Morewood Bikes Jabula  2013 Mountain Bike Review

Morewood Bikes Jabula 2013

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Morewood Bikes 5,471

At A Glance

The Jabula is Morewood’s 170mm travel, split pivot offering.

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The split pivot design is a step away from Morewood’s traditional single pivot designs, the thinking behind it is to reduce the influences of pedalling and braking on the operation of the suspension.

Having loved the Jabula’s little brother, the Sakuma, we were keen to see what the burlier version of Morewood’s split pivot design could do.

Initial reactions were good, very good in fact as the Jabula is a smart, tidy looking bike and comes specced with some of our favourite suspension units and the rest of the kit is all top draw too.

Tech Heads

Offering 170mm out back and designed with a 160mm to 180mm fork in mind it is clear that the Jabula means business.

The frame comes with all the features you would expect, tapered head tube, direct mount front derailleur, ISCG mounts, post mount brake tabs and a X12 x 142mm rear axle.

AL6061 aluminium is utilised for the front triangle and chain stays, the seat stays are carbon.

It is well worth dwelling on the suspension units, with a BOS Deville 170mm up front and a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air out back the Jabula is equipped with truly top end kit. The Deville boasts fantastic damping and support and the Cane Creek DBAir is infinitely adjustable and when set up right can be the difference between mediocre and excellent suspension performance.

The thoughtful specification does not end there; Sram X0 crankset and derailleurs are controlled by X9 shifters while Formula The One brakes are powerful and well controlled.

DT Swiss EX1750 wheels are a good balance between strength and lightweight and are shod with surprisingly fast rolling Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres.

A Rock Shox Reverb 30.9mm dropper seat post topped off with a Fizik Gobi saddle continues the high quality theme and the whole package is rounded off with a Spank Oozy 60mm stem clamping a set of Spank Subruso 740mm low rise bars.

The geometry is spot on for an all-mountain performer.

The 66.5 ̊ headtube angle and 433mm chainstays both offer nimble handling with just enough in reserve to ensure stability at high speeds.

Morewood Jabula Medium

Seat tube 460mm
Effective top tube 585mm
Head tube 120mm
Chain stay 433mm
Front triangle 706mm
Wheel base 1139mm
BB height +10mm
Head angle 66.5°
Seat angle 72.5°
Reach 399mm
Stack 589mm

Weight w/o pedals 31lbs

On The Trail

It is worth pointing out that one of the highlights with regards the spec on the Jabula is that it comes with a Cane Creek Double Barrel Air rear shock. This a brilliant shock, but also represents something of a banana skin, take your time, experiment and get some advice… Once set up right it shines. If it isn’t set up correctly you won’t get the most out of it and consequently the bike and yourself won’t feel very happy.

To some degree the same goes for the BOS Deville forks, rather than relying on sag they need to be ridden and adjusted, again once set up they pay you back in spades.

On the bike the rider is placed centrally making weight shifts fore and aft easy, this aids in making the most of the ample traction that is on hand when climbing seated.

The Morewood Jabula is ruthlessly efficient when pedalling and suits a 2 x 10 set up just fine, but would really reward a strong rider in a 1 x 10 guise. Solid seated climbing sees the rear end swallow edges and the back end digs in to propel you up and over steps and roots alike.

Out of the saddle climbing and lumpy pedalling are not rewarded however, control is key if you are to get the best out of the Jabula heading uphill.

Once on undulating, swoopy single track the Jabula feels very much at home, behaving more like a 140mm trail bike, nimble, lightning fast to turn and capable of enormous amounts of traction, it took me a while to get used to just how hard I could push the Jabula through the corners.

It is worth noting that if you like to power through root beds or very choppy ground then there is an element of kickback through the pedals, but it is not as bad as I had expected from such an efficient pedalling platform and I soon learnt to go light and let the bike skip over these sections.

Point the bike downhill, stand up on the pedals and you find yourself poised to either weight the front or loft it.

Somehow the Morewood seemed to be able to trace the ground as if running coiled suspension, but a slight pump and pop and you are airborne in a moment. This leads to an infectious sense of fun, which is backed up by deep progressive damping that keeps things calm and controlled without becoming dull. On big rock garden sections and big terrain the split pivot design comes into its own, feathering the brakes does not negate the suspension it remains active, though not as supple as when staying off the brakes.

A bonus was the way the Jabula behaved in the air, balance was just right and I found myself seeking out trails that I knew I could get plenty of air on, there was much fist pumping at the bottom of trails I tend to steer clear of when out on less hardcore bikes.


Pedalling performance over and above anything I would have expected from a 170mm bike.

Top notch kit throughout, but the highlight is without doubt the suspension units.

Fun yet controlled performance across the board.


If there is a weakness, and it is hard to find fault, it is the fact that the Jabula is good at everything rather than being mind blowing at any one thing.


Morewood have hit the spot with the Jabula, the name means ‘fun’ and it is certainly that.

It is a bike that is capable of everything from woodsy trail riding to Alpine holiday fun, but more than being just capable the Jabula actually excels across the board.

If you are looking for a trail centre/uplift bike or can only have one bike then the Jabula is a must for a test ride…beware, as fun comes as standard!

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This review was in Issue 26 of IMB.

For more information visit Morewood Bikes


By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

Tried this? What did you think?