We built this Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14-equipped mountain bike to showcase Vassago’s Jabberwocky frame - an affordable, versatile, steel 29er hardtail. Vassago is a small bike brand based in Phoenix Arizona, who produces quality steel and titanium frames. The Jabberwocky is an ideal choice for riders who are looking for a value-oriented hardtail that climbs efficiently, handles predictably, and is durable. Paired with a Rohloff SPEEDHUB, the Jabberwocky becomes a no-nonsense adventure bike that will perform reliably for years and years.
The Jabberwocky frame is made from butted steel tubes to smooth out choppy trails but still take a hit without breaking. Unlike many newer mountain frames, which put the rider's weight further back over the rear hub, the Jabberwocky's geometry places the rider in a more neutral position between the wheels, giving it a more stable feel. Vassago calls this “wetcat” geometry, and claims better climbing traction, stability, and comfort.The Jabberwocky was designed primarily for single speed setup, so it has no derailleur hanger and horizontal dropouts with integrated axle. These features, combined with our Monkey Bone, make the frame especially well suited for the SPEEDHUB, which sets up much like a single speed hub. The only functional difference is that the Rohloff includes 14 planetary gears enclosed within the hub shell. The Jabberwocky, along with the Fisticuff monster crosser, are Vassago's most affordable models, while the Verhauen, Optimus Ti, and TKO are their premium, American-made models.
For this wheel build, we laced a Toxaholics quick release front hub and Rohloff 14-speed internal gear hub to Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow rims. The ZTRs are a lightweight, yet tough rim option for XC to aggressive trail riding. Sapim’s Race spokes and brass nipples rounded out the build. Finally, we mounted a pair of Schwalbe’s Smart Sam tires, which have just enough bite to perform well in either hardpack dirt or damp mud. The result was a versatile wheelset that can handle many different trail riding styles.
The SPEEDHUB is favored by many mountain bikers because of its extreme durability. Rough trails can wreak havoc on derailleur shifting systems, which hang far off the side of the bike and can easily be knocked out of alignment or caught on a branch. All of the shifting components of the SPEEDHUB are protected inside the hubshell, and as such they are not susceptible to these problems. The maintenance the Rohloff system will require is an annual oil change; something that can easily be done at home by a novice mechanic. The integrated design of the SPEEDHUB will keep you on the trail and away of the bike shop as much as possible.
If you are interested in a tough hardtail trail bike, Vassago’s Jabberwocky is worth considering. Most of Vassago’s stock frames work well with the SPEEDHUB; however, some of their higher end models are also customization-friendly, with optional Rohloff-specific fittings. Contact us to start a conversation about putting together a Vassago frame for you.
• Frame: Vassago Jabberwocky
• Headset: Cane Creek Forty
• Handlebar: Salsa Bend 2
• Rear hub: Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14
• Rims: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Flow
• Tires: Schwalbe Smart Sam
• Cranks: Race Face Turbine
• Bottom Bracket: Race Face
• Chain ring: Race Face Single
• Chain: Wipperman Connex
• Brakes & Levers: Magura MT4
• Rotors: Magura Storm