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Ibis Ripmo - cracked frame. Are all carbon bikes this fragile?

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Ibis Ripmo - cracked frame. Are all carbon bikes this fragile?

Old 10-05-21, 05:15 AM
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billyymc
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Ibis Ripmo - cracked frame. Are all carbon bikes this fragile?

So I splurged and bought an Ibis Ripmo V2 - placed the order last September (2020) with Jenson and received the bike in February of this year. Have been riding it a lot and really liking it - it was a big step up from the Breezer Repack that I'd been riding the last 6 years or so.

About a week and a half ago I rode back to back days - one day at local lift served downhill and the next just normal trail riding at a nearby trail network. When I was cleaning my bike I noticed a spot on the bottom of the non-drive side chainstay where the paint had come off. I've attached a pic. For perspective the area in question is about 3/4 of an inch long.

When I contacted Ibis about getting some paint to touch this up, their warranty manager (Clay) told me that the frame was compromised and no longer recommended riding it. From the picture he said the carbon was cracked and I needed to replace the entire swing arm. I was somewhat surprised since whatever impacted the frame wasn't even enough for me to take notice of it when it happened. And now I've got a $500-$600 repair on a bike that's not even a year old (the swingarm cost me $480...hasn't arrived yet but anticipating the shop will charge me between $70 and $120ish...depends on how long the replacement takes them).

So I'm now wondering how common this is - how often are people breaking carbon frames out there? If this is something that's going to be a common thing on this Ripmo I'd be inclined to sell it and go back to an aluminum frame bike. I ride with lots of people riding carbon and have never had any of them crack a frame. I assume Ibis is no more or less likely to crack than any other brand?
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Old 10-05-21, 06:05 AM
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Pro tip: you could’ve saved about $500 by just buying some nail polish and touching that up.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:13 AM
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What do you mean by “this fragile“? You mean “not indestructible”?.

That pic looks like it took one hell of a hard hit.

People break all kinds of frames, and once you start doing lift served DH riding, you have to accept that sometimes things break.

Over at MTBR there is a thread where people post what kind of bikes they’ve owned and which ones broke. https://www.mtbr.com/threads/how-man...1192798/unread
The interesting thing is how some people who have been mountain biking for decades break a lot of frames, some never do, or only one.

What you do not see is any indication that CF is more likely to break.

No, the Ripmo is not a delicate frame. You just smashed it too hard. Ibis is not one of the most highly respected mtb frame companies for no reason.

The price Ibis charged you for a new triangle sounds like a crash replacement deal. Very reasonable.

Anyway, if you like this bike but want Al, just get a Ripmo AF frame and swap the parts.

Last edited by Kapusta; 10-05-21 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Pro tip: you could’ve saved about $500 by just buying some nail polish and touching that up.
I don't think so. There is definitely a crack in the carbon fiber.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:22 AM
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Wow... if you didn't feel that rock strike, it may be time to take up another sport, or stick to the rail trails. Price for replacement sounds reasonable.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:24 AM
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And if you’re concentrating on the task at hand you may not appreciate the severity of a hit. I broke a rail of a pretty new saddle during an event ride. Didn’t discover it until I went to put the bike on the roof rack. I had to think of when it happened. Concluded that it must have been the big bump I hit during a descent near the end of the ride. Didn’t seem that severe when it happened.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:32 AM
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We got this a lot at the shop. People buying Ferraris and surprised at how fragile they are. "I only bumped the parking block." or "The speed bump wasn't that big."
When playing in the big leagues ya gotta be able to play the whole game, not just the first inning. 500 bucks for a rear triangle is reasonable, time to pony up! Oh, yeah, don't forget to use a torque wrench upon reassembly.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:45 AM
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Ok, sounds like I just have to expect that breaking a carbon frame will happen.

One thing to note for those saying that crack looks like a big hit - keep in mind that area is about 3/4 of an inch long. It looks much worse in that closeup pic than in real life.

I agree the repair cost is reasonable.

Last edited by billyymc; 10-05-21 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Ok, sounds like I just have to expect that breaking a carbon frame is just to be expected.

One thing to note for those saying that crack looks like a big hit - keep in mind that area is about 3/4 of an inch long. It looks much worse in that closeup pic than in real life.

I agree the repair cost is reasonable.
a few non close of pics would help set a better tone potentially.

Any frame has a weak point. For CF, the thinner the structure the more likely it'll be its weak point imo.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
a few non close of pics would help set a better tone potentially.

Any frame has a weak point. For CF, the thinner the structure the more likely it'll be its weak point imo.
Would if I could - the bike is at a shop several hours away awaiting the arrival of the swingarm.
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Old 10-05-21, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Ok, sounds like I just have to expect that breaking a carbon frame will happen.

One thing to note for those saying that crack looks like a big hit - keep in mind that area is about 3/4 of an inch long. It looks much worse in that closeup pic than in real life.

I agree the repair cost is reasonable.
I see frame armor on carbon DH and even gravel bikes. Its usually placed on the underside of the downtube, the chinstays, the bottom bracket, etc. Maybe invest in some of that to help deflect impacts.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:11 AM
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You could probably get a carbon repair place to fix that. I would ask for the old swingarm back and get an estimate
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Old 10-05-21, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
That pic looks like it took one hell of a hard hit.
If it was a hard hit I'm surprised because it wasn't something I even noticed as i was riding. In fact it was a much smaller area of exposed carbon when I initially saw the crack...it was mostly a paint crack but some of the paint was loose so I just removed what came off easily wiht my fingernail to see if there was an issue beyond cracked paint.

I have to believe it was a loose rock that kicked up and hit the bottom part of the chainstay. I didn't crash, I didn't slam against any boulders or anything like that. It really doesn't seem like a loose rock kicking up would do that kind of damage, but I guess it can.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
You could probably get a carbon repair place to fix that. I would ask for the old swingarm back and get an estimate
I checked into that a bit and it seemed like cost wise it wouldn't be much less, and would take longer (and require me to ship the swingarm since no local places to that). Talked w my local shop (not an Ibis dealer but a good shop) and they said the same thing - they work with a few carbon repair businesses.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Ok, sounds like I just have to expect that breaking a carbon frame will happen.
.
No. You have to expect that breaking ANY frame CAN happen.

You had some bad luck. That sucks, I know. But this is a sport (especially when hitting the lifts) that sometimes things break. It is rare for any frame to break, but it happens. And it happens to both Al and CF. I’ve broken an Al frame.

Anyway, I know this is frustrating. Knowing that something like this is rare is little consolation when it just happened to you.

I am highly skeptical that damage is from a loose rock. These frames are pretty tough.

Last edited by Kapusta; 10-05-21 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I am highly skeptical that damage is from a loose rock. These frames are pretty tough.
I fully understand that skepticism. I know the terrain I rode those two days, and I really searched my memory for some instance of when I might have hit something - and I coudn't recall a hit like that. I mean, it's hard to hit the bottom corner of a rectangular chainstay on something in my experience. My pedal or crank or body would hit the object first I think. And I'm not a newb. I've been riding mtb for 30 years, road bikes even longer.

Last edited by billyymc; 10-05-21 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:47 AM
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I'd have to wonder if it was damaged while shipping and the paint just hadn't flaked off yet to make it otherwise noticeable.

But maybe it was just all the negative vibes from all the anti-carbon crowd coalescing and focusing on this one spot you rode the bike through. <grin>
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Old 10-05-21, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
I fully understand that skepticism. I know the terrain I rode those two days, and I really searched my memory for some instance of when I might have hit something - and I coudn't recall a hit like that. I mean, it's hard to hit the bottom corner of a rectangular chainstay on something in my experience. My pedal or crank or body would hit the object first I think. And I'm not a newb. I've been riding mtb for 30 years, road bikes even longer.
Well, let’s put it this way: if it did crack like that simply from a rock being kicked up, that is - as evidenced by this bike’s (and this company’s) track record - highly unusual. So to answer your original question: no, I don’t think you should expect another one to crack again.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I'd have to wonder if it was damaged while shipping and the paint just hadn't flaked off yet to make it otherwise noticeable.

But maybe it was just all the negative vibes from all the anti-carbon crowd coalescing and focusing on this one spot you rode the bike through. <grin>
I did feel a disturbance in the force

I don't think it was damaged when I received it at all. In fact I bought it from Jenson USA and they did a great job of prepping the bike.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Well, let’s put it this way: if it did crack like that simply from a rock being kicked up, that is - as evidenced by this bike’s (and this company’s) track record - highly unusual. So to answer your original question: no, I don’t think you should expect another one to crack again.
Thanks. Still going to wrap the chainstays w something since I'm a bit paranoid now. I know that won't do much, but if this WAS a rock that kicked up maybe it would protect against something like that. No other damage anywhere on my bike from whatever caused it.
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Old 10-05-21, 09:59 AM
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BF posters have scientifically proven that CF is not at all fragile .... so the damage you think you see there is not real.

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Old 10-05-21, 10:02 AM
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To answer your question about CF frames, about all I can do is point to all the people out there riding them and say if it was a big problem, then they wouldn't be out there just as happy as all those on steel.

And though I haven't had any bike, steel, aluminum or CF get damaged bad enough not to be considered safe to ride, I do know some people from my teenage years that broke their steel frames or bent them and couldn't ride them.
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Old 10-06-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Ok, sounds like I just have to expect that breaking a carbon frame will happen.

One thing to note for those saying that crack looks like a big hit - keep in mind that area is about 3/4 of an inch long. It looks much worse in that close-up pic than in real life.

I agree the repair cost is reasonable.
Sez Mr. Magoo, (sorry I could not resist)...my eyesight is not what it should be.

However, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and if the manufacture sez you need to send the frame in, who am I to argue.

That frame is cracked, at least you found it before another downhill excursion. Kudos to you for inspecting the frame. This is why one should NEVER buy a second-hand [EDIT] (carbon frame) bike, paint is easily sanded away along with the cracked carbon frame exterior tube and repainted or stickered to hide the damage.

I wish you the best in the repair/replacement department.Might this happen with a new carbon frame again? One never knows really.

Last edited by Cyclist0105; 10-06-21 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 10-06-21, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JAG1 View Post
~This is why one should NEVER buy a second-hand bike, paint is easily sanded away along with the cracked carbon frame exterior tube and repainted or stickered to hide the damage.
That may be the best strategy for YOU, but it certainly limits your choices, and is going to be expensive.
Ever bought a used car? Lots of things can be hidden there……🤔
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Old 10-06-21, 01:26 PM
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Those scrapes/indentations to the right of the cracked/flaking section sure don't look like they were from a light love tap - it got crunched hard. Between that and the black marks on the right edge of the pic, this bike looks like it's seen some rough times.
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