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  1. #1
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    Jamis Dakar XLT 2.0 - chain stay issues?

    I am seriously considering purchasing a left over 2005 Jamis Dakar XLT 2.0 from one of my LBS. I have quickly test riden the bike around the parking lot of the shop and really liked it. But what can you really tell from that. I have been researching the bike and the reviews seems to be mixed. Either people love it, or they have major problems with broken chain stays.

    Was the chain stay issue really a major problem with the 2005ís?

    If there are issues with the Jamis frames my other option is an Iron Horse HollowPoint Mark III. Now I have never heard of an Iron Horse frame breaking, but they are heavy. But I have also read rave reviews about the DW Link suspension.

  2. #2
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    I bought my frame in '06. I rode it for a year and my chainstay broke. I contacted JensonUSA.com and they got me a warranty'd swingarm and back on the trail. I still feel that it's one of the best bikes out there.

    I talked to Jenson and Jamis about the issue b/c I was going to sell the frame and buy a Transition Preston. They told me that in the 2005'ish era, they had issues with the weld joints from their factory and since then they've had no more issues. They are making good on their 5 year warranty.

    Mine broke right at the weld. I ride it pretty dang hard on the trail and I have had no issues with the new stays.

    I'd say buy the XLT.

  3. #3
    s62
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    Go for it. I just bought one, and it's a sweet bike. If you do end up with problems, Jenson and Jamis will help you out, I betcha.

  4. #4
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Iron Horse frames do break

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    If there are issues with the Jamis frames my other option is an Iron Horse HollowPoint Mark III. Now I have never heard of an Iron Horse frame breaking, but they are heavy. But I have also read rave reviews about the DW Link suspension.
    My 2002.5 (first generation DW-Link) Iron Horse Hollowpoint broke in six months...in fact a lot of them broke. Worse...it took Iron Horse FOUR FRICKING MONTHS to get me a new frame. It did ride nice though...

    When I was buying a new bike last year, I considered a new Iron Horse MK III that was on sale but memories of the piss poor customer service steered me to a 2005 Jamis XLT. My swingarm hasn't broken, but if it does, it looks like Jamis has been very quick to replace them (from what I've read, two weeks is about average).

    I'd say go for it on the XLT

  5. #5
    ride hard take risks
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    Jamis is fully aware of this & are not bashful about taking care of any problems. If the swing arm has not been replaced or upgraded they would possibly be willing to send you the replacement one as a warranty upgrade for you to replace. As mtnbiker72 pointed out any manufacture can have a problem with product, thats why there is a warranty.

    This is where you should go to have your question answered for real not just us clowns writing our personal opinion, although it seems to be unanimous.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/contact/index.html
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  6. #6
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    I didn't even send mine in. I took a good high quality digital photo of the break zoomed and wide. I took a good picture of the serial number on the bottom bracket shell. That's all they needed.

  7. #7
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    I had a 2005, and it was OK until I rode the Stumpy FSR I replaced it with (the Jamis was stolen). Now that I can reflect on it, the Jamis wasn't that great of a frame. But, it is cheap, and they will help you if it breaks. As for the IH, I would consider it since I have ridden the Jamis already. I just don't know about the additional weight if it's even heavier than my Dakar XLT 1.0 was (about 33lbs or so with sort of OK wheels).

  8. #8
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    I agree that the Stumpy is more efficient. I have tested a few. The Brain Fade Stumpy (expert) was a pedaling Monster! I loved it.

    I don't think that it would handle the abuse that the XLT is willing to accept.

    It's a great trail bike. I've been thinking about moving that direction when I decide on my next ride. I find myself climbing more than descending these days.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    I agree that the Stumpy is more efficient. I have tested a few. The Brain Fade Stumpy (expert) was a pedaling Monster! I loved it.

    I don't think that it would handle the abuse that the XLT is willing to accept.

    It's a great trail bike. I've been thinking about moving that direction when I decide on my next ride. I find myself climbing more than descending these days.
    LOL! If the chainstays are breaking, which is the point of this thread, then it's obvious it cannot take much abuse itself. Plus, I blew out my bearings within a year (actually, about 4 months of continuous use) and got replacement skateboard bearings that worked a lot better. I am riding the Stumpy on the same stuff, and no issues.

  10. #10
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    Actually, if we are to define "taking abuse" as in "keeping Jamis on speed dial for warranty issues" then apparently they take a lot of abuse quite well. He should be concerned about breakage and excessive wear on that model, because it happens. I don't want to be out on a trail and have it break. I haven't read or heard about IH frames breaking as much as Jamis, but Jamis is really good about making customers happy. So, pick your poison. I had a Mountain Cycle that I loved, until it took 6 months for the frame to get warrantied out. After that, I would never buy another one.

  11. #11
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    Yah, I somewhat see your point with the "LOL" crap.

    Jamis had a tough time with their factory at that particular time. They know it, they're making it right. If it did break like mine...they'd send you one that's not a bad apple and you will have a bike that will take some abuse. I'd say that your Stumpy is a decent ride too, but would I trust it to do the aggressive riding mixed with small drops and jumps / stairs blah, blah, blah? Nope.

    If the OP were comparing the XLT to a Stumpy frame...I'd rec. the Stumpy unless he was going to use the bike as an All Mountain bike ie...XC trails, climbing / descending, some ski lift stuff, small drops, small jumps. The heavier duty XLT frame would be better suited to it.

    I know it's hard to understand, but they obviously made it right for me enough for me to fully endorse a frame that broke on me once. I inspected the weld joint very well and know that it was a defect from the factory, not a faulty design.

    I've thought about going to a Stumpy FSR as well and probably will when I get a little older and more timid on and off the trail. It pedals well and shines for its intended purpose. For now though...I'll stick with an XLT.

    So now that I've completely derailled this thread to an XLT vs. FSR shootout...I humbly apologize.

  12. #12
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    LOL to the "LOL crap" comment.

    In any case, the FSR was originally brought up in response to comments speaking to how great the Dakar XLT rides. I thought it rode great as well, even though I had to replace the stupid bearings on it because they blew as they have for others. Then, I test rode other bikes and bought the FSR. Having done this, I realize that it isn't that great of a ride afterall. I would urge more testing to the op in this case before choosing either, however I would think that if durability is the issue then the nod goes to the IH which is what you are driving at.

    As for the FSR, I take it downhill repeatedly on a few rocky trails here in SE AZ. Although I am a smooth rider and do this with Crossmax SLs so YMMV.

  13. #13
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    Cool-blue Rhythm I wouldn't and heres why...

    I had an 04 frame and found in two years of riding, that Jamis has more than breaking swingarm issues. The bearings and swinglinks, are so out of allignment that bearings will fail about every 3 to six months if you ride alot. This missallignment problem also eats up the shock bushings very quickly. I thought Manitou's shock bushings were really soft, until I bought a San Andreas frame with the exact same shock as my old Dakar XLT, and the original shock bushings are still tight after more than 18 months of hard riding.
    The San Andreas just plain handles better and is way more reliable than the Jamis Dakar.
    My Jamis left me stranded and walking home more than once and that is a big problem here in the desert.
    One more thing to consider is the travel. I didn't believe a post I once read, that said the Dakar XLTs couldn't use full travel without hitting the cross brace on the upper part of the seat stays onto the seat tube. It turned out to be true. One day when I let all the air out of the rear shock to do some maintanance, the seat stay brace did in fact contact the seat tube when only about 1.75 inches of the 2 inch stroke shock's travel was used up.
    As others have said, Jamis will send you the parts to fix it, but who wants to own a unreliable bike, especialy when I do back country rides in the desert.
    After about a year, Jamis wouldn't send me anymore parts, even though the warrantee manager had been admitting to me for months, that they had some real problems with the swingarms and bearings. Specialized under similar circumstances would have sent me a whole new redesigned frame.
    Someone made negative comments about Iron Horse and those stories are true as well.
    For that matter, KHS is another bike brand that has frame allignment and other issues.

    The bottom line is this; get a name brand frame on closeout.
    Azonic, Mountain Cycle, Specialized and Kona are good examples and stay away from the " Budget " bike brands.

    Later, Eric.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  14. #14
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    Oooooh...I always wanted a SanAndreas. Ever since I saw Shaums March on a video bunnyhop a thigh-high guard rail thingy on it with platforms. What a rider eh?

    When taking apart and reassembling my XLT, I didn't notice alignment issues nor has my frame been unable to use full travel but I wouldn't disregard that statement. I have heard that before.

  15. #15
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    WOW.. I am really glad I asked this question. While it may be true that Ja,mis will stand behind their product (if I buy one). I am not really sure I want to deal with the hassle. My local Jamis dealer also sells Iron Horse so I may give them a closer look. I also have a Kona dealer close by that I will check out.

    Some one my wife works with found a good online deal for an 06 Kona Kikapu frame and rear shock ($300). Right now that is sounding better and better. But I am just not sure that is the right bike for me. I would classify my riding as agressive XC (jumps, small srops). That frame loks like a FS XC frame and I am not sure it is meant for that type of riding. This same person also recomended that I spend my money on a better frame and go cheaper on the components if I have to. His argument was that the components can always be upgraded. I was looking at things from the other side. I was going to get a middle of the road frame with high end components. A new frame can be purchased for several hundred dollars. But to purchase good components would cost much more.

    Thoughts?

  16. #16
    s62
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    kikapu is not made for AM, and won't take your drops or other abuse well. You'll want to look at the Dawg Deluxe and such from Kona. That said, I'm still thinking you should make the leap with Jamis. The '05 Dakar XLT saw some people with broken chainstays, sure, but there's a lot of people out there who haven't had that problem. In addition, it's a simple problem to fix, and it's free. The XLT is made to take rough riding, drops, etc., so if that's what you want to do, get a frame made for it, such as the Dakar.
    You always want a good frame, mate. Frames are much harder to upgrade. You basically buy a new bike. The idea is better to get the better frame, and THEN upgrade parts. You can do them bit at a time, and with more options. Buying a bunch of great components and a shitty frame is absurd.
    Finally, Jamis isn't a "budget brand". Don't confuse yourself, or the myriad of people who have never had Jamis trouble (or even owned one) but who tell you that they break, have problems, etc. It's simply not true. 2004 was a BAD year for Jamis. 2005 saw tons of frame improvement b/c of the factory situation. It's only gotten better from there, but
    Jamis takes care of business, and if you suffer b/c of one of their factory problems, they make it up to you. Simple.
    And trust me, I'm looking at my '05 Dakar XLT 2.0, and it's ****ing awesome. You won't regret getting one. I rode Kikapu's, Dawg Deluxes, Enduro SL's, Reigns, and a few other bikes before I made this decision. The fact is, a 2300$ bike is a 2300$ bike. Jamis makes one hell of a 2300$ bike, and if you can get it for 1500$ closeout, then do it.

  17. #17
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    Whenever you buy a new product it has a warranty because therre is such a thing as a manufacturing defect, thats what makes the world go round.
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  18. #18
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    yeah my XLT is running strong, and i don't exactly go easy on it. it's survived 3 Mammoth mountain vacations so far and hundreds of miles around where i live. maybe i'm one of the lucky ones. who knows.

  19. #19
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    ... and if we just ... Old school rules...Old age and treachery...

    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed
    Oooooh...I always wanted a SanAndreas. Ever since I saw Shaums March on a video bunnyhop a thigh-high guard rail thingy on it with platforms. What a rider eh?

    When taking apart and reassembling my XLT, I didn't notice alignment issues nor has my frame been unable to use full travel but I wouldn't disregard that statement. I have heard that before.
    I should add that Jamis is or was using different building techniques than other manufactures, ie they used frame size specific stays ect in thier frame designs.
    It could have been, that my old Dakar had the wrong mix of parts and or the forward shock mount, was welded to far forward. It did ride lower at the Bottom Bracket than the advertised specs and seemed slow steering, as if the head angle was to slack.
    In any case; they knew about the problems and should have given me a whole new redesigned frame.

    I have an old VHS tape with some huge drops and gap jumps being done on an older San Andreas, but I don't know who is doing the riding.
    Mountain Bike Rider magazine said " The geometry on the San Andreas is totaly efffed up! "
    They also said the BB is too high, but look at some of the newwer AM bikes and BB heights are damn close to 15 inches.
    They were so full of it!
    The San Andreas classic is getting older, but is still better than many of the new designs.
    Its good enough, that the rider is going to determine the victor in most contests of riding.

    Later, Eric.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    Albert Einstein, on the theory of relativity.

    Peace and Long Rides...

  20. #20
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    My XLT is running strong, bearings survived the Pacific NW winter with no issues...as have my shock bushings. But I'll also vouch for Kona as I used to own a Stinky (older AM style, not the more recent freeride models) and beat the bejesus out of it. It was a total tank (37 lbs) but it could take anything I threw at it. Like another poster said though, the Kikapu is more Dakar XC than Dakar XLT...look for the Dawg or even the Coiler frame if your looking to go big.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    My XLT is running strong, bearings survived the Pacific NW winter with no issues...as have my shock bushings. But I'll also vouch for Kona as I used to own a Stinky (older AM style, not the more recent freeride models) and beat the bejesus out of it. It was a total tank (37 lbs) but it could take anything I threw at it. Like another poster said though, the Kikapu is more Dakar XC than Dakar XLT...look for the Dawg or even the Coiler frame if your looking to go big.
    The thing is I am not really looking to go BIG. My riding style is Aggressive XC. I like tight fast single track with technical climbs and descents. But I donít bomb down hill. I donít go searching out jumps and drops, but if there happens to be one on the trail I wonít ride around. I think the highest drop I have ever done on a regular basis (once or twice a month) is about 3.5 to 4 feet and that is on my hard tail. I am starting to wonder if an AM bike it not really want I need. There is no need spending the extra money on am AM bike when I am not going to be using it for what it was made for. I am starting to consider getting a beefy HT with a 150mm front fork or a FS XC bike.

    There are just too many damn options since I bought my last bike!

  22. #22
    s62
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    That's exactly the terrain I ride, and my XLT is perfect for it. It climbs like a dream, and takes the technical and the downhill so damn well. Really, you should give one a ride. I was riding a HT before, and it's made a WORLD of difference. It's fairly light for its catagory, and it bombs as well as handles. The mountains of Alaska sound just like you are describing. I'm riding tight single track with lots of technical sections, speedy speedy downhills (with a drop here and there), and tough climbs, littered with rocks (the occasional garden), roots, and mudbaths.
    I just did the first part of Resurrection Pass (Juno Falls) today, and the XLT was soooo fun. I'm really glad I bought it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    The thing is I am not really looking to go BIG. My riding style is Aggressive XC. I like tight fast single track with technical climbs and descents. But I donít bomb down hill. I donít go searching out jumps and drops, but if there happens to be one on the trail I wonít ride around. I think the highest drop I have ever done on a regular basis (once or twice a month) is about 3.5 to 4 feet and that is on my hard tail. I am starting to wonder if an AM bike it not really want I need. There is no need spending the extra money on am AM bike when I am not going to be using it for what it was made for. I am starting to consider getting a beefy HT with a 150mm front fork or a FS XC bike.

    There are just too many damn options since I bought my last bike!
    Same as me. I was more "XXXC" with 2-3 foot drops and the bearings just blow'd up. Also, the alignment always seemed odd, as if the bike would "crab" or "dog-walk" down the trail just a little. That didn't bother me as much as the flex in the back, which was why I ordered new wheels to replace the ones that were on it. They were being shipped when the bike was stolen, so I never got to see if they would have addressed it.

  24. #24
    s62
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    Huh. Sounds like you got the runt of the pack. I've had no issues that you listed. My biggest concern right now is the clicking/knocking in my Minute 3:00. I love the frame.

  25. #25
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    Well I need to make this decision soon. As I have found 2 bikes at a two different LBS that are the only ones they have.

    Of course one is the Dakar XLT 2.0. Of course there are the possible chainstay issues but I am reassured that Jamis will fix it no questions asked. I also like the fact that it is a $2200 bike onsale for $1500. But it may be more bike than I need.

    Today I test road a 2007 Kona Dawg. I liked the bike, nice strong frame and a good ride. But the components are not even close to the Dakar, and it too is also $1500. The plus side is that the frame is really solid, the shop has great service and is 5 minuted from my house. The shop selling the jamis is about 30 minutes away.

    My next option is a 2006 Iron Horse HollowPoint Mark III for sale online. The original price is $1800 and it is on sale for about $1200. As far as componets go it is right in between the jamis and the kona but $300 less than both. Again from a company know for strong frames and the DW link suspension gets rave reviews. Actually seeing how the is a better bike than the Kona, snd cheaper I guess this nocks the kona right out of contention. So it is back to the jamis vs iron horse. Either way I will get a great deal and a great bike. Now it comes down to $1500 vs $1200. Do the differences between the 2 bikes really justify the$300 price difference

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