1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: New Bike Setup

  1. #1
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    New Bike Setup

    Hey guys, recently purchased a '07 Jamis Dakar XC, and was interested in some initial setup procedures: seat height/distance fore-aft/angle, handlebar height...if you guys had advice or links to point me in the right direction.

    Also I noticed that the rear derailleur, (Shimano Deore) is bouncing up and hitting the lower portion of the rear swingarm in the back...I just purchased a swingarm protector cover, but I'm wondering if there is something I can set or adjust to stop it from traveling so high up? Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    The key to set up is.....

    is it comfortable for YOU!!! You can read all the "fit" information in the world and it won't mean squat if you aren't comfortable.

    But I'll give you a few starting points. Seat height is easy. To start measure your ACTUAL inseam, NOT your trouser inseam. Multiply that by .87. Take the figure that you get and adjust seatpost so that your saddle is that distance from the top of the saddle to the center of the crank arm bolt. Now ride! If it's comfortable, no knee pain etc. while riding leave it. I there is pain or it's just not comfortable then adjust up or down a bit as necessary.

    For seat fore and aft, RIDE! If you find that while you ride you have to keep scootching back on the seat to keep your butt centered or comfortable on the seat, you need to adjust the seat forward a bit, or adjust the seat back if you find yourself scootch forward. Sounds backward I know but think about it.

    As for seat angle, that's going to be fairly personal as well. Everyone is slightly different anatomically, and different seat designs can dictate seat angle to an extent as well. Start with the seat level and ride. If you are comfortable with that fine. If not think about what is uncomfortable about it, then adjust. Believe me if you pay attention to what your body is telling you, you'll know. If you can't get the saddle comfortable, try a different brand! I tried dozens of saddles before I found one that works for me! It may take some time, or you may hit a bonus and the one you have will be fine.

    For bar height, that is a TOTALY personal preference. It's usually wise to start with the bars level with the saddle or an inch or two lower. If you think you want them lower, the remove the top cap and the stem and remove a spacer or to (the ones under the stem) from under the stem clamp, re-install the stem and place the spacers on top of the stem, then re-install the top cap and adjust the headset. Go ride! If that works leave it like that for a while just to be sure. Once you are sure that's the way you want it you can cut the streerer tube to the new length and remove the spacers from the top if you want. If the bar needs to be higher it's a little more difficult. You'll likely have to change the stem to a higher rise, or the bar to a riser (if you have a flat bar) or to a bar with a higher rise if you have a riser bar on the bike.

    As for the rear derailleur, there's nothing you can do about it. They ALWAYS do that, at least Shimano rear d's do. You could shorten the chain a link or two to lessen the bounce, BUT, you run the risk of getting the chain TOO short. This will restrict the gear combinations that you can use, and if you accidentally shift into a forbidden combination you could destroy your rear d. So it's better to leave it as is and add a stay protector, which you've already done. The only other solution is to go to a SRAM rear derailleur. They are desinged a bit differently and don't bounce hardly at all. But you'd have to go with SRAM shifters as well. Shimano rear shifters and SRAM rear derailleurs are NOT compatable. So you've done what you can in that area.

    There are plenty of links out there for bike fit. Wrench Science has a pretty good one, http://www.wrenchscience.com/ . Click on "mountain". At the top of the page that pops up click on "fit system". You'll have to create an account and log in. After that just follow the directions. But REMEMBER, the results are RECOMMEnDED! They are NOT written in stone. They give you a starting point only! Bike fit/set up is not an exact science. The "personal" factor always plays a part. How you ride, the terrain, the bike itself, and your personal preference will all be factors. So don't get too wrapped around the axle with it.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwpowere36m3
    Hey guys, recently purchased a '07 Jamis Dakar XC, and was interested in some initial setup procedures: seat height/distance fore-aft/angle, handlebar height...if you guys had advice or links to point me in the right direction.

    Also I noticed that the rear derailleur, (Shimano Deore) is bouncing up and hitting the lower portion of the rear swingarm in the back...I just purchased a swingarm protector cover, but I'm wondering if there is something I can set or adjust to stop it from traveling so high up? Thanks guys.
    As far as the derailleur bouncing, purchase a SRAM derailleur and shifter(sram derailleurs are not compatible with shimano shifters), that is the only way your derailleur will stop flopping around(try a search for shimano vs sram on youtube to see what i mean)

    The rest is 100% about personal preference

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