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Mad trail party.
At times, it feels like we're still plumbing the depths of just how far down the all-mountain rabbit hole Ibis' Ripley can descend. The bike's deceptively capable scope expanded further with the Longer Slacker (LS) alterations made to its second generation, but Ibis' latest round of tinkering turns the entire affair from a simple trip down the rabbit hole into a mad trail party. The Ripley LS 3.0 X01 Eagle WERX Complete Mountain Bike updates the Ripley 2.0 with a stiffer swingarm and, more importantly, a reworked clevis that clears space for 2.6in tires.
We know the Ripley LS. We love the Ripley LS. And the only big difference 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 942 Carbon hoops 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 is still largely defined by the medial LS, which denotes Longer Slacker. As with the plain ol' Ripley LS (which we can now refer to as the Ripley 2.0, maybe), the Ripley LS 3.0 is both longer (by 15mm in the cockpit and 42mm in the wheelbase) and slacker (by 1.3 degrees) than the urRipley. That bigger footprint empowers those of us who have already been treating the Ripley as a baby enduro sled. And we freely admit that, yeah, we have been doing just that for years.
Despite those plumped-out tires and the agro geometry, the LS 3.0 is still the classic Ripley that we've been beating the hell out of across all manner of terrain—at least in spirit. The construction process remains the same, beginning with an internal bladder that's wrapped in a monocoque carbon layup that keeps the carbon fabric intact through 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 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, 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 Ibis' WERX kit, which centers on the above-mentioned carbon hoops and SRAM's X01 Eagle drivetrain. If the cassette's 50t bailout gear ever loses its novelty, the frame is also fully compatible with Shimano's side-swing front derailleurs, mechanical and electronic. In the event you choose to stick with the simplicity of a one-by, the front derailleur mount also accepts chain guides—a feature that's especially welcome while pushing the Ripley LS 3.0 into terrain that not even its predecessors would tempt. Finally, we're pleased to confirm that Ibis is sticking to the threaded bottom bracket standard instead of the finicky, creak-prone PressFit option; however, we should note that the Ripley remains a dedicated wagon-wheel machine and doesn’t convert for use with 27.5+ wheels.
- The latest Ripley pushes further into all-mountain territory
- 5in of DW-Link travel are eager while climbing and descending
- Long, slack geometry for proper trail adventures
- Clears space for the traction and cush of 2.6in tires
- Carbon frame is light for climbing and stiff for descending
- Threaded bottom bracket shell reduces creaks and groans
- Huge tire clearance bumps up traction and cushion
- SRAM Eagle and Ibis' own carbon hoops complete the WERX build kit
- Item #IBS003Q