Your heart’s going at 200 bpm, your legs are on fire and there’s sweat running down your brow. You actually wanted to go for a relaxed ride but, once again, things have escalated aboard the Ibis Ripley. How did this happen?
Ibis Ripley XTR Build in detail
When you first see it, the Ibis Ripley doesn’t strike you as a particularly wild bike. The flowing and organic shape of the frame with its rather delicate-looking tubes reminds us more of the shy, nerdy type than the rowdy football player. However, take a closer look at the specs and you’ll quickly realize that it’s much more than a tame trail bike. The 66.5° head angle is slack for a 120 mm travel bike and the 475 mm reach is on par with modern enduro bikes. Rounding off the package, you’ve got a steep seat tube angle for a balanced pedalling position on the climbs and a low slung top tube to give you maximum freedom of movement on the trail.
IBIS RIPLEY XTR BUILD
Fork FOX 34 Factory FIT4 130 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT DPS Factory 120 mm
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive 185 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 2-Kolben 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1×12
Stem Thomson Elite X4 50 mm
Handlebar Ibis Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Ibis 935 Carbon 29″
Size S M L XL
Weight 11.68 kg
The Ripley is your personal drill sergeant, constantly yelling to pedal harder.
As you’d expect, the Ibis Ripley features a proprietary DW twin linkage suspension design on the rear with the shock positioned parallel to the down tube. To save weight, the lower link pivots on a set of Igus bushings that come with a lifetime guarantee. The Ripley is available in different build configurations, which you can mix and match to suit your preference. Ibis sent us their flagship build featuring a Shimano XTR drivetrain and brakes, as well as FOX Factory suspension, including a 130 mm travel 34 fork and DPS shock. The price of this dream build comes in at € 9,998 and includes Ibis’ S28 carbon rims.
Razor sharp – the handling of the Ripley is very precise!
Fittingly, Ibis spec the Ripley with a Schwalbe Hans Dampf tire up front and a Nobby Nic on the rear, suiting the bike’s character. One of the highlights on this build is the 185 mm Bike Yoke Revive dropper post, which not only gets the saddle completely out of the way but also offers smooth and easy operation. The weight of our test bike tipped the scales at a mere 11.86 kg, which is immediately noticeable when riding.
|Seat tube||368 mm||381 mm||418 mm||470 mm|
|Top tube||574 mm||603 mm||630 mm||658 mm|
|Head tube||90 mm||105 mm||115 mm||125 mm|
|Chainstays||432 mm||432 mm||432 mm||432 mm|
|BB Height||335 mm||335 mm||335 mm||335 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,147 mm||1,178 mm||1,207 mm||1,236 mm|
|Reach||425 mm||450 mm||475 mm||500 mm|
|Stack||599 mm||613 mm||622 mm||631 mm|
The Ibis Ripley on the trail
You’ve hardly swung your leg over it and the Ripley just wants to go. It accelerates as if it’s being chased by a grizzly bear. The 120 mm travel rear suspension hardens noticeably as you push down on the pedals, converting every bit of power into forward propulsion. Wow! It turns flat trails into a huge outdoor playground. Where other bikes would get bored, the Ripley is a ton of fun to ride. If you feel like taking it easy, the bike will happily do that too. The riding position is spot on and super comfortable. Whether you’re planning to cross the Alps by bike or regularly ride up long, steep climbs, the Ripley will make your life a whole lot easier. Back pain? Pretty much impossible on this bike.
As spritely and efficiently as the bike climbs, so it descends. The handling is very lively and direct and it responds to rider input immediately. Despite having short chain stays, the handling feels balanced and the steering is calm and composed. The rear suspension responds sensitively, but there is only so much you can expect from 120 mm travel. You get a lot of feedback from the trail and you have to read it carefully at higher speeds.
With plenty of mid-stroke support, you can use the terrain to your advantage to build up speed by pumping the bike through dips and berms. The Ripley is the perfect bike for fast, flowing trails. But it can cope just fine even when things sometimes get a little steeper and rougher. However, it will let you know that it’s time to take it easy and get on the brakes. Ibis have approved the bike for use with longer forks up to 140 mm travel, which would offer more reserves. Thicker tires would also make the Ripley more capable on the descents, but that would tip the balance toward descending and make the bike less spritely. For this package, we think the Schwalbe tire combination is a good compromise.
Tuning tip: for more reserves on the descents, upgrade to a 140 mm fork and more robust tires.
The Ibis Ripley is a fun-machine! If you’re looking for a quick and direct handling trail bike with a lively character to have as much fun on flat trails as possible, this is the bike. It performs well on the descents despite offering only 120 mm travel on the rear and it plays in a league of its own on the climbs. The workmanship and spec are top-notch but you’d expect that given the price.
- brilliant climber
- excellent pedalling position
- very lively and playful
- sufficient reserves for rough terrain
- firmer ride overall
You can find out more at ibiscycles.com
The Ibis Ripley could have more travel in your opinion? Then you should have a look at our review on the Ibis Ripmo. If you’re seeking for smaller wheels and even more reserves, than check out the Mojo HD5.
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