Push a built Vassago Jabberwocky Frame to the limits of traction, and youAAAll leave show-pony 29ers in the dust. While other companies lumbered along with trusty tradition, Vassago played 29er mad scientist and dialed the predicable, tight handling and climb-devouring WetCat geometry. Now stodgy companies are playing catch-up with gimmicky twenty-niners. Leave the fancy paint jobs, cool-boy integrated bottle openers, and hastily developed geometries on the bandwagon; your riding styleAAAs too refined to waste on me-too-wagon-wheels.
Weaknesses: jabber nuts, replaced with redline bmx chain tensioners.
I've been on this bike for 3 years now and it's the only hardtail I'll ever own! Paired up with a carbon Niner fork, Hadley's, and flow's Profile bmx race cranks and topped off with some killer Deity parts this bike rocks! Every time I ride it I can't believe how smooth it is. I liked my RL flight monocog but it beat my 250lbs up, so I went with the jabber because of the geo / longer cs and never looked back! A much smoother ride now. I don't know the weight but it's light, 50+ mile rides no problem. If you're shopping around for a hardtail this is the one!! This bike gets a lot of chili's for a reason. Well done Vassago.
Strengths: Wet Cat Geo gives unbelievable able ride. Climbs like a goat.
Weaknesses: Jabber Nuts not standard. Not really a weakness just dont be cheap up front, they are worth it.
This bike is really on to something with the geometry. I am coming off of a '11 Kona Hei-Hei 29 deluxe. Once i put the FS down and got on this I am not looking back. Just got in a '12 Lefty PBR and can not wait to see what this bike feels like. Beware the Jabberwocky my son!
Strengths: Incredible "Wet Cat" geometry brings confidence into all riding situations. It's also the first bike I've ever owned in my life that doesn't produce bike envy. I can look at so many sexy bikes on MTBR "Post your so-and-so" threads and I don't even want any of them because I've got such a hot thang at home.
Weaknesses: None that I have found in two years. The bike climbs well and descends like a raging sex-starved Norwegian king on his way to a hot tub party with Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johansson, and a pony keg of Bell's Two Hearted ale.
The Jabberwocky is arguably the best bang for the buck in 29er hardtail singlespeeds. Built well its a lightweight, versatile beast capable of anything thrown at it. And did I mention Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johannson in a hot tub with Bell's Two Hearted? It's that good.
Prior to this bike, I had a Transition Preston. I had never so much as swung a leg over a 29er but I pulled the trigger during a Black Friday sale and from the first ride, it was love. My friend tried my bike and now, not surprisingly, he has a Jabberwocky as well. I've never missed the Preston at all, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of this bike.
Bike Setup: Manitou Tower Pro fork, Flow wheelset, Maxxis Ardent (front), Maxxis IKON (rear), Truvativ World Cup stem, Easton EA70 bars, Race Face single speed crank set, Truvativ seat post, Charge Spoon saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Austin Texas
Date Reviewed: November 8, 2011
Strengths: As mentioned many times - Super sweet ride quality
Weaknesses: none so far
Have a carbon fiber hard tail as well and the ride quality differential between these 2 bikes is astounding. The Jabber is both an excellent climber and a great smooth descender.
I also owned a Redline Monocog FLight 29er just prior to the Jabber and i really enjoyed it however what really stands out with the Jabberwocky is its silky smooth riding characteristics. I dont think it can be touched in this price range.
Similar Products Used: Redline Monocog FLight 29er
Bike Setup: Fox F29 RLC 100mm, Cane Creek S-8 headset, DT swiss 240s Hubs, RAce Face Duess cranks, XT Model BLM-775 disk brakes, THomson Seatpost, Sunline Handlebar and stem, Stans arch
a Cross Country Rider
from Chattanooga, TN
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2011
Strengths: Pretty light for a steel frame. Decent geometry. Great pricepoint.
Weaknesses: None so far
Bought the bike used and was great buy. Rode 28 miles on it my first trip out. At first it was slow and clumsy cause I was trying to ride it like a 26er. Once I figured out how to throw it around the corners it flys. The harder you lean it the more it wants to lean. The way I have in setup its 24.5 pounds with pedals. Not bad for a steel bike. Very impressed with the ride and can't say anything bad about the frame.
Bike Setup: Stans Arch with ZTR hubs and Maxxis Crossmark, Fox F29 RLC 80mm fork, Hayes Stroker brakes, Thompson seatpost and stem, Truvativ stylo crank, 32-19 gearing
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2011
Strengths: Great geometry! Big enough that my 6'5 220lb body fits it. climbs great, ESP with the 32' deity black label bars for leverage!
Weaknesses: Paint scratches easy
This bike has made me a much better rider, I spared no expense and it Is an absolute monster, i feel like it could climb up a tree. A little slow to get going but I'm sure thAt is due to the Ardents, going to run them through the winter and switch to small block 8's. Also going to try to get an Odis fork for winter riding, Vassago is a cool company and they make a great frame, I get lots of questions and looks on this bike, truely unique! I highly suggest for anyone who wants to improve their skills, and for the a few who Are just sick....a good way to embarrass those carbon riding tight wearing elitist.
Bike Setup: Thomson stem and post, Deity black label bars, SRAM xo brakes, 34 in the front and 20 in the back, race face am crank, Chris king hubs and bottom brAcket, Stans flow rims and maxxis Ardents, Reba rlt ti with 80mm travel.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bella Vista, AR
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2011
Strengths: One of the lightest steel frames that I have found anywhere close to this price point. Super smooth ride for a hard tail. I've had a couple of Salsa Dos Niners and this bike "really is" just as smooth as the Dos! Great looking finish/styling! The horizontal dropouts are nice and simple as well as being light weight!
Weaknesses: I really haven't found any. I initially had trouble with my rear wheel staying centered but a used $10 Shimano XT skewer off of Ebay remedied that!
This is a VERY smooth riding frame! You definitely feel like you are riding "in the bike".
Personally I didn't like how long/low the bike felt. I prefer my bikes to feel a little more nimble/XC'ish but I didn't want to give up on the bike because I really liked how smooooooth it rides so I tried it with an 80mm Reba Race fork, a Salsa El Mariachi fork, a Niner Carbon fork and finally a DT Swiss Rigid fork. The handling with the first 3 forks really felt pretty much the same from one fork to the next. The DT Swiss however made this bike feel completely different. The bike feels much more compact and I am back to having more of a "perched on top" feel but the rear end of the bike is still super smooth. All in all I'm really happy with the bike now!
Bike Setup: Medium frame, DT Swiss Carbon fork "rigid", Bontrager RXL Wheels, Geax Seguaro TNT Tires, Thompson Post, Raceface Deus Stem, FSA SLK Bar, Formula Oro K18 Brakes, Oury Grips, Sette Carbon Barends, Salsa Clamp, Ritchey WCS Headset, Selle Italia SLK Saddle
Weaknesses: Have to tighten the rear QR super tight to keep it from slipping, even with the better chain tensioners. Problem could be easily solved with a bolt on rear hub, but I don't have one... Wish there was clearance for a 2.4" tire plus mud in the rear.
This was the first 29er I bought. I like it a lot. It's the only bike I've kept for more than two years so far. It is super stable on the descents due to the long-ish wheelbase, easily scoots up technical climbs, and is fun to play around on in rocky sections. Every time I ride this bike it puts a smile on my face. That's the best review a bike can have. I do wish I could put a 2.4" tire in the rear though. 5 chilis for value ($550 for frame and fork is great) and 4 for overall because of the lack of huge tire clearance.
Weaknesses: Tad Heavy compared to AL, TI, or carbon frames
After reading reviews and comparing the geometry, I was a septic. They were selling the frames 1/2 off so I pulled the trigger on one. This bike handles really well absorbs hits like a full suspension. Handles way better than my E.M.D. and monocog. It's a tad heavy, but After a 25 + miler in the rough desert terrain, I feel refreshed and ready for more. Perfect ride for endurance 24hr racing.
Similar Products Used: Niner E.M.D., Redline Monocog
Bike Setup: Single Speed
a Cross Country Rider
from Amarillo, Tx
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2010
Strengths: Climbs like a squirrel attached to a taser. Absorbs bumps better than some of my buddies soft-tails. With a suspension fork it's a solid 24hr racing machine...I know I did it. When I get up on top of the gear and really get motoring it'll ride like it's on rails and will roll over everything mostly.
Weaknesses: None that I can find. The paint does scratch easily. Initially it handled a little clunky but once I got the hang of riding "in" the frame vs. flicking it around like my old aluminum hardtail It's a beast. It's not as light as my old alu. hardtail but going SS and rigid makes it almost weigh as much.
It's the boss. In fact that's what I call it "The Boss." Man up and ride steel. You won't regret it.
A buddy of mine owns a shop near Little 5 Points, and he built this bike up for me. The wheelset, fork, and frame being considered, this was an amazing value for the price paid. I'm extremely pleased with the bike, and have raced it at a few of my local races this year...to many stares and questions as 29er's are somewhat new here, and SS rigs are all but non-existent.
The bike's geometry is truly unbelievable. I tell folks you "sit in" the bike, not "on it" (although I may have read that somewhere, it seems to work). Regardless, the bike has an outstanding ride quality.
Extra points for rollin' a steel bike in a sea of carbon rigs as well!
Strengths: A Great frame for the $$! My $645 got me the Jabberwocky frame and ODIS fork. This frame is fairly light for a steel frame - The horizontal dropouts save a lot of weight over a bike with an eccentric bottom bracket.
The ride quality of this frames is very nice. I can handle tight singletrack on this guy just as well as I could on a 26" wheel. IT also seems to climb well when seated...just slide foreword a little and give 'er!
Weaknesses: The stock chain tensioners are terrible. I quickly ordered a set of Jabbernuts and now it's all good.
Customer service - they returned my first phone call, but none since.
I highly recommend this frame and for to anyone who is interested in a single speed. Switching from a couple of cheap singlespeeds to a truly nice, well made bike has make a huge difference in my riding. It handles great, looks sharp, and won't break the bank.
Similar Products Used: Giant Cadex converted to SS, GT Ruckus SS, Gary Fisher Rig
Bike Setup: Jabberwocky frame w/ODIS fork, Crank Bros Cobalt HS, Ritchey WCS bars, stem, and seatpost (all wet white), Truvative Firex 1.1 crank/BB, American Classic Alpha-type SS Disc wheels, Avid Juicy 5 brakes
Date Reviewed: August 22, 2010
Strengths: Wetcat Geometry. Long, low, and fast. Steel suppleness
Weaknesses: Haven't found one yet.
I have been riding a four inch squishy for 3 years then I bit the 29er hook and picked up the Jabberwocky. I really wanted something different than what I have been riding. I pieced the bike together with all the parts that I really wanted and I could not be happier with how it turned out.
The steel frame in absolutely gorgeous and the ODIS fork is super stiff. On my first ride I could not believe how well this bike could handle the singletrack here in Marquette, also how amazingly this frame can accelerate on the flats and going up hill, I feel like Contador when I rocket up hills passing all my riding buddies. My second ride on the bike was the Ore-to-Shore epic here in Marquette(if you havent done this race do it!) and I was amazed again by how well it accelerated and handled the trails.
I also could not be happier with the single speed setup I have on this bike, 34/16. The brakes are a wonderful addition, as is the carbon bar taking away some of the vibration.
The bike is fantastic as a rigid, however if you ride some really brutal single track I would recommend throwing some squish in the front.
So bottom line, if you want to try a single speed 29er, buy this bike! You won't be disappointed. If you ride smooth XC ride the rigid, if you do some rocky Single track get some squish. Have fun and go ride!
Bike Setup: jabberwocky frame and ODIS fork, Avid Elixir R SLC, 185mm and 160mm rotors, Raceface Evolve stem, Raceface NEXT carbon bar, Ergon grips, WTB rims on XT hubs, Truvativ Stylo seatpost 30mm offset, Fizik Tundra saddle, Raceface Evolve SS crank/bb, and Nevegals.
a Cross Country Rider
from Gallup, NM, USA
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2010
Strengths: Light weight, light weight, light weight! Like others have said, climbs like a goat! Extremely well balanced. On the fence between the 16" and the 18", decided on the 16", glad I did (I am 5'9", 180lbs).
Weaknesses: Tire clearance, barely have enough space for 2.2 Nevegal's, No big deal, I have a Kenda small block eight 2.1 for desert riding
If you have been obsessing about this frame, just pull the trigger. After that first ride you'll be lamenting the rides you could have taken while you were thinking about buying this frame.
Similar Products Used: None, this is my first SS mtn bike, and 29 er', though I did demo a Salsa El Mariachi.
Bike Setup: SS 32X18, Chris King headset, Thomson seatpost and stem, Titec H-bar, Avid BB7 brakes, Surly Mr. Whirly crankset and bearings, Crank Bros eggbeaters, Handspun Wheelset (Surly Hubs, Mavic m719(?)), White Bros Rock Solid carbon fork, Kenda Nevegal 2.2's.
a Cross Country Rider
from Fort Collins, CO USA
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2010
Strengths: Inexpensive, well built, great finish, well thought out design, relatively light build at just over 23#
Weaknesses: None that I've identified yet
Blast to ride, simple, climbs much better than you'd think, looks great, low maintenance. SS riding is great training...full body workout. Riding rigid refreshes technical riding skills that full-squish bikes obliterate. With the Jabberwocky I think Vassago has hit a home run...fun, good quality, low price, great vibe. No reason not to buy one.
Bike Setup: XT hubs, Stan's Arch rims, Maxxis Ignitors, Thomson stem and post, White Industries ENO crank (180mm, 32T), Elixir CR brakes, King headset and cog (have both 20T and 18T), Easton Monkeylite bars, Carbon Cycles Exotic carbon fork
I had the good fortune to come back into MTBing last Spring after a ~7-year hiatus on a Dawes Deadeye (rigid hardtail 29er SS from Bikes Direct) that I found on Craigslist for $180. Up to that point, I had been on mostly hardtail 26ers. When I rode the Deadeye for the first time, it was loooove.
... Read More »
I'm replacing my current frame with a Vassago Jabberwocky. Would like to know:
1. Does Vassago face the BB shell & headtube from the factory?
2. Does it matter if there's a little paint in the BB shell threads?
3. If the frame has been faced, does it matter if there's paint on ... Read More »