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  1. #1
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    Need some decision making help

    Going back to one of my original posts where I was complaining about Jamis dealers, I haven't given up on the search. I have sort of narrowed it down to a few bikes that are around the same price and I wanted to get other Jamis riders thoughts.

    '05 XLT 2.0
    '06 Dakar XC Comp
    '07 XLT

    From the readings I have done, I believe the Comp is more of a race bike, is that correct? I am assuming that the newer bike will have some better components, but I am not sure, or in the end does it all become a wash. I am thinking or guessing that the XLT's will be more comparable to each other then the other bike, but are there things that were done on the XLT 2.0 that allows it to be a better bike? I know its about $100 more than the '07, but is it worth it?

    I think once I get some feedback on this I will be pulling the trigger and finally be able to get back out there.

  2. #2
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    me personally would buy the XC Comp because i like racer- type bikes, the difference between the other two i believe, will be level of components

  3. #3
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    First, you need to decide what type of bike you're wanting to ride. The Dakar XC and XLT are 2 totally different types of bikes, as you're suspecting. The XC is indeed an XC oriented bike. The XLT falls into the latest ''label" of bikes ie... All Mountain. The XC comp would be a decent bike to ride XC trails. The XLT is more at home on the rougher trails with some jumps and drops. Both could be ridden on all day ''Epic" rides. The XC will be more ''Stretched'' out, a bit lighter, and more efficient. The XLT will be more plush, a little more comfy, and much tougher.

    I own an XLT and love it. I would like to build an xc, but I have room and $ for only one bike. As a 2nd bike, the XC would be nice, but most of my riding is aggressive XC/AM. I would only use the XC Comp for XC racing.

    As for the 2007 XLT vs. 2005 XLT 2.O...get the 2.0. Much better spec.

    The XLT 2.0 was built with Avid Juicy 7's which are top shelf stoppers, Manitou Swinger 4-way shock...much nicer than the bare bone Fox Float R with only a rebound adjustment. The 2.0 has an XT front derailleur vs. the straight up Deore. The 2.0 is 3-4lbs lighter according to my search which is hard to believe, but still not impossible. The XLT 2.0 has a Manitou Minute fork with 5" of travel and plenty of adjustments vs. the crappy Relic that only has 4" of travel and is a boat anchor. The 2.0's XT / x317 wheelset is sooooo much better than the el' cheapo WTB/Formula set on the '07. I'm going to stop with that, but basically...the whole bike is better than the '07 XLT.

    I wouldn't even consider the '07 XLT. I would buy the 2006 XC Comp before I went with the 2007 XLT.
    Last edited by chelboed; 07-22-2007 at 09:21 PM.

  4. #4
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    Chelboed and jpelaston

    Thanks for the reply, I think that is exactly what I was looking for. I had a feeling the XC comp was different. Right now I think the XC comp would fall into the camp I am looking, but I think it would only be a temporary thing. I used to ride hard and find drops, logs and what not and would like to do that again. I know it will take some time to get back into the swing of things and I might do a little more trail riding first and move to the more challenging things later.

    With that, sometime this week my bank account will be a little smaller. Thanks guys.

  5. #5
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    Well I guess "sometime this week," meant today. I pulled the trigger on the '05 XLT 2.0. I should have it by next week is my guess. I am sure I won't be disappointed, but I can't wait for that large oversized box to show up at work.

  6. #6
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    Good choice, and I second everything Chelboed said. I recently purchased and XC Expert (which is really an XC race bike, the XC Comp is not even close when you compare weight and components to an "XC race bike". It is lower - middle of the road XC rec bike).

    I also have room for only 1 bike in the stable. I started out on an Ironhorse hardtail, when to the XC Expert (05 with carbon stays) and I just barely bought an 05 XLT frame to build up. I am switching to the XLT because for a fat guy like me the carbon stays which lighten the bike up a little are not worth it. Also, because I only have room for one bike, I would rather have one that can do both XC and AM, hence the 5 inch all around XLT.

    I am building mine up with a Fox Rp23, Manitou Minute :03 (hopefully a :04 soon because of the IT adjustment) some 317/XT wheels (I researched it alot, definitely the best bang for your buck), Juicy 7s, and SRAM drivetrain.

    Let me know how you like your swinger. I'll let you know how the build goes.

  7. #7
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    If you are indeed a big dude...think about the Van R or DHX coil.

    I weigh 195lbs and I found the Fox Float R that came with my frame to be puny. It's the same as the RP23 without the adjustable platform.

    I would set it up to ride nice over most terrain with 15-20% sag, but it would bottom out waaaay too easy. I would pump it up a bit to squelch the bottoming out, and it would ride kinda harsh over all the other terrain.

    I switched to the Fox Van R piggy back shock and love it! It feels perfect. It is super smooth over small and medium stuff, and eats the G-outs for breakfast. If you really think you need platform adjustment, the DHX coil would be just right, but I'm a set-and-forget kinda guy. When I find my setting...I leave it alone. The factory set propedal in the middle setting is just right on my Van R.

  8. #8
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    Chelboed,

    I weigh about 210lbs, and I had the 6.5 x 1.5 Rp23 on my XC Expert. I loved it. My only complaint was occasionally it would bottom out. I was running a little lower pressure to get a more plush ride, but not much. On my XC Expert, I had about 90mm travel in the back, which most of the time was fine. I am gaining almost 2in in the back with the XLT, and so I think I'll be fine. Most of the stuff I ride is single track, all day epic type stuff. I've done my research, and I really feel like once I get the Rp23 and the Minute :04 set up, I'll be golden with the weight v. travel struggle, especially for climbing. I loathe pedal bob, and I totally agree with your sentiments about the Float R. I had the AVA chamber which gave me a little flatter compression curve, and was more like a coil, but it still sucked. Once I got the Rp23, I was ecstatic.

    I pretty much plan to lock out the back and slam the front for any climbs (to compensate for the travel and slack in the head tube angle from what I'm used to), and then let it all hang out for the fun stuff.

    Thanks again for your suggestions. Your posts have been quite helpful in my decision making process. I have really appreciated them. also, if i could afford the DHX 5.0, I would snag it, but the budget constraints don't allow for that.

  9. #9
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    I have both XLT and Dakar XC

    My '02 Dakar Expert has been great. Even bought upgraded suspension. Bought my son a bike with super parts, but he didn't ride. So, I bought an XLT 3.0 frame and built it light. Now I'm selling the Dakar and the RM Slayer frame here on the Classifieds.
    The Dakar is quite at home in the rocks, roots, etc. of central VA, and was the same in rocky So. CA when I lived there. The XLT is just more at home (but still heavier). If you are a rider/occasional racer, get the XC. If you just love to ride (esp. fast/bumpy going down), the XLT might be a better choice. Just be prepared for a little bit slower uphill negotiation.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the advice Bobeno, but I purchased the XLT and should see it next week.

  11. #11
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    Has it shown up yet? Do you like it?

  12. #12
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    Yes it did show up last Wednesday. Putting it together or the remaining items was easy. JensonUSA puts the bike together and then keeps a few parts loose so they can get it in the box. Basically had to put the handlebars onto the stem (I think thats the right terminology), put air in the wheels, put the quick releases in the wheels and put the wheels on the bike, as well as the pedals. I also had to attach the Infinite Travel Adjustment. Which was easy. I think it was a total of 1 hour to finish. Which included trying to find tools at the office that I could use. Took it for a spin on Friday and am loving it. Not 100% used to the full suspension but I know my back is definitely enjoying it. I tried riding through some creeks and ended up wiping out a few times, because I am used to my body absorbing the jumps. So when I landed the first time I was expecting in my brain to have my body absorb the landing, only to find out the bike compresses, and will throw your balance off. I am assuming everyone at one point has gone through that. Or I am just an idiot.

    I think the one thing that I regret is the size of the bike. Wish I would have gone one size lower. It is at the min. distance for the standover height that I feel comfortable with, and would have prefered maybe another inch or so or breathing room. Oh well, I am loving it. Its nice and dirty but it feels great to be back out riding. Looking forward to this weekend and next week when I am gone riding the Northern trails of Wisconsin.

  13. #13
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    It's funny you mention the whole FS off balance thing - I'm trying to decide between building up an XLT frame or a Dakota Hardtail, and I went for a ride on my buddy's Santa Cruz last night (FS). I was all over the place. I haven't wrecked yet on an HT, but last night I fell over twice and actually flipped over the handlebars another time. I felt extremely off balance. What you said about normally having to "brace" for an impact on a HT maybe is the reason I didn't ride so good yesterday. I'm going to give it another try today.

    How is the XLT going up hills? That's the other thing I was unsure of on the Santa Cruz...I was sloppy going up hills, and can't tell whether I'll get used to it or not...

  14. #14
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    Glad to know I am not the only one. I am sure by next week I will be close to the secure feeling that I had on the hardtail. It just takes time to readjust the feeling. Didn't really give it too many up hill tests. I was playing with the infinite travel a little and how that effects the uphill climb. I felt it was a little nicer to adjust, but then again maybe it was all in my head.

    Another thing that is weird for me, is the whole leaning and turning. Now it didn't help riding a motorcycle which has a little more weight to it and turning is a little different, right before hoping on the bicycle. The tires felt a little sloppy and I think I read that was a common complaint people had as well. Just didn't feel like I was 100% confident that the tire was going to grip if turning a little harder. Easy fix of course, but I still need to try it out a little more before I make my decision.

  15. #15
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    we must be similar riders, because that's the exact feeling I had. I would go over really small obstacles going around turns, and it felt like the tires were "jittery"...gave me a real uneasy feeling that the tires were going to slip out from under me.

    But you're right, it will probably take time to readjust...just wish I could guarantee that I would get used to it!

    If you don't mind, update us once you've been on a couple rides....

    Thanks

  16. #16
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    cwheel,

    I went from a HT to a FS XC Expert earlier this spring and faced similar issues. Sometimes it felt "jittery" and sloppy, especially in the corners when I was going fast. I have found that it takes a little bit of getting used to and fine tuning of air pressure in the tires/shocks before it feels right. Once you are dialed in though, it is a world of difference.

    As far as the climbing issue goes, the two bikes will climb different for three reasons.

    First off, the fork travel on the Dakota is an inch and change less than that of the Dakar, which in most cases changes the axle to race height, i.e. the length of the fork. The longer the fork, the more your bike will have that choppered look, which will affect the way the bike climbs. It will make it feel like the front tire is wandering, and like you don't have as much control. If you buy the XLT, this won't be too bad because of the IT feature, it will allow you to change the axle to race height and pretty much eliminate the fork travel problem. My XC Expert has a 71 degree headtube, and I went from a 100mm to a 130mm fork and I noticed a difference, both on the uphill and the downhill. Uphill the bike wandered a little, and downhill it descended like a banshee comparatively speaking.

    Second, the head tube angles are also different. The angle of the XLT is 68.5 degrees and the Dakota is more like 71 degrees. That doesn't seem like much of a change, but it is noticeable. When you combine the effect of the smaller headtube angle and a longer fork, you will definitely notice the difference.

    As I mentioned earlier, you will also likely notice a difference because of the rear shock vs. hardtail. If you run high enough pressure or get a shock that has a decent amount of platform or lockout (I have a Fox RP23 and LOVE IT), that will be virtually eliminated.

    All that being said, I just got an XLT and will finish it soon. I'll post after a few rides.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the info! Actually, I road my friends Santa Cruz again tonight. First half of the ride almost convinced me for sure to go with a hardtail, but I started to feel really comfortable the last half. I even made it up the steep climb back up to the road (something I wasn't able to do the night before, or ever with a hardtail).

    I think I might jump on the XLT....

    Just curious, which frame size did you get, and how tall are you?

  18. #18
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    I got a 19" frame and am 6'-0". I think the 17" frame gives another inch of clearance. At the same time I can't remember what my hardtail bike was, but I know it was a little smaller than that, and I think thats why I am not as comfortable now. I could throw that thing around, where as this bike it takes a little more. Also the 19" was a deal in my mind so I jumped. I am comfortable on the bike, I just need to get used to it.

  19. #19
    'aua e te fati
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    I am 6'1" and I bought a 19" frame. I wouldn't go any smaller because of the compact geometry and short seat tube length. I had to upgrade to a 410mm Thomson post just to get proper leg extension, and I have it almost all the way extended. FYI I have a 32" inseam. Any more questions, PM me and I'll be happy to help.

    Also, as far as clearance...they have the same BB height, so the clearance would be the same. The top tube will be shorter and maybe the seat tube. So by clearance I assume you mean clearance for the jewels.

  20. #20
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    Yes for the jewels. But if you have a 32" inseam, aren't you kind of close on the stand-over height with your jewels? I thought the stand-over height was about 31" on this bike. Also I don't have the seat extended that far. Maybe 1/3 of the way. I am not fully extending my leg, but get close.

  21. #21
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    You asked for an update after doing some riding. I think this bike is amazing. The only thing I don't like are the tires. They seem to be designed for more of a straight shot than if you are going around bends. It seems as though if you turn in, you never know at what point they are going to catch and help send you around. But then again, maybe I am still thinking along the lines of my motorcycle and how that handles. I find that I am taking more risks and new paths that I wouldn't have before... which have also ended up in a couple more wipe outs. But chicks dig scars right.

    Other than it needing a good tune up there isn't anything I would really change about this. I am a little disappointed with JensonUSA and the way they set up the brakes. I lost one of them while out riding, took it to a local shop and they basically had to start over and re-do them. They said it wasn't the parts that failed, it was the way it was set up. Oh well, if anything the brakes feel 100 times better now.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the update...I actually ended up buying an XC Comp frame and I'm building it up with decent parts. My Rockshox Reba shows up today, and I should have everything assembled within a week. I'm glad I went with FS...I've ridden my friends Santa Cruz a few more times since last posting, and it just gets better and better. I live in Central VA just like bobeno, and there are roots *everywhere* on the trails around here, and I can't imagine not getting an FS at this point...

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