Long Termers: Singletrack’s Ibis Tranny

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Ibis Tranny
Frame: £1299.99 frame only
From: 2pure www.2pure.co.uk

aka “Tranny Travels – Episode One”

Resident product tester and general riding-all-the-time type person Ed Oxley is the first person in the “Singletrack Squad” to build-up the Ibis Tranny…

I’ve had the Tranny for a couple of months now. Unfortunately most of this time has been ice age, with trails and tracks buried under the snow. The current build is singlespeed 4X / jump bike and you don’t see many of these kind of bikes at Iditarod for good reason.

I did manage to get a few sessions in at Lee Quarry when the ground was clear. The Tranny is very light, accelerates in a snappy fashion and is quick steering. As such it’s a great ride on pumpy trails, jumps and twisty singletrack. It is easier to launch than the Mojo and it pumps like a milkmaid. The ride does not feel harsh and being a light hardtail you get plenty of pop on this smoother, rolling trail centre type terrain.

Venturing into my local woods for steep and very rocky riding and the bike, in its current build, was not so much fun. With a 100mm fork the static head angle is 70 degrees and so you had better be smooth when riding into the rough stuff. I took a few trips over the bars before adjusting my riding style from the more usual ‘over the fork’ hardcore hardtail approach.

The Fox F32 831 fork is designed for 4X racing and is not a trail fork. It has firmer compression for landing jumps and giving the rider more ‘push back’ in berms. Basically, taken out of this context, it’s either too harsh or too soft. For the riding it’s designed for it’s great though. There will be a proper review of the fork in due course.

Still hoping to get out with Nigel Page on some BMX tracks to progress my pump and jump skills. It’s just been the wrong time of year for that so far but it’s a long termer so there will be plenty of chance.

On more XC trails the Tranny has been great even in it’s 4X build. Fast bridleways and more swoopy, less stupidly steep trails have been a blast.

As a singlespeed the Tranny has been easy to set up. The rear triangle bolts on and pivots to adjust chain tension. This saves weight over an eccentric bottom bracket and means you have vertical dropouts for running the frame with gears. You have to slather the internals of the ‘Slot Machine’ with carbon assembly paste to avoid creaking and slipping. You do also need a proper sized tool to get enough torque on the bolt which tightens it all up. A multi tool is just too small. I have had to carry the ratchet with allen bit from my socket set on the first ride after adjusting chain tension to make any adjustments on the trail. Once properly set and with a bedding in ride the chain tension has not needed any further attention.

Did I mention that it’s a really light bike? A touch over 23lbs with Deore cranks and brakes and a bolt through fork. Great for singlespeeding and a ‘road bike like’ XC build is an option if that’s what you want.

Last week the splines on the left crank arm stripped out as I was just ‘riding along’ so I’m waiting for a new set of cranks along with better weather before getting in to the next stage of Tranny testing.

Just for the record I love the looks of the frame and the colour. There’s a kind of swoopy yet industrial, smoothly aggressive vibe going on.

You can see the Tranny in the 2010 Ibis UK catalogue here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/980972/ibis_consumer.pdf

You can also look at it on the Ibis site: www.ibiscycles.com


Ed Oxley
www.great-rock.co.uk

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Comments (0)

    nice, i kinda want one – which other soups do they colour match?

    What’s the toasting fork for? Tyre pud?

    “What’s the toasting fork for?”

    You never know when you might need to stick it in a crumpet.

    i’m not convinced by the wonky back end. is there really a huge demand for hard core super light single speed trail centre bikes? am i missing something?
    And i like the fact that the weight saved by the system is slightly negated by having to carry a bloody great ratchet spanner around.
    nice name dropping with Nigel Page though.
    i must remember to give Sam Hill a call to practise my unicycle skills.

    Go and have a lie down lankygit, you sound like you need it!

    I have had to carry the ratchet with allen bit from my socket set on the first ride after adjusting chain tension to make any adjustments on the trail. Once properly set and with a bedding in ride the chain tension has not needed any further attention.

    Does this not create problems if you need to repair chain/mend puncture etc – or am I missing something??

    why would it affect fixing punctures?

    “Does this not create problems if you need to repair chain/mend puncture etc – or am I missing something??”

    The vertical dropouts work just the same as on a geared bike so you don’t have to readjust chain tension every time you take the wheel in and out. You don’t need to take the wheel out to fix the chain.

    You only need to carry a bigger allen key tool for a short bedding in ride. Literally up the road and back. After this I’ve found no need for further adjustment.

    I’ve had the same frame (even the same colour!) for about 6 months now. Mine’s fitted up as an XC Singlespeed though so a mite lighter built than yours. I haven’t had a problem with fore aft balance but my geared HT has a 70-71 deg HA most of the time so it wasn’t really a transition for me

    I love mine but I think the SlotMachine solution is way over complex and would have preferred trackends which would be simpler and lighter.

    I look forward (with some trepidation … what if you don’t like it!) to your future posts

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