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Ripley GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
Here at Competitive Cyclist, we think that most recipes that call for short travel and 29-inch wheels result in a tasty dose of trail fun, and the fourth-generation of Ibis’ Ripley GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike drives the point home, satiating our appetite for good times with its capable and playful demeanor. This firecracker of a bike takes its racy XC roots, and goes for the modern longer-slacker-steeper geometry treatment to bring it in the mix with other trail bikes of today, but without going too overboard. We’ve seen enough steeds stretch themselves out to the max, becoming all-too plush and sluggish, so we were pleased to see that the head tube on the Ripley was only tweaked by a degree, and the bulk of the changes took place in the rear end, only elevating the steeds playful characteristics and quick-rolling power.
The Ripley 4’s major update meant that Ibis’ engineers could start from the ground up, and they chose to start with the heart-and-center of the bike, updating the dual-eccentrics used in the past to a new design based on the Ripmo, which still holds DW-Link suspension tucked neatly in the front triangle, but without as much weight, and with a huge boost in stiffness. This change in the frame’s chassis allows massive weight savings of over a half-pound on the frame alone, giving your all-mountain machine a little more pep in its step when you’re pushing up grueling climbs, and a more nimble feel when you’re flicking it around tight switchbacks.
Weight savings aside, one of the biggest benefits we see with the drop of the double-eccentric design is extra room in the seat-tube, which enables taller riders to run dropper posts up to 185mm. This long-dropper length lets Ibis’ engineers carry forward with even more geometry tweaks, like an extra-low stan dover height, so you can pick your frame based on reach, eliminating seat-tube size from your list of limiting factors on your new-bike hunt.
Changes didn’t stop with the eccentrics though, the Ripley has been tweaked all over, including a one-degree slacker head tube for a stretched wheelbase that adds a bit of confidence to the descents, and a three-degree steeper seat tube angle that keeps you in the center of your cockpit perched nicely for climbs. On the rear end of things, Ibis shortened the chainstays by a whopping 12-millimeters to boost stiffness, and make the suspension a bit more progressive, without letting go of the lively pedaling characteristics of the previous Ripley.
- Short-travel 29er for satiating your craving for all-mountain
- New chassis inspired by Ripmo shaves 1/2-lb of weight
- Modern longer-slacker-steeper geometry increases capability
- DW-link suspension is ultra-efficient and supportive
- Low stand over height allows you to base sizing on reach
- Run extra-long dropper post with new chassis design
- SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain offers endless gears without breaking the bank
- Item #IBSB05P
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
This is my first bike so I'm loving it. I live in southeast Michigan and most of the trails around here are pedally singletrack with some < 2 foot drops or jumps in a few areas, roots, man-made rock gardens etc. The most I've probably been off the ground is 4 feet.
I settled on the 120mm travel class of bikes because I have more fun going fast on the downs and getting in the air than chugging along, even though I think a 100mm or less travel XC bike would be a better fit for my local trails. For 120mm travel from what I've read this bike pedals the best which is the main reason I went with it. I was able to demo a $5k ST stumpjumper and can confirm this is a significantly better pedaling bike and it's lighter.
I'm also not a fan of the stock tires. Interestingly, the most expensive version of the bike ($9k XTR build) comes with 2.35 tires instead of the 2.6 tires. I've tried Stock 2.6 Hans Damf / Nobby Nic, 2.6 Rekon / Ikon combo, 2.4 Rekon/Rekon, and 2.25 Racing Ray/ Racing Ralph. My favorite so far is the Ray/Ralph combo (probably because of the pedally nature of my local trails). Looking at a narrower carbon wheelset for next year now.
I've seen the light!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
This bike was my first time riding an Ibis, and now I can understand the hype. This bike was amazing! It was flat-out a fun bike to ride, and not only that, but it was surprisingly fast compared to what I had expected it to feel like. Granted, the big 2.6 tires are not doing it any favors in terms of weight and rolling speed, but I felt that they made up for it in terms of the grip that they offer and higher volume helped give little extra squish on top of the 130/120 travel this bike offers.
I felt that the suspension did a good job offering support on the climbs, even when you need to stand up and mash on the pedals. It was also really nice to be able to open the suspension and point this bike down the trail. It felt really great on the flowy sections of trail, but when things got a bit bumpier, I realized just how capable this bike actually was! It felt so stable and fast on rougher trails, and I hate to say it, but it really was "confidence-inspiring"! This bike was not afraid to take the rougher line, and handled the unexpected drops with no complaints. On the climbs, it felt fairly quick and I wasn't completely cooked after taking it up some longer climbs. For the XC-minded cyclist, don't think of this as your race bike, but more of your all-around fun bike.
Overall, I liked the spec on this bike, however I think that the brakes could be upgraded. Everything else was excellent. It would be interesting to try this bike with a more traditional, narrower tire to see if it still feels as plush and grippy. Nice work Ibis!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
With the new Ripley, Ibis has created a very capable trail bike with downhill-mined confidence. I have not ridden the Ibis Ripmo but from what I've read and can tell, the new Ripley is a short-travel version of the very popular Ripmo. If you're not always looking to ride the rockiest or root-filled trails you can find, then I think the Ripley will be the better bike for you. With 120mm of rear travel and 130mm up front this bike will handle most obstacles that you throw at it.
So what did I love about this bike? The confidence it gives you when pointing it downhill. It feels ready to tackle all the rock gardens and small drops you could throw at it. It's a very solid feeling frame which begs to be ridden harder. Longer + Slacker = Confidence.
What did I dislike? The wheelset and tire choice. It put a big damper on the fun for me. I think a lighter/narrower wheelset and 2.4 tires would really liven this bike up. The 2.6 tires definitely hurt the bikes climbing performance which is important to me. I'm an XC type rider that likes to take on some gnarlier trails from time to time without losing too much efficiency.
Overall the bike is a lot of fun but I would love to set it up with a lighter wheelset and tire combo to really enjoy it. I rode the size XL in a GX build with Factory suspension and it weighed in at 29.4 lbs without pedals. I think that this trail bike definitely leans more towards the enduro type rider who wants a more efficient pedaler rather than an XC rider who wants a little more travel.
Are the tires on Ripley GX model tubeless?
Yes they are tubeless.