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  1. #1
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    firstly, I know there have been a few threads comparing these frames, but bear with me!

    I am currently riding a 16" KM. it's actually a bit small for me, so I am in the market for a new, slightly longer frame. the 18" KM, 18" Inbred, and 16" Jabber have about the same ETT. cost is NOT and issue for me at this point. I want something steel that easily handles SS rigid but can go geared and used with a 80-100mm squish fork will be used mostly for single-track but could be used as a commuter, gravel grinder, etc if I want. I am 5'9" and about 150 pounds. all of these frames have an ETT of around 600mm, which is what I am after.

    Jabberwocky- very lightweight, sleek. oddly long chainstays could be a strength or weakness. smaller company. more trouble to set up geared, but will make a better SS bike.

    Inbred- good middle-of-the-road geo. funky look, which I kind of like.

    Karate Monkey- versatile, short CS option, comes with fork. less standover, probably the heaviest of the three.

    I have read a lot of comparisons among these frames but most reviews are from 2006 or so. the Karate Monkey has changed a bit since then, so I don't know if it's as heavy and stiff as it once was. I can't seem to find a reliable comparison of weight between the KM and the Inbred, but I am certain the Jabber is lighter than both. suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Surprised you don't have the Kona Unit in your list too?

  3. #3
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    I work at a bike shop that is not a kona dealer. I i didn't have the industry hookup, i would certainly get the inbred because that's cheaper than anything i can buy at wholesale prices. Awesome deal! however, that Jabber is mighty sexy.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 03-24-2013 at 01:52 PM.

  4. #4
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    I can't help much, but I just built up a KM and this thing is fun! It handles single track well with the short stays and wheelbase. My 18" frame weighs 5 pounds 11 ouches - it also build up very easily. It was my first complete build and I highly recommend it for such. Mine weighs 24 pounds, which isn't too bad for a cost effective build on a steel bike and fork with mid grad and take off parts.

  5. #5
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    thanks for getting me an accurate weight on the KM! according to Vassago, the Jabberwocky is about a full pound lighter than that, but that could depend on the individual frame I end up with.

  6. #6
    Monkey Junkie
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    Didn't you ride an 18" KM frame previously and switched to a 16"? May be confusing you with someone else on here..

    I like Surly, and I ride a 20" KM which I've enjoyed a lot. However, I'd definitely consider the Inbred as well if it were me. As far as the Jabberwocky goes - I've heard negative things about the ride quality based on the geometry. No personal experience though, and I know some people love them.

  7. #7
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    I had an older 18" Monkey at first, the one with zero standover, and I had it set up wrong. I have learned a lot since then and found that the 16" is way too short a reach for me in the end unless I put a stupid-long stem on it.

  8. #8
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    Jabberwocky it is!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Jabberwocky it is!
    Good call Turtle!! I have been on a Jabber for 3 years now, and love it. I have tried many different frames..ie. Monocog, Sir9, KM......., and Jabber climbs and descends better than all of them.

  10. #10
    Just Ride
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    Oddly enough I'd been tossing these 3 frames around in my head of the past few months myself. I decided a few weeks back I'm going with the jabber and I'm just simply not gonna think about frame choice anymore. To avoid having to chose all over again. Now I need to do the whole inner debate back and forth with all the rest of the parts.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  11. #11
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    I am going to be very disappointed if a 2.2 tire on a Crest rim doesn't fit between the stays with the axle slammed forward in the slots. i know this is not supposed to be a "short" bike, but if I have to run the rear axle back 18" like a limo, it's going to take some getting used-to.

    did not officially order the Jabber yet. waiting for folks to wake up on the west coast so I can grill they guy at Titus about that Inbred frame before I order.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 03-25-2013 at 07:24 AM.

  12. #12
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    In case you change your mind again ... a 2.2 Geax AKA (on Crest) fits nicely in the Monkey slammed forward. I was also considering the Inbred (I like the SS only), but I'm happy with the Monkey because of the nimbleness. You can't go wrong with any of them.

  13. #13
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    I switched from a Jabber to an El Mariachi. The Jabber chain stays were just too long and it's a hack to run it geared.

    The alternator dropouts on the EL Mar, the 17.3" (geared) and 17.5" (SS with tension) chain stays sold me and I'm really glad I went for it.

    -Tom

  14. #14
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    Can you EP a Canfield Nimble 9 and would it be in your budget? The new ones look sick and very versatile.

  15. #15
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    I've got a Jabberwocky and my girlfriend runs a KM, and I've ridden both. The Monkey is a little heavier, though the geometry makes it a bit more nimble. It's easier to loft the front end of the KM, too, when they're both running rigid steel forks. (A carbon fork helped lighten the front end of the Jabber a lot.) I'm not really sold on the Jabberwocky geometry for the type of riding I like to do. It's nice and stable on fast downhills, but I'm rarely going downhill fast.

  16. #16
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    What's so odd about the Jabberwocky geometry, other than the long chain stays? Everything else seems pretty standard. Seat angle is a tiny bit more than usual.
    Wonder how they manage to make it 1/2 pound lighter? I know the Inbred got a bit heavier when they beefed it up to meet the CEN testing.

  17. #17
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    with the Inbred's 17.5" stays, i should just fit a 32/20 gear on there with a new chain and with the axle all the way forward in the slots. I have a 10mm thru-axle, so it's not too hard to remove. with the Jabber's 17.7" stays, it won't work, so I would have to add a full link to my chain. so the geometry lists the chainstay at 17.7", but the actual chainstay depends on the gear combo you use, how tight you set the chain, and how stretched your chain is.

    according to EEhouse, a 32/20 will fit at about 18 inches of chainstay length. I think that 1/2" of rear end length might be felt, or will it?

    however, the Inbred has a higher bottom bracket. how will a lower BB with a longer CS compare to a higher BB with shorter CS?

    edit: f- it, just got off the phone with Tom at Vassago and ordered the 16" tan frame with a Gear Plug setup. this post made a lot of sense to me. If I really want to run the axle slammed, I can play around with cog sizes, half links, or just put a BB-mounted chain tensioner on it.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 03-25-2013 at 08:56 AM.

  18. #18
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    Honestly, with the 3 MTB frames I've had with sliding dropouts (Voodoo Wanga, Misfit dissent, now a N9), I really haven't noticed a huge difference in handling when the sliders change. The single biggest difference came from going to a short CS bike (the N9) from the longer CS on the Misfit. An inch difference I could tell; 1/8"? Not so much. Besides, that's only one aspect of a bikes handling.

  19. #19
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    Quote Originally Posted by rob1035 View Post
    Honestly, with the 3 MTB frames I've had with sliding dropouts (Voodoo Wanga, Misfit dissent, now a N9), I really haven't noticed a huge difference in handling when the sliders change. The single biggest difference came from going to a short CS bike (the N9) from the longer CS on the Misfit. An inch difference I could tell; 1/8"? Not so much. Besides, that's only one aspect of a bikes handling.
    I can't tell 1/8 per say, but a small difference really helps me with traction - but I run micro tread rear tires and may be super sensitive in this regard.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    edit: f- it, just got off the phone with Tom at Vassago and ordered the 16" tan frame with a Gear Plug setup. this post made a lot of sense to me. If I really want to run the axle slammed, I can play around with cog sizes, half links, or just put a BB-mounted chain tensioner on it.
    Some really like the Wet Cat Geo. I never got along with it. It was really interesting to read some of the responses regarding climbing. I could never feel confident on the steep (steep) climbs, as I lost traction due to the long stays. I'd have to get my weight back, which put me in an awkward position for powering up climbs. Compare that to a Canfield Nimble 9 with super short stays--that thing powered up every climb I could muster my puny legs to turn the cranks. I'm a firm believer in short stays, but maybe that is specific to me and my riding style.

    I also did not like the loooong feel of the bike. But that's because I prefer short, nimble feeling from a bike, as I like to manual/hop/slice-dice my way up and down. Again, this probably is personal preference and affected by your local terrain.

    The Jabber was a nice looking frame, though, and the rear track ends were great.

  21. #21
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    with the Inbred's 17.5" stays, i should just fit a 32/20 gear on there with a new chain and with the axle all the way forward in the slots. I have a 10mm thru-axle, so it's not too hard to remove. with the Jabber's 17.7" stays, it won't work, so I would have to add a full link to my chain. so the geometry lists the chainstay at 17.7", but the actual chainstay depends on the gear combo you use, how tight you set the chain, and how stretched your chain is.

    according to EEhouse, a 32/20 will fit at about 18 inches of chainstay length. I think that 1/2" of rear end length might be felt, or will it?

    however, the Inbred has a higher bottom bracket. how will a lower BB with a longer CS compare to a higher BB with shorter CS?

    edit: f- it, just got off the phone with Tom at Vassago and ordered the 16" tan frame with a Gear Plug setup. this post made a lot of sense to me. If I really want to run the axle slammed, I can play around with cog sizes, half links, or just put a BB-mounted chain tensioner on it.
    On the Monkey running 32x20 nets chainstays just shy of 17"; there will be a big difference between 17" and 18" stays I'd guess.

  22. #22
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    I am going to give the Jabber a real chance. Tom at Vassago answered several emails from me on a Sunday and packed it up pronto so I can get it in time to go on a big ride next Sunday. I will give it a few months to get used to it. if for some reason I don't like it, it will be me, not the bike, and certainly not the company. I think I'll pick up an Inbred later to ride them both for comparison.

  23. #23
    Robtre
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    I am a Vassago fan. I just got my second Jabber Frame to build up and its gonna be rigid!
    -rides bikes for fun.

  24. #24
    meh... whatever
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    i have both a jabber and a km in the same sizes and personally dislike how the jabber handles. although a tad lighter on the scale it feels porkier and much less nimble than the km. the front end feels heavier when climbing and it's more prone to spinning out as well. the km is by far my favorite of the two.

    i'm not saying it's a bad frame per se, as some people love them to death and won't ride anything else, but rather that i can tell a significant difference riding them back to back and imho the km is a superior frame hands down. will probably be selling the jabber soon.

    my .02
    Last edited by monogod; 03-25-2013 at 10:10 PM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    i have both a jabber and a km in the same sizes
    when you say "same size," do you mean same seatpost length or same ETT? because the 16" Jabber is quite long, about the same size as most company's 18" frames. Riding a 18" Jabber would be like riding a 20" KM.

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