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  1. #1
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    Is the Ripley frame a noodle?

    Over on the "Ferrentino on the Ripley" thread, one critique in the eponymous review is that the Ripley's rear end felt flexy. Several folks jumped in to comment that they too felt that this was the case.

    For my part, I've found that the Ripley frame clearly seems flexier than my BronsonC; by this I mean that simply grabbing the rear tire and pushing it side-to-side produces noticeable movement of the clevis relative to the frame. Not really a fair comparison obviously, but I do imagine that the close-set dual eccentrics might be more prone to torsional flex or play than more widely separated links.

    So question for Ibis folks (or anyone else): do you have testing data on how the Ripley frame compares to its competition in frame stiffness, i.e. lateral or torsional deflection of the rear dropouts relative to the BB? Curious to hear anything that's based on something more rigorous than just ride impressions....

  2. #2
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    why not ask brian Lopez? He is the one lately published promoting Ripley

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  3. #3
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    It is a lightweight nimble and fun trail bike that people have a great time riding. Enjoy your Bronson I don't need testing data to know it's a fun bike.

  4. #4
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    Im 240 lbs riding the ripley, as a 5 lb trail xc its pretty stiff. Of course not quite HD/HDR, Pivot M6, M429 stifness. I have zero finesse and ride Socal xc/trail/lightAM stuff, it holds up pretty well.

    Components, wheels, forks, tires (tire pressure) make a big difference in percieved stiffness. I have tried 4 forks and a few wheelsets. the improvements in "My percieved" stiffness as ranks as follows in order of importance:

    1. 140mm pike- big difference vs 120mm 32mm forks
    2. American Classic Am Wheelset, good combination of stiffness, weight and price
    3. Tires, yes tire and tire pressure make a big difference for heavyweights
    4. Wide Bars, stems etc all can lead to a bit of the "noodley feeling"

    Overall it feels a lot like a Intense carbine 275 I had, not super stiff not a noodle either.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure I get why wide bars would lead to a noodle feeling, except by perhaps increased leverage on the fork and front wheel?

    Anyhow, several posters in various threads have posted that some of the perceived flex is from the wheels. For those of us who can't afford a carbon wheelset I wonder if someone who has an e13 wheelset would care to comment. If I was to get a Ripley (I'm thinking about it) the E13 TRS with the oversized hub flanges are on my radar screen. TRSr hub | the hive

    The spoke lengths are almost as short as those on a 26" rim which presumably makes for a stiffer wheel.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  6. #6
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    For what it's worth, this is from one of the translations of the German bike tests of the Ripley on the Ibis site: "The rather low frame stiffness of 60 Nm/ can lead to problems for heavier riders."

    No idea what the "normal" range of frame stiffness for a FS bike is, of course.

    I'm going to be trying some stiffer wheels and different tires. I'm considering a stiffer fork, but I do love the weight and geo. of the 120.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    ...So question for Ibis folks (or anyone else): do you have testing data on how the Ripley frame compares to its competition in frame stiffness, i.e. lateral or torsional deflection of the rear dropouts relative to the BB? Curious to hear anything that's based on something more rigorous than just ride impressions....
    Here is what I wrote a couple of months ago in the Ibis Ripley Reviews thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Portti View Post
    Yes, that is correct. They mention that in the text. Also Mountain Bike has measured stiffness in its test and for Ripley the head tube stiffness was 67 Nm/deg. Some other bikes tested in the same issue:
    - Specialized Camber Carbon Expert 29 = 56 Nm/deg
    - Radon Slide 160 10.0 = 62 Nm/deg
    - Votec VE160 Elite = 88 Nm/deg
    - Rose Granite Chief 3 = 77 Nm/deg

    My personal experience with my Ripley is that compared to my previous Mojo SL the Ripley feels quite a lot stiffer. How much of that is due to the increased stiffness of the frame and how much due to different parts and other factors I don't know.
    Pertti
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  8. #8
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    Great, thanks Portti, that's really helpful. Love those Germans and their obsession with testing everything. Do they (or some other pub) do any tests of rear-end stiffness?

  9. #9
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    Is the Ripley frame a noodle?

    I'm wondering how the bike is fixtures during that stiffness test. From my extensive test ride, with my own carbon wheelset, the front end was soft but had acceptable stiffness and the back end was a wet noodle. Far worse than my TBc with a QR rear axle.
    SC Tallboy C : SC Nomad 3 : Giant TCX SLR : Giant Propel Adv SL

  10. #10
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    I think the usual setup is to fix the BB and seat post, then put in a solid-steel "dummy" fork and test deflection of the dummy fork. Not sure if this is straight ahead (i.e. push fork toward BB) or twisting deflection. But this is a measure of front triangle rigidity.

    I'm with you Bog, it seems to me that the main source of frame flex is the back of the bike. Those close-spaced eccentrics get an awful lot of force applied to them by the long lever of the 29er rear end...

  11. #11
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    When I stopped in Ibis HQ I was pretty impressed. The front triangle and rear are assembled there but first they put them through a bit of a torture test. I think the guy was demonstrating an HDR but they do it for all the frames. He was putting all his weight on it and the frame didn't deflect more than a cm or two.

    In fact, visiting Ibis made me want to buy one on the spot. I have a Turner 5spot but I'm eyeballing the Ripley. If anything, for how innovative the pivots are. Unfortunately, that must be where the perceived flex is originating.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is the Ripley frame a noodle?-ibis_hq2.jpg  

    Is the Ripley frame a noodle?-ibis_hq1.jpg  

    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  12. #12
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    Hey, don't let ME talk you out of anything. I think "perceived" is the key word here, and why I wanted to see if anyone had any kind of testing info on how the Rip compares to other bikes. On the one had those close-spaced eccentrics seem, well, close. On the other those eccentrics are basically two BB30 bottom brackets attached together, and Lord knows BB30s are pretty stiff. I think there are lots of other potential sources of "perceived" flex, at least for me. I'm going to start messing around with suspension and wheel/tire choices before I get too carried away...

  13. #13
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    Would like to see numbers for the Mojo SL for comparison. That was known to have a pretty flexy rear end, noticeable in the real world for real riders. But I've never ridden one.

    To put sideways flex in context: some motocross designs have had more flex put into frame to increase the ride feel and ground feedback. So ultimate stiffness is not a goal in this respect. It is all relative to your needs, weight, riding style, power, preferences and so on.

    More input on how they actually test the frame stiffness would also be appreciated.

  14. #14
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    I am a relatively new Ripley owner coming from a 26" stumpjumper. I've also ridden a Specialized SJ 29er, Pivot Mach 429, and Trek Superfly 29er. In my subjective experience the Ripley is stiffer in every conceivable manner than both Specialized bikes, and is on par with the Pivot. Didn't ride the same type of trails with the Trek so I can't really compare. Of course it helps that I'm riding carbon wheels I'm also light-weight (160lbs) and don't ride super flowy trails with bermed corners and other features that would really help evaluate lateral flex. Most of my riding is on rocky, technical trails, steep punchy climbs, switch backs, etc., and where this bike truly amazes. Just my 2 cents.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    I think the usual setup is to fix the BB and seat post, then put in a solid-steel "dummy" fork and test deflection of the dummy fork. Not sure if this is straight ahead (i.e. push fork toward BB) or twisting deflection. But this is a measure of front triangle rigidity...
    Yes, at least that kind of procedure is used in the other german magazine (Bike) which also tests rear-end stiffness from the bottom bracket. Here is a german language description of Bike Magazine's bike test procedure

    So testet BIKE: Status Quo Saison 2013 - Test + Technik*|*BIKE das Mountainbike Magazin - Europas Nr. 1

    With regards to the wheel stiffness Bike had an interesting info on their latest wheel comparison test. They compared similar (Sram Rise 40) wheels in size 26", 27.5" and 29" for lateral stiffness. The 27.5 was 8 percent less stiff than 26. The difference between 29 and 26 was 16 percent.
    Pertti
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  16. #16
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    Put a 32mm station fork and lightweight wheelsets and tires on a HDR and see what how much flex you would get when pushed hard. The Ripley was unridable as a heavy rider with the above combo, I rode it a few demos. The Ripley (with 140mm Pike and stiff wheels.) is faster more efficient than my 160mm HD, 160mm Vengence with 20mm and I9 enduro wheelset in 95% of my riding. Yes for that 5% it has a bit of laderal flex compared to HD HDR but not compared to most lightweight xc trail 29r frames. The notable exception is a Mach 429C, wow that is stiff laterally in the rear but the wimpy forks walked all over the place.

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