Jamis Dakar 2003 Full Suspension

4.51/5 (68 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 (68 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alden Black

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2013

Strengths:    Well what can I say, ive been riding this bike for ten years. I hear problems about the suspension, but I haven't had any problems. Then again, this bike was a gift and had the suspension replaced with RockShox in the middle and Reba up front. This is an amazing bike.

Weaknesses:    Chain slips occasionally

Bottom Line:   
This bike really is amazing. Too get me through ten years of all the hell ive put it through, I cant believe its still alive. 8 miles too work on it every day, plus a 10 mile race every sunday for Richardson Bike Mart, and this bike is still holding strong. Its beautiful and amazing.

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:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michael t a Weekend Warrior from dallas tx usa

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2008

Strengths:    I got the frame for $125. It has a fox float shock (very durable if you are not heavy and do not jump off of cliffs or ramps), low top tube, strong front triangle, and powder
coating. Detachable derailleur hanger has saved frame twice.


Weaknesses:    Made by communist chinese. Shock requires shock pump, which is pain in the ass to carry for adventure rides, the shock bottoms out sometimes. The bottom bracket pivot point creaks no matter what I lube it with. The pivot point bushings must be secured with loctite or you will walk back!

Bottom Line:   
This is made for light energetic people who like hardtails but want better traction for singletrack cornering at high speed. I wouldn't buy a new bike for the prices they charge, but its a great ebay or nashbar deal. 4 flamin' turds.

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Favorite Trail:   LB HOUSTON

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   nashbar

Similar Products Used:   Specialized, Diamondback, gary fisher hardtails.

Bike Setup:   1990's dakar comp with fox float, mix of sram and xt shimano, custom built wheels from catalogue closeout parts. I want a moon saddle!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jay moller a Cross Country Rider from ringwood NJ USA

Date Reviewed: January 21, 2008

Strengths:    nice light, fast bike, super smooth, awesome traction, sharp looking when it shines! great brakes, adjustable front shock is key for quick tunes on the go.

Weaknesses:    stock tires aren't the best, but i've seen worse.

Bottom Line:   
i love the bike but i must sell it, i have a kid on the way and it's going for cheap, still in mint condition.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   cannonball trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   piemont bike shop

Similar Products Used:   tried the xc pro and expert

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by B a Cross Country Rider from Boston, MA

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2005

Strengths:    Light, fast bike, great on light/moderate XC trails. Can take small jumps, 3-4ft. With new brake pads, stops on a dime!

Weaknesses:    Shocks are a little weak on jumps and downhill XC. Wheels become untrue too quickly. Saddle sucks, hurts after 30-45min.

Bottom Line:   
Great value for a XC bike! This bike is great as a starter MTB or a light XC bike until you increase your skills and start doing heavier riding. Good frame, worth to upgrade parts.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   used

Similar Products Used:   Specialized

Bike Setup:   Replaced derailleurs with XT, rear XT cassette, XTR chain, Shimano clipless, and Terry Fly Ti saddle.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a Cross Country Rider from Snellville, Ga. USA

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2004

Strengths:    This is a follow up review of the last year of ownership. i still enjoy the bike, and plan on riding it in 2005.

Weaknesses:    Contrary to other reviews, I have had very few problems. My main problem was the crappy fork that blew. I was so unimpressed with the fork blowing after 4 weeks that I replaced it with a Rockshox Duke. Problem gone. I have broken no other parts, including the chain.


Bottom Line:   
This has beem a wonderful bike for the last year. I strongly recommend replacing the wheelset. After replacing the wheelset with Sun Singletracks, the bike rode different. It was smoother, and more responsive. I checked the old wheels, and they were alittle tweeked. (I believe they were like that from new- they are cheap afterall.)
Overall, it is a grat bike. You may have to tighten the pivot bolt every ride, but not a biggy. Also, if you remove the wheels, you may need to setup the disc brakes. My bike won't fit into my car unless I remove both wheels, so i am an expert at disc setup.
Now, would I buy another Jamis? Yes, I probably would. I would try a few other brands as I am not married to the Jamis name, but I am impressed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything without pavement

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $425.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Still miss the Gary Fisher.

Bike Setup:   Stock, less the crappy fork, crappy wheels, amnd replaced the aweful tires with Geax Blades. The Blades Teal sidewall compliments the bikes clor scheme.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rod a Weekend Warrior from San Francisco

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2004

Strengths:    Full suspension, disc brakes, looks

Weaknesses:    Coil rear suspension, forks

Bottom Line:   
I think it is a great value. The front shock is too springy and I am asking the store to look into a stiffer spring. The adjustment is nearly useless and climbing out of the saddle and peddling is like being on a carnival ride. Really, I prefer my old Stumpjumper in that situation. First full suspension bike so I am not use to it yet. The rear squirrels alittle on the downhill runs. Again I'll had the bike for only a few days so I can't be a good judge of it yet. My ass is not adjusted to the saddle either but in theory it has got to be more comfortable than my hardtail Stumpjumper. I don't I'll sell that one just yet...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any in Marin County

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $650.00

Purchased At:   Sport Basement

Similar Products Used:   93 Stumpjumper FS

Bike Setup:   Stock except Titec L-Bends handlebar ends.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andy a Cross Country Rider from Wise, VA

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2004

Strengths:    Great all around bike. In my price range I couldn't decide on full suspension or disk brakes. A trip to the bike shop found a leftover 03 model that gave me both. The bike handles great and rides smooth.

Weaknesses:    Stock tires don't grip anywhere but hard pack. They will wear out fast on hardpack. Swap them for some better rubber. The Wellgo pedals lack in quality as well.

Bottom Line:   
Overall this has been a great bike. I've put lots of miles on it over the summer and loved every minute of it. The overall rating would have been 5 chilis if the tires and pedals had been better. If you ride smooth hard trails the Hutchinson tires may work for you, get on anything slick upgrade to something with more agressive tread. If your on a budget and looking for a great cross country bike, this is the bike for you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Warrior's Path

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   Ole Barn

Similar Products Used:   Various Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, Giant, Cannondale....
Previously owned a '94 Schwinn Moab SS


Bike Setup:   stock other than a Thomson seatpost (crash bent the stock one), a WTB saddle, Time pedals, and Michelin Hot S tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marcus a Weekend Warrior from Sydney, Australia

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2004

Strengths:    Price. This bike is awesome for the price. Reasonable quality components and the bike just has a nicely balanced feel to it. Fun is the best way to descript this bike.

Weaknesses:    Rear shock could have pro-pedal or spv. It bobs a bit too much when pedalling.

Bottom Line:   
I rode this bike while on holidays in NZ. I ride a pretty price bike usually and i didnt expect much from hire bikes. When i saw it i was impressed to be able to hire a dual suspension but wasnt overely blown away by the compenents. Yet i have to admit after riding it, the bike just felt right. It wasnt quite as good at the bigger drops and didnt shift quite as smoothly as my cake but at less than 1/3 the price i didnt really expect it to. Though, at the same time i havent had this much fun on a bike in a long time. It was just an absolute blast to ride. So much so that if i can find one going cheap im thinking of picking it up as a second ride. If your looking at bikes in this catgory i dont think you'll find any better than this.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Red Hill

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Cake

Bike Setup:   Standard

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew a Cross Country Rider from Uxbridge, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2004

Strengths:    Shock's great, good sturdy frame, light, double wall rims, good components. and jeez, the thing is damn quick on the trails

Weaknesses:    Tires wore down pretty quick

Bottom Line:   
I LOVE THIS BIKE! AS soon as i get on it at my cottage, I'm gone, hours of riding every weekend, considering the fact that I spend all week riding the new Specialized P1 on the street, it feels so good to get on the thing and just fly.

I dont do many drops, this thing is my xc machine. I've got a monster P1 at home to beat the hell out of, so getting on the dakar is my freedom man. nothing can stop me.

This bike gets every friggin chili pepper I can rate it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Markham Sports

Similar Products Used:   Crappola '01 Jamis Explorer SX, '04 Specialized P1, '86 Bianchi Grizzly (restoration)

Bike Setup:   Stock, Maxxis Ignitor Tires

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 Ed from Marietta, Georgia

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2004

Strengths:    Crazy good for climbing. I took it up for a ride up at the local mountain bike trail to see what it could do. I was amazed at the agility. It doesn't boblike other full-suspention bikes that I have ridden. It climbs like a hardtail. For the first time, I was able to sit down on the climbs thus giving me good traction.

Weaknesses:    Creaks only because stem bolts are aftermarket and are: 2 aluminum/2 Titanium. The Aluminum ones creak

Bottom Line:   
Great bike. Sadly, it is quicker than my road bike. I was on a paved bike trail and I passed my friend who was going 29 like he was standing still; and that was with knobbies. Very quick and no bobbage, but still soaks up the bumps and allows for great control in bumpy conditions.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Got from Boss

Similar Products Used:   Junk Walmart bike, Specialized Demo Nine (neither are similer....but....had to put something here.)

Bike Setup:   Far from Stock, prototype Rock Shox SID Race(very few made), LX crank with alloy chainrings that are drilled out to save weight, Alivio Rear Derailleur, Deore front, Deore shifters, Avid Single Digit 5 Brakeset, WTB Front wheel, Deore XT rear.

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:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cliff a Cross Country Rider from Las Vegas

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2004

Strengths:    For year 2003 model - Price, True Horst style chainstay link, light weight, Fox RL

Weaknesses:    Dropout/derailleur clearance, ZS maybe

Bottom Line:   
Great frame so far. Only bobbing is from the SID. Suspension not plush, but never seems to limit my riding at the intermediate XC level. I have to do a sanity check when the cactus start going by looking like a picket fence. Haven't needed to use the Fox RL lockout - maybe for some long uphill smooth competition?? Climbs gnarly steeps better than my hardtail (similar components). BTW, to my surprise, the frame came with a Cane Creek ZS-2 headset (not installed).

Large frame is close to 6.0 lbs with frame shock (scale pretty good but not exact). Built up as described, with 300 g. pedals, it's right at 25 lbs. I weigh almost 200 lbs, knuckledragger, and the frame fit with a 130mm stem and XY post is good for all around XC; and don't notice much frame flex (XC with no drops over 2 feet, lot of rough singletrack, some fast snaking hardpack).

If you can find a 2003, and ride XC, I don't think you can go wrong with this frame at $500 new incl. Fox RL. Quick, agile, climbs like a homesick angel, lightweight-not a freeride/all mountain rig.

A few things to note:
1. I had to file out just a little metal on the leading edge of the right rear dropout slot/derailleur hanger to get the QR flange nut to clear the derailleur. Problem occurs with the Bontrager QR as well as XTR and XT QRs. Might just have been my frame's day's/week's production run? I just had to take a red hair off the leading edge, lower portion below where the QR tightens down - an engineer might freak out but I can't see where it weakens anything worth worrying about.
2. I was checking out the Jamis website to see what I was missing by not buying a 2004 instead of this 2003. It looks like the Horst style link is not used. They advertise a new, 2004 fully active 4 bar rear suspension, as I remember, but it's now pivoted up in the seatstay??? Will be interesting to see some reviews to the 2004 Dakar XCs with this setup and comments about bobbing.
3. The Zero Stack headset includes instructions about having the headtube reamed/sized prior to pressing in the cups; but the ZS takes unique, somewhat expensive set of tools and shops may not have them. The LBS around here don't have them. Don't know how available ZS headsets will be as the traditional 1 1/8" and the newer IS may dominate. I am getting an intermittent "squeek" probably from the stem or headset area and haven't taken the time to figure it out. If it turns out to be a significant problem, I'll repost.

If you're looking for a deal on a true 4 bar FS XC frame, I highly recommend the 2003 Dakar XC Pro.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   dirt

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   coloradocyclist.com

Similar Products Used:   several but no chainstay FS link

Bike Setup:   Bought frame only; built up with Bont. racelite wheelset, Maxxis High Roller XC tires/lightw. tubes, Stylo Team Crankset (7075 w/integ spider), SID XC, XTR brake/shift pods/derailleurs/brakes/cassette/cables, Sram hollowpin 99, Yeti/Easton bar, RFace XY post/XC BB, Bont. Ti saddle

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.

Reviews 1 - 15 (68 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


1997 Jamis Dakar Build

hello all, figured I'd post in here to get a little assistance, I'm doing a slow build on my 97' frame and would like some advice on direction. I want something that's a bit more burly then my current XC ride (2007 Kona Kula) to tackle some of the bigger drops and down hill portions I've been riding ... Read More »

2011 Jamis Dakar XC comp of 2011 Rocky Mountain Element Sport ?

Hi, I can get a deal on both of these bikes. Looking for a full sus 100 to 120 mm for singletrack/cross country riding for my girlfriend: no jumps/drops I'm mainly interested in the differences between the frames (have parts lying around to upgrade): rear suspension effectiveness, overall fram ... Read More »

2012 Jamis Dakar AMT

2012 Jamis Dakar AMT There's barely any information on this bike on the net. Any reviews or ride reports to share?Read More »

Identify this Jamis Dakar XCR frame ?

Hi all, I just picked up this Jamis Dakar XCR Comp frame off of craigslist. The guy said it was a 2007 but he also bought it used and wasnt 100% positive. The rear triangle had broke and was replaced by Jamis with an updated one but he says the frame was always an XCR Comp. I searched tons of pics ... Read More »

Heeeeelp!! dakar xc pro 2005

Hi guys! I write to you from the distant Siberia, absolutely do not know English, I write through Google translator. Need advice. I bought myself a frame means Jamis Dakar XC Pro 2005 carbon fiber, feathers. Read the reviews about the Dakar, that everything is bad, just broken feathers, what to do? ... Read More »

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