When everything was set and ready for me to test a MAXX Jagamoasta the guys over at MAXX bicycles insisted that I should go through their bike configurator to get the whole experience of riding a MAXX fat bike.
MAXX was established in 1993 in Germany. Building custom bikes was their general topic from the very beginning. Today about 28 peoples are working at MAXX, the production line is very deep – wheel building, powder coating, assembling. Their target customer is the expert special interest rider – mountain biker, commuter, world traveler, outdoor adventurer and just an enthusiastic weekend rider. He knows what we wants and hates serial bikes coming from Asia. The goal is to offer the customer a perfect configuration platform.
Back in 2013 MAXX decided to go in to the fat bike business.
I asked Uwe, head of PM why?
And the answer was obvious. Just like you and me they love riding fat-bikes. Some guys over at MAXX had been riding fatties for a few years and loved it. Being a bunch of bike-crazy specialists who managed to make their hobby to a profession it was an easy decision to start making fat-bikes. They felt they could build better frames and bikes as being experts in designing frames for Rohloff IGH hub, belt drive and full suspension. Their first fat bikes hit the market in September last year.
I was going to test their Jagamoasta Rohloff and got to choose the specs and color by myself. MAXX configurator is great fun and works very well. It should since they’ve been online since 1998. This is the backbone of their company. Consumers and dealers are using their configurator. All bikes are hand painted and you got loads of colors to choose from, I went for a sharp orange with fluorescing coating and it came out pretty rad and they even paint the rims.
Since the test ground over here in northern Sweden is almost arctic, and this is a winter test, I was looking forward to see how the Rohloff and GatesCarbon Drive would be at handling winter conditions. The hub was lubed up with grease that was suitable for freezing temperature. Unfortunately, we did not have very cold weather this winter. But still, the conditions have been great for winter riding. The Jagamoasta is very well balanced in its geometry, very stabile almost boring when riding flat winter trails. I’ve been riding mostly on the ice. We’ve got miles of trails out in our frozen archipelago and that is were we ride during winter.
I´m used to XT with triggers so it took me a while to get used to the 14-gear twist shifter. The Rohloff is one piece of excellent engineering and is perfect for long calm rides. But when riding more technical stuff it just isn’t as responsive in my opinion. The Jagamoasta is Bluto ready and all cables are internal. MAXX have their own swap out dropout system so you can change from traditional gearing to Rohloff. The frame is cut at the upper tube in the rear triangle for easy removal of the belt drive.
Besides the belt drive the Jagamoasta is equipped with 80 mm single wall tubeless rims, Schwalbe 4.8” Jumbo Jims (Separate review on tires in a few weeks) XT brakes with a massive 200 mm front disc and a 180mm rear. In the cockpit are 740 mm low rise Truvativ Boobar on a short 50 mm Truvativ AKA stem. Pedals, Shimano Saint one of the best flatties on the market according to me. The short stem and wide bars was my choice, I like short stems and wide bars. It suites the riding I like, a bit more aggressive and very comfy in high speeds. And that’s where the Jagamoasta works the best. But this is also where the confusion comes in. With 4.8 inch Schwalbe Jumbo Jims on 80 mm tubeless rims, carbon drive, rear rack on a geometry that loves high speeds this setup is like setting a Beetle engine in a Porsche. Don’t get me wrong I love this bike and the Rohloff is amazing for winter riding. But this badgirl wants to go fast. And it sure does. But the shifting on Rolhoff is to slow when you are used to just crank down to low gears when hitting a steep climb with full force on the pedals. When going from triggers to twisters it strikes me how much I shift during technical riding.
I took the bike to my LBS to check the weight. When I had some of my friends testing it and I asked them to guess the weight, most of them thought around 15 kilos. But it’s closer to 17 kilos with rear rack, pedals and bottle cages. The main thing to make it heavy is of course the rear hub. The Rohloff XL is almost 2 kilos. You can definitely feel the heavy rear end when you lift the bike. However I don’t think this effect the handling at all. The extra two kilos is center weight and the tubeless rims and tires makes for awesome handling. Besides it’s a fat-bike. Its supposed to be ridden, not carried around. The Jagamoasta is one hell of a fat-bike but I think with a regular rear derailleur and Bluto fork this fatty would be even more fun.
MAXX is a serious bike company that makes serious bikes and the Jagamoata I no exception.
Excellent website and loads of variations to customize your ride. The bike was shipped almost ready to ride. The finish is amazing on this very high quality bike. The Jagamoasta handles like a dream and carbon drive is clean and silent like a ninja. Perfect for bikepacknig and long rides in the snow. 4.8 tires works very well on just 80 mm rims. Makes me wanna go for it on my Muk. I´m a fan of being able to choose between different dropouts to customize your ride after your needs.
Not so good:
This bike does not know what foot to stand on. Is it a endurance bike to go on long adventure rides or is it a trail blazer who wants to go fast down hill on technical single track. I think the later but the Rohloff put the comfort before the fun. Also it makes the bike a bit pricy. This configuration ended up at €4300:-
Overall the Jagamoasta got the Bike Black Ribbon Test Pilot – European Bureaus approvement. We love when more brands goes fat. Especially when done properly. We see to many brands get on the fat bike train just to do it. MAXX means business and makes fat bikes because they love riding fat. Not because it’s trendy. 4 out of 5 icy Viking Gnomes goes to the mighty Jagamoasta. It was Pretty close to a full score perhaps Bluto and regular gearing would have done it.
For more information visit – www.maxx.de