Fast, Comfortable, and Well Balanced
The Ripley has been in Ibis’s product line up for just over four years now, and in that time it has morphed to keep up with the ever changing industry trends. With the second generation LS, Ibis had successfully dialed in the geometry, while retaining the bike’s playful demeanor. The Gen 3 Ripley is not a completely new bike, it is more of a refinement. The geometry we loved with the previous Ripley stays the same, while a few other key changes make the Gen 3 standout in the crowd.
Engineering a 29"-wheeled bike can provide some tough obstacles for mountain bike designers, many of which Ibis felt they already overcome with the Gen 2 Ripley. There were a few spots where they saw room for improvement though, primarily with rear-end stiffness. Ibis accomplished this by widening the upper eccentric pivot to help with lateral stiffness of the frame. Along with the addition of this wider eccentric, a re-designed, wider rear triangle further improved stiffness as well as giving riders the ability to run up to a 2.6” Schwalbe tire, or a 2.5” Maxxis Wide Trail tire.
Should you Upgrade?
The Ripley has long been one of my favorite bikes in the 120mm travel, 29er category. It’s fun, nimble, climbs like a mountain goat, and has confidence inspiring geometry. This makes for a bike that most riders can just hop on and have a great time. Ibis' updates to the Ripley, though not major, do play a significant role in how the bike rides - it's noticeably stiffer and more snappy. Also, the ability to run a big ol’ Nobby Nic or Maxxis DHF makes for a bike that will have you giddy with joy when charging through technical descents.
Already own a Ripley Gen 2, and curious whether or not you need the Gen 3? If you find yourself really wanting more traction afforded by larger tires, then I'd say it's worth upgrading to the new bike. That said, if you're happy with your tire size and don't have money burning a hole in your pocket, rest assured you're still on a top-notch bike with the Gen 2. For those interested in retrofitting the new swingarm to the previous Ripley, unfortunately you're out of luck there due to the changes in the eccentric pivots.
Click Here to check out our in-depth look at the Ripley LS Gen 2 as compared to its little sibling, the Mojo 3.
Interested in building your own? Head over to the Fanatik Bike Builder.