The 2016 Jamis Defcon is putting other bikes on high alert with it’s all-new 160mm travel platform.

Available in three trim levels, the bike puts brawny 27.5″ rubber from Vittoria underneath an updated version of their mp4 suspension system. The design uses a low leverage ratio to minimize stress on the shock and keep it very supple over the small bumps without sacrificing pedaling efficiency.

The design took two years to finalize and included everything from paper scribbles through to 3D models and then multiple rideable test mules before it was ready for its debut…


The rocker arm (also called a Unitary Bell Crank Linkage) is one piece, which makes it stiff enough to negate any need for a seatstay bridge. This let them shorten the stays, the lower of which are asymmetrical for better chain and tire clearance. On the front side of the rocker is custom 10mm shock hardware that reduces binding and other lateral forces on the shock. The result, when combined with the progressive design and low ratio, is a shock that’s better able to do its job keeping the rear tire glued to the ground and is less likely to destroy seals and bushings. All of it pivots on Enduro Max sealed bearings packed with CRC Marine Grease to last a good long time.


The Defcon’s 6061AL tubes are air formed, which is done at high air temps and they say allows for more thorough manipulation than hydroforming.

The Defcon1 ($4,899)sits at the top and comes with a Fox FLOAT 36 fork, Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain and brakes, KMC black chain, and KS LEV dropper post. Tires are Vittoria’s 27.5×2.3 Morsa (which snuck out at Sea Otter as a 2016 tire) and and 2.4 Goma, mounted to Loaded Precision X30 alloy wheels. Axles are the standard 15mm thru front and 12×142 rear. Loaded also handles the cockpit with their alloy AMX 35mm bar and stem.


The Defcon2 ($3,799) switches to a SRAM 1×11 GX1 group and Guide R brakes, Rockshox Pike RC fork and Monarch Plus RC3 shock, Loaded Precision X-Trail bar and stem and X30 wheels with the same rubber as the Defcon1. A KS SuperNatureal dropper post finishes it off.


The Defcon3 ($2,799) takes it down another notch with an X-Fusion Sweep RL2 fork with 34mm stanchions and 02 Pro RLX high volume shock, WTB ST i25 rims laced to Formula Centerlock hubs, Shimano Deore 2×10 group with 11-36 cassette and Deore brakes, KS eTen 100mm dropper post (other bikes get 125mm of drop in their posts) and Loaded Precision X-Trail bar and stem.

Full spec sheets are on their website, available at retail in fall 2015.

JamisBikes.com and DefconBikes.com


  1. Screaming value! Doubt they’ll sell many of the XT bikes at +1100 MSRP premium though. Esp w/ that colorway :O Would love to try one of these out though.

  2. 2 years to design a bike design that has been out for almost 10 years? really?

    fancy words for been there done that, didn’t pedal very well. much better frame designs out already.

    ok well make it a 27.5 and now its revolutionary? oh please……..yawn…

  3. I’ve never been impressed with the dual suspension mountain bikes from Jamis, and unfortunately, these offerings don’t look much better. Colorways and new graphics are eye catching! The tech though… not so much.

    Love the Xenith line of road bikes, and would put them up against bikes twice the price—not to mention a company full of great reps and great people. Wish they would plunk down the coin and grab an engineer/purchase patent usage rights for some decent dual suspensions designs though!

  4. @chris and Mike D….agreed. I don’t get why everyone with a faux-bar hasn’t converted over to horst link. I mean, with the patent expired there aren’t even any fees to take into consideration, so what is the downside if you are designing a new frame with new tooling anyway?

  5. I hate to be a typical Bikerumor comments section guy, but here goes… Yeah, faux-bar is old very old hat. It’s not bad hat, and it served us well for quite some time. It’s just that there are better designs out there. Like a real Horst link, which someone else mentioned. This probably rides fine, but there are better FS bikes out there. Who knows- maybe the bike offers good value. I am too lazy to compare prices myself, though…

  6. I had a XLT back in ’03 (?) the first year when they were ripping off the horst-link. That bike rode great (aside from the snapping chain stays) I believe they got busted and received cease and desist notices from big S to stop doing that, hence following model years were faux-bar. Big S must have put the scare in them for life.

  7. I have had a chance to ride the Defcon1 and have to say it is a stable, plush riding “enduro” bike.
    It pedals well uphill, but rips going down. Not sure why everyone who has not ridden this bike has negative things to say about Jamis and the Defcon. What other company is using Enduro Max Bearings and 10mm Hardware? They also spec Loaded Precision Bar, Stem and Wheels, Vittoria Tires and top notch suspension though out the line. Try the new Jamis Bikes 1st, before you bash!

  8. I didn’t know they got “busted” from big S for using the FSR suspension back then. I wonder if part of the “settlement” whatever was a judgement saying they couldn’t use the horst link again for so many years? And that even thought the patent expired they are still in their “non competitive” period from a court ruling?

    Maybe that’s why Scott hasn’t entered the USA with a horst link bike by now…?

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