Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review


Words by Mike Wirth | Photos by Katie Jane Photography

REEB Cycles is Colorado-based mountain bike company made up of a self-described “Handful of unapologetic bike junkies.” That collective of bike junkies was brought together when Dale’s, Oskar Blues Brewery owner and Dale’s Pale Ale inventor, bike was stolen in 2011. Rather than head to the bike shop and buy another “me too” carbon wonderbike, Dale decided to start his own bike company right in the same 100-year-old Colorado barn where the first Dale’s Pale was brewed. That barn where the first REEB was welded and the first BEER was brewed (see what they did there?) is a stone’s throw from some of the best riding in Colorado, a fact that the REEB crew couldn’t be happier about. They keep the design and fabrication close to the trails where they are tested and they don’t do it behind closed doors.

REEB riders are welcome to stop by the barn in Lyons, Colorado for a demo ride on the singletrack that’s right out their back door. Follow that up with a toast and post-ride beers with them aftwards and it’s easy to see why they’ve got a certain cult following. REEB is a cool company that prides itself on being as much about the riding culture as it is about the bikes. We brought one of their newest rigs to our SoCal trails to see if a bunch of IPA loving ColoRADo riders could build a badass bike for our West Coast trails.

REEB’s first bikes were mostly steel hardtails. It wasn’t until their lead welder wanted to test his mettle on the local enduro race scene that a full-suspension frame became necessary for the REEB crew. REEB Cycles started building prototypes of the Sqweeb as an enduro race bike several years ago. It was that bike that evolved into the Sqweeb V.1, which was basically an overbuilt no-frills beast of a bike.

The first REEB Sqweeb was an effective, aluminum suspension bike that Adam the Welder could pilot to the bottom of the track without suffering a mechanical failure, despite having a less than pro rider skillset. The second version of the bike saw marked improvements and refinements to the design but did not sport a geometry that could hang with other, more advanced bikes in the category. Now in its third version, the Sqweeb V.3 comes to the trail with a modern long and low geometry combined with all the simplicity, reliability, and effectiveness of the original to create REEB’s ultimate trail smashing machine.

That simple and effective aluminum suspension chassis has remained the heart of the Sqweeb, and while the V.3 we tested might not be as overbuilt as the original, it’s every bit as capable while blasting down rough trails with the accelerator floored, the windows rolled down and the air conditioner on max.

Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review

The Sqweeb is an aluminum bike that’s “barn built” right in Lyon’s, Colorado, but doesn’t need to be emblazoned with Colorado flag decals to be proud of where it came from. The bike comes with a Horst Link suspension design that can be configured for 130 or 150 millimeters of travel with REEB’s modular shock mount system. The bike is built to suit the needs of anybody who wants to ride unruly terrain flat-out and fast, smashing rocks and roots all along the way.

Thanks to a modular shock mount, riders can adjust the travel and rear shock for terrain or riding style rider without changing geometry, which is a neat feature if you ride some groomed, flow trails but also love sending the chunk. The improved kinematics optimize anti-squat and leverage curves of high-volume air shocks and coil shocks so you’ve got a few quality options to choose from. The front triangle is redefined with an updated aluminum tubeset, hardware and a tapered head tube, increasing stiffness, strength and aesthetics. REEB designed the bike to work with 140mm to 170mm forks.

Due to the many combinations of front and rear travel, discussing geometry on the bike is a bit lengthy, but with the 150mm rear travel selected the bike has a 65.5-degree (150mm fork) or 64.6-degree (170mm fork) and 76 degree seat tube angle.

Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review

Climbing the REEB is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the bike has an incredibly steep, almost 76º seat tube angle that puts the rider in an aggressive seated pedaling position that puts all the power directly into the pedals. It also gives the bike a confident agility that allows it to claw its way up steep and technical sections with ease. The work done to ensure weight distribution is dialed to make climbing easier is necessary, simply because our size extra large test bike tipped the scales at a whopping 36.7 pounds with pedals. It’s a big bike, and that’s as much as a Sqweeb will likely ever weigh, given our bike came with a burly parts kit and a CushCore liner in the rear wheel. Despite what our scale said, though, we found that, thanks to the geometry, the heft is manageable.

Cornering the Sqweeb is not quite the feeling you’d expect by simply eyeballing the geometry chart. High-speed turns and berms, whether technical or not, are no problem at all. This big and slack bike handles sweeping fast trails like a freight train, making ease of the turns and almost never slowing down in the process. Where it surprised us most however, is when the turns get tighter. The long wheelbase takes skill to pilot through a tight switchback, but it rarely forced us to put a foot down.

When the trail points downhill, the Sqweeb descends fast and with authority. The long stout aluminum tubes bring plenty of stiffness which translates to steering precision and confidence on even the roughest terrain. REEB originally built this bike for enduro racers who might not have a factory sponsorship, but want a bike that makes them feel like they do. The geometry of the Sqweeb is built to smooth out poor line choices as you plow straight up and over obstacles in the long travel mode, but can be tightened up for flatter tracks. While it’s not as plush and forgiving as a full on downhill bike, we’re still confident that this is the bike that would be the fastest weapon to descend nearly any trail out there.

Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review

External cable routing may seems a faux pas these days, but any mechanic who’s experienced the hell that is fishing cable housing through dark frame tubes, or the incessant rattle from a poorly made internal cable that pings the tube every time you run over a pebble, will applaud this design. Especially if you’re doing your own cable changes in the parking lot.

Our test bike came equipped with Cane Creek suspension front and rear. While both the fork and shock felt reasonably easy to set up, the fork felt slightly harsh to some of our testers with several of the setups we tried. Ultimately, we decreased pressure and damping until it was usable, but it never provided the lively and plush feel we have enjoyed from other big 29er forks, including some other Helms.

Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Sqweeb combines a seriously effective suspension design with relatively simple yet modern geometry and top-notch workmanship. Real trail riders will appreciate its bulletproof construction and no-frills utilitarian features. While it won’t win any gram counting contests, our test riders were consistently surprised how well this bike climbs and carries itself efficiently thanks to the well-designed cockpit and weight distribution. The Sqweeb comes alive on the descents, and gives a springy and playful feel that gobbles obstacles, yet comes off the ground more easily than some other enduro race bikes we’ve tested.

The Sqweeb would be well-suited as a dependable enduro race bike for a privateer. However, it feels best suited to handle the daily driver duties of an aggressive rider who just wants a badass bike that stands out from the crowd a little. The Sqweeb doesn’t have flashy graphics, but it catches eyes on the trail. It isn’t trying to be the flashiest carbon dream machine, it’s built for riders who want something a bit different. It’s built with tried and true materials and quality workmanship, which means it’s built to last many seasons. And if anything every goes wrong with your new Sqweeb, you know you can just call the REEB shop and Tim will answer to help you out. The obsessive gearhead culture that REEB pours into their bikes is genuine, and resulted in a big travel bike that’s just plain fun to ride. Cheers!

Price: $5,699


Frame: 7005 Aluminium / 150mm
Fork: Cane Creek Helm Air, 160mm
Shock: Cane Creek DBAir CS

Brakes: TRP DH-R EVO, 4-Piston
Handlebar: RaceFace Aeffect-R Riser, 780mm
Stem: RaceFace Aeffect-R
Shifter: Shimano XT
Seatpost: OneUp Components Dropper
Saddle: Ergon SME3

Wheels: Industry Nine Enduro S, Hydra
Tires: Vittoria Mazza, Trail Casing, 29×2.6 F, 29×2.4 R

Cassette: Shimano XT CS-M8100, 10-51, 12 spd
Cranks: Shimano XT FC-M8120 Boost
Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100-SGS, 12 spd

Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review
Reeb Sqweeb V3 Long Travel Review

We Dig

Simple Yet Effective Horst Link Suspension Design
Excellent Modern Geometry
Solid Weight Distribution
Great Technical Climber
Mechanic Friendly External Routing
Two Travel Modes Available

We Don’t

36.7 is Heavy, but Lighter Builds Are Available
Cane Creek Fork Felt Over-Damped


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