The Ibis Exie is indeed a modern day, 100mm travel cross country bike. Sure, it’s competitive on the World Cup circuit, but I honestly know nothing about all that. I’m done with racing- whether it be participating or even watching. What I am all about, however, are narrow trails and big, beautiful mountains. After a HUGE road trip aboard this bike, I’ve come away absolutely impressed with it! My own expectations of what makes a cross country bike were simply shattered.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, big shout to my sponsors! Thanks to Jenson USA, PNW Components, Industry Nine, and Shimano– any purchases from the affiliate links here on this page will also help support my channel. BUT- for the first time in years, I’ve begun to work with a non-bike industry brand- LMNT! Do me a favor and read on…
Thanks for asking, Martin! For a limited time, my community will be able to claim a free LMNT electrolytes sample pack – you only cover the cost of shipping ($5 for US customers). Get your sample pack of LMNT electrolytes by using this link: Http://DrinkLMNT.com/Jeff
I got a ton of great questions from all of you about both the Ibis Exie and the whole trip, so I’m going to do two quick follow-up videos. The first one being this one, and the next one will be about the motorcycle that I rode, and how I set that thing up.
Let’s get right to it- your questions, my attempts at answers, and a good time for all of us:
Thanks to Bruce (mc7az) for the question! For a bike like this, the head angle feels appropriate for the way the rest of the bike is designed. I don’t think it’s too steep for Sedona, but I do think this bike’s undergunned for a lot of the more aggressive, high speed, big hit trails at a destination like Sedona. Which makes sense- it wasn’t designed to be a double black sender machine in the first place! On the flip side, on the blue trails and the green trails, the Exie would be more than fine and may I say…fun!
What I mean by “riding it like a toboggan” is that toboggan bikes are the big, long travel sleds that go really well in a straight line. Long wheelbases and slack headangles and low bottom brackets and all, these bikes monster truck and plow through rocks. Those same rocks are stuff that smaller bikes (like this one) won’t roll over as easily, so you need a lot more rider input to get down the hill quickly, smoothly, and safely. To be clear, this is a bike you do not ride like a toboggan. You have to ride this bike light and nimble. Go over the bumps- not through them!
This bike was decked out to the nines with the best of the best. I didn’t even open the box containing the wheels that Ibis sent- they used typical lightweight XC tires. For the riding I do, a heavy duty tire is a necessity. Sure, I may be “doing it wrong,” but can you guess how many flat tires I got on the Exie? That’s right. Even Captain Hook can count that high on his missing hand.
Another fun thing about this set up was that I went over to Shimano XTR clipless pedals which I got a couple questions about. Clips definitely make everything easier. Do they make it more fun, less fun? I don’t know, but on a bike like this I’d rather be clipped in just because with less travel, you can get popped off the bike more easily. Being attached to it means you have more stability to plow through a little more of the rough stuff. If this was an aggressive hardtail, I’d prefer flat pedals for the accompanying riding style, but for this it worked out just fine to be clipped in. And it helped me to pedal through stuff that on an enduro bike with flats, I wouldn’t consider pedaling through. That translated to the “fast” sensation.
The narrow WTB Silverado Team (titanium rail) saddle with a flat profile works pretty good on these low cockpit bikes, as your pelvis will rock more forwards the lower your hands are positioned. Speaking of hands, I’m using PNW Range KW bars, 760mm along with my usual Loam grips.
Now on to more general feedback- this bike excels in a lot more places than enduro bikes do. This bike climbs better on mellower, less steep climbs. When it gets steep, and more technical, ] the extra travel of an enduro bike means more traction, and the extra wheelbase of the enduro bike means the front end stays nicely planted. But that’s a small percentage of trails- I’m spoiled here in the PNW having access to some incredible, double black terrain. For most of the trails in the world, the enduro bikes are a bit more of a chore to climb with, as the extra weight and suspension means more to drag up that hill. The Exie sheds all that extra weight- and suspension- and instead just drives itself cleanly forward with every turn of the pedals.
On the downhills, as long as they are not super steep or built specifically for mountain bikes with lots of jumps, the Exie can get away with a lot more than I certainly first expected. The riding style is somewhere between a traditional hardtail and a more modern trail/enduro bike. It felt like I was riding the bike, and able to make it do exactly what I wanted, with far less effort than normal.
If you want to learn more about the Ibis Exie, I have a link kere to the bike at Jenson USA. Anything you purchase from Jenson will directly help support my channel, so thanks in advance!