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  1. #1
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    Jabberwocky or Karate Monkey

    Been debating on converting my WUSS to 650b or going with a rigid 29er build for this winter and thinking the 29er route is probably the way to go. The two frames I am thinking about are Vassago Jabberwocky and the Surly Karate Monkey. Only 29er I have ridden has been the Fisher Superfly and like the geometry of it at the time.

    Gonna spend most of the time riding xc single track with moderate rock/ roots.

    Which would you chose?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crosstown Stew
    Been debating on converting my WUSS to 650b or going with a rigid 29er build for this winter and thinking the 29er route is probably the way to go. The two frames I am thinking about are Vassago Jabberwocky and the Surly Karate Monkey. Only 29er I have ridden has been the Fisher Superfly and like the geometry of it at the time.

    Gonna spend most of the time riding xc single track with moderate rock/ roots.

    Which would you chose?
    Jabber + ODIS + Big Tubeless tires @ low pressure ... for teh win.

  3. #3
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    Well, I'd say 650b because that is what I like to ride. I thought the KM was pretty money, but the fork is fairly unforgiving..

  4. #4
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    Jabberwocky, the geometry is better than the karatemonkey. I test rode both and the karatemonkey had the riding on top feel to it. The jabberwocky feels more responsive and doesn't feel like you are going to tip over like the karatemonkey.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmorgan29er
    Jabberwocky, the geometry is better than the karatemonkey. I test rode both and the karatemonkey had the riding on top feel to it. The jabberwocky feels more responsive and doesn't feel like you are going to tip over like the karatemonkey.
    You have obviously been assimilated by the JabberBorg. Me too ... I just haven't changed my avatar yet.

  6. #6
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    I just went through this debate. I chose the Jabber because the geometry seemed better and the KM has mixed reviews (love it or hate it), whilst I did not see one negative review of the Jabber. Everyone who has one seem to like them, the only reoccuring criticism seems to be that they are more difficult to loft the front end.

    I am still building mine up.

    You should get the Jabber because there are already too many pictures of KMs on the interwebs and not enough jabber builds.

  7. #7
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    IMO, the only advantage KM has over the Jabber is the versatility. SS, 1x9, 3x9, are all easier to set up with the KM. But if you're going to stay SS, I'd get the Jabber. Another frame to consider is Qball.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker
    You should get the Jabber because there are already too many pictures of KMs on the interwebs and not enough jabber builds.
    In the last year or two it seems nearly every new steel SS 29er on mtbr is a Jabber. These things are multiplying like rabbits! If you want to fight trends and stay off of bandwagons the Jabber certainly isn't the bike for you

  9. #9
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    Jabber cause I have one for sale.

  10. #10
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    Jab b/c its awesome.

  11. #11
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    You can't go wrong either way! I own a Monkey but haven't ridden a Jabber. I like the Monkey's short chain stays. It seems at home in the tight twisty stuff. In fact I prefer it to my GF Ferrous. Ride both if you can, even if you have to post in your local forum to find an owner that will let you ride theirs. Good luck and have fun!

  12. #12
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    surly 1x1 with 29ers?
    9er with 16.5" chainstays for the win!
    (i kid, it also has a VERY tall bb so unless you're doing forest work the bb height is too high)
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  13. #13
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    Well you know I've got to confuse the issue and throw in the Singular Swift. Framesets on sale right now for $525.
    I have a KM and I love it. It is very nimble; "go-cart" handling.
    But I like the built in tensioners of the Vassago, so if I were to do it again, I'd take a serious look at that (instead of the KM).

  14. #14
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    Of those two I would choose the new 2011 version of the Karate Monkey.

  15. #15
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    Some good comments guys but to throw one more in there, my local shop's got me testing a SIR tomorrow so will see how that goes but can't say I'm too excited about the ebb setup, been on my Bianchi with horizontals for a while and just use to that system. Plus I've heard the niner ebb requires maintenance weekly to keep it quite.

  16. #16
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    +1 on the Jabber

  17. #17
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    Jabberwocky!!

  18. #18
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    I'd have the monkey.

  19. #19
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    Karate Monkey! Although I have only ridden the Jabber in a parking lot, the Monkey is incredibly nimble and fun. But I also have to agree with the OP, both bikes are excellent choices but the amount of Jabber to Monkey builds lately are 2 to 1 if not more.

  20. #20
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    Go with the Jabber! I did, with no regrets!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Jabberwocky or Karate Monkey-dsc00106.jpg  

    2008 Trek 69er SS
    2010 Vassago Jabberwocky SS

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwebber60
    Go with the Jabber! I did, with no regrets!
    what frame size is that?
    Escondido, CA

  22. #22
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    Medium, 18 inches...
    2008 Trek 69er SS
    2010 Vassago Jabberwocky SS

  23. #23
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    I would get the monkey. For my rigid SSing, the jabber chainstays are too long. Both are good bikes with different geo, pick what suits your preferences.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwebber60
    Medium, 18 inches...
    Thats a nice bike. Do you think I would have toe overlap problems with platforms and a size 13 on the 18"?
    Escondido, CA

  25. #25
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    Isn't the Jabber a little lighter than the KM?

    Another option - the new Salsa ElMariatchi (sp?).

    I have a Jabber and really like it, but if I were in the market right now...I'd probably get the Salsa.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    I would get the monkey. For my rigid SSing, the jabber chainstays are too long. Both are good bikes with different geo, pick what suits your preferences.
    For my SSing, the Jabber stays are juuuuuust right.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by New Light
    Thats a nice bike. Do you think I would have toe overlap problems with platforms and a size 13 on the 18"?
    You will have toe overlap problems if you're at midfoot on the pedals. Clipless solves that, though.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    You will have toe overlap problems if you're at midfoot on the pedals. Clipless solves that, though.
    thanks for the answer and I'm sure it does
    Escondido, CA

  29. #29
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    i've had my jabber since july and i love it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ionsmuse
    I would get the monkey. For my rigid SSing, the jabber chainstays are too long. Both are good bikes with different geo, pick what suits your preferences.
    I'd second that - lose too much traction standing ss climing compared to bikes with shorter chainstays.

  31. #31
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    Depends on your uses.

    Jabberwocky is a sweet MOUNTAIN bike frame. Karate Monkey is a sweet MOUNTAIN bike rame, Touring frame, cross crame (sort of), road frame, etc...

    Jabberwocky is probably better as a single purpose mountain bike. But the versatility of the KM is what made me chose it. Disc brakes, v brakes, 26" tires, 29" tires, 700 slicks, regular bars, drop bars, SS, gears, suspension, rigid. It can do it all. And pretty danged well.

  32. #32
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    Love my Jabber. Rode a friend's SIR9 and it was pretty sweet too. Never ridden a KM, so no real opinion there.

  33. #33
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    My Monkey


  34. #34
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    I have never ridden the Jabberwocky and I own a Karate Monkey. I would try to test ride both as they are very different geometry.

    On paper, I would choose the Monkey.

    However, having said that, I would buy the Salsa El Mariachi if I were in the market today. For my needs which are strictly singletrack, it's my first pick.

    Good luck.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hsakkire
    I would buy the Salsa El Mariachi if I were in the market today. .
    If were buying a production HT SS frame that would be my choice as well.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  36. #36
    Life is Go0d!
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    The Redline Monocog Flight should be on your list..IME it does everything better than the KM.
    The only regrets in life, are the risks you didn't take.

  37. #37
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    I like my Jabber, but if you need support for it, good luck. It's one of those "it's fine as long as it doesn't break; then you're screwed" types.

  38. #38
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    Care to elaborate, Dash? I've had nothing but exceptional service.

  39. #39
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    Havent tried the Jabberwocky, but the Monkey has been my first 29er.


  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mo0se
    The Redline Monocog Flight should be on your list..IME it does everything better than the KM.
    Have a lot of time on a KM?

    I have both and they are both great bikes - but categorically, the Flight doesn't do everything better. It has strengths the KM does not, and likewise, the KM has strengths the Flight does not.

    Good choice and solid bike though.
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  41. #41
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    Never ridden either but "on paper" I would chose the KM especially for SS.

    The Jabber is touted as being long and low. G2 Fishers feel long and low to me and I hate the way they climb especially when standing. Love the way they handle the twisties though. Also not a fan of long"ish" chainstays "especially" on SS's. Guitar Ted's review of the Jabber over at twentynineinches.com seemed to confirm my suspicions about how the Jabber would ride but everyone is different.

    I'm with Moose on this one. Check out the Monocog Flight as well. Really well rounded bike that does most everything really well.

    Here is the review and as luck would have it he aquired the Jabber to directly replace his KM.

    http://twentynineinches.com/2010/08/...e-year-review/

  42. #42
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    People say "you can't go wrong" either way.
    I disagree.


    The KM & the Jabber are VERY different geometries.
    They are polar opposites in design philosophy.

    example, Comparatively speaking - among the SIR9, Jabber, KM, Spot Longboard, Kona Unit and Salsa Dos Niner - at 431.5mm the KM has the shortest chainstays, the Jabber is the longest at 454.5 and everything else is somewhere in between.


    So yes, imo you definitely can go wrong if you buy before trying. If you're unsure about how geometry numbers affect the feel and handling differently then all our opinions are only subjectively influential.

    I built a Jabber and every time I swap bikes with buddies for a couple trails, no matter which bike they're riding, two things are evident:
    1. I made the right choice for me.
    2. They either don't want to give mine back, or at the very least want to stop and discuss the differences in detail.


    Still, choose for yourself and rest assured they're both done well and either will serve you excellently, just be sure you buy the "right" one.

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