Value Mountain Bike of the Year WinnerThe finalists for the 2021 Value Mountain bike of the Year were the Devinci Marshal, Ibis Ripley AF, BMC Twostroke AL One, and the Polygon Siskiu T8 were all at the 2021 Value Bike Field Trip series, while Kazimer spend time on Vitus' Escarpe earlier in 2021, and all five are our nominees for Value Mountain Bike of the Year.
Ibis Ripley AF
Riders who have efficiency and nimbleness at the top of their list of wants have long been fan of Ibis' 120mm-travel Ripley for exactly those reasons. Thanks to its dw-link suspesnion layout, which delivers relatively high anti-squat percentages, all four previous generations of the Ripley have been able to cover ground in a way that bloated trail bikes can only dream of. Unfortunately for those who can't or don't want to spend big bucks, the Ripley had always been made of carbon and not exactly inexpensive.
That is, until this year. For 2021, Ibis released the fifth-generation Ripley in aluminum and with revised geometry that makes it more capable on challenging terrain. Okay, $3,199 USD isn't exactly a small amount of money, but you're getting a Deore drivetrain and dw-link suspension with important bits from Fox, whereas the carbon Ripley starts at $5,099 USD with Deore and a Fox Factory fork and shock. If you want just a frame, the carbon version will set you back $3,199 USD, which is the same price as the entire aluminum bike. Not only that, the aluminum Ripley is a degree slacker up front, sitting at 65.5 degrees with a 130mm fork instead of the carbon bike’s 66.5 front end, which definitely isn't a bad thing.