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  1. #1
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    Dakota Elite over Trek or Fisher?

    How good is Jamis?
    I've been looking( and have posted in other brand forums) for a hardtail bike in the $1500 range. Have ridden a Trek8000 and Gary Fisher Big Sur both 19" frames. Today I found a local dealer that carries Jamis and he showed me a 17" "07" model, so I wanted to ask the people in this forum if they feel the Jamis Dakota Elite is as good or better then other bikes in this price range or any area the Jamis will outperfom other bikes in? It also seems the Jamis is going for $1685 instead of the $1500 Trek and GF will sell for, comments welcome.

  2. #2
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    The bikes are pretty similar. Jamis is a good brand, just usually sold by smaller shops that can't meet the "quotas" of Trek or Specialized.

    One thing though. The MSRP of a '07 Dakota elite is $1650. I would expect you should be getting the '07 at a close out price since the '08s are already out. For $1685 you should be getting an '08.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, yes, this is a smaller shop that sells the Jamis. It is the 08 going for $1685. Maybe if I could find an 07 for considerable discount I could go with that, since the chnages for the year are not that big. But it does seem like the othr brands discount 5 or 10% off of MSRP.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...kotaelite.html

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    I reviewed the specs between the '07 and '08 Dakota Elite, and They are virtually the same except for two things.

    1) The crank on the '08 is a Deore vs a Deore LX on the '07. Don't know why they speced one level down on the crank for '08, probably to keep the price below $1700.

    2) The '08 has the new '08 XT shifters and "Shadow" rear derailleur. Both of these are complete redesigns for '08 and a lot better than the 'XT stuff thats on the '07.

    The smaller shops may have a harder time discounting since they don't have the sales volume or volume wholesale discounts. If there are any '07's left at the Jamis warehouse, Jamis would be blowing them out at a discount wholesale cost which the dealer could pass on to you.

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    The 08 also runs a bigger seat tube and post to stiffen it up a bit. 07 had a 27.2mm post, 08 has a 31.6mm. Probably would help with the slipping post problem I had with my 07 as well.

    I have an 07 comp, its quick, its light (with the spec I've got on it) and it accelerates like nothing else. The carbon stays take a bit of the sting out of the ride (back to back riding a Dakota sport proved this to me). On the elite a lighter wheelset would work wonders.
    And to top it off it rides and handles better than my old 05 Giant XTC2.

    I just checked the spec on the 08, it is listed as having LX cranks although the picture looks to have deore.

  6. #6
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    My Wife has the Jamis Dakota '07 Comp WSD. It has been a great bike, no significant problems. We had no seat post issues, then we read about it in Mountain Bike Magazine. Two weeks later it slipped. We upgraded the seat post clamp which mitigated the problem.

    The comp had a list of $1,325 ... I paid about 10% or 15% less than list ... it was a special order from a small shop. Jamis seems to keep a good inventory for the small shops so you should be able to get just the right frame size.

  7. #7
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    I just built up an 06 Dakota Elite (same frame as 07). It rides great. I bought it mainly for the carbon seat stays which really soften things up but the bike still rides stiff, which is why I ride a hardtail because I love a bike that feels stiff while pedaling. In general Jamis usually has better components for its price compared to other brands. But again my main selling point was the carbon stays. I was getting tired of being beaten up on the trail by my super stiff aluminum frame. I was considering either the Salsa Moto Rapido or the Jamis. I just couldn't justify spending $800 on the Salsa frame, so I got the Jamis and love it.

  8. #8
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    HI, I just bought one Jamis Dakota Elite frame size 19" at Jenson and I would like to know the real weight of this frame. At Jenson's webisite they tell something around 3.99 lbs, is this real or is this the frame+pack weight?

  9. #9
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    The 17" Dakota Elite frame weighs 3.99 lbs. The 19" should weigh a little more. At 3.99 lbs it weighs a little more than I would expect from a triple butted frame.

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    I wonder how much the entire stock bike weighs? I had the dealer put the following bikes on "their" scale and here is what I saw.
    07 Gary Fisher Big Sur 19" 27.7lbs
    08 Trek 8000 19.5" 26lbs
    08 Gary Fisher 17" 24.5 lbs ( without pedals and at a different store then the 2 above)
    08 Jamis Dakota Elite Website say 26.75 lbs.

    It’s amazing how light the Gary Fisher feels to pick up, like I said earlier, it makes me want this bike!
    But because of my short torso, I am waiting to try the Jamis Dakota Elite which has 1.5" shorter "actual top tube length". If the Jamis felt as light as the GF it would be a done deal....except for the wife that is. And I thought Photography was an expensive hoby!!

  11. #11
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    My thoughts are the frame weight is a reasonable metric to look at. But, the key weight variable is component selection. Unfortunately there is a high correlation coefficient between low weight and price of the bike.

    A frame may be 2 oz more, but if you save some $'s on the frame you can spend those $'s on the components and drive the weight down further.

    The ideal (i.e. expensive) components could easily drive the weight down under 23 lbs.

    As mentioned above, my wife has the Dakota ... it is a very nice bike. You'll enjoy it.

  12. #12
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    edvalds is correct - the price of the bike should not be judged only by it's weight - the better frame may weigh a few ounces more, but have material in key places to give it the strength and rigidity that is required to make it ride like a fine watch. Jamis bikes are spec'd incredibly well for the money. Their frames are not always the lightest, but they seem to ride well. A heavier frameset, with a little lighter wheels and good geometry will often feel lighter than a bike that is not well spec'd or laid-out, even though it may have an overall lower weight. A bike does not have to be light to feel "nimble". Components can be replaced when they break or wear out. That being said, look for the best value in components that you can find on a good frame. Ultimately - ride the bike(s) and get the one that feels the best to you. It doesn't matter what deal you got if you don't like the bike and don't ride it!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
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    ATBScott,
    Well said ... it is all about components ....

    I've purchased a road (Satellite) and mountian (Dakar XCR/ Dragon) Jamis bikes for myself and a the (Dakota) for my wife because Jamis has the best set of components for the money. In addition, the fact my local Bike Shop carries Jamis and is only a few minutes from the house is important for servicing considerations and parts.

    It depends on your requirements, I've also purchased everything from Trek, Specialized and Schwinn bicycles for my children depending on specific needs of the time.

  14. #14
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    Ended up with the Dakota Elite "08"

    Good specs and it's great to look at, picked it up yesterday but will have to get a higher rise stem for it since I have my seat so high on this 19" model. Have not really had a chance to ride it yet sinc eit rained over an inch the day before. See attached photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    Very nice looking ride.

    Is the stem lenght ok?

    The stock handle bar is flat.

    I put a Easton Monkey Lite EA70 Riser Bar on my wife's bike to bring her up a little. It brings it up about 1.5"

  16. #16
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    Thanks for looking.
    I went from a 120mm/6 degree stem to a 90mm/6 dgree stem fro my short torso.
    I may ask the shop to swap to something like a 100mm/24-35 degree rise.
    I'll also check into the handle bar option you mentioned.

  17. #17
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    Nice bike. That is the first 08 I have seen. Looks nice in real life (as opposed to pics on the Jamis site).

  18. #18
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    HikerToo, if you have not already changed the stem to something taller, I'd recommend the handlebar swap out to a 1" or 1.25" riser even if it costs a few $$. I think that you'll like the feel better as you can rotate the bar a few degrees forward or backward to get more reach adjustment and change the grip position a bit - you can't do that as much with a flat bar. Also the bend in a riser bar will tend to make it absorb a bit more impact shock. On the downside, it will weigh a few more grams... Nice looking ride!
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  19. #19
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    Looks great....ignore my PM...LOL

  20. #20
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    That's a sweet lookin' ride. Nice to see a hardtail being picked over a FS rig (not that there's anything wrong with FS...)
    [SIZE="3"]"The grass (on the other side) may be greener, but it's just as hard to mow..." - John Butler Trio, "Better than".[/SIZE]

  21. #21
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    I picked up an '07 Dakota Elite 19" for $1286.00 + tax. Hell, the fork would cost almost half of that retail. I was prepared to spend 2k but this was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up and I have been very pleased all around. I think a lighter wheelset could drop quite a lot of weight but it's been a great all around trail bike. Lots of miles in the last few months.

  22. #22
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    I've been looking at the geometry of the Dakota and it appears to me that the frames tend to be smaller than other brands like Trek. Has this been the experience of others? Seems like their XL has a shorter ETT than a L Trek.

  23. #23
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    That's why I chose the Jamis Dakota Elite over the Trek8000 and GF Big sur, the top tube length was 1/2 to 1" shorter which in my case fit perfect since I have long legs and a short torso. Even so, I went from a 120mm stem to a 110mm and 18 degree rise to bring the handle bars in even closer.

  24. #24
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    HikerToo,
    Can you follow up on the ride of the Dakota Elite? Is there anything about it that you don't like or are not as impressed with now that you have had a chance to ride it?

  25. #25
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    Thanks for checking, but I have not spent enough time on it because of the winter weather and knee surgery I had 14 days ago. I have ridden it across a few fields and around the neighborhood( and 1 small wreck in my basement) I'm still trying to get the seat, stem, handlebars setup how I want, since I have very long legs this is tougher then you would expect. I ended up going with a 100mm,17 degree rise stem and Selle Italia XP seat on a Thomson 16mm setback post. I hope to get on some trails in a couple weeks, I hope it rides as good as it looks, and I hope I stop spending money on it!!!

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