Jamis Dakar 2003 Full Suspension

“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.

User Reviews (68)

Showing 1-10 of 68  
Alden Black   [Sep 15, 2013]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

Chain slips occasionally

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
5
VALUE
RATING
5
flick a. boogah   Weekend Warrior [May 09, 2008]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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 . . .

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).
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Brian Sweat   Downhiller [Aug 18, 2003]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: .....
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Teeny Wahine   Weekend Warrior [Jul 15, 2003]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Marin Shoreline Trail (handed down to my teenage daughter)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tiffanie   Cross Country Rider [Jul 13, 2003]
Strength:

Fun to ride and race! Totally comfortable, solid and FAST! I feel no bob on uphills, but enjoy the very smooth ride on downhills. The black shock on front is great for bumps and roots. Shifting is SO smooth. Very lightweight for the price!

Weakness:

Just a little chain stretch so far

This bike is totally comfortable and it's very capable, tough and lightweight also. Perfect for me because I'm a puny (but tough) 105 lb. ALASKA BIKE CHICK!! It's so smooth and easy to maneuver over technical terrain. Much easier to bunny hop over roots and big rocks than my old bike because it's lighter weight.

THIS IS A SWEET BIKE FOR ALL TYPES OF RIDERS AND TRAILS!

Nice work JAMIS!!

Similar Products Used: Specialized Rock Hopper
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steve   Weekend Warrior [Jul 12, 2003]
Strength:

Good suspension, effective brakes, solid drivetrain.

Weakness:

Seatpost, brake setup. Tires hard to seat properly.

I felt like I was in between sizes (17 to 19) so I went with the 17 inch frame. My first ride didn't go real well on the original stem (10 degrees), as I needed the seatpost right out to the min. insertion mark. I also didn't realize the fork preload was set to the min. value (I weigh around 200) so the front end felt a little soft. After about 10 minutes, I went over the bars and bent the deraileur hanger (not the bike's fault, I lost it climbing over a big rock). I tweaked the cable adjustment to keep the deraileur out of the spokes, and managed to finish the ride without further incident. As it turns out, the seat post was bent very slightly, I'm not sure if it's from the fall, or from being at the very end of it's extension with me at the other end.

I ordered a 135 mm 40 degree upright stem (which I had always planned on getting), and a 400 mm Weyless seatpost and after cranking up the fork preload the bike rides much better. I may get bars with a little more rise, but otherwise it fits ok. The deraileur hanger did a good job protecting the rear deraileur, and it straightened out quite easily.

Originally, the brakes rubbed the calipers slightly, and made the most annoying high pitched squeal you can imagine whenever you rolled the bike. I adjusted the caliper position using the procedure from the Hayes manual with a little less spacing (2 sheets of computer paper or so) and the brakes have been fine since. Stopping power is very good, and modulation is good too.

After cranking up the fork preload, the suspension feels pretty good. I like the feel of the fork, although I probably need a heavier spring set at my weight. I don't even notice the rear suspension, it does a good job without any noticable bobbing or unwanted motion. I was originally looking for a rear shock with a lockout, but for me this bike doesn't need one.

I pulled off a tire, and when I put it back on in order to get the bead to seat properly I had to pump the tire up to 70 pounds or so. I've heard of this with this tire, but I don't know if the rim has anything to do with it.

Other than the minor problems setting up the bike, I've been very pleased with the way it rides. It's got just the right amount of suspension for my level of riding, and I've had zero problems shifting gears or keeping the chain on the bike. On my last ride, I didn't even notice the bike at all, I can't ask for anything better than that. The service and support at Rad Rob's has also been excellent. They've been right there whenever I have a problem, or need something unusual.

I think this is a great bike for the price, I'd definitely buy another one.

Similar Products Used: Cannondale Jekyll 500
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Travis   [Jul 12, 2003]
Strength:

Good shimano components, brakes, suspension. Price.

Weakness:

The tires suck. They had no tread in about 2 weeks and always gave me pinch flats.

Great bike for the price. I haven't had any problems except with the tires. The suspension could be better, but you get what you pay for.

Similar Products Used: Giant ds-2
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Happy   Cross Country Rider [Jul 06, 2003]
Strength:

Great ride, comfortable and durable. Went down (and up) really rough mountain trails, mostly dry, rocky river beds. Handled like a dream. Climbs really well.

Weakness:

Front derailer was broken when i got the bike, upgraded to XT. Decals started peeling after first wash.

Great value, good all rounder! Go for it!

Similar Products Used: SCHWINN Mesa DSX
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff   Cross Country Rider [Jul 01, 2003]
Strength:

Tested a ton of bikes but this got my money. This is the sickest xc full suspension bike I have ridden. It takes the hits and flys right over them. Very good ride, while being agile. Virtually no peddle bob at all, even when climbing. When climbing I am not reminded that I am not on a hardtail!

Weakness:

Minor Gripe: I bought the 21 inch frame and the black shock only came with the wimpy 170lb springs. I weigh 230, so I must put in stiffer springs. Do they think someone buying the 21 inch is only going to weigh 170?

Overall a great priced, high value xc full suspension bike that excels in everything a xc suspension should do.

Similar Products Used: Specialized stumpjumper fsr, Kona Kahuna, Giant NRS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Weekend Warrior [Jul 01, 2003]
Strength:

Light, sturdy with good combo of parts for the money. I have only test driven this bie so I will follow up, but witht he components for the money. I do not see where a novice to intermdiate can go wrong and as you grow a few upgrades should keep you gong on the track, if you desire. The frame is more than capable of handling a track.

Weakness:

Not yet found, will follow up.

Overall great product for the money. If your looking for a bike and you're anywhere in the intermediate space of riding, this is it. You will find the bike is light and quick to provide you with the fun that started you off riding in the first place. I am giving it 4 for now, not enough use yet to go to 5.

Similar Products Used: Treks
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 68  

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