IMG 2989
IMG 2989

#IBIS #Ripley #Mountain #Bike #Assessment #Enjoyable #Worth

The IBIS Ripley is a well-respected and nearly universally beloved short-travel path bike.

For years, the brief rear triangle and DW-link rear suspension with a protracted and slack entrance finish have delivered a playful trip — a mixture of stability and agility that has mesmerized riders since 2013.

In 2021, IBIS launched the Ripley AF, the aluminum-framed cousin of the Ripley. The massive play was the value.

A present Shimano Deore outfitted Ripley AF full bike retails for $3799, almost the identical worth because the carbon Ripley body alone ($3,499). So comparably, the Ripley AF is kind of the deal.

However what concerning the efficiency? Does it do the IBIS Ripley and DW-link names justice?

Briefly, the Ripley AF delivers its a lot costlier cousin’s pedaling effectivity and suspension efficiency. The tradeoffs are minimal in comparison with the fee financial savings. It is likely one of the greatest offers for a path bike with confirmed DNA.

First, the Suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF shock

Rear Suspension

DW-link rear suspension has impressed me each time. The resistance to power-robbing suspension bobbing whereas seated has all the time been stellar, and it was the identical completely satisfied story on the Ripley AF.

Whether or not churning an enormous gear on the flats or grinding the bottom gears on steep and rocky climbs, the DW-link supplied a secure platform and put essentially the most energy into the rear tire. And this was with the shock left vast open. I by no means remembered as soon as to vary it. That’s how good the DW-link was for seated pedaling.

2022 IBIS Ripley AF DW–link
(Picture/Seiji Ishii)

Stomping whereas standing elicited a lot of the identical wonderment, however there was some bobbing. If I knew I needed to stand loads over a protracted interval, I’d take into account switching the shock setting to a stiffer mode.

On the descents, each quick and flowy, and gradual and chunky, the DW-link kinematics, Fox Efficiency Collection Float DPS, and resultant 120mm of journey let me bomb down with out hesitation or fear.

With the really useful 25% sag, I may deal with most intermediate strains on the bike park with none surprises. The rear finish was predictable and by no means slowed me down. And once more, this was with the shock vast open.

Entrance Suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF suspension fork
(Picture/Seiji Ishii)

The Fox Efficiency Collection Float 34 fork with 130mm of journey was an amazing match. Once more, on the really useful 25% sag, I didn’t really feel something annoying whereas climbing and attacked descents with abandon.

Surprisingly, with each ends left vast open, I by no means as soon as bottomed the shock or fork out, strive as I’d. I routinely backside 130mm forks out on particular bounce faces or drops, and it by no means occurred as soon as on the Ripley AF. This speaks to the progressive nature of the suspension when it’s close to the top of journey.

General, I had zero complaints concerning the suspension on the IBIS Ripley AF. The balanced climbing and descending efficiency made it a super-fun bike.

And the grin issue elevated with speeds; I felt the suspension motion on each ends improved because the speeds elevated whereas climbing, descending or on the flats.

The Remainder of the IBIS Ripley AF

2022 IBIS Ripley AF top view

Our check rig was a 2022 model with a little bit of an odd spec, largely Shimano Deore with SLX brakes and Schwalbe tires (the present 2023 spec differs barely). And once more, I had no complaints.

Shimano Deore rear derailleur
(Picture/Seiji Ishii)

I by no means missed a shift, even when churning a low cadence on a climb, desperately stabbing the shifter for decrease gear inches. The brakes have been impeccably well-behaved, from preliminary chew to full-panic cease conditions; the predictability of response bolstered my confidence and begged me to push the boundaries of traction.

IBIS-branded wheel and Schwalbe tire
(Picture/Seiji Ishii)

The IBIS-branded S35 aluminum wheels and Schwalbe tires took loads of abuse in rocky terrain and emerged unscathed. The body had the clearance for the two.6-inch-wide Hans Dampf Addix SuperGravity Gentle rubber, which I felt had an amazing mixture of traits for our usually hard-packed and chunky strains.

I felt assured leaning over at pace after they transitioned to the edging knobs, which was shocking, as they felt comparatively fast-rolling.

This bike delivered my first expertise with a KS Rage-i dropper publish. The cable-actuated 170mm journey dropper did its job reliably and was in any other case unnoticed.

One total feeling concerning the Ripley AF warrants consideration: it felt compact, particularly vertically. That is in comparison with comparable bikes I’ve examined, just like the Pivot Path 429 (additionally DW-link).

The sensation may have been partially because of the IBIS’s 12mm decrease backside bracket top. The reaches have been equivalent at 475mm. Regardless, the compact feeling added to my confidence when confronted with scary drops or gradual, super-techy, balance-oriented sections.

Lastly, IBIS provides a stout 7-year guarantee on the body.

The Downsides

Our large-size check bike weighed a verified 32 kilos, 8 ounces with out pedals, and was arrange tubeless. The aluminum body provides about 2 kilos in comparison with its carbon cousin. After all, bike weights differ by half spec, however the Ripley AF is heavier than carbon bikes in the identical class.

The Pivot Path 429 Enduro construct has a verified weight of 28 kilos, 15 ounces with tubes. In comparison with all different carbon mountain bikes I used to be testing concurrently, I seen the load on climbs. However, I’m paid to note.

On the flats and downhill, that weight distinction largely disappeared. And you must bear in mind; this bike prices lower than half of all the opposite bikes I used to be testing on the time, some that break the $10,000 barrier.

One notable change that IBIS made between the carbon and aluminum variations of the Ripley is the one-degree slacker head angle on the AF. And certainly, the entrance finish felt gradual on very tight, twisty trails.

However the flip facet is that the bike had a planted front-end feeling going downhill, and I by no means as soon as felt twitchiness at pace. So, I felt this compromise benefitted the bike at pace, and once more, I’m making an attempt to note.

Closing Ideas

IBIS Stem Cap
(Picture/Seiji Ishii)

If I shelve my information of specs, throw out the bragging rights, and slender my focus to enjoyable versus funds, the IBIS Ripley AF is great. When you’ve got a tough cap for spending on a path bike, I believe it is going to be troublesome to beat this bike.

In case you are lucky sufficient to have a quiver of bikes, and your commonplace is carbon, then sure, the bike is probably going heavier than different choices. And possibly the slacker head angle is one thing you received’t like coming off a cross-country race bike.

However, and it’s an enormous however, you can not disregard the hundreds of {dollars} in potential financial savings.

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