Photo by Tyler Frasca.
Just The Way You Want It
Like more and more mountain bike companies, Ibis offers its flagship model with a variety of build options. Frame and rear shock run $2900. Our test model was $5529 complete with Shimano XT brakes, KS LEV dropper post, and SRAM’s XO1 drivetrain spinning an E*Thirteen TRS+ w/32t Guidering. Less and more expensive options are also possible.
Our testers had no major parts complaints, save for the more XC-oriented Stan’s wheels and Schwalbe Racing Ralph/Nobby Nic tire combination. The alloy hoops were seen as a “nod to the bike’s XC race heritage, and could be a little flexy.” The tires simply “didn’t have enough tooth for our dry and dusty test loop.”
We also encountered a tiny amount of flex in the 32mm Fox fork. But this can be addressed with a 140mm Fox 34 (also compatible with the Ripley). Fox also makes a 120mm/140mm Talas specially for this bike (as opposed to the standard 110/140).
The KS LEV received its usual love among our testers, with one calling it his absolute favorite. “It’s infinitely adjustable, no play, and a great lever shape and action.”
It’s also worth mentioning that if you opt for a 1×11 build, Ibis has just started selling a front derailleur mount cover for five bucks. This helps clean up what one of our testers called the only blemish on an otherwise aesthetically clean package.
Photo by Tyler Frasca.
Like a number of bikes in this test, the Ripley’s cable routing could use some work. When installing cables, it’s necessary to lock the casings together near the front of the shock to keep them in place while riding. Otherwise they can slide as the suspension cycles. Previously Ibis had specified a zip tie to solve this issue, but zip ties are prone to slipping, making it a band-aid fix at best.
But again Ripley has conjured up an on-the-fly fix, designing a small aluminum clamp about the size of a sugar cube that locks the casings in place. These “Cable Dice” started shipping with frames on February 1 and can be bought online for $9.
And while we’re nit-picking, the black with green paint scheme of our test rig just didn’t pop. We’d love to see some different — and brighter — color options.
Photo by Tyler Frasca.
Who’s This Bike For?
The short answer: Anyone who likes riding mountain bikes. A little longer: It’s most likely a candidate for the recovering cross-country racer who wants to rail turns like runaway train, and still be able to hammer on the climbs.
The Last Word
The Ripley is an extremely versatile 29er that’s truly overcome the stigmas long associated with larger wheels. Yes, it’s capable of steamrolling over everything in big-hooper beast mode. But it also responds to a more gentle touch, and loves to pick and flick its way up or down the trail. Of course the 120mm of travel wont be enough from some riders, but for those who get over the number, the Ripley won’t disappoint.
- Quick, nimble and fast handling
- Great dw-link suspension
- Great climber
- Versitile personality
- “Only” 120mm of rear travel
- Cables need taming
- “Meh” graphics
- Flexy wheels and fork
Price and Trickle Down Versions
Ibis Ripley as tested: $5529
Ibis Ripley frame set: $2900 with Fox Float CTD Adjust Factory Series shock
Ibis Ripley XT build: $5599
Ibis Ripley XX1: $6999
Ibis Ripley Special Blend: $3950
2014 Ibis Ripley Key Specs
- MSRP: $5529
- Weight: 26.45 pounds (size Large)
- Wheel size: 29
- Sizes: small, medium, large, extra-large
- Color: blue; black and green
- Frame Material: Carbon
- Fork: Fox Float 32 CTD 120mm with Kashima coating
- Rear Travel: 120mm
- Rear Shock: Fox Float CTD Adjust Factory Series with Kashima coating
- Headset: Cane Creek 40: ZS44 1 1/8″ top/EC49/40 Traditional 1.5″ bottom
- Handlebar: Ibis Hi-Fi Carbon bar 740mm
- Stem: Ibis 3D Forged
- Grips: Ibis
- Seatpost: KS Lev
- Brakes: Shimano XT 160 rear/180mm front
- Brake Levers:
- Shifters: SRAM XO1
- Front Derailleur: n/a
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 11-speed
- Cassette: SRAM 11-42 cassette
- Crankset: E*Thirteen TRS+ w/32t Guidering M
- Rims: Stan’s ZTR Arch EX 29er
- Hubs: Stan’s 3.30 6-Bolt Disc Front QR front / 15mm; 3.30 6-Bolt Disc Rear QR or 12×142 rear
- Spokes: Stan’s 32H Three Cross
- Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25” snakeskin tubeless rear, Nobby Nic 2.25” snakeskin tubeless front
- Bottom bracket type: E*thirteen BB92 Pressfit GXP
- ISCG Tabs: No
- Chain guide: No
- Head tube angle: 70 degrees
- Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
- Chainstay length: 17.4 inches
- Bottom bracket height: 12.9 inches
For more information visit http://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/ripley_29/.
This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.