By Andy Amstutz
Unbeknownst to me, Gomez was in town for his annual business trip in Manistee County, Michigan and was looking for a rider to test out the new Jamis Dragon Slayer 27+ adventure bike. Beknownst soon enough, I was heading downtown to the local saloon to meet the man, quench my thirst and pick up this unreleased, B+ complete bike.
The Jamis was entering my life with perfect timing! I had two weeks to enjoy the rig on my local, classically built, Northern Michigan trails and write up a short term review, after which, I would head out east with the fam to ride in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I would then have a couple more days at home to reflect, ship the bike, and write up a long term review.
So here is my short review based upon two weeks of riding:
Let’s get the (un)important stuff out of the way first. The Jamis Dragon Slayer 27+ Adventure bike (henceforth referred to as the Dragon Slayer) is a beautiful looking bike. The welds are nicely done with reinforced lugs in the proper spots. It comes in a slightly darker powder blue frame with Seattle Seahawk green accents. The WTB Scraper rims and saddle also come with the accents, so from first glance, this bike really stands out and screams sexy! The Vittoria Bomboloni 27.5 x 3in tires only add to the sexiness of this bike, but the sexiness is on steroids. These plus size tires complement the frame and fork very well, and speaking of fork….the Fox 34 27.5+ has some beef to it with thick stanchions and subtle accent colors. But enough of the aesthetics, what were the first impressions of the ride?
Here’s the information I’ve gathered so far.
Locking out the fork on flat trail was solid. A quick flick of the lever and the plush Fox turned rigid. Once the trail pointed up, I immediately felt the slack head tube angle of 67°. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but it was definitely different than what I’m used to (my normal rig is a steeper, Quiring 29+ fully rigid steel bike). I was glad that Jamis had decided to put a 2x drivetrain on it. This bike is on the heavier side (33lbs). It’s no XC racer but with a click here and a couple clicks there I was on my way to defying gravity. Once at the top, I reached down to turn on the fork and the Dragon Slayer let me know one of its strengths….going….down…hill! Being a former suspension rider, the Dragon Slayer has me rethinking rigidity. The Slayer’s steel frame along with its 3 inch tires, slack geometry, and Fox fork made for a plush trip down all sandy, rooty, and bumpy downhills. I’m stoked to discover more about these features after slaying more dragons in my long term review.
Jamis is calling this bike an “adventure bike” so after I checked out its MTB ability on ups and downs, I needed to see how the Slayer slayed my local two tracks, and neglected forest service roads which are inevitable when we go adventuring offroad. Result: see ya, everyone who is not on a Dragon Slayer. Jamis convinced me in a heartbeat that if I was bikepacking, and needed to negotiate any of the above situations, I’d be in a good hands. Rolls smoothly while bombing over debris and through sand.
There is so much more I need to suss out about the Slayer: 27.5+ wheel set up (tires and rims), cornering, and fine tuning the fork. So, purely based on just two weeks of slaying dragons on my locals trails, I’m excited to head east so that I can return to write more about my impressions “since i’ve been gone”.
(click any photo to enlarge)
And some numbers:
75mm knob to knob
Edge knob 5mm tall
Center 2.5-3mm tall
28 7/16″ dia
3/4″ smaller dia than 2.4 tire
3/8″ smaller dia than 2.1 tire
Bead to bead 180mm
Weight post sealant 934g
67 degree head tube angle
72 seat tube angle
12.1-12.2″ Bottom bracket height
17.1″ chain stay at shortest
27.5″ front axle to bb center