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Jamis Overview

Jamis started in 1937 by Ron Jamis and operates today out of Northvale, New Jersey. In 1981 Ron's daughter Carine Joannou inherited Jamis and remains today the only woman owned independent, non-custom bike brand. 1) Carine oversaw Jamis branching out from cruisers and BMX to mountain, road, and everything in between.

Carine Joannou
Carine Joannou facebook

1981 (Boss) Explorer

In 1981 Jamis, like so many other BMX producers, stuck a single derailleur on a cruiser and called it a mountain bike. To their credit, they tried again and they continue today to produce decent bicycles:

Jamis says this about the 1981 (Boss) Explorer:

The (Boss) Explorer morphs from the Boss Cruiser. A pre-mountain bike if you will… a hybrid between the Floridian Boss Cruiser and those funky, fat-tired, multi-speed bikes them hippies are riding out in Marin County.

1983 Dakota, Roughneck & Lightfoot

Is that fillet brazing?? The Dakota pictured here is likely a later model due to the rear under the chainstay U-brakes.

Although U brakes were cool-looking and powerful, the fad died quite abruptly when people actually started using the bikes that were sold with chainstay-mounted U brakes. They had several serious drawbacks:

  • The inaccessible location made it very difficult to service or adjust the brakes.
  • They complicated the process of wheel removal.
  • They tended to get clogged with mud.
  • The mechanical advantage would decrease as the brake was applied harder, and as the brake shoes wore.
  • Due to the high-mounted studs, if you didn't monitor the brake shoe wear carefully, as they would wear, they would hit higher and higher on the rim. Eventually, they would overshoot the rim and start rubbing on the tire sidewall.

1983 Lightfoot
1983 Lightfoot mtbr

1983 Dakota
1983 Dakota ebay

1985 Dakota & Durango

The Dakota Competition gets cool rollercams and the Durango brand lives on even today: jamisbikes
Dates for on-line pictures are very unreliable, as people optimistically want their bike to be more more vintage and made before even the manufacturer started making them. The Dakota picture to the right is labeled by Budget Bicycle Center (a very non-budget reseller,) as being a 1983, and thus the very first Jamis Mountain bike. With Suntour brass roller-cam brakes which didn't come out until 1985 2)

1985 Dakota Competition
1985 Dakota Competition budgetbicycle

1987 Dakar

Shimano Deore XT (1987-8), lugged Tange Prestige frame.

1987 Dakar
1987 Dakar catalog pic jamisbikes

1989 Diablo

Fillet brazed, Tange MTB tubing, Shimano Deore (1987-88), ubrakes

1989 Diablo
1989 Diablo retrobike

1990 Diablo

Fillet brazed, Tange MTB tubing, Shimano Deore DX (1990-1993)

1990 Diablo
1990 Diablo mtbr

There are a few female custom frame builders
mombat - “New XC group introduced in late 1984 for the 1985 model year (see magazine article above from December 1984): Brass pulley were retrofitted to brakes with plastic rollers.” - Brass wasn't available until 1985.
jamis/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/03 16:06 by mtbtimeline