Field Test: Ibis Exie - Ready for Your Next XC Race

Oct 25, 2022 at 17:02
by Sarah Moore  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Ibis Exie



Words by Sarah Moore; photography by Tom Richards


Ibis introduced the Exie just over a year ago, right in time for their 40th anniversary. The carbon 29" cross-country bike is built in a factory near the brand's Santa Cruz, California, headquarters and already has several podiums under its belt after a first season on the World Cup circuit under Jenny Rissveds.

While some of the bikes we tested in Quebec lean more towards the trail side of things, the Exie is geared towards cross-country racers with its 100mm of rear travel. It's definitely part of a new generation of more capable cross-country bikes, however, since that 100mm of rear travel is paired with a 120mm fork and a 67.2° head-tube angle.
Ibis Exie Details
• Travel: 100mm rear / 120mm fork
• Carbon frame
• 67.2° head-tube angle
• Reach: 439mm (med)
• 73.8–75.9° seat-tube angle
• 435mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL
• Weight: 24.6 lb / 11.1 kg
• Price: $10,048 USD
www.ibiscycles.com

Ibis sent us the middle-of-the-line X01 build, which came to a cool $10,048 USD when we added the optional carbon wheels. There are three builds available, with the XT version coming in at $7,999 USD and the XX1 AXS setting you back a whopping $12,799 USD. You can also buy the frame and build it up yourself for $4,499 USD.

The SRAM X01 build we tested features a Fox Factory Series 34 Stepcast fork with a Fit 4 damper and a Fox Float DPS rear shock. The suspension is controlled by a lockout at the handlebar. Stopping was done by Shimano's XT brakes and the size medium we rode came with a 160mm Bike Yoke Revive dropper that got the saddle out of the way nicely. We tested all of these bikes with control tires, but it's worth noting that the Exie comes with Maxxis's wider-than-used-to-be-typical-for-cross-country Recon Race 2.4" tires.



Trailforks Regions Where We Tested

The Sentiers du Moulins trail system was just one of the five trail networks we explored on the Ibis Exie. Filled with long, exposed bedrock, a healthy dose of machine made and naturally flowing tech trails, this zone surprised us with all of the gems hidden on either side of the valley.

We admired the views and the rock work on Crête du Lynx, before heading down the fast and flowy Maelstrom, which had tons of berms and rollers to fly through.


Sentiers du Moulin mountain biking trails






Climbing

Just looking at this XC whippet and its spindly rear triangle, you’d expect the 100mm of rear wheel travel to get up and go. And get up and go it does! The first ride I did on this bike was on the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup cross-country course, and I had forgotten just how steep and demanding it is. I was really glad to have this bike on my side for the tight corners and steep sections with questionable traction.

The Exie comes with a 50mm length stem, which is on the short side for a full-on cross-country race bike, and that paired with the steep head tube angle makes it easy to change directions quickly and choose the best line up the climb. I felt that the Exie really put me into an ideal position for putting power onto the pedals on climbs. While it doesn't have size-specific chainstays, the size-specific seat angles should mean that a wider range of riders feel like they're in that optimal climbing position as well.

As for the suspension, there's some sort of magic going on with the DW link suspension and it ekes out traction from the Exie's short amount of travel and lets you conquer the trickiest puzzles on technical climbs. The Exie powers up hills without sapping energy, but when you make a mistake or get bumped off line, the suspension is forgiving of mistakes and allows the rider to continue to grind up. There's definitely more to the Exie than just a gleaming raw carbon finish and a low number on the scale.




Descending


While the Exie is forgiving on the climbs, you'd better be paying attention when you start descending. Due to the steep head angle (compared to the other bikes we had on test) and relatively short stem, it feels like the front wheel is more underneath you than it did on some of the other, less race-focused bikes we had in the mix in Quebec.

That being said, it doesn't feel delicate and mistakes can be made without disastrous results. The frame is a comfortable ride and the traction we noticed on the uphill exists on the descents too. It's just that the geometry is definitely happier on sections of trail that aren't too steep and it takes a different level of concentration to make the bike work for you.




Pros

+ Serious traction both up and down
+ Quality looking frame
+ Made in the USA


Cons

- Steeper head angle is noticeable on the descents
- Same length chainstays on all bikes
- Lockout lever is in a clumsy position







The 2022 Downcountry Field Test is presented by Québec City Mountain Bike, Sweet Protection and Specialized Ground Control Tires





214 Comments

  • 260 3
 Not a fan of the imbedded player. The size of the video is bigger than the viewable space on my browser (chrome) and I don't always want to make it full screen. Auto play is also annoying. So, I'm just going over the youtube. I am not sure if Pinkbike staff have control over using the player or if it is a directive from the new overlords. But, putting it out there that proprietary video players that auto play are annoying. Imbed the youtube video like before, and make it so it fits within browser windows.
  • 9 0
 In another comment thread it was mentioned that there's a setting in the profile to disable autoplay. I haven't checked yet if it's true.
  • 45 0
 @gariel22: Thank for the tip, I found it. Profile > Edit Profile > Video Playback Settings > Turn off Autoplay.

Still. Why do media companies believe they need their own proprietary video player, other than to keep you on their site rather than youtube? Invariably they are worse and clunkier and I cannot then easily go find the other videos in the series. It's all posted to youtube anyway.
  • 14 1
 @pisgahgnar: developers providing 'value'
  • 34 0
 Please disable autoplay. For the love of all things good.
  • 37 0
 @gariel22: changing it within your profile does not stop the autoplay
  • 10 0
 Yeah, same issue with the video being bigger than the viewable space on my screen (also in chrome). It's been like that for a while.
  • 14 0
 @ppp9911: LMAO you are completely correct. It still autoplays!
  • 7 0
 @toast2266: yeah, but it was an issue event with YT, someone on PB has a little to big screen Wink
And embedded player, it's simple, you can play adverts you are paid for, not YT. Even Vital has this for a long long time. This is kind of funny cause it shows that this Outside subscription thing did not really catch on, did id? I remember they were saying they will be more independent of adverts, blah blah and now guess what, more commercials.
  • 36 8
 As a frontend developer, who works for a streaming company, and having built more than one video player, and extensively working in A/B testing with users who watch video, here is my two cents:

1. You can't rely on youtube. Its great for starting out; hosting, streaming (esp live), and distributing high bandwidth video is incredibly hard. This is one of the greatest achievements in the modern era, and we all don't even give it a second thought. However, your company can't rely on external services like this forever. Youtube unpredictably "moderates" people. Their streaming quality sometimes takes a dive. It can adversely affect your page load. At some point you have to own your own content.

2. Most A/B testing finds increased user engagement when videos autoplay. I very much doubt that Pinkbike is AB testing us in this way, but Outside is just copying industry trends. 80% of traffic on this site is mobile, and autoplay is critical to most mobile conversion metrics (think tiktok). The problem here is that what is "conversion" and "engagements"? I think it is a mistake for this audience. (on that note, most of the full width and other complaints don't apply to mobile, where once again 80% of the traffic is).

I get that there are issues here, I don't like the new player either, but unfortunately large corporations can't afford to shoot from the hip or go by someones gut. Small startups can do that because they generally aren't profitable and/or they have people working for hopes and dreams instead of bimonthly payroll. A large ship like Outside HAS to follow industry data until proven wrong, instead of the luxury of waiting for something to be proven right first in this specific situation.
  • 30 0
 I have a sneaking suspicion that pinkbike is crawling with engineers and designers. And I'd wager that many of them are whinging about autoplay.

For the devs out there who haven't seen the light : autoplay is intrusive, obnoxious, interruptive, bad for accessibility, generally bad practice, against apple developer guidelines, forces mobile data usage without permission, and is the main cause for high bounce rates.

Did I mention it's plain annoying?
  • 15 0
 @pisgahgnar: It's not proprietary, it's JW Player. Odds are PB wants to eventually monetize their videos without YouTube getting a cut.

www.jwplayer.com/video-monetization
  • 10 3
 @hughbm: True, it is annoying, I hate it, but you can't argue with the data. If you were the project manager, and your engineers just did an A/B test that shows autoplay increases conversion by 2%, and each conversion is worth $10, and you have 10,000 conversions a day, thats $2,000/day more that your company could make, ceteris paribus. Now you, as the project manager, in the next planning meeting, has to pitch to the head of Design that that $2,000/day has to be left on the table because it "annoys" you.

The best response to this is "so autoplay gives you a short term bump in conversions, guess what so does clickbait. Its like drugs, good in the short run, bad in the long run." And thats a very good point. For many platforms, probably pinkbike included, the audience is very targeted and isn't dominated by 20 year olds still exploring life, finding their hobbies, making small purchases, and being very fickle with their purchaces. However, idk if Outside has the resources to AB test pinkbike, and the industry data around video autoplay is very robust, in both the short run and the long run. the A/B data at my company is very robust, with our data being processed by PhD statisticians, and a firewall between AB results and actually rolling out a policy 100%.
  • 6 0
 @hamncheez: Personally, I'd be 3% more likely to convert if the damn video player wasn't bigger than the viewable space on my screen.
  • 1 1
 @toast2266: Try it on your phone. 80% of traffic on this site is mobile.

That being said, css media queries were invented over a decade ago, so it doesn't have to be full width once you get to devices that are primarily used in landscape. However, would you as a project manager prioritize the 20% or the 80% first?
  • 9 0
 @hamncheez: But I'm trying to slack off at work and I have this nice big monitor in front of me. I don't want to look at it on my little phone screen.
  • 3 0
 Mine doesn't autoplay - think it's my Firefox browser settings stopping it as hadn't found the pinkbike profile ones
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: As a project manager (not in tech though) I would prioritize the 80% but would not take forever to fix what you state is an easy thing to address. Because, public opinion is so important on this site and the comment chains get out of hand when people are upset. So it's not just the 20% of people being annoyed by the size of the video, the other 80% will see negative comments, probably latch on to the train, and form further negative opinions.

Also @toast2266 ... exactly. I've got two massive monitors in from of me at the home office. MS project on one, pinkbike on the other :-)
  • 10 0
 I think it's telling that all the top comments aren't about the 10k ibis. You have to scroll pretty far to see any bike related comments. I'm guessing it's indicative of how little interest there generally is in xc bikes especially ones that don't have reasonably priced versions. Everyone was all about the cheap/cheerful rsd, but a 10k wc winning ibis... meh. I for one would be much more interested in budget xc bikes, budget trail, or hardtails than 10k xc bike.

And yeah, whoever at outside decided to use forced autoplay deserves a sriracha enema.
  • 5 1
 Ha, would you look at that! Everyone refresh your page, its no longer full width on desktop! Cheerio, pinkbike/outside devs!

I'll still complain about the mobile site being loaded by user agent instead of css media queries!
  • 8 0
 @hamncheez: This day will go down in history as the day that bitching in the comment section actually achieved something!
  • 6 0
 @toast2266: I did something good for the world! YES

Still autoplays even though I changed the setting in my profile... let the bitching continue.
  • 1 3
 not auto on my mac as I disabled the "AUTO" setting in preferences. Whats the BS all about?
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: thank you for the detailed explanation! I understand why these things are the way they are, and i also absolutly hate this part of the world we live in, where our lives are just units of content or engagement.
  • 1 0
 @madmon: Safari? Or Chrome(ium)?
  • 1 0
 @chriskief: Yep my first thought was this must be about controlling advertising? Seems obvious to me, as a content person myself.
YouTube are hardly renowned for their generous revenues. I'm sure PB can make more $$$ selling video ads direct.
  • 2 0
 At this point, my only point of contention is that it still autoplays after you turn off autoplay in the profile settings.
  • 135 5
 Beautiful, just beautiful. The shape, the lines, the definition. Oh those angles. Adore all of the features of Mike Levy's face. The bike, however, is not to my taste
  • 1 1
 ...Needs Pegs \m/
  • 86 1
 Please turn off embedded autoplay, its a data drain for those of us without 1tb data plans.
  • 67 4
 I know beauty is in the eye of beholder but am I the only who thinks it is weird the reviewers think this is a good looking frame and the RSD isn't. Maybe it is my terrible eye sight?
  • 46 7
 Agreed. I think the RSD looks super rad. All Ibis bikes are a little ugly IMO.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how different they look in the metal. So much talk about how great BMC looks, and I find it to be nothing special. Then I see the Lapierre, which seems to absolutely pop with those lines and colours on-screen, and no mention of its looks (yet).
  • 5 9
flag skywalkdontrun (Oct 31, 2022 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 @PeakHopper: I know a guy with a Ripmo alloy, and it looks like crap. Their welds are so uneven compared to companies that have made their bones with alloy bikes, and the tube angles are gross.
  • 6 1
 RSD is a way better looking bike. I don't know if there has ever been an Ibis that I'm like,"yes, that's a good looking bike".
  • 4 4
 @marlon-d: the new ebike looks sick
  • 3 2
 yeah, don't like the top tube and chainstays on the Ibis. Linkage too. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  • 2 1
 @wburnes: Their new eeb looks like a Marin.
  • 5 2
 It’s that kinked top tube, it’s what’s basically stopped me from buying an Ibis, if that was a straight top tube maaaan I think it would be a looker
  • 2 1
 This one looks like it crashed on its way out of the factory. The Ripmo looks quite nice by comparison.
  • 7 3
 frame looks like dog shit but if someone gave it to me for free to ride I would ride it. Also $10K FOR 24.6LBS... L O f*ckING L.
  • 44 1
 contrary to popular opinion....you can ride a bike with a steep HTA. 67 is not that steep by XC standards...but it does come down to stem length. Like they said in the video, put a longer stem on this bike and it'll do wonders for its handling
  • 4 0
 Bingo. Heck, my Transition Vanquish HT is a half-degree steeper plus additional steepness caused by the front end sagging/diving since it's a hardtail. I notice it compared to my trail bike, but I almost prefer it for the type of ride where I'm going to pick my hardtail over my trail bike, which is probably a similar ride that you'd be looking for with a bike like the Ibis.
  • 23 0
 Yeah what the hell. 67 degrees is not steep at all for this type of bike.
  • 2 0
 I'm fully on board with anyone riding any bike (and HA) they want. I mean it, just get out and ride, whatever.

But, in a race scenario, what advantage does a 67 HA offer over a 65? The main complaint I hear about slack(er) HAs is that they can suck the fun out of a flatter, calmer trail and they can feel more boat-like on sharp hairpins.

Would avoiding either of those traits outweigh the added stability and confidence in the downs, where a race (and season) is rarely won, but can very easily be lost?
  • 7 1
 longer stem will actually make handling on descends worse tho not better.
  • 1 0
 @MumblesBarn: you make the assumption that you gain less than you lose by a slacker. HA. That would have to be measured. Also not sure if everyone thinks of this as a pure race bike
  • 2 0
 I've been riding my 65 HA fully and recently switched to my 69.5 HA HT. I find it to be fun as hell and don't really feel like it holds me back any. It's refreshing to be on something that's a bit quicker to respond to steering inputs. I wouldn't go any steeper though. The 65 HA does feel a lil awkward in some situations.
  • 3 0
 @MumblesBarn: The problem is that that same boat-like feel also applies to the uphills, where all races are ALWAYS won or lost.
  • 4 0
 The revel ranger has a 67.5 hta and got the “ready to shred” anecdote from levy in the XCDC field test.
  • 3 0
 @SATN-XC, Yep.

Some of us (have to) live where it’s flat. A bike with a 62 degree head angle does me no favors at my local.
  • 1 0
 @plustiresaintdead: That thing shreds.
  • 43 2
 I about spit my coffee out o when I heard $10.4k and middle of the road build mentioned in the same sentence. Oof!
  • 7 0
 I went to college to be able to afford a middle-of-the-road bike, and now middle of the road is pushing towards 20% of my starting salary.

Jokes aside it looks beautiful, and I've heard good things about it being used as a bikepacking rig. Shame I can't afford it for the next 30 years :/
  • 1 0
 @intelligent-goldfish: now imagine you are in a country with lower wages. I'm a 35 year old manager and $10k is f*cking steep even if I dont have kids
  • 14 2
 It's really expensive to manufacture products in a place where people are very happy to live and pay them a wage where they can live there. This bike is not going to be in every shop and available in masses. I commend Ibis for bringing production back to the states for this model and giving people jobs they're stoked to have.
  • 5 10
flag Marquis (Oct 31, 2022 at 15:18) (Below Threshold)
 @Chondog94: Oh, please - you really think they need to charge $10k for a middle-spec bike to pay those nice people a living wage?? Only the frame is made in USA. All the other parts are made in Asia. Maybe Ibis frame-makers get paid $200 per hour?
  • 5 0
 @Marquis: You’ve clearly done a lot of COG’s on domestically
manufactured goods, my bad dude
  • 4 0
 @Marquis: margins on bikes are not that great honestly. You might be surprised.
  • 8 4
 @plustiresaintdead: I have trouble buying it. Understanding that we need to control for a difference between DTC and dealer sales models, how do you reconcile firms like GG (carbon frames manufactured in the U.S. in a fairly expensive state) pumping out 'bling' bikes for $6.5k, when this thing will set you back $10-13k? Now consider that Ibis undoubtedly sells significantly more bikes than GG, which would imply more significant discounting on OE spec components from their suppliers.

Now consider the absolute COGs of the frame itself - there is nothing especially interesting about the frame design, and it would be easy to argue that it uses appreciably less raw material than our counterpoint's frames.

In any mature market there will be select organizations that price themselves out of sales volume, but still hit their profit goals through inflated margins. Nothing wrong with this strategy. But the fact remains: consumers are often paying a premium for a product that is at parity with other, less expensive options.
  • 7 0
 @KJP1230: thermoset vs thermoplastic carbon. Different manufacturing method, takes less time. Not apples to apples.
  • 5 0
 @Chondog94: Seriously, it’s unreal! It’s great to see companies making bikes (and other goods) in favorable conditions for their employees!
Makes me personally want to fork over the extra cash.
  • 10 1
 @KJP1230: Comparing a modular design with an extremely basic suspension design, to a hand laid design using the molds for only ONE frame, with a DW link, is disingenuous at best.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: Fair - an I appreciate the information. If you know more about these two methods, can you help me estimate the actual difference in terms of materials or time inputs? Genuinely curious.
  • 1 1
 @KJP1230: I don't know the deets. Just that this is why GG is reasonably priced.

www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a26766146/guerrilla-gravity-new-carbon-mountain-bikes
  • 3 1
 There are a few other reason GG is reasonably priced:

Their investment into carbon manufacturing was relatively low, because they sort of homebrewed their own mold, robots, forms and baking machines. They didn't buy anything off the shelf. They also took advantage of low cost loans and even grants from the State of Colorado.

Ibis, alternatively, is manufacturing in one of the highest-property-cost states in the USA, in a new facility, using lots of off-the-self stuff, and manufacturing their frames in a labor intensive way.

Argonaut and Allied both make frames in the USA, and they are equally expensive to the Ibis, despite the fact that Allied makes their frames in Arkansas.

It sorta makes you wonder what percentage of the frame cost is upper management compensation? I asked Payson McElveen if he got a cut of his special edition frame or not. Does the additional cost of the Allied or Argonaut or Ibis go into the hands of the people actually manufacturing these frames, or does it go into the pockets of ownership, investors, etc?
  • 2 1
 @PHeller: a bit of both. A skilled laborer makes more in the US than China or Vietnam whether it's in CA or AR, so they've gotta pay it. No way around it.

But ultimately the market dictates what people will pay for a frame. I don't think many people would buy from Ibis, Allied, WAO if the frames were $6k. But $4.5k? That's just typical Santa Cruz, Yeti etc.. pricing for commie frames. I think these thermoset/hand laid North American frames were priced with that in mind. From eg WAO's perspective they have a beautiful frame, a dual link suspension, glowing reviews...why wouldn't they price it like a SB150? I don't think the front offices are losing money on local production, but probably aren't profiting quite as much either.
  • 41 0
 It's got a proper badge on the headtube Smile
  • 9 0
 The final iteration of it I'm sure
  • 34 1
 It's almost like this bike is designed for XC.If only Ibis made a bike with around 120mm of rear travel and a slacker head angle...
  • 6 1
 Had Ripley v4 with endgame equip in 2022, made 3000km on it. Super bike, especially downhill. Sold it and ordered Exie frame Big Grin
Deep in my soul I feel Ripley was too traily for me and Exie will be much better on my 100-150km daily trail adventures Smile
  • 1 0
 @Strenki: 100-150k! Man I am so not an XC guy Smile . Nice looking bike though. I sold the ripley becuase I thought it was too XC for me. When I was on my A game it handled all of the gnarlier trails surprisingly well, but it I was riding bad or unfocused it was not the safest down my local laps. Still miss it though!
  • 1 1
 Rear travel wasn't a complaint on this bike, and the Ripley V4/V4S is only 1/2 a degree slacker.

I've run a -1* angleset on my Ripley V4 and while it does help with descending, if you're on the larger sized frames, it becomes really obvious that the chainstays are now too short for how long the front center is now.

The Ripley is a great bike, but with the Exie in the lineup now, it's in a weird spot where it has too much overlap with what the Exie is capable of, and the Ripley isn't really all that much better on gnarlier trails.
  • 1 1
 @FrankS29:

If you're doing a test on "downcountry" bikes, l'd argue the ripley is the better all around choice.Unless you're riding xc, which most of us aren't.

I'd also argue you're going about it wrong by trying to turn the Ripley into something its not by putting on an angleset or lengthening the chainstays. Its fine for you to not like the bike, but for some of us it's a great trail bike.
  • 2 1
 @aaronufl: You do realize putting an angle set in the Ripley V4 to slacken it 1* is simply doing what Ibis themselves are doing with the Ripley AF, right?

So, slackening the Ripley V4 a degree is not making it something it's not, it's making it something the Ripley already is.

As for the chainstay length, size specific chainstays are only going to become more and more prevalent. It's simply crazy that at this point we still expect people ride the same chainstay length on a bike model, no matter if you're 5'1" or 6'3". Again, even Ibis is going this direction with their new ebike that has size specific chainstays. Without them, you have different sized bikes riding completely different from one another because the front centers of the bikes are so different.

For the prices we pay for bikes these days, it's not too much to ask for at least 2 sizes of rear triangles, one for smaller bikes and a longer one for larger bikes. Heck, you can even get crazy with it and let people pick what triangle they want when they are buying the bike.
  • 46 15
 Curved top tubes need to die
  • 1 2
 Yes!
  • 3 7
flag fstws6 (Oct 31, 2022 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 Yep..big reason why i dont like such bikes...it's also too expensive for what it is..can find similar specd at lower price point!!!
  • 2 0
 They existed when we had to have longer seat tubes while still maintaining good standover. As droppers get longer and longer, curved top tubes are less necessary. THAT BEING SAID the target audience is still skeptical about dropper posts in general, and tend to run 80mm of drop instead of 200mm, but that being said again, straight tubes are stronger/lighter, and this is an XC bike where weight almost trumps all.
  • 5 0
 I wonder if this particular top tube is curved because of the placement of rear shock linkage? If the top tube was straight, then the front shock linkage would need to be longer. That would be much uglier than a curved top tube, IMO. I doubt they could do a straight top tube and a short linkage, as that would raise the front of the rear shock and mess with the geometry of the suspension.
  • 2 0
 @boopiejones: I suspect you're right. Good eye.

Ultimately the bike would most likely be lighter if the link actuated a vertical shock, but then it would be harder to fit dual bottles in the frame. I also like the look of horizontally mounted shocks, if you ask me (but I hate shock yoke extensions!)
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: @boopiejones is right. It's about the placement of the rear shock and the ammount of bottles. In this case, it's done so well, you can put two bottles on the frame.

What I wonder though, why do you say that the target audience is running 80mm posts? I NEVER EVER see short post on other people's bikes. 125mm minimum
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: the only people spending $10k for a bike like this are XC racers
  • 2 0
 @vhdh666: My xc race bike has 80mm post: bikeyoke divine sl rascal. Came from 100 and 125mm droppers. For an actual race bike it's perfect. Lightweight and reliable, and can still pedal efficiently through tricky situations found on a xc course.
  • 23 6
 Hold on. "Mid-level model" and "$10,000+" should not ever go together. Also, I get that Ibis' ride well, but their design aesthetics are hideous.
  • 10 0
 To be fair, their “middle build” on this rig is an X01 affair with carbon wheels that are stupid light and the nicest suspension and dropper on the market for bikes in this class. When your worst build still gets factory suspension and an XT 12s group, you’re starting your bar way higher than most.
  • 19 2
 A curved top tube threatens the manlihood of so many Pinkers.
  • 2 0
 It certainly threated the manhood of someone if the frame didn't leave the factory with that curve!
  • 1 0
 It's not curved, it's kinky. That's why we feel the threat
  • 1 0
 @Uuno: but kinky sounds good
  • 2 0
 @Uuno: Curved and kinky is how I like em!
  • 14 1
 Pick a chainstay length and be a dick about it.
  • 11 1
 Jenny Rissveds was faster than the others on snowshoe descents, which Keller noted after the race. is it all about Jenny?

if you watch the replay you can see that jenny literally overtakes on the descents
  • 2 0
 As did many others
  • 4 0
 Snowshoe was a complete mudfest. I think it had more to do with the rider, confidence and skill, than it had to do with the bike on that day.
  • 7 0
 @pisgahgnar: Yeah, Rissveds shreds. She could've overtaken on a clapped out steel tricycle.
  • 2 0
 Jenny taught me how to climb. I showed her how to dangle.
  • 9 0
 6'4, 215lbs, I have 2000km+ of trail riding and a bit of XC racing on XL exie. This summer lots of Ontario, with a bit of Quebec, East Coast and Vermont. Have a V4 Ripley, Ripmo AF and basically rode this exclusively given the choice of the three. I removed the Lockouts and put some we are one union wheels on out of the box also 180mm front rotor and quad piston xts. I have run Rekon front Rekon Race rear with surprising success. Tight tech this is the fastest bike I have ridden. My XL with XT 200mm dropper, pedals and cages comes in around 27lbs.

It doesn't carry speed through larger rough rock gardens with multiple hits as well as the Ripley and in Bromont I prefer the Ripmo otherwise it does crazy well. I find I can pull it through tight tough stuff easier than any other bike and the pedal out as soon as I need to. At race speed I found I occasionally got on top of the front end and may have crashed a couple times... not sure that was the bike though. I tried a 60mm stem but preferred the 50mm.

I can't stress enough how well it carries speed, is comfortable and surprising capable on medium sized jumps and drops.

Weirdly I might say this bike is the most planted over steep roots and rocks of the ones I currently ride. I can overwhelm it at high speed on chunk but that is a reminder of what the bike is and is not. I have jumped it pulled it through some gnarly stuff and it feels almost as capable as my Ripley which has a float X on it.

My biggest con is the checkered flag paint job... I choose to view it as a joke to support the "exie" name. Laughing at itself. I am not sure this bike is beautiful but it sure is awesome.
  • 11 1
 4500$ for frame . Better have a built in caviar dispenser
  • 12 0
 premium to get the proper Ibis badge....not the goofy decal
  • 21 2
 Ibis built a solar-powered factory in California to develop the domestic manufacturing techniques they now use to produce this frame. Frankly, I'm surprised it's not more.
  • 2 3
 For an ibis..what a horror.
  • 1 1
 Most EXPENSIVIST
  • 7 0
 Amazing how far bikes have come. My current ride is a 2018 Tallboy 3 with 68° head angle. Which was exotic for 110mm travel at the time. How does this Exie handle compared to my TB3?
  • 6 0
 This is an excellent point -- although bike geometry generally has changed quite a bit since 2018, the over-forked XC bike/lightweight trail bike category seems like it's had the most dramatic makeover in what's considered reasonable geo. (Maybe in part because "downcountry" as a category moniker has showed up and stayed?!) The excitement over the long-and-slack-ness of the Spur and the Element has pushed public opinion on what a solid "downcountry" bike looks and rides like -- but at the same time there are still great lightweight trail bikes with not-as-slack angles that ride really well and win a lot of folks over, like the Revel Ranger. My sense is that downcountry-curious riders might be looking for one thing on paper (long, slack, aggressive) but might react well to a slightly steeper, quicker-steering bike on the trail, especially if they're riding the bike on lower-angle, tighter terrain rather than treating it like a stripped-down all-mountain bike for winching up and plummeting down.

To your actual question, I had a Tallboy 3 built up in 29er XC race mode back in 2017-8, so fairly similar to my current setup on the Exie. Granted, the Tallboy was two pounds heavier (26.5 v 24.2) and generally rode more "damp" through the chassis (maybe VPP vs. DW link, maybe carbon layup?) with very similar Fox suspension, Reserve rims and Schwalbe tires on both bikes. The TB3 felt pretty slack and aggressive for the time, while the Exie just feels like a well-fitting modern XC bike, meaning it would have felt radically long and slack by 2018 standards (especially with the 518mm reach on the XL). If there's one big geo difference I think it's BB height -- the Exie feels pretty high by modern standards and doesn't feel all that stable at speed or pushing into corners, while the TB3 I thought was an incredible corner-er and almost felt like a slalom bike at times.
  • 3 0
 My first real "trail bike" was a Jamis Dakar 650b (68* and 130mm travel), no dropper. Back to back against a more modern Epic FS, it felt amazingly similar in performance. Only difference I could feel was on the time sheet, but the bike weighed about 5 pounds more.

Yesterdays trail bike is todays XC.
  • 5 0
 @JSTootell: Thats pretty accurate. in 2018 the stumpjumper had a 67deg HTA, that has always been "a trail bike" Granted this was a long time ago... but in 2004 my freeride bike also had a 67deg HTA, and I dont remember anyone back then saying those bikes sucked on the downhill side of a mountain. People focus way too much on singe geometry numbers.
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: I always jokingly refer to my 16' Giant Trance 1 as my trail/DC bike. 27 pounds, 70mm stem, 67* head angle, and narrow carbon wheels. It can carve a little bit and jump, but it's happiest climbing, and eating up distance on blue trails.

Having bought the bike off PB marketplace at the start of the pandemic for $2k, I feel like I'd be pretty dumb to ever sell it, considering the asking price of DC and light trail bikes nowdays.
  • 11 2
 I let my Ibis do the job
  • 2 1
 the job of what? mountain biking? I never understood this phrase
  • 7 0
 @mariomtblt: It was a quote from Friday Fails: some guy says something along the lines of "I'll let the Ibis do the job." as he approaches a medium sized drop and immediately goes OTB.
  • 7 0
 @mariomtblt: Friday Fails 120
  • 3 0
 oh what lmao ok thanks gents
  • 7 0
 Why is the lockout on the top of the bars?!?!
  • 7 1
 Because there's a dropper post lever on the underside, so there's no room there for it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Yeah, that does make sense. I would have just angled it weird and accepted it, would have been funky but I think it looks better. To each their own.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: I have an Exie And I run my dropper post lever on the underside. Maybe it's because I am running AXS on mine, but there is room for both the dropper lever, and the lock levers on the underside of the bars.
  • 3 0
 Ibis suspension design and shock tunes are notably good. Make an aluminum Exie AF that keeps frame weight within a pound or so (454 grams for the conversion impaired) of this frame and I’ll scrape the pennies together to get one. Thanks Ibis-a stoked Ripmo AF owner.
  • 3 0
 Curious about the move to testing size medium bike for this field test. If I recall, past field tests with the same group were on size L frames. How do these shorter reaches affect your riding? With modern bikes, I've downsized and have found it to be preferable. What drove the change?
  • 4 0
 I'm a bit confused by the descending section. Are you saying a longer length stem would make the front wheel feel further away?
  • 2 1
 longer stem would make it feel less twitchy do to the HTA
  • 3 0
 @SATN-XC: It'll help a bit, but that's absolutely not going to help put the front wheel further out from under you. I can't think of many situations going downhill with a steep HTA that I'd want to force my weight even further forwards through a longer stem.
  • 1 0
 @WhoTookIt: longer stem would simply give more control on way down, but I agree with you, it won't make you more stable and more confident...a little give and take I guess
  • 5 0
 @SATN-XC: I feel like we need Sam Pilgrim to throw a 140mm stem on a downhill bike and test this for us Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @SATN-XC: opposite is true tho. We use head tube angle but what matters is the angle between the axle and your bars. Longer stem - steeper angle. Also more weight on the front wheel is not amazing for bikes that already have low front ends and have more issues descending than bigger bikes
  • 1 0
 Agree with this. I replaced the 60mm with a 40mm stem on my '21 Epic Evo and felt like most of this was a great tradeoff for me. Hands farther behind the front axle, but 66.5 still steep enough to weight the front wheel?
  • 1 0
 @Mannra: Weight on the front wheel depends on many factors - TT Length, CS length etc etc. Generally unless you expect super steep climbs I see no problem. My very old 2001 trailbike had no issues doing very steep climbs with 66.7 HA.
  • 2 0
 After nearly four years I can only say good things about my Ripmo, so I have no doubt that this is a really nice bike. One question: If you stand up and throw your weight down on the pedals like a gorilla because you really need to accelerate RIGHT NOW, do you blow through the travel?
  • 4 0
 You don't....I just picked up a size large Exie, and while I only have 3 rides on it....I am AMAZED at how well it transfer power when you stand and hammer. I have a 36t chainring on mine, and it just smashes.....it's crazy how well it pedals. I haven't watched the video here yet, but read the article, and PB describes "magic" happening in the suspension on climbs, they are spot on. I think I am going to remove the remote lockout lever.....I'll get more time on the bike before I decide that for sure....but it pedals so damn well, that I don't even think I'll need the lockout. And I'm an XC spandex boy Strava*shole!
  • 6 0
 For $10k for the middle of the line bike, it'd better do the work!
  • 2 6
flag jrocksdh (Oct 31, 2022 at 11:18) (Below Threshold)
 Ya as in have a motor!
  • 3 0
 @jrocksdh: apparently, you can even let an unmotorized Ibis do the work
  • 1 0
 It do the job.
  • 7 2
 It sort of looks like if I tried to build an Epic or Oiz in my basement. Just a bit off.
  • 2 0
 Steeper head angle is a load of BS. It’s 67degrees snd has FA to do with the more nervous feeling. It’s got a shorter reach and wheelbase than other bikes on test. It’s a race bike built to go up and down and around all rite of corners. Recommend a trail bike for trail if descending is all you want to do to be heppy
  • 4 0
 How does a shorter stem contribute to the front wheel feeling more underneath you exactly? Hmmmm.
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the same... steep head angle, yes, but a short stem would have the opposite effect and make the front feel #less# underneath you.
  • 3 2
 I'm not an XC race person, so maybe am missing something, but can't understand why XC bikes have to have such steep head angles. Won't make you faster on the downs or flats and I can't see mattering on the climbs unless they have really tight switchbacks. My Ripmo is 65 and doesn't feel slack at all except for on the tightest turn, but that just doesn't seem like an area where you make up lots of time. Again, though, I'm not an XC type.
  • 22 0
 In my experience it's more to give good traction while maintaining a racing/pedaling posture. Bikes with shallow head angles require you to consciously put a lot of weight on the front wheel to keep it from washing out, which means to ride a flat corner with any speed you have to stand and shift your weight forward onto the bars. XC bikes allow you to stay seated with a pretty gentle grip on the bars while absolutely railing corners.
  • 23 1
 steep HTA allows you to corner at much faster speeds by keeping more weight over the front wheel. XC single track typically lacks proper berms so you don't have much to pump into on the turns, steep HTA allows you to keep speed on relatively flat corners by keeping a lot of weight over the front of the bike....obviously a disadvantage on downhills.
...also, steep HTA typically means the overall length of the bike is shorter. Shorter length = quicker turning. Like wiping a Miata around a turn versus a long SUV.
  • 5 0
 @SATN-XC: good info, thanks folks.
  • 2 1
 @WhoTookIt: Certainly, true when the chain stay length is too short.
  • 2 0
 I'm not an xc person either, but it'll make it easier to maneuver and be precise with lines (which I'd guess is extra important with xc thin tires) especially when your so gassed that it makes it hard to think ahead. Also good for dodging other riders etc.
  • 10 0
 Climbing 5% faster is a much bigger gain than descending 10% faster. XC race courses typically do have very right sections (up and down). You're also more likely to pass on climbs than descents. And so, if you're optimizing a bike for an XC race, climbing takes precedence.
  • 7 0
 It's all about weight balance to keep traction and power through corners. I'm annoyed that the "steep" HTA is listed as a con when the review actually praised the handling characteristics.
  • 5 0
 Lots of comments here regarding cornering, I'll add:
When climbing steep, sometimes loose with tight corners and your shoulder to shoulder with other racers, the precision a steeper HA provides is very important.

XC DHs have gotten a lot more techy and chunky, but the segments only last for 10-45 seconds. One can only push those XC tires so far too.
  • 3 0
 Even if you are not an XC race person, you should go try one some time.

Best way I can describe it is watching my GF ride her new one. She rides a Transition Patrol, but picked up an Epic for the longer, more chill trail rides. On her first couple rides, she has been trying to climb up everything she can find. Big rock pile? Go up! Steep climb? Go up! Fast and flowing? Pedal hard! It's a unique experience.

You may not want to own one, which is fine, but just taking one for a spin is an experience.
  • 1 0
 Mont Saint Anne type switch back climbs. Try doing those corners in a WC fast on a bike with slack head angles.
  • 3 0
 I bought a 2022 Stumperjumper Evo, I end up running it in the steepest HA position. On the trails I ride it feels more lively, easier to jib around with, and I don't find benefits on super steep stuff when I switch it over to the slack setting. Maybe I'm just used to the geo I've been riding for 15 years but a 63.5 HA doesn't do me any good on a trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: I am in the exact same boat.
  • 2 0
 @Chondog94: Everyone I know that has a Stumpjumper EVO thinks its a great bike for steep trails, and bad at everything else.
  • 1 0
 @bikerbarrett: My ripmo has a HA of 65 and I have lots of fun on the downs with that bike. I can see now the appeal of a steeper HA on XC rigs especially for seated climbs and semi-slick tires, but for a 'downcoutry bike I still think 66 would be a happy medium for non-pro racers - but I guess this is a race bike and I trust Ibis. My old trails had lots of tight climbs and my 64.5HA hardtail did them with no problem (I know they sag differently) so it kind of changed my thoughts on slackness, cause that bike was very manouvable after the 1 or 2 ride learning curve, but more stable at speed.
  • 2 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I have a Ripmo as well, it's great, but I think 63.5 HA might be a bit too much. Just talking about what i've heard about the evo stumpy.
  • 1 0
 @bikerbarrett: I think it’s pretty hard to find a “bad” trail bike these days. I find it to be an excellent all rounder and would probably be just as happy on 75% of bikes with similar amounts of travel. The only thing it’s not that fun on are the trails I ride my xc bike on, even then it’s loads better than the bike I started riding on.
  • 1 0
 @bikerbarrett: for anything but straighter steep stuff, yeah, I could see it being a bit unruly.
  • 1 0
 @Chondog94: I run mine in the high/neutral and love it, but I have a buddy who swears by his low/steep setup. He's also an ex-pro BMXer, so that might have something to do with it.
  • 1 0
 @bikerbarrett: I think it's the greatest bike I've ever ridden, and shreds everything. XC, chunder, steeps, tech climbs, tight singletrack. It rips it all. I'd say that the people you know have their bikes set up too slack for the trails they ride most if they think it doesn't ride great everywhere.
  • 1 0
 XC setup obsess with low rolling resistant fast tire. With those tire, your front wheel slip easily if you don't weight it enough. So, a steeper HTA put more weight on the front wheel and allow you to use faster slicker front tire. Make bike slack like a trail bike and suddenly, you require an aggressive front tire with more bite.
  • 10 5
 Lines only a mother could love, torch it now
  • 2 1
 I am sort of happy with where the prices these days are... this makes me finally realize how good of a bike from the 2021 model year I have and that I do not need all of these updates and upgrades that every marketing dept is telling me to buy. This is such a relief to just be happy with the bike you have.

I really hope no one pays this crazy amount of money so bike companies really hurt and in the next 5 years prices calm down. I only see 45 - 50 years old men being able to afford this shit Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I think xc mtb is already starting to become the new golf for active older adults with money. The $10k for the bike replaces the initiation fee at the country club, and you don't have to wait 4-5 hours before hitting the pub at the end of the activity.
  • 1 1
 I am still setting top 10's at local bike park (as of yesterday) on a 2018 bike. I don't have an interest in upgrading to a 2021, let alone one year newer.
  • 1 0
 lol, only a select 45-50, most are paying for kids' colleges at that time
  • 4 2
 Weird how everyone is complaining about the price of an all American made frame. What is the overlap of people wishing for more American made products?

Yeah, I can't afford it either.
  • 1 0
 The Exie comes with 2.4 Rekon tires, but see in all the photos and video Ground Controls are on it. Was all of the testing done with the Ground Controls? Was any testing done with the stock Rekons?

Just curious, I personally hate Rekon Races....and would switch them out also.
  • 3 0
 Ground control are the control tires being used for all bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Mkrol: aha thanks.
  • 3 0
 Headangle comment doesn't line up, you can point this down steep trails totally fine. Just need good brakes/tires for your riding area.
  • 2 0
 If my bag of gold boullion overflowed, I'd add a XC bike to the stable. I miss having a tight and small bike that is responsive to climb and pedal.
  • 11 0
 If you bag of boullion overflowed I’d use a mop quickly as soup can make a right mess
  • 3 0
 @cypher74: LOL - damn spelling!
  • 3 0
 I feel like Jenny Rissveds more than proved the XC worthiness of this frame this year.
  • 3 1
 There’s a lot of complaints about price, but considering this is made in the U.S. doesn’t that explain some of that? The We Are One is pretty egregious as well.
  • 4 0
 Neither is egregious. A Chinese Santa Cruz is egregious.
  • 5 0
 No complaints here....I bought one. Expensive yes, but for where and how I ride it suits me perfectly, and I love that Ibis is making these in the US. I'm an XC guy through and through, and it pedals and rides amazingly for what I do. I too did think it was ugly when I first saw it. And now that it's in my garage...yep still ugly lol. Seeing the carbon weave through the layup is incredibly cool though up close, and when building this bike...it's really nice to see how well and nice it is all put together and made. Super tight.
  • 4 0
 OP runs her bars way too wide. can't unsee it. it's not a trials bike.
  • 10 7
 That's a lot of money for such a mundane bike
  • 2 0
 @sarahmoore i see a photo of your knee clean and then several photos with some rash, was the ibis a handful on the down?
  • 6 3
 That is LITERALLY the ugliest non e-bike on sale today
  • 1 2
 Yup. I would have never approved it.
  • 1 0
 I have a Ripley af and it’s not the sexiest bike but f&@kin hell it rides amazing. I still look at it and smile.
  • 3 4
 Ibis marketing team smoking crack thinking this mid level X01 build is worth $10.4K and coming in at over 24lbs. Can't wait for the new Orbea OIZ to drop. It will blow this out of the water in terms or price, weight and looks.
  • 1 0
 Could you not just flip the shock over to put the lockout lever in a more traditional/ easy to reach place?
  • 5 0
 lockout is on the bars. shock is oriented that way so they can run the cable through the tube and not have to expose it. Looks cleaner that way
  • 2 0
 Holy cable rats nest...
  • 13 3
 They should have routed the cables through the stem - much tidier Wink
  • 2 1
 well.... less ugly than other Ibises
  • 6 6
 As much as I'm aware that Ibis makes really great bikes, I just can't get over how ugly their entire lineup is.
  • 7 2
 You either hate it or love it. Personally I’ve always liked Ibis shapes. Throw a -1 or -2 angle set on it and ride the crap out of it. Or… just buy the Rocky.
  • 1 0
 @mockit: Is the Rocky a proper xc climber?
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: Check the PB review out. They certainly seemed to think so. Element I believe? Never ridden one, but they loved it in the last field test.
  • 1 0
 It just looks like a BSO.
  • 2 1
 I wish we had XC terrain nearby Frown
  • 12 0
 Weird flex, but okay Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Wanna swap?
  • 1 0
 @Naero: Hahaha I was being serious! But I guess that's being a bit Marion Antoinette, hey?
  • 7 10
 bike manufacturers can f*k right off with these new 10k prices for mid level builds. also, xc bikes require less engineering, have shorter travel, weaker frames, and all around fewer materials. I’m not buying the whole “lighter is naturally more expensive myth”. Most of these xc bikes run a super primitive suspension layout.
  • 3 0
 and that top drawer bike is 20K Canadian after taxes
this shit is off the f'n hook the manufacturers want to retire rich after a few years.

also what is wrong with SLX?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy this or a Ripley with superlight everything?
  • 8 1
 Ripley
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Citation needed.
  • 1 0
 Who at pink bike is erasing comments and why?
  • 1 1
 Last con could've ended after the second word
  • 9 11
 The travel is too long for true XC and too short for downcountry. We need a new category! Midcross?
  • 23 0
 XC World Cup racing nowadays is done (and won) on 120/120 bikes.
  • 11 0
 I thought down country was originally a xc bike with a longer fork and more aggressive front tire? That's what this bike is. A lot of the bikes on this field test are just mini enduro bikes.
  • 3 0
 @mrkumro: I look at big brands for how numbers change, for example, Trek - new Top Fuel is 120\130, new Fuel EX is 140\150, next enduro will prob have 170\180mm of travel. For every iteration just add 10mm.

So your comment can be applied to any new bike, XC is now mini enduro, trail is now enduro, enduro is pretty much DH rig, DH rig... I don't think anyone really cares about them after slamming 180mm Fox 38 on your normal MTB
  • 2 3
 Love the new video player! Its not blocked!!!!
  • 1 2
 My Norco Truax looks better than this thing.
  • 1 1
 Not so Sexie
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