Perhaps the most flattering product review is four words.  It makes me smile.  With the REEB Sam’s Pants frame and build I went with, that’s exactly what happens every time I get on it. My original criteria when choosing a frame last year were based around componentry that would be strong and reliable for the insanity of Trans Iowa for which I had just registered.  I wanted a steel or titanium frame with clearance for up to 2.0 rubber that could run a belt and Rohloff.  I was considering many full custom options for Ti frames, but most were a little to a lot more than I wanted to spend. I spent many hours searching the internet for that “just right” bike.  So much so that I was actually getting frustrated.  There was always something wrong with each frame I considered.  And even when I could start with a clean slate and work with a custom frame builder, the wait times were such that in some cases I still wouldn’t have a frame. One of the resources of my search was the NAHBS website.  Looking through photographs from last year’s show, I came across something that quickly caught my eye.  I found a few photographs of what appeared to be exactly what I was searching for and saw the following description. The Sam’s Pants – REEB’s Gravel Road Rippin’ / MonsterCrossin’ / Do it All ‘Rounder….The Sam’s Pants.  Mountain Bike born geometry for urban assault or gravel road ripping and clearance for a 2.0 tire.  Hell, we cyclocross race this thang too.  It ain’t The Cat’s Ass, it’s The Sam’s Pants.  100% American Made True Temper OX Platinum tubing. This was the epiphany I was hoping for.  Suddenly there was a bike that seemed to be “the one.”  I began a new internet search for “reeb sam’s pants.”  More photos.  A proudly dirty Sam’s Pants sitting in the REEB booth at NAHBS with fat tires and a belt-drive confirmed my initial optimism.  And honestly, some of the infatuation was due to the fact that REEB is owned by Oskar Blues Brewery.  This bike was suddenly top of the list. After a few emails back and forth with Tim, I was even more convinced this was the bike for me.  I placed my order in early December.  I stuck with stock geometry but had a few small customizations for Rohloff cable routing and added rear rack mounts.  At the time, they were moving their frame-building in-house and the wait time was going to be slightly longer than what was the normal four-weeks.  I was promised 6-8 weeks to account for the move and the holidays. During the time between order and final finish, Tim was in frequent contact with me confirming Rohloff cable housing guides, sizing, and colors.  He made sure to follow-up on initial requests so the frame would arrive exactly as I was expecting.  Early February the frame arrived. While awaiting the frame, I had the shop ordering a lot of the parts so the build could commence.  I had made the final decision to go with a Gates Belt drive and Rohloff hub.  I also wanted a generator front hub so I never had to worry about keeping lights charged for my long rides and night riding.  Highroller Cyclery was great working with these boutique parts.  The build also features a Whisky No 9 through axle carbon fork, King headset and bottom bracket, Race Face cranks, Stan’s ZTR Crest hoops, Thompson post and stem, Avid BB7 mechanical discs, Co-Motion’s Rohloff shifter, a Specialized Chicane saddle and Salsa Cowbell 2 bars.  The build stresses reliability, robustness, and comfort. The frame has proven the ultimate platform for all the types of rides I have thrown at it.  Whether it is a pub ride or a 336 mile race, the REEB has seemed like the perfect bike for the job.  Heavily loaded bikepacking hasn’t fazed it either.  Even with 25-30 pounds of gear added to the bike, it was stable and responsive on mountain descents.  Add in the incredible gear range of the Rohloff, and you can go from race-ready gearing for grinding out the flats and bombing descents to ultra-low gearing for climbing 15% grades with a heavily loaded bike without worrying about changing a chainring or cassette.
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The REEB Loaded for Bikepacking
You can’t help but feel pride riding a handmade in America frame made from American steel.  And speaking of the material of choice for most of the REEBs (with the exception of some Ti builds they do), steel is real.  Real tough.  Real smooth.  And still a real good choice for bike frames.  Yeah, the plastic frames have their place and my road bike is almost carbon-everything; but if you want a bike you can abuse, load down, and be comfortable on all day and then some, it’s hard to beat good ol’ steel. I’ve spent countless hours on the REEB this year.  From ultra-long training rides to 100, 200 and 300+ mile gravel races; I’ve covered a gamut of rides on the REEB.  At the end of the biggest ride of the year, and my biggest ride ever, I was exhausted and mentally drained, but physically I felt great.  The comfort provided by the REEB for ultra-long days in the saddle is unbelievable. The components have also proven reliable and solid.  I’ve never had the slightest problem with the Rohloff.  Never worrying about lubing a chain has also been amazing.  The Paragon sliders have been outstanding, and I’ve never once had to retension the belt.  The Schmidt generator hub and light has worked great no matter if I am going downhill at 30 plus or crawling uphill at 6 mph. It’s hard to come up with enough good things to say about this bike.  The bike has character.  The bike exudes the passion of the company that proudly puts their name on the frame.  The bike is sexy.  And the bike never fails to put a huge smile on my face. Oh, and about that little race in Iowa that I originally spec’d this bike for…  🙂
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Visiting the Oskar Blues Bike Cantina
Alex Roberts Growing up on several hundred acres of family land, Alex loved riding logging roads on his BMX bike while pretending he was LeMond winning the Tour. His ambitions of standing on the podium in Paris may be gone, but he’s rediscovered his inner child and the joy of back roads exploration on his beloved REEB.

11 Comments

  1. Really nice bike and setup.
    Could you give us an idea of the price ?

  2. Thanks, Koen! The frame retail is $1500. Building it “in pieces” drove the price up a bit, and, perhaps fortunately, made it where I lost track of overall costs. Especially as I went through a few iterations of posts/saddles/stems/pedals. I think overall the complete bike would be around $5500-6000.

  3. Looks brill, what size are the wheels?

    • Thanks, Andrew. Sorry for the late reply. The wheels are Stan’s ZTR Crest 29er hoops. I’m still deciding my favorite tire to go with those. I’m mounting up some Schwalbe Thunder Burts today. They are 2.1 but fairly light. They look like they may be just the tire for my gravel adventure and endurance rides.

      Cheers,

      Alex

  4. What size rings are you running with the gates drive and the rohloff? I am building up a very similar bike, but am having issues with chain(belt) ring clearance on the front between the chainring and the chainstay with a 55 tooth chainring. I may try a 50 and see if that fits.

    • Ben, sorry for the delayed reply. Did you complete your build yet? If you are still pondering, let me know. I’m afraid I’m probably too late to assist in your decision though.

      Cheers,

      Alex

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  6. I read your reviews with great interest on the Sam’s Pants and Niner RLT. I haven’t had a drop bar bike in >30 years. I’d like to ride the sometimes paved, sometimes not paved county roads with the paved highways that connect them along with the countless gravel oil field roads. I am leaning towards the Reeb’s, but want your take on comfort for long paved highway miles. Still comfy? Also, I noticed Reeb’s website shows a build for a 1×10 with FSA components including their Metropolis handle bar (a drop bar, it aint!). Your thoughts on this bar vs Salsa Cowbell or Woodchipper. Thanks, brother.

    • Just curious if you had made a decision or if you had any other questions after our Facebook discussion. You can email me directly at alex@bikepackersmagazine(dot)com

      Alex

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