Ibis Unveils New Ripley Full Suspension 29′er

As the result of a project that was started back in 2008, Ibis has finally unveiled their newest bike: the 120mm travel full suspension Ripley. Rather than just stuff 29 inch wheels into a stretched out Mojo SLR frame, Ibis reached out to suspension guru Dave Weagle to create a platform that would do the big wheels justice. The result? A surprising remake of the famed DW Link suspension where the two short links have been replaced by 2 small eccentrics.

With a new look, and a boat load of features, Ibis’ 29′er looks like it could be worth the wait.

More details inside!

Much like the Mojo SLR, the Ripley receives just about every feature that techno-geeks dream about: press fit BB92 bottom bracket, high mount direct mount front derailleur, 142x12mm thru axle rear end, tapered 1.125 to 1.5″ headset, Kashima Coat Fox Float RP23 with Adaptive Logic Boost Valve, 160mm post mount rear brake, and all in a full carbon fiber monocoque with sacrificial core molding package. All of that, and I’m still probably leaving something out.

 

Even with all of the above features, the real story is hidden beneath the carbon on the seat tube. In about the same space that would normally house just the main pivot, Weagle has somehow managed to cram two eccentric pivots into the frame. Weagle is quoted as sying, “We’ve been working on this bike for what seems like forever. Far before it was fashionable or even heard of to have a shock clevis, and one of the first bikes since the I-Drive and Decathlon to use any type of eccentric link. Obviously more is better so we have two of them!”

#4 and 10 are the Norglide bearings for the eccentric.

As far as an explanation of the eccentrics are concerned, it’s probably best to take it straight from the source (from Ibis):

The eccentric world of eccentrics:

When Dave suggested using eccentrics it sounded like a good idea. Eccentrics as an engineering solution are slick and elegant. We’ve always liked the quote attributed to Einstein that says: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”. As it turns out it’s pretty hard to keep this simple idea simple. The picture of the eccentrics above represent the 20th iteration of the design, and each time the design got simpler. We like where it is now.

The thing about dw-link is that it’s based on physics and math. Dave can’t just put the links where ever he wants and slap his name on it. They have to go where the equations that he’s derived tell him to put them. Unfortunately this means that as he shrunk the links they had to get closer together. In order for things to get small enough to use eccentrics the links got so close that we ran out of room for ball bearings. In order to make the eccentrics work we started looking at bushings because of how thin they are. Also, bushings are actually better than bearings at oscillating motion so when designed right they’ll last longer. We set some pretty high standards though: no play, friction comparable to ball bearings, no special tools, lighter than our current link and bearing system, and perhaps most important, field adjustable with standard tools.

As mentioned, as we were beginning the Ripley 29 development, we were finishing up the Mojo HD. During that project we figured out that the first couple of mm of deflection during a stiffness test is actually from play in the ball bearings. The way we solved it on the HD was to use dual row angular contact bearings on the main pivot. There was no way those were going to fit between the eccentrics or be light enough. So we had the idea of angular contact bushings? And then we thought what if we made them adjustable so that as they eventually wore you could take the lash back out? We got in contact with the guys at Norglide and they started showing us some very slippery and durable composite bearing materials. We did some proof of concept experiments and were impressed so we started working out our eccentric design.

It took a while but what we came up with was a sealed, fully adjustable, angular contact composite bearing eccentric linkage system that is field adjustable. As mentioned, the eccentric system weighs 130 grams less than the Mojo linkage system.

We did some durability calculations and we predict that the eccentrics will outlast the bearings in our linkages considerably. We designed them with extra load capacity which provides increased life. The system is sheltered from direct spray by the design of the frame and also fully sealed. When you do go to replace the bearing material it is easier than pressing bearings out and less wasteful and expensive than replacing the entire link. It’s just the cone shaped bushing material that needs to be replaced. Not that you’ll need them in your lifetime, but they will be reasonably priced.

Shown above are the new eccentrics on the right, and the two links that they replace. The eccentrics are obviously smaller, but they are also 130 grams lighter than the links on a Mojo SLR.

 

 

In order for everything to fit and still allow clearance for a derailleur and tires, the seat tube had to be heavily shaped to make it all work.

Specs:

  • 29″ wheels
  • 120mm rear wheel dw-link travel
  • Twin angular contact composite bearing eccentric linkages
  • Full carbon fiber monocoque with sacrifical core molding
  • Tapered head tube (Cane Creek AngleSet & Chris King InSet compatible)
  • Kashima coated Fox Float RP23 with Adaptive Logic Boost Valve technology
  • Clean cable routing with molded carbon cable stops and provisions for cable-actuated adjustable seat posts
  • BB92/Press GXP style integrated BB is lighter and stiffer and better for molding
  • 142mm Maxle rear axle provides high axle stiffness with QR ease of wheel removal and installation
  • 160mm carbon fiber post mount rear brake mounts
  • High direct front derailleur, mounted to swingarm
  • Geometry designed to work with 120-140mm forks
  • 34mm fork stanchion approved
  • 4 Sizes (S, M, L, XL)
  • Weight TBD
  • Price TBD but in line with our other frames
  • Delivery TBD, but not in 2011

 

 

Comments

Slonie - 08/31/11 - 2:02pm

I don’t always ride a full suspension 29er, but when I do, I prefer this one.

Greg - 08/31/11 - 2:05pm

wow!

Maple Leafs - 08/31/11 - 2:18pm

Nice….anyone know if you can just order the frame set directly from Ibis.
I don’t think there is any Ibis dealer nearby.

Anyone want to guess what the weight for a medium frame might be?
4 lbs?

mateo - 08/31/11 - 2:38pm

@maples – I don’t think Ibis does direct sales, but Competitive Cyclist carries them.

My guess on frame weight is right atr 5lbs. The 26″ SLR is about that, so add some for 29″ wheels, and subtract a little for losing the links.

Steve - 08/31/11 - 3:43pm

Niner RDO? Thunder stolen.

The Dude - 08/31/11 - 3:51pm

best company in the business from a customer service standpoint, and their bikes speak for themselves

do want that hawtness

Steve M - 08/31/11 - 4:22pm

Whoa- hyperbole alert….. Einstein reference?

An eccentric is a link…….

nozzle - 08/31/11 - 5:18pm

is that thing made of clay? its looks lumpy and like a model, not a finished bike.

and durability calculations? that sounds like “we haven’t tested this crazy idea yet, but we hope it works as well on a bike as it does on paper”. sort of like the rubberized paint….

Colin - 08/31/11 - 6:11pm

The technology behind it is very cool, but I’m not a huge fan of it’s looks (especially compared to the Mojo!).

larry B. - 08/31/11 - 6:28pm

Wonder how well the Front Derailleur will work being on the swing arm?

Kovas - 08/31/11 - 6:55pm

Sweet. That’s it. I’m selling my BowTi and getting one of these.

Phil - 08/31/11 - 7:17pm

Kovas sell me your bow ti :)

KIrk - 08/31/11 - 7:40pm

Don’t be a nozzle, nozzle. The pictures are of a “model” and that’s why it looks like one. Have you seen Ibis bikes in person? If they are in production, they are things of beauty. All of them – from any year. This model won’t be produced soon. It’s for 2012, if we are lucky.

nozzle - 08/31/11 - 8:12pm

my bad, i thought it was an introduction of a new bike, not a high school science project ; )

Matt - 09/01/11 - 12:11pm

Seriously, where does the front derailleur go?

Steve M - 09/01/11 - 12:21pm

Given the small radius of each eccentric they have to be placed very close together, limiting the mechanical advantage of the “links”. So what we have here is an overly complicated high single pivot. Having some experience with this type of design- the manufacturing tolerances need to be very close as the geometry is very sensitive.

I wonder if the patent for the DW-Link even applies in this case.

Stu - 09/01/11 - 12:28pm

I’m w/ nozzle …. looks kinda dumpy
Matt — front DR is direct mount … look at the 2nd picture down where the right side of the bike is shown just above the two eccentric linkages
120mm …. big mistake — Specialized SJ FSR is 130mm and so sweet. 120mm is so 2009. I was holding my breath for this bike. Major letdown. I think they missed the mark big time.

nozzle - 09/01/11 - 3:09pm

i have nothing against the folks at ibis, and i’m sure this new bike will be a success for them as they have a big following, but that said, if they learned how to design and produce bikes faster, then they would have hit this is 2009 which is the vintage of the travel and geometry – as Stu pointed out. MTB preferences change quickly
The Mojo HD was the same thing, too high and steep for what others have evolved into. They should learn to do things faster, and stop bragging about how it took three years. As a project manager, longer isn’t better.

david - 09/01/11 - 3:30pm

i wonder if they will be spec’d with specialized tires just like the top picture

Niko - 09/02/11 - 7:56am

No ISCG mounts :(

mike - 09/02/11 - 12:47pm

with the eccentrics that close together, the loads must be horrific! calcs are good, but time will tell if it’s durable.

pluzall - 09/02/11 - 5:30pm

nice engineering – innovative – no doubt
that said, used to have an ibis mojo SL – which never was inspiring -
have a blur XC now – blows the door off the mojo SL – in every regard – even with less travel im faster downhill because i can actually pick & hold my lines – and corner with confidence
lighter, fast as hell uphill

Rick - 02/22/13 - 12:53am

@Stu
-That’s a pre-production rapid prototype not a finished frame–read the article.
-If anything 120mm is a big mistake because it’s too much travel. This is a RACE bike not a Stumpjumper/All Mountain bike. 100mm is standard in this category. Hopefully the DW-Link will make it pedal like a 100mm or better. Or it will be a big mistake.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.