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3rd time's a charm.
Representing the third generation of the trail-slaying Ripley, the Ibis Ripley LS Carbon 3.0 Mountain Bike Frame is overhauled for 2018 to clear wide volume tires for unrelenting grip and smooth-riding characteristics across rough trails. It retains the nimble handling and high-speed stability that's made the previous Ripley LS an overwhelming favorite across a wide variety of trails, as well as the 120-millimeters of DW-Link travel for quick acceleration with very little in the way of energy-sapping pedal bob. Surprisingly, this limited rear travel feels much deeper than numbers suggest, meaning it can hang with longer-travel bikes on rowdy sections of trail littered with steep drops, square-edge hits, and rock gardens.
Delving into the Ripley LS 3.0's geometry, you'll find a moderately slack head tube angle of 67.5-degrees instilling confidence on the descent, with a low-slung 13-inch bottom bracket keeping you glued to the trail. Paired with the steam-rolling benefits of 29-inch wheels, it absolutely destroys descents and rugged stretches of trail with both composure and stability where other trail bikes would falter. This is especially surprising when you note its 120-millimeters of rear travel, which is rather small in today's world of long-travel enduro bruisers.
Accommodating the ever-evolving wheel and tire standards becoming ubiquitous on modern trail machines, the Ripley LS Carbon 3.0 accepts 2.6-inch tires with its reconfigured swing arm and clevis mount, which is moved backwards and down to clear wider tires. Ibis achieves a stiffer rear end with the reconfigured chassis of its dual-eccentric DW-Link suspension. The upper eccentric link is wider than before for increased stiffness when you're tracking across the rough stuff. Best of all, the reconfigured chassis doesn't affect the praised suspension kinematics of the previous Ripley LS.
We'd be amiss to forget the monocoque carbon lay-up of the Ripley LS frame, resulting in an astoundingly stiff, pleasingly light trail whip. For even greater wheel stiffness, the rear axle is upgraded to BOOST, which creates wider hub spacing for a stiffer bracing angle of the wheel spokes. Other cool tidbits to note, the front derailleur mount only works with Shimano side-swing and Di2 2x types and there's internal dropper cable routing for a cleaner overall aesthetic.
- Playful 29er for trail riders, now accepts wide volume tires
- 120mm DW-Link travel for efficiency + square-edge compliance
- Carbon construction is astoundingly stiff and lightweight
- Balanced geometry with 67.5-degree head tube angle
- Redesigned swingarm clears 2.6-inch tires for grip
- Upper eccentric link is wider for rear-end stiffness
- Accepts Shimano 2x side-swing and 2x Di2 front derailleurs
- Internal dropper cable routing for cleaner aesthetic
- Item #IBS003R
- Q & A
A lively, playful, charismatic machine
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
We, as an industry, have all firmly planted both feet in the carbon frame pool. Companies aim to distinguish themselves with their linkage designs and insulation from issues with a warranty, but rarely speak specifically to the quality of construction in their frames.
I've seen the inside of every single brand of frame we sell. When I peered into the head tube of my Ibis with a little shop sized mag light, I was absolutely astonished to see no seams, excess resin, sloppy finish lines, or leftover carbon. Anywhere. Not even in the headtube or BB junction, common problem areas given the drastic tube shapes needed to compliment modern frame geometry. This frame quality was equivalent to that of Yeti, Santa Cruz, and Pivot, which I have seen as some of the finest brands in the industry. Oh yeah, these guys offer a 7 year warranty on their frames; that is longer than anyone but Santa Cruz.
The DW link is known for pedaling extremely well, but the eccentric pivot allows the suspension to really open up and feel somewhat "bottomless" on larger impacts. We ride in some horribly dry conditions out here in UT some parts of the year and the brake bumps can become formidable very quickly. In my experience, DW link has been the most efficient suspension design in keeping my rear wheel on the ground through sustained brake bumps, rock gardens, or any consistently chattery terrain.
Climbs well, doesn't sag, but feels "bottomless"? So what sucks? The short answer is nothing, but if I had to pick on something, it would be the bikes slight harshness on square edged impacts. While riding in Moab, I noticed the DW was a little slower to respond on single bigger hits. This is, very plainly, because the bike was not designed to perform well in this regard, from what I can tell. If you want something for hucking, look for more travel.
With the LS gaining a bit more length in the cockpit/wheelbase and a slightly slacker head angle, this bike will absolutely scream downhill, but keep you efficient enough to skip spinning lifts and just get that extra pedaling in.
Please get in touch if you want to chat Ibis at all! I'd be glad to go over build options depending on your riding style and talk a bit more about what I settled on given my experiences.