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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very vaguely started to think about a new frame to take the place of my wonderful HD3 but I realize how tired I am of the look of current MTB bikes.

They all, including Ibis, have given up on a pure triangle frame to make room for a water bottle at the down tube, resulting in a "protuberance" that goes straight out from the bottom bracket before rising toward the head tube ... and I miss the svelte look of a straight triangle.

So question is: how complicated, and expensive, would be to make Custom (carbon) Ibis. Or offer an alternative, maybe two front triangle versions, with the "Camel Back" pilot version looking something better than the drawing below? with an even "svelter" front triangle that makes the frame look "suspended" between the two wheels?
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Are you talking about modifying the front triangle on an existing bike, or building an entirely new front triangle with the new profile? Either way there is no non-ludicrous way to do this. Either you would somehow have to convince Ibis to redesign their front triangle and make new molds for it, (bring a huge pile of money).

Or you would have to significantly chop up and rebuild an existing frame which is not impossible if you are very crafty and somewhat crazy but it is guaranteed to be weaker and heavier than it started, or maybe as strong and way heavier. It would also be very difficult to make it look like it was intended to be that way.

I feel that Ibis makes some of the prettiest bikes out there, but I don't disagree that there are some aspects of modern bikes that are less graceful than they could be. It doesn't bother me nearly enough to even consider going that deep into changing it. I am all for encouraging and following ludicrous projects, though, so if it really bothers you that much, go for it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you talking about modifying the front triangle on an existing bike, or building an entirely new front triangle with the new profile? Either way there is no non-ludicrous way to do this. Either you would somehow have to convince Ibis to redesign their front triangle and make new molds for it, (bring a huge pile of money).

Or you would have to significantly chop up and rebuild an existing frame which is not impossible if you are very crafty and somewhat crazy but it is guaranteed to be weaker and heavier than it started, or maybe as strong and way heavier. It would also be very difficult to make it look like it was intended to be that way.

I feel that Ibis makes some of the prettiest bikes out there, but I don't disagree that there are some aspects of modern bikes that are less graceful than they could be. It doesn't bother me nearly enough to even consider going that deep into changing it. I am all for encouraging and following ludicrous projects, though, so if it really bothers you that much, go for it!
It is not so much that it bothers me (it is just a bike!), it is that it is kind of too bad to have a water bottle dictate the design of what could be otherwise a much more streamlined (and lighter) front triangle.

No intention of modifying an existing frame! It would be kind of a truly crazy project. I think, to somewhat to reformulate my original post, I am just musing about the possibility of Ibis offering two different front triangles: the "water bottle" and the "camel back" ... there might be enough market to have both ... :idea: ... I'll ask Roxy Lo :)
 

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It would require a full engineered layup in all sizes and new molds. It would be the just under the cost of designing a completely new bike.
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It is not so much that it bothers me (it is just a bike!), it is that it is kind of too bad to have a water bottle dictate the design of what could be otherwise a much more streamlined (and lighter) front triangle.

No intention of modifying an existing frame! It would be kind of a truly crazy project. I think, to somewhat to reformulate my original post, I am just musing about the possibility of Ibis offering two different front triangles: the "water bottle" and the "camel back" ... there might be enough market to have both ... :idea: ... I'll ask Roxy Lo :)
It is not feasible for Ibis to do this, it would add too much to the cost of producing a new bike model to be worth it. And there is likely a structural benefit to that extra meat at the base of the seat tube/down tube/BB junction. If you streamline that area for a more graceful profile you have to find another way to get the strength back. I don't think there are any weight savings to be had, it's purely vanity. Not that I have anything against vanity, and I don't believe the cost or complexity is near that of a entirely new bike since it isn't affecting the swingarm or suspension layout, but just the second set of front triangle molds and the engineering time to redesign that section would be enough to make the bike prohibitively expensive to produce and it would basically put Ibis out of business by making it impossible to compete. I expect there is zero market pressure to offer this, but I would enjoy hearing Roxy's take on the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is not feasible for Ibis to do this, it would add too much to the cost of producing a new bike model to be worth it. And there is likely a structural benefit to that extra meat at the base of the seat tube/down tube/BB junction. If you streamline that area for a more graceful profile you have to find another way to get the strength back. I don't think there are any weight savings to be had, it's purely vanity. Not that I have anything against vanity, and I don't believe the cost or complexity is near that of a entirely new bike since it isn't affecting the swingarm or suspension layout, but just the second set of front triangle molds and the engineering time to redesign that section would be enough to make the bike prohibitively expensive to produce and it would basically put Ibis out of business by making it impossible to compete. I expect there is zero market pressure to offer this, but I would enjoy hearing Roxy's take on the question.
I know I know ... but it is not that people are not thinking about this. Remember Robot Bike? now seemingly reborn as Atherton? They use 3D printed lugs to join carbon fiber tubes, and allow custom sizes and geometry (and it is a DW-6 bike). (Bastion uses the same process for road bikes.) For now cost is of course higher, and weight is probably higher too. But one could actually build modular molds ...

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I know I know ... but it is not that people are not thinking about this. Remember Robot Bike? now seemingly reborn as Atherton? They use 3D printed lugs to join carbon fiber tubes, and allow custom sizes and geometry (and it is a DW-6 bike). (Bastion uses the same process for road bikes.) For now cost is of course higher, and weight is probably higher too. But one could actually build modular molds ...
I like the Robot concept, but it is apples to oranges comparing it to what Ibis is doing. And Ibis is successful while Robot failed and it has yet to be proven if rebranding and trying again will work. If the cost comes down and/or marketing improves it may well still prove to be a viable business model on the very high end. And there are unique advantages to the Robot/Atherton concept, custom geometry is pretty damn cool, and remains unobtainable for production runs of mainstream monocoque bikes. Mixing in titanium is always good for premium appeal. Ibis is smaller and cooler than most established bike companies but they are essentially mass producing frames standardized by sizes. Their business model relies upon efficiently producing them and getting them to their distributors. If they are going to alter that model there needs to be a significant advantage to their customers for it to pay off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I mentioned Robot/Atherton as an example of very small manufacturing of custom carbon frame. I actually don't really think that mixing carbon and titanium is such a great idea ... it has no real benefit and it makes for heavier frames.

The way to go is to make modular molds (not that hard), or 3D print them. Just wait a few years. This is a good (quite amazing) example of using them
. The guy, by the way, builds a front triangle lower tube exactly as I would like it! Minimal and straight lined, not looking like it can fit an electric motor!

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