Review: Ibis' 4th-Generation Ripley Is More Capable, But Still Very Much A Ripley

Jul 22, 2019
by Mike Levy  


Back in 2011 when Ibis first introduced us to the 29'' wheeled Ripley, it was a short-travel, quick-handling machine that prioritized efficiency. It worked, too; the OG Ripley was fast as hell and more fun than a pedaling-focused trail bike has any right to be.

Eight years on and here I am, riding the fourth-generation Ripley that, at least compared to where we came from, is much longer, much slacker, and presumably a load more capable.

But is it still a Ripley? Sure, it says so on the toptube but, given all the changes, will the new bike have that shits-and-giggles persona that made all the previous versions such a hoot to ride? The good news is it's my job to find out.

Ibis Ripley V4 Details

• Intended use: trail riding
• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 120mm
• Fork travel: 130mm
• New carbon frame
• Revised dw-link suspension
• 2.6'' tire clearance
• Sizes: sm, med, lrg, xlrg
• Weight: 26.07lb (as pictured)
• Frame only: 5.6lb (claimed, w/ Fox DPS)
• MSRP: $4,099 - $9,399 USD (as pictured)
• More info: www.ibiscycles.com






Ibis Ripley Photo by Dane Perras
With swoopy lines and the forward shock mount moved to the downtube, it's no accident that the Ripley resembles its longer-travel bro, the Ripmo.

What's New?

Everything, actually. Unlike the third version of the Ripley, the fourth is completely new from tip to tail. Ibis threw all the usual ingredients into the bowl, too: The V4's head angle has been relaxed, the seat angle got way steeper, and the reach has gotten way (for Ibis) reachier. Going slacker and longer is the oft-applied 'how to make your trail bike rip' recipe, of course, but there are other things as well.

The Ripley is still a dw-link bike, but its 120mm of travel now runs on actual links instead of those neat eccentrics, with the bottom one coming straight off the bigger-travel Ripmo that the fresh Ripley shares more than just a passing resemblance with. Ibis says that all these changes make for a ''significantly reduced the frame weight and increased stiffness.''

C'mon now, you know that brand new bikes always weighs less than ever while also being stiffer than ever. Ibis says the new Ripley comes in 0.65lb lighter than its predecessor, making for a 5.6lb frame with a Fox DPS shock.


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The bottom link is borrowed from the Ripmo (left) and said to add stiffness and subtract weight. Lines still go inside the frame (right), but now there are internal tubes to make dealing with it easier.


The Details

If you're going to make a new frame, you might as well sort out all the annoying details. One of those was the cable routing. It wasn't difficult to deal with the old bike's bolt-on caps and small-ish openings, but it also wasn't easy. Now it is easy, courtesy of molded-in internal tubes to feed the housing through, no swearing needed. Ibis has stayed with the threaded bottom bracket, but there's now a splined ISCG ring around the shell for a chain guide so you can go downcountry-ing with confidence.

And speaking of crotch clearance, Ibis has finally binned their lengthy seat-tubes to make room for longer droppers. A medium will play nice with a 170 to 185mm post, and the small-sized frames can easily fit a 125mm to 150mm post.


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
Short-travel with big tires is a fun combo, and you can squeeze 2.6" rubber (left) into the back of the Ripley. If you want to bolt-on a chain guide, you can do that, too (right).


Proving that things will change if we moan about them enough, Ibis has created a bit more room for larger water bottles. A normal, large-sized bottle will fit, and I can just barely get my massive Podium bottle in there. It's still using "standard" Boost hub spacing rather than that strange Super Boost thing, and this will only ever be a single-ring bike.



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The Ripley Gets Way Longer and a Bit Slacker

With relatively steep front-ends and short reach numbers, Ibis hasn't exactly been leading the charge when it comes to modern slack and long geometry over the last few years. That's especially true if we go back and look at the preceding Ripley platforms; an original large-sized Ripley had a 406mm reach, 68.5-degree head angle, and a 71.5-degree seat angle. But this one? This one is different. A large Ripley now gets a roomy 475mm reach (450mm for a medium) that should work well with the bike's much steeper 76-degree seat angle. That's a 47mm and 3-degree jump from the last version, by the way, which isn't the conservative Ibis that we've seen over the years.

The bike's head angle has been relaxed to 66.5-degrees as well, and Ibis has designed it around forks with 44mm of offset.


Ibis Ripley Photo by Dane Perras
The Ripley's 120mm of travel is still controlled via a dw-link system, but there have been some kinematic changes that add more ramp-up through the stroke.

Revised Suspension Design

Let's get back to the suspension for a minute. Like every Ripley before it, this one has 120mm of travel that uses the Dave Weagle-designed dw-link suspension system. That's where the similarities end, however, with Ibis making some drastic changes compared to all three previous models. The most notable of these was ditching the eccentric "links" for actual links, a change that's said to make the bike much stiffer laterally while dropping a good amount of weight.

The old eccentrics acted as compact links that actually rotated within the frame, and while it made for a clean looking bike with room for a front derailleur, Ibis says that going to a more traditional dual-link layout is the way forward. The Fox shock is driven by carbon fiber clevis, and the whole thing looks a hell of a lot like a Ripmo to me.

Ibis' press release says that they added some progression to the suspension, too, but one ride revealed that it's actually a bit more complicated than that. ''The shape of the curve is different. The old one actually went slightly regressive between 30 and 60-percent of its travel and went back to progressive from there,'' Ibis' Scot Nicol said when I told him the new Ripley feels a touch more active and forgiving than the previous models.

Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The dual-link system still uses a carbon clevis to drive the Fox shock.

''The new one stays progressive the whole way. I think it feels more forgiving because it doesn't use up the middle of its travel so easily.'' Despite those changes, as well as moving to a metric-sized shock, the tune remains the same.



Specifications

There are six complete bike options, starting at $4,099 USD for an NX spec and Fox's Performance suspension. For comparison's sake, that's in the same bike park as Niner's 120mm-travel Jet 9 RDO that costs $4,200 USD with NX running gear, and a Fox 34 Rhythm paired to a Float DPS Performance shock. If you're an Intense fan and want that ego-saving 12-speed Eagle NX, you can pick up an Intense Primer with RockShox's Revelation RC fork and Monarch RL shock for $3,299 USD.

Stumbled upon $9,399 USD? That'll get you my test bike that comes with the new XTR brakes and drivetrain combo'd with Race Face's very light Next R cranks. There's a Factory-level and very gold fork and shock from Fox, and it all rolls on a set of Ibis' house-brand carbon wheels. All that adds up to 26.07lb of nothing-better-go-wrong and nothing-to-upgrade.

Ibis will also let you play with a few different upgrade options, so if you want a set of carbon rims on your entry or mid-level Ripley, you can get 'em for much less than if you bought a set on their own.

Specifications
Release Date 2019
Price $9199
Travel 120
Rear Shock Fox Float Factory DPS with EVOL, 190x45
Fork Fox Float 34 Factory Series 130mm, 29”, 15QR
Headset Cane Creek 40 ZS44/ZS56
Cassette Shimano XTR M9100 12 Spd 10-51T
Crankarms Race Face Next R 175 or 170mm, 32t Alloy Ring
Bottom Bracket Race Face
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR M9100 12 Spd
Chain Shimano XTR M9100 12 Spd
Shifter Pods Shimano XTR M9100 12 Spd
Handlebar ENVE M6 Bar 780mm
Stem ENVE Mtn Stem 31.8mm
Grips Lizard Skins Charger Evo
Brakes Shimano XTR M9100 2 piston
Wheelset Ibis S35 Carbon Rims / 29” / Industry 9 Hydra Hubs
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29” x 2.6”
Seat WTB Silverado Team
Seatpost Bike Yoke Revive Dropper



Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.








Test Bike Setup

The Ripley has long put an emphasis on efficiency and sporty feeling suspension but, as with most bikes, it works best when the sag is spot-on the recommended number. In the Ripley's case, it's 11mm of travel on the Fox shock's stanchion, which equals 25-percent of the stroke. You don't need to run any less to improve the pedaling, and you don't need any more sag to make the Ripley something it isn't'. This isn't the bike to run 30-percent or more like something with more squish. I'm 158lb right now, which called for 205 PSI in the Fox shock to get the right numbers. And no, I never locked it out or even firmed it up.

I'm also happy to see a 130mm-travel Fox 34 on the front of the Ibis rather than a 140mm fork. I know an extra 20mm on the front of the bike is common these days, but I've never been a big fan of over-forking all that much; I'm sure it's in my head, but it feels unbalanced. I've ridden the piss out of all the three previous Ripley platforms, and I preferred all of them with either a 120mm or 130mm fork. The FIT4 model that the Ripley came with has been running 78 PSI, halfway out with the low-speed compression, and the three-position switch was left fully open during every ride.

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Mike Levy
Location: Squamish, BC, Canada
Age: 38
Height: 5'10
Inseam: 33.5"
Weight: 158lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @killed_by_death


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
Grippy rubber, low weight, and a quick bike. If you enjoy climbing, you'll enjoy the new Ripley while doing exactly that.

Climbing

There are no surprises here, folks: The fourth-gen Ripley is a bit of a rocketship on the climbs, especially with the relatively light Schwalbe trail bike rubber and carbon wheels that it showed up with. Of course, Ibis would have to have been smoking from the pipe to sacrifice the Ripley's well-known ascending abilities to gain some descending prowess, right? Actually, not so much, with most company's newest trail bikes doing exactly that in recent years.

And as they should - modern short-travel bikes are insanely capable - but ya'll are the ones smoking something if you think it hasn't come at a (usually worthwhile) price.

So yeah, the new Ripley climbs, but let's parse this down to see what the changes mean on the trail. First up, is it still an ultra-efficient climber?

Yes... Ish. Mostly yes. With 120mm of travel and dw-link suspension, it's still fast and full of life. But it took precisely one ride to note that the bike feels more forgiving, and maybe just a hint more active, than the previous version. While the suspension curve went from progressive (ramping up) to regressive in the middle before going back to progressive on the old bike, the new bike's curve is consistently progressive through all of its travel. I suspect that what I'm not feeling is that bump up in progressivity that the old bike had. Either way, there's been a change; seated climbing is smoother and while it's still efficient and quick, the bike doesn't feel quite as tense and ready to jump forward at the slightest quiver of a quad muscle.

The handling on climbs has changed as well, but it's not as drastic as you might think 45mm and a full degree would feel due to 12mm coming off the back of the bike and Ibis going with a 44mm offset fork. The 76-degree seat angle helps, and while it won't ever fit into some of the places the old bike could, this thing is still a wizard when it's steep and tricky.

The kind of uphill corners that require planning and careful positioning on other bikes have two or three lines through them when you're on the Ripley, and those who enjoy a good game of foot-down on technical climbs will get on well with the bike. No? Maybe it's just me, then.

Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
It might be more forgiving, but it still feels fast AF on any and all climbs.

The geometry has changed drastically, but the bike still delivers gobs of traction and a front-end that doesn't feel light regardless of how steep the pitch might be. It makes for a bike that wants you to drop one more cog so you can drop your buddies, or to try that seemingly impossible climb a few times because, well, you never know.

Bottom line time: is the new Ripley a better climber than its predecessor? That's a 'no' from me, but don't get me wrong—it's still a weapon on the ups, especially compared to many of today's bloated and overbuilt trail bikes. In fact, this very rig just finished the BC Bike Race under PB's Content Manager, Sarah Moore. That said, the changes definitely give the Ripley more of an all-around bike persona, and it'll likely appeal to more riders than ever because of that fact.


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The new geo has transformed the Ripley from a fun but sometimes on-edge descender to a bike that can be ridden nearly anywhere. It's still fun, too.

Descending

Let's be real here: I doubt anyone who bought one of the previous versions of the Ripley did so because of the bike's descending prowess. Sure, they've always been fun short-travel bikes, but if the terrain was rowdy or the rider wanted to be in the air fairly often, they probably ended up on a Kona or Transition or the like. And especially if they cared a lot more about coming back down than going up. You know, something a bit less, er, dentist-y.

But has that changed now that Ibis' trail bike has more contemporary numbers? You betcha.

If you've ever spent a Saturday night practicing e-brake turns at the local roundabout, you might already know that your little two-door hatchback is far more likely to spin than a big ol' boat. The same thing applies to bikes, but minus the e-brake and roundabout and likely the police. The new Ripley's longer wheelbase gives it a sense of calmness that the old bike never had, especially when traction is iffy and you're just trying to keep the back of the bike behind you. It's also much more at home in the steeps for the same reason. A bit less e-brake might help, too, but that'd be less fun.


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
It might have lost some of its playfulness, but the fresh Ripley is much faster on the descents.


That stability hasn't taken a ton away from the Ripley's fun-loving attitude - this bike is still far more jetski than ocean liner - but there has certainly has been a price. It still wants to hunt down those silly lines and natural gaps that add time rather than save it, but it's a bit more subdued about it while also being more capable, if that makes any sense. You're probably a bit less likely to be pulling a long, smooth manual through a set of compressions, but that's only because you're probably jumping over all them on the new bike. Different, but still fun.

I know that bro-science has proven how anything newer has to be stiffer, but I have to admit that I couldn't feel much of a difference on that front between the new and old bikes. They've never been the stiffest feeling things, but that's not what I'd want anyway. It sure does corner with less drama, though; more wheelbase and better suspension will do that.

Where the old bike felt like it wanted to 'tuck' under you sometimes, the new one is happy to help you through corners that you've come into with far too much heat.

Speaking of suspension, the Ripley's 120mm doesn't offer the ego-stroking smoothness of a long-travel bike, but Ibis has done well with their updates. I wouldn't say that the old bike was overly harsh, but you knew you were on an XC-biased 120mm bike. Now, it's as if the suspension is a bit more willing to help you out, especially on those smaller to mid-sized impacts where the back of the new Ripley felt like a big improvement over previous versions. Don't expect gooey, ground-hugging travel, of course, but the increased sensitivity and bottom-out resistance have the Ripley's 120mm feeling better than ever.


Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The new Ripley is much easier to live with through loose or rough corners.

The new geometry and tweaked suspension make this Ripley far easier to ride at your limits than the previous versions, and it just feels far less nervous and on edge anywhere and everywhere. Just as importantly, it doesn't have that overgrown, over-slacked trail bike vibe to it that's becoming more and more prevalent. The package is more capable on the descents, though, and the very large majority of potential Ripley owners will be very happy about that.



Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
Ibis Ripley V4 review photo by Dane Perras.
The latest XTR group (right) hasn't been trouble-free, but Industry Nine's Hydra rear hub (right) sure has. If you like loud hubs, you'll love the noise this one makes.


Technical Report

Bottom Bracket Battles: Four months and two Race Face bottom brackets isn't a good ratio. The first one let me know it was cooked by ticking so loud and hard that I could feel it through the bottom of my shoes after just a few months of use in mixed conditions. The second one bit the dust halfway through this year's kinda damp but not muddy BC Bike Race. I probably wouldn't be too happy if I'd spent over $9,000 USD on this bike sixteen weeks ago.

Wheel and Tire Combo: The Ripley's wheel and tire combo is perfect for its intentions as a fast-moving trail bike, and while the casings aren't exactly ideal for a ton of pointy rocks, I haven't had a single flat tire. The carbon rims are Ibis' house brand, sure, but they're also some of my favourites. They're not cheap (a wheelset is $1,799 USD on its own) or crazy light, but they are reliable and feel great on the trail. I9's hubs are nice, too, and I'm a fan of the very loud Hydra clutch.

XTR After 4 Months: Shimano's new XTR (minus the cranks and rear hub) shifts as well as you could ever hope a mechanical group to shift, and as Kazimer has already mentioned, it's especially impressive under high pedaling loads. You can do loaded shifts on any decent drivetrain, of course, but it usually feels like you're pulling things apart in the process. With the new XTR, it's relatively smooth.

Things weren't perfect, however. I somehow managed to snap the derailleur's well-protected clutch lever off; it may have been a just-right fluke of an impact, but maybe it shouldn't be made of plastic on a $260 derailleur. Also, the black anodizing on the top group of cogs is wearing off in a way that makes it look quite cheap, but that's purely cosmetic. On top of that, the Ripley's XTR rear brake caliper just started suffering from a single sticky piston, so it's not feeling so hot right now. Stay tuned for an XTR versus AXS long-term review video at some point soon-ish.

Other Mentionables: The BikeYoke dropper was flawless. The downtube protector has started to peel away from the frame a bit, and there's a bunch of dirt and leaves stuck under it now. If Fox made a 34 with a Grip2 damper (they'll surely offer one soon), this bike would deserve it. That said, the FIT4-equipped 34 works just fine, and lockouts are silly but its three-position compression switch does make sense on a bike like the Ripley. I guess.



Giant's Trance Advanced 29 has 115mm of travel, 130mm up front, and similar intentions to the Ripley.
The 120mm-travel Norco Revolver is a more race-focused machine.

How does it compare?

The first comparison that comes to mind is Giant's Trance Advanced 29, a 115mm-travel misfit of a bike with similar-ish angles and intentions but an arguably more aggressive spec. As always, both would be equally capable descenders in the right hands, but the Trance's DVO suspension, Minion rubber, and 800mm handlebar do make it a bit more of a brawler out of the box. That said, I think I'd reach for the Ripley if I wanted to cover a lot of ground and have some fun while doing it.

Norco's 120mm-travel Revolver is all-new for 2020 and while the travel numbers are the same, the two feel quite different on the trail. When I'm on the Ripley, it's 50/50 as to whether I want to pedal hard and do some intervals or just coast and do some skids. But when I'm on the Revolver, it's nose to the grindstone most of the time.



Pros

+ Modern sizing and angles make for the most capable Ripley ever
+ Slightly more forgiving suspension
+ Keeps its fun, playful attitude

Cons

- Loses a smidge of that high-strung efficiency
- XTR (and Race Face's BB) hasn't met expectations



Is this the bike for you?

Ibis' drastic changes to the Ripley's geometry were needed if they wanted to stay on-point, but it's still a fast-moving, nimble trail bike that best rewards smoothness and skill over blind courage. If that sounds like how you do things, and often during a long day in the saddle, then Ibis' latest Ripley would be a good one to have on your shortlist. This one's pretty much a no-brainer, too: it ain't the bike for you if you're more into clearing good-sized gaps than good-sized climbs.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesWhen the new Ripley was introduced, I asked if it still had the near-telekinetic handling and efficient suspension action that its predecessors could brag about. Three months on and it's clear that while the redesigned bike is still a Ripley at heart, it's also changed quite a lot. It's not quite the oversized toy that it used to be, now evolving into a more capable trail bike that's calmer, easier to ride quickly, and a bike that will appeal to more riders than ever.  Mike Levy








232 Comments

  • + 148
 Independent of the bike itself, I like these reviews. They always seem a bit more grounded and relatable than the metapher-rich bro-science bullshit from the midlifecrisis hipsters over at bikemag. I bought a long travel 29er a few weeks ago, and the fact that I'm still reading this article even though I have zero intention of buying a bike like this in the near future means that these reviews have a certain entertainment factor that I enjoy.
  • + 9
 lol...so true
  • + 8
 Haha well said. The Pinkbike crew has if figured out.
  • + 47
 Ahh c'mon BikeMag were the first to break from the manufacturer fluffer equipment reviews coming out of the Mountain Bike Fiction Magazine era and they continue to provide honest and qualified equipment reviews. Maybe not your generation or culture, but BikeMage produces respected content. Pink Bike, Vital, NSMB, Bike Mag - take your pick - they are all producing really good content. They are just all a bit different in cultural flavor.
  • + 21
 @jimeg: you can't deny that bikemag isn't what it used to be
  • + 11
 @jimeg: I think EnduroMag is definitely the most objective. They will actually do some hardcore testing too. Pink bike is nice but they are mostly a news style site/content provider.
  • + 4
 @Svinyard: Anything's better than UK mountain bike coverage...it could be more inspirational to say the least...
  • + 4
 @Calkodawg96: Same with German magazines. Second to German magazines, can you try and guess which bike is THE best enduro bike by far in the whole world that rules all the other bikes?
  • + 18
 @jimeg: I like what BikeMag has been doing. I like their video content on their 'bible'. It may be different than 'the old days' and all the photo specials, but I think they're doing a good job.
...
The pinkbike reviewers are killing it though. Their formats and pictures are good. They feel honest. They are up front about what kind of bikes they prefer and they tend to test the ones that are more in their wheelhouse. Good stuff.
  • + 4
 @Upduro don't know about you, but at this price range it's as deep in the midlife crisis as it gets for me...
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: Maybe, but their writing is terrible.
  • + 0
 @jimeg: For sure, plus they all have their bias's. After all they are all human.
  • + 4
 @Svinyard: I honestly think that Enduro mag is the most Kool aid trend following bullshit spreading one out there. But it's probably just me.
  • + 2
 @Twowheelsjunkie: I hear ya man, so you're definitely not alone.

With that said, I see PB's reviews to be the "Grand Tour" / Clarkson-May-Hammond era Top Gear, of the bike world.
So reviews at heart, but with the intention of being entertainment pieces as much as anything.
It does make for a good read, that you don't fall asleep to (like certain other media outlets), that covers everything you want to know. While not being the most technical or in-depth review ever.
  • + 1
 @housem8d: Agreed. Print media has had a rough go of it. The video Bible reviews they do are great. The print magazine they put out is still pretty good. But times are changing for sure. Tough for a print magazine to keep up in the digital age.
  • + 42
 But is it more downcountry or upduro? The review is quite obsolete without this answer!
  • + 3
 The first SERIOUS question beeing asked! I wanna know too.
  • + 8
 I read it as more downcountry than the previous Ripley, and more upduro than Kona/Transition
  • + 1
 Upcountry Downduro Crosshill compatible or GTFO!!
  • + 36
 Whenever I see Mike Levy name, I like to say it the same way Martin Lawrence says Mike Lowrey in Bad boys 2. Mike!...... Leeevey.
  • + 25
 I had 2 RaceFace BB that lasted no more than 6 month each, switched to Hope and it has been trouble free since almost 2 years and counting... It's a bummer as I had only good experience with other RF products so far.
  • + 2
 I’ve had mixed results with RF BB’s. Wheels BSA and PF92 (same as Hope I believe) bottom brackets have been very dependable.
  • + 1
 Agreed, they are utter shit. Anyone who is going to replace it with a Hope should be careful about the different shell widths though. One extra 2.5 mm space on the non drive side may be too much for some frames depending on tolerances, and it's probably more tricky with pressfit
  • + 10
 I'm glad this came up since i wasn't finding any similar experiences when I was shredding a Race Face BB every three months. I contacted RF and they were always telling me I wasn't tightening properly.
I was holding out as I didn't want to spring for a crankset then finally the Next crank snapped, so I'm back to Shimano BB(half the price and lasts forever) and cranks.
No more RF cranksets for me!
  • + 3
 The BB that came with my old atlas cranks has been flawless for years
  • + 3
 @GlassGuy: Snapped your Next crank? Was that a JRA, or did it come from a major crash? Asking because I was strongly considering a set of Next cranks for my next build.
  • + 6
 @mikealive: I typed "snapped" to save time with typing, but, my pedal axle tore out of the crank arm tearing up the opening. Fortunately it didn't happen on a landing from a drop or anything.
I had them for about 3yrs with some pretty heavy bashing and jumping and I weigh around 215, so....they took some abuse, but, I've never had a pedal rip out of a crank like that before. Combined with how expensive and shitty the RF BB is, I'm steering away from any RF cranksets in the future
  • + 5
 @JesseE: Ditto. Hammered my RF Next BB for 4yrs of trail - enduro riding. Knocked out the bearings after they got a bit rough, pressed in new ones for $20, and am now headed towards my 6th year & 8000 miles on the OG Next crank & cups. Maybe heavier guys who spend more time in the park / air than I do manage to find the limits of this design in less time, but I don't hear local riders slamming RF crank / bb setups at anywhere near the rate it happens here on PB. YMMV.
  • + 5
 @Veloscente: Absolutely my size and way i ride puts all bike stuff through a LOT of abuse and faster wear than the average 165 pound rider.
I've commonly heard the phrase "I've never seen that before" from bike mechanics looking at whatever newly shredded/snapped/cracked/stuck/jammed/ripped thing when I've taken my bike into numerous bike shops.
But I will add I haven't had Shimano tear apart as fast as the RF BB did for me, and the Next crankset was my first carbon pair after usually XTR/XT or Race Face way back when(prior to Cinch system)
  • + 6
 @GlassGuy: Similar experience for me. I have seen many failed RF carbon cranks, I wouldn't go near one. Buy yourself some XT cranks and go riding. Never have a problem with cranks again.
  • + 4
 And they customer support is the worst i have ever seen. And distributors even worse
  • + 2
 @JesseE: Really? Take your cranks off and feel the bearings,almost guaranteed they are shot. Raceface uses the cheapest bearings know to man.
  • + 3
 Having read about how bad RF´s BBs were, the first thing I did when I received my bike was open the bearings and pack them with grease (I do it around every six months), and the BB has worked ok for the past two years...
  • + 4
 @GlassGuy: Agreed: Bone stock full Shimano setups are cycling's equivalent of the motorsport mantra "keep it stock if you don't want to walk." For road bikes, buying Ultegra or DuraAce groups, mounting & forgeting 'em has made for decades of pure, simple happiness. Shimano falling completely OTB w/ 1x tech, however, has made mix & match the best solution for MTB drivetrains. Ironically, being pushed out of the nest by Shimano has opened my eyes to the fact that 11 & 12spd X-dome SRAM cassettes & chains are FAR more durable than Shimano on the dirt. 5000 miles out of my last two XX1 cassettes vs. 2000 for prev. XT & XTR cassettes. Maybe Shimano will get their mojo back w/ new 1x12 drivetrains? Still have faith in (and own plenty of) their cranks, derailleurs & shifters, but won't be googling "full XT group" for new bike builds 'till the universal consensus is Osaka has managed to turned the whole ship around.
  • + 2
 @Veloscente: Man, my experience has been the SRAM GX cassette is made of clay! I tear teeth off way too fast, and those things are not cheap! I will say the rear der. has been super reliable, so no complaints there, but I really hate having to blow $150 each time I trash a single gear on those cassettes. When the Rear der. does go I'll be going back to XT so I can have a longer lasting cassette
  • + 21
 How is it that ibis (another boutique carbon frame brand ) can offer a complete bike at the price of a frame from Yeti ? I wonder what kind of margins that Yeti has on those frames ...and a company like Forbidden can offer a frame for $1000usd less !
  • + 7
 1 word: Magins. Yeti is making insane margins on their frames and people are still buying them. I believe that trend is on it's way out though because these days you can get great bikes for a much better price. Brands like Guerilla Gravity (even made in the US), Fezzari, YT, Canyon, and even Intense are all going to start pushing prices back down to realism.
  • + 5
 Switch Infinity aint cheap. A bunch of little Kashima coated stanchions arranged in such precision watchmakers take note? Then attach to them to a premium carbon frame that isn't immune to warranty issues and has "Yeti" as a name, and yea...they aint cheap.

Forbidden, as a new company, needs market recognition, so they need to get frames out in the wild before they can grow. They are likely more willing to take a hit on some profit just to move some frames.

I also wonder if the aging DW Link patent licencing isn't getting cheaper, and so Ibis not only able to produce frame design that cheaper to manufacture, but also cheaper overheads.
  • + 3
 @PHeller: I'm sorry but Kashima rails in your frame is not really that much harder than links with bearings, and if it is, use links with bearings that are more reliable and cheaper... Also saying their frames aren't immune to warranty issues is a horrible justification for expensive frames to the customer, that should mean lower margins for the company.

I doubt DW is getting cheaper, typically those licensing fees are pretty constant, that and Yeti designed their own so they have 0 licensing fees.
  • + 3
 @tgent: but I mentioned margins in my post... I'm confused
  • + 1
 @PHeller: That is funny. People will probably stop buying BMWs and Porches also, because civics type Rs are almost as fast.
  • + 2
 You shouldn't compare it to the price of a SB165, that coil X2 is ridiculously expensive... a SB130 frame is about 200 bucks more over here and a SB150 is also 200 bucks more than a Ripmo with a Float X2. Those are not crazy price differences, but of course crazy prices in general. Profit per frame/bike would be interesting, but I somehow doubt these small companies make more profit per bike than Canyon or YT. Economies of scale and stuff.
  • + 3
 @jzPV: In the US, Yeti frames & full builds alike are a full 20% more expensive than Santa Cruz or Ibis bikes w/ comparable trim levels. SC & Ibis have pulled back from the brink of $10k insanity w/ house-brand wheels, etc. Yeti has charged ahead, full send, into the abyss. Yeti has always been about slapping premium pricing on their "radder & racier" image, even if it has nothing to do w/ actual performance. Many will recall that with the coming of titanium hardtails, frame prices effectively doubled vs. aluminum. As carbon joined the party, the market for high-end aluminum hardtails & road frames effectively dried up overnight. Unphased, Yeti simply raised the prices on their aluminum hardtails, and the fanboys were happy to pay more for outmoded tech, so long as those frames had that sweet Yeti yellow/green factory paint. They're trading on a name & image, if that's worth an extra 20% to you, have at it.
  • + 0
 @Veloscente: I agree they must make a better margin than others. But nothing that I have tried rides like the SI suspension on the Yeti. What you are really not going to like it that some people just don’t think 10k is that much money. Seems obvious I know, but you complaining about it will never change that fact. If I were a small company making a really good product I would rather sell less bikes for more money than try to compete with more volume for sure. Yeti has the name, and the tech to do it right now.
  • + 4
 @Yetimike2019: oh jeez , yeti mike...not biased eh ? FEWER frames mike ! FEWER...English !
  • + 2
 @DGWW: oh I’m definitely biased! As a small business owner especially. Let’s just say in my industry there are chain stores everywhere, and there is no way to compete on price. Product quality and high end service are a must. People with money that appreciate the finer things pay. Not unlike the bike industry. Oh and grammar doesn’t count on pinkbike!
  • + 18
 That photo of Mike creeps me out every time.
  • + 7
 thousand yard stare but we don't know why
  • + 6
 @mm732: somebody ate all of his donuts
  • + 1
 The things those eyes have seen.
  • + 1
 @mm732: it was when he gassed out at the BC Bike Race I believe.
  • + 1
 The horror... THE HORROR...
  • + 16
 Make it in alu and I'll buy it.
  • + 7
 Is alloy making a comeback? I think it's the way forward personally...
  • + 6
 @Calkodawg96: If the world cup scene is any indication I'd say so. Loic and Amaury both on ALU frames. I've also heard many high level racers and frame designers prefer the feel (compliance) of aluminum bikes.
  • + 13
 @Calkodawg96: Most bikes go forward
  • + 11
 Agreed! I'd like to see more alu bikes with nicer specs on it. I've ridden both carbon and alu and can't seem to justify the price increase.
  • + 4
 @Jzang: 2 racers, even if they are in the front, is a minuscule percentage though. Literally every single other racer is on carbon outside of Commencal (because they don't make carbon bikes) and people on prototypes (Loic).
  • + 2
 @Calkodawg96: I hear its 20% stiffer
  • + 14
 No technical data - shock curves and the like?
Disappointing for us bike geeks.
  • + 4
 I'll be aggressivley hitting refresh on linkagedesign.blogspot.com to compare this suspension curve to my Ripmo.
  • + 12
 Just swap the bottom bracket bearings itself (not the whole bottom bracket) to SKF ones. With the right tools this can be done in 5 min without having to take the bottom bracket of the bike.
  • + 5
 I did the same. Been good ever since
  • + 5
 Same here..our experience at the shop with RF bearings is bad..Not only BB bearings but pedal bearings too... Just swap to a good bearing when they go south and set! As suggested Hope stuff is way ahead in that department...
  • + 2
 Thanks, that's good intel. I rarely ride in muddy conditions and still go through a RF BB every year too. Can anyone provide the SKF part# to replace the bearings in a RF PF for 30mm spindle?
  • + 2
 @dlford: For a Rotor BSA30 it's a 61806-2RS1, but the easiest way to find the number for your bearing would be to take off one crank arm and have a look at the seal of the bearing. Although I never tried to extract the bearings from a pressfit bb - depending on the tolerances either the bearing or the bottom bracket with the bearing still inside will come out.
  • + 2
 Yeah, I went for a set of Enduro stainless steel angular contact bearings in my raceface bottom bracket and it's all good now.
  • + 10
 New xtr is crap.. in part anyway. I’ve had 5 pairs of the 9120 trail pedals, all have been warrantied because the bearing seals drift out and let dirt / water in! One of my friends has the new 4 pot brakes warrantied twice, as they’ve had pistons crack in every pair! Not what you expect from Shimano’s best...
  • + 4
 I've had the same issue with the pedals. I'm due to warranty my fifth set soon due to the seals coming out.
  • + 1
 concur on the pedals seals. very strange.
  • - 2
 Five pairs? Get rid of them! If your chosen shop won't fight to get a you a refund (spend it on RaceFace Atlas platforms!) after 5 warranties, go somewhere else.

This is like the guy below that calls his Ripley 1 "beloved" even though it needs service every 6 months and/or creaks continuously. You don't have to deal with that! Get a new bike/frame/pedals! One that can actually be "beloved" because you can ride it (quietly) instead of getting it serviced or warrantied all the time.
  • + 3
 I also had this happen on the 9120's, after 1st ride ... noticed while washing the bike (ooops, too late Big Grin ). Very sad considering they replaced 6 year old 785's which only died because I bent the axle by hitting a tree with the right one. Didn't warranty them yet though, they now sit in a box of "spares" and I took it as a sign to try out some pedals from competition.
  • + 1
 @Ferisko: You can get replacement axles from Shimano, no need to let them waste in the sparebox.
  • + 1
 Read the part about the clutch lever on the rear der breaking off, figured it was just a fluke - went down to tinker on my own bike, lever no where to be found, lol. Better than Sram isn’t hard to do, but I expect higher quality than that. Super lame. This was the second ride on the group too and nothing crazy.
  • + 10
 A bike that isn't 30lbs for once yay! However, no sale for me due to the racist routing.
  • + 5
 What?
  • + 33
 @Mac1987: probably means that there's no way to cleanly run brakes corre .. err moto style.
  • + 12
 @PhillipJ: Aha.... Thanks for the clarification. Never knew brake routing could be racist.
Who said PB didn't have educational value Wink
  • + 15
 I always thought cable routing should be 1. easy to service and 2. allow a multitude of options. I think bike designers get carried away with aesthetics sometimes. Stick some more mount points on there, boys, I want to run my cables like I want to run them.
  • + 3
 @JohanG: Some do. Trek, Orbea, Cannondale, and Scott for example.

Specialized, Yeti, Ibis, etc hate Aussies and Brits.
  • + 9
 i wish they'd all realize that internal routing sucks...kill it, kill it, kill it!
  • - 4
flag kiksy (Jul 22, 2019 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 @flipoffthemonkeys: went from an internal routed Ibis to external routed bike. Ibis routing is well thought out and easy to install, took maybe 5 mins more than external. However, externally if the cable lengths aren't dead on it looks horrible, internally you can just stuff it in the frame. Personally, external has been more of a faff and I would always to internal if given the choice. Just needs to be well designed.
  • + 6
 @kiksy: Internal with molded-in tubes like this new Ripley wouldn't allow the same "stuffing" though, right?
  • + 0
 @showmethemountains: true (my HD3 didn't have tubes) but with tubing it's so simple I just can't see the benefits for external. How many times a year do people change their cabling ?
  • + 4
 @kiksy: The issue with internal guide tubes is my original point. Your exit point is dictated by your entry. If you're running a left hand rear brake through a left port and you have a crash that causes the bars to spin anti-clockwise, you can kiss goodbye to your brake hose as not wrapping the hose around the headtube puts all the stress on the entry port and hose.

Treks system is probably the best as it has the simple anti-rattle (and overblown issue) cable management idea. It also has the potential to use a blank (colour matched?) entry port if you're running wireless which looks way better than an empty, moulded entry port.

Can't believe this isn't obvious to companies. Bike world R&D is pure shit sometimes.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: My HD3 had ports on both sides. Brakes setup left rear but running out the right side of head tube as normal. I get that some internal designs are poor (and have witnessed the rage it induced) but it's 100% possible to make internal routing that is superior to external. Ibis and SC in my opinion have it nailed.
  • + 1
 @kiksy: I don't think you understand or didn't read my comments.
  • + 6
 Thanks for the comprehensive review, @mikelevy - can I clarify? Did the XTR clutch switch snap, or separate from the steel switch it's bonded to? I had a previous generation XTR do that, and it was weird - definitely not something I, or the Shimano guys, had seen before. After sending it to Japan for a look see they replaced it.
  • + 8
 Tell me you didnt have to send it all the way to Japan for for shimano to replace a defective part?
  • + 4
 @butters1996: they sent it back for a look and let me know.

I was happy with that - my second Shimano issue in 10 years, both minor and slowed me to keep riding, were sorted easily and didn’t recur.

I had 4 SRAM warranties last year, all catastrophic issues meaning a walk out. Sram warrantied immediately every time, but that’s more hassle than I need when I’m just trying to ride my bike.
  • + 4
 @heinous - It was just the lever itself. I'll take another look, but the end of the lever is just plastic.
  • + 5
 I've owned this bike since May and agree with everything that was written in this article. I don't like that the rubber guards on the bike have started to peel off. I did build my from frame up and opted for a `130 MRP Ribbon Air with a 46 offset (Like I could tell the difference) Best bike I have ever owned.
  • + 4
 I wonder if the folks at Pinkbike experienced any issues with this model? I still have my beloved V1 and every 6 months or so I have to get it serviced because the "creaking" reoccurs. These bikes are known to creak. Any issues like these? Apart from this I love the bike. Climbs like a rocket and is fun to ride!

I'm contemplating pulling the trigger and getting this model or possibly getting a Yeti SB5. Decisions, decisions......
  • + 6
 The creaking in the V1-V3 models was primarily due to to the eccentric pivots. Since those have been removed in favor of standard links, it should be less of an issue now.
  • + 2
 @ChristophColombo: have ridden all versions and have a V3 now with 10k miles on it. The creaking issues seemed to improve with each model, mine is silent and my son’s is as well. As for ride I prefer the V3 over the V4 but that’s me....
  • + 1
 I think the new Ripley and the older SB5 are completely different bikes . The sb5 is 27.5, shorter reach, long chainstay's, etc. I think if you want a Yeti...sb100 or the more aggressive sb130 might be a better match?
  • + 2
 @DadOfMtbRacer: I just ordered the V3 now that they are one sale. Not a huge fan of the V4 design- aside from the internal routed brake line & exposed linkages with bushings, @mikelevy description of the new geo confirmed my suspicion that the frame headed in the same direction as the BMW M3 - each generation slightly more number and less playful than the last.
  • + 1
 I have a V2 Ripley and a Ripmo. Zero creaking from the Ripmo pivots after about 500 miles. For the Ripley I've found that that the bolt for the lower eccentric pivot tends to loosen and causes some creaking, so I just check it after every few rides and tighten as needed.
  • + 2
 I think I eventually got some creaks on my V1, but it was long after I review it. All the others have been quiet since, including the V4.
  • + 1
 @DadOfMtbRacer: Very interesting. Maybe I'll wait on a deal and get a V3. I had to replace the swingarm on my V1 due to a stripped bolt hole, Ibis sold me one from a V2 that is compatible. It is stiffer, and a bit quieter.
Thanks for your input!
  • + 1
 @norbyd: i do like the V4 and actually had an order in just after it’s release but decided after doing a few rides on one I would stay with mine. I just felt for me the V3 is a more enjoyable a ride with one exception, I found the V4 to be better on longer descents and more forgiving when you pick the wrong line. If you can get a good deal on a V3 and it feels right fit wise I’d say go for it. I know fit on Ibis for some can be a challenge and I was on the fence when I got mine between sizes.
  • + 1
 I've an HD3 and had a creak at the connection of the clevis to the shock. Ibis sent me some instructions and a quick dab of grease / carbon paste in specific areas (iirc - I've not done it in a LOOOONG time) and I've not had a problem since. I'd recommend checking that if you haven't already...
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: well I’d agree with that when comparing the V4 and V3. Having been on V1’s and 2’s the V3 is a bit stiffer but still maintains the playful ride quality.
Been running a DPX2 on mine and it’s been fantastic.
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: Thanks - it's late and I'll watch that tomorrow. I've not had any creaks for a while but it's always good to learn how to hunt them down. Last one was my pedal and it took ages to work out!

Anyway, I've found the Ibis email from ages ago with the instruction to stop creaks from the shock / clevis. I've scanned it to my album in case it assists you or anyone else... Presumably it is similar for any similar clevis bike...
  • + 3
 "The downtube protector has started to peel away from the frame a bit, and there's a bunch of dirt and leaves stuck under it now."

It seems that Ibis' frame protection has always been a bit of an afterthought. In addition to the downtube protector issues, the chainstay protector is hard plastic that does nothing for chain slap, and the little shield on the chainstay behind the chainring falls off easily.
  • + 3
 "the little shield on the chainstay behind the chainring falls off easily"

Yup, just reglued the one on my Ripmo (after 14 months of ownership, TBF).
  • + 4
 HD3/HD4 screw-mount DT guard was the best by far, and it retains the rear brake line should you wish to keep it external. Superb protection in a light weight removable guard.
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: Yep. Mine was fubar though, so I just put a Lizard Skins frame patch in its place. Also replaced my downtube guard with Lizard Skins frame protector.
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: same here. 3 months
  • + 3
 I really enjoyed this article. Thanks, Mike! I've been a Ripley fan since the original, and I still prefer the original geometry (OG). Ti me, there is nothing like being able to clean a technical ascent when no one else in your party can. The OG still does this better, IMHO, than any other bike I've tried including the newer Ripleys. Ibis hit it out of the park with that design, at least for my style of riding but, I know for a lot of folks, it's all about the descent.
  • + 7
 The bikeyoke really is flawless. Simply the best....
  • + 2
 Would it kill you to put metric units as well..? There are quite a few of us that have to leave the page to do a conversion multiple times during a article read.

Anyways, I'm curious about the weight.. Smile
  • + 1
 Agree!
  • + 1
 Great review. Interesting to hear all the problems with XTR, but Race Face bottom brackets sucking is definitely nothing new. I went through 3 of them before I switched brands.

Also, does this mean i9 is on the cusp of coming out with the microspline driver for XTR? I personally don't really care as I am loving my X01 Eagle setup, but I know the driver licensing has been a big issue and I have no idea why Shimano isn't getting the license into every high end hub manufacturer's hands as quickly as possible...
  • + 6
 The I9 hubs do have a Microspline driver. I'm pretty sure it's available, too.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy is correct. I saw the kits on i9’s web store yesterday. They are there for the taking.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Thanks for the heads up! Didn't know that they had come out with them. The outrage when Shimano released the Microspline driver with the only hubs being their own and DT Swiss was palpable.
  • + 1
 I9 has conversion kits for their hubs available now. Ordered mine about 3 weeks ago and it came in 3 days later.
  • + 1
 I have had my Ripley V4 since May. No problems yet, I ride about two to three times a week, though some on my “enduro” bike. I have never been a climber, in fact my shortest travel bike before the Ripley was a 150/170 travel bike. I have to say at 32 I’m learning to appreciate climbing a little more, and a light weight bike like the Ripley has been tons of fun. It descends super fast as well and if you have the skill you can shred dh on this bike. I have had no problems with anything mechanical yet, and actually the bakes have been a surprise highlight for me. I normally run 4piston downhill brakes, but these seem adequate on this bike. As a Dow holler I would probably throw a fox 36 on here(and I know Mike Levy will roll his eyes at this) The fork is pretty flexible for me at 175lbs and seems to get overwhelmed one faster rock gardens. Is it a plow bike? No. Will the 34 work for most? Yes. I’m just saying that’s the only thing I would consider if this is your rowdy short bike.
  • + 2
 I'm curious about a Ripley with a 140mm 36 and maybe a DPX2 "upgrade". Making it basically a shorter travel Ripmo. I'd love to see that review.
  • + 3
 @laksboy: It’s Awesome with a 36. I temporary borrowed one from my wife’s Ripmo, though I had to run my bars a tad bit short because of the steer tube size difference Medium to Large. Going to a 36 made the bike have much less deflection than the 34. It was easier to keep a line and harder to bottom out. It also made me have to lean a little bit harder on the front in order to corner well, as the front already requires weighting in tight corners.

I don’t believe they make a Dpx2 in this travel size yet. They do make a Rockshox super deluxe that you can drop down in stroke to fit. I worry about it being to linear. Maybe with tokens it would be good. The only real problem I have with the Dps 2 that comes stock on the bike is that on long descents it can have some damping or rebound issues from getting to hot. Not enough oil cycling.
  • + 2
 @laksboy: I did forget to mention that I changed the air spring to drop the 36 to 140mm.
  • + 1
 My takeaways from this article were the things that sucked about the previous-version Gen 3 Ripley LS that no-one wanted to talk about:

- Regressive mid-stroke spring curve causes a tradeoff between wallowing on steeps and small-bump sensitivity
- Eccentric-based linkage 1/2 pound heavier than it needs to be
- Bike tucks under you on hard corners
- Not that stiff
  • + 5
 The weight of the eccentric linkage was a known issue that no one wanted to talk about? lol what?
  • + 1
 "Bike tucks under you on hard corners"

That's far from specific to the Ripley 3. Any bike with similar front-end geo would do the same, and that's the geo that was selling at the time (we won't mention that it was pretty much the only geo available at this travel range even just a couple years ago)
  • + 3
 @just6979: This article came at an interesting time for me--- I spent three hours on Sunday helping a buddy dial in the suspension on his Gen 3 Ripley LS and in the back of my mind I kept thinking that the bike should walk on water for all the amazing reviews I'd read. He had the choice between pedal strikes and wallowing or a rear suspension that was too firm for his preferences, had a fair bit of stiction, and felt slightly unbalanced with the Fox 34. It was a great overall bike but didn't live up to the hype in the articles I'd read over the years. I've ridden and loved lots of well-reviewed bikes, but almost all had something that actually sucked about them including the Mojo Carbon Gen 1 (steep head tube), Bronson Gen 1 (small bump sensitivity, Monarch Plus), Tracer T275 Carbon (creaky, fragile linkage bolts, Monarch Plus), Hightower Gen 1 (too slack actual seat tube angle), Megatower (too heavy and overbuilt for Southern California trails), and YT Jeffsy 2019 Pro Race (eThirteen drivetrain, cable management).

Sometimes it seems like reviewers and the guys that buy the bikes might be stretching for adjectives and hyperbole to justify a $9,500 bicycle spend and might be glossing over weaknesses that could help us make better buying decisions.
  • + 6
 @Marcencinitas: Or I'd argue that every bike is a compromise. That steep headtube angle makes it an agile climber. The poor small bump sensitivity may be as the bike isn't designed to bob when sprinting, or a shock stop issue? All those issue you raise, bar the monarch plus (which is a RS issue and not the bike) may make that bike perfect for someone wise. It all depends on where you ride and how you ride. I'm not sure there is a magic bullet bike out there for many people - the only thing that would perhaps help is adjustable geometry (additional cost and weight) or electronics (as before, plus electronics).
I dobby think there's a big conspiracy.
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim: there you go again with logic and reason...
  • + 1
 @clink83: Shame auto correct on my phone made it read like I'm an idiot though, eh? Oh well...
  • + 2
 @Marcencinitas: What shock? What you describe sounds similar to what I experienced on my Ripmo until I swapped the shock out for a Manitou McLeod. Best upgrade Ive made to the bike yet. That and the MRP Ribbon Coil really made the bike come alive.

Makes you wonder how much different bikes would be without Fox everything.
  • + 1
 @evan9r: The Ripley LS I was working on had the base Fox DPS shock with rebound adjustment and the 3-position climb switch. A shock with the ability to tune compression in open mode like the DPS factory or DPX2 would have helped. The rider is a 6’ tall, 140 lb rock climber so was a bit of an edge case. I also wonder if his linkages had a break in period or were overtightened but didn’t think of that until he’d left.
  • + 3
 @mikelevy Did you test the medium? I seem to recall you riding the large ripley previously and curious if you sized down on the V4. Thanks!
  • + 1
 What is the podium water bottle you are reffering to? I googled it, and the only one that came up is the camelback version, but that one is not shaped to sit in a water bottle cage properly. I'm looking for a large insulated bottle that fits well in a specialized cage... any suggestions?
  • + 2
 The Camelback podium doesn't look like it fits mtb cages but it has divots in it at the proper height to help it fit better. It's the only type of bottle I use now due to the size and insulation, and I don't have any fit troubles when putting it in the bottle cages.
  • + 0
 Super curious how this bike would be with a 140mm fork. HA, BB height, and Reach would be all nearly identical as a Ripmo in this configuration, just shorter travel. STA would slacken by 0.5* but that could be accommodated by sliding the seat a little more forward. I'm told frame weights between Ripmo and Ripley are basically the same and come down to the weight difference of the different shocks.
  • + 7
 They make this bike called the Ripmo. It sounds like you've already heard of it, but it's really similar to this bike, but has a little bit more travel, and slightly more aggressive geo. It also pedals really well, similar to this bike... So you know, you could just get that instead of trying to turn the Ripley into the Ripmo. One of the websites had an interview with one of the designers where they were asked why they didn't spec a DPX2 and fox 36, and the designer said that since the frame weight is pretty much exactly the same, and since the Ripmo already pedals so well, then adding the heavy components onto the Ripley would just give you a bike that's just as heavy as the Ripmo but with less travel. So what's the point. If you want a bigger bike, buy the Ripmo.
  • + 1
 @jaredmh: because I'm coming off a big bike and I want something smaller travelwise. But with aggressive geometry.
  • + 0
 @laksboy: This bike already has aggressive geometry. it's HA is 0.5 degrees off from the Ripmo, their enduro race bike...

If you're really interested in an aggressive bike with less travel I'd recommend the Chromag Doctahawk. It's got a slacker HA, is designed around a bigger/badder fork, and has even less travel than this.
  • + 0
 @jaredmh: The other bike on the shortlist is an SB130. Part of the reason might be that I don't like having a "normal" stock bike. An upforked Ripley is pretty much the same geometry as the Ripmo, but would let me "feel" the trail more with less travel and may be slightly more responsive & poppy. Some would think that's dumb and I should ride a Ripmo. I plan to test ride one and a stock Ripley to feel the difference.
  • + 3
 @laksboy: I just changed out the air spring on my Factory 34 and went to a 140mm fork for about $38. I can go back if I want, but I'm really enjoying it!
  • + 4
 People who are interested in bikes rather than fashion?
  • + 5
 Me
  • + 2
 Mike. How does it compare to the SB100. Love the SB100 but could do with a bit more travel and hoping the Ripley still stays nimble and manourverable
  • + 4
 What. No squish video on bike reviews anymore?
  • + 2
 My bad.
  • + 3
 Thought I'd go see what it would cost for a similar spec to what I'm riding now....who can afford these things?!
  • + 1
 I rode this exact build (around a parking lot) of the new Ripley a few days ago and all I could say was "enduro bikes suck!" I'm a Ripmo owner.
  • + 1
 Always loved Ibis, since my yellow steel hand job rear brake holder frame 25 years ago....but yeah, stumbled on the 9399... and yeah, nothing better go wrong.
  • + 3
 Thoughts on bushing vs bearings? Is it same as the Ripmo?
  • + 5
 Yeah, same IGUS bushings on the lower link as on the Ripmo. Seem to be working well on the Ripmo (haven't heard of anyone having any issues so far, myself included), and they do allow a lighter and more maintenance-free design.
  • + 4
 Own a Ripmo and no Problems so far. There is very little rotation on the lower link so imO bushings can handle the forces there better then bearings.
  • + 1
 they work very well. no concerns.
  • + 1
 No issues with the bushings on my Ripmo after riding it all winter in very wet and muddy conditions that would probably have resulted in some very crunchy bearings.
  • + 2
 Zero bushing issues. I took the shock off and it's reasonably smooth still.
  • - 1
 "Con: Loses a smidge of that high-strung efficiency."

High-strung efficiency or high-strung feeling? Did you put it on a clock and power meter? No? Then it's just feeling, not efficiency.

And while some people do still prefer an efficient _feeling_ ride (mostly firm tires and firm suspension, whether high PSI, lockout, or massive anti-squat) regardless of actual efficiency (which is even stupider than lockouts), it seems strange to put a tick on the "con" column for the bike _not_ fitting into that _preference_ of an actually _inefficient_ high-string setup.
  • + 4
 Uhm no. If you have ridden an actual XC race bike you would know 1) they are actually efficient climbers and 2) if you like that type of bike, losing that feeling is a con.
  • + 3
 @clink83: Those statements have nothing to do with what I asked. Yes, race bikes are efficient climbers, and yes many people like the high-strung feel so for them losing it would be a con.

My question was directly about if the Ripley actually lost efficiency or speed, as opposed to just the feeling, Because I DO NOT want that feeling. I'd rather feel some give and know that traction is maximized when hammering down, instead of the bike feeling extremely firm and thus skipping over tiny bumps and robbing me of traction when really hammering.

The article's con mentioned efficiency, I'm just trying to confirm if that efficiency was actually measured or just a feeling.

It also goes with Mike's statement that lock-outs are stupid. If that's true, then just losing the high-string feeling should not be a con, since that's the main point of lock-outs: making it feel high-strung and taut.

(Because that feeling is often wrong: stiff _feels_ quick in the instant, but isn't actually faster or more efficient in the long run. Actually more efficient to maintain maximum traction and reduce high-frequency vibrations with a bit of vertical compliance.)
  • + 1
 @just6979: I can’t speak for Mike Levy, but I can tell you this bike feels like it has a bit more traction than the V3. With that comes a ever so slight loss in pedal support when you stand and put the power down. Also the front wanders a bit more than the last version. It’s not much, but if you are a super gnarly technical climber like Mike Levy, you probably care more than me. I think it climbs really good.
  • + 1
 Could do without the beer-belly downtube though. I much more prefer the Norco Revolver. Hope the Ibis comes in more colors than the dull black posted here.
  • + 2
 Beer-belly downtube seem to have become a trend I'm afraid...
  • + 1
 Exactly
  • + 1
 @mikelevy What was the tire combo? Spec says Nobby Nic 2.6 but there’s a Hans Dampf in a different compound on the front. Hmm...
  • + 2
 What size ripley was tested on this review @mikelevy ?
  • + 2
 It looks it would suit a Trust fork here
  • + 4
 Looks like Jeff kendall weed threw a trust fork on his, unfortunately I think he isnt making any riding vids due to being hurt.
  • + 1
 @butters1996: Levy still got one I guess
  • + 2
 I rode it a bunch with the Message installed - it's a good combo.
  • + 1
 @mikelevy: Pic/Porn please
  • + 2
 Is the new Tallboy going to compete with this ?
  • + 2
 not in weight.
  • + 2
 @mm732: what about awesomeness!?
  • + 2
 @payback: depends on what link shock is driven from. upper link driven VPP is going the way of the dodo. the inverted leverage curve of these DW bikes is superior for most types of riding.
  • + 1
 More interested how it’s compared to G13 on Saturn 11, who cares about “made in china boutique’s”??
  • + 1
 Down hiller. Dow holler works I guess.
  • - 1
 Want to know how it compares to Pivots Trail 429 & Yetis SB100!? who cares about a giant Trance
  • + 6
 Me
  • + 2
 Have ridden all but the sb100. That being said I liked the pivot 5.5 the most. New Ripley second
  • + 5
 They are all similar bikes. I've ridden SB100, 429, and Trance. SB100 is the raciest, best climber but gets overwhelmed easily in tech sections. 429 is the best descender of the 3, rides like a mini enduro bike on the descents, but feels numb on the way up or in flat terrain. Trance is exactly in the middle, better climber and more responsive at low speed than 429, while also being a better descender than SB100. I haven't ridden Ripley yet, but it's probably a good comparison.
  • + 1
 SB100 felt like a pure-bred XC race bike with modern geo, while 429 and Trance both felt more like trail bike all-arounders.
  • + 2
 @dro-cfr: I have been riding a 5.5 for the last two years. Everything from Enduro races, to 40 mile to XC rides...love mine!
  • + 3
 You need to give the Trance 29 a proper ride; I bet you would change your prejudiced pretty quick.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: SB100? That's not a comparison, that's a contrast. Why not SB130?
  • + 3
 For sure more capable then a SB100 or Trail429.. BTW The Trance29 is a SOLID (perhaps the most accurate) comparison to the new Ripley! More downcountry focused then an SB100 or Trail429.. those are more XC all around then the new Ripley and Trance29 that can still climb just as good, but are much more fun going down!
  • + 2
 Trance and IBIS are pretty similar all things considered. I went with the IBIS as I preferred the rear suspension. Pivot was a much different ride, not as playful, much firmer suspension. That bike is SO stiff, it just wanted to be pinned, fun in its own way.
  • - 3
 @mikelevy Maybe you would have had a different experience if you hadn't insisted on running a size down from the recommend size? ????
  • + 1
 How would that have helped address any of the listed cons?
  • + 1
 @PhillipJ:
I didn't intend to suggest that it would address any of Mike's perceived cons in relation to the old model. I just wanted to highlight that he had sized down and that it probably affected his experience of the bike. But he would probably have felt it climbed a bit more efficient (due to more forward weight) and descended with a bit more confidence.

(For some reason pinkbike turns my wink smileys to three question marks)
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