Ripley/Fango owners...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Ripley/Fango owners...

    I'm really thinking about getting a fango. I'm coming off a y2k Cannondale Jekyll 900sl. Are you happy with the frame? Any other soft tails worth considering?

    thanks

  2. #2
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    The fango/silk ti/ ripley is an awesome bike, IMO there isn't a soft tail on the market that comes close. Moots is good, but they don't make a alu softy.

    I heard castellano isn't producing any more aluminum fango's and he's strictly making bikes out of Ti for now. If you order soon he probabally has one left in your size.

  3. #3

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    highly recomended

    I've spent the last two weeks on my new Fango. An extremely nimble bike that climbs like a goat. I opted for the Medium after I almost bought the Large based soley on the bike's specs on paper( I'm 5'11 and came from a 19" Hardtail with a 24.5" effective top tube). I would be interested in what size you buy and your height/weight because I went back in forth before making my decision( I was lucky enough to be able to test ride both sizes) I may eventually soften down to the 15" stock elastomer given that I'm a lite 150 lbs...the stock soft tail for the Medium size is feeling a bit stiffer than what I expected based on all the feedback I read. For the price$ it cant be beat. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    I rode a Fango most of last season and it is absolutely the perfect bike for me! I was a diehard hardtail fan but my aging back forced me to get some sort of rear suspension. I had been lusting after a Racer X for a couple of years but couldn't get myself to give up climbing efficiency so I took a chance on the Fango. It climbs better than my old Homegrown because of the increased traction and has enough travel in the back to keep me in control on rough downhills. Overall, I am considerably faster on the Fango than the Homegrown. The sizing is a little tricky. I'm 5'10" and went with the small size. I tried a medium and it was way too big for me. Go figure. The small fits me perfectly although I had to go with a 190lb top elastomer to go with the 150lb stock bottom elastomer to equal 170lbs. John's the man and hooked me up! I work in A2 so if you want to take my Fango out for a spin, give me a holla!

  5. #5
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    Hey, I also live in Ann Arbor! Small world. I have a 2001 Ripley (the only year they were made). I usually ride a size large frame, but also went with a medium Ripley. The sizing has worked out well for me. I estimate I have 10,000-12,000 miles on the frame, so it seems pretty durable. I have replaced the spring once, and it will need it again soon. Overall it has been a great bike and with no regrets in buying it over any other frame.

  6. #6
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    ... and if we just ...

    If it woldn't be too much trouble, I would GREATLY appreciate checkingout you ride in person; sizing seems to be a bit awkward so that would be especially helpful. I will send you an email through mtbr.

    -Amadeo

  7. #7
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    New question here.

    I contacted John about frame size availability and he said that he had no more smalls left. So Polk, I don't suppose that you be willing to meet with me and allow me to see how your medium woulf fit me?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaxe
    I contacted John about frame size availability and he said that he had no more smalls left. So Polk, I don't suppose that you be willing to meet with me and allow me to see how your medium woulf fit me?
    Yeah, we could do that. I have a 135 stem on it, though, which will probably throw the sizing off for you. I know someone that may still with a never built up small Ripley for sale. You can email me at [email protected]

    Ed

  9. #9

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    Fango for sale

    Iceaxe,

    When I bought my Fango last month I'm pretty sure that West End Cycles in Houston(713.861.2271) still has a black small in stock. If you decide you want a small size then that would be a good place to check. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
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    Buy It Do Not Think Twice

    I had a ripley and the bike was awesome. However, I did sell it to get the silk ti. The silk ti is a little bit better. I love both bikes. It takes the edge off while keeping the weight down. I felt comfortable on both bikes without any worry of frame failure. Occassionaly, I have jumped off of 3-4ft drops and the bike keeps on going! You wont be dissappointed!

  11. #11
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    Dude! - Just curious if you can give me a bit more detail as to how the Ripley compaers to the Silk Ti in corners and other types of handling. I have been assuming that the Ripley's longer top tube (i ride a small) would be a quicker, steadier ride at speed, although Im not sure about rocky descents?

    thanks

    ben

  12. #12
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    silk ti vs. ripley/fango

    Hey Shapirob..

    I have seen some of your other posts, as I recall you have a deal on small silk ti. I own both a small ripley (set up as singlespeed) and a small silk ti. I do not have the exact numbers for the silk ti, but it has about 1/2 inch smaller effective top tube. I am 5' 9''. I prefer a bit longer top tube, but I like you got a hell of deal on it. I do not really notice the smallish top tube too much, as I have a longer stem (130mm) on it. Basically, I had a ripley, got a good deal on the silk ti, sold the ripley for the silk ti, and then regretted selling the ripley, but ironically I purchased the same one back years later. During this time, I caved into peer-pressure from my buddies to buy a FS bike. I got a spider which has a 23in effective top tube and I like the longer top tube and slightly short stem 110mm (more for sprints). I have about 30.9 inch standover allowance. I have never racked myself (3 years on the silk ti)and I think I have a little over an inch clearance. I could have never ridden the medium ripley/fango.

    There are sublte differences in fit, but not enough to play a major factor in performance.
    The ripley is much more of a hardtail, which takes the edge off. I have never ridden one, but I imagine the ripley is more like the moots. The ripley whether it is the shorter travel or the aluminum has a different spring to it - snappier. The silk ti is like a mild FS bike. This is an awesome bike. The silk ti is fast and smooths out much more the trail, but it is not a FS. The silk ti muffles out much more of the small bumps/rocks than my FS. However, as trail noise gets biggers, you are out of the saddle, but because of the travel you legs are not getting beat-up. When you jump bike, the softtail cushions the blow much more on the silk ti then the ripley. I love the silk ti and I can ride it as fast downhill as my spider. To me the spider feels loose and out of control, but the suspension lets you go for it. The silk ti, I feel in control and it softens the blow so my bike skill lets me go faster. Because the of the small bump effectiveness, you will notice a slight pedal feedback, more so than on FS frame with pedal platform. However, when you jump out of the saddle, you hardly notice any pedal feedback and it just accelerates.

    Recently I borrowed a friends 29er Rig. Again limited time -the rig feels like a softtail until you hit a good size bump then the rear end jumps and the rig is a bit harsher on the subsquent bounces. The silk ti feels like a 29er, but a lot better on the isolated bumps. There are differences when there is a bit more chatter. The 29er rolls over everything a bit better and keeps the momentum. I am thinking of purchasing a 29er soon and setting it up to my specifications.

    The silk ti get most of the trail riding time. I just have fun on it. It does everything great! I like to singlespeed and the ripley/fango is great for out of the saddle, etc. The intense spider is a good bike, but it rides different. I spent months just riding the spider and when I jump back on the silk ti I just go aaahhh. I am a fantic about bike set-up. The spider and silk ti are set-up extactly the same. When I get on the silk ti, I feel more in control. It is very weird. The spider does allow me to make more mistakes and I use it more on night rides.

    You can not go wrong with the bike and John is great about answering questions, etc. I sent my silk ti to him and add disc tabs!!!

  13. #13
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    Dude ... thanks for your input ...

    well, i pulled a bit of ibis fanatic move. i did buy a small silk ti as well as my small ripley, the later which has a sweet yellow paint job and a new SID - i guess i couldnt really turn down the opporunity.

    I later spoke with john a bit and he sold me on a custom geometry in the future as I have a short inseam (30" or 29" by pants length) and a long torso for just under 5'7". He said my optimal riding position is with a 35mm setback seatpost and a 120mm with 15mm spacer, (although I ended up with 20mm) on the ripley. On the silk ti the set-back would be farther and the stem would be 135mm which was 'not optimal'.

    As it stands, the front wheel can wander a bit on the uphills unless I really squat in and down, which gets a bit tight. If I try to drop the stem at all, my neck seems to kill me. Plus i still getting that taint numbness, which is kind of driving me crazy. So, overall fit is still a little off, although I love the ride .... the bike is so sweet ... i love the soft tail design. It rides much better than my prior mojo, althouigh that ride needed a little tweeking as well.

    So.... the point of all this is that, based on John's comments, I assumed the silk ti was just going to be too short in the top tube small, thus I was planning on building it up for my girlfriend (lucky girl), as i think her trek y-5 is ready to smelted into a few bike locks, and someday get something custom for myself.

    But, after your comments perhaps I should build it up for myself and give her the ripley??? It sounds like we have a pretty close torso - perhaps a 130mm stem would be worth a try? I guess I am surpirsed that you dont find the Ripley a signficant better fit with your long torso. Also, dont you find that a 130mm stem is a bit too far forward for mildly techincal steep descents? I aready feel that way on the ripley, although some of that might be due to more difficult to get back behind the seat than my old mojo. It sure would be nice to get close to a full sus feel.

    vaya con dios

    ben

  14. #14
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    saga continues

    Yeah, I definitely would prefer a longer toptube as I prefer the ripley geometry over the silk ti geometry BUT prefer the silk ti's performance over the ripley. Again the silk ti is an awesome bike...

    Do you know what the standover height is for the medium silk ti? The difference for the ripley on castellano page is significant enough for me to need a custom build.

    I know it is not the best setup, but the Knee Over Pedal works well for me. Thus, set back seat posts do not work for me. I generally run my handlebars about 1.5 inches below the saddle, but not on the silk ti because of the longer stem. I am fairly flexible (which further supports the notion that I need a longer toptube) . Your numbness, is it in your hands? are you riding it now?

    You can't use pant length to determine inseam. I wear 30in pants which are not hanging or jacked up. Now - my saddle to center of bottom bracket height is 69.7cm + 17.5cm for crank length, totaling 87.2cm, which is 34.3 inches. If I wore 34 inch long pants, they would drag along the floor. And yet my maximum flat-footed with standover height is about 30.9 inches. One way to get this estimate is use you bike and go as far forward as you can on the top tube and then measure that elevation.

    Not that I place 100% faith on bike fit measurements, but I used competitive cyclist fit guide and it spits out number similar to my set-up.

    First small changes can make a huge difference. Get a bunch of smaller spacers, they are cheap. Tinker with the spacers below the stem and you can feel the bike change under you. A few milimeters can affect weighting. It is amazing. A 10mm change in stem length can really affect the bike's handling and weight distribution. And every person prefers a different setup and bike feel. Even if you have two similar bikes with the same set-up (a lot of my racer friends have this), yet the bikes feel different - go figure.

    My neighbors must think I am nuts, but I will change something ride around, change it back and ride around, etc.

    Recently I used a friend's Rig, 24 effective top tube and with a 110mm stem, though the reach was only two centimeters longer, it really stretched me out. Though I could ride it, it was too much for me. Again not sure if it is what I am used to and I could adapt....

    I just purchased a 29er. I will see how that goes. If I prefer the 26er, I may consider a custom silk ti frame, but that is a lot of cash.

    I have no problems on the descents. BTW I am running 90mm on front fork, which slackens the headtude angle. Basically, I cut the spacer in half in the fox fork. I know the silk ti use 80mm geometry, I wanted more travel, but did not want to affect the geometry to much...

    Good luck..

  15. #15
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    Sounds like you have ...

    a very dialed ride. I think I am likely making too many and too big an adjustment at once, as I tried to drop the stem 10mm and narrowed the bars less than 22". After that my neck was killing me! I will try to drop the stem just 5mm and see how it feels. As for my measurements - here's what the competitive cyclist came up with, which is pretty close to what JC said, and a ways from the silk ti:

    Measurements
    -------------------------------------------
    Inseam: 30
    Trunk: 25.5
    Forearm: 12.5
    Arm: 24.5
    Thigh: 21.5
    Lower Leg: 18.5
    Sternal Notch: 53.5
    Total Body Height: 66.75


    The Offroad Fit
    -------------------------------------------
    Hardtail Standover Height: 27.6 - 28.2 inches
    Full Suspension Standover Height: 28.6 - 29.2 inches
    Virtual Top Tube: 22.7 - 23.1 inches
    Stem Length: 11.2 - 11.8 cm
    BB-Saddle Position: 65.1 - 67.1 cm
    Saddle-Handlebar: 53.2 - 53.8 cm

    My current bike setup is with a 35mm set-back seatpost, adjusted by a shop for KOPS, 120mm stem, 170mm cranks, 20mm under the stem, and flat bars. My seat is about even with the stem - every time i try to set it lower, my neck ends up crapping out, as i mentioned. The front end is still a little light, unfortunately. And the numbness is crotch numbness and a little hand numbness both of which suggest to me that the fit is still a little off. I am on my second Koobi saddle trying to sort it out.

    Nevertheless, if you prefer the ride of the silk ti to a greater degree than the geometry difference, i should probably just switch - i assumed the fit would be too far off. Just out of curiousity, how does the smaller top tube fit with a longer stem - what do you notice in terms of ride or comfort?

    As for your question about the medium silk ti, the standover is 31.3" - the standover is the same for the silk ti and Ripley with the small and medium being 30.4" and 31.3". Since you have a 0.9" greater inseam than me, you would probably fit a medium how I fit a small in standover - a little tight, but reproductively still intact.

    BTW, you can look at geometry from the last ibis line-up at:

    http://ibiscycles.consumedesign.com/...lk_ti/reviews/

    Ben

  16. #16
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    Oh.... and it appears I need a set-back seat post to get my knees over the pedals as my legs are too short to get the proper backwards extension of the seatpost...

  17. #17
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    Dude - I think my question may have gotten lost in the ramblings there ... I was just curious hwo riding the shorter TT of the Silk Ti with a longer stem feels versus the 0.5" longer TT of the ripley. Also - Im thinking about getting one of those adjustable syntace stems to fine tune things a bit. And as for riding the Silk Ti - not yet ... I have to pick-up some new wheels and convert the Ripley for the lady.

    thanks

    Ben

  18. #18
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    I had a Fango briefly as a test run for the 29R Silk Ti, since I needed custom fit in a bad way. I loved the Fango with the climbing efficiency of an aluminum hardtail a rear suspension not so, so far off from short travel FS, like my former Giant NRS which, despite it's no sag design had 3.75" travel, real FS. THe Fango is very well made. My friends commented on the rear moving up and down alot but it felt rock steady and ultra efficient to me. If I wanted more suspension I put a Thudbuster on it. That would be even more amazing in ride comfort.

    Note that it is designed for 2.1 tires but I always preferred them anyway.

    John is a fantastic guy to deal with and will help tremendously on fit. He is terrific and possesses the brilliance commensurate with his MIT training.
    WYATT

  19. #19
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    Not too much different in handling. The longer top tube is better on the ripley, but not noticeable. Again this is riding my two bikes back to back. If you rode just one, you would not notice. I say build the silk ti up and give it ago...it is a fun bike.

    The question, is do you want more of a hardtail feel or FS feel?

  20. #20
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    I have a small Ibis Silk Ti that is going for sale/trade. See pics, description in the classified forums. Also, may be parting with an 18" Mojo Steel, 1997.....

  21. #21
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    th_boone -

    Just curious why you are selling your small Silk Ti???

    b

  22. #22
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    Silk..

    I am selling the silk ti because, sadly, very sadly, it is too small for me. I have always admired these bikes and came across this one. I snatched it up before someone else did, hoping to make it work, but I had to face the facts. It is currently set up with a short stem and ladies seat from the previous owner.

    ..Currently I am riding a steel Mojo, rigid, as my main mtb race bike...

  23. #23
    bub
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    Do you know if the castellano fango is still available ?
    I am looking for a nice softtail
    thanks

  24. #24
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    See castellanodesigns.com. He is still making very cool bikes...

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