2.4 WTB moto raptors, got rid of the grips for some more comfy ones, changed out the seat for a WTB one, am considering getting some avid mechanicals as soon as my wallet approves, until then, i need to get some aztec or kool stop brake pads. i also sliced off the fork boots with an exacto knife, looks alot better and hasnt hindered the forks performance (yet).
Similar Products Used: stinky, pipeline, dakar expert
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2002
Strengths: I am a Clydesdale at 6'4" and 255 lbs. I have been giving this bike hell and it keeps on asking for more. Very little chica-chica-bink-bink-bink from the frame/pivot points and no chainsuck to speak of. When I read the review from the guy that has wicked chainsuck I think maybe I got lucky or something, cause I have given it plenty of opportunity to suck chain and it has turned me down everytime. Not the lightest frame by far, but not overweighted either. Overall a great bike for my $$$$.
Weaknesses: I had a problem with the rear Hutchinson Mosquito-it was warped. The BSG said they have had a lot of problems lately with the Hutchy's (I'm about to give them a very bad review!). The F & R deraillures needed adjusting after only a few rides to make the bike smooth again, but after that they held pretty good-not a very reasonable weakness. Oh, and the rear shock was screaming for mercy everytime I rode over anything larger than a piece of rice, but I put an 800 # spring on it and it does great now! I think when they (Jamis) sell a L or XL frame they should assume the rider will weigh more and equip the rear Fox with a heavier spring. Also, the rim brakes suck! My very first upgrade for this ride was a pair of Avid mechanicals and some XT disc hubs/rims right before replacing the cheesey saddle. Again, overall its a strong ride.
Good buy for the $. I put a couple hundred more in it and have what $1000 wouldn't buy. I like it, I like it a lot...
a Weekend Warrior
from Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2002
Strengths: Full suspension, shifters
Weaknesses: See below
Saw this in MBACTION and thought I would give it a demo ride to see if I wanted the frame or not. I was very open, this being my second FS bike. I have to saw, this is the worst FS bike I have tried yet and can't believe the good review it got in MBA. It had slow steering and bad geometry, cheaply built (almost to the point of a Walmart special), the rear shock was useless (I am 6-4/190Lbs and it just about bottomed). When I asked if there was a stiffer spring available, all I got was dumb looks and was told to tighten the shock, even though it was almost to its max setting. The last problem with shifting. It was likely misadjusted but worsened when the weak suspension was bobbing. Ok, this is a cheap bike, but I would gladly spend an extra few hundred for ANYTHING better than this. Even a used frame would perform better. Sorry Jamis, but I just cant see what the whoopla is about.
i bought this bike after reading the mtb action shootout, and checking the reviews on this site. i'm a new rider and have been going strong on this bike for 4 months now. i've taken it on some pretty sick downhill trails (mount snow nh, and killington vt), and the bike has been able to handle all of it in stride. most of the riding i do is xc.
the only real complaint i have is the chainsuck can get pretty bad. i don't know if all bikes are like this, but i think having to take apart your crank to fixed a jammed chain is a bit ridiculous (this actually happened on flat ground).
next season i plan on swapping out the tires, fork, saddle, derailleurs, and the rear shock. i blew one out, and got a replacement under warranty.
from Clemson, SC, USA
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2002
Strengths: Awsome Value, Versatility, fun-factor, Highly upgradable (I found out that the drawback to this frame compared to the higher end Dakar frames is the Pivot Point set-ups, but the set-ups used on this 2002 frame are the same as the high end bikes of last year, due to the new model deisgns)
Weaknesses: Both wheels went out of true on my first ride and the bottom bracket came loose on my second. It was nothing that could'nt be easily fixed with my 1-year warrantee, but still had to take it back to the shop when I could have been riding. Also, the front shock is only rated to a 185lb rider and I'm pushing 200lbs, meaning I'm getting a lot of bottoming out, and not just on the front shock, the back needs beefing up to. However, there are stiffer coils available for both shocks as an upgrade. Havn't experienced chain suck problems.
I bought this bike after reading an article in Mountain Biking Magazine... they raved on the value, and I had been wanting a fs since I got back from Tahoe. Far as I can tell thus far, the mag was right and the bike has treated me well. I'm a pretty hard rider, and the only thing I would change is a little more stiffness in the suspension (soon to be remidied). The true test of the bike will come after Christmas when I move to Colorado.
Similar Products Used: 1st fs, previous bike (4 sale if interested) was a Schwinn Mesa GSX. Did downhill a Giant fs at Lake Tahoe two summers ago though.
Bike Setup: Stock, minus tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fresno, CA
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2002
Strengths: Great all around bike, can't beat the price.
Weaknesses: The drive side chain stay keeps cracking. I'm a 180lbs xc rider. I've never taken this bike off of any big drops or jumps. Just your normal xc trails, a few bumps and what not. This bike needs a new chain stay, it is this bike's Achilles tendon.
This bike has all the potential in the world, Jamis needs to wake up and redesign the chainstay. What good is it if your bike is all ways in the shop waiting for a replacement part?
Great bike for the new guy, or the old guy newly returning! I am just getting back into riding, and plan to ride this stock until next year, then I will buy a whole new bike. If all goes well, it may be another Jamis. Maybe a Dakar Pro. This bike is perfect for now and money well spent.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2002
Strengths: Very cool bike, though this is only my second mountain bike my first being a Specialized Hardrock A1 FS I bought 3 months ago, yes I got bitten by the ATB bug!
I've found nothing wrong with the Jamis Dakar although I did replace the tires with a pair of Specialized Rocksters for more of an all-around riding confident feel on both dirt and asphalt which have very low rolling resistance unlike the Hutchinson Mosquitoes that came on the bike. Other than replacing the tires the bike is as is off the showroom floor and I couldn't be more happier.
Weaknesses: Found nothing so far as of yet, but I'll report back at a later date with an update if I have anything to add.
For anybody interested in buying their first f/s mountain bike, they should look at the beautiful Jamis Dakar with both eyes wide open and live life today, and not wait until tomorrow!