While countless other companies continue to debate the merits of 26" vs 29"-wheeled mountain bikes, Jamis will not only offer both for 2010 but also a third format, 650B. According to Jamis, the in-between wheel size strikes an ideal balance between the lighter weight and nimbler feel of 26" and the steamroller capabilities of 29".
Jamis will include just two 650B-equipped bikes in its stable for 2010, the Dakar SixFifty B2 and B1, but it's certainly conceivable that the range could grow for 2011 depending on consumer response this year. Both are based on the company's XCT trail bike platform with 130mm of rear wheel travel via the familiar Jamis mp3 linkage layout, aluminum front and rear triangles, 10mm shock hardware, RockShox rear shocks, and 20mm thru-axle forks from White Brothers.
Other changes to the full-suspension line include a beefier rear end with larger tubing and thru-axle dropouts on the all-mountain XAM range, a stronger front triangle on the big-hit BAM with a hydroformed down tube and increased standover clearance, and a stiffer swingarm and yoke on the cross-country XCT for improved wheel tracking.
Jamis has also devoted a lot of attention to its hardtail range for 2010, highlighted by six new 29ers and a ground-up revamp of its 26" racer. The star of the 29er range is the new carbon fiber Dakota D29 with size-specific tubing, a BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell, asymmetrical chain stays and full-length dual seat stays. The Exile, on the other hand, uses a 6061 Kinesis Superlight triple-butted tubeset and standard threaded shell while the Dragon 29er and Dragon One build upon the success of Jamis's classic Reynolds 853-tubed hardtail platform but with updated geometry to accommodate the bigger wheels.
The all-new Dakota dXC 26" carbon hardtails borrow their tri-oval top tube and down tube shaping and size-specific tubing diameters from the road-going Xenith SL for directional stiffness and a similar ride quality across the range plus a decidedly low-slung layout for lots of standover clearance. Also like the Xenith SL, the Dakota dXC will feature BB30 bottom bracket shells and asymmetrical chain stays.
The Xenith SL and Team platforms themselves also get updated for 2010 with tougher resigns and new Near Net Molding construction techniques that yield increased fiber compaction and smoother interior surface finishes for more consistent performance and additional strength. According to Jamis product manager Steven Fairchild, impact strength has actually increased a substantial 40 percent relative to last year.
Frame weights are unchanged with claimed figures ranging from 850-970g for painted production models but new for '10 is a Di2-specific Xenith SL Di2 with internal wire routing plus a dedicated battery mount beneath the down tube.
Urban riders will also get the new Sputnik and Beatnik, both features Reynolds 631 or 520 steel tubing, classic lines, horizontal rear-entry dropouts with integrated adjusters, and versatile flip-flop rear wheels.