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Jibb as “Mini-Madonna” - RAAW of the Month March

Jibb as “Mini-Madonna” - RAAW of the Month March

What would happen if a Madonna fan exchanged his Madonna V1 for a Jibb out of curiosity after two years? Dennis from Stuttgart has dared exactly this experiment and has ultimately ended up with a real "mini-Madonna" after a few attempts - our RAAW of the Month in March.

But let's start from the beginning. Dennis, who describes himself more as a bike enthusiast than a mountain biker, entered the world of two wheels through BMX. Now, a good 13 years later, he has 6 or 7 bikes of various categories piled up in his basement and earns his living as a design engineer at a major German bike manufacturer. Whether it's downhill, road, gravel or skatepark - it's all fun for him!

"Speed is awesome, it's just what makes MTB fun - you blast down the hill with a huge grin on your face!" describes Dennis. "The Madonna V1 was exactly the right bike for this, but after 1 - 2 years I wanted to try something new again, as I usually do."

But the area of use should be the same as for the Madonna: enduro rides on the Stuttgart local trails, bike park action, long shuttle days in Finale and, of course, weekends in his favorite spot, the Reschenpass. "For our local trails in Stuttgart, the Madonna is quite a lot of bike. The trail features really don’t bring the bike up to its operating temperature." explains Dennis. "Plus, I've never tried a trail bike before and was just curious about a more active and playful bike. Thanks to my BMX background, I know that even a shorter wheelbase can work in any situation." However, one thing was still important to him: "I absolutely don't want to have to worry about durability – that  would really spoil my fun on the bike!"

"With these requirements in mind and after the Madonna V1 has suited me so well, I quickly landed on the Jibb, but was still unsure whether the suspension travel was sufficient for me," continues Dennis. But this uncertainty was quickly resolved when he was able to experience the Jibb "live" for the first time and saw on another rider what it can do. The frame was ordered basically on the same day.

So how do you set up a Jibb that should be ridden just like a Madonna? Dennis relies on a 160mm fork and the EXT Storia V3 Lock coil shock. "When a few friends raved about the EXT shock, I was skeptical at first. If someone spends 700 euros on a rear shock, he will never say that it is no good. But in the meantime I was able to form my own opinion and am also an absolute fan of the responsiveness and adjustability of the Storia V3." While he was happy with the performance and features of the pictured CaneCreek Helm Air fork at first, its reliability was lacking, unfortunately: After two defects with the fork he switched back to a RockShox Yari with a Fast Suspension damping cartridge. Another reason was the easier serviceability. 

The wheels are the only area where Dennis relies on carbon. "Whether the crank weighs 50g more or less, you hardly notice. With the wheelset, every gram saved makes the bike noticeably zippier," says Dennis, explaining the decision. Contrary to this philosophy, however, tires with downhill casing are now mandatory for him in races (e.g. on the Reschenpass) or in bike park use: "After I first experimented with tire inserts, I now usually put on tires with downhill casing for harder missions. Due to the reduced suspension travel, the load on all components, but especially on the tires and rims, is noticeably higher for the same riding style."

Speaking of downhill: After the photos were taken, Dennis flattened the steering angle on his Jibb by 1 degree with an angle headset from Workscomponents and adjusted the chainstay length to the long position (450 mm) to really tickle the maximum downhill performance out of the bike - a real mini-Madonna indeed!

Another treat is the custom minitool developed as part of a thesis, which makes intelligent use of the cavity in the main bearing. The CNC-milled unique piece contains all Allen sizes from 2.5mm to 6mm, a Torx-25 wrench, chain tool and screwdriver. 

Custom multitool that fits the main axle to store the most important bits.

Of course, the rest of the equipment is also worth a look. Here is the complete build as shown in the photos:

Frame RAAW Jibb, size M
Fork CaneCreek Helm Air
Shock EXT Storia V3 Lock
Wheels Acros ED Boost Carbon (Team Edition)
Tires Maxxis Shorty 29x2.4 Exo // Maxxis Minion DHR2 2,3 Exo 
Headset Acros ZS44 BlockLock 135°/ ZS56
Stem Acros 50mm
Handlebar Acros (Team Edition) 770mm, 25mm Rise
Grips DMR Deathgrip
Brakes Shimano XT 4-Piston 
Discs Shimano XT 203mm
Derailleur Shimano XT 11speed
Shifter Shimano XT 11 speed
Crank Sram X0 165mm
Chainring SRAM Steel
Cassette SRAM 11 speed
Chain SRAM 11 speed
Chain Guide 3min19sec
Seat post: One Up Dropper
Bottle Cage 3min19sec
Fender Mudhugger
Tool Selfmade
Total Weight ready to ride as in the photo, with tools: 16.05Kg.

"The Jibb has completely fulfilled my expectations", Dennis is pleased. "I am super satisfied with the setup. Especially on jumps, berms and trails with constant changes of direction, the bike can fully play out its strengths. To this day, I'm regularly surprised that you can ride a bike with 135mm of travel like that. Of course, everything feels a bit more extreme and on particularly hard trails you are a bit earlier at the limit than with the "Madonna".  

When we designed the Jibb, our goal was to take the popular Madonna DNA and put it into a more playful and direct bike. With his Jibb build, Dennis has taken that DNA and used it with a lot of love and effort to create a true Mini-Madonna that can stand up to the toughest use while maintaining its more playful character. With downhill tires, coil shock, angle headset and 160mm fork, this build is arguably one of the most downhill-oriented Jibbs out there. The beautiful milled multi-tool is just the icing on the cake for this RAAW of the month, which we award - as always! - with a 100 euro voucher.

Photos: Axel Brunst / Instagram: @dnns_brn

Does your bike have what it takes to be "RAAW of the Month"?

Since we founded RAAW, one thing has given us a lot of pleasure: seeing where, how and by whom our bikes are ridden all over the world and how you use our frame kits to create different, individually optimized works of bike art. That's why from now on, every month we'll choose a particularly successful and exciting bike build from the community as "RAAW of the Month" and present the bike and its rider in detail on our website. In addition to glory and Insta-fame, a 100 € voucher for our online shop awaits the lucky winner. Does your bike have what it takes to be "RAAW of the Month"? Check out this page to find out how to apply.

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