Jabberwocky vs. El Mariachi help please!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Jabberwocky vs. El Mariachi help please!

    So I've ridden a GF Rig in the past and currently own a Jabberwocky that I've ridden for the past year or so. The RIG was definitely a quicker and lighter frame, but the Jabber definitely has that nice plush steel feel. So my Jabber frame is done (long story of a smashed bottom tube due to backing into a concrete tower with my truck), and I'm trying to decide if I should buy another Jabber or look into the El Mariachi. The geometry on the Salsa seems to be bit more racey and fast, plus its steel. Thus maybe providing a good balance between the quicker, lighter RIG and the plush feel of the Vassago. Any insight or opinions from those of you that own or have ridden one or the other would be appreciated. Thanks!

    What about a Spec Stumpjumper SS? Fast and light, but Aluminum I know.

  2. #2
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    No one has experience with these two frames?

  3. #3
    Is that Bill rated?
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    Pretty specific question, give it a day or two.
    Well, it was a good try.

  4. #4
    SS Pusher Man
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    I have a '11 El Mariachi.....been on it nearly 2 years now.

    Very nice frame. For a steel frame it rides kinda stiff.....not the magic carpet ride that I expected in a steel frame. It is not light either.....my L/20" frame weigh in at 5.7 lbs. run mine with 120mm fork, so the geometry is pretty nice.

    Alternator Dropouts are a no-brainer.

    Have ridden it pretty hard and it has handled it in strides.

    With all that being said, I am in the process of retiring the Salsa for a Highball Al.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.:nono:

    Ebikes are not bicycles :nono:

  5. #5
    Robtre
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    I will chime in from the Vassago camp. I am coming up on my 1st year since I built up my Jabber. I love this frame! My only complaint is the horizontal drop outs have proven difficult. The alternator dropouts solve that problem. I demo'ed a Steel El Mariachi couple months back and it was pretty awesome frame. I think the ideal set up would be around an 80mm travel fork for "racey" responsiveness. I run my REBA at 100mm when its not rigid. The El Mar is on my top 2 list for next frame unless Vassago can get their head our of their arse. I would like to see a Chupacabra Steel frame for the win.
    -rides bikes for fun.

  6. #6
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    I started off a couple of years ago on a 2007 GF rig and road it for a bout a year. Had no complaints with it but wanted to try something a little different. Picked up a Jabberwocky this summer and transferred most of the Rig's components over. While slightly heavier it rides so much nicer. Climbs better and is much less harsh.
    My latest project is a niner emd 9 set up as a 1x9 with most of the components getting moved again from the Jabberwocky to the niner.
    The Niner handles so much better than either the Rig or the Jabberwocky, I love it.
    I will keep my Niner and the Jabb set up as a SS and will be going rigid on the fork.
    Long story short, unless you are sold on steel you might want to consider a Niner one 9. I think it would be an awesome SS.

  7. #7
    singletrack bound
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    three years on the Jabber SS cracked weld, repaired and powdercoated and re-built.
    during the rebuilding I built up a '11 El Mar SS and rode that for six months. Got the Jabber back and built it back up single and converted the El Mar to a1x10.

    Love the Jabber. Have rode it exclusively for around three years. It is very stable at speed but all in all I would say the El Mar rides much nicer in terms of ride quality and steering. The drop outs are great. I still ride them both but on a long day I will grab the El Mar.

  8. #8
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    I've ridden a jabber as a rigid SS for the last few years and love it. Have been looking at building up anSS El Mar with a front shock....
    I'm not a weight weenie or anything, I want my equipment to hold up under my fat azz, but it looks like the frame weight on the el mar is almost a full pound heavier add in the additional weight of the front shock and thats a few extra lbs on my ss...

  9. #9
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    I had a Jabber for a while and while I never owned a Mariachi I've had 2 Mamasita's and 2 Dos Niners. I too LOVED how smooth the Jabber was. With the Salsas I always felt like there was something missing with the geometry. I just never felt connected to the trail. Let me throw in another option that is both smooth and racy at the same time (Misfit DiSSent). This bike is stiff and fast but somehow super smooth. Proved to me that aluminum done right doesn't have to be harsh.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by robtre View Post
    I will chime in from the Vassago camp. I am coming up on my 1st year since I built up my Jabber. I love this frame! My only complaint is the horizontal drop outs have proven difficult. The alternator dropouts solve that problem. I demo'ed a Steel El Mariachi couple months back and it was pretty awesome frame. I think the ideal set up would be around an 80mm travel fork for "racey" responsiveness. I run my REBA at 100mm when its not rigid. The El Mar is on my top 2 list for next frame unless Vassago can get their head our of their arse. I would like to see a Chupacabra Steel frame for the win.

    You will soon hear the "pop" over at Vassago- very good things coming. Can't say much now, but within weeks, maybe days- good things will be happening over there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone No Balone View Post
    three years on the Jabber SS cracked weld, repaired and powdercoated and re-built.
    during the rebuilding I built up a '11 El Mar SS and rode that for six months. Got the Jabber back and built it back up single and converted the El Mar to a1x10.

    Love the Jabber. Have rode it exclusively for around three years. It is very stable at speed but all in all I would say the El Mar rides much nicer in terms of ride quality and steering. The drop outs are great. I still ride them both but on a long day I will grab the El Mar.
    What was better about the steering with the El Mar? One of my issues with my Jabberwocky is that I'd prefer something that steers a little more quickly.

  12. #12
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    Considering the Jabber is out of production, I'd go with the Salsa bike. Your warranty service is likely to be better with the company that is not in the midst of a reboot.

  13. #13
    surly inbred
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post
    What was better about the steering with the El Mar? One of my issues with my Jabberwocky is that I'd prefer something that steers a little more quickly.

    • Grande: quick & agile
    • 80mm: quick, agile & fast
    • 100mm: doable, but slow & floppy
    • 120mm: identity problem

  14. #14
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    Lots of great replies guys, thanks! Turns out the new/reboot of Vassago is gonna be great. Excellent customer service! They are sending me a replacement Jabber under their crash replacement policy! No questions asked! So I'm sticking with the Jabber obviously. Which is fine with me. I've really become super comfy and quite nimble with the feel and geometry. Thanks again for the feedback! Peace

  15. #15
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    I have ridden a Jabber for about a year and a half. I am avid endurance racer, and I love this bike. It is one of the most comfortable bikes I have ever ridden. It's a bike that is really comfotable to be on for 12 or 24 hours at a time. Oh yea and mine has the Vassago Odis fork on it too, Steel is real!

  16. #16
    US Army Vet-Airborne 11B
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    I have nop experince on the Salsa-LOVED (and severely regret selling) my Jabber,everythign about it,even on tight n twisty technical singletrack in VA/TN/KY. GLAD I didn't sell my Bander too!

    Did Vassago ever sort themselves out? Not hijacking,just saying maybe it'd be hard to find a new Jabber frame?
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  17. #17
    Just Ride
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    wow, not even fleebay has any. Well there is one but it's a medium.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  18. #18
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    Vassago should be back up and running at full tilt in a matter of weeks if not days. I am not really allowed to divulge all the details, but in addition to the Jabber making a planned comeback, there is a very reasonably priced OX Platinum steel frame sourced and built in the USA coming along with an equally nicely priced Ti frame.

    If you can wait for a Jabber, I would. Buying one online from close-out houses can be risky as some of those frames are blems, returns or repaired returns from the old Vassago ownership.

    I just picked up a brand new one (in Tan) this weekend and I may be able to get the new owner to sell a few more if someone really wanted one. It's my first steel bike, and second 29 SS HT. I just came off a year on a 26 FS so the handling of course is going to feel different. Not slower mind you, it's just gonna take a different technique than the 26 and the G2 29 I used to have (which I thought was a little unstable on high speed loose, tight turns). The Jabber climbs like a goat, even with my weak non-SS ready gams and rides so buttery smooth it was better than the CF Softtail I had a few years ago. Totally satisfied and waiting to test the OX and Ti frames, then finding a way to hide the purchase from my wife. I would highly recommend one!
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  19. #19
    US Army Vet-Airborne 11B
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    Not to be off subject (but I'm THRILLED to hear Vassago should be back and Jabber savailable again!!! ),but just wanted to say,love the avatar
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  20. #20
    Robtre
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    Sent an email to Vassago [email protected] asking general questions about what to expect and Tom from Vassago replied within 4 hours time with lots of good news. Website will be reactivated in coming weeks and a couple frame changes,options and offerings availible January 2013. I will be awaiting with my CC in hand!
    -rides bikes for fun.

  21. #21
    US Army Vet-Airborne 11B
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    Cut up our CC's long ago...I'll start setting back a bit each pay
    '11 Origin 8 700CX
    '14 Surly Troll

  22. #22
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    robtre apparently has some ties with Vassago, as he has bumped EVERY Vassago thread with the same post.

    Regarding the frames, I have had both. I liked the El Mar better, as it was slightly quicker handling, didn't feel as long, and the Alternator dropouts beat the pants off of Jabber's.

  23. #23
    Robtre
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    [QUOTE=phsycle;9790897]robtre apparently has some ties with Vassago, as he has bumped EVERY Vassago thread with the same post.

    and by "ties with Vassago" you mean fanboi ? Man you are sleuthy. I bet you have a monacle a corn cob pipe and a houndstooth derby ! I am just simply trying to negate a lot of negativity surrounding the Vassago brand which I like. I did post the same message on many threads with the death order of Vassago congrats to you !
    -rides bikes for fun.

  24. #24
    singletrack bound
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post

    Regarding the frames, I have had both. I liked the El Mar better, as it was slightly quicker handling, didn't feel as long, and the Alternator dropouts beat the pants off of Jabber's.
    I still have both bikes and I do share time on both but you describe the feeling I have between the two precisely

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