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Thread: Stiff?

  1. #1
    Reputation: Ridnparadise's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    Thought I'd post this here rather than in general as there are usually plenty of non-Ibii lurking. Remember back a few years when everyone was bagging the Mojo c for not being rigid enough? Since then 29ers have taken off and a lot of riders have moved to the big wheels - some no doubt to the Ripley.

    Anyone been doing the parking lot tests that "proved" the Mojo was a noodle on their 29ers? I guess what I am asking is why is stiffness no longer an issue, because it is impossible for any 29er to be stiff compared to an equivalent 26er. Just watching the wheel flex when they go by makes me wonder where all the need for stiffness went in the last 3 years.

  2. #2
    Reputation: OriginalDonk's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're focused specifically on carbon frame stiffness which Ibis is involved in even though you refer to wheel flex in your last sentence.

    I think the single phrase answer to your question would this: advances in materials science and engineering, specifically the carbon layup process. The problem I see with comparing the Mojo C from 3 years ago to the Ripley or other frames currently produced is that you're not taking into account the evolution of the process of production. It sounds like a number of companies, Ibis included, are revising how they produce their molds, bladders, and layup processes to try and get longer uninterrupted strands of carbon fiber yielding higher strength for a given weight of material. Sounds like the Ripley is laid up in one piece with no joints.

    Ibis said they made some significant advances when they produced the Mojo HD and people who felt their Mojo C wasn't stiff enough went ahead and jumped on a Mojo HD 140 early or waited until the HD process and materials were transferred to the SL-R. It sounds like they employed another technique involving foam glass microspheres to add stiffness to the Ripley, a process that I assume will be carried forward in other new designs where appropriate.

    They did go back and apply some of these technological advances developed for the HD to the Mojo C yielding the SL-R. Whether or not people are satisfied with the stiffness should be shown in the reviews. The guys at Ibis and anybody else producing 29ers have to balance material used versus target weight. Some frames are lighter but flexier though many seem to be sufficiently stiff for their intended purpose. Advances in materials science and engineering are giving us stiffer bikes at the same weights or similarly stiff bikes and lower weights.

    If you want to talk about flexy wheels on a stiff frame, be it 26", 27.5", or 29" that's a different discussion all together. I agree that a similarly weight Stans Crest Rim laced to a hub with similarly weighted spokes in 26" and 29" wheels will yield a stiffer 26" rim. However, a 29" ENVE rim laced with similar spokes to the same hub may yield a wheelset of the same weight that is in fact laterally stiffer than the 26" Crest. Some believe Light Bicycle carbon rims are just what they need at a much lesser cost than ENVE's while others fork out for ENVE's layup and QC process. I personally don't believe all carbon is created equal and get inappropriately excited when new tech emerges (i.e. nanomaterials).

    It all boils down to rider preference, budget, and terrain. I've ridden a hardtail with a carbon wheelset that was, in fact, too stiff and unforgiving for the terrain and duration I was riding. Good thing we have so many options with many companies that stand firmly behind their products.

  3. #3
    Too Much Fun
    Reputation: benja55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Cool-blue Rhythm One man's stiffy is another man's soft banana...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Remember back a few years when everyone was bagging the Mojo c for not being rigid enough? Since then 29ers have taken off and a lot of riders have moved to the big wheels - some no doubt to the Ripley.
    Ahhh yes, the days of yesteryears! Time heals all wounds.

    I thought the Mojo C StiffnessGate was pretty hilarious when it was in full blush, but bikes and people are funny things. Who's to say?

    I will say that I've had a few friends who've ridden (real rides, not parking lot gnar) the Ripley report that it's one of the stiffest rear ends on a bike that they've ever felt. And this is coming from HD riders who also spend time on Spesh, Pivot, Turner etc.

    So FWIW, it does seem like the new Ripley rear is "stiff", whatever that may mean...
    - -benja- -

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: doismellbacon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    I guess what I am asking is why is stiffness no longer an issue
    Because the trolls and haters have moved on to subjects like 27.5 vs 29, arguing over 10mm of travel, chainstay length, and internal cable routing... thinking that those things will give them the magic white unicorn bike they've always needed to elevate their game.
    Meanwhile Ibis is selling the bejesus out of Mojo SL Special Blends to late adopters who are nothing but stoked to grab such a great bike for less than $3k.

    .... and there's probably something to all that stuff about new carbon processes too

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