Jamis' New 3VO-Suspended Hardline Enduro Bike - Interbike 2018

Sep 16, 2018
by Mike Levy  
Interbike 2018


It might sound a bit callous, but Jamis doesn't - or didn't - ever pop into my head when thinking about exciting full-suspension bikes. The East Coast brand has always had straightforward, no-nonsense bikes, but are they interesting? Not so much... Until now. The 27.5'' wheeled Hardline is a 160mm-travel all-mountain sled that uses a new virtual pivot suspension layout that was penned by Chris Currie of Speedgoat Design.

Three Variable Optimized suspension, or 3VO for short because we all love a good acronym, arrives with some heady claims from Jamis; ''Allow us to introduce the single most capable suspension design ever brought to market,'' and ''We’re able to combine the efficiency of a hardtail with the proper support of precisely-controlled active suspension.''

Not exactly aiming low with the promises, are you, Jamis? And all that at a decent price, too, with the A1 version going for $3,999 USD and the A2 selling for $2,999 USD. If you want less bike, the 130mm-travel Portal uses a similar 3VO suspension system and can be had at the same two price points.
Jamis Hardline

Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
Travel: 160mm
Fork travel: 160mm
Wheel size: 27.5'' / 27.5+ / 26+
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 65.5°
Seat angle: 74°
Reach: 461mm (large)
Sizes: xs, sm, med, lrg, xlrg
Price: $3,999 USD, $2,999 USD
More info: www.jamisbikes.com


Interbike 2018
All the physics, a bunch of bearings, and some aluminum apparently add up to one of the best pedaling 160mm-travel bikes out there. Jamis worded it a bit differently.


The 3VO layout is a four-bar system that uses short links to create a virtual pivot point, just like a lot of other bikes out there, but Currie has located the pivots so that the instant center is behind the bottom bracket shell. Instant center is the virtual pivot point that the rear axle rotates around on a dual-link bike, and they're generally placed in front of the bottom bracket, and they move forward as the bike goes into its travel.

On the Hardline, it starts behind the bottom bracket before moving rearward and, according to Jamis, it does this so that the instant center is always aligned with the chain at all points through the bike's travel. Usually, with an instant center ahead of the bottom bracket, you only get that when you're around the sag point, which makes setup vital.


Interbike 2018
Interbike 2018
The 3VO system is also employed on the 130mm-travel Portal.


What does all that mean on the trail? Well, I haven't ridden the bike yet, so I'll leave it to Jamis: ''The 3VO system’s instant center path also creates a consistent anti-rise response and an anti-squat response near 100% throughout the travel range, counteracting rider weight transfer under both braking and acceleration to keep all pedal input driving you forward while allowing the suspension to remain active and responsive to impacts, even while pedaling and braking.''

Instant center is one of the three in 3VO, with the other two being the bike's axle path and leverage ratio. The real talking point with the design is that rearward migrating instant center, though, and Jamis says that the design is so efficient that riders can run a coil-sprung shock on the 160mm-travel Hardline without needing a cheater pedal-assist switch.


Interbike 2018
Interbike 2018
The design of the rear-end necessitated a proprietary chain guide that bolts onto the swingarm just above the chainring.


Suspension aside, the Hardline looks well thought out and with all the things that a bike like this should have; two-bolt ISCG tabs, an integrated chain guide, 12 x 148mm spacing, internal routing, and because someone at Jamis knows that being dehydrated sucks, there's even room for a giant water bottle.

Given my love for shit-talking bikes that require a pedal-assist cheater switch, along with Jamis' brazen claims, I'd say that this is one bike that I'll have to get in for testing.


140 Comments

  • + 102
 .......scrolled down to see the suspension action vid. ???????
  • + 1
 Right!
  • + 13
 @mikekazimer: thank you
  • + 8
 @mikekazimer: that derailleur doesn't move much under compression.... interesting....
  • + 11
 @graeme187: Frontward axle-path is the new rearward axle-path.
  • + 3
 @hirvi: I was wondering the same... so then it won´t be the best for square hits but may push you on berms?
  • + 7
 I still can't figure out what that extra pivot seems to be for?
  • + 2
 @gtill9000: I can't figure out if the end is sliding in the top linkage or what's going on there. To Jamis' credit, they have it all tucked away very nice and snug.
  • + 2
 It's really hard to tell from the pics, but it seems to be a fairly normal short link 4-bar design, just with an added linkage to drive the shock. It looks like there's a solid link running from the top swingarm pivot, to the lower of the two upper pivots on the front triangle. Then the shock linkage runs from the higher of these two upper pivots, to the small rocker attaching the shock to the top swingarm pivot.
  • + 1
 Is this a 2019 build? It looks to be more high-end than what shown on the website @mikekazimer:
  • + 0
 @gtill9000: Compare to Focus Sam or Blkmrkt Roam. They're like compacted Gamblers, before those became Sessions. The extra pivot is for the one that would otherwise appear at or near dropout, since it's not flexstay? All the physics!
  • + 41
 At least equipped it with DVOs.
  • + 46
 A 3VO DVO special would be genius... Smile
  • + 17
 @stiingya: That will be on the EVO model.
  • + 11
 Does it come with a free pair of D3O knee pads?
  • + 7
 Free 3DO game system with every purchase.
  • + 2
 Also has the new Fro-Yo operating system installed courtesy of Android
  • + 7
 @MTBrent: C3VO will be the 29er version Wink
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: Carbon3VO
Thats an easy one!
  • + 2
 and keep it running smooth with EVOO
  • + 1
 hopefully there advertising will feature music by Devo
  • + 21
 Jamis is a second generation family owned business. I have napped in their establishment while they scramble a last minute order. Easy to deal with and local in the Hudson valley. The only thing missing is maybe some glamorous marketing. Mike please get this bike for a test.
  • + 13
 You should've been helping them scramble, instead of napping.
  • + 19
 "Proprietary chain guide...just above the chainring". I'm not seeing it in the pic, I see two bolts, but not a chainguide.
  • + 47
 magnetic bolts pull the chain towards to frame to prevent chain drops of course
  • + 6
 Proprietary Invisible
  • + 2
 interesting design and Jamis is still alive. Have seen a couple literally fold under pressure at our jumps. Hopefully they found a new plant in taiwan.
  • + 1
 @Waldon83: wonder if it’s patented.
  • + 12
 So u could get this bike or the sb150.....frame
  • + 14
 Frames take much less space in storage.
  • + 5
 A) Is there anyone at this point that doesn't associate "hardline" with Gee's Redbull course? (especially today) Cause to me you don't use that name unless your building a bike made to ride that course. And this aint it... seems like an odd marketing choice.

B) Trends are a B!TCH. 3? years ago this seems like it would have been on point! (weight/durability/and of course assuming there is at least some truth to their suspension linkage claims) But I wonder how much of the new bike market is looking for what either the hardline or portal are offering? For a fair number of riders a 74 degree seat tube angle is going to be considered "slack"! Smile

C) I wish them success, I had a Jamis Komodo's back in the day and loved it!
  • + 54
 A: Pretty sure Hardline was Dan's baby.

B: Trends are FOR b!tches. I still ride a banana bike.

C: I'd side saddle this pony in a heart beat. Nice lines, OK price, if it lives up to their claims, ride on.
  • - 12
flag stiingya (Sep 16, 2018 at 22:59) (Below Threshold)
 @lostlunchbox:

A) exactly my point. You see anybody compete in the hardline on a 160mm all mountain bike today?

B) Trends are how companies make money selling product. If banana bikes were hot you'd see most compaines making them. "you" keep doing "you" though...

C) Great! I wish them success and if your a new customer that's awesome! Gotta admit, the thought of an angle set and a 150 fork on the Portal did cross my mind!! But then the additional cost VS spec VS the competition and I came back and made my post.

I'm not dissing on Jamis for fun. Just questioning the decisions they made... that's what the interwebs are for.
  • + 13
 74 degrees? Practically unridable.
  • + 10
 but where is the idler ?
  • + 3
 @PinkyScar: Just saw a review saying 74.5 was an uphill wheelie machine. So I'd guess 74 makes for backfilps? Smile

My XL 2016 Bronson had a 74* seat tube angle; with a 34" inseam I had to run my seat all the way forward. And still had to hover over the nose in the steeps. Not unridable, it was an improvement on the Heckler before that, but it wasn't ideal either. 2019 Bronson now has a 75.3".
  • - 1
 @lostlunchbox: it was originally Gee’s but Dan stole it from him and they’re still in an ongoing suit over it all.
  • - 3
 @Ryanrobinson1984: Gee is suing Dan? Pretty sure Gee has spoken at length about his bro dreaming it up while he was in traction.
  • + 2
 @PinkyScar: Made my morning.. LMAO
  • + 0
 74 degrees slack? Last years market followed a strong demand for long travel trail bikes that can climb, most of which fell into that HA 65-67 with a ST angle of 74-75 and a long reach. What they probably should have done is release it as a 29'r and put an Eagle X01 groupo on it.. And for @PinkyScar the new 27.5 Stumpy is 74 degrees and stays planted on the climbs, and the 29's is even less at 73.7. I don't think the geo is in question but the wheel size might be, but bigger question for me; is Jamis build quality. Can they make it light and durable? It's spec is 31.5lbs so it's packing on a few pounds.
  • + 6
 @otrider: With pretty much all bikes having seat tubes that don't intersect the BB, and no industry standards on measuring effective seat angle, the dimension that bike manufacturers publish is almost meaningless. There could be more than two degrees of variation depending on how you measure the seat angle.
  • + 1
 @bcmanucd: that's a valid point. But it's not like most new bikes models are keeping the same seat post angle/geo that they used to have and just measuring it differently so they can list it as being steeper in the geo charts...

THEY ARE ACTUALLY STEEPER... Smile
  • + 1
 @Ryanrobinson1984: yeah, that's bullshit. Gee posted earlier today on Facebook about hardline and gave Dan credit for creating it.
  • + 1
 @Ryanrobinson1984: who broke you?
  • + 9
 I'd like to see someone take this rig down that Red Bull course in Wales.
  • + 4
 I had a Jamis Dakar XLT 3.0(what is that...almost 15 years ago??). It was my first "long travel" bike and it truly changed my riding. I snapped a chainstay within the first month, but once that was replaced I beat the absolute hell out of that bike! To this day one of my favorite bikes because of how it opened up my riding and style. (I sold the frame eventually to some guy in Russia....anodized paint was chipped like freckles from all the rocks hitting the underside, the Manitou 4-way was seized in the frame...$40. I wonder how it did.)
I always felt like Jamis is an underdog in the MTB game, so it's cool to see them getting some attention, and I'd really like to try this bike
  • + 5
 It takes 27,5+ 27,5 and 26+
Caution: Normal 26 wheels will result in an instant hollywoodstyle explosion of bike and rider.... Boooooom!
  • + 7
 I thought only long travel 29ers were allowed to be released
  • + 7
 Ask Syd and Macky. They would know after having ridden them all year.
  • + 1
 They're both awesome!
  • + 2
 Rode this at northstar today and, believe it or not, that rear end felt super good!! Very firm upon just romping around the flat demo area (almost felt like too much air pressure). But it was both super plush and quite lively on trail, I was amazed at how well it rode. It honestly felt 1000x better than the 36 fork on it, which was probably poorly tuned and clapped all the way out.
  • + 2
 Jamis was my first 'real' mountain bike, a hard tail komodo i think it was, with decent components, and was far cheaper than any comparable brand. I rode the crap out of that bike, and it took about a year worth of saving (to come up with $500) doing various jobs when i was a wee lad, so thank you Jamis.
  • + 4
 The first paragraph of this article sounds strange to me acting like Jamis has never come out with new weird designs they had one of the first 27.5s
  • + 2
 Actually looks like a good option as I'm saving for a full suspension. Not the worst by a long shot.
  • + 4
 Bikes have been raced most of the summer in the US, headed to Europe for the final 2 ews rounds.

www.youtube.com/channel/UCu3Wc2GlCpyxGmX7N0EO5NQ
  • + 2
 We can attest that they live up to the marketing claims!
  • + 2
 Every time I see Flow hoops I cringe at the thought they may be attached to Neo hubs. Between the original and warranty replacement, I got 1000 miles out of mine. Gave up and went DT. Honestly the only MTB product I've bought in 15 years of riding that was truly, 100% bad.
  • + 2
 Luckily, my LBS had a loaner wheel they provided me each of the 4 times I totally destroyed my Neo hub. So it took me a couple years before I finally built a wheel out of a DT hub and the Flow hoop from the latest destroyed wheel. On the plus side, Stan kept sending me brand new wheels; so now I have a spare Neo-based wheel hanging on my garage wall, but I wouldn't trust it on a long ride.
  • + 2
 The bike does pedal really well. A friend who works at Jamis brought the hardline down to the bike shop I work at for us to ride and play on. It pedaled really but did have bob due to my weight shifting up and down when out of the saddle climbing.
  • + 1
 Did you properly set up the shock or just jump on it to take it around?
  • + 3
 Their description of the suspension sounds a lot like the design of Canfield brothers balance formula.

canfieldbrothers.com/canfield-balance-formula-suspension-patent-u

Wonder if there will be patent issues?
  • + 2
 Canfield is slightly different, they focus there design around the chainring center. Jamis has theres focused behind chain ring and in line with top of chain.
  • + 1
 @MikeGruhler: Wouldnt that mean an instant center concentric around the bb? I'm not sure this is what the Canfield Bro's are doing.... I Agree with @wilsondaj, this looks pretty similar to the Canfield Brothers Patent; both designs are centered around the chainline
  • + 1
 @Jordan2550: Yeah, kinda worded that wrong. In there animated graphic the red dot is the instant center and stays put throughout its travel. Most other designs migrate throughout a larger area. Always been a huge fan of Cainfield, they have always stuck to there ideas. Which have generally been ahead of the curve by years in most cases.
  • + 6
 If you run a Topaz is it a 4VO?
  • + 4
 So you're telling me you write a whole article about a suspension design WITHOUT a video of it working??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
  • + 31
 Looks like your question mark key is sticky...

www.pinkbike.com/video/486507
  • + 7
 m.youtube.com/watch?v=ejlejVsBSKU&feature=youtu.be

* dispite the name I am not affiliated with speedgoat or this design. I raced and worked for Chris (speedgoat) approx 20 yrs ago. He is a friend and thought I'd help him spread the word on his design
  • + 5
 @mikekazimer: love your comment, a linkage analysis would be great though , considering the bold claims
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: "sticky" wonder why?
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: And proper one. With numbers. Not marketing fantasy graphs.
  • + 3
 @Speedgoat9: Geez, jumped right to the comments and missed that this is the "Danzig" suspension!! I fn miss his blog!
  • + 1
 >On the Hardline, it starts behind the bottom bracket before moving rearward and, according to Jamis, it does this so that the instant center is always aligned with the chain at all points through the bike's travel.

So basically 100% anti squat, which means that when you stand up to pedal, the thing is going to bob because there is no chain tension making the suspension extend.

Whats next, a concentric BB pivoting chainstay that "is the most compliant suspension linkage in the world"?
  • + 1
 Gimme a break, most suspension designs out there are actually squatting designs (100% squat) , supposedly to prevent chain growth and improve bump absorption. 100% squat is a fine balance. Besides, it's possible to pedal standing up maintaining load balance (without pumping).
  • + 1
 The point is that they aren't doing anything revolutionary.
  • + 1
 That looks good - It's nice to see something different. My concern (riding in the UK) is that everything is very close together around the linkages and shock, and is in the direct firing line for mud. I imagine it all getting clogged up in there...
  • + 2
 I've seen more than a few press releases about this suspension design but can't find a single independent review. When will someone actually ride one for real?
  • + 2
 Not independent or a review, but we've been riding both the Hardline and Portal all year. They're pretty awesome!
youtube.com/sydandmacky
  • + 4
 I, for one, think it needs more bearings.
  • + 1
 i have ridden jamis bikes before, it seems the only thing they ever do right is the suspension. maybe this suspension will work too?
i have doubts...(about jamis, not 3vo tech)
  • + 4
 Reminds me of a lime-green yeti!
  • + 3
 I was thinking a Niner and Yeti had a baby
  • + 4
 Jamis has moved from not-on-my-radar to top 5 on my wish list.
  • + 4
 Isn’t that the squishy stuff they put in elbow pads?
  • + 8
 @makripper: It's actually D30
  • + 4
 @bicycle019: oh yah 3do was a video game console hahah
  • + 1
 @makripper: isn’t that a 3ds?
  • + 2
 @niwaba: there's the 3ds too.
  • + 3
 The question is, when will it crack? Jamis better have a ton of warranty frames put aside Wink
  • + 1
 Lots of information on the site - however, I can't find the build that they show here on PB. I will buy this for $3999 easily! www.jamisbikes.com/usa/hardline-a1.html
  • + 1
 @bikepro71 the build shown here is a demo version spec. Production spec bikes are shown on the website
  • + 3
 Looks like they one upped yeti and their infinishit
  • + 1
 I'm waiting for the first Live-Valve-specific suspension layout. None of these pedaling/ anti-squat gimmicks. Just no-compromises suspension.
  • + 3
 26+ ain't dead
  • + 4
 Not as dead as your jokes...
  • + 2
 Is there a huge want/ need for nearly 100% anti-squat?
  • + 4
 Yes. Even 110% would do.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: Yeah, but why for all of the travel? Makes no sense to me. You don't pedal when the bike sits deep into the travel... and high AS actually is detrimental to suspension action deeper into the travel.
  • + 2
 It's a good looking bike for reasonable money. What's not to like...
  • + 2
 Not good for the brake squat
  • + 2
 Now this has really caught my eye
  • + 3
 3VO DVO EVO
  • + 3
 How does Devo work into this?
  • + 1
 What confuses me is the bike shown is full SRAM drivetrain but they only offer XT or SLX on their website?
  • + 2
 The green Hardline bikes out at Northstar are demo-only spec. The builds on the website are production bike spec.
  • - 3
 "so that the instant center is always aligned with the chain at all points through the bike's travel"...you mean like a single pivot located at the chain line?! 1x has rendered multi pivot bikes pointless. All they're trying to do is achieve a IC in line with the chain force vector, unnecessarily adding weight and complexity.
  • + 1
 They're all trying to avoid routing the chain correctly, that's why we have bullshit bike after bullshit bike and some more bullshit to go with them.
  • + 1
 Pretty sure most multi pivot frames were designed for better braking and had nothing to do with chain growth.
  • + 1
 @mhoshal: Even if that were true (it's not as for the longest time we were trying to conrol varying chain growth and chain lines with 3x and then 2x) a single pivot height of roughly a 32 or 34T turns out to yield anti-rise somewhere between 60 and 100% which most consider desirable.
  • + 2
 @mhoshal: My point exactly, and all that linkage complexity to achieve the same thing a floating brake arm does at a fraction of the weight.
  • + 1
 Spokane, WA Jamis Demo. Friday, September 28. Camp Sekani parking lot. 3-7
  • + 1
 what year will these be hitting the shops ?
  • + 2
 Shipping in November.
  • + 1
 @beerwillie:
thanks
  • + 1
 Bottle cage mount approved.
  • + 2
 Needs a Knock Block...
  • + 1
 Apparently they left the “n” out of knock and gave that instead, i.e. no frameset option
  • + 1
 its kinda like Jamis Jappelin.
  • + 10
 I thought she died of a drug overdose.
  • + 1
 An offspring of Knolly and Pivot
  • + 1
 Hopefully it pedals uphill as good as a Knolly.
  • + 0
 The finish on the raw alu version is really nice. The green here doesn't do the bike justice.
  • + 1
 If you select that color it should drop the price $1000 right there.
  • + 1
 Swing and ja mis.
  • - 1
 Looks like a there was some incest going on at the trek factory and then this bike popped out. Could ride well though.
  • + 1
 Has bottle mount...
  • + 1
 Wack
  • + 0
 #27.5aintdead
  • + 2
 #hmmJamisisntdead?
  • + 1
 #justclose
  • - 3
 I thought we were done with awful lime green. Someone tell Jamis we are in 2018 now.
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