Review: REEB Cycles TyREEB

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REEB cycles was started a few years ago by Colorado craft beer brewery, Oskar Blues. Rather than copy an existing design and slap on the REEB logo, Oskar Blues went against the grain with slacker geometry to tackle the rough descents near its Colorado brewery.

REEB bikes are aimed at the rider wanting a capable trail rig without twitchy, XC racer geometry. But, non-race geometry doesn’t necessarily make a bike slow, as evidenced by Macky Franklin’s victory at last year’s Breck Epic in the Solo Singlespeed category riding a REEB. My tester is a 29-inch-wheeled singlespeed, with Paragon dropouts and a Gates belt drivetrain, but it can also be built as a geared bike.

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Oskar Blues kept production local and turned to local builder Chris “Soultrain” Sulfrian. The partnership resulted in small batch hardtails built around a 120mm travel suspension fork. Geometry mates a high 13.5-inch bottom bracket to minimize pedal strikes with a relaxed 68.75 head tube angle, and 17.3-inch chainstays. The high BB also lessens the chance of damaging the Gates belt and chainring.

Of all the titanium bikes I’ve owned and ridden, the TyReeb has the least amount of flex and is the most enjoyable to ride. The front end felt solid and didn’t shimmy at speed or leave me guessing where the front wheel was going. I felt confident riding this bike and always knew what to expect from the handling.

Initially my center of gravity felt high, especially with the included riser bar, so I dropped the stem all the way down, giving me the lowest possible position and more weight on the front wheel. However, standover clearance is minimal, and I could barely straddle the size large without feeling the top tube unnervingly close to my own chassis.

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On flats and downhills, the relaxed head angle and 720mm wide Chromag Fubar made for calm and precise handling. I enjoyed being able to feel the trail instead of it being swallowed up by rear suspension. Front suspension is handled by a 120mm travel Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti fork, which felt sticky through its travel but functioned well enough otherwise.

The Reeb didn’t navigate tight corners like an XC bike, but it gets the job done. Instead, the geometry shines on open trails where speed and playfulness are the order of the day.

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The TyReeb climbs well and I didn’t detect excess flex from the bottom bracket, head tube or rear triangle. Climbing on smooth trails I had no issues with the wheel lifting off the ground. But on technical climbs the steering wandered begging the question of how the bike would feel with a travel adjust fork to lower the front and quicken steering.

With the high BB I could pedal through bigger rock gardens, but ended up breaking the Gates belt while applying torque through a minefield of headsize rocks. Gates sent a replacement promptly and stated that the belt should outlast a chain unless it’s damaged. Unfortunately, out in the boonies I’ll take a repairable chain and greasy hands any day.

I was at first skeptical of the TyReeb, with its slack angles, high BB and general non-XC attitude. Much like a can of beer, you can’t taste the barley and malts without opening it. Riding the TyReeb changed my perception.

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I found myself enjoying its relaxed handling down fast descents and flowy trails. The bike climbs as strongly as your legs are capable of and flex isn’t a concern. If you’re looking for a hardtail with geometry closer to a modern trail bike than XC racer bike, give the Reeb a ride. It’s a comfortable bicycle that isn’t like everything else on the market. It’s also available for $1,650 as a steel frame, if titanium isn’t your flavor.

Vital stats

  • Wheelbase 44.76-inches / 1,137mm
  • Top Tube 24.5-inches / 662mm
  • Head Angle 68.8 degrees
  • Seat Tube Angle 72.5 degrees
  • Bottom Bracket 13.5-inches / 343mm
  • Chainstay Length 17.3-inches / 439.4mm
  • Weight 24.7 pounds / 11.2kg
  • Sizes S, M, L (tested), XL
  • Price $3,000 (frame)

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