First Impression: Jamis Dragonfly 26+ Pro

The Jamis Dragonfly is a 26plus steel hardtail designed as a women’s-specific bike, featuring a shorter top tube in relation to seat tube, lower standover height, a shorter wheelbase and smaller sizing than its counterpart, the Dragonslayer.

The Dragonfly comes in two different models—Sport and Pro. I tested out the Pro, which upgrades from the Sport with a Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain, Fox Rhythm 34 fork and KS eTen dropper post versus a RockShox Recon, NX shifty bits and no dropper.

It comes spec’d with 26 x 3.0 WTB Ranger tires on Scraper i40 rims, tubeless out of the box. While Jamis only offers both models of the Dragonfly with 26plus wheels for 2017, they can be swapped with a 27.5 x 2.3 wheelset with no bottom bracket height change. The frame and fork can fit up to 27.5 x 3.0 tires, but Jamis cautions that this will raise the bottom bracket and potentially alter the handling of the bike. 

Sliding rear dropouts provide 15 mm of adjustability to accommodate different wheel sizes or a singlespeed setup, and rear rack mounts and an extra water bottle mount on the downtube hint that this would make a worthy bikepacking or backcountry touring rig.

I immediately tried out my frame bag and was delighted that it fit! 

I was both intrigued and skeptical of the 26plus platform when I first stepped aboard this bike. After all, didn’t we leave 26 inch wheels behind?

It took a few rides to get used to, but it wasn’t long before I felt right at home on the Dragonfly. It doesn’t feel like a race machine on climbs, but it’s a steel plus-tired bike after all. On descents, the smaller frame and wheel size made me feel very in-control and despite being a hardtail, it was easy to get rowdy! This bike is incredibly agile, and picking lines through the chunder and navigating tight, twisty singletrack was a breeze.

This bike seems like a versatile weapon for tackling a variety of riding conditions. Stay tuned for the final verdict and a full review of the Jamis Dragonfly in Dirt Rag 199, which will be hitting newsstands in a couple weeks!

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