Field Test: Raaw Jibb - Smooth, Silent, & Sturdy

Nov 18, 2021 at 12:15
by Mike Kazimer  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Raaw Jibb



Words by Mike Kazimer; photography by Tom Richards


The Jibb is the second bike in Raaw’s lineup, the shorter travel follow-up to the 160mm Madonna. The two aluminum frames are quite similar, with clean lines, a massive main pivot, and an overall utilitarian aesthetic. The difference lies in the amount of travel – the Jibb has 135mm of rear travel that’s paired with a 150mm fork, which Raaw says makes it want to “chase its tail all over the woods and mountain.” Interestingly, Raaw went with dual 29” wheels, rather then the 27.5” or mixed wheel setups that tend to accompany bikes that are meant to have a more playful ride feel.

There’s something about the Raaw’s aluminum frame that just looks right to my eyes. It looks more like a tool than a toy, and I can appreciate the attention that went into the smaller details, things like covers on all the bearings to help keep water out, a 203mm rear brake mount, and bearings instead of bushing at the shock mounts to improve the shock’s small bump sensitivity.
Raaw Jibb Details

• Travel: 135mm rear / 150mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 65.5°
• Effective seat tube angle: 77.5°
• Reach: 470mm
• Chainstay length: 445 (size L)
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL
• Weight: 34 lb / 15.4 kg
• Price (frame only with Float X2: $2,634.75 USD
raawmtb.com

The external routing doesn’t look messy at all, although the path the derailleur and brake line take around the main pivot could use some improvement – Brian Park’s solution on his Madonna looked like a good option to me.

The Jibb is available in four sizes, from small through extra-large. Our size large had a 470mm reach, a 65.5-degree head angle, a 77.5-degree seat tube angle, and 445mm chainstays. The chainstay lengths vary depending on the frame size – the small and mediums’ measure 440mm, and they grow to 450mm on the XL. If anything, the geometry numbers are a touch on the conservative side compared to some of the longer and slacker entries into this category.

Raaw Jibb review

At the moment, the Jibb is only available as a frame only, with several different shock options to choose from. The frame and a Fox Float X2 is priced at $2,634.

Our test bike was built up with a build kit that left little to be desired, a very impressive blend of fancy but not overly flashy components, including a 150mm Fox 36 Factory fork, Float X2 shock, Shimano XTR drivetrain and brakes, Newmen carbon wheels, and a OneUp carbon bar.




Raaw Jibb review
Raaw Jibb review

Climbing

The Jibb isn’t as snappy as the Propain Hugene when accelerating off the starting line, but it’s much calmer than the Ghost Riot Trail under during hard pedaling efforts. The steep seat angle creates a very comfortable, centered seating position that makes it an easy bike to maneuver on steep climbs. When things get technical – think slippery off-camber roots, and tight turns – the Jibb shines. It’s a calm, purposeful climber, with lots of traction and a satisfying blend of stability and maneuverability.

Fire road grinds were dispatched without any issues, and I never felt like I needed to reach for the climb switch. While this isn’t the lightest bike, it also didn’t feel overly sluggish, at least as long as the road or trail had a decent pitch to it. On flatter trails the Jibb can feel a little more lethargic – the ground hugging suspension and slightly higher weight meant that it didn’t have the same level of pep that was present on the Scor 4060 ST or Propain Hugene.


Raaw Jibb review

Raaw Jibb review
Raaw Jibb review


Descending


Let’s get one thing out of the way – Jibb probably isn’t the most appropriate name for this bike. I’m totally fine with that fact, for reasons I’ll get into shortly, but if you’re one the hunt for an uber-playful, lively bike that scampers around on the trail, well, this doesn’t exactly fit the bill.

Rather than being a spritely, hoppy and poppy machine, the cut of this Jibb is more purposeful. It’s a bike that seems to have an innate nature to always end up on the correct, and typically fastest, line. There’s plenty of grip, and that ground hugging nature came in handy on the wet conditions that prevailed during testing. It’s solid, silent, and like its bigger sibling feels great in the corners- the relatively low bottom bracket height and moderate reach make it easy to snap through tight turns. That’s really where it felt the best, on twisty, higher speed sections of trail.
Timed Testing


Our timed lap for the trail bikes was about three minutes long and was a mix of choppy, rooty sections and some fast flow. It started with an optional rock roll, a little drop, some fast corners, and a small double. As it serpentined its way down the hill, it included some steeps, a few root hops, and a few slight uphills. While none of the track was overly technical, the bikes that excelled on the test lap had to be capable on both fast, rough sections and in quick corners.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Mike Kazimer: "I put down my third fastest time on the Jibb, coming in a hair behind the Propain Hugene."

Given how much the Jibb seems to come alive when ridden aggressively, I did find myself wondering if a slightly slacker head angle might bump its downhill performance up even further. Yes, that would push it closer to the Madonna’s territory, but I think the different travel amounts would help give each bike its own distinct personality. That being said, it does strike a nice balance between feeling like a bigger bike and remaining manageable on mellower, lower angle terrain.

Who's the ideal candidate for the Jibb? This is the bike for someone looking for a long-term trail partner, a bike that's built to last multiple seasons, and does well on a wide variety of terrain. It does reward a more aggressive riding style, and it feels more alive at higher speeds, but overall it does a great job of handling whatever comes its way.


Raaw Jibb review


Pros

+ Excellent traction in loose, slippery terrain
+ Very well balanced geometry
+ Well thought out frame details, like sealed bearing covers

Cons

- Not that light considering the high end build kit
- Doesn't really ride like a 'jib' bike








The 2021 Fall Field Test is presented by Rapha and Bontrager. Thank you also to Maxxis, Schwalbe, and Garmin for control tires and equipment.






132 Comments

  • 164 4
 " blend of fancy but not overly flashy components" ....when did carbon wheels, handlebars, XTR and Fox Factory options become "not overly flashy" It's probably because the cable ends weren't anodized
  • 65 45
 They're not anodized purple, blue, or oil slick so I'd say they're not overly flashy. They're obviously high end components, but from a distance, and to the casual observer, the bike doesn't scream out "I'm expensive."
  • 56 1
 It’s probably because there are cables…
  • 12 1
 @mikekazimer: High end but discretely non-blingy build.
  • 12 0
 No WiFi brakes bro
  • 51 10
 @mikekazimer: Dude, Fox Factory stuff is the definition of overly flashy and screaming "I'm expensive" while adding exactly zero performance benefit over Performance Elite which has the same dampers.
  • 81 4
 @bananowy, you're not wrong - I haven't found any real reason to go with Factory over Performance Elite. I am amused by how much one little turn of phrase is riling people up, though.
  • 13 1
 @mikekazimer: "I am amused" What are u trying to say?? Gotta be careful out here in the PB comments section, it gets medieval fast lol
  • 20 0
 Feels like a good descriptor for the two Mike's.
One is "fancy but not overly flashy", the other is "flashy but not overly fancy" Wink
  • 6 0
 @bananowy: Kashima is fairly common place though wouldnt you say? Fork manufacturers have been using gold/bronze/copper sliders for many years. Regardless of perceived benefit, I'm not rubbernecking for a factory fork, thats for sure.
  • 7 0
 @mikekazimer: Absolutely. It's mostly visual aspects. If I can get PE and the black fits to the rest of the bike...perfect in my book.
But sometimes the Kashima looks so great in combination with certain colors...then you have to bite the bullet for the ice cream parlor effect Smile
  • 1 2
 @bananowy: K. Coat--still mildly superior, still not a Fox product
  • 5 0
 Forgot to add: Fox knows that PE is good enough for most of the duties. That's why the don't offer every part in PE (mostly shocks) because it would cannibalize the shiny Factory parts.
  • 2 0
 @wilflucky: Guides are like WiFi with jammed signal
  • 4 3
 @mikekazimer: 90% of modern suspension technology additions are improving marketing performance not real suspension performance potential anyway.
  • 2 0
 @cougar797: do you remember the days of MoCo? Evo CTD? No idea by what you mean with modern, but even Pike RC vs. Lyrik RC2 is very, very noticeable on the trail.

Keep spending that R&D money!
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: After a comment like that you’re now officially known as Mike “Kaishma” Kazimer.
  • 1 0
 @TheRamma: Yah but dude we have had solid providers for shimmed high, mid and low speed compression along with HSR and LSR rebound for a while. The chassis (and air springs) have got better absolutely but not damper tech. (I'm wanting to see more coil / air hybrids myself.)

To your point however, MoCo and CTD are all types of abominations that companies should be embarrassed to offer as real solutions.
  • 2 0
 @cougar797: that's fair! Just wanted to know the perspective you were bringing. And to remind them youngsters how tough it used to be.
  • 1 0
 @TheRamma: Pfft I’m back to coil and rider weight / frame specific shimmed single tube on everything I have now. That’s old school as it gets.
  • 79 2
 To a german, this is playful
  • 28 3
 Heavy, expensive, and well-engineered with industrial looks. Yup, sounds right.
  • 11 3
 @noapathy: Raaw is new Liteville!
  • 20 1
 @pakleni: Not quite yet imo, Liteville know how to make their frames light and strong. Of course they’ve been improving their frame for many years now but the difference in weight between a 301 Mk15 and the Jibb is big. I hope Raaw returns to the drawing board and find ways to reduce weight without sacrificing strength.

I do prefer the looks of the Raaw Jibb over the current Liteville 301 though.
  • 4 2
 @pakleni: Guys from North America probably don't know who Liteville is...
And personally, I beg to differ ! Smile
  • 6 0
 @pakleni: Definitely! Liteville is lighter, but the downtube is a coke can, dents very easily and I completely stepped away from Liteville (I owned 3) after experiencing the worst customer service I have ever experienced a year ago. Raaw has great customer service and so does Nicolai!
  • 15 0
 @2pi: guys from north america know liteville, they always have fear that their schlongs get caught in the linkages.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: The new Liteville rather is the Last Tarvo.

Raaw is way too heavy to push and carry it up mountains all the time.
  • 2 0
 @JohSch: I didn't mean that literally. Hiking a bike on top of Matterhorn is not that popular any more.

These days a 301s are some kind of a dinosaurs and Raaw is becoming a small hi end brand that makes bikes that are more of curiosity on the trails then common sight, quality for the "true riders". Position that was once reserved for Liteville and Nicolai
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: i dont want to read something like that again. thank you in advance.

i saw jibb bikes flying over the crabapple hits... but i still see swiss guys on litevilles,trying to ride switchbacks without getting the foot of the FLAT Pedal.

just kidding, i like swiss people alot.
  • 1 0
 Rips with a 27.5 rear wheel. best feel for me hands down
  • 1 0
 @shaheeb: Thinking of getting one of these frames as a replacement for my current mullet. You have one set up mullet and like it? Can't find much for other people putting 27.5 on the back.
  • 55 7
 imagine a 29er not jibbing well....
  • 9 2
 Riding an Offering V2 i honestly cannot understand a 29er that jibs bad, it's more with the bike and suspension design than the wheel size itself
  • 11 0
 In the clip @mikekazimer mentioned he would like see what the Jibb would be like with a slacker head angle. One could buy a Privateer 141 with it's degree slacker head angle, 6mm more rear travel and still have an extra $875 left over.
  • 13 1
 These RAAWs are so damn sexy. It is a pity you can't buy them atm
  • 2 0
 They are stock on the website and at bikecomponents. But only with the DPX2 fox damper
  • 1 0
 Not sure where you are looking but the Jibb is in stock on their website
  • 3 0
 @prevail: yeah, I wanted to get Madonna couple of months ago, it was and still is out of stock.
Jibb is in stock - my bad!
  • 2 0
 @skulichkov: Madonna has been in stock in all sizes for 5-6 weeks since 20ish September at bike-components - that's when I got mine. Last week there were some L-sized frames available but now they're gone again. It may be worth to check the site from time to time, it seems they somehow pop up in stock occasionally. Or, maybe shoot an email to hello@raawmtb.com, they've been very nice and responsive to all my inquiries. Also, you can sign up for the availability newsletter here raawmtb.com/pages/availability-overview
  • 2 0
 @skulichkov: wonder if you can short stroke a Madonna
  • 9 1
 "the relatively low bottom bracket height and moderate reach make it easy to snap through tight turns. That’s really where it felt the best, on twisty, higher speed sections of trail."

and that is with what everyone would call longer chainstay on the bike. Would ya look at that!

balanced bike= better cornering
  • 30 2
 Longer chainstays=less jib.
  • 6 3
 @Boxmtb: That's what I keep saying, but folks want a bike that's stable .. but doesn't a bike named "Jib" suggest a more agility, ie less stable bike?

All my bikes jib, chain stays range from 411mm to 425mm Smile
  • 5 6
 yeah, about those chainstays... what was the fastest bike on the test? The least balanced. What does that prove?
  • 24 1
 @TheRamma, that you shouldn't put too much stock in timed testing Wink
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: yeah, I heard those PB testers love short chainstays, almost as much as they like slack seat tubes. Probably messed up the test results on purpose!
  • 11 0
 1:36 , the chain is grinding the outer cable above the crank . no big deal , put more lube for now.
  • 2 0
 Madonna owner here. It looks like they didn't have the correct amount of slack in the cable between the underside BB clip and the lower water bottle clip. The cable also goes over the dropper cable for some reason. I have several hundred miles on my Madonna and have zero rub on the shift cable. The routing is kind of a pain to set correctly when you loosen the clips but once set it's fine.
  • 8 0
 Saying "...this is a Mountain Bike" is really high praise to my ears.
  • 7 3
 I like with they would show the leverage ratio charts, anti-squat, and anti-rise curves for the bike reviews. Everything is subjective on how the bike feels depending on your style of riding. Having these charts would be more of a direct way to evaluate the characteristic of the bike.

Below is a link for folks that like to nerd out of these suspension link design charts.
linkagedesign.blogspot.com
  • 10 0
 Those charts were included in the First Look of the Jibb - you can view the leverage rate here: www.pinkbike.com/photo/20152625. And the anti-rise curve here: www.pinkbike.com/photo/20152624.
  • 6 0
 At 1:35

Looks like the shift cable is getting into the chain and chainring. Is due to routing, or excessive cable on the bike you got? Or something else?
  • 4 0
 At 1:59 it sure looks like improper routing where it crosses the dropper cable. That crossing is going to create rub as well but the chain damaged section is going to fail long before that.
  • 5 2
 Kinda meh about most of this bike (if the Madonna weighs about the same and pedals about the same, I’d prefer that) but……props for not needing an adapter for the rear rotor.

As even XC bikes are getting more capable, 200 (or 203) rotors should be the standard across the board.
  • 1 0
 I applaud it, but Kazimer implies its for 203 as the base. Would suck if 203 goes the same way as 183 and your frame became useless. I guess get the steel file out and take off 1.5mm.
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: The brake mount is a separate part, and they recently made a 220mm one available for the Madonna. No 200mm though, so I had to mill mine down Smile Worked perfectly.
  • 2 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: you can always put an 180mm part + spacers like on all other bikes for 200mm
  • 6 0
 Hmmmmm, this or a Banshee Prime?
  • 1 0
 I went back and forth for quite a while.

I picked the jibb largely because of dropper insertion space. Large prime has a recommended maximum 215mm of dropper insertion which is not very much at all. I would have had to compromise on dropper post length so that clinched it. If you have a 34"+ inseam it might matter less.

I also hate low bottom brackets so I was considering the higher BB of the prime as a pro, but the jibb BB height is seriously perfect, my favorite part of the bike.

I've had mine for a few months now and consider the review to be pretty consistent with how I feel about the bike.

I bought it despite the name, I didn't buy it expecting a "jibb" bike. What I got was an agile sledgehammer, which is what I was looking for.
  • 1 0
 @KennyWatson: What bike are you coming off of and do you care to compare them?
  • 2 0
 Solid comment on the dropper post insertion I have a Titan that I really, really like, but I'm also tallish with long legs on an XL and can fit a 200mm OneUp. Definitely pay close attention to the dropper post insertion when evaluating a Banshee.

Also, bearings are not very well sealed. I'd plan to pull everything apart immediately, pack the bearings full of good grease, and make a little fender for the rear wheel. As part of preparing to do this, go look at the price of a Santa Cruz (impeccable bearing system) or merely the RAAW and remember what you paid for the Banshee. And really it's good practice do always do this (I do it on my Santa Cruz).

Finally, I get along really well with the rear center riding an XL, but the smaller the size of the frame, the more the front and rear centers are going to move away from traditional norms. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to pay attention to. I'm not sure I would want my Titan chainstays on my 150/135 bike.

I generally have some advice about cable routing as well, but this may be the rare bike comparison is where cable routing is a point for the Banshee.
  • 1 0
 @justinmaha:

Ripmo AF.

The bikes are twins and opposites at the same time.

The AF is a great bike especially for the money and especially if you're under about 170lb or tend to tread lightly.

I'm neither of those things so between the (noticeable, to me) frame flex, somewhat crude cable routing, minimal chain damping, and just overall build/aesthetic, the bike always just felt a little... disposable to me. That's not a criticism, the frame is like half the price of the Jibb, but for me it just wasn't doing it for me. I thought the kinematics were a little wierd as well, but again lighter riders might not agree.

It's interesting because the bikes have a basically identical wheelbase with the jibb having a longer rear center and the af having a longer front center.

The AF actually felt a little more reassuring in some situations because the longer front center makes you feel less prone to going OTB.

The jibb feels shorter and more maneuverable for the same reasons, while having similar stability at speed.

Like theu covered in the review the Jibb feels more like a high quality tool than a toy. IMO it's a great bike for someone a little tired of the endless fashion show of incrementally "improved" model years and keeping up with the Joneses. It's a clean, simple, solid rig that works well, is easy to take care of, can ride anything, and can take shit kicking.




I see them as very similar, I'd categorize them both as "all-mountain" bikes.

I'm 210 with gear and ride reasonably hard, and I found the AF flexy at times.


They're pretty similar in a lot of ways, but I'm 210lb with gear and on my better days I push pretty hard. The
  • 1 0
 @KennyWatson: Wow, I am glad that I asked you! Thank you for taking the time.
I am currently on a dialed V1 Ripmo and my son has a Ripmo AF. This has been a fantastic bike for my area and ridding habits. Looking for change but, not a total departure.
I had my eye on this bike since conception. I was so excited to hear about this review and then found myself a bit let down.
Thanks again
  • 4 1
 It would be cool to compare this to the Madonna with the fork/shock pumped up so you're not using all the travel on those trail ride days.
  • 2 0
 Is this common - upping pressure on a big rig? Wouldn't upping the compression damping acheive similar but still have the neutral sag point the same
  • 3 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: sag isnt the be all end all of suspension setup
  • 4 0
 The right combination of volume spacers and higher pressure makes a "jibb" bike out of an enduro, weights appear to be the same anyway.
  • 5 2
 Nice bike, shame it's not what it set out to be, or what it says on the tin. I wonder if a Bird Aether would be more of a Jib/playful bike.
  • 2 0
 My Aether 7 is very playful. I would have loved to see the aether 9 on this test.
  • 1 0
 @Bprime: fun (albeit unconfirmed) fact, the big size aether 9c frame is the longest reach carbon frame on sale today
  • 4 0
 I’ve finally realised who Mike, Mike and Alicia reminds me of, the McPoyles family from IASIP!
  • 3 0
 To be fair, they all look like siblings in the discussion portions of these video reviews; so you have a point
  • 2 0
 @therealmancub: Elven Folk.
  • 2 0
 This bike looks amazing because it looks like a Turner 5 spot, which was the original amazing trail bike 15 years ago. That was the bike you’d see at XC races, slalom, dirt jumps, and DH races.
  • 1 0
 Really solid review .... Thank you ... I cringed at how close the external res came to the down tube in the huck to flat .... add some mud or a pebble and that baby is snapping off
  • 2 0
 Because the down tube is "hollowed out" in that location it's not as close in person as it seems on video.
  • 4 0
 Great bike!
  • 2 0
 Would love to know how this compares to a Banshee Prime which has similar numbers
  • 2 0
 If they want it to jib, why spec X2? That is the most non jib shock I can think of.
  • 2 0
 Such a good looking bike and there's much want but I just wish it was 5 pounds lighter considering travel and components.
  • 3 0
 But it was a faster/more efficient climber than every other bike on the test, which proves again that weight doesn't matter...
Better have the weight and stay problem free....also burly Bikes feel way more planted and stable just because of better working suspension...check Seb Stotts article about this topic. If you aren't carrying your bike on your bike, it simply doesn't matter.
  • 1 0
 "on your back
  • 3 0
 Does anyone actually have a fix for the wandering bite point on Shimanos?
  • 2 0
 Putoline oil according to the weird nerds on german mtb forums
  • 1 0
 Hugs to Kazimer. In the second sentence he could have used the loathsome term "oversize" to describe the main pivot, but he took the high road and did not.
  • 3 0
 So Beautifull. I'd love a mini mullet version
  • 2 2
 Pinkbike: lists Shimano brakes as a con on bike reviews; also Pinkbike: Lets build a bike with Shimano Brakes..... @Mikelevy did something change?
  • 6 0
 @Jacquesdp, we didn't build this bike up - this is how it arrived from Raaw.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Gotcha, do you guys every get to pick the build kits that they send?
  • 1 2
 Very similar numbers to my Polygon Siskiu and pretty much the same weight for waaay more money. I'm having trouble seeing why anyone would buy this apart from the "rarity" of it.
  • 3 3
 Amazing that the term "jib" has survived. To me it's cringe late 80's-early 90's MTV Sports...with Dan Cortez. Hit me with those down votes, I darez ya! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 ...rrrrricccooo swwave!
  • 6 0
 i loved mtv sports at those times...dan wearing all those funky prince of bel air style nike acg gear. but on the other hand mtv was so great at the time...yo raps, beavies and butthead, headbangers ball and they played actually music videos.
  • 1 0
 @funkzander: And Liquid Television!
  • 1 0
 Like to see a comparison with banshee prime. Very similar only the banshee is better looking.
  • 1 0
 I like it. @mikekaziner how does the Jibb compare to that Meta TR 29 you’ve ridden in the past?
  • 1 0
 Sorry, @mikekazimer. Typo
  • 1 0
 It would be handy to have an idea of what the build as tested would cost.
  • 4 7
 Okay, so heads up gang, we're gonna call this bike the "Jib".

[Groans abound]

I know what you're thinking, it doesn't really "jib", it's more of an all around short travel bike, but that's not what marketing is all about.

So yeah, the Jib that don't jib, how's that for some jive Wink
  • 1 0
 So basicaly,it only shines on Madonna's territory. Nice.
  • 1 0
 Is this the Goldendoodle of bikes ?
  • 1 0
 Raaw bikes look absolutely gorgeous
  • 1 0
 Would be keen to see the last cinto against the propain hugene.
  • 2 1
 Made of aluminum, sounds exotic! (whatever that is)
  • 1 1
 "Doesn't really ride like a 'jib' bike"

That's okay, I didn't want to jib anyway.
  • 1 0
 How would this bike pedal of flatter terrain with punchy climbs?
  • 1 1
 People who use the words 'jibby', 'sendy' etc etc should be flogged with a bicycle chain...
  • 2 0
 Ooh send it daddy
  • 1 0
 This is the one I'd buy (or the Hugene). Angleset the headset and PARTY
  • 1 0
 Why not just get the big one?
  • 1 0
 I agree with whatever Alicia Leggett recommends. More Alicia, please !!!
  • 2 2
 @drakefan705 it’s $2600 with the x2 vs $1900 for the evo alloy
  • 2 0
 Price discrepancies. $3099 CAD here which is $2395 USD
  • 1 2
 Enough of this chat review stuff, where’s my paint and a brush? I want to watch it dry
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