Ibis Cycles releases the Exie, a US-made cross country race bike

By our count this is Ibis's first true cross country full suspension machine in over two decades.

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There’s no denying that interest in cross country mountain biking is booming. As a result, a number of brands have re-entered the space with new focussed offerings. Ibis Cycles is the latest name on that list, launching its first true cross country full suspension bike in over two decades: the Exie. 

Perhaps more notably, the Exie is the first new bike off the rank at Ibis’s fresh Northern California-based carbon manufacturing facility. Our sibling site PinkBike had a first look at Ibis’s new factory and the new Exie; this article is just a brief look at the news.

A quick look at the Exie 

The Exie is a new carbon fibre 29er cross country bike with 100 mm of rear-wheel travel and is designed to be run with a 120 mm fork upfront. In this configuration, it features a head tube angle of 67.2°, 435 mm chainstays and seat tube angles that vary across the four size options. It can also be run with a shorter 100 mm travel fork for a more aggressive ride.

Like all of Ibis’s other full-suspension bikes, the Exie sticks with a DW-Link suspension layout that aims to balance a good amount of anti-squat (for pedalling efficiency), traction, and descending capability. Notably, the suspension design is far more intricate than the single-pivot designs featured on competing bikes such as the Specialized Epic, Cannondale Scalpel, Santa Cruz Blur XC, and Orbea Oiz.

The DW-Link (Dave Weagle) is certainly a more intricate suspension layout than what many bikes of the category offer.

That more involved suspension design undoubtedly adds weight, but Ibis has done an impressive job of keeping the frame weight at just 2 kg (4.4 lbs) with rear shock. Like Ibis’s other frames, it uses bushings (which are covered by a lifetime warranty) at the main lower linkage instead of heavier and perhaps more service-hungry bearings.

Other features include room for two bottles inside the main triangle, clearance for 2.4″ tyres, guided internal cable routing, and a threaded bottom bracket.

Its purpose is Exie (XC) and so is the pricing. Ibis will be offering the Exie as a complete bike with the choice of three different build kits, starting from US$7,999. A frame-only option (including shock) will be available from next year for US$4,500. More details can be found at ibiscycles.com.

On-shoring

Those prices are a noticeable step up from Ibis’s otherwise Asian-made lineup (which aren’t known to be cheap, either). No doubt manufacturing on home soil is more expensive, but hopefully with time the company can earn efficiencies that help reduce the price gap. 

While it’s early days, Ibis has clearly invested greatly in its ability to locally and competitively manufacture carbon frames. Investments in automated processes and highly refined layups aim to reduce the required labour and reduce material waste. Meanwhile, energy-efficient processes mean the entire facility can be run off solar power.

The video below gives a little insight into what they’re trying to achieve with the Santa Cruz-based facility. 

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