Jamis Defcon 1 - Review

Feb 1, 2016
by Mike Kazimer  




Jamis' focus over the last few seasons has been on their trail and cross-country mountain bikes, but for 2016 they've turned their gaze to the all-mountain / enduro race side of the sport with the introduction of the Defcon series.

There are a total of three bikes in the line, with prices ranging from $2,799 USD on up to the highest end option, the Defcon 1 tested here, which comes well spec'd with a Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain, a 160mm Fox 36 Float fork, Shimano Saint brakes, and a healthy dose of parts from Loaded Components, all for $4,899 USD.


Defcon 1 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Rear wheel travel: 160mm
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Head angle: 66.5°
• Frame material: 6061 aluminum
• 73mm threaded bottom bracket
• Sizes: 15,17,19, 21
• Weight (as shown, 19" w/o pedals): 32 pounds (14.5kg)
• MSRP: $4,899 USD
www.jamisbikes.com


Jamis
The KS LEV seatpost's housing is routed through the bike's top tube.
Jamis
Internal routing is also in place for the rear derailleur housing.


Frame Details

The Defcon's bright orange paint job combined with the anodized blue bar, stem, and wheels from Loaded Components met with mixed reactions out on the trail. Some riders loved it, and it certainly stands out from the crowd, but others found it to be a little over the top. Personally, I fall into the latter camp, but my view may be tainted by my trips to the Taipei Cycle show, where bright color schemes like this seem to be lurking around every corner.

The frame itself is constructed from 6061 aluminum using a process called SPF air forming. This involves using air, rather than the water used during hydroforming, to create the desired tube shapes once the aluminum has been heated up to a specific temperature. US-made Enduro Max bearings are found at all of the Defcon's pivot points, and even the Shimano XT crankset's bottom bracket bearings are supplied by Enduro, a testament to Jamis' confidence in the company's products.


Jamis
Enduro was in the bearing business long before the term became a buzzword.
Jamis
The lack of a seat stay bridge provides clearance for wide tires.

Internal routing is in place for the KS Lev DX dropper post, but oddly, the housing runs through the top tube, rather than exiting further down the seat tube, which means that a traditional stealth routed post isn't compatible with the Defcon. Ports on either side of the head tube allow the derailleur housing to be hidden inside the frame, leaving only the rear brake housing to run externally along the downtube. Our test bike was equipped with a 1x11 Shimano XT drivetrain, but it is possible to run a front derailleur, and there are also ISCG tabs for riders who want to toss on a chainguide for a little extra security.

Amidst the latest round of new standards, Jamis chose to go with a threaded bottom bracket shell and 12x142mm rear spacing. The number of Boost equipped bikes is increasing, but Jamis was able to achieve their desired chainstay length and tire clearance without adopting the new standard. There's also room to mount a water bottle cage inside the front triangle, a design feature that seems simple, but is all too often overlooked.


Jamis

Suspension Design

The Defcon uses Jamis' MP4 suspension design, a link-driven single pivot layout. This design provides a fairly linear suspension curve, with a slight ramp up towards the end of the stroke to prevent the shock from bottoming out too quickly or harshly. A one piece bellcrank connects the seat stays to the rear shock, which Jamis says provides enough stiffness to eliminate the need to for a seat stay bridge.


Geometry

Jamis Defcon geometry



Specifications
Specifications
Price $4899
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X Factory Series EVOL
Fork Fox 36 Float Factory Series 160mm travel
Headset FSA Orbit 1.5 Zero-Stack
Cassette Shimano M8000, 11-speed, 11-42T
Crankarms Shimano XT M8000
Bottom Bracket Enduro® BSA
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT M8000 Shadow Plus 11-speed
Chain KMC X11SL DLC, 11-speed
Shifter Pods Shimano XT M8000
Handlebar Loaded Precision AMX Riser, 760mm x 25mm rise, 35mm diameter
Stem Loaded Precision AMX Trail, 45mm
Grips Jamis lock-on
Brakes Shimano Saint M820
Wheelset Loaded Precision X-Lite X30
Tires Vittoria Goma 27.5 x 2.4" front, Morsa 27.5x2.3 " rear, TNT
Seat WTB Volt Comp
Seatpost KS LEV DX,125mm travel, handlebar remote, 385mm x 31.6

Jamis






Climbing

We're entering an age where it's becoming less unreasonable to expect bikes with 160mm of travel to behave almost as well on the climbs as they do on the descents. To that end, there are now a number of bikes (Yeti's SB6 and the Santa Cruz Nomad for example) whose suspension designs allow them to be run with the rear shock in the fully open position the vast majority of the time. However, the Defcon doesn't fall into that category. With the shock set at 30% sag and in the fully open position there's a very noticeable amount of pedaling related suspension movement. This is especially prevalent when standing out of the saddle, causing the Float X shock to rhythmically dive into its travel like an oil pump plunging towards the earth. Thankfully, the shock's compression dial is relatively easy to reach, and there's a drastic improvement in the bike's pedaling performance when it's in the middle or firmest compression setting.

The Defcon weighs in at 32 pounds without pedals, but it carries that weight well, and prior to hanging it on the scale I would have guessed it was a pound or two lighter. With a 66.5° head angle and a reach of 436mm for a size large, the bike's geometry numbers are a touch more conservative than some of the sprawling enduro race rigs out there, but they also make it easier to keep weight over the front end on steep climbs, and keep the handling from feeling too sluggish. On the whole, the bike feels well balanced, and once I had the shock flipped into the firmest setting there weren't any problems navigating through tricky root-filled climbs, as long as conditions were on the dry side - in the wet the Vittoria tires would spin and slide out in the blink of an eye.


Jamis

Descending

My time on the Defcon got off to an inauspicious start due to a misaligned rear end, which put the tire close enough to one of the seat stays to rub during hard cornering or when landing a drop. According to Jamis, the bike was part of an early pre-production run, and they quickly sent out a replacement. The replacement frame was better aligned, but there was still not much room between the tire and where the seat stays are joined to the shock linkage.

The steep, rooty, and rocky trails surrounding Squamish, BC, served as the main testing ground for the Defcon, the type of terrain where a 160mm bike should shine on the descents. Unfortunately, it wasn't as up to the task as I'd hoped. At slower speeds and on smoother, flowier trails there weren't any issues – the Defcon's handling was very neutral, and it wouldn't be a stretch to call it mild-mannered. At a casual pace the bike would happily pop off bumps and carve through bermed corners without requiring any heavy-handed rider input. Unfortunately, at higher speeds in rougher terrain the Defcon's performance began to suffer. There's a noticeable amount of rear end flex, and when that's combined with a set of underwhelming tires and a very linear rear suspension feel you have a trifecta of performance attributes that makes for a less-than-inspiring ride.

I was never able to get completely comfortable on the Defcon in really technical terrain – there was a skittishness to its handling that made me hesitant to fully open it up. It seemed to have a mind of its own when faced with really chunky, chopped up trail, and it took extra effort to keep on track. Sure, it's laden with high-end components, but on the trail it's just not on the same level as other comparable aluminum bikes – Kona's Process 153 and the Transition Patrol come to mind as bikes in this travel and price bracket that offer excellent stiffness and performance.

Regarding suspension performance, the bike never bottomed out harshly, but there's not a lot of mid-stroke support. My favorite bikes are ones that you can push into and they push back slightly, allowing you to rail through a berm or stay in the sweet spot of the suspension through rough sections of trail, but I had trouble achieving this aboard the Defcon. Even when I reduced the amount of sag to 25% it still lacked the support I was looking for during hard cornering or big G-outs. Adding a larger volume reducer would be a recommended step to help achieve more ramp up at the end of the shock's stroke.


Jamis
Jamis

Component Check

• Shimano XT drivetrain: Even without a chainguide and with a non-Shimano chain (the Defcon is spec'd with a KMC X11), there weren't any dropped chains, and shifting remained crisp and accurate throughout the test period.

• Vittoria tires: Vittoria speak highly of the four rubber compounds used in their Morsa and Goma tires, and in dry conditions they were quick rolling and predictable, but in the wet they were downright treacherous. Wet roots are their absolute nemesis – they offer minimal grip, and I found myself floundering on sections of trail that hadn't posed a problem with stickier tires.

• Fox 36 Float Factory Series: Fox's 36 is one of the best all-mountain forks currently on the market, and the one mounted to the front of the Defcon didn't disappoint. Stiff and supple, with enough range of adjustments to get it dialed in perfectly, there are absolutely no complaints about the latest iteration of this classic.

• Loaded X-30 Wheelset: The X-30 wheelset survived the test period without any dents or dings, and they're still running straight and true. However, they're not the stiffest wheelset out there, which may have contributed to some of the Defcon's vague handling. It also took a little extra effort to get the Vittoria tires set up tubeless, but that may have been more of an issue with the tires themselves rather than the rims, and once they snapped into place there weren't any further issues.


Jamis


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesThere's no denying the fact that the Defcon is well spec'd considering its asking price, but unfortunately that doesn't translate to high end performance out on the trail. It'll get the job done, and less aggressive riders may find themselves right at home aboard the orange machine, but it's lacking the surefootedness necessary to inspire confidence on extremely technical trails. - Mike Kazimer




Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review




About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 33 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 155lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Twenty years deep into a mountain biking addiction that began as a way to escape the suburban sprawl of Connecticut, Mike Kazimer is most at home deep the woods, carving his way down steep, technical trails. The decade he spent as a bike mechanic helped create a solid technical background to draw from when reviewing products, and his current location in the Pacific Northwest allows for easy access to the wettest, muddiest conditions imaginable.



135 Comments

  • + 69
 Double comment, when will this pre-production bs stop.
  • + 17
 Let's just do something really crazy and assume that often there really are pre-production products being tested. And sometimes they do fail or have issues. How should media and manufacturers act? I'll give some options too:
- not use preproduction stuff for testing, thus delivering reviews few months later
- lie to us and tell that it was not preproduction
- blame the reviewer for riding too hard
- tell us that yeah, it was preproduction, we don't regret anything and we'll not change anything
  • + 31
 The reply from Lars Stenberg about the issue with the swingarm on the Transition Patrol test was spot on and no mucking about with pre-prod rubbish. More companies should look to that honesty and take it on board in their own approach.
  • + 1
 The yeti one was the worst. I reckon most it the time it's bs, not to say they don't make running changes in production but I'm sure they just send the media early production models
  • + 10
 How about not buying their products? Support what supports you..
  • + 2
 So....the way I see it: Dont buy top line model of entry level frame/brand.. Is like going xt components on a huffy.. Dont get it wrong.. These bikes are probably fantastic on the 2-3kusd mark tops for entry level AM, just dont expect to compare these with tops brands other equivalent spec ones
  • + 11
 Issues with a carbon lay up are hard to detect...a miss-aligned frame, not so much.
Don't companies QC test bikes before sending them to test?
  • + 4
 Lagr gets it. This bike comes in under the 3k USD mark with Xfusion suspension, WTB wheels, Deore level brakes, and so on. Really good entry level bike. The same frame is used on this model. It was never intended to go head to head with Nomads and SB6cs or anything like that. Also, it's not the lowest, slackest, or longest. Seems more like a long legged trail bike than a enduro pounder. That said, the process is a hell of a bike for the money as well.

I'll be picking up one of the entry level versions of this bike. I have seen them in person. I'll be the first to admit the rear end isn't stiff on the production version, but it isn't nearly as sloppy as referenced here. I'd put it on par with giant for back end stiffness.

Keep in mind the "pre-production" issue here isn't the flex, it was a misaligned back end. Shit happens. They send these bikes out ASAP and sometimes they get hurt during the rush. The ones I've seen in person most certainly don't suffer that issue.
  • + 17
 Eh, you can get an entry level Intense Tracer with the same spec and no flex issues for 3k. It'll be made in California too.
  • + 5
 You can also get the new Troy carbon for $3,200
  • - 5
flag SteveDekker (Feb 1, 2016 at 7:21) (Below Threshold)
 You can do way better for 3k, Tracer is proven, you can also get sub 3k bikes from, Santa cruz, transition, trek, yeti, specialized... Dont buy a bike on a poor review. Jamis has arguably, never made a good performing bike.
  • + 6
 Jamis here in the UK is a budget brand imported and distributed by Evans Cycles through there shops. Roadies used to buy their £2k road bike because it came with shimano di2 (which came in at £2k on its own) and good mavic wheels. Suddenly jamis road frames appearing on eBay Wink
  • + 0
 Ha! Good value! . I guess you could make a beach cruiser with the frame, or a reading lamp.
Do you have beach cruisers in the UK?
  • + 1
 we have new beach cruiser trails popping up.
  • + 5
 @SoDiezl350 Just looked about. Intense seems to retail for about $200 more USD, and has no dropper. The rest of the spec is very comparable. Also, I would not say a tracer is an overly stiff frame. Stiffer than the Defcon? Likely. Not by a huge margin.

Full disclosure, I work with Jamis Canada and have built the only publicly available Defcon up here. I can confirm a few of the issues, such as the flex in the rear triangle. If anyone has any questions regarding the brand or model, please feel free to ask. I'm not going to sugar coat anything with this bike.

I really wish PB had of reviewed the entry level bike. It shares the same frame, has some pretty good parts for the price it sits at, and looks pretty awesome. This bike was never made to be compared to the carbon wonderbikes that are currently on the market. You can get the entry build for what some frames go for. That says volumes.

Also, keep in mind bikes like this bring down the asking price, and bring more people into our sport. Every time a big name awesome bike gets reviewed, people ask for more budget offerings. People also complain about PB's honest. Here we have a very honest budget review. This is exactly what we asked for as consumers.
  • + 2
 Uh huh. I'm sure you'll love the bike. Give us an update once its muddy!
  • + 3
 Cheers man!

I plan on doing a first look, a short term, then a long term review. Already got some parts on the way to replace some of the drivetrain.

Eventually hoping to have an onyx wheelset, turbine cranks to a 1x Zee drivetrain, saint shifter, Guide RS brakes, Revel fork, and Inline shock. Should be interesting to see how the spec changes the handling of the bike.

I will totally agree about the flex. I'm not sure if it's the TCS i25 wheelset, the back end, or both, but if you grab that main triangle, and flex the back wheel, you can make contact with the seat stay. I've noticed similar in most bikes I've owned, but as this is a new age, you kinda do expect modern stiffness. Carbon rims and SS flange spacing (11-36, 6 gear setup) should remedy that.

And honestly, I'm no Gwin. The bike will likely serve me awesome. I'll be the first to shit on it if it lets me down.

Also, thanks to everyone for not reaming my a*shole out for saying I have a bias/affiliation. Rock on!
  • + 2
 Why should we care about a review written by someone who works for/with Jamis?

And why bother with Jamis if you can have a YT for a similar price that can arguably compete with a Nomad or Yeti?
  • + 1
 Agreed!
  • + 1
 At $4,900 dollars it better go head to head with Nomads, Sb6's, or any other equally specd bike. It's equipped with a fox 36 factory, fox float x, xt components, and enduro max bearings. Plus, correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Jamis putting together an enduro team? I think Jamis' intention was to build a competitive bike. The single pivot design may not be as sophisticated as some of the others, but that hasn't stopped brands like Kona, Scott,Cannondale, etc.. Not having ridden the bike, I cannot speak about its performance; it may be better than the review, but I don't see how it cannot be considered to compete against other high end bikes.
  • + 2
 @BonkyWonky

I've already admitted to faults with the frame. I have no compelling reason to lie about it. There's two in Canada, one is mine, I'm sure the other will sell, so regardless of what I say, I'm not exactly worried. I understand if you don't want to read the review, it won't be forced on you, but please don't make poor implications about my character.

YT cannot be purchased in Canada last I saw.

@jdendy

There's a lot to be said of materials. At the end of the day, the Defcon will not be as light or stiff as a high end carbon frame. There is no denying it.
  • + 2
 My first Tracer had a misaligned rear triangle as well...
  • + 27
 In regards to the tyres, why not review a bike with your favorite tyres or at least ones that suit the conditions. I understand this is the spec that came on the bike, but its a part that's is almost always changed on an enthusiasts bike, to suit their style and conditions.
  • + 5
 I agree. Slipping all over the place on tires that aren't working for the terrain makes it hard to properly evaluate the rest of the bike.
  • + 3
 For sure... and those tires really REALLY suck in wet conditions. Makes no sense to ride with them on.
  • + 9
 I agree that the stock tires should be tried, but when they don't work well switch them out for something that will let you test the limits more.
  • + 3
 Exactly my thoughts!
  • + 8
 I think its important for testers to do this. First, test the product that was provided. Second, switch out tires to your personal liking, even bar/grip/stem. This way the frame (and suspension, wheels) may be isolated so the tester is not distracted by shitty spec. Its all about isolation.

Any part that you start to notice will affect the whole ride. The bike could be great, but they stocked a narrow bar and it threw you off. How could you evaluate the whole bike if you weren't comfortable riding it?

I hate to bring MX into it, but this is exactly what the dirtbike magazines do: they test the stock trim, then swap out tires so they can properly evaluate the bike as a whole. I wish the mountain bike industry started following this train of thought in testing product.
  • - 1
 Why not just order a frame and build it up and give a review on the frame alone if that were the case. They are reviewing a complete bike not just a frame
  • + 2
 ask yourself which is easier: swapping out tires to match conditions your testing in, or sourcing parts and building a bike just to test a frame?
  • - 1
 You missed the point they are testing a complete bike the way you would buy it. Not a bike thats been changed in any way to suit the testers specific needs. He's just giving you the raw data of the bike as it sits "WHEN YOU BUY IT"
  • + 4
 Things like tires are really dependent on conditions and you can't make everybody happy. If they spec something more aggressive, other reviewers would complain that they are too slow and draggy. I agree they should mention the stock tires are crap in the wet, but then see what it can do with some proper rubber. They are a wear item anyway, it's not like having to swap a fork or wheelset.
  • + 8
 "The Goma could be perfect for an AM/trail rider seeking a good performing all-condition tire that will be churning out the miles long after its popular competitors have become semi-slicks." on Vittoria's website from PINKBIKE. Pinkbike endorses the product as a whole but when it comes to an actual review on a bike, it's a shitty tire. Pinkbike$ for sale people!
  • + 2
 Long lasting tires usually rely on harder compounds, it could explain why they suck on wet roots. Once again, maybe the outlook would be completely different if they tried them in california weather instead of squamish in the winter. Who knows, these might be some shitty OEM specs like they used to do with the good old Nevergals back in the day.
  • + 1
 The goma is the worst tyre I have ever used in my life. Outright dangerous in the wet on the front. Is ok as a rear tyre in the dry but skates around a lot, which is actually quite fun.
  • + 29
 Is there a bike in any of the photo's, cause all I see is that rocker link.
  • + 2
 There's a pic of the bike at the end of the article. And the rider looked sleepy. Even on descents. Sums it up.
  • - 1
 exactly, Hollowing2000.
  • + 1
 Yeah, the rocker isn't the best but we've seen worse. Pretty sure you can run a Stealth Dropper through the FD internal port on the head tube. I've never tried in on this bike but I've seen it done on multiple other bikes. I wouldn't be surprised if they revise that rear triangle completely and connect the stays to make things more rigid. Regardless of the review I'd still like to demo this rig.
  • + 20
 "weighs in at 32 pounds without pedals, but it carries that weight well"
Sounds like someone justifying their porky girlfriend.
  • + 8
 Porky girls, do more "stuff".
  • + 1
 My dh bike from 2010 weighs 32. Pretty unimpressive sounding and downright ugly all together if you ask me.
  • + 19
 Whoever decided those seatstays didn't need connecting must'nt have had their head screwed on that day. Im not a flex nazi, but that just looks like a recipe for disaster
  • + 1
 Seems to go for the rocker as well. Wouldn't that be painful for the shock?
  • + 1
 I totally agree,I read that part and just went oh dear!!
  • + 6
 I rode one and the tire buzzed the seat stay, and yeah there's bottle cage mounts, but a bottle doesn't clear the float X's resovoir
  • + 2
 All the comments about it being flexy can be squarely aimed at the lack seatstay bridge. You are leaving it up to the chainstays, axel and shock mounting bolt to hold everything inline and it doesn't work.
  • + 1
 Sorry, I didn't read properly. The article already mentions that the rocker is a one-piece affair so it is obviously coupled. Good for the shock then, unless you mount a bottle cage of course.

I don't mind a good bit of flex but I suppose it depends on what you're used to. I've got a steel hardtail and a Cannondale Prophet, neither is really stiff. But the flex is also kind of information, you know how much you still have until you break traction. I think it actually allows me to push it a bit more once I feel the flex. I'm so used to it that on a really stiff bike I would be afraid it might wash out without warning. I can imagine rider who is used to a stiff bike and interprets flex as an urgent warning that you're about to wash out may back off too soon and find themselves too deep down in the safe zone. So yeah, it depends on what you're used to how you're going to cope with the flex. It can hold you back but it can also inspire to see how far you can push it. Tyre rub isn't too nice indeed but it isn't too much of a problem either. The same applies as I mentioned above.

Finally, it seems the performance was also let down by the wheels and tyres. Fair of course as the review is about the complete bike, but it would be interesting to see if PB had a pair of their favourite wheel/tyre combo for each discipline to test the bikes with. Rims and tyres will eventually be replaced over time anyway so it seems like a fair thing to do.
  • + 1
 My bad missed the shock link is rigid.

Still flex is not a good thing especially lateral flex in the back if you are trying to hold/change lines, landing off camber etc.. you wont have as much control when you need it.

I when from a bike that was that had more flex to less flex and I am much more confident that the bike will do as I want when I want it now than before.
  • + 15
 Looks nice, but that preproduction story bro...
  • + 12
 Poor thing, it didn't stand a chance.
  • + 4
 I agree, the whole bike looks awkward.
The bike looks like its 5 +year old, and that color combination does not do it any favors.
  • + 0
 Too true Protato. It does seem to stick with the personality of Jamis mountain bikes though. There is just something kind of "off" about their designs and the way they ride.
  • + 10
 God this bike fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down!
  • + 5
 yup first one got the seat stay bridge out too
  • + 9
 Is the "this was a pre-production frame" the new end-all-be-all of excuses for all mishaps? Why not send the final product?
  • + 6
 Because a review of a bike that has been out for 6 months isn't much use to the company and 6 months before release they don't have final production bikes.
  • + 19
 The question is why not quality check the frame before you send it to a journalist at probably the biggest mountain biking media outlet, it seems like a crazy oversight
  • + 1
 It's nothing new, been a repeated excuse for decades now. Not going to change either, as mags need to review these things so it's relevant at release.
  • + 1
 Likely because these media outlets like Pinkbike only have short windows for testing bikes each year. These guys just don't spend all their time out riding and testing bikes and when they do they have a whole bunch of bikes to test. These testing windows and schedules aren't always going to match up with the production schedules of the bike manufacturers, so for many there is no other option than to send a pre-production bike if they want it to be tested.
  • + 8
 Flex, conservative geometry, pre-production bs... This bike is just going to be destroyed by the comments.
  • + 7
 Short people need not apply. How High is that top tube! Gotta be the first negative review of a bike iv seen on here for ages
  • + 1
 Yeah, I also never get why they leave the top tube that high if the suspension system doesn't need it and especially as they already have this support for the seat tube.
  • + 8
 Excuse me, Jamis? You appear to have a bit of bike stuck to your rocker link?
  • + 8
 Is Tony Ellsworth working at Jamis now?
  • + 7
 $4900 for a Jamis??? Only thing really needing upgraded is the frame...
  • + 3
 Oh snap!!!
  • + 3
 Yes, it will. (Snap)
  • + 6
 Impressed....that Jamis is still in business. The only two I've seen in action up here have broken in my presence.
  • + 2
 Nasty review for Jamis,.......ouch . I agree with a few, send out a bike that's all ready to go, no excuses or b.s. All that did is add negs to it . And the tires, does Jamis know where Squamish is and what type of riding/ weather we have there ? I would think that a major company might do some looking into what,where their bike is going to be ridden. Yes I understand that they may have a contract with a certain tire co. , but do your dudiligence . Would you put fat tires on a road bike???
  • + 1
 It's the stock tire set. It'd be a little silly for the company to swap it out for a review. Has nothing to do with contractual obligations, they're testing the bike as it comes out of the box.

Also, said tires got very good reviews from PB.
  • + 1
 Wonder why this guy had so many problems on the wet stuff, did pb review have crappy weather for the testing ? Maybe it's the way the suspension is on the bike ??
  • + 2
 I actually like the look of it and had read about the bike on MTBR - I don't think they'd actually ridden it though it was more of a launch announcement.

From the review of the bike it sounds like the tyres were the biggest issue. We've all bought bike with stock tyres and found them to be absolutely woeful - I ride a Jamis hardtail now and it came with GEAX 2.2" tyres that would slip out on any berm I hit with a bit of speed.

This appears to be Jamis' entry into the Enduro/AM style of bike so I think it's fair to say that this release will help them refine the bike for future releases. I think they also have an Enduro team set to compete in EWS this year too? I would quite happily take on one of these given the price point and components that come even on the entry level version of this bike.
  • + 5
 Seat tube angle looks a bit like the Trance 29ers of a couple of years ago...
  • + 2
 yeah first thing that caught my eye, even b4 the rocker link, was the slack slack slack seat tube
  • + 3
 Charts says 73.5 but it does seem slacker.
  • + 5
 73.5° will be the effective angle. The upper portion of the seat tube will likely be much lower than that. So you'll get a different number depending how high you run the seat post, and it will be less than 73.5° unless the saddle is slammed. Doesn't seem like a well designed frame from my armchair.
  • + 1
 Seat angle wont change depending on how high you run the seat post. It will vary depending on where you sit in the travel, the further into the travel you go the slacker the seat angle will be.
  • + 2
 True if your only sitting further in your rear travel.
  • + 1
 The seat angle of the frame is a constant usually taken unsagged. Yeah, it'll change depending on where you're at in the travel if (like most people) you run the rear shock softer than the forks, it may stay constant even through the travel if your front and rear suspenshanz are perfectly in key with one another. But the important thing and the reason for a seat angle measurement is to determine where your seat will be, and the higher your seat goes on this frame, the further back your seat goes and the slacker the angle from BB to the centre of the top of your seat post. You're generally not going any further than sag when seated anyway, front and rear so I'm not sure the idea of the seat angle altering through the travel has any meaning? Most will run 30% rear and 20-25% front sag so you can generally assume that when seated climbing you'll have a slightly slacker seat angle but everyone's set up is different hence the reason for a simple base measurement taken unsagged which you can use to estimate and to compare.
I've been thinking that on Enduro bikes heavily offset seat angles aren't very good because you get A slacker angle to the saddle when seated than when dropped - the opposite of what you want. Ideally a steep angle for seated climbing and a slacker one when descending for support would could offer more versatility which is what we all want from our bikes these days. Bike design is always a compromise but if somebody could achieve this I would be impressed, I'd be happy with a straight non-offset design too and even that seems too big a task at the moment.
  • + 1
 Seat angle does not change depending on seatpost height. If you disregard travel, disregard suspension balance. It doesn't change, its an angle, not a distance. when seatpost height increases- seat to bar distance increases- not seat angle. And regarding travel, front and rear is never perfectly in tandem, so seat angle and head angle is constantly changing depending on rider input.
  • + 1
 Check again dude. The 'seat angle' is always the same - as in the angle from the horizontal at the centre of the BB to the centre of the top of the seat tube referred to as the seat angle for use of sizing bikes.
This angle (disregarding any seat post here) may change for any number of reasons while riding or not depending on tyres, fork length etc.
Now if you have an offset seat tube design as seen on this Jamis here you will get a different angle to the centre of your seat clamp depending on how high you run the post.
In the case of a frame such as the Jamis here with an offset seat tube design your seat post is at a different angle to the 'seat angle' and that is what causes the angle from the BB to the saddle to change dependant on the height of the seat post. And it's really only the angle to the saddle that anyone cares about...though the 'seat angle' is just one piece of the larger puzzle of bike geometry. I'm no expert, but I know this.
  • + 1
 Some manufacturers refer to this offset type of design by use of an 'effective' angle and an 'actual' angle.
The 'effective' angle being the traditional angle from BB to top of seat tube.
The 'actual' angle is the angle that your seat post will be at.
We're left to guesstimate what the real angle to our saddle will be with the amount of post we'll be running - as is the case with this Jamis...only they've kindly left out the actual angle. Which leads me to assume it's about 69°, considering 73.5° (Effective) is pretty tame as it is, and with at least 175mm of seat post hanging out...you're looking at a pretty slack seat angle.
  • + 6
 The cable routing for the dropper post is full retard.
  • + 1
 Howso? Can route internally for bottom of head or top of head style posts.
  • + 1
 Yeah but what is the point of trying to hide the cable at all then when using non stealth posts? The part that actually makes sense to hide is exposed. No one who has a clue would design a frame like that.
  • + 1
 Seems simple to me. Jamis got a cheaper OEM price for an externally routed post, so they specced one and tried to compromise.
  • + 0
 @feeblesmith So it's off the TT and your knee can't drag it. Again, what's the issue with it?
  • + 0
 I guess my issue is with internal routing in general as I se it as an over complicated gimmic that makes it harder (or rather "less easy") to work on the bike primarily for aestetic reasons. Stealth routing is nicer and works better (i use both routing options on my bikes).

To make an internal routing and still have an unsightly loop of cable exposed is indeed going full retard even if they did get a good deal on ks-levs or whatever.
  • + 2
 Again, that loop of cable doesn't need to be there. That's entirely up to the builder's descretion. This model comes with a 1x front setup, so you can use the front derailleur routing for a stealth dropper. One isn't specced on the bike IIRC, so they opted for taking the cable away from where it could see damage.

Honestly, a bunch of other people seem to have very reasonable complaints; this isn't one. You can put the cable where ever you want. Inside, outside, downtube, top tube. Go for it.

So, again, what's the issue here? Is it a spec issue? Are you complaining about a non-stealth dropper as equipped? I'm really lost here.

And full disclosure, I work at a Jamis dealer. I've worked with these bikes. I still plan on owning one. Many of the complaints are completely founded, this one is not.
  • + 1
 Ok,sorry for forgetting the front derailleur, that explanation makes sense. Forgot all about those things. Still prefer all external routing and a stealth hole though.
  • + 3
 For some reason there's a part of me that just wants to like Jamis. But when they keep doing sh*t like this I just can't. Please pay someone to design you a decent rig.
  • + 2
 The front triangle looks modernish, and the rear triangle looks straight out of 2008. Sure is confidence inspiring that all rear triangles from jamis in that era are probably already cracked.
  • + 5
 OT but did Kelly McGarry just die?? Frown
  • + 3
 Unfortunatelly it looks like he did. Heart attack I read somewhere. Really dark day...

us.yt-industries.com
  • + 1
 When i look at the photo of the seatstays connected the rocker link by bearing, I can't get an answer why they didn't connect seatstays. There is some room to do it, even above the tyre, by widening the bearings outside and welding a piece of cnc'ed aluminium part inside them. However, @MIkeKazimer wrote, that the rear tyre touches the seat tube, so it could be impossible with this kind of suspension design. It doesn't look like a good designed frame. They should go back to desk, and think more about it. Short CS can be obtained without such issues.
  • + 5
 But but its equipped with Enduro
  • + 2
 yea right they went to the trouble of installing wonky bearing brand stickers to prove! ;-)
  • + 5
 "Defcon" is a pretty sweet name for a bike, that's all I have to say.
  • + 2
 Ugly bike, ugly colors, ugly geometry, ugly tires, ugly rubing chainstay... I throw it to the trash. Jamis better stay on hard tails
  • + 4
 Finally, a bike that makes an Ellsworth good in comparison!
  • + 2
 I think the guys in the Pinkbike office have fallen asleep. RIP MCGAZZA!!!!
  • + 2
 NOOOOO!!!!
  • + 2
 And people say PB doesn't give honest reviews. This is clearly and bluntly, a we did not like this bike!
  • + 1
 I like the colours - have a blue bar on my red and black enduro. Back end looks beefy - wonder why its flexy, or was that more the wheels as you allude to Mike?
  • + 1
 Look closely in the picture of the linkage, the seatstays aren't connected and neither are both sides of the linkage. Creates a lot of side so side flex and might even put stress on the shock.

*correction: The linkage is connected, however the seatstays are not.
  • + 2
 Probably because it didn't have the brace on the seat stay
  • + 1
 Yep, I think you right. My Enduro has a brace on the seat stays.
  • + 4
 Classic Jamis
  • + 3
 Good review. Thanks Mike!
  • + 3
 Looks like a Giant Faith.....
  • + 1
 Those tyres cant be that bad. Brett Tippie rides them on Seymor and in North Van all the time and still shreds!
  • + 1
 maybe he has prototypes or a different compound?
  • + 1
 Crooked and wobbly frame, wheels with the structural integrity of wet wonderbread. Jamis just needs to go away.
  • + 1
 Ok. After review of this 'preproduction ' bike does anyone have the urge to actually invest his money into this bike?
  • + 9
 Er... Nope..
  • + 1
 Lack of stiffness at rear end is very disappointing Frown Let's hope that MY 2017 will be production version :>
  • + 2
 rip jamis defcon! murdered by pinkbike comment section
  • + 1
 No first hand experience with the bike but that seat tube angle sure doesn't look like 73.5 in the first picture.
  • + 0
 I used to own a Jamis DAKAR Bam-2 - snapped in half. Awesome when I bought it (because I didn't know better), but the whole rear setup was and is still shit.
  • + 1
 Happy to see PB Giving a bad review.
  • + 1
 It kinda looks like the old red giant Faith
  • + 1
 At first glance I thought it was a Diamondback Mission 3
  • + 1
 Shredded it! but not in a riding way.
  • + 0
 surprised to see no article on Kelly mcgarrys death...
  • - 2
 Of course the KMC chain works with the XT drivetrain... KMC makes shimano's chains for them...
  • - 3
 Trek remedy!
  • + 2
 its pretty
  • - 1
 its ugly
  • + 1
 your ugly, no really Cleatus your pretty nasty lookin
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