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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I know this is a silly question, because they all need maintenance, but is there a 29er FS bike that requires less maintenance than others, and if so which is it?

The reason I am asking, is because I own a V1 Ibis Ripley and as much as I love the bike every 6 months or so creaking reoccurs and need to service it. To say the least, it's a pain in the ass!

Anyway, it would be interesting to get your input on this. :thumbsup:
 

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The differential between high and low maintenance FS's these days is so small, I wouldn't worry about it. I think you're a candidate for a threaded BB, but other than that, all of them are reliable - especially within that subgroup.
 

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Over my decades of experience, I've found single pivot (and Horst and faux-bar, etc.) to need less fiddling than any of the mini-link bikes (DW, VPP, etc.).

But honestly, the differences these days are so small, I wouldn't make it a buying decision. But I don't mind working on my bike once in awhile. I kind of enjoy it.
 

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Over my decades of experience, I've found single pivot (and Horst and faux-bar, etc.) to need less fiddling than any of the mini-link bikes (DW, VPP, etc.).

But honestly, the differences these days are so small, I wouldn't make it a buying decision. But I don't mind working on my bike once in awhile. I kind of enjoy it.
This.... good simple therapy. Once a season, at the very end, do a full teardown and clean bearing and whatnot of the years muck and grime, make her all shiny and new feeling.
 

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sure...the one you take impeccable care of. or...the one without suspension.

In all honesty, it depends what you're having to mess with all the time. Chances are, it's not the frame itself. Rather, it's something attached to the frame.

If the bike's old enough and has been ridden enough, there's a good chance you're going to start seeing stuff wear out that you don't have to mess with much. Things like pedal rebuilds. Wearing out the saddle (those creak like crazy when they get worn out). Hub service. How often do you service your fork/shock? Especially the shock bushings (those things also make lots of noise when they need replacing). IME, most halfway recent FS bikes do pretty well with pivot bearings. I had a Stumpjumper FSR from 2003 that needed them every year or two and I didn't ride especially hard or especially big miles back then. There are currently 3 FS bikes in my garage (2010, 2014, and 2017 models) and only the bike from 2010 has needed pivot bearings replaced.

The other things to consider are user-related. Are you using sufficient (but not too much) grease/loctite/retaining compound/fiber grip when you install parts to prevent water/dirt ingress? What are the conditions you ride in? Is it especially wet or dusty? Are you using a torque wrench when tightening fasteners? Do you periodically clean/inspect your stuff?

This is stuff you'll have to do even if you've got a rigid singlespeed. Your options are to do it yourself, or to pay a shop to do an annual overhaul. Ignoring it is just going to result in a bike that doesn't work as well as it could, and will probably be noisier than everybody else's in your crew. It's better to be proactive about it and be aware of your service intervals so that you can hit multiple jobs at once, rather than just chasing the noise all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
how and what are you"servicing"? to remedy the creaking? have you talked to ibis?
I'd love to do the work myself, however, I'm nervous to do it because I don't want to F anything up. At the same time, I would appreciate learning and do it myself and it is enjoyable as others have said. It takes some time to learn all the intricacies though.

I've had my bike over 4 years. The creaking comes and goes. Most recently, I had to have the swingarm replaced because a bolt hole stripped. Ibis was kind enough to sell me a swingarm from a V2 Ripley at a decent price that is compatible with mine.

I had my LBS install everything. When I went on my first ride after the installation it began creaking. I decided to take it back to my LBS since they did the work to double check everything. They even regreased the BB and said it was fine and confirmed that everything was torqued to spec and lubed properly.

When I got it back the second time, it was quiet for a mile, then began creaking again.
It sounds like its coming from the drivetrain. Maybe there is some play in the BB despite being in good shape. The creaking occurs when I pedal (even off the saddle), but not coasting.

I've corresponded with Ibis about this numerous times when this occurred previously and understand there is a laundry list of culprits it could be. One time, I accidentally fixed it by greasing the rear axle when I replaced the tire.

Since my LBS isn't an Ibis dealer, I was thinking of having an Ibis dealer nearby take a look at it to see if they can diagnose the problem? I wonder if this would make a difference. My LBS is very competent, however, an Ibis dealer may have an edge since they probably have some specific insight on common issues with Ibis bikes?

Please advise.

Thanks people!
 

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My LBS is very competent, however, an Ibis dealer may have an edge since they probably have some specific insight on common issues with Ibis bikes?
Nope. The ONLY thing the brand of bike determines is how easy it is for the shop to obtain proprietary parts and for you to get warranty service from the manufacturer.

At 4yrs old, your bike is well overdue to be disassembled, cleaned, and serviced.

Frankly, no shop wants to mess with chasing creaks. It takes an inordinate amount of time to isolate a noise and chances are, it's some piddly little thing that they're not going to get any money for dealing with. So if you're going to chase each individual noise as it pops up, you're going to have to do it on your own time. The shop is probably going to check for mechanical function and that's about it. If everything is actually working, then the noise is an aesthetic thing.

It's not their job to do routine cleaning of your bike, either. A LOT of noises come down to that alone. If you pay them to overhaul your bike, that generally does include some pretty detailed cleaning. You'll pay for it, too. Lots of shops will offer overhaul discounts during their slow season, and that's when it's best to have them do that job. But things like getting the dirt off the outside, taking care of the chain, etc are up to the owner. Some shops (but not all) will include a little cleaning as part of certain tune up packages, too. They're also more likely to spend a little more time on creaks if you're paying them for more work. Just depends on how they handle those kinds of things. Some shops emphasize meticulous work. Others emphasize clearing the service board and getting customers' bikes back sooner.

Now, given the work you recently had done, though, I'd be working to isolate the sound as best I can, keeping it in mind as you work through other possibilities. Taking things apart and cleaning them, then reinstalling them carefully and with good use of grease/loctite/fiber grip/retaining compound where called for. If you're thinking drivetrain, start with drivetrain bits. ALL of them. Any spot where one part touches another, even the smallest parts. I've had creaks caused by housing ferrules in a housing stop that had a little dust in it. Chainring bolts are a possibility. The cassette is a possibility. The thru axle is a possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Harold,

Thanks, I appreciate your knowledge and insight on this.

I usually have my bike serviced at least on an annual basis or whenever needed.
I'd like to start doing it myself but need time to learn - it would be more satisfying.

I agree with what you said about shops only having so much time to chase creaks.
I try to do it myself but it's like chasing a ghost sometimes. I'll see what I can do
before bugging my LBS again.

Maybe I should just get a hardtail!...LOL. Joking.
 

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Fwiw, I like giant's for FS bikes that are low maintenance. For whatever reason, the pivots on Giant FS bikes seem to need little to no maintenance to be happy. You'll go through the front lower pivot bearings faster then the others because of the maestro's propensity to hold water in the little pocket below the shock and that fouls the bearings... but even then we're talking once every 2 years +/-.

I've had good luck with kona's although not all their bikes are created equal for maintenance. Santacruz is obviously a good choice because of the warranties.

But like the above posters have said, it depends on a lot of things. Modern FS bikes need some sort of all bolts check at least every other month (if you're riding 1-2 times a week) and at a minimum, an annual suspension service. I would recommend a lower leg and air can service at far shorter intervals, but plenty of people don't do that and they still ride regularly and have fun. Even if their bikes aren't operating at their optimum due to deferred maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When I had my swingarm replaced recently, while I was at it I had them service the suspension ( never had it done in 4 years!..WTF!). I'm not an aggressive rider, and on average ride 1-2 times per week.
 

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Sometimes the creak on a bike might not be where you are thinking it comes from. I have a creak that I thought was coming from the pivots on my bike. It drove me nuts since nothing I did would fix the creak. Until one day I was fiddling with my rear derailleur. Turns out that the creaking was coming from the clutch on the rear derailleur!

I live in So Cal so its pretty dry out here. I haven't really done much maintenance to any of my full suspension bikes.
 

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While I agree with the comments that modern bikes are generally pretty good and similarly durable and creak prone/resistant, the Ripley V1/2/3 is probably slightly more prone to creaks than typical due to the unique nature of the eccentric linkage system. I am a big fan of the Ripley, but this is not an uncommon issue. The eccentric assemblies are particular about being correctly assembled and torqued. And there is an updated eccentric design that replaced the early V1 version, has yours been upgraded to the "Gnar-Core"? The torque specs have been changed over the years since the Ripley was introduced. An experienced Ibis dealer actually would be a good idea for rooting out a very persistent and stubborn creak, if it is indeed lurking in the proprietary bits. Another possible source is where the clevis and shock bolt together. Lot's of good info if you go digging into the Ibis forum here. But otherwise they are just as prone to random hardware creaks as any other bike. Servicing the eccentrics yourself is not super hard, but they are a bit tricky to get aligned correctly to put it back together, especially the first time you do it. It may feel like a puzzle until you get it right.

The new V4 Ripley may very well go to the other side of this trend and be quieter than the average bike of similar complexity, due to using Igus bushings at one set of the primary linkages, I expect these to run quiet and trouble free for extended intervals compared to standard cartridge bearings, although this is still to be proven true due to the newness of the bike. The very similar Ripmo seems to be holding up well, though, from what I have heard.

In my own experience, besides random problems with drivetrain components, saddles and seatposts are the most common sources of creaks, and often simply removing, cleaning and reinstalling will clear it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sometimes the creak on a bike might not be where you are thinking it comes from. I have a creak that I thought was coming from the pivots on my bike. It drove me nuts since nothing I did would fix the creak. Until one day I was fiddling with my rear derailleur. Turns out that the creaking was coming from the clutch on the rear derailleur!

I live in So Cal so its pretty dry out here. I haven't really done much maintenance to any of my full suspension bikes.
I had a similar issue, where it drove me nuts and it turned out to be the rear axle. Regreased it and it was silent again. This time, however, my mechanic mentioned that was greased. So I'll have to troubleshoot some more or take it to a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
While I agree with the comments that modern bikes are generally pretty good and similarly durable and creak prone/resistant, the Ripley V1/2/3 is probably slightly more prone to creaks than typical due to the unique nature of the eccentric linkage system. I am a big fan of the Ripley, but this is not an uncommon issue. The eccentric assemblies are particular about being correctly assembled and torqued. And there is an updated eccentric design that replaced the early V1 version, has yours been upgraded to the "Gnar-Core"? The torque specs have been changed over the years since the Ripley was introduced. An experienced Ibis dealer actually would be a good idea for rooting out a very persistent and stubborn creak, if it is indeed lurking in the proprietary bits. Another possible source is where the clevis and shock bolt together. Lot's of good info if you go digging into the Ibis forum here. But otherwise they are just as prone to random hardware creaks as any other bike. Servicing the eccentrics yourself is not super hard, but they are a bit tricky to get aligned correctly to put it back together, especially the first time you do it. It may feel like a puzzle until you get it right.

The new V4 Ripley may very well go to the other side of this trend and be quieter than the average bike of similar complexity, due to using Igus bushings at one set of the primary linkages, I expect these to run quiet and trouble free for extended intervals compared to standard cartridge bearings, although this is still to be proven true due to the newness of the bike. The very similar Ripmo seems to be holding up well, though, from what I have heard.

In my own experience, besides random problems with drivetrain components, saddles and seatposts are the most common sources of creaks, and often simply removing, cleaning and reinstalling will clear it up.
You made some great points here.

Yes, I did upgrade to the gnarcores.

I'm nervous to mess with the eccentrics which is why I take it to my LBS. I have checked the torque though. This time around I think it could be something in the drivetrain. It wouldn't be a bad idea I think to replace the BB, although my mechanic said it was ok. It could be something internal in the BB? Since it's never been replaced. Although I'm thinking it could be the seat/seatpost since there is a subtle amount of lateral play or maybe the deraileur or hangar? I'll try to do some troubleshooting before taking it in to my LBS.

As you mentioned, I did hear the V4 is a bit more maintenance free then the previous models and am tempted to get one, however, I really like my V1, despite the notorious creaking issue it has, it is very light and nimble, it seems like the subsequent models including the V4 are a few pounds heavier (although they have improved stability). Mine is under 26lbs. Also, I like how it's a bit shorter in length than the LS models, to me it seems a bit more maneuverable.

Thanks for your input!
 

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You made some great points here.

Yes, I did upgrade to the gnarcores.

I'm nervous to mess with the eccentrics which is why I take it to my LBS. I have checked the torque though. This time around I think it could be something in the drivetrain. It wouldn't be a bad idea I think to replace the BB, although my mechanic said it was ok. It could be something internal in the BB? Since it's never been replaced. Although I'm thinking it could be the seat/seatpost since there is a subtle amount of lateral play or maybe the deraileur or hangar? I'll try to do some troubleshooting before taking it in to my LBS.

As you mentioned, I did hear the V4 is a bit more maintenance free then the previous models and am tempted to get one, however, I really like my V1, despite the notorious creaking issue it has, it is very light and nimble, it seems like the subsequent models including the V4 are a few pounds heavier. Mine is under 26lbs. Also, I like how it's a bit shorter in length than the LS models since to me it's a bit more maneuverable.

Thanks for your input!
If the BB still feels smooth when spinning the cranks with the chain off, it's probably fine, but it is a 4 year old press-fit BB so it's not entirely without concern. They are cheap enough I would replace it proactively if you intend to keep the bike. I would definitely remove, clean, check and reinstall all the basic components (seatpost, saddle, stem, cranks, etc.) just to be thorough.

One thing about the eccentrics, there is a bolt on each that holds them together that can't be reached without pulling the swingarm. If you do decide to check it, with practice you can get the swingarm off in a couple of minutes and back on almost as fast. The entire trick is having the eccentrics in the right position to slide into the grooves on the inside of the swingarm that are there just for that step. And make sure you have the updated assembly procedure and torque specs for everything.

Your Ripley is still a great bike, so is the new one but it would definitely ride and fit different than you are accustomed to. The new one could probably be built up lighter than your current one, with the same parts spec. I believe the V4 frame is lighter, somewhat due to the removal of the eccentrics from the design. If not it's very close. But current build spec is a longer dropper and bigger tires than would ever fit on a V1 or V2, those could add a pound or more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If the BB still feels smooth when spinning the cranks with the chain off, it's probably fine, but it is a 4 year old press-fit BB so it's not entirely without concern. They are cheap enough I would replace it proactively if you intend to keep the bike. I would definitely remove, clean, check and reinstall all the basic components (seatpost, saddle, stem, cranks, etc.) just to be thorough.

One thing about the eccentrics, there is a bolt on each that holds them together that can't be reached without pulling the swingarm. If you do decide to check it, with practice you can get the swingarm off in a couple of minutes and back on almost as fast. The entire trick is having the eccentrics in the right position to slide into the grooves on the inside of the swingarm that are there just for that step. And make sure you have the updated assembly procedure and torque specs for everything.

Your Ripley is still a great bike, so is the new one but it would definitely ride and fit different than you are accustomed to. The new one could probably be built up lighter than your current one, with the same parts spec. I believe the V4 frame is lighter, somewhat due to the removal of the eccentrics from the design. If not it's very close. But current build spec is a longer dropper and bigger tires than would ever fit on a V1 or V2, those could add a pound or more.
I'm considering just having my LBS replace the BB - to be proactive like you said, that way I know it's new as well.

I plan to keep it for at least a year longer, but am contemplating keeping it or selling it to my brother who wants it, this way I can keep it in the family!...LOL.

I think my next bike will be another Ripley. They just suit me well. I've demo'd the V3 and loved it and know I will love the V4 ( essentially a cross between the Ripley and Ripmo (which I've demo'd already ) ) without even demo'ing... LOL. I'm wondering if I see a great deal on a V3 with a great setup, if I should buy it, or buy the V4. The V4 may be worth getting for the new linkage alone? If I get the V4, unless I see a great deal somewhere, will probably have midrange parts, whereas if I get the V3, I'll probably have better parts due to a better deal on an older bike.
 

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I'm considering just having my LBS replace the BB - to be proactive like you said, that way I know it's new as well.

I plan to keep it for at least a year longer, but am contemplating keeping it or selling it to my brother who wants it, this way I can keep it in the family!...LOL.

I think my next bike will be another Ripley. They just suit me well. I've demo'd the V3 and loved it and know I will love the V4 ( essentially a cross between the Ripley and Ripmo (which I've demo'd already ) ) without even demo'ing... LOL. I'm wondering if I see a great deal on a V3 with a great setup, if I should buy it, or buy the V4. The V4 may be worth getting for the new linkage alone? If I get the V4, unless I see a great deal somewhere, will probably have midrange parts, whereas if I get the V3, I'll probably have better parts due to a better deal on an older bike.
I have a V4 frame on order for a mid July delivery, as much as I like the original Ripley design I feel like the V4 is a superior bike and somewhat more future-proof. But the V3 is pretty darn nice too and there are some great deals on them right now. You really can't go wrong.
 
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