Ibis' 120mm-travel Ripley 29er platform has been around for four years now, and in that time it has earned a rep as a sporty feeling, fun loving trail bike that's a good match for a rider who appreciates efficiency and near-telekinetic handling abilities. In that time, Ibis also offered a second version, the Ripley LS, with a longer reach and slacker steering compared to its OG predecessor, and now a new version of the Ripley LS is set to replace both models.
New Ripley LS Details
• Intended use: trail
• Rear wheel travel: 120mm
• Intended fork travel: 120–140mm
• Clearance for up to 2.6'' tires
• New, stiffer upper eccentric
• 2x and 1x compatible
• Frame weight: 5.9lb w/ Fox Float DPS EVOL
• MSRP: $2,999 USD (frame w/ Fox Float DPS EVOL)
If you've read any of my words on Ibis' short-travel trail bike
, you probably already know that I'm a fan of its on-point steering and firecracker personality, two traits that make the Ripley stand out in a sea of bikes that are all about being long, slack, and possibly too forgiving. Thankfully, Ibis isn't mucking with any of that stuff, but rather going after two areas where the design can be improved: tire clearance and rigidity.
Short-travel and wide, 29'' rubber is a recipe for fun, and the third-generation Ripley receives a new swingarm that allows for 29'' x 2.6'' Schwalbe rubber and Maxxis' 2.5 WT tires to fit. Having run wide tires and Ibis' own 941 wheels on the previous two versions of the Ripley, I'm well aware that there wasn't much space between the rear tire and the frame, and a bit of sticky mud could easily gum up the works. The increased clearance should put an end to that, while also letting riders add some forgiveness to the bike by going with the high-volume tires. Prefer a fast rolling, hummingbird of a bike? Then go with a set of 2.35'' (or slimmer) tires. Looking for more smash-and-dash? A set of big Schwalbes or Maxxis WT tires should do the trick.