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  1. #1
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    I have seen the light... Vassago convert

    Since I started riding mountain bikes a few years ago, I naturally just "clicked" with single speeding. I think it had something to do with all those years of BMX, gears and suspension just seemed overly complicated to me. I went through a handful of bikes in the few years I have been back in the saddle: starting with a Cannondale Trail (first bike back in the game) then moved onto a Spesh Fatboy that I converted to SS with a Wheels EBB. Last season I bought a Trek Stache and while I hated the extremely short chainstays, I fell madly in love with 29+. I also built a second bike last winter, an On One Inbred that I ran fixed gear for the season just for the hell of it. I knew almost immediately that I would probably never ride a non-steel frame again.


    So at the end of last season I decided that it was time to build something I wanted to ride for more than one season. Something that could linger in my stable for years to come. Enter the new Jabberwocky... It's literally everything I was looking for: steel with a reputation for having amazing ride qualities, 44mm headtube, 29x3 tire fit, sliding dropouts, and a geo that allows for climbing and descending (this is important with all of our punchy climbs/downs around here). I pulled the trigger as soon as they hit the Vassago site.


    What turned into a late fall/early winter addiction of strategically picking every part culminated into what is, by far, the most radical bike I have ever owned. I can honestly say that I am madly in love.


    The real point of this thread though, is that a lot of people come on here interested in steel frames, frames that are versatile, or just looking for a quality starting point for a single speed build. I HIGHLY recommend Vassago. This new Jabberwocky frame ticks all of the boxes for me. It is:

    *Extremely versatile
    *Affordable
    *Rides amazing, this is the epitome of a steel frame
    *Has geo that is spot on
    *Customer service from Vassago is top notch

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-15826355_1035747199887952_246354487125064663_n.jpg

  2. #2
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    Good looking ride DualRollers, did you have to gear down a tooth or two at all because of the + size tires ?

  3. #3
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    Thats a great bike. All ive seen for the past year when i click on the vassago website to buy a frame is out of stock. For a year on the Verhauen 29+.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bankofdad View Post
    Good looking ride DualRollers, did you have to gear down a tooth or two at all because of the + size tires ?
    I don't generally gear down for anything, I just force my legs pick up the slack... I even rode my full fat bike with 5" tires SS on the same gearing as a regular skinny tire.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thats a great bike. All ive seen for the past year when i click on the vassago website to buy a frame is out of stock. For a year on the Verhauen 29+.

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    This is exactly why I bought one as soon as they became available. The frame ended up sitting in my shop for 5-6 months because I wasn't going to be ready to build until winter... It was like torture.

  5. #5
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    Not sure what I did wrong, but I had an older Jabber for less than one year. I crashed and got hurt on that bike more times than any other bike. Maybe it was the Manitou Tower Pro fork. Maybe it was going faster and riding new trails. Maybe someone put a hex on it. I sold it and got a Karate Monkey and then a Juice and never had problems controlling the bike again.
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  6. #6
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    ^ yours had old geo, don't you know that's dangerous? they've updated it for the better IMO, less crashy. you know what they haven't changed? NO XL!!!

    nice bike OP. i've liked the new frame since i first read about it. glad to hear it rides as good as it sounds.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  7. #7
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    Maybe it had a 71 degree head angle. I heard those are dangerous.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    Something that could linger in my stable for years to come.
    Nice bike! Frame looks like such a winner.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Maybe it had a 71 degree head angle. I heard those are dangerous.
    Only for trail riding apparently.

  10. #10
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    I see the problem. I was riding trails on an XC bike. Silly me!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I see the problem. I was riding trails on a knobby tired road bike. Silly me!
    ahh, there's your problem.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ahh, there's your problem.
    I dunno if you were joking but I thought that original geo sucked. Riding mtb since 1991 and until that jabber I'd never had one I couldn't manual. Sure had a nice ride though...

    New bike looks sweet - 'cept that fork needs more travel. Love the colour.

    Confusing that they keep reusing that name. Maybe give it a number? This the Jabberwocky 3.0?
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  13. #13
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    Nice looking Jabber!! Probably the best 29+ frsame option there is IMO and at a great price.

    I also had some of the previous Jabber framesets. They rode great but the geometry had some serious drawbacks, this new one has WAY better geometry.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  14. #14
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    The geo on this thing is definitely fixed from the old ones. I read a review of this frame one time that said it "feels like you're sitting between the wheels, rather than over them"... pretty good description after riding it. I really enjoy it, it climbs really well and still feels playful, which seems to be something that's hard to find these days with the onslaught of super short chainstay bikes.

  15. #15
    jct
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    duplicate.
    Last edited by jct; 01-12-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  16. #16
    jct
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    i regret selling my old jabber and i have recently been lusting over a SS mtb to be added back to the stable. it seems like the new geo addresses a lot of shortcomings of the older design.

    too bad all size large is out of stock. hello waitlist!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    i regret selling my old jabber and i have recently been lusting over a SS mtb to be added back to the stable. it seems like the new geo addresses a lot of shortcomings of the older design.

    too bad all size large is out of stock. hello waitlist!
    It's my understanding that they usually sell out pretty fast... which seems to be common among the "off the shelf" steel frames that are reputable. I think Soma has the same problems with keeping stuff hanging around for very long. That's why I grabbed one of these right when they came available. Didn't want to miss out and spend my whole winter trying to source a frame.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    It's my understanding that they usually sell out pretty fast... which seems to be common among the "off the shelf" steel frames that are reputable. I think Soma has the same problems with keeping stuff hanging around for very long. That's why I grabbed one of these right when they came available. Didn't want to miss out and spend my whole winter trying to source a frame.
    yea their site says Large frames are due "9/1." hopefully that's not the case. luckily i have nice bikes to ride in the interim. my problem is that when i get a frame, i have little to no patience in building them up...so end up tossing a ton of money at parts instead of slowly accumulating them. lucky though that rigid SS don't require much!

  19. #19
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    Im pretty sure they are out of stock because the place that built their frames in Oregon went out of business. That was early 16 and they were looking for a new builder. The same builder built turner frames and thats why they dont have alloy.

    That was the story i got almost a year ago. Seems not much has changed cause they havent been in stock since.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im pretty sure they are out of stock because the place that built their frames in Oregon went out of business. That was early 16 and they were looking for a new builder. The same builder built turner frames and thats why they dont have alloy.

    That was the story i got almost a year ago. Seems not much has changed cause they havent been in stock since.
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    I don't know that the builder in Oregon would affect the Jabberwocky, I think that frame is made overseas. The Verhauen and I think the Fisticuffs are made in the US, which is probably what came from the builder in Oregon.

  21. #21
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    I bet you'll love yours as much as I love mine!
    I've got a 120mm fork and Nobby Nic 2.6s on in this pic, but I just picked up a Whisky no.9 fork and some 3.0 tires, so that'll be happening soon!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I have seen the light... Vassago convert-img_0207.jpg  

    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    yea their site says Large frames are due "9/1." hopefully that's not the case.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im pretty sure they are out of stock...{snip}

    That was the story i got almost a year ago. Seems not much has changed cause they havent been in stock since.
    Don't trust the Vassago site. Even Tom says the website is undergoing a major update. I've bought stuff from them that showed as out of stock. FB message the Vassago page, someone will respond with accurate info. I've live-chatted with them on a number of occasions.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  23. #23
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    Damn you!!! I already have a rigid SS, but I'd been looking to do a 29+ SS, but never found one that met my requirements. That is until you posted this. I have everything to build up this frame except brakes. 29+ QR wheels, CHECK. 29x3.0 Chupacabras, CHECK. Krampus rigid fork, CHECK. Pimped out Shimano Octalink cranset, CHECK. Dropper post, CHECK. Carbon cockpit, CHECK. Now for them to get medium green frames in stock.

  24. #24
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    I'm still trying to get the 2.6 NN. I may put a 120mm fork this year but so far my rigid fork with wide rims and fat tires work pretty good.
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  25. #25
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    Nice looking Chupawocky!

    What gear combo are you running/slider location?

  26. #26
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    I decided to try out the "tiny drivetrain" thing for a little extra clearance over the big shelf rock that we have a lot of here. Currently its set up 26x15, which is very similar to the 32x18 I generally run... I have a 32x18 setup on standby in case this 15t rear cog starts chewing up too many chains.

    Dropout is about midway.

  27. #27
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    I'll throw my 2 cents in on Vassago for what it's worth. I bought a Jabber frame back in 2012 maybe, built it up and absolutely loved it. Thru my own stupid fault I got the seat post stuck in the frame. Tried like hell to get it out and damaged the frame. Knowing Vassago offered crash replacements at a discount I said what the heck and reached out to see if they would take pity on me and help out even though it was totally my fault. To my surprise I was told no problem send in the frame and we'll hook you up, so I packed up the frame and mailed it off. A few weeks goes by and I reach out. I'm told yes we have the frame but haven't looked at it yet. Few more weeks goes by, I'm told yes they've looked at it but no frames in stock, they'd send it to their builder to be fixed for $100 plus return shipping. A month goes by and I reach out, crickets, another month reach out crickets, 6 months, crickets. At this point I am obviously never seeing my frame again and I could can less but I felt I should post my experience with the company. I know they went thru a tough period and have been bought and sold a few times but come on, to snake my frame and never respond just isn't cool. Other then my subpar customer service experience the frame rocked and I would recommend their products just not their customer service.

    For what it's worth.........

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  28. #28
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    The new moose knuckle gives me a chubby, wish it was available in a steel so I could justify the purchase...

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-16788512_612996105561090_685507747155804160_n.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails I have seen the light... Vassago convert-18382695_283444508774344_8367916771713220608_n.jpg  


  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    The new moose knuckle gives me a chubby, wish it was available in a steel so I could justify the purchase...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thats super ugly. And corny shaped. Plus Vassago is a poorly ran operation. They cant even manage something as basic as keeping their website up to date.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev440x View Post
    I'll throw my 2 cents in on Vassago for what it's worth. I bought a Jabber frame back in 2012 maybe, built it up and absolutely loved it. Thru my own stupid fault I got the seat post stuck in the frame. Tried like hell to get it out and damaged the frame. Knowing Vassago offered crash replacements at a discount I said what the heck and reached out to see if they would take pity on me and help out even though it was totally my fault. To my surprise I was told no problem send in the frame and we'll hook you up, so I packed up the frame and mailed it off. A few weeks goes by and I reach out. I'm told yes we have the frame but haven't looked at it yet. Few more weeks goes by, I'm told yes they've looked at it but no frames in stock, they'd send it to their builder to be fixed for $100 plus return shipping. A month goes by and I reach out, crickets, another month reach out crickets, 6 months, crickets. At this point I am obviously never seeing my frame again and I could can less but I felt I should post my experience with the company. I know they went thru a tough period and have been bought and sold a few times but come on, to snake my frame and never respond just isn't cool. Other then my subpar customer service experience the frame rocked and I would recommend their products just not their customer service.

    For what it's worth.........

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    so you never got your frame back?

    this sounds par for the course. i have spoken with a few other recent customers who have had issues in dealing with Tom @ Vassago.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    so you never got your frame back?

    this sounds par for the course. i have spoken with a few other recent customers who have had issues in dealing with Tom @ Vassago.
    Nope. I went back thru my emails for a time line. I reached in Nov 2014 and got my last reply from Tom in January 2015. I sent several emails after that with no reply and basically gave up and bought a new El Mariachi in June 2015. It's a shame because I really liked the frame and I'd still be riding it if I had greased my seat post. Again not bashing the product, frame failed because of me, I simply take issue with the customer service and the fact that I'll never see my frame again. Life goes on and I now ride a frame purchased from my LBS that I can deal with face to face. Lesson learned.

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    And just to be clear so no one bashes me. I never asked for anything for free, I sent frame in with the understanding I was purchasing a crash replacement for $250 which was generously offered by Tom. That never happened unfortunately and he never returned my old frame.

    Hopefully he reads this and does the right thing for anyone that has issues in the future.

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  33. #33
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    The current Vassago is light years ahead of the old ownership in quality and customer service fwiw. A completely different company. And to the Tool that can only find the website to complain about , if being sold out is being "poorly run" then they're poorly running it right. I have no monetary interest in Vassago but do not suffer Fools and Morons very well.
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    Just to add to the customer service issue, I to had a poor experience, I was on verge of buying a jabberwocky 2 weeks ago, I emailed them twice within 5 days with a few questions before I pulled the trigger but I received no replies to either of my messages. If someone can't answer a few simple questions then they're not getting my hard earned cash. I have since gone elsewhere. Pity cos I was looking forward to that frame.

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  35. #35
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    Is the swoopie downtube just for cosmetics? This isn't the part of the frame one looks for "compliance" is it? Even Jones uses a straight tube here, right?

    I've read almost nothing positive about titanium forks on mountain bikes. Again, it strikes me as something done in the name of vanity instead of performance or value.

    I know little about frame design, metal properties, etc., so go ahead, rip into me! You can start with "You haven't even ridden it..."

    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thats super ugly. And corny shaped.
    I think the larger sizes look kinda cool, but I see what you're saying.
    Last edited by Ryder1; 05-12-2017 at 01:23 PM. Reason: clarity
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    The current Vassago is light years ahead of the old ownership in quality and customer service fwiw. A completely different company. And to the Tool that can only find the website to complain about , if being sold out is being "poorly run" then they're poorly running it right. I have no monetary interest in Vassago but do not suffer Fools and Morons very well.
    It's my understanding that Tom was the original owner who sold the company then bought it back a few years ago? Thought I read that somewhere. Either way I was dealing with a gentleman named Tom. Whether or not it's two seperate Toms I'm not sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    The current Vassago is light years ahead of the old ownership in quality and customer service fwiw. A completely different company. And to the Tool that can only find the website to complain about , if being sold out is being "poorly run" then they're poorly running it right. I have no monetary interest in Vassago but do not suffer Fools and Morons very well.
    There's a difference between being sold out and being barely staying in business. I know the truth i said that about the website because thats the most basic thing. I could go deeper but its not worth arguing with a bunch of strangers. Plus other brands are watching.

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlanderson View Post
    Just to add to the customer service issue, I to had a poor experience, I was on verge of buying a jabberwocky 2 weeks ago, I emailed them twice within 5 days with a few questions before I pulled the trigger but I received no replies to either of my messages. If someone can't answer a few simple questions then they're not getting my hard earned cash. I have since gone elsewhere. Pity cos I was looking forward to that frame.

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    Maybe reach out on social media? They seem to be more active there I'm told. I don't do Facebook or I would've reached out that way myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev440x View Post
    Maybe reach out on social media? They seem to be more active there I'm told. I don't do Facebook or I would've reached out that way myself.

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    I would but not on Facebook either. Too late now anyway as I've spent my cash with someone that can answer an email. ☺

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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlanderson View Post
    Just to add to the customer service issue, I to had a poor experience, I was on verge of buying a jabberwocky 2 weeks ago, I emailed them twice within 5 days with a few questions before I pulled the trigger but I received no replies to either of my messages. If someone can't answer a few simple questions then they're not getting my hard earned cash. I have since gone elsewhere. Pity cos I was looking forward to that frame.

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    i ordered a jabber 15 days ago. after some back n forth with Tom, it's supposed to be here today...hopefully...
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    i ordered a jabber 15 days ago. after some back n forth with Tom, it's supposed to be here today...hopefully...
    I think you will really love the frame and the way it rides, I just hope for your sake you don't have any warranty issues in the future! A company can't survive just on the reputation of its products alone. Customer service should be priority number one. I to own a small business, so I kow first hand!

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev440x View Post
    I think you will really love the frame and the way it rides, I just hope for your sake you don't have any warranty issues in the future! A company can't survive just on the reputation of its products alone. Customer service should be priority number one. I to own a small business, so I kow first hand!

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    exactly my concern. i know some of this last batch of jabber frames have had to get seat tubes reamed out to get more post in.

    i had a green jabber from 2011-14-ish and loved that bike. i think i'll like this one even more with shorter rear end, boost, 3" wide tires etc.

    also, i think FB may be the best way to get in touch with them/him. i also pinged their many emails and also left a snarky comment on their IG feed to let them know i was done playing around. then all of the sudden i got a response. go figure.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    exactly my concern. i know some of this last batch of jabber frames have had to get seat tubes reamed out to get more post in.

    i had a green jabber from 2011-14-ish and loved that bike. i think i'll like this one even more with shorter rear end, boost, 3" wide tires etc.

    also, i think FB may be the best way to get in touch with them/him. i also pinged their many emails and also left a snarky comment on their IG feed to let them know i was done playing around. then all of the sudden i got a response. go figure.
    I'm done trying to resolve the issue. In the unlikely event he comes across this thread and wants to make it right great otherwise I'm cutting my loses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    exactly my concern. i know some of this last batch of jabber frames have had to get seat tubes reamed out to get more post in.

    i had a green jabber from 2011-14-ish and loved that bike. i think i'll like this one even more with shorter rear end, boost, 3" wide tires etc.

    also, i think FB may be the best way to get in touch with them/him. i also pinged their many emails and also left a snarky comment on their IG feed to let them know i was done playing around. then all of the sudden i got a response. go figure.
    That doesnt bother you? I would read this post and think, im not giving that company money. Its not about giving them the money. Its what happens after.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    That doesnt bother you? I would read this post and think, im not giving that company money. Its not about giving them the money. Its what happens after.

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    Exactly

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    Super bummed to hear not everyone is getting good customer service. That's really disappointing and not at all in line with my experiences.
    I bought my frame 2nd hand (was built, ridden twice and parted out.) I pinged Vassago through FB and had responses to my questions in like an hour. A few weeks later I wanted to upgrade from 135qr to 12x142 and msgd them again about the axle showing out of stock on the website, and when I might be able to get one. Vassago FB messaged me back a little later saying he had one in hand, and wanted to know if I would prefer it mailed to me or dropped off at ShadeTree bikes, a lbs near my house, because he was headed there. I told Tom I'd be right there and asked if I could buy a t-shirt too. Both were waiting for me with my name on them when I arrived at the shop 30 mins later.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by earlanderson View Post
    Just to add to the customer service issue, I to had a poor experience, I was on verge of buying a jabberwocky 2 weeks ago, I emailed them twice within 5 days with a few questions before I pulled the trigger but I received no replies to either of my messages. If someone can't answer a few simple questions then they're not getting my hard earned cash. I have since gone elsewhere. Pity cos I was looking forward to that frame.

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    I had a similar issue. I was set to buy one of the new Optimusti 29+ that aren't on the website yet. I even ordered a new 29+ boost wheelset for the frame. I got a couple responses to emails but they went silent before my final questions were answered. I was ready order and called, but nobody answered. The emails I did receive were basically trying to get me to purchase a $2000 frame without sharing the new geo numbers or pictures. I was told the website would be updated weeks ago but it's still unchanged. Glad my money didn't go to such poorly ran company.

    After that I made a deposit on a custom ti frame with Funk Cycles. Their communication is amazing. Multiple responses per day to emails before I made a deposit. We're now working on the details for my build and they have very timely responses 7 days a week. This is more expensive than Vassago, but I feel so much better about spending my money with them. The build and design process is also a lot more fun than I thought it would be, and the great customer service is a big part of that

  48. #48
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    so what are our options for a proper 29+ SS with QR sliding dropouts?

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    Salsa El Mariachi is what I ride now. It was a 9mm QR on alernator dropouts when I bought it. Not sure if things have changed though. I changed out the plates to 12x142 thru axle.

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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev440x View Post
    Salsa El Mariachi is what I ride now. It was a 9mm QR on alernator dropouts when I bought it. Not sure if things have changed though. I changed out the plates to 12x142 thru axle.

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    I didn't know and El Mar could swallow a 29x30 tire.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    so what are our options for a proper 29+ SS with QR sliding dropouts?
    Carver, maybe a smaller brand. Nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I didn't know and El Mar could swallow a 29x30 tire.
    It cant. Not even close. He obviously didnt read what you wrote

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    so what are our options for a proper 29+ SS with QR sliding dropouts?
    Just because a frame comes with TA dropouts doesn't mean your stuck with them. If you want/need QR dropouts you can swap out the sliders for ~$30-40 per side. Just make sure the parts are compatible and available. Paragon Machine Works is one of the major dropout manufacturers for example.
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  54. #54
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    Paragon (or paragon-style) dropouts allow for both 135 qr and 12x142ta. I have a set of SS 135s in my parts box, and I'm using the ta. Vassago uses paragons, and so do most brands that offer SS capabilities. Personally, I love them. It makes more sense than the way Salsa or Trek do it.

    @*OneSpeed*- Did you mean set, not side? I bought my TA with the axle for IIRC, $45. QR dropouts should be much less for the pair.

    edit: I guess I don't recall what I paid for my TA sliders. I know I got them directly from Tom, but I bought other stuff so I didn't pay attention. The Vassago website says $80 with the axle included. The qr dropouts are $15 per side.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    It cant. Not even close. He obviously didnt read what you wrote

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    Sorry, didn't realize he was referring to 3.0 tires. Wasn't sure what "29+" was unil now.

    And upon further research Salsa doesn't even make the El Mariachi frame anymore apparently.

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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I didn't know and El Mar could swallow a 29x30 tire.
    I haven't tried a plus tire, but looking at a 2.4 Ardent on a 23mm rim, i seriously doubt a 3" tire on a wide rim would fit.

    The el mariachi are nice bikes though. My wife and I have matching rigid singlespeeds. My only complaint is lack of stiffness in the rear when using qr. I only weigh 155 and would get rotor rub when climbing out of the saddle. A dt swiss qr helped but didn't completely solve the problem.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    @*OneSpeed*- Did you mean set, not side? I bought my TA with the axle for IIRC, $45. QR dropouts should be much less for the pair.
    I was kind of going from memory when I was looking for TA replacements for my old Kona Unit, those were $30 per side. A quick check of PMW website shows they are available for $15 per side. Damn, not bad.
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  58. #58
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    I'm looking at a new jabber and it appears that at 6' vassago says I could ride a medium or large. Any 6 footers riding a new jabber? What size frame did you go with and was that the right size?

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    The new moose knuckle gives me a chubby, wish it was available in a steel so I could justify the purchase...

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    That's filthy. Kinda an homage to the Trek Sawyer but better fro and pounds lighter.

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    Please donate to IMBA or your local IMBA chapter. It's trail karma.

  60. #60
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    If any of the taller guys are looking for a Knuckle I have one for sale. Great bike but don't ride MTB enough any more.

    Vassago Mooseknuckle - Buy and Sell Mountain Bikes and Accessories

  61. #61
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    seriously considering one of the new Jabbers. I am 5'9" and would like to run it with a 120mm fork, short stem, wide bars. medium or small?
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  62. #62
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    Medium.

    I'm jjjuuusssst shy of 5'9", my frame is a small.
    I'm running a 90mm 0* Thomson stem with 20mm spacers under and flat 750mm bars.

    It's a small because I bought it from a friend who was shorter, and after building it, decided it too similar to their VerHauen. (first world problems, right?) So I bought it 'used' with 2 rides on it.

    I was just on the border between Sm and Med, so I took the plunge, because all Jabberwockys were out of stock at the time. Had I waited, I'd have been waiting about 5 months.

    I don't regret mine for a second, but if I were offered the option to switch for free (or very cheap) I would, but not because of fit.

    I actually think my bike fits awesome. 95% because of my reason is that the small frame standover is sooooooo low that I can only get a 'short' 21oz water bottle in the back cage, and the front bottle (on the down tube) is kind of tight to get out unless you use a quality side-load cage. Also, a little bit because I'm running a 350mm post almost at max height, which is aesthetically odd to me.
    I don't know if you have aspirations to bikepack, but that low standover means less volume in the frame bag too.
    They're minor things, but they are things I've noted in the last 8 months of ownership.


    Edit: I'm currently on 29+ wheels and bouncing back and forth between a rigid Whisky 9, and a 100mm boost Reba, but if you look at post #21, I had regular 29'er wheels and a 120mm XFusion fork on it. It was great.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    seriously considering one of the new Jabbers. I am 5'9" and would like to run it with a 120mm fork, short stem, wide bars. medium or small?
    I am 5'7" and ride small Verhauen, 23.6" ETT with a 80 mm stem. My other bikes are SC Highball medium 22.9" Top tube and 90 mm stem and a large SC Solo with a 24" TT and 50 mm stem. The two HT bikes are designed to be set-up very similar. The Solo is more of and AM style build. A 60mm stem on that might help bring them all to the same ETT+Stem, but I want it a bit shorter and more upright due to what I ride with it.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  64. #64
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    At 5'9" my medium VerHauen felt too big. Even with a 50mm stem. I much prefer my small Jabberwocky and I know several guys taller than me that opt for the small as well.
    Pedal through it!

  65. #65
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    interesting. I realized the other day that my last few frames had a ETT of about 600mm and I always end up putting a tall, offset post on them with the saddle slammed back and a 70-80mm stem. with that setup, I still feel cramped sometimes. I would love to ride a normal seatpost with less post sticking out and a shorter stem, so medium might work better for me.
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  66. #66
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    It's really hard to single out just one number like ETT, but Vassagos typically have more BB drop as part of the Wetcat/Fastcat geo. Size wise, my small Jabber felt more similar to the medium frame of another maker that I ride now (both with 70mm stem). I ran the medium VerHauen with a 50mm stem and the wheelbase just seemed too big for me.

    All the measurements work together and two seemingly similar frames in geometry can ride so differently.
    Pedal through it!

  67. #67
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    I will look into that. I have a totally ridiculous spreadsheet of frame geometries that I have been using to compare frame sizes and I feel that a small Jabber's stack & reach would put me back where I started: needing a stem that is too long for the wide bars I'd like to use and a flagpole of a seatpost with ton of saddle offset that cantilevers my butt too far over the rear wheel.

    I found that juxtaposing two frames on the BikeGeo.net tool helps a lot to visualize these things. unfortunately, there are very few opportunites to throw a leg over bikes are are only available as framesets to really test them out. I know someone who has a medium Verhauen so I am trying to find time to try his out for comparison.

    I could be wrong, which has me a bit paranoid about spending several hundred bucks on a frame that might not fit me.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I could be wrong, which has me a bit paranoid about spending several hundred bucks on a frame that might not fit me.
    Neanderthal here... I don't understand the problem with determining fit.

    Isn't it simple and non-negotiable how one positions one's ass for riding? I don't see why one would ever adjust reach with the seat position - is broken.

    1) Seat height: with seat at 'correct' flat riding height, you'll want the appropriate (*) bend in your knee.

    2) Set horizontal position: now that seat is set vertically, locate the seat forward back so your knee is appropriately (*) over your pedal spindle.

    (*) For whatever definition your experienced self prefers.

    I don't see how you could be forced to ride a seat too far back over the back axle - wouldn't that prevent correct knee location over the pedal?

    I would think you would start with clear idea of where you want the seat located relative to BB, then move to what is appropriate reach for you. Goofy fitting frame that requires a setback seatpost might prevent you from using a dropper (depending on what dropper you want.)

    Determine seat location, then determine what bar location you prefer. And then you can guesstimate which frame size is right for you.

    Finally figure out CSL and head angle that you're wanting.
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  69. #69
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    I think you're right. I have been riding "medium" frames with a 590-610mm ETT and using saddle offset to make them "fit." I do this because companies say that their "medium" frame should fit me. I end up shoe-horning myself into bikes and this is wrong on many levels. it's what I have found necessary to keep from crunching my back into an awkward position. if I properly stretch myself out so that the bike is comfortable to ride, handling suffers.

    [edit] I have tried setting my bikes up my KOPS as a baseline and it always requires a seatpost with a ton of offset to make that work. I rode Truvativ seatpost for a while because they have 25mm of offset.

    I am not sure what to think of KOPS. it's mostly bs and I think Keith Bontrager put the last nail in that coffin many years ago but the myth persists. I don't know exactly what makes an ideal pedaling position but gravity and plumb lines have little to do with it. that's a can of worms probably not worth hijacking the thread over. Let's talk about Vassagos!

    I think I have done exactly what you suggested: "Determine seat location, then determine what bar location you prefer. And then you can guesstimate which frame size is right for you." this is why I am considering a medium Jabber- I can run an inline seatpost (and maybe a dropper when I have the extra $$) and a short stem because it has the ETT and reach measurements that I seem to need.

    anything with a ~600mm ETT ends up needing extreme measures to make it not painful to ride, so I need something longer.

    perhaps it's time to pony up for a proper bike fitting and take the guess work out of this. Or just worrying and just go running. bikes hate me.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-14-2017 at 06:43 AM.
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am not sure what to think of KOPS. it's mostly bs and I think Keith Bontrager put the last nail in that coffin many years ago but the myth persists. I don't know exactly what makes an ideal pedaling position but gravity and plumb lines have little to do with it. that's a can of worms probably not worth jijacking the thread over. Let's talk about Vassagos!
    Ha! Well too bad. I'd like to thank you for provoking me out of my comfort zone.

    I didn't know that KOPS was rubbish. Missed that memo. Something close seems to work ok for me. Probably happiest with knee about 0-1" in front of the pedals.

    A bike can be weight balanced to tolerate alternative seat positions, but I think the stuff that breaks if you stray from kops is:
    - not being able to get out of saddle quickly
    - not having room to pedal when out of saddle (knees hit bars)

    Especially for SS that standing space seems important.

    Interesting at 5'9 you feel so dramatically scrunched at 600mm. I'm 6' and am happy at 625-635 (with 60mm stem).

    Maybe best thing is to try and beg/borrow/steal some time on a bigger bike and see how it goes.

    Good luck.
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  71. #71
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    so far as I can tell, the difference in the ETT between the small and medium Jabber is 15mm.

    They don't list the stack and reach, but I calculated it and the medium has a stack that is 6mm taller and reach that is 6mm longer. I might have calculated that incorrectly but it is probably close enough to know that that it seems rather minimal and easily adjusted to make the two sizes fit about the same.

    so why would one chose a small over medium?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-14-2017 at 08:04 PM.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    I didn't know that KOPS was rubbish. Missed that memo. Something close seems to work ok for me. Probably happiest with knee about 0-1" in front of the pedals.
    Keith Bontrager, who invented KOPS even said years later it was rudimentary at best, and only worked to start with road bike geo, it didn't apply well to mtb, especially as mtb diverged from road and geo got slacker and "front center" got longer. It's not wrong if it works for you, but it's not gospel.

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    so why would one chose a small over medium?
    Using the geo calc you linked in another thread, using a 120 fork, I come up with a stack difference of 15mm, and a reach of 6mm, so theres that. 15mm of stack isn't huge, but it'll be noticeable. I know a few guys running 480 rigid forks with slammed stems. not my jam, but it's done. It'd be more pronounced if they chose to run a rigid 3.0 front and a regular 2.3 rear. I know 2 guys doing that. both on VerHauens.

    could also be standover, though neither has a tall standover to begin with, so... shrug. some people like really low top tubes for that BMX feel. getting a reach similar to a med, with a very low TT, and a little less weight might be appealing to some.


    for me, it was solely about availability. I looked at the difference in ett, compared it to the bike i was riding before and said "small now beats medium in 6 months"


    I won't spill the beans for him, but a MTBR member friend of mine is 5'9" and just bought a LARGE VerHauen. I can almost certainly say I would feel way too stretched out on that bike unless I had a 0mm setback post, and like a 50mm stem, but to quote him, the first ride was "plain awesome"
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  73. #73
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    This thread needs more Vassago pics.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-img_0549.jpg
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

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    mack_turtle have you ridden any of the thousand vassagos you're surrounded by down there yet?

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southbound View Post
    mack_turtle have you ridden any of the thousand vassagos you're surrounded by down there yet?
    I have been trying! I know some who have the older Jabbers and a few Verhauens, mostly mediums and larges. I don't know if anyone has a small to compare it to.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-15-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    This thread needs more Vassago pics.

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    Here ya go... My 2013 Optimus Ti (I have like a bazillion miles on it) and on the bottom my 29+ rigid Optimus Ti (Fun as hell to ride). Oh, and I have always received nothing but great service from Vassago...

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20161108_143333-medium-.jpg
    "You either want to or you don't."

  77. #77
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    put in an order for a medium Jabber today! after months of agonizing over what to do about my riding, I came to conclude that I need a "medium" frame with a long top tube. very few options in that regard.

    I play to ride it singlespeed most of the time with a 1x10 option when I need it. 29.25-35 tires, more conventional XC setup. not sure if I want to set the fork up 120mm or 100mm. no plans for a rigid for at the moment.
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  78. #78
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    Congrats! I think you'll be happy.

    I've had mine set up with both a 100 and a 120 fork, as well as a 100mm-corrected rigid and they all ride and steer great. Honestly, IMO there wasn't a significant difference in handling, but it tracked a little better (maybe) when the trail got real loose and choppy with the 120.
    I wouldn't overanalyze it. choose the fork you like the feel of best.

    I expect pics when it arrives!
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    put in an order for a medium Jabber today! after months of agonizing over what to do about my riding, I came to conclude that I need a "medium" frame with a long top tube. very few options in that regard.

    I play to ride it singlespeed most of the time with a 1x10 option when I need it. 29.25-35 tires, more conventional XC setup. not sure if I want to set the fork up 120mm or 100mm. no plans for a rigid for at the moment.
    Sweet!! Awesome news. Hope you love it. I'm expecting lots of pics followed by ride reports.
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  80. #80
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    I can't get Vassago to answer my questions, which does not fill me with confidence, but...

    Does the frame come with a searpost clamp? The photos on the website look like it does but I want to make sure in case i need to go get one before it shows up.

    Also, did the frame come with any instruction? What is the ideal torque on the sliders?
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  81. #81
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    Seatpost clamp: yes.
    Brass thumbscrews like the website clearly shows: no. I 3d printed some so the nuts wouldn't gouge the paint. Seems like a weird place to cut corners. You might want to pick up some washers or something.

    I didn't measure torque when I did the sliders. The bolts are big and there wasn't really any "feel the bolt stretching" feedback, so I just made them really tight. I repositioned it once after a test ride and then it's just held with no fussing.

    Did you order through cycle progression? When I was picking up my frame the owner dude rang up some arbitrary price that wasn't what I was quoted by email and it got awkward, so I didn't hang out to chat or look for instructions. It's a bike frame.

    Edit: I realized "really tight" is pretty ambiguous. I would estimate >10 Nm.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post

    Does the frame come with a searpost clamp? The photos on the website look like it does but I want to make sure in case i need to go get one before it shows up.

    Also, did the frame come with any instruction? What is the ideal torque on the sliders?
    My frame had a seat post clamp. Just a clamp, not a QR, it's black and basic, but it worked just fine. I replaced it with a Blue Salsa LipLock, because I wanted bling, but not because it didn't work.

    I tighten my sliders "good and snug" with a single loose allen key. I'd guess it's a few nM. There's a screw to limit any forward slipping, so as long as it doesn't creak, I figure it's good. grease it before you ride.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southbound View Post
    Brass thumbscrews like the website clearly shows: no.
    Those brass screws are for the Titanium sliders on the Optimus. It's a different size screw. You're subtly implying misadvertisement when you're actually looking at the wrong bike.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    Those brass screws are for the Titanium sliders on the Optimus. It's a different size screw. You're subtly implying misadvertisement when you're actually looking at the wrong bike.
    They're still pictured on the website to this day (I got a verhauen): vassagocycles - VerHauen

    When I emailed about them being missing the reply was something like "Hurr durr we haven't shipped those for years geez."

  85. #85
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    Cool story. The JabberWocky has never come with brass thumbscrews. And the'yre not pictured on any image of the JabberWocky frame anywhere on the website.

    I'm not a Vassago apologist. I love my bike, and so does everyone I know with one, but I recognize their website and overall marketing approach could use a lot of improvement, but lets try and keep the misinformation to a minimum, shall we?

    The bike Mack_Turtle bought does not, and never has come with brass thumb screw slider limiters. Saying "clearly pictured" is a lie.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southbound View Post

    Did you order through cycle progression? When I was picking up my frame the owner dude rang up some arbitrary price that wasn't what I was quoted by email and it got awkward, so I didn't hang out to chat or look for instructions. It's a bike frame.
    I paid for the frame already before ordering, so there should not be any additional awkwardness.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
    Vassago Jabberwocky

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    The bike Mack_Turtle bought does not, and never has come with brass thumb screw slider limiters. Saying "clearly pictured" is a lie.
    Sorry, I got the frames confused. My above posts refer to the VerHauen only.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southbound View Post
    Sorry, I got the frames confused. My above posts refer to the VerHauen only.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  89. #89
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    Those brass nuts are completely useless. I have like 4 pair laying around gathering dust. If you MUST have them, they are available on the Paragon website, but seriously... WHY?
    "You either want to or you don't."

  90. #90
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    your brass nuts are useless and gathering dust.... ha ha...
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtbyte View Post
    Those brass nuts are completely useless. I have like 4 pair laying around gathering dust. If you MUST have them, they are available on the Paragon website, but seriously... WHY?

    They keep the adjustment bolts from coming loose? If you use a wrench you'll mangle the paint with the exposed edges of the nut.

    While we're talking about this though, is there any point in leaving the bolts that use the brass piece on the bike at all? The bolts that cinch the sliders to the frame should take all the load, right?

  92. #92
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    IMO, the brass locknuts are useless. my Jabber had springs on the screws to put tension on them. At one point as an experiment in handling I slammed the sliders all the back, and bottomed out the stop screws, so the springs had to come out. When I went back to the sliders more forward (dictated by preferred gear ratio) i never replaced the springs. To my experience the stop screws haven't moved.


    I don't think they are truly doing much to secure the wheel, but they're cheap and unobtrusive insurance in case a slider bolt comes loose, or you manage to slam hard enough to slip a slider.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  93. #93
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    They may not be super useful, and yes the bolts on the sides hold the wheel in place, but I think they're nice to have and make fine adjustments easier when centering the wheel and setting chain tension.
    Rigid SS 29er
    Fat Lefty
    SS MonsterCross
    SS cyclocross
    all steel

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  94. #94
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    I continue to have nothing but positive experiences dealing with Tom. I have contacted him twice now via the Vassago website, and both times he has responded within the same day and been super helpful.

    That's a bummer so many people feel like their questions are neglected. Maybe it's hard for him to keep up being such a small operation?

  95. #95
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    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144804.jpg
    18" black Jabber, looks good so far!

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144838.jpg
    HT badge. I think the last tim I owned a Vassgao frame, it just came with a sticker.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144847.jpg
    tiny gusset under the downtube. nice touch.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144900.jpg
    room for two inward bottle cages and room to bolt something under the DT.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144913.jpg
    slightly curved, extrenally butted seat tube.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144925.jpg
    more room than I'll probably ever need.

    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144937.jpg
    chainstay yoke thing leaves lots of room for rubber and drivetrain.
    I have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_144948.jpgI have seen the light... Vassago convert-20170819_145004.jpg

    dropouts and axle are meh, but they look like they will definitely do the job.

    the shop did not have the headset I needed to finish the build (they dropped the ball there!) but I should be able to get it up and running by the end of the week. very pleased with the initial look of the frame. the photos on Vassago's website don't do it justice.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
    Vassago Jabberwocky

  96. #96
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    "Dropouts and axle are meh, but they look like the will definitely do the job"

    Blame Paragon Machine Works. Vassago just welds them to the end of the stays.
    The dropouts and sliders are, IMO, the best way to rig a SS.
    I will admit I have he same axle and I don't like it. I actually damaged the notch that the flip lever fits into by an errant rock-strike. It works, it's just takes more attention. I plan on replacing it with a DT Swiss RWS axle in the future. The sliders and inserts match, so it's just the axle to replace.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    "Dropouts and axle are meh, but they look like the will definitely do the job"

    Blame Paragon Machine Works. Vassago just welds them to the end of the stays.
    The dropouts and sliders are, IMO, the best way to rig a SS.
    I will admit I have he same axle and I don't like it. I actually damaged the notch that the flip lever fits into by an errant rock-strike. It works, it's just takes more attention. I plan on replacing it with a DT Swiss RWS axle in the future. The sliders and inserts match, so it's just the axle to replace.
    You sure? I ordered a DT axle to match my Whisky fork because I loved it so much, and was super disappointed when the threads didn't match.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    18" black Jabber, looks good so far!


    HT badge. I think the last tim I owned a Vassgao frame, it just came with a sticker.

    tiny gusset under the downtube. nice touch.

    room for two inward bottle cages and room to bolt something under the DT.

    slightly curved, extrenally butted seat tube.

    more room than I'll probably ever need.

    chainstay yoke thing leaves lots of room for rubber and drivetrain.

    dropouts and axle are meh, but they look like they will definitely do the job.

    the shop did not have the headset I needed to finish the build (they dropped the ball there!) but I should be able to get it up and running by the end of the week. very pleased with the initial look of the frame. the photos on Vassago's website don't do it justice.
    Awesome!! I think this will be the last one you need for a long time. Hope it all works out for you. You frame saver that sucker yet?

    Looks sweet. I still wish they made XL frames.
    Rigid SS 29er
    Fat Lefty
    SS MonsterCross
    SS cyclocross
    all steel

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  99. #99
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    I expected something blingier from PMW, then. Strange, Vassago does not advertize their sliders as a PMW product.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
    Vassago Jabberwocky

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    You sure? I ordered a DT axle to match my Whisky fork because I loved it so much, and was super disappointed when the threads didn't match.
    I thought I was. I only saw 2 kinds of inserts on the PMW site, the Shimano one where the drive side has a separate nut, and the DT where the drive side nut is part of the insert.
    No one else that I can find makes anything like it, and it looks identical to the pics on the Paragon site. I guess I just assumed.

    Even if it weren't, the drive-side insert is $15. I'm not fond of the operation of the current axle QR-scheme, so it might be worth it.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

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