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Ripley LS Carbon 3.0 NX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
The Ibis Ripley has been a longtime favorite of ours for its impressive handling of technical terrain while staying true to its roots as an ultra-fast and efficient 29er trail bike. The bike's deceptively capable scope expanded further with the Longer Slacker (LS) alterations made to its second generation, but the third and current generation of the Ripley comes with some updates that help it punch above its weight class right into all mountain territory, all without losing that characteristic Ripley efficiency. The Ripley LS Carbon 3.0 NX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike brings to the table a stiffer swingarm and, more importantly, a reworked clevis that clears space for high-volume 2.6in tires.
We know the Ripley LS. We love the Ripley LS. And fortunately for all of us the main difference with the Ripley LS 3.0 is that added tire clearance. 29er mid-plus involves bumping clearance up to handle wagon wheel tires up to 2.6in, upping the ante on the host of current mid-travel 29ers that top out in the 2.35-2.4in range. All that extra cushion and traction make mid-plus tires a nice idea in theory, and Ibis proves the theory by wrapping its own wide 938 Alloy rims in a pair of 2.6in Nobby Nics. Given how well this size of tire balances plush grip against the occasional sloppiness of proper plus-sized tires, we think this may the most versatile all-mountain version of the tire that Schwalbe rightfully dubs "a mountain biker's best friend."
The Ripley LS 3.0 retains the same praised geometry as the Ripley LS 2.0, defined by the acronym LS, which denotes Longer Slacker. Compared to the first generation Ripley, the Ripley LS 3.0 is both longer (by 15mm in the cockpit and 42mm in the wheelbase) and slacker (by 1.3 degrees). That bigger footprint gives the bike more stability at speed, but doesn't take away from the efficiency, nimble handling, and playfulness that made us fall in love with the Ripley in the first place.
Despite those plumped-out tires and more aggressive geometry, the LS 3.0's construction process remains the same, beginning with an internal bladder that's wrapped in a monocoque carbon lay-up that keeps the carbon fabric intact through frame joints. The precision of this method means that no additional molds or fillers are needed to keep the frame light and strong. The Ripley LS's swingarm and clevis are still filled with foam glass microsphere cores to ensure their structural integrity while keeping weight down, and it has the same expanded dropper post capacity as the regular version.
The Ripley includes the latest Fox Float DPS shock, which is tuned for the DW-Link suspension's firm, consistent pedaling platform. It handles with nimble speed while accelerating out of turns and taking advantage of the suspension's strong anti-squat tendencies. The 120mm rear travel soaks up rough terrain in stride, and combined with the Ripley LS's 67.5-degree head tube, makes for a surprisingly eager trail platform that combines the best qualities of XC and trail bikes—though the expanded tire clearance does push it even further into the all-mountain category.
The frame is finished with a smart list of components that doesn't leave much to be desired for the pragmatic rider trying to maintain a budget. SRAM's NX Eagle drivetrain shifts accurately across the wide range 11 to 50-tooth cassette, so you'll have plenty of gears for steep climbs and blazing descents alike. Ibis specs their house-brand 938 Alloy Wheels with a wide 34mm internal width, providing excellent support for the 2.6-inch Schwalbe Nobby Nic's so you can take full advantage of the extra traction and plushness you get from running lower air pressures in these high-volume tires. Lastly, Fox Performance suspension blends smooth and reliable damping with intuitive adjustments that help you dial in the ride for your individual weight and riding style.
- The fast, playful, highly-capable Ripley sees more tire clearance
- 5in of DW-Link travel excels at both climbing and descending
- Redesigned swingarm clears 2.6in tires for extra traction & cushion
- Upper eccentric link is wider for more rear-end stiffness
- LS geometry balances stability at speed with nimble efficiency
- Carbon construction is astoundingly stiff and lightweight
- Threaded bottom bracket shell reduces creaks and groans
- NX Eagle drivetrain offers a wide gear range without breaking the bank
- Item #IBS0059