2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Team 29″ Carbon Mountain Bike Review

2016 Jamis Dakar XCR  Team MTB Racing Bike

First Impressions

I really like the clean look Jamis has produced with their coveted Team bike.


Paint & Colors

The paint design is well thought out and professional and screams, look at me I am a purebred race bike. I am not into crazy graphics. The white with the red and blue accents on black feels right. Good job.


Frame Design

For 2016 the MP4 design appears to use the same mounting system, angles and distances calculated from their previous MP4 year 2015 models. I personally am a big fan of straight seat posts. In my opinion fancy interrupted and bent seat posts can lack the strength of the simple triangle design, and most obviously prevent the rider from being able to drop the seat to the bottom for super steep stuff.<.p>

For those of us who run a frame on the smaller size, we need to know that when the seat post is up all the way, we still have a reasonable amount of post inside the frame to avoid any damage. I also like the cable routing.


Frame Sizes

Jamis is consistent and I think their sizing is spot on. I think having a true 15” bike all the way up 17”,19” and 21” show their serious commitment to all sized riders.

Personally I love having the 15” option, even though I am 5’7” and it is on the smaller size for me, I can get the seat up high enough because of the straight seat post, and not worry about it snapping, while having the small size I like for wicked descents. Also the 15” works well for my wife, who it is just a tad on the bigger size for her at 5’3” but still a great fit as she is more of climber.

Obviously with seat droppers during a race you don’t need to necessarily ever drop the seat to rock bottom. But off the track being able to drop it as far as it can go for super steep stuff is so nice. Every inch makes a huge difference, especially with such a responsive, more vertical head tubes found on all XC bikes. Also let’s not forget seat post droppers are still adding a pound to the bike, and most of my rides off the race track allow plenty of time for a seat drop. We usually climb like crazy to the top of something, and then descend it.

This 2016 Jamis XCR Dakar head angle is 71 degrees, a nice blend of responsiveness without going over the limit. The stand over height is excellent as the top tube slopes downward as it is attached to the seat post.

The seat angle of the 2016 Jamis Dakar is 74 degrees and provides a nice balance for climbing while still giving the rider a comfortable feel on the descents.

The wheel base (42.75”-45.27”) (1086mm-1150mm) increases with the size of the frame, but is short enough to be responsive, yet stable over high-speed rock gardens.

The 12 x 142 rear thru axle is the standard in rigidity and strength and to be expected on such a lightweight performer. A replaceable derailleur hanger, press fit 30 bottom bracket, remote lockout and the standard but well designed 1 1/2 – 1 1/8 tapered head tube are exactly the features you would expect on a well built carbon MTB frame.


Bike Weight

Jamis has great courage when it comes to sharing the weight of their bikes. They are one of the few companies to display it. Trying to keep the weight of the bike a mystery is not cool, especially when asking a buyer to drop an incredible sum of money without this information is bad business.

This one has a claimed weight of 23.25 lbs., amazing!!! It is a ¾ of a pound lighter than the 2015 model. That is very impressive. Any lighter and it just might float away.


Carbon quality

Jamis produces a high quality carbon product across its whole line, and fares well compared to the other manufacturers on the market. Their acronym is FEA Optimized Fiber Design and they say, ” We use powerful, state-of-the-art, composite manufacturing software to analyze and perfect our lay-up schedule. The result is optimal stiffness, greater durability and lighter weight.”


Shock Design

The MP4, well proven and efficient 4-bar design, with a clean nicely machined look, and easy to replace affordable bearings. It features a robust, yet light and a non-obtrusive support system for the shock. For the rider at the professional level Jamis says this about their suspension design, “Our XCR mp4 suspension design actuates with a very slight rising leverage rate during the first 40% of travel and then it is linear for a firm, responsive pedaling platform. A near vertical rear axle path allows uninhibited suspension performance and maximum pedaling efficiency.” The pivot position is fairly standard these days, and it is behind and slightly above the bottom bracket.


Parts grouping

Top notch, as one would expect from a team bike. Let’s be honest, there are only two players here, SRAM and Shimano in the family of XC racing mountain bikes. Some people prefer one more than the other, but in the end the parts are the pinnacle of technology, and both companies have great offerings.

Jamis has switched the Dakar to a SRAM X01 1×11 drivetrain for 2016 with a SRAM XG-1180 10-42 rear cassette. This has obviously contributed to a fair amount of the weight shaved and is inline with their competitors.

The Enduro press fit BB can handle 40% additional load capacity using black oxide bearings as opposed to standard radial bearings. Jamis dual density lock on grips are the only way to go. I also think Jamis made a great decision with their carbon stem lengths and rise sized intelligently for each frame size. Plus the handlebars have some rise and a nice width of 710mm. The stem and bars are 31.8, nothing is stronger today. There should be no reason in my opinion to swop out the stem, a bonus at this price. The bars and stem combo from Ritchey are perfect.


Brakes

Amazing stopping power with minimal weight. The SRAM X0 carbon hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm front & 160mm rear 6 bolt rotors are the pinnacle of stopping power for all XC applications.


Front Suspension

Just like the 2015 model, Jamis runs 100mm XC racing travel with a Rock Shox SID XX 29 with 32mm stanchions, 15mm Maxle Lite axle, external rebound, lock-out via hydraulic Full Sprint Xloc remote, Solo Air spring, tapered alloy steerer, motion control damping, magnesium lowers for 2016. This thing is poetry in motion and it does not get any better.


Rear Suspension

100mm (4”) XC racing travel with a RockShox Monarch XX air shock with lockout, compression, rebound and 10mm hardware.


Wheelset

The Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Crest Team 29″ tubeless disc wheels make for a great lightweight yet strong, fast rolling wheelset. They feature 3.30 Series 32H 15mm axle front and 12x142mm rear hubs with DT Swiss SuperComp spokes and DT Swiss alloy nipples.

This is a great wheelset, but carbon might have been nice. Although the world cup team that opted for the ZTR’s surely knows what is best.


Final thoughts

Jamis offers an amazing price point for such a wonderful bike ($6,299 MSRP). For 2016 they made a smart choice and switched to the 1×11 drivetrain and the bike is coming in at an amazing 23.25lbs and that’s very competitive in its class. They are a great company that stands behind their product. While they haven’t revolutionized a new suspension design here, they have selected a very well proven design, and made important, detailed engineering improvements, to push the design to it fullest potential.

It can be tedious when a company overdoes their design changes each year instead of perfecting a proven winner. Occasionally new design are winners but they don’t stick with them, hoping for something even better the next year. If you have a proven design in this sport, I believe in refining it as long as it is competitive and keep your customer comfortable with your line. Once it is no longer competitive, then change it.


Pros

This bike has it all. If you are serious about racing XC / Cross Crounty, grab one while you can as availability on team bikes can be limited.

Finally, if you don’t win the race on this bike, don’t blame the bike, the problem lies with the rider. Maybe you need to check out our articles on Strength, Endurance and Nutrition at XC-MountainBike.com


Cons

My only complaint and this is pretty minor and not too expensive to rectify is I don’t see a chain guide on the bike? Maybe Jamis was trying so hard to shave weight every way they could it had to go. At least they kept the handlebars and saddle.

At any rate, for me I will have to take the 160 gram weight penalty and suck it up. I would most likely run a MRP Micro Chain Retention System.

My chain always seems to jump ship when I need it the most.

Hint:There is always limited availability on Team Models, so if your serious about racing, and want to win buy a 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Team Racing Mountain Bike while their available.


Rating: 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR 29″ Team Carbon Racing Mountain Bike Review:

Sizing: (5 stars)
Componentry: (5 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (5 stars)
Price Point: (4 stars)
Overall Rating: (5 stars)


Other models in Review

The other models, the Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Pro, Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Comp and Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Sport all feature the same high quality geometry of the team bike and while the level of the components is downgraded to lower the price point, you can’t go wrong with any of these models to begin your racing career, or for true recreation at its best.

In a nutshell to make a quick Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Pro review, Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Comp review and the Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Comp review: Each one of these models is a true performer, and a great value. The Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Pro model is also carbon while the other models are triple butted 6061 alloy.

Any of the other parts / components can be slowly upgraded, either to match the team specs, or based on your own preference. Any one of these models might be the perfect fit for your budget and intended usage?

We applied the XC-MountainBike.com Rating System to Review the Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Pro, Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Comp & Jamis Dakar XCR 29 Sport

2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Carbon Pro XC MTB Racing Bike

Rating: 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR 29″ Pro Carbon Racing Mountain Bike Review:

Review Summary:

The 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR 29″ Pro Carbon Racing Mountain Bike ($4,199 MSRP) is 25.5 lbs and comes in 2.25 lbs. heavier than the more expensive team bike. I love the suspension, and don’t see much sacrifice between it and the team model.

The pro model shares the same beautifully crafted carbon frame as the team bike, major bonus.

The drivetrain is definitely not as great as the team bike, which is to be expected of each subsequent model. The WTB Frequency Race i19 TCS 29″ tubeless rims with Formula sealed bearing centerlock, 15mm front & 12×142 rear hubs, stainless spokes & brass nipples are definitely a quality wheelset.

However, the WTB wheelset is contributing to a bit of the extra weight gain if that matters to you. For the heavier riders / Clydesdale types or very aggressive riders (like myself), this wheel set is a bit tougher, and might be even better for you in terms of its overall lifespan and staying true. Personally I would probably do better with these wheels for most of my rides. Although if I was competing in every race, I would probably opt for the team bike, budget permitting.

For both national level racing and weekend warrior riding, this really is a true winner for the money! The price savings might be that extra motivation for you to suck up the small amount of extra weight and buy a 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Pro Racing Mountain Bike while their available.

Sizing: (5 stars)
Componentry: (4 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (4 1/2 stars)
Price Point: (4 stars)
Overall Rating: (4 1/2 stars)


2016-Jamis-Dakar-XCR-comp-MTB-race-bike-review

Review Summary:

The 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR 29″ Comp Racing Mountain Bike is 29.25 lbs and comes in 3.75 lbs. heavier than the more expensive pro bike and 6 lbs. heavier than the team model.

While the design specs on the frame match the team bike, this frame is triple butted 6061 alloy. Some of the weight gain is coming from the frame, but on the flip side, this frame is probably much stronger than the carbon frame if you are truly going to thump on it and mostly ride recreationally, with occasional national racing events. I would feel comfortable jumping on this frame harder than its carbon cousin, and can see this baby really getting slammed hard through the rock gardens, small jumps, and overall wicked descents.

Compression dampening would be a plus on the rear X-fusion air shock, but the lock out is a plus and their is rebound and the oversized 10mm hardware also used on the team model. The front X-Fusion Slide 29 is a good fork, very capable and has nice adjustability. The American Classic Tubeless rims are strong and agile.

For both occasional national level XC, Super-D racing and weekend warrior riding, this really is a true winner for the money! Get out on the trail and start enjoying this great bike. Buy a 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Comp Racing Mountain Bike today.

Sizing: (5 stars)
Componentry: (3 1/2 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (4 stars)
Price Point: (4 1/2 stars)
Overall Rating: (4 stars)


2016-Jamis-Dakar-XCR-Sport-MTB-race-bike-review

Review Summary:

The 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR 29″ Sport Racing Mountain Bike ($2,099 MSRP) is 31 lbs and comes in 1.75 lb. heavier than the Comp model. Surpringly enough, this model actually gained .5 lbs from last year, which is odd that they couldn’t at least keep the weight on par.

While the design specs on the frame also match the team bike, this frame is triple butted alloy like its more expensive teammate the Comp model. The same thing I said on the Comp model applies, and this frame is robust and can handle a lot of abuse, hitting really tough aggressive trails with big decents.

Compression dampening would be a plus on the rear Moncarch-R air shock, which features no lock out. A lock out kit might be available if you need one. Their is rebound and the oversized 10mm hardware also used on the team model. I absolutely love the front Rock Shox XC32 TK 29″ Solo Air, 15mm axle, lever actuated lockout, air spring compression, rebound adjust, alloy steerer, 100mm travel. The internals are great. I had the 26″ wheel, 1.5″ steerer 180mm on my 34 lb. Cannondale Gemini. It could do anything. This should be a nice touch on the Sport model.

The drive train is pretty low end and unless you ride just easy fire trails, expect to replacing various components in 6 months to a year. This is pretty standard on any brand’s entry models. No worries, it is still worth purchasing an entry level model, as it gets you riding, and you can always find a good deal on drivetrain. See what I mean.

Bonus: Usually the front forks are very bad on the entry level models causing a lot of unnecessary crashes, but this one is not bad for what it is.

For weekend warrior riding, and with a few drive train upgrades you can will be ready to participate in a local national race. This really a great bike with lots of potential for the money! Buy a 2016 Jamis Dakar XCR Sport Racing Mountain Bike and start making mountain biking part of your life.

Sizing: (5 stars)
Componentry: (3 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (3 1/2 stars)
Price Point: (5 stars)
Overall Rating: (4 stars)


wifes-jamis-dakar-xcr-2011-brian-head

Wife’s 2011 Red Jamis Dakar XCR Comp having some fun at a national race at Brian Head UT

Note: My wife owned a 2011 Jamis Dakar XCR 26″ Comp with nice fox shocks on it. It was a tad on the heavy side for competitive XC racing, as it was about the same weight as the Comp for 2016 at around 29.5 – 30.5 lbs. However, this aside (and we could have shaved weight with some upgrades) it was a great bike, and took a lot of abuse. The geometry was excellent and we rode it locally and on some really fun all mountain gravity style trails. I would definitely purchase another, we were very happy. Go Jamis!


Related Articles