Gear of the Year Ibis Ripley

2017 Crankjoy Gear Of The Year

The 2017 Crankjoy gear of the year may not surprise you if you’re a regular reader.  Some of this gear may not mirror the industry trends or be the most popular.  One thing we’ve recognized over the years is the amount of over-hyped products that have become the heart of companies marketing efforts with big media.

We don’t use gear that we aren’t excited about.  These gear choices are honestly our favorite pieces among piles we’ve used.  We love to review new gear to find solutions to help you enjoy riding more.

Crankjoy Gear of the Year 2017


Trail Bike: Ibis Ripley V3

We’ve had the opportunity to ride many fantastic bikes this year, however this is the one all others are compared to.  The Ripley is our personal bike of choice.  It’s the bike that we can take on any road trip and enjoy mild to wild without wishing we had another bike.

The 3rd generation Ripley offers some sweet refinements that make us love the bike even more.   These refinements continue to make us happy to jump back on it after riding other bikes.  The most notable update is increased clearance for 2.6″ tires.

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Ibis Ripley V3 Nobby Nic 2.6
2.6’s help give the Ibis Ripley a new level of confidence.  Read the 2.6″ Nobby Nic review:

Ever since the first generation Ripley the bike has been known for its fun, agile and strong pedaling characteristics.   Ibis has morphed the Ripley V3 into a bike that climbs, pedals and descends with incredible agility more better.

Long travel/enduro bike:  Yeti SB5 Lunchride

This may not be the standard enduro machine with only 127mm’s of rear travel, but it feels as though it has more than that number.  The Lunch Ride SB5 bumps up the front travel to 160mm with a Fox36, and adds a Fox DPX2, wider bars, beefier tires and larger rotors.  These seemingly small updates really bring the SB5 alive.  Read more:

Yeti Lunch Ride

Honorable Mention Trail Bike: 2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct

After a short few days on the Instinct, we were left with very positive first impressions.  Rocky Mountain has a winner with one versatile bike that can adapt to a wide range of terrain and riding styles. Here’s our initial review:

2018 Rocky Instinct

Clothing and Accessories

Favorite way to carry shit: High Above Das Radpack 

For rides less than 2 hours, we find ourselves grabbing a hip pack more often than the hydration pack.  The well designed Das Radpack offers a great size to bring along the essentials and is barely noticeable on the fanny.

High Above Das Radpack

Helmet: Leatt DBX 3.0

Leatt’s DBX stands strong when compared to similar offerings from Giro, Bell, Smith, Troy Lee, etc.  The attention to detail with the helmet  is fantastic with breakaway visor, magnetic chin strap and armor gel turbines.  Leatt packs in standout features to keep your head and brain happy.  Read the full review:

Leatt DBX 3.0

Gloves: Handup

Like a great beer, some products draw immediate attraction to your hands. For some, it may be the beer label artwork, the name of the beer or where the beer is brewed.  Meet Handup gloves, a company with a healthy dose of flair and thoughtful design made for grabbing the things you love – bikes or beer!  Read more:

Handup Gloves Braap

Clothing: Pearl Izumi

The latest clothing and shoes from this company continue to impress us.  The functional style movement in bike clothing is fantastic if we can wear it off the bike comfortably.  This is where Pearl Izumi’s new Versa Collection steps in.  These are bike clothes we look forward to packing for trips as dual-purpose clothing that can be worn on the bike as well as on the town.

Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Arm Warmers

Bike Parts

Drivetrain:  SRAM GX Eagle

After riding bikes with the new GX Eagle we began thinking, Why do we need more?   SRAM XO1 Eagle is on our current bikes and we really can’t detect a very noticeable difference between the more expensive XO1 and the GX.  Why spend more?  The massive 10 to 50 tooth range of the GX Eagle’s 12 speed at a bargain price is soooo good!

Stock Suspension:  Fox 34 and Float DPS

Suspension is one of those things that is as personal as tires.  We want a suspension that is plush, sensitive and light.  We don’t want or need the stiffest (usually heavier) suspension out there – nor do we want something that requires constant tweaking.

Fox has continued to evolve the 34 and Float rear shocks to continually impress the last few years.  2018’s updates to add more mid stroke support to the already buttery feel are impressive.  The Ripley feels like it sits a little higher in its travel and better able to respond to the big shit that matters with the latest 2018 Fox suspension.

Best Suspension 2018 Fox Shox 34 and Float DPS

Fork:  MRP Ribbon

No matter how you like your fork to ride it can be achieved with the MRP Ribbon.  The fork easily meets the demands of diverse riding styles of even the most particular riders.  You simply will not find a more tunable fork at the weight and stiffness of the Ribbon.  Full review:

MRP Ribbon


Trail bike tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Compound 2.6

This tire just offers an amazing combination of confidence, low weight, grip and low weight that puts it into a league of its own.  This being said, our riding styles are definitely not plow through the roughest lines without unweighted our bikes.

These ARE NOT ENDURO TIRES nor are they advertised that way.  Aggressive riders that slam into shit with all their weight may want to choose something else or risk cutting sidewalls.  The Nobby Nic is for those who want a great all-around trail tire, not a slow rolling pig.

Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29 x 2.6

Grips: Ergon GE1 Evo

The size, comfort and super easy one bolt installation are excellent with the GE1’s.  Fit is great for medium and smaller hands since the grips are a little shorter and smaller in diameter.  As a bonus, these match latest Ibis Ripley “Vitamin P” color perfectly!

2017 Best Grips Ergon GE1

Dropper Post: 9Point8 Fall Line

This is a sensitive area since we feel there is so much crap out there with dropper posts.  The Fox Transfer has a great feel to its action – light at the lever and smooth up/down.  What SUCKS is that its not user serviceable and it hasn’t been the most reliable for us.  The 9Point8 Fall Line’s actuation isn’t quite as smooth as the Fox, but it is completely user serviceable and has been reliable for over 2,000 miles.

9Point8 Fall Line dropper

What a year of great products.  Shit’s getting so good!  Now, what’s coming next in 2018?  More 2.6″ 29er tires, super boost 157mm rear hub spacing and integrated dropper posts are a bit of what the rumor mills are churning.






This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Smithhammer

    That Canfield hardtail with the Ribbon fork and I9s is sick!!

    1. Chad Davis

      Thank you. Yes, I think I will keep that one :)

  2. Mangler

    thanks for the write up, good post!

    1. Chad Davis

      Thank you sir and Happy New Year!

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