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It's all about balance.
Seeing these changes in geometry, we'd forgive you for thinking the Ripley LS is just another 29er juggernaut or big-wheeled enduro brawler. However, you'll be pleasantly surprised to note that although it's more composed on fast descents and gnarly terrain, it still retains the lightning-quick handling and climbing prowess that made the original a favorite of trail riders and XC racers alike.
We'd chalk this balanced feel to the 120-millimeters of DW-Link travel paired with a longer 130-millimeter RockShox Pike up front. By pairing a shorter rear travel with a slightly longer fork, you'll find the Ripley LS maintains enough composure to soak up bigger hits and chunky rock sections, but without sapping pedaling efficiency for covering long distances in the backcountry or climbing up steep terrain for thousands of vertical feet. DW-Link provides gobs of traction on the climbs and does an admirable job at handling square-edge hits on the descent, as well as being a poppy and playful companion for taking bonus side-hits littered along the trail.
Besides retaining the snappy steering and handling that made the original a hit, the 2017 Ripley LS increases rear end stiffness with its Boost axle spacing, also translating to a bit more tire clearance, should you want to run a proper 2.3-inch rear tire on the trail. This Boost rear end fortifies the bracing angle of the wheel's spokes, so you'll enjoy stiffer tracking and precise handling of the 29-inch wheels. The monocoque carbon frame construction remains unchanged, which is a good thing if you enjoy a resoundingly light and stiff frame.
Delving into the specifics of this particular in-house build, you'll find we threw together an optimal mix of components to complement the Ripley LS. It's rocking an Eagle XO1 1x12 drivetrain for impeccable shifting across a massive 10 to 50-tooth cassette, meaning you'll have no problem pedaling up the steepest trails for hours at a time. This 1x drivetrain sits alongside SRAM Guide RSC brakes for powerful stopping and precise modulation when you happen to bite off a bit more than you can chew, as far as speed is concerned. It's then rounded out with Race Face Aeffect R Wheels for all-mountain strength and support.
- Fast and playful 29er for spirited trail rides
- 120mm DW-Link suspension for traction and efficiency
- 130mm RockShox Pike Fork for charging rowdy terrain
- 67.5° head tube angle offers a balanced handling feel
- Carbon frame is resoundingly stiff and lightweight
- Sub 13-inch bottom bracket keeps you glued to the trail
- Eagle XO1 12-speed drivetrain with massive gear range
- Item #IBS004M