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Short travel 29'ers

Sept. 3, 2021, 7:39 p.m.
Posts: 1302
Joined: March 18, 2017

Curious to hear your thoughts on the Mod shock.

Sept. 3, 2021, 10:42 p.m.
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Very cool,  will be great to hear your thoughts! Do you live in bc? 

Mine is still stuck in customs in Mississauga.  Over two weeks now. Slightly sad. 

I have a 550-610lb sprindex for mine. I believe it shipped with a 500 so I think I have the bases covered as far as spring rates go.  I have a firm (green) CTS compression cartridge coming for it as well.

Sept. 10, 2021, 1:07 a.m.
Posts: 7657
Joined: Feb. 15, 2005

I'm still riding my 2012 Banshee Prime pre-production frame. The thing is indestructible..

Sept. 12, 2021, 8:59 a.m.
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

The jibb arrived and is mostly built, just finishing a rear brake bleed (needed a longer brake line). Everything went together pretty smoothly. 

Some pics and thoughts later today. Hoping I can sneak in a Seymour shakedown lap this afternoon.

Sept. 13, 2021, 4:49 a.m.
Posts: 689
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

After riding a hardtail exclusively for more than a year I got my 160mm/140mm FS bike serviced recently. Felt good to be on the monkey motion again just cruising around the neighbourhood. My brain went back to an idea I had for a short travel FS bike to kind of get the best of both worlds. The obvious choice would be something like a 140mm/120mm rig of which there are a few nice production options.

The other idea I had was getting a custom steel FS bike built by Daambuilt. Perhaps a very progressive 140mm/100mm aimed at more of a soft tail experience. A Less-Hardtail if you will.

In normal times the production rig would be the easier option, but with COVID supply chain issues the custom bike queue may not be a disadvantage. It would scratch my steel FS bike itch which is something I've wanted to try and let me go custom geo. My body doesn't like the bleeding edge of modern geo trends. Plus with carbon FS frame prices I might even save some money going custom steel FS if I am not feeling my inner Weight Weenie complain.

Sept. 13, 2021, 10:44 a.m.
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

I think that's what I strive for as well, Vik , and I bet it's a common theme amongst many of the folks that lurk this thread as well. I'm fundamentally a hardtail rider that learned to ride on hardtails, but rear suspension does let me ride things faster and smoother with less physical wear and tear,  but I tend to get "lost" on bikes with lots of travel. 

I got out for a quick Seymour shakedown lap on the Jibb yesterday. It's 135mm rear travel, so by the numbers it's closer to a mid travel bike I suppose, but with a 65.5 degree head tube angle with a 150 fork and a 470mm reach in a size large, it has a (relatively) short front center, along with 445mm chain stays. 

I found the effect of this to be quite striking,  being that my HD5 has about the same wheelbase but 430mm stays and a 64 degree head angle. 

It definitely makes the bike feel "smaller", I guess because there's more bike "behind" you and less "in front" of you. I heard the guy from cotic referring to the long front center/short rear center effect as like "pushing a wheelbarrow" and I think that's an apt description. 

I bottomed the front fork a few times which I absolutely never do on my other bikes, I simply can't load the front wheel up enough I think. 

I've learned to "ride the front" really hard on these long FC bikes to keep the front wheel hooked up, it was interesting to be on a bike where that approach is not necessary.  

Other notes on the bike: 

- Between the coil and the fact that both ends of the shock run on bearings, the rear suspension action is super buttery. Really noticeable compared to my HD5 with air and bushings.

- On the other hand, the frame is not particularly progressive, I bottomed out once and this was just a shakedown ride. I will try a little more spring rate (it's a sprindex coil) and/or a little more compression but I liked the smoothness so I don't want to add much. Sprindex is set to #550 and I'm about 215 with gear.  Cane creek make a 550-670 progressive coil, might be a candidate. 

- Pedal clearance is excellent. I find pedal strikes soul crushing. Main reason I got rid of my ripmo af was that the pedal clearance just sucked when running the amount of sag needed to make the rest of the bike feel good. My HD5 is better but only a little. I think shorter travel helps. 

The bike feels similar to the Evil Offering I demoed a while back, except that bike had a 140 pike and an air shock and it was just too skittish to be practical on the sea to sky. With a coil and 160 lyrik I bet it'd feel similar, this bike feels much more ready to send than the offering did while still feeling like a bike you want to goof around on. Handling with respect to jumps and corners is telepathic, as this brand is somewhat known for.

If I can get the front and rear a little more bottom out resistant without giving up too much smoothness, I will be in heaven.   

Sept. 13, 2021, 12:58 p.m.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Nice, thanks for the intel. Can I ask how tall you are?

Sept. 13, 2021, 1:34 p.m.
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

Just a shade over 5'11" / 180cm. Short legs+long torso.

Sept. 13, 2021, 6:05 p.m.
Posts: 689
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

That Raaw looks great. I have a soft spot for metal bikes.

Sept. 14, 2021, 10:37 a.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: Sept. 3, 2021

Now that I've had a few rides on the bike (and one crash!) I'm feeling ready to give my first ride impressions.

Location: Canmore, AB

Frame: i'm generally in agreement with @Kenny's comments above. The rear centre is longer than I'm used to (450mm on XL) and the reach is modest for a new school geo bike (495mm), however I have been really enjoying the balance of the chassis. I came off a 2020 Hightower (similar reach, but shorter C/S and slacker seat tube) and really notice how much more even and balanced this bike feels. I've been riding my 2021 Norco Torrent whilst waiting for this bike and that has a long front centre and short rear. Comparing the two, I definitely enjoy the long front of the Norco and long rear of the Jibb. I guess I am hard to please! I did fit a 50mm stem to the Jibb vs. 35mm on the Torrent which helps even things out a little for cockpit size. I'm happy with the steeper STA of the Jibb vs. the Hightower and feel i could go even steeper whilst feeling comfortable pedalling. I'm going to push the seat forward on the rails on the Jibb and drop the nose of the saddle a touch just to provide more support when climbing and get my STA as steep as possible.

Shock: I'm 6'3" and ordered the XL frame with a 600lb spring for the Formula Mod shock. Whilst waiting for the bike to clear customs, I got in touch with Alba Distribution (Formula distributor in Canada) and they suggested a 550 lb spring so i ordered one direct from them. I then built up the bike with the 550 lb spring and currently it is feeling heavenly! The rear shock so delicious and buttery and definitely embarrasses the 2022 Fox 36 Performance Elite with GRIP2 damper with regard to bump absorption at low and high speeds. 

Fork: I'm still tinkering with the Fox 36. It has 3 volume spacers currently and I am also looking for that small bump sensitivity at low speed similar to @Kenny above whilst not bottoming the fork out. I may reduce the PSI and add more spacers at some point. If anyone has any tuning tips, feel free to reach out. 

Riding Impressions: This bike feels so solid and dependable. I can't emphasize that enough. The additional weight of the frame/coil shock and durable build I put together gives me confidence whilst riding. This translates to it tracking well and it doesn't get skittish in loose terrain. I also find with the more conservative geo at the front of the bike (shorter reach, steeper HA) relative to the Norco, I am , well, Jibbing the bike more on the trail. It feels very flickable and playful and I'm more comfortable throwing the bike around on tight trails. it doesn't require a "ride the fork" stance that my Torrent does and I can be more central on the bike. I think this allows me to be more reactive and ready on the trail.

Observations in no particular order:
- Having a MaxxGrip Assegai up front and a wide aluminum downtube means there are more "ting ting" noises as stones get thown off the front wheel onto the downtube compared to my steel Torrent or carbon Hightower.
- it's a very aesthetically pleasing bike. I find myself admiring it way more than other bikes I've owned.
- Cable routing is generally great, however the rear brake hose has an awkward route around the BB shell. I think I saw an article on PB about Brian Park 3D printing a new cable route fore this pinch point on his Madonna.
- Current fork is set up at 150mm and it feels like enough for my riding, though its' good to know there's room to bump up to 160mm 
- I've moved the stem to the top of the steerer as I like my bars high, however this has compromised my saddle to bar reach, so I used a 50mm stem to build up the bike.
- I built the bike with a SRAM XX1 chain as that's all I could find with the current stock situation and now I don't think I'll consider stepping back down to a cheaper chain. The shifting is SO CRISP. it is mind blowing and addictive!

Sept. 14, 2021, 5:42 p.m.
Posts: 426
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

The brake line routing at the non drove side BB area is just goofy. 

Here's my solution,  that's an M4 bolt. I ran an M4 tap into the zip tie slot to cut some threads (removes very little material, but that's what I wanted, I might actually go to M5 and use the original bolt). Then I relocated the clamps that is on the underside of the BB to there. Way freaking better imo. 

Our thoughts otherwise are pretty well aligned. It's short(ish) travel and pretty playful but has a sledgehammer feel to it at the same time. Combo of the frames solidity and 29er I assume. 

I notice my shock produces a sort of click when changing direction from compression to rebound, when the compression is adjusted fairly stiff. Maybe will go away as it breaks in, but it's annoying.  I thought is was  a dry main pivot and tore it all down. Finally determined it was the shock. 

Mind if I ask what your riding weight is? At about 215 geared the 550 felt sweet but I can pretty much bottom it out on demand. I've dialed the sprindex up to 600 but I also bought a 550-670 progressive valt spring which I am thinking will be the ticket. I also have a green cts for the shock, the stock compression tune feels pretty light but I think I actually like it.

Sept. 15, 2021, 3:49 a.m.
Posts: 143
Joined: May 1, 2018

Lots of great info here. My only observation is that once I moved to a well set up rear coil trail bike no fork did it just I’ve until I put a Smashpot in.

Sept. 15, 2021, 8:33 a.m.
Posts: 6
Joined: Sept. 3, 2021

I like your solution with the M4 bolt, it looks slick. When building up the bike I emailed RAAW re the brake line routing and I received a good response with an alternative way to clamp the hose by threading the zip tie through the slot in the CS, see pic below.

I'm probably around 210 lb with riding gear and am currently happy with the 550 spring, I haven't felt any bottom outs yet and I followed the guide on RAAW's website for the shock tune (https://support.raawmtb.com/article/111-formula-mod-jibb-setup-guide) . I do have the 600 lb spring too (which is recommended by RAAW) which i'll try at some point after more familiarity with the bike.

I don't have the click you have with the Mod shock, but i do have another issue.... when the shock is locked out and I ride over something which makes it break away from locked out and into the initial part of it's travel the shock squeaks. It's not too loud, but noticeable (just uploaded this https://youtu.be/YvZ5VM_9E3A). I got in touch with RAAW again and they are organizing for the shock to be sent to a Formula service centre in Canada. I'm just waiting to hear back from them with next steps. I'm definitely happy with the customer service from RAAW and their desire to provide support.

Sept. 15, 2021, 8:38 a.m.
Posts: 379
Joined: April 15, 2017

Posted by: Heinous

Lots of great info here. My only observation is that once I moved to a well set up rear coil trail bike no fork did it just I’ve until I put a Smashpot in.

Ha, same here. A shock change got expensive fast, but really worth it.

Sept. 15, 2021, 9:51 a.m.
Posts: 4951
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

Posted by: Kenny

It's short(ish) travel and pretty playful but has a sledgehammer feel to it at the same time. 

there's something to this genre i think; this, the privateer 141, meta tr (which i'm running) - aggressive & burly enough to not shy away from proper tech, chunk, and even park, with a more "engaging" ride than long travel platforms. a bit weighty for traditional "trail" use, but as versatile, smashy fun hogs, they're great.

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