BIKE TEST / IBIS RIPLEY LS
The original Ripley went into production four years ago and quickly proved to us that Ibis is talented at building trailbikes. Yeah, we’re making a “talented Mr. Ripley” pun, but that bike
was worthy of the name. The latest version of the Ripley comes to
the table with more tire clearance and a slightly more aggressive
attitude. This is the third generation of the Ripley and, on paper,
seems to be the most capable and versatile one we’ve seen yet.
We had to bring one of these 29ers to the SoCal landscape to see
if we should truly believe it—or not.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Ripley is a 29er that has always been comfortable on a
wide range of trails. It has enough travel and is light enough to
handle anything from trail riding to gnarly enduro trails. It could
even be pressed into some cross-country racing if need be. The
newest Ripley is still notably lightweight, but also comes to the
table with more aggressive geometry and suspension setup than
ever before, which extends the bike’s versatility.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
Ibis builds the Gen 3 Ripley with a monocoque carbon frame
and swingarm. It’s held together with a dw-link suspension design
with 120 millimeters of rear-wheel travel and is designed to work
with a 130- or 140-millimeter fork. It also comes with an internal
tapered head tube, internal cable routing throughout, post-mount
brake tabs, a Boost 148-millimeter rear axle and a mount for a
front derailleur (should you want to use one).
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Ibis can build your LS with any number of build kits to hit several different price points. Our bike came with a fairly affordable
SRAM Eagle GX drivetrain that was paired with Fox suspension
and Shimano brakes front to back. All of these components proved
themselves on this bike and many others MBA has tested in the
past. Ibis brings all of this to you—with a full-carbon frame, mind
you—at a very approachable price of $4900.
To sweeten the pot, Ibis includes its own 938 Very Wide
aluminum asymmetric wheels and big 2.6-inch Schwalbe
Nobby Nic tires. That combo provides a huge contact patch
for the 29er wheels to hook up with the trail.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setup: Thanks to the simple air-sprung Fox Performance
Believe it or not, the Ripley went
suspension and the dialed dw-link suspension, setting up the
Ripley LS is easy. We set the shock to roughly
30 percent sag and the fork to roughly 20
percent. We pumped the big air-volume tires
to slightly less than we would typically run,
because the tires do some of the suspension
work as well. Then, we hit the trails.
long and slack