The Ripley name has been in Ibis' catalog since 2011 when the OG model was introduced as a fun-loving trail bike for riders who were looking for efficiency and sharp handling. That first Ripley eventually got some geometry tweaks that created the longer (but still pretty short) LS model that was itself revamped in 2017 with a new rear-end for added tire clearance and rigidity.
That means that this entirely new bike is the fourth-generation Ripley, and with the most progressive geometry that Ibis has ever used and a very Ripmo-esque stance, something tells me it's also the most capable Ripley yet.
The bullet points read like a 'how to make your trailbike rip' recipe: The head angle is slacker, the seat angle is way steeper, and the reach is way reach-ier, too. There's still 120mm of travel out back, but those funky eccentrics have been replaced with compact links, and the lower one is actually lifted straight off the Ripmo.
It's still on 29'' wheels, of course, and it's also lighter; Ibis says they dropped 0.65lb off the frame, with a claimed weight of 5.6lb with a Fox DPS shock.
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
The all-new Ripley looks a bit different, but it's still sporting 120mm of travel and 29'' wheels. Ibis has made their trail bike longer, slacker, and lighter.
There are six complete bike options, starting at $4,099 USD for an NX spec and Fox's Performance suspension, and you can spend as much as $9,399 USD if you want XTR, more carbon fiber, and a Factory-level fork and shock from Fox. If you prefer to do it your own way, a frame and Fox DPS shock costs $2,999 USD.
Ibis also offers a bunch of 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.
The Ripley Goes Long
With 45mm of reach added across the board, the new Ripley is much roomier than its predecessors.
It's probably fair to say that Ibis has been one of the more conservative brands on the geometry front over the years, and especially if we're talking about the previous three versions of the Ripley. To be fair, 2011 was about fifty years ago now when it comes geo, but a large-sized V1 Ripley had a 406mm reach back then, just for comparison's sake.
The revised LS model that showed up in 2017 at 428mm, but this new bike is the largest leap so far at 475mm for a large. In fact, Ibis says that reach numbers have increased by 45mm on average across the board, so they're more in-line with everyone else now.
That evolution can be seen up front as well, with the OG Ripley's head angle going from 68-degrees to 67.5 on the LS model in 2017. Jump forward a couple more years and the new Ripley has a 66.5-degree head angle and is intended for 44mm offset forks. There's an even bigger change at the seat tube; 72-degrees on the OG to 73-degrees on the LS, to a much steeper 76-degrees on this bike. The chainstays have been shortened by 12mm to 432mm, too, which is right around where I like 'em to be.
So, 120mm-travel 29er with a 66.5-degree head angle, 76-degrees for the seat tube, and 475mm reach on a large Ripley. Ibis, is this really you? Let's compare.
Evil's Following MB and Transition's Smuggler are both 120mm-travel 29ers with similar geo to the new Ripley.
Evil's much-loved Following also rolls on 29'' wheels and has 120mm of travel, and it gets a 66.8-degree head angle and 73.7-degrees at the seat when in the slackest position. A large has a 452mm reach, too. Transition's Smuggler is in the same small-travel, big-fun category as well, and it gets a 66-degree front-end, 75.8-degree seat angle, and a 475mm reach on a large.
Sure, I've gone on and on about how much I've liked Ibis' compact, nimble geo, but let's be real here: I'm in the (very small) minority, and they had to move forward, especially given the older Ripley's dated numbers. Ibis ain't the first to the fun, short-travel bike party, but they're here now.
Updated DW Link Suspension
The bike still has 120mm of rear-wheel-travel, but the suspension layout has been revised for more rigidity and progression.
Every single version of the Ripley is known for two things: sharp handling, and a sporty, efficient ride. The latter comes from Ibis' use the dw link system, but are some big changes on this new Ripley. Previously, Ibis employed a dual-eccentric system where the eccentrics acted as very short links.
They originally went with eccentrics route because it let the design play nice with front derailleurs and made for a clean looking layout, but what the hell is a front derailleur? Never heard of him.
That lower link comes from the longer-travel Ripmo and is a big reason for the claimed increase in rigidity.
Without that concern, and because the upper eccentric limited seatpost insertion, Ibis decided to go with a more traditional dual-link layout that they're claiming has ''significantly reduced the frame weight and increases stiffness.
'' It also makes for a bike that looks a lot like the longer-travel Ripmo, which is precisely where Ibis stole the Ripley's new lower link from.
The new link rotates on IGUS bushings that come with a lifetime warranty, while bearings are used in the upper linkage assembly. The shock is also metric-sized now, too, at 190mm long with 45mm of stroke.
The Little Things
It looks a bit like the Ripmo, doesn't it?
Onto the details. Changing cables on the previous Ripley required you to remove bolt-on caps so that the opening was larger and you didn't throw your bike through a wall. It helped, that's for sure, but the job could still be a PIA sometimes. They're gone now, though, replaced with molded-in internal tubes so that you can push the cable in at one end and have it come out the other, no swearing required. The bottom bracket is threaded, just like before, and there's now a splined ring around the shell that you can mount a chain guide onto when you want to go down-country-ing.
Other details include more room for a larger bottle, internal cable guides, and a splined interface at the bottom bracket that accepts an ISCG adapter.
And speaking of having fun on short-travel bikes, Ibis has finally ditched their lengthy seat tubes to make room for long-stroke dropper posts. Word is that the medium to extra-large sizes work with 170mm (or even 185mm) party posts, while the small-sized bikes can easily run a 125mm to 150mm dropper.
Other things include a bit more room for larger water bottles, "standard" Boost spacing instead of that Super Boost thing, and a 1x-specific design.
The fresh Ripley is new and interesting, but does it still have the near-telekinetic handling and efficient suspension action that its predecessors could brag about? Has Ibis managed to add burliness to their 120mm-travel trail bike without taking away its fun-loving nature? We'll have a full review of the new Ripley within the coming days that answers those questions and finds out if the new Ripley is still a Ripley.