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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum. I am planning to build up a new 29er single speed.I have been researching 29er frames and I think i have narrowed it down to the vassago jabberwocky vs SIR 9. There is obvious differences in the steel (4130 vs 853), geometry and price , but I would like to get some feedback from riders of the jabberwocky or the Niner SIR 9.
 

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I don't huck.
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I have never ridden a Sir-9 but I have been on a Jabber for most of 2009 IIRC. The Jabber is hard to beat at the price, rides well and the newer model without the gusset looks good...classic lines. The horz drops can be a pain if you change your gearing a lot as you will need to readjust the brake caliper most likely. I really never change gears so I don't really care about that and I have had no issues with wheel slippage using an old Shimano XT QR.. It is friendly handling overall. Call it Labrador Retriever. I like it, but it is not snappy steering.

I would expect the SIR to be lighter, quicker handling, maybe smoother riding...maybe..., and more expensive besides the obvious differences like EBB, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do you like about the wet cat geometry( longer wheelbase)?
I would setup up the 29er as a single speed and I was contemplating Slot drop outs (vassago) as opposed to EBB (niner). I am looking for something that is bulletproof and an ease to maintain on trail.
 

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drehder said:
What do you like about the wet cat geometry( longer wheelbase)?
I would setup up the 29er as a single speed and I was contemplating Slot drop outs (vassago) as opposed to EBB (niner). I am looking for something that is bulletproof and an ease to maintain on trail.
The Wet Cat is not just a longer wheelbase. It also is the low BB and the slacker HT angle IIRC, or at least, if it isn't, it should be because you have to take all that into consideration.

If you are not trying to hustle the Jabber in between hardwood trees at warp speed or wheelie drop logs, the longer, slacker frame is nice and predictable and smooth. It will not demand a lot from you when you are tired and not paying attention. It is accurate, just not real snappy.

I am in the wide open west so I generally have good line of sight on trails and rougher, looser conditions, both of those do not require a hyper-sharp turning frame geo. I like the Jabber, but, if it was a blank slate, I would modify things a bit. I would shorten the CS to 17.5" and add .25 to .5" in the TT, steepen the HT angle to 71.5* and keep the low BB and the steeper ST angle of the Jabber. But that is a discussion for a custom framebuilder and I to have at some point.

Track ends are pretty darn simple and light as far as tensioning goes. But, there are issues with axle slippage if you do not have a really good clamping force at the rear axle. Also, there is the brake caliper readjusting issue that may or may not matter to ya. There are pros and cons with everything - EBBs, sliders, etc. Obvious potential issues with EBBs are creaking, slipping, maintenance, and the odd position that the BB will be compared to a fixed BB set up. Some or none of those may be an issue for you, but those are the usual complaints.
 

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Don't know about the SIR9 but have ridden the jabber for most of 09 as well.
I like that it's smooth and easy when pointed downhill. Like others have said it's not a really quick steering bike but I prefer that.
It can be built up fairly light - I'm at 21lbs and the track ends work fine for me with an XT skewer. Never had any slippage.
I bought the frame/fork thinking that if I liked it I'd build up a really nice SS 29er, but once it was built haven't wanted for anything else.
 

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I am enjoying the Jabber. It is an easy handling bike, not snappy, but I seem to be able to get around tight switchback ok. I have not tried the Niners, but 1) There seem to be many who love them 2) I have a LBS mechanic and friend who bought one and then promptly sold it and bought a jabber. He didn't like the HT angle.
 

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I have had both and had them built with the exact same parts... and put many miles on both of the frames. They were both nice bikes but a little different with pros and cons to each

I ride the large frames in both - The SIR9 weighed 4.99lbs with the eccentric installed, the Jabber 5.01lbs with the jabbernutz installed, both on the same scale one right after another on the same day...

The Sir9 rides a little smoother, however the bottom bracket is not as stiff. You get a little sway back and forth when standing... nothing severe, but noticeable. The Jabber rides a touch rougher, but the bottom bracket and headtube are MUCH stiffer than the SIR9 - climbs a lot better.

The Jabber handles different than the niner - you really need to test ride both...but depending on your preferences, this may be a good thing. The Jabber freaking rockets downhill... the bike is very stable and the stiffness in the headtube area helps. the niner steers a little different as mentioned above... really this will end up being personal preference.

The warranty on the SIR9 was great. I actually had 2 SIR9's and 2 One9's when I was riding the Niners. I broke multiple frames in the time that I rode them, and niner always replaced them no questions asked. Kind of a pain, but they took care of each one in a timely manner. I have yet to break a jabber frame - I have one going on two years that is still going strong with no issues whatsoever...

Also, the other major thing is chain tensioning for SS use. The niner uses the eccentric, which worked well but required a lot of maint to ensure it did not creak. I would get creaks every 4-5 rides unless I cleaned it out. The EBB worked great (actually, it worked better than I was expecting!) and was easy to adjust or add additional chain tension.

I really really like the dropouts on the Jabber. I thought they were going to be a nightmare when I got the bike however it is just the opposite. Super easy to adjust, change gears, and no noise at all. You have to use a really good skewer (crank bros split works awesome) to avoid the wheel from moving, but it is worth it. I am also lazy, so I just change cogs without adjusting the brake :) FWIW, I have an optimus TI with the Paragon sliding dropouts, and I prefer the dropouts on the Jabber!!

I really liked both bikes, however I ended up liking the Jabber a little better after riding both so I sold or gave away my Niners (made my mechanic happy!!) and ended up riding Vassagos for the past couple of years... even managed to make it on their team!
 

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As a few others have said... i love my jabber.

I've been riding it for about 2 and a half years. I've had 2 different rigid forks and now have an 80 mm suspension fork. I've tried multiple different gear ratios (which on the jabber means different chainstay lengths).

I can't think of anything that I don't like about the bike. I'm right on the border between the small and medium frame and chose the medium so I may be on a frame size too large for me and the bike still feels pretty nimble. It climbs extremely well and I've never really found anything that I didn't think it did well.

It's a little on the heavy side but that's what you get with a steel frame and it's not that big an issue. Mine has fluctuated between 23 and 25.5 lbs depending on parts.

As for service/warranty, i got my frame used with no tension screws and Vassago helped me out finding the tensioner parts that I needed and didn't get pissy that i didn't buy from them... not really a big deal but that's the only experience I've had dealing with them because my bike has been flawless ever since through tough riding nearly every day and a few nasty spills.

I'd highly recommend the Vassago.
 

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i've been lusting for all three frames from vassago, jabber, bander and now fistcuff for a long time, if and when they are available in my country,will probably end up buying at least two frames and build me some mean bikes...
 

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tamen00 said:
I have had both and had them built with the exact same parts... and put many miles on both of the frames. They were both nice bikes but a little different with pros and cons to each

I ride the large frames in both - The SIR9 weighed 4.99lbs with the eccentric installed, the Jabber 5.01lbs with the jabbernutz installed, both on the same scale one right after another on the same day...

The Sir9 rides a little smoother, however the bottom bracket is not as stiff. You get a little sway back and forth when standing... nothing severe, but noticeable. The Jabber rides a touch rougher, but the bottom bracket and headtube are MUCH stiffer than the SIR9 - climbs a lot better.

The Jabber handles different than the niner - you really need to test ride both...but depending on your preferences, this may be a good thing. The Jabber freaking rockets downhill... the bike is very stable and the stiffness in the headtube area helps. the niner steers a little different as mentioned above... really this will end up being personal preference.

The warranty on the SIR9 was great. I actually had 2 SIR9's and 2 One9's when I was riding the Niners. I broke multiple frames in the time that I rode them, and niner always replaced them no questions asked. Kind of a pain, but they took care of each one in a timely manner. I have yet to break a jabber frame - I have one going on two years that is still going strong with no issues whatsoever...

Also, the other major thing is chain tensioning for SS use. The niner uses the eccentric, which worked well but required a lot of maint to ensure it did not creak. I would get creaks every 4-5 rides unless I cleaned it out. The EBB worked great (actually, it worked better than I was expecting!) and was easy to adjust or add additional chain tension.

I really really like the dropouts on the Jabber. I thought they were going to be a nightmare when I got the bike however it is just the opposite. Super easy to adjust, change gears, and no noise at all. You have to use a really good skewer (crank bros split works awesome) to avoid the wheel from moving, but it is worth it. I am also lazy, so I just change cogs without adjusting the brake :) FWIW, I have an optimus TI with the Paragon sliding dropouts, and I prefer the dropouts on the Jabber!!

I really liked both bikes, however I ended up liking the Jabber a little better after riding both so I sold or gave away my Niners (made my mechanic happy!!) and ended up riding Vassagos for the past couple of years... even managed to make it on their team!
Good comparison. I have heard the same thing about the pedaling stiffness in the SIR frame. Some of that willowy-ness is likely part of the smoother ride. Hard to have it all. I am surprised about the weight similarity...I guess the EBB is getting in the way there.

Even though I posture about changes I would make if I had a blank page to begin with, the Jabber is something I could ride into many sunsets and be quite happy. If you get along with the slightly laid back geo it is a fine ride.
 

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enio said:
i've been lusting for all three frames from vassago, jabber, bander and now fistcuff for a long time, if and when they are available in my country,will probably end up buying at least two frames and build me some mean bikes...
Just so you know, www.bikebling.com will ship any where, and they are a Vassago dealer.

On a side not, I have had 3 different Banders, and Jabber, and the frames rock! I love the way the bike handles the downhill.

I think you cannot go wrong with either frame!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all! Appreciate all the detailed jabberwocky and SIR 9 information. Definitely gives me something to consider for the next purchase. It good to know the stiffness comparison between the two frames. I do prefer a stiffer bottom bracket , especially for climbing. I was leaning toward the jabberwocky due to the great price, but now after receiving all the great jabberwocky comments, I think it is time for a test ride.
 

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drehder said:
Thanks to all! Appreciate all the detailed jabberwocky and SIR 9 information. Definitely gives me something to consider for the next purchase. It good to know the stiffness comparison between the two frames. I do prefer a stiffer bottom bracket , especially for climbing. I was leaning toward the jabberwocky due to the great price, but now after receiving all the great jabberwocky comments, I think it is time for a test ride.
I was able to find a friend of a friend who had one locally, and he let me test ride it on trail. I bet you could find someone close by who would be willing to meet you for a ride and check it out.
 

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If you are in AZ, you are more than welcome to take mine out for a ride!

Edit: Duh... I clicked on your profile and see you are in phoenix... PM me and we can make arrangements to take the bike out!!
 

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tamen00 said:
If you are in AZ, you are more than welcome to take mine out for a ride!

Edit: Duh... I clicked on your profile and see you are in phoenix... PM me and we can make arrangements to take the bike out!!
why are you always offering to let other people ride that bike, is there something wrong with it? :D :D :D
 

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LOL!!! Nothing wrong with the bikes... I just have a herd of them at home and they like to be ridden, they get lonely... kind of like a certain ancient old fisher aluminum thing you have... LOL!!!! :)
 

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I live in Phoenix and have a Large '09 SIR9 SS, so PM me if you wanna test ride it and are tall.

I took a street ride on a Vassago before buying the Niner, and I liked the "in the bike" feel that the Wet Cat geometry provides, and its handling felt very balanced. But I decided on the SIR9 for its shorter stays and 853 steel, and I run a F29 @ 100mm to slacken the front end a bit.

I also have a nearly unridden XL '09 that I need to sell, if you're well over 6'.

Btw, I do think the back of the '09 SIR9s have been beefed up over previous years. The bottom bracket area got widened to 73mm from 68, plus the chainstay bridge and seatstay bridge are now tubes instead of thin plates. My Large is at least 5.2lbs IIRC, and my XL is 5.5lb. In front, the '09 headtubes got a bit longer, and the front end geometry was tweaked to work better with the current crop of 29er forks and their ~44mm of offset. Also, the EBB was completely redesigned so that it slips and squeeks less (as the 1st generation was known to do). So Niner has addressed some of the above issues. I'm very happy with mine, though I do like the classic lines of the Vassago frame.
 

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Love,peace and baby geese
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The Niner EBB is a hassle. If you decide on the Niner get a geared frame and run a tensioner. I`ve had great luck with the Melvin and Singulator. Also ride a Niner and see if you really think the frame is worth the money. Then ride a Vassago and ask yourself the same question. Niner is the Harley Davidson of bicycles.
 

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treesmasher said:
The Niner EBB is a hassle.
Are you talking about the current biocentric version? What did you find a hassle?

On various frames, I've used horizontal dropouts, a tensioner, sliders (nice), pinch bolt EBB, and a biocentric EBB, and I think the current Niner EBB rocks.
 

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Love,peace and baby geese
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Ryder1

tamen00 said:
I have had both and had them built with the exact same parts... and put many miles on both of the frames. They were both nice bikes but a little different with pros and cons to each

I ride the large frames in both - The SIR9 weighed 4.99lbs with the eccentric installed, the Jabber 5.01lbs with the jabbernutz installed, both on the same scale one right after another on the same day...

The Sir9 rides a little smoother, however the bottom bracket is not as stiff. You get a little sway back and forth when standing... nothing severe, but noticeable. The Jabber rides a touch rougher, but the bottom bracket and headtube are MUCH stiffer than the SIR9 - climbs a lot better.

The Jabber handles different than the niner - you really need to test ride both...but depending on your preferences, this may be a good thing. The Jabber freaking rockets downhill... the bike is very stable and the stiffness in the headtube area helps. the niner steers a little different as mentioned above... really this will end up being personal preference.

The warranty on the SIR9 was great. I actually had 2 SIR9's and 2 One9's when I was riding the Niners. I broke multiple frames in the time that I rode them, and niner always replaced them no questions asked. Kind of a pain, but they took care of each one in a timely manner. I have yet to break a jabber frame - I have one going on two years that is still going strong with no issues whatsoever...

Also, the other major thing is chain tensioning for SS use. The niner uses the eccentric, which worked well but required a lot of maint to ensure it did not creak. I would get creaks every 4-5 rides unless I cleaned it out. The EBB worked great (actually, it worked better than I was expecting!) and was easy to adjust or add additional chain tension.

I really really like the dropouts on the Jabber. I thought they were going to be a nightmare when I got the bike however it is just the opposite. Super easy to adjust, change gears, and no noise at all. You have to use a really good skewer (crank bros split works awesome) to avoid the wheel from moving, but it is worth it. I am also lazy, so I just change cogs without adjusting the brake :) FWIW, I have an optimus TI with the Paragon sliding dropouts, and I prefer the dropouts on the Jabber!!

I really liked both bikes, however I ended up liking the Jabber a little better after riding both so I sold or gave away my Niners (made my mechanic happy!!) and ended up riding Vassagos for the past couple of years... even managed to make it on their team!
See every 4-5 rides or it creaks.
 
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