Our signature frame designs are the result of one extraordinary woman, Roxy Lo. With a career that’s taken her from Pottery Barn to designing every Ibis since 2005, she has become one of the most influential designers in the cycling industry.
Despite her impressive stature in the design world, Roxy is only 5’1. But she’s never let that number hold her back, so she works overtime to ensure that the bikes she designs for smaller riders (and herself) have all the same features as larger frame sizes - regardless of wheel size. That includes water bottle mounts, great standover, clearance for longer dropper posts, and (of course) great design.
When we first produced the original Ripley, Roxy made damn sure there was a size small frame. At the time, however, 29ers weren’t yet as widely accepted. Many riders felt they were only for tall people, so the demand wasn’t there. We sat on a number of size small frames and when the Ripley LS came around, it didn’t make sense financially for a small company like Ibis to bet against the trends.
Around four years ago, we made the decision to develop a carbon facility at our Santa Cruz headquarters. This would give us the ability to develop and prototype new concepts and techniques. For our first project, Roxy requested we build her a Ripley LS in a size small. We gave this frame a longer reach, a steeper 75 degree seat tube angle, and clearance for 2.6" tires.
Since that first frame we built in-house, we’ve built over twenty-five prototypes. Each time, tweaking the process slightly in order to reduce weight and increase strength. And as we’ve worked through the process, we’ve been able to reduce the amount of time it takes. The end result is so good, the frames are close to perfect when they emerge from the mold. No need for a ton of bondo work or sanding like you see on some carbon fiber frames.
While our Carbon 831 Lab began as a way to experiment with new techniques, we realized it was also an opportunity to offer riders another option. Beginning today, we’ll be shipping size small Ripley LS frames that are made in California.
The front triangles will be left raw, with only a Cerakote and wax over the decals. We’ll be offering two stock decal colors (Vitamin P and Ti-Ho Silver), which compliment our regular Ripley LS colors. Each of these California made frames will have their serial number hand painted under the bottom bracket by Roxy.
This production run will serve as a testbed for Ibis to explore the viability of US based carbon production. We know first hand the benefits of doing things locally, as we spent the first twenty years of our existence building aluminum, steel, titanium and even carbon frames in Northern California. Some of those benefits include the ability to tweak designs faster, hold tighter tolerances, ramp up production, and be more environmentally friendly. As the pilot program develops, we hope to expand it and one day bring production of a future model entirely in-house.
To learn more about what we do in the Carbon 831 Lab, check here.