Jamis Dakar 2003 Full Suspension

4.38/5 (16 Reviews)


Product Description

“We can’t suggest a better spec,” gushed Mountain Bike Action in declaring Dakar their “shootout” winner against six other comparably priced bargain bikes (08/02). Clearly in a class by itself with the same proven full-suspension design as the Dakar XC Pro, our ’03 version is gearing up to win another shootout.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by flick a. boogah a Weekend Warrior from Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2008

Strengths:    Solid frame, pretty light, decent deore f/r derailers, solid specs for entry level bike.

Weaknesses:    tires - like everyone else said. Stock Hutchinson Mosquito Bite tires are pretty lame.

Seems like it falls out of tune pretty easily.

Stock suspension is for 6 year olds. I inflated to a beefy 5-11, 230 lb after moving to iowa so i had to put new springs in/on, which helped some. front fork is pretty weak still after a beefier spring.

Some chainsuck, but not a consistent issue.

Paint (not a big deal to me) is kind of weak, paint scratches off prett easy.


Bottom Line:   
Great FS starter bike to figure out what you like/dont like without braking the bank. I have a lot of fun on this bike and think I will continue to for a long time.

Case in point:
Got new wheelsets (XT hubs, WTB rims) on the way that are disc compatible, going to bet AVID mechanical brakes on, and a new seat soon.

Bike is probably overkill for my style (or lack thereof - a hardtail would have worked), but I will eventually push this bike hard enough to break it . . .

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Beverly (local), mission trails (SD)

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes (San Diego)

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh M80 hardtail (solid bike), trek hardtail, rigid Bianchi Timberwolf POS (still in service as a kid towing, riding to work hybrid wanna be).

Bike Setup:   Stock except some new continentals with a more aggressive pattern, beefier springs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed Ray a Cross Country Rider from NJ

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2004

Strengths:    Nice rear fox float shock, no bob on uphills, and takes on all the bumps and logs on the trail. Axel comp fork is very sturdy and good for downhill riding and those drop off ledges. I Haven't had any major problems with it yet.

Weaknesses:    Heavy, 32 pounds! The rims get black from the v-brakes and if that builds up it starts to make them rub. If you go through a puddle the brakes start to rub.

Bottom Line:   
this is the best bike for your money. Its very fun to ride on the trails. the only thing i dont like is the brakes. I am going to upgrade to disks soon. LOVE THE BIKE GET IT! the set up is awesome.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   XC trails

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Bike Haven

Similar Products Used:   just started MB


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Konrad Golik a Weekend Warrior from Albuquerque, NM

Date Reviewed: June 10, 2004

Strengths:    The price, The suspension ain't that bad, strong frame, Trusted Jamis technology

Weaknesses:    THe tires and some low end components

Bottom Line:   
THis bike has taken me everywhere. I abused this bike in Moab and its still running strong. With all the upgrades I LOVE this bike now. Sure its a little heavy and bobs a bit, but its an excellent all around mountain bike. You cant go wrong for the price. I know i got a great deal on it, but its still worth it for a greater price. NO HESITATION

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Swapped out alot. New ritchy comp stem, Easton EA50 riser handlebars, XTR 8speed shifters, New ritchy comp seatpost, speacialized saddle, XT rear derailiuer, XT cassette, and some new bontrager tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Johnno Shadbolt a Cross Country Rider from Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2004

Strengths:    + Excellent trail bike
+ Unbeatable Price
+ Clipless pedals at this price
+ Nice brakes


Weaknesses:    + Ugly Paint Job
+ Some notable front & rear bob (No lockout, SPV, Propedal, ect)
+ Heavy
+ Poor tyre performance


Bottom Line:   
Great bang for your buck. I tested this bike around the block at a local bike shop.
Starting downhill on the pavement it handled well around sharp corners at moderate speed. Bunny-Hops with great ease, and drops into small tight singletrack very well. Riding back up the hill, on the road, the bike was heavy and unresponsive. While seated, the bike barely bobbed, but out of the saddle I was wasting too much energy and bouncing.
Its a great "general fun" trailbike for someone on a tight budget. Dont expect to be winning any XC races on this, or slug it over a big jump.
Excellent Value - 8.5/10

Johnno
www.cyclechoice.net.ms

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   South Kempsey XC Race

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Purchased At:   (Test Ride) at Gordon Street Cycles, Port Macquarie, NSW.

Similar Products Used:   Merida Hardtail.

Bike Setup:   03 Jamis Dakar Comp frame with 03 Jamis Dakar components.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dirt Ryder from Parts Unknown

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Pros:
- Price
- Good suspention design. Little if no bob at all.
- Smooth fork, little soft but that's ok.

Cons:
- Cheapa$s tires. Replace them ASAP.
- Ugly paint scheme. Just keep it one color Jamis!
- Seat causes numbnuts

Essentially, you're buying a nice frame with a bunch of mediocre and so-so parts. The frame is good and worthy of getting upgrades as the stock parts die. Also, this frame is worthy of a new paint job, the stock multicolor paint job just looks bad and makes it look cheap. Jamis, take a lesson from Santa Cruz and Mountain Cycle because those bikes look great and they are only painted with one color.
The suspension design is effective. I kept the stock spring and I weigh 145 and there was no bob. Nice. even out of the saddle mashing indulced little bob. Even nicer. Jamis has a lifetime warranty on their frames. Even nicier. Replace those stock tires. Those Hutchinson Mosquitos will loose traction even riding on your front lawn. Not nice.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich a Weekend Warrior from West Palm Beach,FL,USA

Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003

Strengths:    Great bike for the price.Stiff frame,build quality,great shifting,great 4 bar linkage rear suspension design.

Weaknesses:    The Hutchinson Mosquito tires have no grip where I ride(loose sand ,wet sand,pineneedle covered trails).Hutchinson Web site said they are for mud.The seat is a little hard.

Bottom Line:   
This is a much better bike than my Warp.This bike is lighter,better 4 point rear suspension,has a much stiffer frame than Warp and better build quility.Plus my Warp has been in shop for 8 weeks now, waiting for a warrenty replacement frame.Frame had cracked around weld on seat support tube where it attaches to main tube.People who have problems with front fork ,should get owners manual from Manitou web site and follow set up.Get the right spring for you weight.My fork had to much oil in it ,as per manual ,set it to right level and is much better,also make sure you grease it like it says in manual.
The 2004 model has a WTB seat and different Hutchinson spider any terrain tires.These should fix the weaknesses I listed.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $629.00

Purchased At:   Lake Worth Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   2002 Giant Warp DS-2

Bike Setup:   OEM but tires replaced,WTB Wierwolf 2.1 tires,Big improvement,great traction.Replaced rear 600# spring with 800# spring for my weight.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wade Warfield from Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2003

Strengths:    It was on sale which made it cheaper than a Jamis hardtail. It seems that jamis picked the perfect balace of parts so that it is amazingly functional where it needs to be to get you hooked on riding, and chances are you will get hooled on riding because it is really hard to have a bad time on this bikie because it makes you feel really confident going up or down the steepest of hills. You feel like a pro riding this bike and you dont have to pay too much. This bike is also easy to upgrade once you really get into it with out paying alot because all of the parts that really count are really good right out of the box. The only thing that i have considered upgrading is the fork, but than i reconsidered once i discovered the adjustable rebound which will make it super smooth on the trails on the lowest setting and can take the drops and jumps better on the stiffer setting

Weaknesses:    One of the rear suspension bolts fell out and i had to wait a while to get a new one but that was my fault for not checking that before i rode. It also has stupid little guards on the fork and theyre useless cuz i took em off and have ridden in tha mud since and theres no difference and i took apart the fork to see of there was any dirt in it and there wasnt, and i just think it makes it look ten times sexier with out the fork things. Oh yeah the tires slip and slide and thats only fun for a while so get new ones eventually

Bottom Line:   
its a fun bike to ride and you can do alot on it i would have to say that if you want a bike you can abuse and have a killer time on then you should at least look at a dakar
------------------------------------------------------

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   uhhhh......

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   performance

Similar Products Used:   garry fisher sugar

Bike Setup:   flat pedals and big fat tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark S a Weekend Warrior from Akron

Date Reviewed: October 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I wanted to follow up the review I wrote a couple weeks ago.
I complained that the forks were so flexy that they really hurt the braking. Well I bought an AC Brake Booster and it made a huge difference. I enjoy riding this bike much more now that it stops better. If you buy this bike, which I suggest doing, ride a few times on the stock set up then buy the the brake booster and love the difference.

Note: All brake boosters are not created equal. I found a web site where some guy did a extensive test to determine which brake booster is the best on the market and the AC Brake Booster won.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $680.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Akron, OH, USA

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2003

Strengths:    Functional full suspension bike for under $700. Minimal rear-bob (especially for a $670 bike).

Weaknesses:    The fork is pretty flexible. I can see it bow considerably when I pull the brakes hard, which weakens the braking. Also I had to buy a stiffer spring for it, and I only weigh 150 lbs.

Bottom Line:   
Basically the reason I'm writting this review is to say this: Buy the Dakar Sport if you're on the fence about buying the Dakar or the Dakar Sport.

I'm not saying this is a bad bike at all. I ride it really hard and it does it's job well. But for another $300 you can have much better brakes and a externally adjustable fork. Not to mention a host of other upgrades. If I knew what I know now I would have bought the Dakar Sport.

Overall though I have to say I'm impressed with the bike. I ride it just as hard as the guys at my local trail ride their $2000 bikes and my only complaint is the fork.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $680.00

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   factory except for a stiffer fork spring and comfy seat

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Koojo from Parts Unknown

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2003

Strengths:    Price. You get a complete bike for under 600 bills.

Weaknesses:    Jamis spec'd some really low quality bad functioning quick releases. Buy some replaceemtn ones from anywhere really, because these are the cheapest quick releases I've used in my 10 years of riding.

Bottom Line:   
A nice frame design and well built. A good hot rod platform: nice and inexpensive and worthy of upgrades to soup it up.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric Davis a Cross Country Rider from Boise, ID, USA

Date Reviewed: September 10, 2003

Strengths:    Sturdy frame (a little heavy). Fork performs well even on big drops. Components are a great value - best value on the market to date.

Weaknesses:    Rear deraileur hanger is weak - bent easily on a rock. Rear shock pivet squeaks often. Hutchinson Misquito tires do not work well on hardpack and loose gravel - wore through in 2 months of light riding. Upgrade to Hutchinson Python Gold if riding on dry hardpack.

Bottom Line:   
Best bike for the beginning trail rider. If you upgrade a few of the components (tires, rims, stem, and handle bars) you can have a race ready bike for beginner and sports entry.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lower Hulls Gulch

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $675.00

Purchased At:   Bikes2Boards


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian Sweat a Downhiller from El Cajon

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2003

Strengths:    Good rear shock. But all good things have there faults. The shock could be an inch longer and easily fit on the same suspension. The frame itself is great.

Weaknesses:    Crank, yah my crank has been fallin off. It takes 3 men to get it on so it wont fall off when i ride. Whenever i fall or my handlebars overrotate it scratches up the paint and kinks the wires.The stock tires are horible i wore them down in like a week.

Bottom Line:   
Great bike, it works well in most conditions, the front shock needs some work so i recommend it as the first upgrade with disc brakes. After about 3 or 4 weeks with the bike take it back in, chances are that parts are comin lose,ie crankset. For the money its great, but with the skinny tires u get on it dont throw yourself downhill, its horrible. New fork, new tires, and new crankset is what i recomend.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Snow Summit Downhill Trails

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $560.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bikes

Similar Products Used:   .....

Bike Setup:   Got some dowhill tires on it. Thinkin about turning the frame into a downhill bike. GOnna put a double crown fork on it, maybe a longer rear suspension.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cliff Huxtable a Cross Country Rider from Coz

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2003

Strengths:    - Good suspension design, virtually no bob
- V brakes are stronger than other V's
- Nice light tires
- Deore rear der



Weaknesses:    - Axel Comp fork is terrible
- Hubs feel like they have square shaped bearings
- 5D cranks are almost 900 grams, kind of a porker


Bottom Line:   
This bike has a good and effective rear suspension design. There is no bob when seating, climbing or sprinting.
The frame has a quality finish to it and nowadays Jamis is running full bearings in all the pivots. A worthy frame of upgrades.

The stock parts are ok and will get the job done. Nice to see Deore level parts instead of the usual Alivio or ACera level parts on bikes in this price range.

The only craptastic part on this bike is the Manitou Axel Comp fork. Mine cracked at the arch. The fork lowers were not seated evenly and straight into the stanchions so the first two curb hops cracked the arch and that was the end of that fork. Poo on Manitou for letting this one slide pass the QC department.

The frame alone is worth the $530 price that some places are blowing out this frame. The Supergo Weyless single pivot frame sells for $499. The Dakar rear suspension if much better than the single pivot and for just $30 you get a whole bike AND a better design.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $530.00

Purchased At:   performance


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Teeny Wahine a Weekend Warrior from La Crescenta, CA

Date Reviewed: July 15, 2003

Strengths:    Good component spec.; stiff frame; disc-brake tabs; replaceable deraillur dropout...

Weaknesses:    Fox Vanilla rear shock a bit firm. Water bottle does not fit on my 13" small frame.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike at an entry-level price. My husband and I have been looking for this particular bike for about 6 mos. after reading MBA's gushing reviews and the fact that it came in a 13" frame. We found it on vacation in Grand Junction and rode all over Fruita last week. It definitely makes me a better rider. It is light and responsive and it both climbs and descends well. The Manitou Axel has been a nice suprise with its plush 4" of travel. If you are looking in the sub-$1k this is a lot of bike for the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   kokopelli's horsthief bench

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $659.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle Outfitters - Grand Junction, CO

Similar Products Used:   Marin Shoreline Trail (handed down to my teenage daughter)

Bike Setup:   Still completely stock: Fox Vanilla, Manitou Axel Sport; LX drivetrain w/Truvativ cranks, Hutchinson Mosquitos

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by NICK cottee a Weekend Warrior from sydney, australia

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2003

Strengths:    good parts for the price,great look,goos suspension front/rear

Weaknesses:    jammed the front suspension (axel)

Bottom Line:   
overall a good product and i recomend it for others.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   manly dam,cascades,oxford falls

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   brookvale bike factory

Similar Products Used:   .......

Bike Setup:   medium seat height,now riser to bars.

Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


1997 Jamis Dakar Build

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