AL Gnarvester vs Jabberwocky vs ???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    AL Gnarvester vs Jabberwocky vs ???

    I want to build a dedicated SS 29+ rig for training and general fun. Iíve been riding my Carve SL with a Chupa on the front and would love to have one on the rear too. I convert my fatbike to geared 29+ in the summer. My race bike is a Pivot Mach 429SL. My hardtail is a YelliScreamy with a 140 and 27.5+.

    I have the following parts:
    Older green flexy Krampus fork
    Cane Creek headset
    Shimano Octa-Link 3X cranks and BB
    Race Face 32T ring
    Problem solvers SS cogs 22,20,18
    Wheels set Ė Velocity P35s laced to QR XT hubs
    Carbon 780 riser bars
    And an assortment of other spare parts.

    The things Iím missing are a frame and brakes. Someday I might build a proper plus wheelset and get a carbon fork, but funds are tight right now.

    Has anyone ridden a Gnarvester and a Jabberwocky? Or have other suggestions for a 29+ frameset with QR sliders?
    Iím looking for something as nimble and playful as the Carve SL and Yelli.

  2. #2
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    Why Cycles Wayward

    Voodoo Cymbie looks really cool.

    The Vassago Mooseknuckle is at the top of my list.

    Edit, sorry though you were looking for ti.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  3. #3
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    I ride a Vassago Verhauen with a plus tire on front and 2.2 on back....love the setup. If I were trying to go plus (F & R) and didn't want to spring for a Mooseknuckle, the Verhauen plus frames are a good choice. I rode Lynskey bikes for years and loved the Ti ride, but for what this Verhauen cost and how it rides, it's pretty darn sweet.
    I live in PHX and ride with a bunch of the Vassago dudes. They all love what they ride.

  4. #4
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    are there any other options out there with QR sliders?

    Did the Krampus go on a diet and get a geometry update recently?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    I ride a Vassago Verhauen with a plus tire on front and 2.2 on back....love the setup. If I were trying to go plus (F & R) and didn't want to spring for a Mooseknuckle, the Verhauen plus frames are a good choice. I rode Lynskey bikes for years and loved the Ti ride, but for what this Verhauen cost and how it rides, it's pretty darn sweet.
    I live in PHX and ride with a bunch of the Vassago dudes. They all love what they ride.
    That's the same setup that I just built, with a 3" tire in the front and 2.25" in the rear. Haven't had the chance to ride it yet, but it looks pretty in my living room.

  6. #6
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    I happen to love my Vassago Verhauen. 2.35 front and 2.2 rear with suspension fork. I ride the same terrain as Raybum, but not quite as fast.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
    jct
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    i have the most recent version of the jabber with 3" chupas and a ti fork. i had the jabber 2.0 i believe and the latest version rides exponentially better. it's a tad slacker and my CS length is probably 1" shorter given my ratio etc.

    it's not light, but neither am i. i know guys who have gnarves but the Ti version and they also love their bikes. if i were to do anything to improve my jabber it'd be some plastic wheels.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    are there any other options out there with QR sliders?

    Did the Krampus go on a diet and get a geometry update recently?
    Soma Juice has qr sliders still.

    Seems like Jabbers have been out of stock for a while. Any word on when they'll restock? I've emailed but haven't heard back yet.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  9. #9
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    I emailed a number of times about when Medium Jabberwocky frames will be back in stock. No reply. I love Soma bikes, but they don't have a 29+ I'm aware of.

  10. #10
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    Whoops--I missed that you were looking for 29+. Juice is a no-go then.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

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    Why didn't anyone recommend the Salsa Woodsmoke or Timberjack? I read in the 29+ forum the Timberjack will swallow some 29x3.0 and almost all 29 x 2.8

    I will have to see if my dealer can do a frame only size large Timberjack.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    I ride a Vassago Verhauen with a plus tire on front and 2.2 on back....love the setup. If I were trying to go plus (F & R) and didn't want to spring for a Mooseknuckle, the Verhauen plus frames are a good choice. I rode Lynskey bikes for years and loved the Ti ride, but for what this Verhauen cost and how it rides, it's pretty darn sweet.
    I live in PHX and ride with a bunch of the Vassago dudes. They all love what they ride.
    I have 3.0 Bombolonis F/R on my Verhauen, and I'm in love with the 3.0 front, but having run everything from 2.2 to 3.0 that actually measured 3.1 on the rear, I think a high-volume 2.4 or 2.6 might be my favorite overall. It's a nice balance and does everything well. I only give up a little bit of traction in deep kitty-litter, a 2.6 works about 80% as well, but is less prone to rim strikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I emailed a number of times about when Medium Jabberwocky frames will be back in stock. No reply. I love Soma bikes, but they don't have a 29+ I'm aware of.
    Sadly, being literally a one-man operation, Tom is not good about emails. try messaging him via the Vassago Cycles FB page.
    Donít modify the trail to match your skills, modify your skills to match the trails.

  13. #13
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    Vassago was very responsive to FB messages. I love my Jabber. Not running plus tires but I'd like to try some 2.6s or something. Plenty of room for that.

    The Vassago approach to geometry is what won me over. Reasonably short rear end, and a long reach for it's stack height. BB hieght and angles are just right for various fork lengths without turning it into a choppah. I feel very confident on this bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Why didn't anyone recommend the Salsa Woodsmoke or Timberjack? I read in the 29+ forum the Timberjack will swallow some 29x3.0 and almost all 29 x 2.8

    I will have to see if my dealer can do a frame only size large Timberjack.
    Both of those use Boost hubs, the OP is looking for a frame to take normal a 135mm QR hub.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I have 3.0 Bombolonis F/R on my Verhauen, and I'm in love with the 3.0 front, but having run everything from 2.2 to 3.0 that actually measured 3.1 on the rear, I think a high-volume 2.4 or 2.6 might be my favorite overall. It's a nice balance and does everything well. I only give up a little bit of traction in deep kitty-litter, a 2.6 works about 80% as well, but is less prone to rim strikes.
    Are you rigid on your Verhauen? I can't remember. I like mine on 2.35 / 2.2 and still considering 3.0 front and 3.0 rear since it will fit the frame, but I not sure I want to run rigid. So still on the fence on plus tires. I probably just need to borrow a set of plus wheels/tires to get a feel for things.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    Both of those use Boost hubs, the OP is looking for a frame to take normal a 135mm QR hub.
    I think you can get Alternator dropouts for SS QR.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ARandomBiker View Post
    I have 3.0 Bombolonis F/R on my Verhauen, and I'm in love with the 3.0 front, but having run everything from 2.2 to 3.0 that actually measured 3.1 on the rear, I think a high-volume 2.4 or 2.6 might be my favorite overall. It's a nice balance and does everything well. I only give up a little bit of traction in deep kitty-litter, a 2.6 works about 80% as well, but is less prone to rim strikes.



    Sadly, being literally a one-man operation, Tom is not good about emails. try messaging him via the Vassago Cycles FB page.
    I've messaged Vassago a number of times through e-mail and FB. I've never gotten a response over the year plus I've been interested in the Jabberjocky. It sucks because I like the geometry numbers on that bike. For this build I don't think I want the geometry of a Timberjack or Stache. I actually really like my current rigid SS bike, it just can't fit enough tire in the back.

    Current HTA is 71.5 and STA is 73 on my Carve SL. My FS XC race is 69.3 and 71.9 My fatbike is 69 and 73.

    All those numbers lead me more towards Jabberwocky, Gnarvester, and Krampus versus a Timberjack, Woodsmoke, or Stache.

  18. #18
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    I've been in touch with Tom at Vassago recently, so he is around and responding to emails... eventually. I did have to pester him a bit (via both FB and email) to get a response, but since then he has been great to work with. Are you trying the info@vassagocycles.com email address? The contact form on their website didn't work too well for me--seemed to go into a black hole, in fact, but that email has been pretty reliable.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  19. #19
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    Updated geo on the Jabber is here

    JabberWocky Frame

    They don't bother to publish stack and reach, which I find to be more useful. So a did my best to calculate those myself for the small and medium frames.

    AL Gnarvester vs Jabberwocky vs ???-20180309_154352.jpg

    I have not looked at thos numbers in a while, and they are kinda screwy. My favorite websites for this kind of thing:
    Stack and reach calculator
    https://bikegeo.muha.cc

  20. #20
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    I'm willing to try anything here. I want to find a frame.

  21. #21
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    If you are going to keep the AL Gnarvester in the running, I highly suggest you find a rigid aluminum bike to ride before purchasing. Aluminum rides awful imo. Steel is definitely the way to go for ride quality (or ti).

    I have a Jabberwocky and absolutely love it. I think they nailed the geo and it rides like butter. I had it set up 29+ but recently switched to skinnies for race season... I have yet to meet a person who was no satisfied with a Vassago.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    If you are going to keep the AL Gnarvester in the running, I highly suggest you find a rigid aluminum bike to ride before purchasing. Aluminum rides awful imo. Steel is definitely the way to go for ride quality (or ti).

    I have a Jabberwocky and absolutely love it. I think they nailed the geo and it rides like butter. I had it set up 29+ but recently switched to skinnies for race season... I have yet to meet a person who was no satisfied with a Vassago.
    My current rigid SS and my fatbike both are aluminum with carbon forks. Every hardtail I've ever ridden has been aluminum. They can be harsh which is how I ended up on carbon full suspension for racing.

    I do love steel though. I have a carbon road bike and a steel CX bike too. And a very old steel 3 speed cruiser, and a steel GT Dyno VFR.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    My current rigid SS and my fatbike both are aluminum with carbon forks. Every hardtail I've ever ridden has been aluminum. They can be harsh which is how I ended up on carbon full suspension for racing.

    I do love steel though. I have a carbon road bike and a steel CX bike too. And a very old steel 3 speed cruiser, and a steel GT Dyno VFR.
    Yea steel is the way to go imo... I always feel the need to warn people about rigid aluminum bikes. I have met more than one person who bought something like the Trek Superfly SS and ended up hating it because it beat them half to death. That could also be a phenomenon that happens here though, a lot of trails across the country are much less rocky than ours.

  24. #24
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    Not a frame, but I've been very happy with my bikesdirect 29+ SS.
    The cons are cable discs, narrow rims (29mm internal), straight headtube and narrow bars.
    Its Al but i don't notice it being harsh, I am a clyde so that does affect how bikes feel.
    The pros are its cheap, comes on large size range, has track dropouts 135R and 100QR F.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonRyder View Post
    Not a frame, but I've been very happy with my bikesdirect 29+ SS.
    The cons are cable discs, narrow rims (29mm internal), straight headtube and narrow bars.
    Its Al but i don't notice it being harsh, I am a clyde so that does affect how bikes feel.
    The pros are its cheap, comes on large size range, has track dropouts 135R and 100QR F.
    29mm internal for a plus bike? That's awful... Do you feel the tires roll over a whole lot?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    29mm internal for a plus bike? That's awful... Do you feel the tires roll over a whole lot?
    Oh yeah. Felt pretty wobbly. I was building a new wheelset anyways so I figured I couldn't lose by at least trying them.

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk

  27. #27
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    I don't have any concerns running plus tires on my Blunt 35 rims (30mm internal).
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
    RIGID, not "ridged" or "ridgid"
    PEDAL, not "peddle." Unless you're selling stuff

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonRyder View Post
    Not a frame, but I've been very happy with my bikesdirect 29+ SS.
    The cons are cable discs, narrow rims (29mm internal), straight headtube and narrow bars.
    Its Al but i don't notice it being harsh, I am a clyde so that does affect how bikes feel.
    The pros are its cheap, comes on large size range, has track dropouts 135R and 100QR F.
    the 480mm chain stays seem overly long. How hard is it to manual and bunny hop?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    the 480mm chain stays seem overly long. How hard is it to manual and bunny hop?
    Front end lifts fine, but I'm running a 22" frame so the chain stay length may not be much of an issue for me. I'm still learning to bunny hop.

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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    I don't have any concerns running plus tires on my Blunt 35 rims (30mm internal).
    I tried it with the narrower rims but it felt wobbly and I just didn't like it. Running a dually rear and a rabbit hole front now and it feels much more stable.

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  31. #31
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    Vassago got back to me. 45-60 days out for frames. I think I've narrowed my search down. I thought about selling all my old junk to build a new super SS bike, but I just don't have the budget and since it is not my race bike, it just doesn't seem worth it.

    Here is my list right now
    Vassago Jabberwocky
    Carver AL Gnarvester
    Salsa Timberjack
    Kona Unit

    I'm between sizes on the Jabberwocky and Timberjack. I need a large for the Gnarvester and Unit.

    I'm kind of leaning towards a medium for the Jabberwocky or Timberjack so I can run a 125mm dropper. If anyone has these frames could you give me an idea on sizing?

  32. #32
    jct
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Vassago got back to me. 45-60 days out for frames. I think I've narrowed my search down. I thought about selling all my old junk to build a new super SS bike, but I just don't have the budget and since it is not my race bike, it just doesn't seem worth it.

    Here is my list right now
    Vassago Jabberwocky
    Carver AL Gnarvester
    Salsa Timberjack
    Kona Unit

    I'm between sizes on the Jabberwocky and Timberjack. I need a large for the Gnarvester and Unit.

    I'm kind of leaning towards a medium for the Jabberwocky or Timberjack so I can run a 125mm dropper. If anyone has these frames could you give me an idea on sizing?
    i've had 2 jabbers....currently on the latest iteration in size Large(6'3"). a note on droppers...i run a fox transfer 100mm in mine. measurements would say that i could run a 125mm which i tried. supposedly, there's some funny wall thickness issue and some guys had their seat tubes reamed to fit a deeper post. there's a some chatter about it in one of the vassago threads. it definitely irked me since i already had a post in hand and it didn't work out. i didn't want to have the seat tube altered so i flipped my post and got a 100mm.

    all in all, it wasn't that big of a deal. the bike rides great. also, a true 3" tire like a chupa will only most likely only clear with the sliders slammed towards the rear....contrary to some other posts claiming otherwise. still, the new jabber frames CX length is almost an inch shorter than my prior.
    i will not yield to DH traffic.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I'm kind of leaning towards a medium for the Jabberwocky or Timberjack so I can run a 125mm dropper. If anyone has these frames could you give me an idea on sizing?
    I've owned both Small and Med Vassagos.

    5'9", 30x32" pants-average proportions.
    Right on the fence between a sm and md.

    My small Jabber had a 90mm stem, with 750mm bars and a 20mm setback post, lots of post sticking out.

    My Med Verhauen has 70mm stem, same bars, same post. Still enough post for a 125mm dropper.

    There are pics of both bikes in other Vassago threads ("Where and my Vassago Bretheren", and "I Have seen the light")

    I had no problem with the fit on the small Jabber, it felt nimble and handled great. I opted to upsize when I bought the VH because the small frame doesn't fit a 'tall' waterbottle well in the seattube cage, and I prefer bottles, but need lots of water living in the desert.
    Also, Tom was out of smalls in a color I wanted.

    The medium has a subtly longer feel, some will say less playful, I enjoy the extra bit for climbing ability and high speed stability in the rough, but I live in an area where there are few very tight twisty trails, so I'm OK riding a "long bike". I'm an odd duck that thinks short bikes (esp chain stays) are overrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    also, a true 3" tire like a chupa will only most likely only clear with the sliders slammed towards the rear....contrary to some other posts claiming otherwise. still, the new jabber frames CX length is almost an inch shorter than my prior.
    Odd, my Jabber had no problems fitting a Knard, (actual measurement 3.13") with sliders slammed forward. I had even more clearance with the Chronicle and Bomboloni's that followed the Knard
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jct View Post
    i've had 2 jabbers....currently on the latest iteration in size Large(6'3"). a note on droppers...i run a fox transfer 100mm in mine. measurements would say that i could run a 125mm which i tried. supposedly, there's some funny wall thickness issue and some guys had their seat tubes reamed to fit a deeper post. there's a some chatter about it in one of the vassago threads. it definitely irked me since i already had a post in hand and it didn't work out. i didn't want to have the seat tube altered so i flipped my post and got a 100mm.

    all in all, it wasn't that big of a deal. the bike rides great. also, a true 3" tire like a chupa will only most likely only clear with the sliders slammed towards the rear....contrary to some other posts claiming otherwise. still, the new jabber frames CX length is almost an inch shorter than my prior.
    Interesting feedback on the seat tube issue. I noticed this when I tried to fit a 400mm carbon post in my small Jabber. Couldn't get it to slide down far enough, even though it didn't seem to be close to hitting a bottle boss. I ended up cutting it down, which wasn't a big deal, but that's interesting to know about the frame.

    Also, OP: in case you do buy a Jabber frame, note that the website says it has a 30.9 seatpost but mine came with a 31.6. Unfortunately, I had bought a 30.9 and had already installed it before I noticed the difference. I got it to work good enough with a shim, but I'd rather have the right size seat post.

    On my frame, the WTB Ranger 29x3.0 worked with the sliders pretty far forward. I haven't busted out the calipers to see if it is a "true" 3.0 yet, but I thought I'd throw my experience out there.

    Oh yeah, I'm short and riding a small, so I'm no help on the sizing question.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

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