Raaw Jibb

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Posted: Mar 6, 2022 at 16:10 Quote
Didn’t see a thread on this bike so I’ll start one.

Consider this my buying decision, build experience and first ride impressions.

TL;DR: It’s a stiff, plush, silent, ground-hugging trail bike who’s name probably gives the wrong impression. I think I love it.

Me:

44 years old. Dad. 6’3” and 195lbs. Riding since I was maybe 14. I don’t think I was ever gnarly and if I was, those days are behind me. My wheels stay on the ground.

I ride between 50-100 miles a week across my XC hardtail, my road bike and my trail bike. Typical trail bike ride is 1.5 hours of mixed SoCal terrain. Favorite ride is long days of lift-assisted pedaling at a ski resort where you climb 4,000 ft and descend 7,000.

Buying:

I was looking for something to replace my well-loved V1 Transition Smuggler. That bike was ahead of its time in 2016 and so replacing it with one of the modern downcountry bikes felt like spending a bunch of money on something that would ride pretty similarly.

I wanted aluminum. I love my carbon hardtail but there was just this lack of stress with the Smuggler when it got knocked over or a rock made a loud noise hitting the downtube.

I also wanted something a bit… “indy”. Specialized and Santa Cruz make great bikes (we have one of each in my house), but I enjoy liking the band before they’re popular. Judge me.

I was way into the idea of a Banshee, but the branding is a little Ed Hardy for me (“Real mountain bikes for real riders”… spare me). I loved the idea of a Reeb but I’ve read mixed reviews. Gorilla Gravity seemed a bit… unrefined. I wanted to get there on a Commencal but the pivot on the dropout is just in the wrong place. I was thiiiiiiis close to ordering a Knolly. But I’m not sendy enough. Also, they look weird to me. Privateer 141 is really compelling (and comes from the same factory as the Raaw) but it's sold out for a few more months and you can see the things that they had to do to make that price point (off the shelf tubes and junctions).

Back when I first saw a picture of the Raaw Madona, I fell in love. It was just perfect looking. But way too much bike for me. So, when I was reminded of the Jibb, I took a hard look. The Field Test review put me over the edge and I decided to take a chance.

I placed the order and 3 weeks later, a big box arrived.

Building:

I build my own bikes and love doing it. If I had a filmer, my 32 followers on IG would see moody videos of me listening to Bill Evans and lovingly turning my torque wrench.

The matt clear coat finish is dope (do the kids still use that word?). It's fantastic. Like really. It's the kind of thing you stare at in your garage. The whole bike has this industrial cool to it. Don't get the black.

Building the Jibb was interesting. It’s clearly well-thought out but it’s maybe not as intuitive as building a Spesh or other mainstream brand. I also had to remember this was designed by Germans. That means, if they took the time to write it someplace (anyplace), it’s probably important. Instructions should be read twice and with a sense of, "why are they saying this to me".

Also, some of the aluminum hardware is soft. Be careful to make sure tools are seated fully before putting any torque into them. And (this should go without saying), use good quality tools. Raaw sends the bike with a 6061 derailleur hanger but you can get a 7075 one from them. Do that. It's stiffer and stronger. Keep the stock one as an emergency replacement.

Cable routing is lovely if you take your time to get it right. If you use a 30mm BB spindle, there’s not going to be a lot of room to run the rear brake line. Notice all their press bikes show Shimano cranks (and their 24mm spindles). My set of eeWings were going on this bike so I found a workaround with the help of the guys from Raaw (seriously, just email them) and it looks and works great. Again, just take your time and sweat the details – like a German.

My build is for sure high-end but most of the parts came off my Transition:
Frame: Raaw Jibb XL w Fox DPX2
Fork: Lyrik Ultimate 150
Wheels: Santa Cruz Reserve 30SL (weighed 70 grams less than claimed!)
Cranks: eeWings
Derailleur and Shifter: GX Eagle (cable)
Cassette and Chain: X01 Eagle
Brakes: Last generation XT w/ 203s
Post: Bike Yoke 185
Stem and Bars: Renthal carbon 800mm
Tires: DHF 2.6 WT / Rekon 2.4 WT
Pedals: XT

Total weight (ready to go): 32.7lbs

Notice this weight was maybe 2-3 pounds lighter than I was anticipating. The weight is the thing with this bike, right? It's overblown. While heavy, this is only 2.4lbs heavier than my Smuggler and not out of line given that a $7,000 carbon Santa Cruz Tallboy weighs 30 when you put one on a scale off the showroom floor. I credit those wheels, cassette, the cranks and the shock mostly as choices where weight was saved.

Initial Ride:

Wow. This bike just screams capability. It feels bigger than my Smuggler (or any other bike on which I’ve spent time) but the steep seat tube and relatively short reach lend a feel of control. While, “big”, it never felt unwieldy and frankly felt pretty natural after about 2 miles.

Going down some chunky stuff, where the Smuggler would crash and bang it’s way down, the Jibb is quiet and composed. “Clank, bang, CLANK, CLANK, clank” is replaced by a muted, “pat, dum, pat, pat, pat”.

I went with a Lyrik over the de regur Fox 36 because I’ve always loved my Pikes. They just felt so plush for someone like me who never rides in a way that requires tons of big-hit compliance. I had hoped the Lyrik would feel like a big Pike and it does.

The Jibb is for sure isn’t a bike for crushing PRs on fire road climbs – I blame the tires mostly and as someone who really likes wearing spandex and eating up fire roads on my XC hardtail, I think I’m going to have to learn to be patient and just spin my way up when I ride the Raaw.

I hit some familiar stuff on my first ride that required total commitment on the Smuggler. On the Jibb, those sections felt relaxed and easy. Maybe it was the slacker head tube or the longer rear end and wheelbase. Or maybe just the psychological effect of staring at that huge front tire. Or maybe all three. But this bike feels like it’s going to open up new things to ride.

Also, it wants to go fast: There’s a 1.2 mile downhill section that I’ve ridden hundreds of times. It’s fast and flowy but reliably and consistently chunky. On this first ride, I set a PR on it by a minute. A full minute. I just left the brakes open and let the bike eat.

The overall feeling is of a silent, stiff and incredibly composed bike that hugs the ground with a very active suspension (4-bar for life, yo!).

Time will tell what this bike is like for long pedaling rides. I’ve signed up for the Whiskey Off Road and I’ll take this. It’s the wrong tool for the job but we’ll see. The Transition was great at the end of long XC-ish days when I was really tired and making bad decisions. The added capability allowed me to relax. With the Jibb, those same moments will probably feel like on sitting on my couch.

The name:

Much has been written about the name of this bike. Look. I get it. My wife and I watch a lot of cooking shows and when someone calls something a pizza and it’s not, it doesn’t matter how delicious it is, they’re get slammed by the judges. The name sets expectations.

I imagine that if your daily is a Raaw Madonna and you can ride King Kong, something like the Jibb is indeed a play bike for you. It’s just not that for me (and I imagine anyone else without an energy drink sponsor).

For me, this seems a super capable trail bike that’s well thought-out, over-built , DIY-friendly and really beautiful. I kept my Smuggler for 5 years and this one feels like it will last as least that long (oof… I’ll be 50!).

If you have any questions on anything let me know.

Posted: Mar 9, 2022 at 17:20 Quote
LA-Law wrote:
Didn’t see a thread on this bike so I’ll start one.

Consider this my buying decision, build experience and first ride impressions.

TL;DR: It’s a stiff, plush, silent, ground-hugging trail bike who’s name probably gives the wrong impression. I think I love it.

Me:

44 years old. Dad. 6’3” and 195lbs. Riding since I was maybe 14. I don’t think I was ever gnarly and if I was, those days are behind me. My wheels stay on the ground.

I ride between 50-100 miles a week across my XC hardtail, my road bike and my trail bike. Typical trail bike ride is 1.5 hours of mixed SoCal terrain. Favorite ride is long days of lift-assisted pedaling at a ski resort where you climb 4,000 ft and descend 7,000.

Buying:

I was looking for something to replace my well-loved V1 Transition Smuggler. That bike was ahead of its time in 2016 and so replacing it with one of the modern downcountry bikes felt like spending a bunch of money on something that would ride pretty similarly.

I wanted aluminum. I love my carbon hardtail but there was just this lack of stress with the Smuggler when it got knocked over or a rock made a loud noise hitting the downtube.

I also wanted something a bit… “indy”. Specialized and Santa Cruz make great bikes (we have one of each in my house), but I enjoy liking the band before they’re popular. Judge me.

I was way into the idea of a Banshee, but the branding is a little Ed Hardy for me (“Real mountain bikes for real riders”… spare me). I loved the idea of a Reeb but I’ve read mixed reviews. Gorilla Gravity seemed a bit… unrefined. I wanted to get there on a Commencal but the pivot on the dropout is just in the wrong place. I was thiiiiiiis close to ordering a Knolly. But I’m not sendy enough. Also, they look weird to me. Privateer 141 is really compelling (and comes from the same factory as the Raaw) but it's sold out for a few more months and you can see the things that they had to do to make that price point (off the shelf tubes and junctions).

Back when I first saw a picture of the Raaw Madona, I fell in love. It was just perfect looking. But way too much bike for me. So, when I was reminded of the Jibb, I took a hard look. The Field Test review put me over the edge and I decided to take a chance.

I placed the order and 3 weeks later, a big box arrived.

Building:

I build my own bikes and love doing it. If I had a filmer, my 32 followers on IG would see moody videos of me listening to Bill Evans and lovingly turning my torque wrench.

The matt clear coat finish is dope (do the kids still use that word?). It's fantastic. Like really. It's the kind of thing you stare at in your garage. The whole bike has this industrial cool to it. Don't get the black.

Building the Jibb was interesting. It’s clearly well-thought out but it’s maybe not as intuitive as building a Spesh or other mainstream brand. I also had to remember this was designed by Germans. That means, if they took the time to write it someplace (anyplace), it’s probably important. Instructions should be read twice and with a sense of, "why are they saying this to me".

Also, some of the aluminum hardware is soft. Be careful to make sure tools are seated fully before putting any torque into them. And (this should go without saying), use good quality tools. Raaw sends the bike with a 6061 derailleur hanger but you can get a 7075 one from them. Do that. It's stiffer and stronger. Keep the stock one as an emergency replacement.

Cable routing is lovely if you take your time to get it right. If you use a 30mm BB spindle, there’s not going to be a lot of room to run the rear brake line. Notice all their press bikes show Shimano cranks (and their 24mm spindles). My set of eeWings were going on this bike so I found a workaround with the help of the guys from Raaw (seriously, just email them) and it looks and works great. Again, just take your time and sweat the details – like a German.

My build is for sure high-end but most of the parts came off my Transition:
Frame: Raaw Jibb XL w Fox DPX2
Fork: Lyrik Ultimate 150
Wheels: Santa Cruz Reserve 30SL (weighed 70 grams less than claimed!)
Cranks: eeWings
Derailleur and Shifter: GX Eagle (cable)
Cassette and Chain: X01 Eagle
Brakes: Last generation XT w/ 203s
Post: Bike Yoke 185
Stem and Bars: Renthal carbon 800mm
Tires: DHF 2.6 WT / Rekon 2.4 WT
Pedals: XT

Total weight (ready to go): 32.7lbs

Notice this weight was maybe 2-3 pounds lighter than I was anticipating. The weight is the thing with this bike, right? It's overblown. While heavy, this is only 2.4lbs heavier than my Smuggler and not out of line given that a $7,000 carbon Santa Cruz Tallboy weighs 30 when you put one on a scale off the showroom floor. I credit those wheels, cassette, the cranks and the shock mostly as choices where weight was saved.

Initial Ride:

Wow. This bike just screams capability. It feels bigger than my Smuggler (or any other bike on which I’ve spent time) but the steep seat tube and relatively short reach lend a feel of control. While, “big”, it never felt unwieldy and frankly felt pretty natural after about 2 miles.

Going down some chunky stuff, where the Smuggler would crash and bang it’s way down, the Jibb is quiet and composed. “Clank, bang, CLANK, CLANK, clank” is replaced by a muted, “pat, dum, pat, pat, pat”.

I went with a Lyrik over the de regur Fox 36 because I’ve always loved my Pikes. They just felt so plush for someone like me who never rides in a way that requires tons of big-hit compliance. I had hoped the Lyrik would feel like a big Pike and it does.

The Jibb is for sure isn’t a bike for crushing PRs on fire road climbs – I blame the tires mostly and as someone who really likes wearing spandex and eating up fire roads on my XC hardtail, I think I’m going to have to learn to be patient and just spin my way up when I ride the Raaw.

I hit some familiar stuff on my first ride that required total commitment on the Smuggler. On the Jibb, those sections felt relaxed and easy. Maybe it was the slacker head tube or the longer rear end and wheelbase. Or maybe just the psychological effect of staring at that huge front tire. Or maybe all three. But this bike feels like it’s going to open up new things to ride.

Also, it wants to go fast: There’s a 1.2 mile downhill section that I’ve ridden hundreds of times. It’s fast and flowy but reliably and consistently chunky. On this first ride, I set a PR on it by a minute. A full minute. I just left the brakes open and let the bike eat.

The overall feeling is of a silent, stiff and incredibly composed bike that hugs the ground with a very active suspension (4-bar for life, yo!).

Time will tell what this bike is like for long pedaling rides. I’ve signed up for the Whiskey Off Road and I’ll take this. It’s the wrong tool for the job but we’ll see. The Transition was great at the end of long XC-ish days when I was really tired and making bad decisions. The added capability allowed me to relax. With the Jibb, those same moments will probably feel like on sitting on my couch.

The name:

Much has been written about the name of this bike. Look. I get it. My wife and I watch a lot of cooking shows and when someone calls something a pizza and it’s not, it doesn’t matter how delicious it is, they’re get slammed by the judges. The name sets expectations.

I imagine that if your daily is a Raaw Madonna and you can ride King Kong, something like the Jibb is indeed a play bike for you. It’s just not that for me (and I imagine anyone else without an energy drink sponsor).

For me, this seems a super capable trail bike that’s well thought-out, over-built , DIY-friendly and really beautiful. I kept my Smuggler for 5 years and this one feels like it will last as least that long (oof… I’ll be 50!).

If you have any questions on anything let me know.

This was on my short list of aluminum frames. I may have a Sentinel lined up, but if that doesn't work out, this moves back up to the top.

How was getting it over here cost-wise? It's already pretty price for an aluminum frame.. paying over $3k for it would definitely turn me away.

Posted: Mar 10, 2022 at 9:56 Quote
Getting the the bike here was no problem and cost just under $3k. Not cheap. But to me, reasonable for what this is. It's beautiful and seems really well made.

Transaction and shipping were all painless though there's a little bit more of a wait with the shipping from Germany. Communication with Raaw is exceptional. Ruben will email you back within a day. Felix has emailed a few times to check in and see how things are going.

Three more rides under my belt. Some more observations:

It's not slower uphill. There's a feeling that each pedal stroke on flat or uphill fire roads results in less forward movement but Strava says that's not the case. The other day, I went up a 4 mile fire road climb that I've done hundreds of times before. I put in what I would call my normal effort and the time was within 5% of average. So there.

Downhill, more of the same. Hugely confidence-inspiring. I'm a big guy and this bike's stiffness has made me realize how, "un-stiff" other bikes have been.

Lastly, I'm wrapping my head around the handling. It's got a relatively short front and a relatively long rear. This results in lots of balance and tons of stability. What it doesn't feel like is my Toys-R-Us BMX bike when I was 11. Where my Smuggler sometimes let me relive the feeling of standing on the pedals and rushing toward that perfect driveway or broken sidewalk jump, the Raaw doesn't quite do that.

Same with the steering. If you get a kick out of hanging off the back and steering with your hips (like we did in 1995), this bike feels sluggish to turn.

Adjust a bit, put your nipples on the stem and ride the front wheel a little more and this thing comes alive. It's decidedly new school. Perhaps that's what some of the reviews meant when they talk about this bike's needing an expert rider. Going quickly with your chin over the front axle does seem to require a bit more commitment than I'm used to. But with that all said, at my pace this bike just drips with capability which gives tons of confidence.

Also, it's silent. Like eerily silent. Like, "never going to be able to go back" silent.

Posted: Mar 11, 2022 at 6:23 Quote
thanks for the detailed write up.

Since it was announced i have had an eye on these. I was a bit disappointed that the head angle wasnt a little bit slacker (65 degree's dead would be nice). But then i'm sure its all the brain washing from the industry that makes me think that!

I currently ride a Norco Optic, which i absolutely love, but if i ever change it, then the Jibb will be high on my list of replacements.

Keep letting us know how you get on with it.

Posted: May 1, 2022 at 7:05 Quote
A couple of hundred more miles on my Jibb over the last several weeks. And I rode the Whiskey Off Road in Prescott today.

I love this bike. The Whiskey is no joke and is 4+ hours of pedaling in Northern Arizona terrain including 6 mile fire road climbs, technical step ups, singletrack, some drops, rocky chunder, loose stuff and beer. After all that, I’m convinced the Jibb is the perfect all-rounder. . I know this because I didn't think about the bike once during the day.

It pedals great. As I said, mine weighs 32 lbs and on the big fire road up in the morning, I found myself in a group of skinny dudes on S-Works Epics that surely weighed 22 lbs each. I was envious but hung with them without too much trouble.

When things turned down, I was stoked. When fresh, the bike allowed me to attack and play. When I was tired, the bike allowed me to make all the bad decisions I was making and ride lazy (riding lazy was all I had after four hours).

Also, this rear suspension and (relatively) long chainstays allowed me to clean every technical climbing section on the course today. Lots of intimidating rocky step ups. On this bike, I just motored up them.

But all that is more about any good pedaling, do-everything trail bike. Right?

That’s the thing. I couldn’t find another like this. And I looked.

Of course, I was also looking for durability, serviceability and some other things (an indy brand?). But if you’re reading this, know that the Jibb really is a do-everything bike.

I mentioned it above but it bears repeating. Hang over the rear wheel and the bike will understeer. Adopt a more attack position and it carves.

When tired and letting the bike crash through stuff, I had to remind myself to lean forward - actually a dramatic front end slide (that came back) reminded me.

Lastly, this bike is way too good for me. It’s clearly made for someone faster. Not to say I can’t ride it and love it. But the times when it comes alive and feels its best are the times I’m scaring myself slightly. In those moments, this bike feels a bit special.

Posted: May 22, 2022 at 16:35 Quote
LA-Law wrote:
A couple of hundred more miles on my Jibb over the last several weeks. And I rode the Whiskey Off Road in Prescott today.

I love this bike. The Whiskey is no joke and is 4+ hours of pedaling in Northern Arizona terrain including 6 mile fire road climbs, technical step ups, singletrack, some drops, rocky chunder, loose stuff and beer. After all that, I’m convinced the Jibb is the perfect all-rounder. . I know this because I didn't think about the bike once during the day.

It pedals great. As I said, mine weighs 32 lbs and on the big fire road up in the morning, I found myself in a group of skinny dudes on S-Works Epics that surely weighed 22 lbs each. I was envious but hung with them without too much trouble.

When things turned down, I was stoked. When fresh, the bike allowed me to attack and play. When I was tired, the bike allowed me to make all the bad decisions I was making and ride lazy (riding lazy was all I had after four hours).

Also, this rear suspension and (relatively) long chainstays allowed me to clean every technical climbing section on the course today. Lots of intimidating rocky step ups. On this bike, I just motored up them.

But all that is more about any good pedaling, do-everything trail bike. Right?

That’s the thing. I couldn’t find another like this. And I looked.

Of course, I was also looking for durability, serviceability and some other things (an indy brand?). But if you’re reading this, know that the Jibb really is a do-everything bike.

I mentioned it above but it bears repeating. Hang over the rear wheel and the bike will understeer. Adopt a more attack position and it carves.

When tired and letting the bike crash through stuff, I had to remind myself to lean forward - actually a dramatic front end slide (that came back) reminded me.

Lastly, this bike is way too good for me. It’s clearly made for someone faster. Not to say I can’t ride it and love it. But the times when it comes alive and feels its best are the times I’m scaring myself slightly. In those moments, this bike feels a bit special.

Any new insights?

I'm curious about your build and how you got it to 32 pounds. According to Raaw's website - the Jibb and the Madonna are the same weight. It has me now considering taking the extra bike (travel, wheelbase) if the weight is the same. My Ripmo V2 sits at about 32 pounds with pedals and an insert in the year. I'm guessing a Jibb with an X2 would put me around 36 pounds.

Posted: May 22, 2022 at 18:10 Quote
Have a look at this Madonna. Says it weights 36.5. So we're looking for 3.8lbs.

Back of the napkin stuff: That fork is 200g heavier than my Lyrik. That shock is another 100g. My Reserve wheels are another 150g. Tires are another 500g...

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