My current top rated rides
As many of you know I keep up pretty
well on all the cool new cycling innovations and personally try out
many products. I go to the Interbike trade show every year and there are always new
and exciting products that are introduced. Some work out and become
a main stay of the cycling world and some do
I love cycling and I love the
technology that goes into them. I try to find and ride the very
best of everything there is to offer... within reason ;-)
The numerous questions about my
bike(s) I ride might be answered below. I have
posted up my current ride(s) and will add reviews and comments as I
have time. I will try to keep it
up to date as my bikes are in a constant state of change.
YOU CAN BE SURE OF THIS:
If you have not checked out the newest technology of the last couple
of years you are missing out on substantial improvements that have
been made in this industry.
Ibis Ripley 29er
After my 26er Ibis Mojo and SC Tallboy I knew immediately I wanted a
"29er Mojo".... well, the Ripley is kinda that! All new DW link
design = superb pedaling efficiency and great geometry for great
handling..... my dream bike!?
The bike comes spec'd with the Fox
120mm fork, but after a few rides I had the hankering for my Lefty
Currently I'm riding
my Ripley with a 2012 Lefty. Although I have a 2013
Lefty I chose the later model for it's unparalleled plushness. SRAM
1x11 for my drivetrain and XT brakes with Ashina Air rotors provide
great stopping power.
I went ahead and popped for the new 2014 Easton carbon XC wheels,
although with the Lefty I have to run my Stan's Race Gold wheel....
not sure I can tell much difference between the two wheels.
So far in either fork set up this thing is great, however if
you go Lefty you will need a custom spacer on the lower end of the
steertube to get the proper axle to crown height. The spec'd fork
(via Ibis' strong recommendation) is the 120mm Fox with the bigger
51mm offset. The Lefty has the traditional 46mm offset. I actually
prefer the standard 46mm offset, it makes the bike more nimble
(quicker) in the tight stuff and I have seen no noticeable
instability in fast downhill's.
22.7 lbs with a dropper seatpost - not bad! More on this great bike
as I tinker with it!
Santa Cruz was
a great sponsor for us from 2009-2012 and the Tallboy 29er is still
one of the best XC 29ers out there. I'm still riding my TB regularly,
it's just too much fun not to!
This is still one of my favorite and
This bad boy rolls over everything sooooo nice! Except for
the Lefty (using the adapter kit from
the bike build is currently a
XTR XC build with
Stan's Gold Race wheels. I recently did the WolfTooth 1x10 conversion on it.... and I love
it. 21.8 lbs as you see it.
I was originally running a Fox 120mm fork with a
Terralogic damper (It's like having an automatic lock out).
As you see I currently run a Cannondale Lefty at 120mm
If you want the stiffest, plushest sweetest ride, go Lefty!
How do I like this bike? It is
my go to fun bike. It is so easy and fun to ride. If I have a guest
drop in, I put them on my Tallboy jut to "treat them right"! On any given ride at the end of the
day I feel I expend a fair amount less energy on this 29er than even
my flyweight Mojo below.
At first it did not feel as quick in the
tight twisties, as a 26er, but I've gotten used to it and now I'm faster soooo
Here was my super fun, super sweet
I sold this to a friend, but still miss how fun this bike was. It is a flyweight (yet
long travel) XC
racer at only 21.8lbs set up like you see below:
Ibis Mojo SL - Medium w/Fox RP23
Lefty Carbon 140 PBR
Project 321 Lefty adapter
Stan's NoTubes Olympic rims on American Classic
rear hub and
Project 321 front hub.
Components - 160mm Ft, 160mm Rr
Tires: Changes with conditions,
Kenda , Specialized, Bontrager
Crank: Shimano XTR M970 - 175mm
Pedals: Crank Bros 4 Ti Egg beaters
Cassette: Shimano XTR 12-34
Derailleurs: Shimano XTR M971
Brakes: Shimano XTR hydraulic
Jagwire HiFlow hose
Stem: Ibis 3D forged 110mm
Handlebars: Easton MonkeyLite XC carbon
Seatpost: Easton EC90 carbon
Saddle: Selle San Marcos Caymano -
Grips: Bontrager XXX foam
Current weight 21.8 lbs
5.5" travel front,
5.5" travel rear
The Mojo is an awesome bike. It it really
"flick-able" and I love it for popping of of every little bump. It is
extremely cushy... yet I consider it
an "All mountain cross country racer" It does both extremely well. I
suppose if I were to going to seriously set it up for race the only
thing I might change would be to go back to
my Fox 130 or 140mm fork with the
Terralogic inertia dampening valve for
a better pedal platform. The Lefty has a lock out, but during racing I'd
rather not fiddle with it.
The Lefty that is on there now is simply the plushest and laterally
stiffest "fork" (actually a strut) I've ever ridden. It tracks superbly
and it's point and shoot over the nasties.
The "DW LINK" on the rear suspension works awesome, plush yet minimal
bob when you stand up, no wonder so many frame manufacturers are using it
now. You turn on the "Pro-Pedal" on the shock and the bob really goes
away... but I almost always run mine open for better bump roll over.
This bike is basically a full Shimano XTR rig and the new XTR stuff
works great. The shifting is smooth
and the brakes are very good at my weight (145#). The current Lefty is more more "all mountain" oriented, but
has a push button lock out, so still OK for XC racing.
General opinions and recommendations:
Here is a question I get ALL THE TIME: I want to do some upgrades
on my bike and cannot afford a new bike, what should I do? The first few
things I would recommend are:
Go with a 1 x set up. Simpler, lighter weight
and works for almost everyone.
Go tubeless! You can run lower air pressures
(you roll OVER the bumps instead of bouncing), you won't get flats
(OK I've had one flat in 2 years) and if you do it right you will
lose some rotating weight.
Go tubeless "correctly". What I mean is buy or
build a set of wheels set up for going tubeless instead of using a
conversion kit. Conversion kits typically use a thick rubber rim
strip, that adds weight. I highly recommend the
rims or full
wheel sets. Even their set of "house brand" Alpine wheels for only
$435 weighs around 1350 grams. Any other wheel set and you'd have to
spend $700, $800 or 900 to get that.
I admit... I was a real hold out on the tubeless thing... I was
"forced" into tubeless when I bought a used single speed. I could
not believe how well it handled over the bumps! I was used to running
35-38 lbs of air pressure, now I am running only 22-24psi! Amazing!
What about rolling resistance? With high pressures the very small gain
you might see in reduced rolling resistance (and only on flat, smooth
hard pack) is negated by the bouncing up and back over anything else. The many benefits
of tubeless outweigh tube tires by far IMO:
Better handling, better bump roll-over - this is where you really make
up a lot, and better traction. I actually run my
tires as low as possible, until I start to feel excess side wall flex,
or I'm in danger of hitting my rim. Currently I run 22-24psi.
be added onto as I have time....
A few more pic's: