Win an IBIS RIPLEY in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

12.4.2013 | 8:20 am


A Note from Fatty: Not sure what the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5 is? Click here for the basics. Want to just get an easy link to where you go to donate (and hopefully win this incredible bike)? Click right here.

Let me take you back about 18 years ago. A bunch of us in the core team were on the way back from Moab, talking about the ride. Exaggerating our successful moves. Exaggerating our unsuccessful moves even more.

And talking about bikes. Of course. I posed an open-ended question to everyone in the car: “If you could get any mountain bike, what would it be?”

I don’t remember anyone else’s answer, but I remember Dug’s: “An Ibis Szazbo.” 

“A what?” I replied.

I had never heard of Ibis before, much less the Szazbo, and started researching. And before long, I fell in love with the company. Before long, I owned an Ibis Mojo, a Bow Ti, a Ti Mojo, and a Silk Ti (I tend to go a little overboard when I love something).

And to this day, the only bike — out of the dozens of bikes I have owned over the years — I have ever regretted selling is my Ibis Ti Mojo. I really wish I still had that bike.

Ibis bikes have a tendency to inspire that kind of devotion in its riders. 

“Let Me Show You Something”

So now, let me flash forward about fifteen years, to just a few years ago. The Hammer and I were in France with Andy Hampsten’s riding tour…and Scot Nicol—the founder and head honcho for Ibis—was one of the tour guides with us. Which is very much like having Jimi Hendrix being your tour guide through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Except that Scot Nicol—aka Chuck Ibis—isn’t dead. He’s alive and well and still creating bikes that make me want one so very, very badly.

During one of the evenings while we were in France, Scot pulled me aside and said, “Let me show you something.” That “something” was the suspension design for a new bike they were working on: the Ripley 29. 

It was astonishing. Like, ridiculously amazing alien space technology.

“How soon can I have one?” I asked.

“It’ll be a while,” Scot replied.

And in fact, it was another three years. Because Ibis takes the time to get bikes right

But when they unveil a bike, well, wow:

Ripley Blue Side XX1 

You should read the story of how this bike came to be; it’s an incredibly fascinating read. I should warn you, though: I think you’re going to want one.

Which actually works out well, because the Ibis Ripley 29 — a dream frame dressed out in dream parts — is one of the bikes we’ll be giving away as part of the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5. 

A Little More About The Bike

In a minute I’m going to show you just a few of the pages and pages of glowing reviews for the Ripley 29er, but first, how about some of the basic specs?

Well, first of all, there’s the frame itself, which you can (and should) read about in Ibis’s Ripley 29 product page


Thanks to the ingenious design of the Ripley 29, you can build it up either as a XC racer (which is how I’d do it), or as more of an all-mountain machine if that’s more your riding style.

For the drivetrain, you’ll want to set it up with the SRAM XX1 group (if you’re thinking in terms of XC) or the XO1 group (for an all-mountain build). Both are innovative and highly lustworthy drivetrains that let you skip the front derailleur nonsense, doing all your shifting in the back. Hey, it’s really nice to no longer have to ever think about dropping your chain.

If you’re keeping it light, Chuck recommends you go with a set of Rise wheels and a SID fork. You’ll also want to go with a 32-tooth chainring, and then choose between either Gripshift or trigger shifting. Either way, SRAM’s got you covered. Icing on this drivetrain cake of awesomeness will be XX Brakes

If you are thinking more All-Mountain-y, maybe you should go with Roam wheels and a Pike fork, with XO trail brakes.  

However you’re going to build it, you’re going to make me drool with envy and probably beg to come over and borrow your bike.

Asking Chuck

So, how did I get Ibis to join in the Grand Slam for Zambia: The Power of 5

Well, Ibis has a history of being great guys. And Chuck — Scot — in particular has a thing about doing the right thing.

So when I emailed him about this fundraiser, asking him to be part of it, he said:

I have not yet talked to my partners about this but we are in. I’m going to tell them right now.

Ripley it is. We can get the winner a bike almost immediately. So that should entice folks. 

This looks really great. In fact, it looks freaking awesome. 

We can kick in the parts that SRAM doesn’t make.

Then they went and posted their own story about this fundraiser. I especially liked this part:

We at Ibis did nothing for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We know it’s cliché, but we rode our bikes. The calendar skipped over to December this weekend and we were experiencing temperatures that were unseasonable to say the least, 72º F in our part of California, which translates to 22º C in the rest of the solar system. So we exercised our bodies rather than our credit cards.

We decided not to inundate either your email or your senses with offers of great deals. And we’re still not going to ask you to buy anything from us. But we do want to make you aware that today is “Giving Tuesday”, and with that, we’d like to let you know about a wonderful organization that is doing the right thing.

And that wonderful organization is World Bicycle Relief. And the fundraiser is this one. And — as many of you know — Ibis has helped me in a lot of other fundraisers in the past. 

And in short, I want to give Scot and everyone else at Ibis a big Fatty-style hug for being the kind of people we all want to be, while building the kinds of bikes we all want to ride.

Ibis is awesome.

More About the Ripley 29

I’m not the only one who’s kind of head-over-heels about the Ripley 29. Basically, everyone who’s ridden one is, too. Check out the Ripley 29 review page for all the reviews; here are just a few excerpts: 

SEHR GUT! Critics will be enthralled by its agile handling.- MOUNTAIN BIKE GERMANY

Long days in the saddle on challenging terrain are its dream territory, but short blasts in the local woods have been equally enticing, with a couple of rides where the word ‘sublime’ was uttered….Ibis says the aim was ‘to bring the advantages of a 29in wheel to a lightweight, nimble and fun trail bike’. We think Ibis has managed that perfectly. -Singletrack Magazine 

It is a dreamy combination of laser-sharp pointability and mistake forgiving stability. Combine this with the low head tube and short rear, and the Ripley is as nimble as any 26-inch bike with a 29er’s penchant for simply obliterating obstacles under pure circumference. It is divine. -Switchback Magazine

It’s ridiculously flickable in fast, twisty singletrack – big wheels and all – and even tight uphill switchbacks are easy to navigate….Taken in total, the blistering pedaling performance, supple rear end, fast-rolling 29in wheels, and quick yet stable handling make for a freakishly fast ride. We smashed more than a few Strava PRs on standard test loops, and continued to record similarly fast times on other familiar trails. -Bike Radar

The bike offers a great feeling of stability without sacrificing the all important playfulness that a proper bike must have, and it made for a feeling of traction that you wanted to quantify with high-fives and huge grins at the bottom of every loose downhill section of trail….we should mention that we actually scaled two sections of trail aboard the Ripley that we have never managed while on any other bike, as well as setting a personal best time on a local singletrack climb that always tests us.

Ripley gives you all the tools to slay any ride, but does so in a way that allows you to just forget all that technology is there and simply ride with a big smile on your face….Few other trail bikes could be your all-day backcountry mule one weekend, and cutting-edge race machine the next….It took me riding the Ripley to realize I’ve never ridden a bike with perfectly tuned kinematics—until now. -Bike Magazine

 So yeah. You want one.

A Little Bit More About the Grand Slam

In my post last Monday I gave you the general details about this fundraiser and what’s amazing about it, but there are a few points I want to emphasize here.

First, this is an amazing cause. It makes a difference, immediately and permanently. The help you give these people now gives them the boost they need to make their own lives better. Check out this inspiring video from World Bicycle Relief to get a sense of what I mean.

Second, your money is getting doubled. Honestly, that’s a pretty hard thing for me to wrap my mind around, but it’s true. Whatever you donate, someone else is matching. Your money has double power. Really, I should have called this fundraiser “The Power of 10” because every $134 you donate to buy a bike becomes two bikes, and every bike makes a difference to five people, on average.

Seriously, that’s more bang for your donation buck than I can comprehend.

Third, while the odds are that you aren’t going to win this Ripley 29 — or any of the four other bikes I’ll be talking about in the next few weeks — somebody is going to win them. Yep, five top-end bikes, in one contest. I am not aware of any other bike contest, ever, that has ever had such an extraordinary spread of prizes. So, huge thanks to SRAM and the five bike companies that have been insanely generous with their donations. 

And even huger thanks to everyone who has donated or is going to donate. I love and appreciate your generosity.

So, again: Thank you for donating. And I hope you win.


  1. Comment by Scot Nicol | 12.4.2013 | 8:48 am

    So happy to be a part of this, thanks for the massive effort, Fatty!
    When do we get to go ride in France again?

  2. Comment by TominAlbany | 12.4.2013 | 9:27 am

    Drool!! That Ripley looks soooo sweeeeet!

  3. Comment by Wife#.666 | 12.4.2013 | 9:28 am

    Ibis IS awesome. That Ripley is a dream machine. I think David told me Dr. Laura just got one – maybe she can chime in about its sheer “yowsa” power.

    I hope to have one myself one day but in the meanwhile, let me just say for anyone considering adding a cyclocross to their stable, two words: Hakkalugi Disc.

    I love, love, LOVE my Hakkalugi. It’s my only bike (I know, try not to be shocked people – I realize that like my husband, most of you have about 14 bikes) but I now have two sets of tires, road and cross, and other than single track MTB, it can do pretty much anything….

    and with impeccable style. :-)

  4. Comment by Dave T | 12.4.2013 | 9:28 am

    I agree with Ibis sentiment, on black Friday I went trail shopping and fond a great deal on a smooth fire road. Thank you chuck for Ibis’s contribution to this fundraiser looks like an awesome bike.

  5. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.4.2013 | 10:01 am

    Thank you Scott and Ibis for making such a awesome contribution to this effort. I know whoever wins this prize will truly love their new ride. Greedy I know, but if lightning were to hit twice I’m already to name it WBR Tax Penalty II!!!!

    Wife#.666 does indeed love her bike! She does have two sets of ‘tires’ (I think she thinks two sets of wheels a bit decadent, but Christmas is coming! I also know she’d love a Ripley at the end of her weight loss effort, with a little custom color.

    From from Dr. Laura’s(who was also in France) Strava stalking, I mean following, I can tell she loves hers as well. Tell us about it Laura.

    As for pictures Fatty that one’s a little wimpy. The Ripley’s frames at my local shop Sunshine Bikes here in Marin looking like this:

    The mountains quake in it’s presence.

  6. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 12.4.2013 | 10:23 am

    @davidh, If lighting strikes twice your lovely wife and I have already talked about your old super bike ;)

    A full suspension mtb is something I do not currently own. This would make a sweet addition!

  7. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 12.4.2013 | 10:27 am

    BTW. Elden, does the number on the donation thermometer include the match?

    No, that is the number of dollars that WILL be matched — so look at that number and multiply by two to figure our actual impact. – FC

  8. Comment by Wife#.667 | 12.4.2013 | 10:30 am

    @doug… make no mistake, we adore you, but if by some freaky coincidence lightning did strike again, that Ripley is MINE! David got the last one. Tax penalties, tax schmenalties… heck one of the kids can get a job or something. ;-)

  9. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.4.2013 | 11:09 am

    @Doug(way upstate…)

    Just checked the checking AND savings accounts, that number in the thermometer DOES NOT include the match. Need to go and speak to the wife now. Hah!

  10. Comment by Jeff Bike | 12.4.2013 | 11:41 am

    I got to have one! That is one super bike! It would nicely replace my old Gary Fisher Hi Fi (custom). I would like it in x-large (21″) because I’m tall. It also keeps friends from barrowing it. I would like it in black and green please. I’ll do the XO1 set up with the SID. The only option I would really want is the drop seat post. I’ll make arrangements with my LBS to set it up and adjust it. Please let me know when I can get it delivered.

    Oh wait, I missed one detail, I need to win it first. Well I’m entered for it (=last year X5).

  11. Comment by BostonCarlos (formerly NYC) | 12.4.2013 | 1:08 pm

    want. badly.

  12. Comment by MattC | 12.4.2013 | 1:14 pm

    What BostonCarlos said…times FIVE!

  13. Comment by MattC | 12.4.2013 | 1:18 pm

    And uhm…not to hijack todays AWESOME post topic…but yesterday I heard (thru the Fatty Forum, thanks Steve!) that LIVESTRONG won’t be doing Davis next year! (GASP!!)

    What are we (specificly, ME) to do?? I count on that event every year as a Fatty Family reunion. It’s my most favored cycling event of the year! So…what do we do NOW? Fatty? Do we continue to fundraise for LIVESTRONG? Do we shift our colors to WBR full time? (I fundraise year-round, so this topic is actually pretty pertinent to me). Do we stay with LIVESTRONG and all shift our travel plans and go either to LS Philly or Austin? HELP!!!

  14. Comment by Tom K | 12.4.2013 | 1:57 pm

    You should mention that many business have a matching grant program so if their employees make a donation it could be matched. I just check and found out that World Bicycle Relief is registered to recieve donations through our matching grant program. This essentially multiplies my donation times 4. (My donation + the December match + my organizations matching grant + the December match for my orgs donation.) Hopefully you are able to follow this.

  15. Comment by rich | 12.4.2013 | 2:06 pm

    drool……wipe keyboard….donate

  16. Comment by Andrew | 12.4.2013 | 3:16 pm


    Do we Aussies have a chance of winning?



    Heck Yeah. – FC

  17. Comment by VA Biker | 12.4.2013 | 6:46 pm

    Happily made my donation. Thanks for all of the effort of coordinating the event. I know it’s not an easy thing to do.

  18. Comment by Davidh-Marin,ca | 12.4.2013 | 7:49 pm

    @MattC. Alas no LiveSTRONG. Such a bitter outcome to the whole Lance affair. If you check the site there does not appear to be ANY rides this year save for a ‘vanity ride’ with a small group.

    As a solution I know of an underemployed bicycle enthusiast who could bring us together for a great weekend. This individual also lives near @Rob needs to Ride, who is very experienced in ride orginization. This individual’s star power is only eclipsed by his own sense of self importance. I believe he has always said he wanted to do something for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation… why not let this be the year.

    Summer 2014!!!! Utah!

    That is a FANTASTIC idea, and I’ll keep it in mind. For now I want to focus on the fundraiser at hand, though. – FC

  19. Comment by DrBryce | 12.5.2013 | 12:26 am

    Maybe I missed it, but was there a falling-out with the typical Shimano offerings with these awesome bikes?

    Seems like something has changed? Not that it matters.

  20. Comment by Jeff Bike | 12.5.2013 | 12:43 am

    Shimano is a great company but I think SRAM went just a little further in the giving to WBR this year.

  21. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.5.2013 | 2:44 am

    @FC Seriously??? You thought this song is about you… Hey that’s kind of catchy. I wonder what would come next?

  22. Comment by MattC | 12.5.2013 | 9:56 am

    @Davidh…thanks for the info (I hadn’t checked the LS site)…sad for them to cancel all the rides tho..I would have ‘assumed’ at least the Austin event would go on.

    And Fatty…no worries…as of now I’m totally focused on THIS fundraiser! I’ve had it in the back of my mind most of this year to alter my 2014 fundraising to support both LS and WBR…(not that cancer fighting isn’t important, but the WBR mission and results is just SO overwhelmingly awesome for so many reasons).

    Count me in…(well, not right this second, but surely before it’s over I will be “all in”…hope to at least double my last slam purchase).

  23. Comment by AKChick | 12.5.2013 | 10:32 am

    NO DAVIS LIVESTRONG? :( Well, you could come to Alaska – we have a two day ride from Anchorage to Seward along one of the nation’s designated scenic byways. Flat as a pancake until you hit Turnagain Pass (and the hill there isn’t that steep, just long). After that, the hills get steeper, but nothing super bad. :)Otherwise, I’m on board to go somewhere for a ride with other Fattys. I’m super sad about Davis. I personally am not a huge fan of Austin (no offense to Steve and the other Texas folks cause they are GREAT!). The atmosphere just doesn’t have the same feel as Davis which is bike friendly to the extreme. That is depressing. What about the breast cancer ride in Cali? I’m sure we can all come up with options and pick one. Let’s make it happen folks! I love planning and can help with logistics.

  24. Comment by AKChick | 12.5.2013 | 10:33 am

    Oh the two day ride is a fundraiser for colon cancer with some proceeds going to Livestrong. We also have the Fireweed 400 (which has a few options available). Both are fundraisers. :) Come on ya’ll know you want to come to Alaska!

  25. Comment by Clancy | 12.5.2013 | 1:25 pm

    Can’t wait to see what else you have up your sleeve Fatty – but this bike alone is worth doubling last year’s contribution!!

  26. Comment by PNP | 12.5.2013 | 1:26 pm

    This bike could make me take up off-road riding. And that’s saying something, since I’m almost 60 years old and I’ve never ridden on anything more sketchy than a little bit of gravel.

    It could be that this blog is an evil influence … that I like a lot. :-)

  27. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.5.2013 | 2:15 pm

    @PNP Take it from me 60 is the new 40! I’ve been hungering for a ride these past 8 weeks! Cast comes off the wrist next week and its back to the bike. If you come to NorCal I’ll take you up a few trails where the 70 y.o guy dusts everyone!

  28. Comment by MattC | 12.5.2013 | 2:54 pm

    @Davidh…I thought 53 was the new 70 (sure felt that way on my ride last Sunday after almost 2 weeks of T-day vacation!)

  29. Comment by PNP | 12.5.2013 | 3:19 pm

    @davidh Be careful; I might just take you up on that. After all, I’m just up the road in Portland!

    As for 60 being the new 40, every now and then, I find myself surprised that I’ll be 60 in June. I sure feel better than I did at 40, so maybe in that way, I’m trending in the right direction!

  30. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.6.2013 | 8:41 am

    @FC Just watched this video from the Ibis site. Thought I’d give @PNP some inspiration for his new bike and style of riding!
    Don’t know if it will increase donations,,,or stop them in their tracks!

    GO IBIS!!!!!…….or go home.

  31. Comment by PNP | 12.6.2013 | 1:21 pm

    @davidh Between your video and FC’s from today, I found myself yearning for a nice quilting blog to read–in between saying “wow, that looks like fun” and “no, I will not emulate Evel Knievel” and then “maybe I could do that part.” I do still really want that Ibis, though!

  32. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.6.2013 | 1:30 pm

    Trust me @PNP also being 59 I have no intention of riding like that. In fact I’m confident I NEVER had any intention of riding like that……. well maybe when I was twelve riding downslope through the oat fields….furrows? what;s a furrow……OH! that was a furrow. ow!


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