Strengths: No better value anywhere. The bike was less than used equivalents on eBay, such as the Kona Jake. The XRay Sport has mounting for full fenders and a rack in back, which was very appealing for me since I hate wearing a backpack on my back while riding (too sweaty). This bike feels very comfortable and responsive. The Sora's shift much better than what I had heard from other people. It's everything I wanted from a road bike and a mountain bike, at a great price.
Weaknesses: The pedals may need to be replaced soon, it sounds as if i can hear clicking coming from the right pedal. The saddle fits, but I will replace it with one that fits me better, but that is expected. I have had 3 flats on these tires and will replace them with something more puncture resistant.
The bike fits my needs perfectly. I came from a trek mountain bike looking for a better commuter, and I have found it.
So far I have put 180 miles on the bike, and it gets better the more I ride. It feels very stable while cornering, and I don't feel any vibrations while riding on the road. On downhill sections (road) going 35mph+ the bike feels very stable.
The representatives at Ibex were very helpful, and the bike fits me very well. The frame welds look very good to me, though I am no authority on the subject. It did take about 1 week to get the shifting dialed in properly, but I haven't had to touch it since. The bike was packaged very well I thought. It included all the tools needed to assemble the bike, had a generic manual and component's manuals.
Strengths: Frame, fine finish, excellent welds, strength and quality for the money. Front steel fork is nice and stiff, but not for really wide tires, but GOOD if you run up to 35mm. Rims are ok, pushing it for 38's but they work better on trail. Basic bike is a good deal, it will give you a spare set of more road rims if you want stronger rims with bigger tires and a new fork later. It takes to the rough shoulder of a road like a champ stock. Minor glitches in assembly, more from transportation. I would like stronger rims, but at this price point, its ok for a good bit less than a Kona Jake. Fast enough on mild single track to make me smile wider. A good DEAL. It makes a good trail to road
ride, not fast with the wide tires on road, but far better than a hardtail MTB, with lots of nice hand positions for a less tiring ride.
Weaknesses: Sora set with Tiagra rear is ok, tunes out fine after a week of daily rides, not for race, ok for riding the bike to the point where you know more what you want to change. Better deal than frame alone, tiagra rear cleans up shifts there, Sora front is...Sora. Seat and pedals have to go, bars have too low a drop for me. Cross top levers, had one installed wrong, since I swapped bars, it has to be redone anyway. Ibex is good to deal with, be aware shipping will loosen up things if the box is bounced, you have to be relaxed about fixing a few things. Check spokes, they get some stress and I think a couple were under tightened and stripped the nut too easily.
This is a good frame, MTB spacing in rear chainstay's, road in front, enough room for 45mm tires with fenders in rear, stock steel fork is nice enough to 38 mm tires, more than that the Sun MZ 14 rims are too narrow, to not make for a touchy tire at lower pressure in turns. Fine finish and welds, rode it hard enough to pop two spokes, on rides that are half road, half rooted trail, (fast pinch flat capable trail, fit for the rims), Ritchey 32 mm tires are ok, but for more rough work, 35 to 38 mm tires with more volume are better. Beyond 38 mm a new fork, carbon Winwood dualist, or Surley Long Haul Trucker fork are an exact fit at 390mm with a 45 degree rake. One could use another fork, with slightly more crown to race length, if standover and geometry works out.
Similar Products Used: Various urban bikes, many old ten speeds, a couple I loved like old dogs, now I ride more mountain, and tweak hard tails for rough dirt road touring. This bike fits right in on rough roads.
Bike Setup: Stock, except for WTB Interwolf 38mm cross tires, Sette stem with more rise, new saddle, Time Atac Z pedals, On One Midge MTB drop bars. I am going to a new fork when its in, a Surley LHT, for hard riding and no worry strength. Now it feels like a comfortable ride on trail with more control with the On One bars. Will move to a different rim set with 36 spokes so I can beat it up.
Strengths: Light. Strong. Great value. Nice looking bike. There is no other legitimate cyclocross bike within $300 of the price. So far Ibex has been a pleasure to deal with. Our order shipped within 24 hours, and everything was as-advertised.
Weaknesses: The Sora front derailleur is either sub par, or badly in need of tuning. But I haven't hit the sweet spot yet. If this will be a daily commuter or a racing bike for you, seriously consider the upgrade to the X-Ray Race, which has Shimano 105 componentry, is two pounds lighter, and is a screaming deal at $999.
I have ridden this bike all of about five miles, but my initial impression of the X-Ray Sport, and Ibex in general, is very positive.
Putting the bike together turned out to be easy, though there were a couple of times that I wished for bike-specific instructions, rather than a generic "multi-speed bike" user manual. The bike was packed very well, and went together quickly. Once it was assembled, it required only minor adjustments to the brakes, and air in the tires in order to be rideable. It was sized perfectly.