Vassago Jabberwocky

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by SnakeCharmer, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Model Year: 2017
    Color: white (daylight)/glow in dark green (low light/night)
    Size: Small (16")
    Drivetrain: 1x10

    I loved my Timberjack but it was beating the heck out of me. It was also slightly big for me and I had the wheelbase set too wide. A friend who had been riding steel for a few years suggested that I try it. Steel is slightly more forgiving than alloy. So, while I was out visiting him this past Spring, I took his Jabberwocky and his Nimble 9 out for a few spins around the block and through a rock garden he had built in his front yard for bike tweaking/suspension testing. I noticed right away a less hollow, less stiff sensation. Not that it felt flexy, though. I wanted one for myself so I watched the interwebs for a mega-score. My friend helped out by also keeping an eye open. We exchanged finds for months until he stumbled upon a stellar deal on a brand new/never built Jabberwocky in the color and size I wanted. I knew the deal would go fast, like in minutes, so I offered the seller a price in a PM and he gobbled it up. The frame arrived in it's original box, well wrapped for shipping and it still has the original shipping label from when Vassago shipped it to the guy I bought it from. The build went slowly. I thought I had everything I needed to blow it out (most parts coming from my Timberjack) but some things popped up that stopped me dead in my tracks. During that time I was restricted to riding my Remedy, which is fun but I am a hard tail guy by nature so I was missing my Timberjack. :(

    First ride/first impression:

    I noticed the added weight immediately. The frame weighs a hefty two pounds more than my Timberjack frame. The geo is slightly less aggro, slightly more XC. I noticed that when I dropped hard into the first sharp g-out turn in Cherry. It nearly threw me off the bike, lol. But a quick body positioning (slightly more back behind the bike) erased that forever. I have the rear drop-outs slammed full forward so the wheel base is shorter than the way I had the Timberjack set and that was instant BLISS. Night and day better into and through turns than the Timberjack. Tighter, faster turns feel natural. I could have done that with the Timberjack as well but I never did. This is a lesson learned. I am holding onto the Timberjack frame in case this steel frame doesn't work out for me and the first thing I am going to do if I put it back together is to slam the rear drop-outs full forward.

    As I said earlier, the geo is slightly less relaxed than the Timberjack, about 1 degree in the head tube (about 69 degrees) which creates a more lively sensation. A little scary at first but I adjusted right away and then it was magic from then on. I was making much sharper turns at higher speeds and going downhill it picks up momentum compared to the Timberjack. On level ground, it loses momentum, comparatively, probably due to the added bulk. So what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger, right?

    In closing, this frame fits me better, more like my Remedy, which is super comfortable, so let's see what a few more rides in other areas may bring to the table...
     
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    Uh hem.... pics?:rolleyes:
     
  3. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Umm, well...

    How about a pair. One is in bright light, the other is in low light.

    IMG_5626.JPG

    IMG_5627.JPG
     
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  4. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    :eek: Oh my!
    Mikie Likey! :thumbsup:
     
  5. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    That paint is the COOLest thing EVER! :eek: Love it. :thumbsup:

    I hope the bike becomes your awesome new friend!
     
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  6. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Low standover, steel...looks like fun! Is that a 120 fork? Could it run a 130-140 (with an Angleset?)? :sneaky: Was your TJ also a small?
     
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  7. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    So it has some glow in the dark paint? That's cool, Niner did that and I always thought it was great!
     
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  8. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Yes, it's a 120. I wondered about running more travel on an angled headset. What I can say about running more travel is that my friend tried 130 on his (non-angled HS) Jabber and he said it took the magic away.

    I have the Remedy for the more harsh stuff. I need to have a good XC pedal bike in my quiver. This frame seems to be that and more.
     
  9. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Yes.
     
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  10. Grego

    Grego iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Fullerton
    Name:
    joe
    Current Bike:
    WFO9
    Very nice! Like the option to go single speed with the sliding dropouts. Now you got me looking at Vassago.
     
  11. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    With now at least a dozen rides under my belt on the Jabber, I can say that it has become a good friend. I just can't stress how much better the liveliness of steel is in ride quality. The frame is moving with me all the time in a cushioning way. That may sound "flexy" or "unstable" but it's exactly the opposite. It's basically a hardtail frame with suspension, the entire frame being the suspension and that is what my achy joints needed. What a joy it is to ride and to pedal. I think I found a keeper. :inlove:
     
  12. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Specy Epic, Stumpu and Enduro
    Glad you like it. 1mil of travel nothin but the best for the Snake.
     
  13. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve Macko
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    That's 1mil of travel over the entire surface area of the frame, to be exact... :p

    I'm not sure how I missed this when you first posted your review, Mr. Snake. :thumbsup: I agree completely about the steel feel. It was a jarring experience when the el Mar broke, and I switched to the aluminum Highball. The Highball was faster in every way, even though it was a touch more slack. But it rode like a tuning fork, and I felt every rock, where steel just soaks it up... :inlove:

    If you didn't have the Remedy to fall back on, would the XC geo still do the trick as a full time ride? I'm asking, just because I can't see myself going back to the 69-70 degree head angle full time.

    Nice find, and I'm glad it's working out... Now get down here for one of the Wednesday night rides, so we can see it glow in the dark on Motorway. :D
     
  14. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Yes, the geo on this bike is spot on. It feels like a "relaxed XC bike that is more than comfortable shredding the AM gnar when the opportunity presents itself".

    Balanced is another term to be applied here. I think the HTA on this frame is 68.5 or 69 with the 120 fork. I can feel the mildly steeper geo compared to the TJ but it makes the bike more capable and not focused one way or the other. Vassago's "Wetcat" geo is amazing.
     
  15. mtbMike

    mtbMike Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Oceanside
    Name:
    Mike
    Current Bike:
    Intense Tracer & Primer
    I don't know anything about the bike but I can tell you the Jabberwocky trail in Ashland is soooooooooo much fun!!!

     
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  16. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Snake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Holy sheesh!!! Lemme go change my underwear.
     
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  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Those boys are quick. That trail is sick. Steep off the sides, not much room for error. Looks incredibly fun!
     
    Faust29, Danmtchl and mtbMike like this.
  18. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    My buddy Manny on a secret trail north of Half moon bay. Not much room for errors here either.

     
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