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  1. #1
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    New question here. Is the Zion 853 frame a re-badged Jamis Dragon?

    I'm wondering if the Zion 853 frame on Jensonusa.com is nothing more than a re-painted and re-badged 2004 Jamis Dragon frame. If you look at the geometry of the 15, 17, 19, and 21 Dragon frames and the identical sized Zion frames, the geometry numbers are spot-on identical, right down to the millimeter. Also, both are 853 steel. I can't find a weight spec for the Dragon, so I don't know if they're the same weight or not.

    Are we looking at two identical frames? Did "Zion" purchase a bunch of leftover, unpainted 2004 Dragon frames and re-badge them? Or, did Zion merely copy the Dragon's design and tubing?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    I'm wondering if the Zion 853 frame on Jensonusa.com is nothing more than a re-painted and re-badged 2004 Jamis Dragon frame. If you look at the geometry of the 15, 17, 19, and 21 Dragon frames and the identical sized Zion frames, the geometry numbers are spot-on identical, right down to the millimeter. Also, both are 853 steel. I can't find a weight spec for the Dragon, so I don't know if they're the same weight or not.

    Are we looking at two identical frames? Did "Zion" purchase a bunch of leftover, unpainted 2004 Dragon frames and re-badge them? Or, did Zion merely copy the Dragon's design and tubing?
    Did Jamis also make the dragon in an EBB single speed version?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    I'm wondering if the Zion 853 frame on Jensonusa.com is nothing more than a re-painted and re-badged 2004 Jamis Dragon frame. If you look at the geometry of the 15, 17, 19, and 21 Dragon frames and the identical sized Zion frames, the geometry numbers are spot-on identical, right down to the millimeter. Also, both are 853 steel. I can't find a weight spec for the Dragon, so I don't know if they're the same weight or not.

    Are we looking at two identical frames? Did "Zion" purchase a bunch of leftover, unpainted 2004 Dragon frames and re-badge them? Or, did Zion merely copy the Dragon's design and tubing?
    I have a Jamis Dragon frame and the Zion 853 frame looks like they share the same tubesets, rear dropouts, cable routing, and rear disc brake mount. It has the same 27.2 diameter seatpost, which is rare/large for a steel frame bike. The weight of the frames are also the same. However, the Zion frame has the rear brake bosses like the 2003 Dragon (discontinued in 2004) and rear disc brake cable guide found on the 2004 Dragon frames. Also, the Dragons did not come in EBB option like the Zion.

    The Jamis Dragon frames are made in Tawain by a sub-contractor just like most other bicycle frames. I don't know if they are left over Dragon frames, but they are probably from the same factory with the same specs. A great deal at that price.

  4. #4
    JmZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHead
    I have a Jamis Dragon frame and the Zion 853 frame looks like they share the same tubesets, rear dropouts, cable routing, and rear disc brake mount. It has the same 27.2 diameter seatpost, which is rare/large for a steel frame bike. The weight of the frames are also the same. However, the Zion frame has the rear brake bosses like the 2003 Dragon (discontinued in 2004) and rear disc brake cable guide found on the 2004 Dragon frames. Also, the Dragons did not come in EBB option like the Zion.

    The Jamis Dragon frames are made in Tawain by a sub-contractor just like most other bicycle frames. I don't know if they are left over Dragon frames, but they are probably from the same factory with the same specs. A great deal at that price.
    There are a few 853 hardtails out there that may share similar births. I know Interloc has their bikes made overseas, and they wree made in the same factory that the old Breezer's were made. They had similar specs too (but didn't look identical though). 853 tubing, 27.2 seat post, etc.

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  5. #5
    jrm
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    I dont think so..

    [The reason being that the rear triangle of the Zion is 4130 cromo and the rear triangle of the Dragon is 853....
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    [The reason being that the rear triangle of the Zion is 4130 cromo and the rear triangle of the Dragon is 853....
    I doubt that the rear triangle of the Dragon is 853, as far as I know Reynolds doesn't even make 853 seat or chain stays. They just make main tubes in 853 such as top tube, down tube, seat tube, and head tube. They are most likely made from 725 as recommended by Reynolds themselves.

    Where were you able to find out that the Zion uses 4130 chromoly for the rear triangle?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHead
    I have a Jamis Dragon frame and the Zion 853 frame looks like they share the same tubesets, rear dropouts, cable routing, and rear disc brake mount. It has the same 27.2 diameter seatpost, which is rare/large for a steel frame bike. The weight of the frames are also the same. However, the Zion frame has the rear brake bosses like the 2003 Dragon (discontinued in 2004) and rear disc brake cable guide found on the 2004 Dragon frames. Also, the Dragons did not come in EBB option like the Zion.

    The Jamis Dragon frames are made in Tawain by a sub-contractor just like most other bicycle frames. I don't know if they are left over Dragon frames, but they are probably from the same factory with the same specs. A great deal at that price.
    Per my conversation with a guy at Jamis' HQ in NJ, Jamis only discontinued the rear brake bosses on 2004 frames sold as a complete bike. For 2004 frames that were sold "frame only," you could buy an '04 Dragon with the brake bosses. Anyway, the skinny from this same conversation was that Jamis had not noticed the similarities between the frames, and they think that the Zion is a copy of the Dragon, but is not the same frame. Also, according to Jamis, the 19" Dragon frame weighs about a pound less than stated weight of the 19" Zion. I would guess (as did Jamis) that Zion copied the Dragon design, but used a thicker-walled 853 tubeset and a different rear triangle material. Jamis said that their frames are made in Taiwan, but the tubing is milled and cut at Reynolds in England and then shipped to Taiwan for welding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    There are a few 853 hardtails out there that may share similar births. I know Interloc has their bikes made overseas, and they wree made in the same factory that the old Breezer's were made. They had similar specs too (but didn't look identical though). 853 tubing, 27.2 seat post, etc.

    JmZ
    The Interloc Tempest and the Soma Groove are/were identical in design. What set them apart was the frame materials - the Tempest was 853 and the Groove is 631.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Per my conversation with a guy at Jamis' HQ in NJ, Jamis only discontinued the rear brake bosses on 2004 frames sold as a complete bike. For 2004 frames that were sold "frame only," you could buy an '04 Dragon with the brake bosses. Anyway, the skinny from this same conversation was that Jamis had not noticed the similarities between the frames, and they think that the Zion is a copy of the Dragon, but is not the same frame. Also, according to Jamis, the 19" Dragon frame weighs about a pound less than stated weight of the 19" Zion. I would guess (as did Jamis) that Zion copied the Dragon design, but used a thicker-walled 853 tubeset and a different rear triangle material. Jamis said that their frames are made in Taiwan, but the tubing is milled and cut at Reynolds in England and then shipped to Taiwan for welding.
    Either Jamis doesn't know or they are trying to justify why their frames sell for twice as much as the Zion? You were told that Jamis did sell frames which were identical to these. Maybe the Taiwan company is using all of Jamis' jigs and designs to make/sell their own frames.

    I have a 17" Jamis Dragon and it weighs about 4.5 lbs, and a 15" I checked weighed 4.3 lbs, that is very close to what the Zion frames claim. It is very unlikely that a 19" steel frame is going to weigh 3.8 lbs, that is usually only achieved by making it out of titanium, aluminum or carbon fiber.

    Reynolds doesn't really make enough 'different' tubes for the Dragon and Zion to use different tubes. They only make one bulged seat tube which goes from 28.6 mm at the derailleur to 30 mm at the seat clamp on the outside which both the Dragon and Zion use, they only make one down tube in a 34.9 mm tube which both the Dragon and Zion use, they only make one 36.4 mm head tube which they both use, but they do have two choices for a 31.75 mm top tube (very, very small weight difference though).

    The Zion frames have the exact same cable guides on the top tube with the left one having a slightly larger slot in it than the others, the cable guide on the seat tube has the same angle to it when it is attahced to the tube, the brace between the seat stays has two small vent holes on it just like the Dragon (these aren't really required since the fender/panier hole works as a vent too, odd that they both have these), the drive side seat stay has a little tab welded on the inside of the stay on the Zion Just like the Dragon, the slot in the top of the seat tube is identical in shape and size, the brake bosses on the seat stays are identical, etc...

    I am not really trying to pick an argument or anything, but everything just seems too damn close to be coincidence.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GearHead
    Either Jamis doesn't know or they are trying to justify why their frames sell for twice as much as the Zion? You were told that Jamis did sell frames which were identical to these. Maybe the Taiwan company is using all of Jamis' jigs and designs to make/sell their own frames.

    snip, snip, snip

    I am not really trying to pick an argument or anything, but everything just seems too damn close to be coincidence.
    I frankly don't know what Jamis' motivation is, nor can I say with certainty whether or not I was told the whole truth. I had a relatively short conversation with with "Kenny" at Jamis about this question, and all I'm saying is what he told me during that 5 minute conversation.

    To correct you, I was not told by Kenny that Jamis sells frames identical to the Zion - I told Kenny that Zion's 853 looked identical to the Dragon and I asked him whether Jamis sold frames to Zion. He told me that he'd never looked at the Zion frame before (I guided him to Jenson's website while we were on the phone) and thus he had never seen the similarities. (I guess nobody else had ever asked this question before.) Kenny flatly stated that no, Jamis had not sold the Dragon design and had not sold any bare frames to Zion. (This is when he launched into the explanation as to the tubing. I'm not an expert in tubing, as you appear to be, so again, whether his explanation was truthful or even relevant is not for me to judge.) He also said that the retail price of the Zion is less than what Jamis sells their Dragon frames to dealers, and wondered how Zion could sell them for so cheap.

    His best guess on the origin of the Zion is exactly what you said - that Zion is using the Jamis jigs and designs to make their own frames at the same factory in Taiwan. It was only as an afterthought that I asked him what the Dragon frame weighs, and, after he asked somebody in the background who I couldn't hear, he told me that the 17" Dragon weighs 3.8 lbs, and that the 19" would only be slightly heavier - probably around 4 lbs even. I haven't weighed my 19" Dragon frame, but having previously owned (and weighed) two 19" frames made of 853 (a Gunnar Rockhound and an Interloc Tempest), I can say with absolute certainty that it is possible to make a 19" frame out of 853 that weighs right around 4 lbs - my 19" Tempest weighed 4 lbs even. So, based upon my own prior experience, I didn't question him on his statement as to the frame weight.

    I agree 100% that the similarities appear to be too close to be coincidence. Again, whether or not Kenny told me the truth is anyone's guess.

  11. #11
    jrm
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    From Zion

    Heres the specs on the Dragon from the Jamis web -site.

    "Reynolds 853 seamless air-hardened chromoly main tubes, reinforced head tube collars, double butted cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts, international disc brake mount".
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  12. #12
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    I totally agree that you can make a 19" steel frame out of 853 that weighs around 4 lbs if you were to use the smaller diameter tubes for the top tube and down tube, use small chainstays, and not have the big chunck of metal for the rear disc brake mount. But the Dragon, has heavier bigger chainstays, heavier bigger seat stays, disc brake mount tab, and large tubes on front triangle.

    I have an old 19" frame made of True Temper chromoly which only weighs about 4lbs.
    Last edited by GearHead; 10-17-2005 at 12:38 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Heres the specs on the Dragon from the Jamis web -site.

    "Reynolds 853 seamless air-hardened chromoly main tubes, reinforced head tube collars, double butted cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts, international disc brake mount".
    Are you agreeing that the rear triangle of the Dragon is not 853?

  14. #14
    jrm
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    No ..

    Quote Originally Posted by GearHead
    Are you agreeing that the rear triangle of the Dragon is not 853?
    Because "double butted cromo stays" is pretty unconclusive. Enlighten me oh grasshopper..
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  15. #15
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    Older Dragon's were NOT 853 rear triangles, unless they changed something in the last two years,they are still DB Cromo rear's and not 853 rears. I actually didn't think that Reynolds recommended 853 tubing for use as a rear triangle... am I wrong here?

  16. #16
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    You are correct

    Quote Originally Posted by XC_Miles
    I actually didn't think that Reynolds recommended 853 tubing for use as a rear triangle... am I wrong here?
    No, you're right. 853 is strictly a front triangle material. When manufacturers claim that the "frame" is made of Reynolds 853, they're just talking about the main triangle.

  17. #17
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    #1 Reynolds doesn't offer either 631 or 853 in diameters small enough to make chainstays or seatstays from unless you were trying to duplicate a frame like an old Alpinestars Cro-Mega (which had 1" diameter stays). This is a tooling issue. Reynolds makes tubes, not steel alloys, and 4340 CrMo (which is what the alloy actually is) is hard enough to draw into butted tubing in just the sizes for the main tubes of the frame. There isn't enough of a strength to weight advantage over regular heat-treated double-butted 4130 CrMo stays to justify the added R&D costs for them to offer stays in their 853/631 tubesets.

    #2 Jamis doesn't actually make any frames themselves, Kinesis does most of their production in its various asian facilities. The dragon has 4130 CrMo stays, and the reason why the zion and jamis frames are virtually identical is because zion also goes to kinesis for their frames. This isn't unusual for bike brands, kinesis manufacturers for a HOST of brands, and unless they have some sort of exclusive patented design rights (as santa cruz does with their VPPs) then Kinesis will knock out almost exact carbon-copies for a host of brands with the only changes being the paint. Incidently, the 2006 Jamis models start arriving in west coast ports from Taiwan at the end of the month.
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  18. #18
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    Do Dragons have tire clearance problem also?

    I heard one reason Jenson is selling the frames so cheap is due to tire clearance problems. The widest tire I can fit in my 19" Zion without any rubbing is a 2.0-2.1 depending on tread style. The larger sizes supposedly have less clearance than the smaller ones.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rush60
    I heard one reason Jenson is selling the frames so cheap is due to tire clearance problems. The widest tire I can fit in my 19" Zion without any rubbing is a 2.0-2.1 depending on tread style. The larger sizes supposedly have less clearance than the smaller ones.
    The Jamis Dragon has enough room for a big 2.1" tire, such as Kenda Nevegal, and ample mud clearance. You wouldn't be able to put a big 2.3" (2.3" Conti would probably fit fine) on there and have mud clearance left. On the Dragon chainstays there is a large indent in each chainstay to give extra tire clearance. if that indent wasn't there I could see a 2.1" tire being a very close fit with no extra clearance. It doesn't appear that the Zion frames have this indent, is this correct? Any good frame builder would easily be able to indent the chainstays for you.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rush60
    I heard one reason Jenson is selling the frames so cheap is due to tire clearance problems. The widest tire I can fit in my 19" Zion without any rubbing is a 2.0-2.1 depending on tread style. The larger sizes supposedly have less clearance than the smaller ones.
    I have a 21" Dragon, and run a 2.5 Kenda on a regular basis. You just have to have a nice strong, true rim. Never noticed any rubbing issues, but I'll bet there is some.
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  21. #21
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    Is any difference between the frame used for the Jamis Dragon Sport VS the Jamis Dragon Race ?

    On their site it says on the Sport:

    Frame

    Reynolds 520 chromoly main tubes and stays, reinforced head tube collars, gusseted down tube, forged dropouts

    and on the Race

    Frame

    Reynolds 853 air-hardened/heat-treated chromoly main tubes, reinforced head tube collars, gusseted down tube, double-butted cromo stays, Jamis lost wax dropouts.

    Is there really a difference?

    Im considering buy a Sport and do an upgrade in an easy steps to do not pay that much difference in the initial bike...

  22. #22
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    never mind, i just found it, 520 vs 853 sorry...

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