First Journey: The 2022 Ibis Exie is Made in USA & Able to Race

Ibis Cycles celebrates its 40-year anniversary this yr – about so long as the mountain bike has existed. I’d excuse any model who may make such a declare for celebrating it with a six-figure “We had been there earlier than you had been born” video manufacturing, together with commemorative graphics and a glitzy follow-up advertising and marketing marketing campaign.

Hate to be the spoiler, however the people at Ibis had been too busy for any of that nonsense. To mark the event, Ibis labored in secret for 3 years: first, to develop a aggressive dual-suspension cross-country race bike; and second, to construct a manufacturing unit close to their Santa Cruz, California, headquarters the place they might manufacture and assemble it. These are awfully huge checks to jot down for a small bike model, however Ibis managed to money each by their fortieth birthday. Right here’s the unique story.

Meet Exie

Few industries are extra overpopulated with intelligent advertising and marketing hacks than biking. Compound that with a worldwide abundance of web area squatters and it appears inconceivable that the only title for a cross-country mountain bike escaped their nets. Exie, proper?

Exie is at the beginning a 29-inch-wheel cross-country machine, however the natural-finish carbon body’s minimal wanting profile stops wanting the extra spindly designs on the World Cup Circuit, and that’s no accident. Ibis steered in the direction of survivable design components and away from cereal-box weight shavers like pencil-thin stays, press-in backside brackets and pivotless suspension.

To their credit score, a medium-sized Exie weighs solely a fraction over 22 kilos (sans water bottle and pedals) – a powerful quantity, additional sweetened by the truth that it comes with a dropper put up and Ibis’ seven yr body guarantee.

Exie Particulars

• Wheel dimension: 29″
• Journey: 100mm rear / 120mm entrance
• Carbon Body / dw-link suspension
• Proportional geometry between sizes
• 67.2-degree head angle
• Value vary: $7,999 to $12,799
• Body solely: $4,499 (with Fox DPS2 shock)
• Colours: Pure carbon
• Sizes: Small, medium giant, X-large
• Weight: 22.2 lb / 10.1kg full, 4.4 lb / 2kg body & shock (dimension medium, claimed)
• Ibis Cycles

Ibis received’t be sponsoring a World Cup XC staff within the close to future and so they perceive that the majority Exies can be owned by privateers, a lot of whom pay retail costs and should prepare and race on the identical bike. Its 100mm journey dw-Hyperlink rear suspension pivots on a mix of cartridge bearings and bushings that carry a lifetime alternative guarantee. Utilizing a low leverage ratio and a conventional-length 190 x 45mm shock ensures suspension help for a variety of rider weights, and frames can be found in 4 sizes, every with an adjusted seat tube angle and entrance heart to maintain racers of their climbing candy spots.
Options & Geometry

The Exie’s inner cables and hoses are routed by means of molded-in pipes whereas, relying upon body dimension, you’ll have room for 2 water bottles contained in the body. Molded chainstay padding retains the Exie silent operating and, paying homage to downcountry riders, Ibis stored the Exie’s seat tube low and arrow straight in case its proprietor opts for a maximum-stroke dropper put up improve. Oh yeah, and there’s room for a 2.4-inch tire within the again.

Concerning the numbers: Ibis selected to reel in a few of the stem size that conventional XC racers desire and make up that distance by lengthening the Exie’s entrance heart. Attain begins at 413mm for small frames and will increase throughout 4 size-options to 513mm for the X-large mannequin. With solely 100mm of rear-suspension journey, the Exie can get away with an intelligently low, 339mm backside bracket peak. Head tube angles are sit at a comparatively impartial 67.2 levels, whereas all sizes share the identical, 435mm chainstay size.

Exie’s efficient seat tube angle bucks modern “Steeper is best” logic, however not by a lot. Ibis’ reasoning is to preserve vitality, particularly throughout prolonged climbs. At present’s upright seat tube angles, mixed with prolonged entrance facilities are finest fitted to steeper and extra technical climbs. That mixture helps to keep up a extra balanced place over the bike at excessive gradients and retains the entrance wheel correctly weighted. The tradeoff for that aggressive climbing stance, nonetheless, is two-fold. First, it transfers a measure of the rider’s weight from the saddle to the handlebars, which could be tiresome on flat sections and delicate up-grades. Second, except you occur to be tall, that ahead weight shift tends to erode rear-wheel traction when the grades aren’t silly steep.

Exie Geometry

Ibis found by means of testing {that a} milder seat tube angle lets the saddle counter a lot of the rider’s leg energy, which saves vitality that the rider would have in any other case expended needlessly by means of higher physique muscle groups. To stability the Exie fore and aft, Ibis step by step will increase the seat tube angle because the body sizes develop. On this means, quick riders acquire the rear-wheel traction they want, whereas taller riders, who sometimes endure from an excessive amount of weight switch to the rear, are moved ahead to maintain their entrance wheels comfortably pinned to the bottom. I spent two days driving the Exie on quite a lot of trails close to Santa Cruz to check that concept.

When you will get one: Ibis will launch the Exie this summer season as a body with a Fox Manufacturing unit DPS Distant shock for $4,499 USD and in three builds, all suspended by Fox Manufacturing unit DPS Distant shocks and Step-Solid 120mm forks: a $7,999 model primarily based on Shimano Deore XT elements, a SRAM X01 model for $9,199, and an all-in model for $12,799 that options SRAM XX1 AXS, Shimano XTR, Enve, Trade 9 and Cane Creek goodness.

Why Put So A lot Effort Right into a Area of interest Market?

The creation of Exie was inevitable. Ibis has all the time had one foot within the light-weight recreation. Hans Heim, the person who revitalized Ibis, is an unapologetic cross-country geek. His daughter Lili was a powerhouse amongst Northern California’s NICA highschool racing leagues, of which Ibis has been a considerable supporter. (Some say that Ibis’ DV9 carbon hardtail was largely created for Lili and her NICA compatriots.)

It is also no secret that technical race tracks on the World Cup stage have each rejuvenated curiosity in cross-country competitors and challenged conventional

bike designs. In response, Hans initiated the Exie challenge with a brief checklist of specs: It needed to be aggressive on the highest stage, fairly priced, adept at dealing with technical terrain, and its body (dimension medium with an actual shock) needed to weigh lower than 4.4 kilos (2kg). All the things else was negotiable.

The top of an period: For many years, the evolution of World Cup XC race bikes was: take a professional highway body, widen the rear stays, slacken the pinnacle tube a few levels and lift it excessive sufficient to clear a 100mm-stroke fork. Squeak it by means of testing and provides it a weight restrict – Growth! So as to add rear suspension, start along with your hardtail, reduce journey to 100 millimeters or much less, get rid of swingarm pivots, overdrive the tiniest shock yow will discover, squeeze it by means of testing, and provides it a weight restrict – Completed!

That’s nice in case your buyer demographic fixates on blue-trail KOMs and thinks six raisins, three poached anchovies and a tablespoon of peas is dinner. As Ibis zeroed in on the Exie’s geometry, nonetheless, the brand new bike was turning into a succesful descender – to the purpose the place the workers had been pushing take a look at mules far past the bike’s authentic design envelope.

Once we began driving the prototypes we realized we made the frames too succesful for 100mm forks. You simply ended up driving it so arduous. We modified to a 120mm fork and that made it arduous to hit our weight and power targets. It delayed developments by just a few months, however resulted in a greater bike.Colin Hughes

Future-proofing the Exie to outlive in a way more aggressive surroundings meant rising the body’s power with out busting Hans’ most weight objective. Fixing that puzzle meant reshuffling three kilos of paper-thin unidirectional carbon fiber throughout 9 ft of body tubing till they discovered the razor’s edge between minimal weight and most power.

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