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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
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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.
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  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.

  26. #26
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    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.
    Yes, it would appear very long.

  27. #27
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    that's why I am getting a 16" Jabber to replace my too-short 16" KM. Otherwise, I would have gotten a 18" KM or Inbred.

  28. #28
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    so buy a size smaller than you would normally ride for the jabber? I was thinking of getting the 20" since that's what my current bike is. But if the 18" jabber is as long as most companies 20" seems that would be the way to go, if I'm reading this thread correctly?
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
    so buy a size smaller than you would normally ride for the jabber? I was thinking of getting the 20" since that's what my current bike is. But if the 18" jabber is as long as most companies 20" seems that would be the way to go, if I'm reading this thread correctly?
    Common method of bike sizing (by seat tube length) is not the best way. What you need to look at is the ETT (Effective Top Tube) measurement. What mack turtle is saying is that the ETT of the 16" Jabber is the same as 18" KM/Inbred. Seat tube length should really be irrelevant (so to speak) when getting sized for a bike.

  30. #30
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    That's what I gathered. With length I was referring to the ETT length, not seat tube length. I should have clarified.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  31. #31
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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.
    16" Jabber here. I pulled the chain adjusters and flipped them around and can now run 32/20 at 17.5" with just enough slack to get the chain off.

  32. #32
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    ^sweet! that's what I am probably going to do to mine then.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    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.
    ETT. cockpits set up the same.

    the jabber feels like piloting a skool bus on the trails compared to the km.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  34. #34
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod View Post
    ETT. cockpits set up the same.

    the jabber feels like piloting a skool bus on the trails compared to the km.
    It seems like it would. After only riding longer chainstay bikes, I took my new KM build on some very tight single track switchbacks and it does feel more agile.

  35. #35
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    What riding style is suited more toward the jabber opposed to the KM or inbreed?
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsqueri View Post
    16" Jabber here. I pulled the chain adjusters and flipped them around and can now run 32/20 at 17.5" with just enough slack to get the chain off.
    Curious what exactly you mean by flipping the tensioners around? Are you referring to the tuggnuts? I also have a 16", and I'm also running 32/20 with a Gusset Half link to decrease the chainstay length as much as possible. What a difference a small adjustment can make in regards to standing climb traction. On the downside, I can no longer fit my 2.35 Racing Ralphs, but I don't mind moving down to a 2.25.

    With that said, I've done a few recent rides on a Kona Honzo, sub 16.5" stays, and there's a huge improvement with traction during standing climbs, which is 90% of my riding. I don't have to lean as far back as when I'm on the Jabber. However, the climbs are still a tad tougher, probably due to the slack HA and 140mm fork.

  37. #37
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    The tug nuts have a head on them that takes up more room then necessary. I flipped them around to get it out of the way. I couldn't get the chain slack enough to remove it the other way.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Curious what exactly you mean by flipping the tensioners around? Are you referring to the tuggnuts? I also have a 16", and I'm also running 32/20 with a Gusset Half link to decrease the chainstay length as much as possible. What a difference a small adjustment can make in regards to standing climb traction. On the downside, I can no longer fit my 2.35 Racing Ralphs, but I don't mind moving down to a 2.25.

    With that said, I've done a few recent rides on a Kona Honzo, sub 16.5" stays, and there's a huge improvement with traction during standing climbs, which is 90% of my riding. I don't have to lean as far back as when I'm on the Jabber. However, the climbs are still a tad tougher, probably due to the slack HA and 140mm fork.
    I remember now. Flipping the tug nuts around allowed me to remove a full link rather than using a half link. That get a quarter inch shorter stay I believe.

    Off topic. Did you notice a difference in climbing with the extra weight of the honzo. I'm tempted.

  39. #39
    meh... whatever
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    this is a tuggnut:




    this is the jabbernut:



    you're saying you turned the jabbernuts around and gained a lot more space?
    Last edited by monogod; 04-01-2013 at 10:24 PM.
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  40. #40
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    Sorry the jabbernuts are what I'm talking about. You can see that it's pretty much just a machine screw with the screw head on one end and a knurled thumb screw on the other. The screw head prevents the hub from moving all the way to the front of the drop out. By flipping it around (and removing the thumb screws) I got the extra space I needed to pull the chain off. With the tensioner in the stock position I needed at least a half link more to get the chain off of the ring. I measure my cs length at 17.5 as opposed to 18" with the extra link or I believe 17.75" with a half link.

  41. #41
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    I'll add my .02

    I've had several SS 29er frames in the past (Jabber, couple MCs, Zion 737, Jones Steel Diamond, GF Rig, OS BB, Unit, and now aboard a By:Stickel). The Jabber had a very nice steel feel to it and was very stable on fast downhills. However I live in western NC, we have lots of steep climbs and tight single track. The Jabber sucked majorly on those. I had a hard time keeping traction on any climbs, especially techy climbs that require more body shifting. Also as mentioned before it was like rolling a school bus, I had to swing wide on turns. I'll never own another bike with more than 17.3" or so CSs. I'm running my custom at about 16.7" with 32x20 and 16.5" when I swap out to 21T cog. It's amazing how much better that is!!!
    Once again, this is just my opinion for my riding style on my local terrain. But after spending time on the KM, I'm wagering we'll see you sell the Jabber.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    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.
    I can fit a 2.35 rampage on a flow slammed forward. Dont sweat the tire clearance. 2.4 ardents will fit halfway back.
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  43. #43
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    I think you made the right decision. There is a time and a place for shorter chainstay bikes, but in my opinion, singlespeed isnt on of them.

    When the climbing gets super steep, you can focus on getting the power down instead of balancing on the rear wheel while leaning over the bars.

    On a geared bike, you just shift down and spin it up, but on a SS you really need to be able to put down some torque without lifting the front wheel.

    The long chainstays also give the bike a nicer ride quality in regards to rear wheel compliance over bumps.

    I liked my jabber so much, I built up a bander to race on. I liked my bander so much, I replaced the frame with an Optimus Ti. Now THAT is a rad frame.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    There is a time and a place for shorter chainstay bikes, but in my opinion, singlespeed isnt on of them.

    When the climbing gets super steep, you can focus on getting the power down instead of balancing on the rear wheel while leaning over the bars.

    On a geared bike, you just shift down and spin it up, but on a SS you really need to be able to put down some torque without lifting the front wheel...
    Can you clarify these statements? Here is how I see it (another ephiphany on the john): Whatever the CS length, it makes sense to me that you need a certain amount of "weight" on the rear to get it to bite. Longer CS might mean more leaning back to get the weight back there, whereas a shorter CS means more centered position to get an equal amount of weight distribution (compared to a longer CS). So as far as getting the power down, it has less to do with the CS and more to do with your preferred posture when you do the stand-n-grind. So I'm assuming your climbing position is more rear weight biased and mine is more centered. Which is why maybe you felt like the front end was going to lift on a short CS whereas I felt right at home. Correct me if I'm wrong. Good talk. Time to flush.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Longer CS might mean more leaning back to get the weight back there, whereas a shorter CS means more centered position to get an equal amount of weight distribution (compared to a longer CS).
    That's exactly the challenge, "more leaning back". If the CS is shorter, then you don't have to lean back as much, since the tire is closer to being right under you. At least for me, it requires more effort to lean back more and mash than it is to be more upright and mash. I've been riding my Jabber for some time now, and didn't realize how much more effort/thought is needed to get the rear to stick, until I've gotten in a few rides on a Honzo with sub 16.5" CS. On the Honzo, I can be more upright while standing and pulling up on the bars. If I did the same on the Jabber, I would easily spin out. The Honzo isn't ready to replace my Jabber though, as the slack HT and 140mm squish definitely affects climbing in a different way, compared to the Odis 80mm-correct rigid.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    That's exactly the challenge, "more leaning back". If the CS is shorter, then you don't have to lean back as much, since the tire is closer to being right under you. At least for me, it requires more effort to lean back more and mash than it is to be more upright and mash. I've been riding my Jabber for some time now, and didn't realize how much more effort/thought is needed to get the rear to stick, until I've gotten in a few rides on a Honzo with sub 16.5" CS. On the Honzo, I can be more upright while standing and pulling up on the bars. If I did the same on the Jabber, I would easily spin out. The Honzo isn't ready to replace my Jabber though, as the slack HT and 140mm squish definitely affects climbing in a different way, compared to the Odis 80mm-correct rigid.
    That is exactly what I experienced going from Jabber to a Nimble 9. Now I'm on a Jones and very happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    That is exactly what I experienced going from Jabber to a Nimble 9. Now I'm on a Jones and very happy.
    Hmm..I just reread Sheepo's take on short CS, and didn't realize his view is opposite of our experience. Guess as always, there's many other variables to consider like body type (longer arms), etc, so the experiences will always vary. Why the switch from the N9 to Jones?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Why the switch from the N9 to Jones?
    Same reason as most of my bike purchases. This cursed forum.

    Just wanted to see what the hub-bub was about. Spoke to Jeff at lengths and he has some quirky ideas. Enough so, that I had to try one out. I miss the suspension, but not as much as I thought I would. Especially those techy downhill sections. Now I've got a knard up front to keep my shoulders happier.

  49. #49
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    I too find climbing with short stays (N9) much easier. Well climbing is hard regardless with SS, but with the N9, like was said above, its much more intuitive to have the rear tire weighted, therefore better climbing traction, and I can still make whatever moves I need with the front end (its not too light or too heavy).

    Conversely, I would really like to get a Jabber for some trails, as I would like to contrast the Wet Cat geo to the new fangled short-CS slack front I'm used to.

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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    I also like climbing with shorter stays compared to long. I think this proves the adaptability of the human body above all else.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I think this proves the adaptability of the human body above all else.
    agreed! ... or lighter wallets for many of us on the never-ending quest for the next "best bike I've ever ridden".

  52. #52
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    Bingo.

    Whether you're rocking a Jabber, KM, or an Inbred, as long as its SS, you're cooler than that guy sitting and spinning in the granny you just passed...

  53. #53
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    got my first proper ride on the Jabber today. I don't know if it was the carbon bars and fork I just got, or the longer chainstays, or the longer frame that I needed, but I loved it! I cleaned a lot of rocky hills that normally get the best of me. of course, most SS bikes can have longer chainstays, you just have to set the axle further back in the slots.


  54. #54
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    Nice video. Have fun.

  55. #55
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    Yep, awesome vid. Don't really see too many Jabbers in action.

  56. #56
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    Hey mack_turtle, now that you probably have more ride time on your new Jabber, can you report back on the comparison with your old KM? I know you said your 16" KM was on the short side, but outside of that, how's the geo differences treating you? I'm particularly interested to hear about your opinion on long vs. short CS.

  57. #57
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    it rides like a bike. i can't honestly say I can tell the difference in 1/2" of BB drop or 0.5 degree difference in HA. I do know that my new frame is quite a bit longer in the top tube and longer in the rear end. I think the longer rear end makes it easier to climb steep, rocky stuff in that I get more traction. (or is that in my head?) other than that, I added a carbon fork and a carbon handlebar that is narrower than my old bar, so i am not really comparing apples to apples here. my new bike is lighter and much longer than my old KM. if you want to know what a longer chainstay feels like, add a link to your chain and ride with the axle further back in the dropout.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-04-2013 at 08:26 PM.

  58. #58
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    update: rode the Jabber all over the place and just moved to Texas. finally rode Walnut Creek in Austin and I have to say I am not satisfied with the Jabber. I am a former bmx rider and I just handle a mountain bike differently from most other people, so the Wet Cat thing is just not working for me. I took it to the pump track to warm up and I know I could have thrown my KM around on that course but it felt clumsy on the berms and drops. when riding the rest of the XC trails, I almost never clean steep climbs with anything loose, something that always felt better on my KM. I think the 1" longer rear end must be the issue, but maybe it's something else.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 07-04-2013 at 07:08 PM.

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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    For me the monkey's shorter stays have really helped me climb on loose stuff. It puts my weight back for maximum traction compared with other backs I've owned with longer stays.

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    I've been screwing around on a Karate Monkey lately and I'm really enjoying it.

    The Inbred weighs more than the Karate Monkey, IIRC. Vassago is about the last company I'd deal with until the new ownership has some good road behind them.

  61. #61
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    A pump track is not a fair thing to compare the Jabber on, I would think handling would be poor on a pump track. I have a Jabber, 1st time I built it up I had low end components and a wrong fork and a way too short stem, it didnít feel very good so I hung it up and rode my other bike till I cracked the frame. I re-built the Jabber keeping in mind everything I didnít like and using my older race stuff on it and when did and done it was a whole new bike. I like it, it climbs well but handles downhill and nasty techy stuff even better.
    Recently I had the chance to ride the new Optimus Ti and I liked it so much I purchase one, it rides better on the climbs and just as good on the downs. Iím still fine tuning and getting used to the new bike but every ride just seems to get better. Tom (the owner) is a good guy to deal with and has a lot of experience with more bikes than most people so he knows his stuff. I would suggest making some small changes to your Jabber, maybe try it rigid or with better forks? Get a shorter or longer stem? Sometimes just a small change can make it a complete new ride.
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  62. #62
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    I have tried the Jabber with a 80mm Salsa fork, a carbon rigid fork, 80mm Reba, and a 80mm Manitou Tower Pro. I have tried flat carbon 660mm bars, low-rise 720mm bars, and 685mm Carnegies. I have tried hard lock-on grips, Ergons, and ESI's. I have ridden with an 100mm and 80mm Thomson stems. it started with a zero offset seatpost and now has a laid-back Thomson (410mm length with the post almost maxed out!). I change stuff around a lot and my bike is rarely the same bike from one week to the next. in the end, none of these arrangements seems to give me confidence. I think my main beef is the drag-racer chainstays on this frame. the length feels good but it steers like a freight train.

    I will say this: my last few months of riding it were on relatively smooth dirt in Georgia. I just moved to Austin and the trails are mostly rocks. I had zero confidence climbing a mole hill on the loose rocks with a rigid fork, 32/20 gear, super-wide bars, and giant, low-pressure tires. I rarely fall off my bike but I OTB'ed once and nearly ate sh!t on some jagged rocks three other times here. perhaps I just need to get used to the terrain and not make another frame change based on one bad experience.

  63. #63
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    At least you tired working with it, if there was only one perfect bike for us all there wouldn't be a need for so many brands. I ride mostly in Phoenix Az. where rough rocky trails are the norm. To me flowy is a dirty word meaning groomed and swept trails (no challenge.) I would say you're on the right track, keep the bike with a good set up and ride it for a good while.
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    Yup, my exact experience. Wet cat works for some. Not me. Give me short stays and quicker handling.

    This is the frame you're looking for:

    Last edited by phsycle; 07-05-2013 at 08:46 AM.

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    Yep, sounds like you came to the same conclusion as I. Wanted the Jabber to work, but just didn't fit at all for what type bike I wanted. Go back to 17.1 or shorter CSs, I bet you will be happy once again.
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  66. #66
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    I have been on a Jabber for 3+ years and really like it. I actually like the wetcat geometry, as it results in a very "stable" ride, esp. when cornering at speed. I have not had any issues with spinning out on climbs. It also makes for a great gravel grinder.
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  67. #67
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    I want to love the Jabber. Is there anything i can do to make it feel a little more flickable? I dont have the spare cash on another frame, i spent it all on this schoolbus of a frame.

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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    Trade it for a Monkey? I'm sure someone is dying to get ride of one for a Jabber - you know to solve all their problems.

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    Have you tried bringing the rear in as much as possible? I ride 32x20 and with a half link, that's about the best I can do on my Jabber. It may have been in my head but I want to say it was a noticeable difference, mainly in traction while standing and mashing. I can't say I ride it like a BMX bike, but I'm happier with that subtle change. With that said, I'm always on the look out for something that has a shorter ETT, and of course shorter stays would be a plus. I ride a small, and the ETT is about the same as most mediums. I'm even using a 50mm Thomson stem and although it feels real stable, I figure a more compact fit, would help with flickability. That's what also got me thinking about a KM, or even a SIR 9.

  70. #70
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    Karate Monkey, Inbred, Jabberwocky

    32x20 on the KM rocks, almost all the way slammed forward with very little tensioning needed. It's worth a try.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Trade it for a Monkey? I'm sure someone is dying to get ride of one for a Jabber - you know to solve all their problems.
    Working on that...

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Have you tried bringing the rear in as much as possible? I ride 32x20 and with a half link, that's about the best I can do on my Jabber.
    I am running 32x20 on it now and the effective CS is just short of 18" with about 1/2" of space to slide the axle forward. If i take a full link out, it barely fits and the chain is TIGHT. Maybe i can find a similar gear ratio that yields a slightly shorter chainstay. Eehouse to the rescue!

    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    32x20 on the KM rocks, almost all the way slammed forward with very little tensioning needed. It's worth a try.
    That's what I had on my KM and it was perfect!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I want to love the Jabber. Is there anything i can do to make it feel a little more flickable? I dont have the spare cash on another frame, i spent it all on this schoolbus of a frame.
    From my experience with my Unit, no. I've shortened the stem (from 100mm to 60mm), larger cog (18t to 20t), played with saddle position... It's a damn good bike and it's almost perfect for the terrain we have here (Winnipeg Manitoba), but I just can't maneuver it like I used to with 26" or KM. On trails, I really have to focus and pick my lines, whereas on KM, I could just fly over anything even when I notice something in the very last second.

    Next spring, I'm going back to KM or gonna buy a custom Ti from Carver (basically a KM with sliding drop out) depending on how often I go to titty bars over the winter.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am running 32x20 on it now and the effective CS is just short of 18" with about 1/2" of space to slide the axle forward. If i take a full link out, it barely fits and the chain is TIGHT. Maybe i can find a similar gear ratio that yields a slightly shorter chainstay. Eehouse to the rescue!

    That's what I had on my KM and it was perfect!
    So 32x20 worked but the chain was too tight? Was that with or without the Jabbernutz in place? I think someone mentioned earlier about removing them for more clearance.

  74. #74
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    I took the Jabbernuts out and slammed the axle with a 32/20 gear, resulting in a super, super- tight chain.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I took the Jabbernuts out and slammed the axle with a 32/20 gear, resulting in a super, super- tight chain.
    Ah ok. Thanks, now I won't have to try it out myself.

    Perhaps another option is the "new" Jabber that's suppose to released this month. I didn't realize that until I was browsing their site yesterday to get the Jabber's geo chart.

    "The all new Jabberwocky will be Available July 2013 with all the swanky new updates... sign up here to be notified when they are available!"

    Does anyone have any clues on what were going to see? My guess is that it'll be a "low end" chromo option to the Optimus TI and Verhauen, with the same geo and dropout options. Those two frames have sliders with CS length range from 17.1" - 18" or 434mm-456mm. Guessing pricing will be the same as the Bander at $549. that kinda explains why the old Jabber limited in size and color, probably clearing those out for a new one.

  76. #76
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    I was a huge fan of the Jabber - the one I had was a 16" and with a 110mm stem it had the same top tube as my Heckler (saddle nose to bars). To me it was a big bmx bike. I moved to a Bander because I was just not riding enough to handle the single speed workout.

    I am a big guy - 6 foot and 235 pounds - so I guess I don't flick by nature.. I never had issue with the long stays - in fact I really love the traction!
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

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