The REEB Donkadonk
Fatty Tires For Fatty Trails
REEB is a small frame builder that’s all about putting the “rad” in its Colo-rad-o roots. The company was started by Dale Ketechis, who’s actually more famous for his restaurants and breweries than bikes.
But, when he simply couldn’t find a bike that suited his riding style, he made his own. Dale and his crew at REEB Bikes
are all about blending functionality with style, and that’s
exactly what the Donkadonk delivers—in a big fat way.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
Fat bikes are in a class of their own. They’re different, and
they’re going to get you noticed on the trail. If you’re going
to ride a fat bike, you have to be okay with that. Just own it,
and don’t try to explain it to anyone who just doesn’t get it.
Like every other fat bike out there, the Donk is made
to be the weapon of choice for riders in snowy and loose
conditions. Like a pair of snowshoes, the larger footprint
of these tires helps them float over soft ground, while other
tires tend to plow in.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Donk is made from True Temper OX Platinum steel
tubing welded in Colorado. It features a 100mm Paragon
bottom bracket shell that allows for a symmetrical, 170-
millimeter rear hub spacing built for 3.9-inch-wide rims with
4.7-inch-wide tires. REEB also claims there is plenty of room
for the 29+ platform with 2-inch-wide rims and 29x3 tires—
if that’s your thing. Every REEB bike also comes standard
with a custom REEB head badge that’s mounted by hand in
their Colorado factory.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
This bike stands out in a crowd, so picking individual
components seems a little silly. Still, we can tell the parts
were selected by people who like to put miles on these bikes.
The SLX drivetrain and brakes offer the best performance
for the buck we can think of. The smart mix of FSA and
Salsa components also gave us no grief during our testing
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: The Donk is only available in
two sizes, but the impressive standover
height makes it easy to fit riders who
fall in between sizes. Stand next to the
“large” size frame and it looks small,
although it’s partially an optical
illusion due to the massive tires.
Once on the bike, the size large
fits very true. Rather than going
with the seat tube size, it’s
better to size this bike with the
top tube measurement.
The critical adjustment: No
surprises here. It’s tire pressure.
On dry terrain, too low a pres-
sure causes these tires to adhere
to the ground to the point where
you literally can’t steer the thing. Too
much pressure and you feel like you’re
dribbling basketballs down the trail. We
found our ideal pressure somewhere in the 10 to 20
psi range for dry and hard-packed conditions. In the snow,
we dropped the pressure significantly to around 6 psi to
increase the footprint and traction. No matter what the ride
is, a little trial and error is to be expected here.
Pedaling: This baby isn’t going to win any sprints,
and we were not impressed with the acceleration of the
Donkadonk right out of the gate; however, this thing can
move. We were pleasantly surprised that the super-over-sized tires didn’t act like the boat anchors they look like.
This bike can pedal. However, we can only imagine pedaling it fast if we laced a Clif bar with straight adrenaline.
This bike isn’t fast, and it doesn’t apologize for it.
Climbing: The shortish chainstays on this bike mean it
can handle reasonably tight singletrack with ease; however,
the big tires do have their drawbacks when winding trails
turn to tight switchbacks. Plan to take hairpin turns at a
snail’s pace, and rather than charging into technical climbs,
sit back and enjoy the incredible traction the fat tires have
Cornering: The Donkadonk has a fairly steep and snappy geometry, coupled with shortish chainstays. This makes
the handling quicker than we expected on the trail. Don’t
worry about traction in the turns, because there’s more than
you’ll ever need, even when the trail gets a little slippery.
Descending: Despite the huge air volume in the tires,
this is still a rigid bike. While the air-sprung cushion in
the tires will certainly take the edge off, the Donk requires
a skilled pilot to navigate technical terrain. Fortunately,
the tremendous traction of those big tires allows the rider
to grip loose and slippery terrain with ease. The Donk
descends with confidence, but expect it to be a slower ride
than a typical trailbike.