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The 2017 Ibis Ripley LS Carbon Special Blend Complete Mountain Bike earns its LS designation as the Longer and Slacker version of the original Ripley, a move that takes one of our favorite trail bikes firmly into gnarly territory. Its longer wheelbase and slacker head tube provide a large footprint that breathes confidence into big runs and revels in pushing the envelope ever further. Understanding that not all bank accounts can tolerate eye-popping dream build prices, Ibis' Special Blend build pairs the same top-tier frameset found in the pricier builds with SRAM's workhorse NX drivetrain, an Ibis seatpost, and wide aluminum rims so you can get rowdy without completely crushing your budget.
Aside from the geometry changes, this is still the classic Ripley that we've been ripping in all manner of terrain. 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 LS utilizes the latest Fox Float DPS shock, which is tuned for the DW-Link suspension's firm, consistent pedaling platform. Expect it to handle 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.
Increasing rear stiffness was the key to this versatility, and is bolstered by the inclusion of a boost rear axle. To this end, Ibis engineers also revisited the internals of the dual eccentrics used in the DW-Link suspension, modifying the cores and adding extra carbon to the frame for more responsive power transfer. In addition to adding tire clearance, the redesigned right-side upright and inclusion of a swingarm-mount for the front derailleur contribute to an overall stiffer rear triangle. The chainstays also contribute to stiffness by remaining impressively stubby, and the CNC-machined threads of the 73mm bottom bracket grant peace of mind with less creaking than a PressFit model.
- Ibis' 29in trail bike gets longer and slacker
- 4.7in of responsive DW-Link suspension
- Long, slack geometry handles steeper lines
- Carbon construction reduces weight and bumps up stiffness
- Boost rear axle further increases stiffness
- SRAM's NX drivetrain drives precise shifts
- Item #IBS003J
- Q & A
The Ripley Rips
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Okay so originally, before I took this bike out.. I thought I wouldnât like it that much. I thought it had too much hype and nobody knew what they were talking about. Whatâs the big whoop? Well, I took this bike out and was seriously mistaken.
We rode down in southern Utah in a town called Hurricane and tested this bike on the Hurricane Rim Trail Loop, and man, this bike is playful. Right away this bike was noticeably different than a lot of other trail bikes I've tried this year. For one, this bike is capable. The bike was intended to be a cross country/trail bike but I was taking this down some pretty fast rocky terrain with technical drops and technical climbs. It did not disappoint.
While this bike manages to ride with the lightness and quickness of a true cross-country bike, it is still pretty burly like a full suspension bike with tons of travel. If that makes any sense. Components on the bike are pretty rad too. Lots of bang for your buck if you're on the lookout for a new bike that can do it all, this bike is it. It kind of has the full package if you don't want to spend a bike-load of money. Yes, bike. Bikes might as well be more expensive than a boat these days..
The only REAL beef I had with this bike was the occasional pedal strikes.. It did not matter how much I'd lift up the bike or maneuver the bike, it would catch on a rock or something. The geometry has a little to blame for that though, the bottom bracket is pretty low and depending on the tire pressure or sag, this may or may not be an issue for you. I did run a fairly high tire pressure one this loop and still had issues. It might take a bit of playing around with your shocks and tire pressure to get a feel for it.
Overall, I give this bike a four out of five-star rating. Would I ride it again? Absolutely. Would I purchase this bike? Yeah, probably. I would for sure race it in a cross-country race. It's that light and nimble.
For questions on this bike or on any other bikes, feel free to call me on my direct line or shoot over an email.
801.204.4567 or KLamb@backcountry.com
The Special One
I really would love to have 3 or 4 mountain bikes, but it just isn't in the cards. If you are looking for a bike that is one of the most versatile bikes on the market, here it is.
You don't have to sacrifice uphill climbing ability for downhill performance with the technology today. The LS (longer and slacker) is more than capable of climbing like a XC bike and descending like a playful trail bike, especially if you put a 140mm up front. The 67.5 head tube angle certainly helps push and plow the downhill and will push your confidence to the limits and beyond;) This has been one of my favorite trail bikes that I have ridden the last couple of years. I pieced this build together:
Rock Shox Pike 140mm up front.
50mm stem with 780mm wide bars -
Carbon rims laced to Hope hubs -
SRAM X01/XX1 mix on the drive train
Race Face Turbine crank (30T chainring) - a little heavy but strong.
Shimano XT m8000 brakes - can't go wrong.
150mm dropper post
If you are looking to build something or have any questions at all please reach out to me directly. This build of Sram/Shimano is perfect, and allows for a bike that won't break the bank.
Saddle Height: 71.5
Size: Large, could ride a Medium no problem
Customer Account Manager
Fast and Versatile
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Ibis managed to engineer a true one bike quiver killer with both the Ripley and Ripley LS (longer, slacker). The optimized DW link suspension with eccentric pivoting cores provides a phenomenal pedaling platform that transfers the riders energy efficiently with very little pedal bob. When the trails point downhill, the 120mm of rear travel soaks up rough terrain as if it had more than the specs suggest.
This bike is a blast to ride and own. If you have any question regarding the build or would like to pick my brain on this bike, feel free to call me directly or send me an email.
Account Manager & Expert Gearhead