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  1. #1
    HOV
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    I had the good fortune to come back into MTBing last Spring after a ~7-year hiatus on a Dawes Deadeye (rigid hardtail 29er SS from Bikes Direct) that I found on Craigslist for $180. Up to that point, I had been on mostly hardtail 26ers. When I rode the Deadeye for the first time, it was loooove.

    I spent the rest of the year riding it, learning how to singlespeed, upgrading. It ended up like this:


    IMAG0120-2 by Locuscope, on Flickr

    My baby. Man I love that thing. I've had $4000 Merlins and $400 Treks and many 26ers in between and nothing compares to how this bike rides. It's a heavy beast, but BUILT.

    This season I started getting the itch to branch out and try new things. First up was the Surly Karate Monkey. People say such good things about it so why not? As I was searching for one, I ended up comparing the geometry of the Deadeye to the renowned KM. Here's how they shape up (Dawes on the left, KM on the right, units are inches):

    Seat tube 21/20
    Top tube 24.5/23.2
    Head tbe angle 72/72
    Seat tube angle 73/73
    Chainstays 17.7/17
    Wheelbase 44/42.4
    Standover 32.8/32.4

    Now I know we tend to get wrapped up in millimeter-scale differences sometimes, but as far as my barbarian sensibilities are concerned, these are basically the same bike. The most significant differences are the chainstays and wheelbase, so I consider the Deadeye/Bullseye a slightly stretched KM. But also consider this is an XL Dawes vs a L KM...

    The KM has a few advantages - namely it can run fatter tires and has better rack & geared options, but to me it wasn't worth the $500 cost to switch when the Dawes already felt so good and worked so well.

    I ended up finding a new, unbuilt Jabberwocky frame on CL for $275 so I picked that up. Just built it last night (still waiting on rear brake to arrive):


    Blinglespeed V2 by Locuscope, on Flickr

    Rode it around a bit, felt ok. It's a little lighter than the Dawes build (with all the same components), mainly because it's a size smaller and the bike is built with smaller diameter tubing. But it doesn't have the very familiar and comfortable feel the Dawes had, because I haven't ridden it for hundreds of dirty miles yet. I think ithe Jabber will be ok, probably will handle and climb a little easier due to its smaller size.

    This allows me to return the Dawes to mostly stock form and use it as a commuter and backup trail bike. Or maybe I'll switch the frames around and use the Jabber for that instead...

    My real point here: the Deadeye/Bullseye is an excellent bike, it's the equal of any KM, Jabberwocky, or any other similar frame out there. It's a damn shame they're not made any more.
    Last edited by HOV; 04-10-2013 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #2
    HOV
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    And to excite your imagination and sense of wonder, here's the build:

    Sun Ringle MTX 33 in urban cammo
    DT Swiss swaged spokes, black brass nipples
    36h Hope Pro II Trials/SS hubs
    Manitou Tower Pro 100mm fork
    Cane Creek 40 headset
    Sette headlock
    Avid Elixir R SL front brake w/185mm rotor
    Avid Elixir 7 rear brake w/160mm rotor (arriving in the mail today)
    Shimano Deore crankset w/external bearing bottom bracket
    Origin 8 singlespeed-specific chainring bolts
    Surly 36t chainring
    Surly 20t cog
    Specialized Comp adjustable stem
    Dawes stock aluminum riser handlebars (man these things are great).
    Sette lock-on grips
    Avenir seatpost
    Thomson seatpost clamp (I like the Thomson clamps way better than their seatposts)
    Brooks B17 seat
    Maxxis Ardent 2.4" front
    Kenda Nevegal 2.2" rear (soon to be another Ardent 2.4"... these different sized tires are the same width!)

  3. #3
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post

    My real point here: the Deadeye/Bullseye is an excellent bike, it's the equal of any KM, Jabberwocky, or any other similar frame out there. It's a damn shame they're not made any more.
    Put them all on a scale and then let us know if they're all equal. The Dawes is made from lead.

  4. #4
    HOV
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    The Dawes build shown above is 32 lb., downhill wheels, fat tires, XL frame, Brooks saddle and all.

    I like the weight and the sturdy factor. The weight helps with uphill traction, and it feels very planted on the way down. Soaks up bumps great.

    I'll weigh the Jabberwocky this evening, I bet it's around 30lb.

  5. #5
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    Dawes frame is much heavier. You could fill with buckshot to make even heavier?

  6. #6
    HOV
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    Oh, I see. You're defending your purchase because I said I felt another bike was pretty close and I didn't need to make the same choice you did.

    Well, the KM is a sweet bike. I'd rather have one of those than the Dawes, if that helps levitate your emotional state (I just didn't want to pay for one with a Deadeye frame already in my possession). I don't like being limited in tire size, and it turns out that both the Jabberwocky and the Dawes can't really run a 2.4+ rear tire very well. So I salute you and your consumer decisions, KM owner.

    Surlies in general are cool; I am a happy Steamroller rider as well. Another CL purchase, in cherry condition, for $360.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    Here's how they shape up (Dawes on the left, KM on the right, units are inches):

    Seat tube 21/20
    Top tube 24.5/23.2
    Head tbe angle 72/72
    Seat tube angle 73/73
    Chainstays 17.7/17
    Wheelbase 44/42.4
    Standover 32.8/32.4

    these are basically the same bike
    I have no idea how you think those numbers are the same. Not even close.

  8. #8
    HOV
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    I feel that the little half inch differences here and there are not very significant to begin with, and they get fuzzier when components are added in. Stem length and angle, handlebar sweep, tire height, crank length, seat height, seat position, chain length, gearing, all those factors make those little differences a wash IMO.

    But hey, if you feel a difference you feel a difference. It would be silly to argue something as personal and individual as "feel".

  9. #9
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    All of these frames get the job done. The wheels and other parts are in many ways more important - even though we all want to switch frames from time to time. I had a heavy SE Stout and it was great. But these no name frames are very heavy compared to some other brands. The Jabber is pretty darn light for a steel frame compared to most, including the semi portly Monkey.

  10. #10
    HOV
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    Here's a more accurate comparison, a 19" Deadeye and 20" KM:

    Seat tube 19/20
    Top tube 23.4/23.2
    Head tbe angle 72/72
    Seat tube angle 73/73
    Chainstays 17.7/17
    Wheelbase 43.2/42.4
    Standover 32.0/32.4

    Just to put that in perspective, there's a 0.8% difference in top tube length, a 4% difference in chainstay length, a 1.8% difference in wheelbase, and a 1.2% difference in standover height.

    Between the XL Dawes and XL KM (there's a small correction to a transcription error made earlier):

    Seat tube 21/22
    Top tube 24.25/23.9
    Head tube angle 72/72
    Seat tube angle 73/73
    Chainstays 17.7/17
    Wheelbase 44/43
    Standover 32.8/33.6

    There's a 1.5% difference in top tube length, a 4% difference in chainstay length, a 2.3% difference in wheelbase, and a 2.4% difference in standover height.


    I seriously applaud the rider whose butt can discern a difference between those geometries.
    Last edited by HOV; 04-10-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  11. #11
    HOV
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    All of these frames get the job done. The wheels and other parts are in many ways more important - even though we all want to switch frames from time to time. I had a heavy SE Stout and it was great. But these no name frames are very heavy compared to some other brands. The Jabber is pretty darn light for a steel frame compared to most, including the semi portly Monkey.
    Agreed with all, that's why I ran an $800 wheelset on a $180 bike.

    I wish I weighed the Jabber frame before I built it. It was heavier in feel than I had expected. The most surprisingly light frame I've built thus far is a Redline Monocog Flight. Unfortunately that one could barely run 2.1" tires.

    But right now the Dawes frame is stripped so I will weigh that this evening. You've piqued my interest on this one.

  12. #12
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    Report back, I bet it weighs 7 pounds. My medium Monkey weighs 5 pounds 11 ouches. I have a Luddite too - I think it's a heavy girl too!

  13. #13
    HOV
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    Re: Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    Just got off the scale.

    New Jabberwocky build is 29 lb

    Old Dawes frame is 7 lb, you hit it on the nose

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2

  14. #14
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    Deadeye/Bullseye: 80% Karate Monkey. Enter Jabberwocky.

    Quote Originally Posted by HOV View Post
    Just got off the scale.

    New Jabberwocky build is 29 lb

    Old Dawes frame is 7 lb, you hit it on the nose

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    Lucky guess!

  15. #15
    HOV
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    So what's the weight of a size XL KM I wonder? Probably not far off from the Dawes if your size M frame is 5 lb 11 oz.

    I maintain my outrageous claim that the Dawes Deadeye is 80% of a Karate Monkey.

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