Field Trip: Ibis's $2,999 Ripley AF is a Precision Weapon

May 10, 2021 at 14:13
by Sarah Moore  


PINKBIKE FIELD TRIP

IBIS RIPLEY AF

A precision weapon.



Words by Sarah Moore, Photography by Tom Richards



We're wrapping up the full-suspension bikes in the Field Trip value bike series with the Ibis Ripley AF, a 29" aluminum trail bike with 120mm of rear travel and a 130mm fork. The more affordable aluminum Ripley AF looks a lot like the pricier carbon version and uses an identical DW link suspension layout, but of course, it weighs a bit more than its sibling. Ibis says the Ripley AF frame weighs 7.45 lb with the Fox Float shock that it comes with, or about 1.45 lb more than the carbon frame and shock.

But you know what’s more important than the weight? The geometry, of course, and Ibis has made some changes here compared to the carbon Ripley. This new aluminum Ripley AF is actually a degree slacker, sitting at 65.5 degrees, instead of the carbon bike’s 66.5 front end.
Ibis Ripley AF

Travel: 120mm (rear) / 130mm (fork)
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: aluminum
Head angle: 65.5 degrees
Chainstay length: 432mm
Reach: 475mm (large)
Sizes: S-XL
Weight: 32.6lb / 14.8kg
Price: $2,999 USD
More info: www.ibiscycles.com

The seat angle and reach are the same on the aluminum Ripley AF as the carbon model, at 76 degrees and 475mm respectively. The 432mm chainstays are also the same, but that slacker front end does add a bit of wheelbase. I do need to point out that Mike Levy and I both rode the Ripley AF in a size large rather than a medium. I do prefer a size medium bike, but Ibis couldn't get us a medium-sized Ripley AF in time for our trip to the Sunshine Coast. They could get us a large, however, and since we think this a pretty important bike, we decided to include it.

As for frame details, there’s room for a water bottle under the shock, internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket, ISCG 05 chain guide tabs, and Boost spacing. There's also room for a 200mm rear rotor and 2.6 wide tires, and there’s a bunch of frame protection.

The Deore-spec Ripley AF that we tested goes for $2,999 USD, which is actually the most expensive bike on test. But it's not the most expensive Ripley AF. You can get the NX/GX spec version for $3,299 USD. If you only want the frame and shock, it’ll cost you $1,800 USD. For comparison’s sake, the carbon Ripley starts at $4,200 USD, while the carbon frame costs $2,833 USD.





Ibis Ripley. Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards
Ibis Ripley. Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards


Climbing

The Ripley AF feels like a value-minded rocket ship when you point it uphill. Stamp down on the pedals and the bike jumps forward with more urgency than the others, which only encourages you to push down even harder. That blue pedal assist switch is easy enough to reach on the rear shock, but you’re not doing yourself any favours by switching the Fox shock to its firm mode. Just leave it alone and let the suspension do its job.

That being said, the Ripley AF's sporty personality has been de-tuned a bit with the one-degree slacker head angle compared to the carbon Ripley. It's a bit less pointy and less ultra-responsive than the carbon bike, but it’s still the sharp handling trail bike that it's always been.

But don't worry, the slightly slacker head angle and longer front-center won't keep you from cleaning something you’re currently not dabbing on. It still loves the slow speed wiggles, the odd trackstand or wheel pivot as required, and the grippy Schwalbe rubber will scrabble up almost anything you have the ponies to get up.


Ibis Ripley. Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards

Ibis Ripley. Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards
Ibis Ripley. Field Trip 2021. Photo by Tom Richards


Descending


While many trail bikes seem to be in a race to see who can have the most travel while still being called a trail bike, the Ripley AF retains that responsive, lively personality that it’s always been known for. No surprises there, really, as it continues to use the same suspension layout and only slightly modified geometry.

If you’ve ridden the Ripley before, you’ll know what I mean by that. But for those who haven’t, this 120mm travel trail bike isn’t the one that you go straight through the rocks and chunder with. Instead, it's a bike that comes into its own if you ride it with precision. That doesn’t mean you can’t take chances on it, it’s just that those chances are different. Rather than sending it blindly into a mess of rocks and roots, you’ll be better served by dancing over or through that stuff. On smoother, less chunky trails, the Ripley AF is an absolute weapon.

The Ripley AF only has 120mm of travel and in no way does it feel like more than that, it isn’t that kind of bike. It does however offer a good mix of suppleness, support, and enough ramp-up for most riders.

The Ripley AF will make a great partner for a rider who wants to cover a lot of ground, possibly while pedaling hard, and have a hoot on the way back down. What more do you want from your trail bike?


Ibis Ripley. 2021 Field Trip. Photo Tom Richards





Pros

+ Classic trail bike is still around, more capable than ever
+ Super efficient climber
Cons

- Shimano brakes
- Not the rowdiest of trail bikes













The 2021 Pinkbike Field Test was made possible with support from Toyota.




Video: Jason Lucas, Max Barron
Editing: Devan Francis



339 Comments

  • 353 15
 Those Cons read like Pros to me
  • 46 5
 Yea I don’t have an issue with my SLX brakes. Maybe cause I’m using Nukeproof pads, dunno
  • 255 24
 Cons:
- Shimano brakes

As opposed to SRAM? LOL
  • 75 12
 @roadieinmtbclothing: They're still hung up on the inconsistent bite point even if they don't actually have a pair with that problem.
  • 40 3
 @roadieinmtbclothing: Yes, Shimano and Sram, the only 2 brake manufacturers in the world...
  • 53 6
 I find no matter which shimano brakes I use it will have inconsistent bite points. If I pull the lever and let it go and pull it again immediately. The bite point will change opposed to waiting a few seconds and pulling it again. Lots of brake brands do this but I find with shimanos it's more pronounced.
  • 17 2
 @hi-dr-nick: The bite point concern doesn't seem to be consistent with each Shimano brake set though. I have XT on my hardtail and I constantly notice inconsistent bite points...but the brakes are strong af; however, I have SLX on my FS bike and I have never had any issue with inconsistent bite points...though the brakes are noticeably weaker than the XT set (but that could simply be due to the weight of the aluminum FS over the carbon HT). That all being said....the bite point "issue" is not a deal breaker as the power more than makes up for it.

Honest question though....if PB is knocking the Shimano brakes for the bite point concern...whats the alternative at this price point? I certainly wouldn't sacrifice power for consistency as that would be a safety issue.
  • 19 11
 I must say that I've disappointed in every set of Shimano brakes I've had since 2016. Wandering bite points and leaking pistons. Shimano refused to address either even though they were still in warranty.
  • 1 0
 @DizzyNinja: did you upgrade the rotors as well?
  • 1 1
 @roadieinmtbclothing: couldn’t agree more!
  • 3 1
 @UtahBrent: I think its just a luck of the draw. 6k miles on my XT brakes and ive never had a leak (and haven't flushed once). My SLX rear brake exploded on me around the 1k mark.
  • 14 0
 @SATN-XC: Formulas brake game is top notch right now. Powerful and quite relieable. The Cura currently costs 90€ a piece but Formula has very competetive OEM prices, which is why I chose a pair of their brakes and fork for less than entry level Sram/RS on my current bike. Both have worked like a dream. Since I bought them 4 years ago I havent heard many complaints about them from fellow formula users. They have one of the best and most consistent bite points ive ever felt. In short: I would buy them agin in the blink of an eye.
Caveat: Rating brakes (or any other bike part) is always hard since there is so much anecdotal evidence out there and a lot of people cant bleed their brakes properly and then blame the brake. I have bleed brakes from various manufacturers and archieved good results on all but one with a blown O-ring.
To contribute some more anecdotal evidence: The last 2 pairs of Guide R's Ive bleed have been working extraordinarily well for the last 1.5 years while Ive encountered 3 leaking current gen. XT levers.
  • 15 3
 Same. I have three bikes with Shimano brakes (XTR 2-piston, XT 4-piston, Saints) and I have yet to experience this "inconsistent bike point" so many talk about.

I don't have enough experience with SRAM brakes to give them a negative comment other than I prefer the feel of Shimano levers. I ran Hayes brakes (sponsored) for a number of years prior to switching to Shimano a few years ago. I had high hopes for the Dominion brakes, but they still don't match Shimano for power and feel.
  • 52 2
 How are they going to list "Shimano Brakes" as a con but not mention them at all in the actual review.
I'll take Shimano brakes over most.
  • 9 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: I Hope more companies will produce other options.
  • 2 1
 Such a strange thing about the Shimano brakes, the first run of the previous generation M8000 XT had a the same problems but they fixed it in the later releases.

I wonder if shuttling the bikes with the front wheel up has something to do with this problem. Maybe bleeding the brake after that would get the air out of the lever?
  • 5 7
 @DizzyNinja: If you are ok with the bite point changing every time you squeeze them then they are fine. Wheelies and manuals are way harder when this happens.
  • 3 0
 @hi-dr-nick: I have a pair with that problem and it is awful
  • 15 0
 I honestly don’t know how you poor people ride without Maximas
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: To be fair, I was able to resolve my wandering point issue by using a pliers to pre-bend the pad retention spring so that it didn't exert as much force on the pads/pistons. The leaky pistons went unresolved though.
  • 4 0
 @SATN-XC: nope, SLX rotors. I’ve used Nukeproof pads with SLX rotors on other brake systems as well, Tektro/TRP, SRAM/Avid, Hayes. NP pads seem to fix all short comings and SLX rotors are cheap and have never let me down.
  • 6 1
 @gillettthomas: referring your method of a rapid second pull vs a delayed second pull changing bite point, I can do that in most car’s brake pedals and get a different bite point as well. This isn’t exclusive to Shimano brakes. I’ll often double tap my car’s brake to get a “better” bite point while driving quick in corners.
  • 5 29
flag DoubleCrownAddict (May 11, 2021 at 10:57) (Below Threshold)
 Only product that might be worse than Shimano derailleurs is Shimano brakes. Shimano should have have up on Shimano brakes a decade ago after they caused Gwin's crash at World's.
  • 9 0
 @gillettthomas: after a purge with Putoline HPX R 2.5W instead of the Shimano mineral oil, no more inconsistent bite point.
  • 6 0
 @DizzyNinja: I have had 2 sets of XT 2 piston M785 M8000 and now have 2 sets of SLX M7120 4 pot brakes, they all have wandering bite point especially at high speed rough when you are consciously or unconsciously repeatedly engaging the lever.

However, good bleeds, clean pistons, splayed out pad spring (also fixes the terrible pad rattle on the 4pots) make it a slight annoyance. I have a set of hayes dominions I planned to put on one of my bikes but I am generally quite happy with the SLX sets despite the occasional wandering and haven't felt the need to switch out brake sets.

So yeah wandering bite point is 100% a real thing, but with proper brake maintenance it is a minor annoyance not a major issue for me
  • 6 3
 I properly bleed all of my brakes, Shimano or whatever they may be, and I never have bite-point issues.
  • 5 1
 Yea, kind of bizarre.

I totally get having your personal preferences in brakes, but I think listing any of the major manufacturers as a pure "con" just shows some inherent bias. I personally don't like SRAM brakes, but I would never list them as a con when recommending a bike to someone if they came stock. Also, they are just brakes. Frankly, as long as they are decent and stop the bike, that's all you really need if you are going for a somewhat budget bike like this. If you end up really disliking them and want something different, changing brakes is pretty simple.
  • 2 0
 @TheLittleFox: I tried that, and not only kept the wandering bite point, but they also started to leak at the lever. I now only use Hopes, super consistent...
  • 5 1
 @roadieinmtbclothing: meh i like sram so much better
  • 1 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: thanks for the info! I've been happy with my Formula RX1s and am in the market for a new set of brakes to replace a set on another bike. I hear so much about the Codes, Dominions, etc, but maybe I'll add some Curas to my list for consideration.
  • 1 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: on this budget-friendly line of bikes? yes.
  • 6 2
 @thustlewhumber: the bite point issue has nothing to do with the bleed though
  • 1 1
 I own 6 sets of Shimano brakes... 3 SLX, one Saint and the lower DEore for the rest. I do not suffer from any issues I even use Clark pads on 2 of them and they have a slight movement problem but the bite does not change. I sand the rotors lightly each year and us metallic sintered pads no fins. 180 front 160 and 180 rears.
@mikelevy Levy>> are the problems on the new stuff only maybe?
  • 5 1
 @hi-dr-nick: I still say that's a bleed problem.
  • 8 13
flag mtbtrekracer (May 11, 2021 at 15:04) (Below Threshold)
 if you're smart enough to know what you're doing, youll buy codes, learn how to bleed and then have the better brake package. shimano fan boys are exactly that, fanboys who just get hard over it because they give all the power at once when they are working.

braking performance is much better with Sram(code R's and up) and many people who used to ride guide's now just hate on sram in general.
also mineral oil is not a brake fluid and is why shimanos also suck when they get hot... they are not even brakes when they get hot.
  • 1 0
 @mtbtrekracer: i hear that but I am all Shimano on multiple bikes should I start mixing and matching?
  • 1 0
 @gillettthomas: feather it. Nuff said. Ride some old hayes compared to rim brakes you feel like superman. Call me nuts but you ramp up tire grip, and somehow brake performance is an issue. Maybe easy fix is go tires that dont bite so hard. I like continental race kings. But im always lookin to cruise easy.
  • 4 0
 @madmon: i have SLX on a bunch of bikes and code r/rsc on others, personally the reason i havnt gone all Code is because they are hard to find here.
  • 3 0
 There was truly a time when Avid/ SRAM brakes sucked and Shimano was way better. Around the point SRAM fixed the sticky pistons on the Guides, the tables turned. But, by that point, companies like Ibis heard nothing but complaints about SRAM and were able to offer Shimano brakes on all their bikes, even with SRAM shifting. I may rather SRAM brakes now, but on a budget bike I wouldn’t be picky. It just feels like Pinkbike was trying to have a con for a bike that they didn’t have any cons for.
  • 1 1
 @hi-dr-nick: They 100% said in the last video that the bite point on various test bikes was anywhere from immediate to all the way to the bars and that it changed frequently.
  • 1 1
 I have different generations of SLX brakes on some of my bikes and have never experienced any 'bite point' problems whatsoever. Seems to be an issue with XT/XTR.
  • 2 1
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: Or maybe just the new generation. There is no difference between SLX and XT. I also did not have any wandering bite point issue with SLX from about 4 years ago but the fact that it appears to be a constant issue with the new generation is a f*cking problem. Shimano should be EMBARASSED
  • 1 1
 @friendlyfoe: I have versions of the last 3 latest generations of SLX with no problems. Guess I'm the exception here haha.
  • 2 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: are you rough or smoothe?
  • 1 0
 @dirtbagluvin: I dont understand the question.
  • 1 0
 then won't they have drawbacks?
  • 1 0
 @thustlewhumber: nope this doesnt fix it. I have bled my brakes over a dozen times and zero improvement. Still totally usable but yeh wandering breakpoint is kinda sketchy when u dont know with every pull quite how much braking you will experience. Fine for a gentle pootle but when youre really on it you kinda wanna just rely on muscle memory to just get the right amount of braking as this doesnt allow for that.
  • 2 0
 @endoplasmicreticulum: There are two types of endoplasmic reticulum- smooth and rough ; )
  • 2 0
 @dirtbagluvin: Ah, now I get what you want to know. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast, as sam hill said, so I am more of a rough type Big Grin
  • 157 2
 Other cons:
Not the most precise enduro bike
Metal spokes
No Belt drive option
  • 44 0
 no internal gear hub option no 6 pot brake calipers no cannon dale lefty air fork
  • 17 26
flag mrti (May 11, 2021 at 8:07) (Below Threshold)
 Looks like balls... to name a real one.
  • 22 0
 More cons: Although idler pulley required no extra maintenance, it might in the future.
  • 11 8
 @mrti: I ride a Knolly so beauty is in the eye of the beholder... but carbon Ibis' look like they're melting, the AF bikes, as much as I like the principal, look like walmart bikes.
  • 15 1
 @mrti: Your balls are silver with black knobs? You should get them checked out.
  • 5 0
 cons: no idler that *might* break
  • 4 0
 @Glenngineer: out of this whole test, pretty sure I'd take the ibis, maybe the devinci, but that high top tube ibis does is not the best looking lol. Always looks "bloated" in my opinion haha.
  • 14 0
 @mrti: Ripley owner here, also don’t love its looks, but I have other better looking bikes that I love much less. I can’t tell it’s ugly when I’m riding it, and man is it fun to ride.
  • 5 0
 DCA gonna be pissed bout this
How dare they not spec a gearbox on an economy bike?!?
  • 5 0
 @imnotdanny: I like that we've shortened it to DCA.
  • 4 0
 @Jimmy0: in the name of efficiency, which he likes so much I guess
  • 2 0
 @mtallman2: I have and HD5, not the same bike, but pretty much same type of suspension, super happy. As much travel as it has, still a super playful bike for 'trail' riding. When things get more tech, rough or just pure jump lines, also, super capable and up to the task. Happy with my Ibis purchases for sure
  • 4 0
 Con:
Not 210mm travel.
  • 131 7
 Dental hygienist’s bike
  • 4 0
 Assistant Flossing
  • 95 14
 Shimano brakes a con? Sounds like a pro to me...
  • 12 0
 Levy and Sara are wondering why
  • 17 4
 ...I get the feeling PB is simply trying to bring balance to the universe. Comment section absolutely slammed the Sram components (for good reason) in the Giant review from last week and, in the two reviews following the Giant, PB has thrown a dig at the Shimano for inconsistent bite points. Note, I don't recall this ever being a "con" for the Shimano brakes in any of the hardtail tests. hmmm
  • 8 0
 @SATN-XC: I could be wrong but I believe that the inconsistent bite point that they are talking about is only associated with Shimano brakes with the Servo Wave technology. The cheaper shimano brakes speced on the budget hardtails do not have servo wave.
  • 6 4
 @ols532704: I suspect it's a bleeding issue. Shimano's bleed kit is garbage compared to the Sram pro bleed kit. I wish Shimano would use threaded bleed ports on the calipers and offer some higher quality syringes so you could pull a decent vacuum like you can with the Sram kit.
  • 5 2
 @dlxah: There is no need to pull a vacuum on mineral oil.
  • 3 0
 @dlxah: I don't think you're supposed to vaccuum a shimano brake at the master cylinder. you risk messing up the rubber gasket/seal there. is that true?
  • 1 0
 @ols532704: this. Wasn't it a thing for many years to run non-servo wave masters to the higher end servo wave-only saint calipers for the best Shimano package? Never owned Shimano brakes btw so I'm not speaking from experience here, just recalling info.
  • 62 6
 Cons: Shimano Brakes. Mentions brakes no where else in the article.
  • 12 17
flag CycleKrieg (May 11, 2021 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 Watch the video.
  • 10 0
 It's a bit strange that the video mentions the wandering bite point (again, Shimano!) and the text doesn't...
  • 48 5
 Well, Shimano brakes are a breeze to bleed, and not everyone wants a Nicolai slack bike as a trail bike. I see those things as positives. I really can't see anything wrong with that spec.
  • 13 2
 Yup. Wandering bite point is annoying and shouldn't happen, but it's not a make-or-brake (see what I did there) thing. It's a nuisance on brakes that otherwise work as well or better than many other brakes on the market. I wouldn't trade my Saints for anything on the market except maybe Trickstuffs, and I wouldn't trade my old XT or deore 2-pot brakes for anything from Sram except maybe Codes. They're all certainly better than the Magura trail brakes on my other bike as well.
  • 11 1
 Yeah Shimano brakes are pretty hard to screw up
  • 7 1
 I realized I don't need a enduro sled to have fun, so instead, a brand new Spur is sitting in my garage.
  • 2 0
 They may be a breeze to bleed. However, the shot glass thing isn't ideal for getting the last little bits of air out, which I suspect causes the wandering bite point. No idea if others have fixed the wandering bite point by using a more SRAM-like bleed, sucking the fluid and bubbles out the top.
  • 9 1
 Choose a brake brand, then be a dick about it haha. Brake debates are always so entertaining.
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: have to be honest, it’s hard to find an easier bleed system than SRAM bleeding edge.

The regular SRAM brakes are nothing special as far as bleeding but BE brakes are a breeze.
  • 8 4
 Shimano's bleed kit is garbage compared to the Sram pro bleed kit. I wish Shimano would use threaded bleed ports on the calipers and offer some higher quality syringes so you could pull a decent vacuum like you can with the Sram kit.
  • 2 0
 @dlxah: I'm assuming you can screw the bleed nipples off the calipers and replace them with a cover bolt, probably off Tektro or something, as that seems to be the same thread as Shimano in many cases. Then I guess an Epic bleed solutions universal double syringe kit could be used.
  • 4 0
 Shimano brakes are easy to bleed. Which is helpful because you have to do it so often.
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: Better syringes would be good. In the meantime I just get by with disposable high volume syringes from my chemist at $4 each. I can get a decent vacuum on the fluid before I connect it to the system to start the first flush. The new syringes can hold the vacuum better than one that's been used a few times.
  • 3 0
 @dlxah: No need for fancy syringe bleeding with shimano. Just gravity bleed them plus a few flicks of the lever. Works mint. Easiest brakes ever to bleed.
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: I used Marshy's method and it worked great.
  • 35 3
 It seem like those “cons” are just disguised pros
  • 31 0
 Cons: Can’t buy one.
  • 1 0
 Alas, the curse of the Covid bike boom and the Covid supply chain cluster****.

In my LBS the other day, a guy came in saying he was looking for a size L trailbike, happy with anything between 120 and 160mm of suspension, and had been sent by another store to see if this one might have a bike, any bike, left.
  • 1 0
 @g-42: I was sent all the way from Florida to West Virginia (by choice) to find a bike. Not the one I was looking for but at least I could ride it that month instead of in THREE FREAKING YEARS LATER.
  • 3 0
 @AFunFox: Wow! 2021 is the year of "don't break anything". Most parts are either out of stock or LBS's are hoarding most stuff for service (2 months later) only.
  • 1 1
 @ismellfish: I have multiple bike shops around where I live and they are all super backed up. The trick is to find the smallest shop. The mountain bike-specific shop is backed up months. The do it all shop is also backed up months. The tiny triathlon bike shop is wide open. I have been bringing my bike in there for small repairs only, pedal changes (I don't have the right tools), brake bleeds, that type of stuff. When I get to my 50-hour mark for a fork service there is a pretty good chance I will do it myself, I will not go to the tri shop for that though.
  • 1 0
 @ismellfish: My LBS just told me they are booked out for service into July. Also, they are only servicing bikes that they sold. Crazy times!
  • 5 0
 @AFunFox: just wondering how much they charge for a pedal change? Or is that a free thing they do while your browsing the store, and thus make a purchase. Only ask because a set of cheap Allen keys is like, 5 bucks. A cheap pedal spanner probly the same
  • 2 0
 @Snugs: I had to get a safety inner tube anyway and I was on my way to a trail so I just went in. I had two bikes and three-pedal sets to swap around, it cost me about 10 bucks then I got the inner tube as well. I am thrilled about getting tools that is the goal but my parents don't want to get tools because of money and space (I'm 14 btw).
  • 5 0
 @AFunFox: Tell your parents they are investing in your education. One of the best things I ever did was to work on bikes with my kid. He now has life-long skills, works as a bike mechanic, and will be an engineer soon.

Signed the father of a former 14-year old.
  • 4 0
 @AFunFox: not to mention learning how to fix everything yourself is a great skill for the future and expands into so many areas. I can't explain the 10s of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars I've saved over the years doing all of my home, automotive, and bike work myself. Right now my 3 cars have 288k, 266k, and 187k miles one them and I know they'll last me many more years. They cost next to nothing to maintain except time. I've put over 100k miles on my car since I bought it 7 years ago for 2500 bucks. Same story for most of them. When they die I'll do it all over again. Build my own bikes, remodel my own house, etc, etc. Consider it a $10-30k salary increase. Convince your parents to buy those tools instead of your next bike part and get you started towards financial freedom and no debt.
  • 3 0
 @Warburrito: Trust me they are not buying my bike parts. That new bike I got, yeah I took a loan out from my dad to pay for it myself. He wrote up an entire contract and everything for it. I know how to fix everything and I am hoping to work in a shop next summer and get some cash for some kit.
  • 2 0
 @AFunFox: Kudos to your dad. This will help you understand the value of money and set you on the right path in the future. Doing your own repairs and mods on your bikes (or most anyway) makes those rides even more satisfying. When you get older, it will also lead to many free beers and burritos from your friends who will look to you for repairs as well.
  • 3 0
 @AFunFox: Good for you and your dad. Also, you're making me jealous...I've always wanted to work in a bike shop.
  • 3 0
 @AFunFox: have a look in your area for a free community bike workshop. Our one here is called Bike Kitchen, and you can use their tools and learn from others, and in turn use your time and new skills to help others fix their bikes there too.
  • 1 0
 @Snugs: That's awesome! I will definitely have to look.
  • 20 0
 I love my shimano mt520’s, budget level 4 piston set up but honestly they’re the best brakes I’ve ever used, no wandering bite point and tons of power
  • 5 0
 just put a set of mt520s on my enduro bike to try out shimano vs existing codes, so far so good. Got them for $210 for the set with rotors so can't complain!
  • 3 0
 @whiteranger3: they came stock on my old hd4 and I was planning on upgrading but they were great! What can I say maybe I got lucky who knows
  • 5 0
 @whiteranger3: You had Codes and swapped for low end Shimano? Interesting...out of all the SRAM brakes, the Codes are the ones I didn't have real issues with. I haven't tried the latest version to be fair, but I hear good things.
  • 2 0
 @noapathy: You realize that there are different tiers of code brakes, right? Code RSCs are top end, but Code Rs are not.
  • 5 0
 @HB208: Yup. They don't have to be top end to work well.
  • 2 0
 @noapathy: Yeah, but Codes can also be low end. I guess that was my point more or less.
  • 2 0
 @HB208: I kinda see, but even the lower model Codes are really good. It just made me wonder why someone would spend $200+ for the same level performance.

I like Shimano as much as anyone and currently run the MT501/Mt520s and they're great after a really thorough bleed, but couldn't see going through the trouble/expense to swap to them from another 4-pot brake unless it started to fail...to each their own I guess.
  • 1 0
 @noapathy: That's fair. My bike already came with the Deore 4 pot brake, so I'm just going to stick with them.
  • 3 0
 @noapathy: i have 0 issues with my codes (the R version). as far as i can tell the only difference that i would get going to the RSC is the bite point adjust, which isn't a worthwhile upgrade for me as the Rs work great.

i bought the shimanos solely because i like to try new things, i haven't ridden shimano in a couple years (and only ever rode their 2 pots), and i wanted to compare shimano to codes back to back (feel, bleed process, etc). they were cheap so i picked them up, and if i end up not liking them i can resell them for no/little loss.

as far as the mt501/mt520 go, everything i read said they're basically the same as deore, slx, and xt just with fewer adjustments and maybe a tad less power, so they might be low end but they work just as well as the higher end versions from what i can tell.

that being said, you hit the nail on the head. so far after a few rides, they are so similar in power and i got used to the the shimano on/off feel after 2-3 runs that i would not go out of my way to change 4 pots that come on a bike. the lever bleed on shimano is really nice and easy, but after bleeding a couple sets of codes they're also a walk in the park. time will tell which ones i end up sticking with!
  • 2 0
 @whiteranger3: Thanks for the detailed explanation and I'm glad that your experience mirrors my own. It's always good to know what's out there.

Plus, these days it's good to have a few spare parts on hand if nothing else. Smile
  • 3 0
 @noapathy: of course! i haven't found any comparisons that don't end up as "SRAM sucks go shimano" or "shimano sucks go SRAM", so i wanted to do a test myself

the codes definitely have more modulation, but you get used to shimano relatively quickly and then ride quality is the same. if you're comfortable bleeding brakes your own brakes, it really just comes down to which bleed process you like better (both are relatively easy, SRAM just requires a few more tools/parts when compared to a shimano gravity bleed), at which point its "to each their own". can't really go wrong with either IMO
  • 16 1
 I have a Ripley AF except mine came with SRAM G2r brakes and they are literally the biggest con of the bike. I wish it had come with Shimano components.
  • 2 0
 I have same brakes on same bike and not a fan but I did swap in metallic pads which helped quite a bit. Might try a 200mm rotor next before I give up and get some Dominions. Worth a shot if you're having the same lack-of-power issues I experienced.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. The G2r brakes on my Ripley are utterly terrible. Will try the metallic pads for more power - but without contact adjustment I don't think they can be made to feel good.
  • 2 0
 Yeah. Those brakes are meh. They work for now, but first time they need a bleed they are gone.
  • 6 0
 I think the whole SRAM vs. Shimano brake debate comes down to what's important to you. SRAM brakes do have very nice modulation; I appreciate that. But as a bigger guy, I want, need, and like the power I get out of Shimano brakes, and I'll happily live with that power being a bit on/off, and I'll even life with the bitepoint being a bit inconsistent. The deal breaker on SRAM for me is the lack of raw stopping power - but the reason my wife (much ligher) uses Shimano as well is that I (a) like being able to do a quick and simple brake bleed in 10 minutes spare time as opposed to running to the shop for that and (b) will absolutely not tolerate DOT fluid in the garage (that stuff is nasty, and I'm too much of a hack home mechanic not to spill it all over the place).
  • 3 0
 I have this bike too and swapped out the G2r for Magura 5s with 203mm rotors and love it! I also extended the fork to 140mm and put on a OneUp dropper. But I wished mine came with the Schwalbes. It came with Maxxis Assagie and just over kill. But what ever, a fun bike to ride and I always have a smile on it!
  • 1 0
 The same G2 R brakes came with my new bike. I didn't like the spongy feel from the beginning but I was willing to live with them until I had the rear pistons stick. I did 40 km with my brakes dragging Frown
  • 1 0
 @kwmtrumpet: same here: Ripley with Magura MT5.

Lighter than most 2-pot brakes, but DH-level power and good modulation too.
Cheap as well, at least in Europe: paid 155 Euro for front & rear. (without discs)
  • 1 0
 @g-42: I think that’s fair... honestly I can get used to most brakes if they are consistent, but I’m with you on maintenance. It’s shimano and not even close
  • 1 0
 @kwmtrumpet: Woah, you are like my bike doppelganger. Assegai is amazing grip but I feel you on it being too much. Regarding your fork, how do you feel +10mm up front changes the bike - if at all? Do you run more sag or what?
  • 1 0
 @ryan77777: The 140 has makes if feel more capable. I don't have too much rowdy stuff here, but when I do, it is nice to a little wiggle room it case I make a bad line decision. I have kept the sag at what they recommend. Which I think is around mid 80's. (I have an XL bike, 6'1" and 188 lbs) My rear shock had issues and had to have Fox fix it. The blue lever that goes from open, to mid, and firm was very loose and did not stay put. Really weird. But I am debating on getting the new Fox Float X.

Tires I am debating either F/R Schwalbe Hans Dampf or Maxxis: Disector F/R or Disector F Rekon R.
  • 13 0
 Unfortunately $3199 now and sold out until 2022. In fairness, the others will probably have price increases as component, material, and transportation costs continue to increase.
  • 3 0
 Polygon, Giant, and Marin have already had their price increases so I think this is where things will stay at price-wise.
  • 2 0
 @pumpjumpnflow: also commencal raised the price like twice
  • 13 1
 I'm surprised that the Fox 34 Grip doesn't get a shout out. Wouldn't it be the best fork on test? It's miles better than a Z2 for me in terms of small bump. That would be a huge pro of this bike for me. It's the only fork I wouldn't want to upgrade.
  • 3 0
 I think they mention it in the Siskiu review (it's got the same fork)
  • 4 0
 @theshortestcharles: Thanks. Maybe they mention it in the videos. I only read the articles.
  • 2 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: They say that fancier forks and shocks have more dials but that you don't need it. So, they did talk about how good the suspension is. As a z2 owner, I wonder if shipping the z2 without the foam ring takes away the small bump compliance. It's a weird thing to leave out and then recommend that the owner installs.
  • 3 0
 @JayUpNorth: Hey Jay. I read that those dirty bastards left out the foam ring. I bought a Z2 this winter and rode it about 15 times. I rode it hard. Played with all the settings, volume spacers, the whole deal, and I couldn't get it where I wanted to. I did like the stiffness and it was great on bigger hits. I didn't bother to change the seals. I was thinking it might help, but wouldn't solve the problem. It's still a great fork for the price.

I agree that you don't need all the dials. I like the Grip damper a lot. I run no compression. Just set air and rebound. Perfect.
  • 3 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: I've only ridden worse forks, so I found mine quite supple. I put my recon back on for resale and it felt so harsh. The Troy Deore comes with a revelation, so probably going to upgrade the damper and try a nice Rock Shox fork this time.
  • 5 0
 @JayUpNorth: Oh, I see. I think it's a great fork. I've ridden mostly the higher-end stuff. I think the Z2 is most of the way there, just lacking a bit of small-bump. Light-years better than other forks it competes with.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: I'm in the same boat as you, literally just upgraded from Recon to Z2 TODAY! Picked up my bike from the LBS today and excited to try it out.
  • 2 0
 @skyroach: I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If I thought I could get a 150mm air spring anytime soon, I'd just sell the revelation. The charger dampers might be better, but for my abilities I don't need any more out of a fork and it was so easy to work on.
  • 4 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: assuming that the Z2 is like the 34, make sure that you clean out the excess grease in the neg air chamber and install a Luftkappe while you’re in there. Made my 34 go from infuriating to tolerable for small bump.
  • 2 0
 @Giddyhitch: That's a good point. I swapped air shafts before riding but my z2 was plugged right from the factory. The air shaft shot up into the stanchions and took a good pull to get it out. Way too much grease in the fork.
  • 3 0
 @skyroach: you're probably getting notifications about this conversation, but I would read what Giddy says. I cleaned a ton of excess grease out of my z2 when I swapped air shafts.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: Thanks for the tips. I've never done any fork maintenance so I'll have to read up this stuff. However, I can say the fork is absolutely improving my riding. I PR'd a local downhill trail by nearly 30 seconds with the new fork! So much more confidence and capability in the rough stuff.
  • 2 0
 @skyroach: If it doesn't feel harsh, you're probably fine. My second ride I got a PR as well and I had no intentions of trying to set one. I just took all downhill sections faster with less drama.
  • 1 0
 @JayUpNorth: yeah it's hard for me to know what "harsh" is coming from the recon. Prior to the Z2 I have only ever ridden budget forks, so this thing feels great to me.
  • 17 2
 really rad bike, good job Ibis
  • 7 0
 That’s why you should usually let ibis do the job.
  • 13 1
 I went from v1 Hightower cc to Ripley AF and it’s better in almost every way and half the price. Good review... pretty much nailed it.
  • 1 0
 Have you ridden a pivot, by chance? I like vpp, had a couple nomads. But I had pivot mach 5.7 and I hated it, climbed pretty well, but descending it was all over the place, very unpredictable rear suspension, just never got along with it. This makes me cautious about ibis, tho this bike does seem great. Any comparisons to the hightower would be appreciated.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: the problem with Ibis is they prefer minimal, it’s made getting my Ripmo AF set up properly quite difficult.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: Current Hightower rider who did a Pivot demo day and had similar feelings on the Mach bikes. If I were buying a Pivot I would go straight to the monster truck one. They all climb great there is essentially no climbing penalty for more travel so just get all the travel and they become fun on the downs. All the lower travel options felt great climbing but none were comfortable on the downs.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: I had a Mach 4 back in the day (26er) and have owned 2 SC. I know it’s generic to say... but my experience is that VPP pedals well when you spin, not as well when you stomp compared to dw link. And downhill, VPP seems more composed ploughing and DW Link more poppy.
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: but primary things I like better about the new bike are due to geometry
  • 1 0
 @deez-nucks: So the Ibis dw and pivot dw are very similar in feel? thanks
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: sorry. Now I see what you’re asking. In general yeah... but I haven’t ridden a Pivot in a long time.
  • 1 0
 @deez-nucks: I appreciate the help! thanks!
  • 1 0
 @Rigidjunkie: I’ve heard that before... I got the same advice from Ripmo owners about Ibis. Like they said in the article, the Ripley definitely is not a bike to ride dumb through chunky stuff. I go through the travel on every ride (which is rare for me on bikes) but the modern geometry goes a long ways to make the dw link more capable.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: I had a Turner, which is also a DW link, and that was my feeling, too. Climbing was wonderful, descending inconsistent. Sometimes you would just hit that magical spot and it would feel plush and bottomless. Other times it would just feel harsh. That’s exactly all I could say about it in the end — I just couldn’t get along with it. I agree with whomever else said if you go Pivot, just get the monster truck.
  • 1 0
 @TheR: Yeah, if all dw bikes feel similar, then I'm just going to avoid them. Not saying they're bad, just a personal preference thing.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: There were lots of good things I could say about the bike — the climbing, the precise steering, the snappy, poppy feel, the quality manufacturing. It really liked to be pushed. It was objectively a great bike, and I could see why people would love it. But as much as I fiddled with the suspension, the best I could get it was “good enough, I guess.” Just not the bike for me.

That said, I really liked the way the Pivot Firebird 29 felt. Beast of a bike, but that’s what I expected with the Turner but didn’t get. The Pivot Switchblade, though, didn’t like quite as much. So with the Pivot, my preference would be to go big.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: No, the Ibis and Pivot feel worlds apart. Most DW link bikes have a completely different feeling.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: Ibis is more sporty feel and good on single hits, great climber, not so great at high speed chatter. Similar to a Giant but with less braking traction and less pedal bob.
  • 12 1
 How are Shimano brakes a con? They weren't even mentioned in the article lol
  • 8 2
 Wandering bite point. They mention it in the video, and that the other bikes on test also had the same issue.
  • 2 0
 @lj17: Oh ok, makes sense now. I wonder why they didn't just say that specifically in the article.
  • 2 0
 @lj17: its curious, because slx and deore arent known to have this issue, in fact levy is the first person ive heard from to mention it from slx and deore. i have my own experiences to back this up, being as xt and xtr do have said issue, but my own personal slx and deore brakes do not. i dont know if its something with the way he bleeds them or whatever, but thats not my experience with shimano deore and slx
  • 1 0
 @ltharris: Certainly less common than XT/XTR, but I have heard of some issues with SLX/Deore too. I wouldn’t think Levy would have bled these, or any of the other bikes.. they got complete bikes in for test with stock components, they shouldn’t have had to bleed the brakes. Nor should anyone else who just brought home a $3K bike from a bike shop.
  • 10 0
 Reading all this year's value bikes brings home what a deal the '20 Ripmo AF was, weird hydroformed top tube and all. 11 months of pure joy and no signs of trouble
  • 1 0
 My buddy has a '20 Ripmo AF and loves it. DVO build with a coil and SLX 12 Speed. He has had some major issues with the drivetrain though. Clutch has gone out twice and it seems like he needs to adjust it every ride to get his shifting right. What build did you go with?
  • 1 0
 @MTBsnow: NX Eagle, and I'm as surprised as anyone else how little drama that drive train or the Guide T brakes have been
  • 10 0
 Glad to find out the kids are just talking about aluminium frames, I thought they were all swearing
  • 7 0
 its funny how "comment syndrome" affects peoples opinions. This idea that ibis are for the rich and wealthy is absurd these days. Actually on the lower end for niche bike manufacturers and very competitive against the big brands. You get a really high quality, well designed, thoughtfully spec'd (sus/tires) capable bike for less then the competition - including big brands. ( I am speaking to you Giant, Santa Cruz, umm... I love you Canada, but Rocky Mountain. ) And lastly Levy was barking this bike is good for less gnarly terrain yet so far in the vids he seemed to be going faster, thrashing more and enjoying himself on this "least travel" bike ! awesome stuff.
  • 9 0
 Shimano brakes are bad, Tektro brakes are bad, Sram brakes are bad. Neither tester is going to be satisfied unless someone throws Trickstuff brakes on a $2k complete.
  • 1 0
 hell yeah lets get good brakes and suspension on budget builds!
  • 8 3
 CONS: Shimano brakes. REALLLY?????

Deore 4 pot brakes that so many people (and other reviews) recognize as amazing bang for buck performance, not far off SLX and XT only less adjustments. If these brakes are a con, PLEASE let us know what brakes would have been better / preferable in this price range.
  • 27 19
 Ripmo Ugly AF should be the name.
  • 9 0
 Not the prettiest thing. That should really be the one con
  • 5 0
 @Kyanw: Very subjective though. I purchased this bike not especially liking how it looked (aesthetics don't matter to me) and in-person I actually think it looks great.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, that's really objective, I think they look pretty good. The one thing you can't deny, is that they made it look more similar to the carbon model than most companies manage.
  • 8 11
 @ryan77777: I've seen plenty in person, and they're all ugly af.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: what do you think of how the carbon version looks?
  • 1 0
 agreed, not the best but also not the worst. That said, Ibis's titanium bikes back in the day were gorgeous. In the late 90's I wanted one of their Ti-Mojo's. Shop I worked at had a steel Mojo as a rental and I always thought the geo, welds and paint job were the best on the market at the time.
  • 4 8
flag fullendurbro (May 11, 2021 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 @mammal: I think all of Ibis bikes are hideous across the board.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: Interesting. So I guess you'd expect Ibis to rename all their bikes to include "Ugly", not just this one. On a scale of 1-10, how highly does frame aesthetics rate on your reasons to buy a bike?
  • 6 8
 @mammal: I would expect Ibis to just stop making ugly bikes. Wink

Aesthetics are weighted very heavily in the decision making process simply because almost all bikes these days are amazing, so I feel I might as well have one I love looking at. I won't deny Ibis makes great bikes, they just don't appeal to my personal design preferences and when I'm spending thousands of dollars living that privateer life, I might as well ride and race a bike that both performs well and looks good (to me).
  • 9 0
 @fullendurbro: Sounds reasonable, except the "I would expect Ibis to just stop making ugly bikes" part. I'm sure there are plenty folks who think your face was pleasant enough to look at, but there could also be many who think you're ugly as sin. That doesn't mean you should have a different face. You're perfect just the way you areWink
  • 3 0
 @mammal: LMAO, GOT EM!
  • 4 1
 CONS: that top tube. Seriously, if it was just straight it would make the whole bike look miles better. If they wanted more standover, do a low but straight top tube with a seattube support gusset.
  • 3 2
 I agree. Ibis does makes the ugliest bikes on the market. @fullendurbro:
  • 9 0
 Look, its miles better with a straight top tube. No longer ugly. www.pinkbike.com/photo/20600723

The downtube is angular. The rear triangle is angular. Why have a swoopy top tube?
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Damn, that makes a huge difference.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: That does improve it. But to your point, the downtube does bend, it bends toward the BB, just blocked out by the crank in your image. And the CS forging bends upward as it nears the front triangle. When you're looking at it from a diagonal, the vertical portion of the rear triangle splits into a swoopy-Y, which obviously has lots of contour. There are parallels to be found if you're looking for them.
But the main reason they didn't change it, is the ID was nailed down with the first carbon models of the Ripley and Ripmo years ago, and these bikes are just iterations of that. Ibis does what they do, and part of that is to be different.
  • 1 0
 Really? Cause I think the Alu bikes look a far sight better than their carbon counterparts.
  • 2 0
 Not at all. That polygon looks miles better than any bike in ibis lineup @mammal:
  • 3 0
 @Jasonbourne: Wow, beauty really IS in the eye of the beholder. To me it looks like "shitting dog".
  • 2 0
 Squiggly top tube and silly down-tube that someone’s drawn to accommodate a water bottle.

How is the best solution to water bottle carrying swooping the whole downtube to a point way in front of the BB?
  • 2 0
 "The downtube is angular. The rear triangle is angular. Why have a swoopy top tube?"

It's like a Hyundai mid-life facelift
  • 3 0
 I read a lot about wandering bite point for Shimano brakes on this site, but I haven't really experienced that in the real world. Is it a climate-related question? Something to do with higher elevation or ambient moisture? Given, it's been a few years since I was wrenching in a shop, so my sample size is small on current-gen Shimano stoppers, but I have the latest XT on my trail bike and haven't noticed it.

A couple generations back, Shimano brakes were notorious for collecting tiny bubbles on the spring in the master cylinder (which could spontaneously combine to change brake feel). The solution was to tap on that with a tire lever during a bleed to persuade them into the reservoir and then to the bleed funnel. The tap had to be strong enough to shake them loose but not so much as to break them up. Is this still the same problem?
  • 1 0
 I don't think its consistent with each set. I have XT on my hardtail and I've noticed the wondering bite point, but I have SLX on my full suspension and haven't had any "issues." Note, I don't think the wondering bite point is an "issue" b/c my XT brakes are incredibly strong and I have no intention of changing them up.
  • 7 0
 Cheaper Shimano brakes have less (or no) wandering bite point.

The direct hose routing and simpler levers bleed easier, and all-steel rotors don’t have as much thermal expansion as the ice-tech ones.

Honestly, Deore 4 Pots with steel 203 rotors are the best Shimano setup.
  • 1 0
 My 2020 deore 4pot brakes have been flawless since last September. bit loud depending on conditions, but overall for 'cheap' brakes I'm more than happy. Far better than my older XTs which suffer from the issues you mention.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: I hadn't considered thermal expansion of the rotor as a potential cause. Interesting. I would be curious to see if someone could do an experiment to see how much the thickness of the rotor changes at various temperatures. @mikelevy @sarahmoore @mikekazimer think we could get @henryquinney to look into this?
  • 8 0
 @mechaNICK, @wyorider : With a temperature change of 1000°F (which most rotors will never see), a standard-thickness rotor grows around .0003" (.0076 mm) in thickness. It's not a real issue. Even if you triple the coefficient of thermal expansion, as the ICE tech aluminum cores do, the growth is extremely negligible. Shimano materials engineers know what they're doing. If there is a widespread problem with their brakes, it's not due to rotor growth. It's more likely due to cavitated air being trapped in all the nooks of the adjuster ports found on the higher-end master cylinders. I agree that simple hydraulic systems are generally better from a durability/consistency standpoint. That goes for dampers as well.
  • 4 0
 @grizzlyatom: that is what I suspected. I still believe that wandering bite point is due to bubbles in the system, so perhaps folks need to reassess their bleed procedures. The use of excess vacuum during a bleed can dissolve air into the brake fluid where it can layer separate. Complex routing and adjusters give more places for bubbles to become trapped. Agitating the system can help the bubbles move but too much can break them up making them harder to remove. Still, with the quantity of comments on this it seems like there's an answer to be found somewhere. It's not a property of the brake fluid.
  • 3 0
 @mechaNICK: That's actually a really cool idea, or at least something worth thinking about. Earlier on I was considering something about a group test of aftermarket pads and rotors, seeing as they're one of the fastest wearing parts on our bikes it'd be interesting to see how they compare in both performance and value. Maybe a doubleheader looking at both running temps and feel. I'll have a think. Cheers
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: this is a great idea. I would love to see this
  • 11 5
 The poor man's dentist bike..
  • 11 0
 Person that hands the dentist the drill and gives you the cup of pink water to swill’s bike.
  • 7 0
 The poor dentists man’s bike?
  • 10 0
 Dental hygienist bike
  • 5 1
 Cant find a word in the review about the brakes but i would say Shimano entry level brakes are usually pretty spot on if you are not overweight and wont try to race DH WC
  • 4 0
 Someone put a lot of work into those floating whale tails. I think you need to send Joann down there to scrape off the moss and show us what they are all about.
  • 1 0
 Whoops. Yoann.
  • 2 0
 Ibis website states: "All the sizzle and pop of the carbon Ripley, now available as a complete bike at a wallet friendly, sub $3000."
This article states: "The Deore-spec Ripley AF that we tested goes for $2,999 USD, which is actually the most expensive bike on test. But it's not the most expensive Ripley AF."

However, on the Ibis website under "Build your Ripley AF, the cheapest Deore build is $3199. What gives???
  • 1 0
 you're looking at the ripmo af
  • 1 0
 @gieseja: Nope, I'm looking at the Ripley AF. The Ibis website also shows the NGX build @ $3499 not $3299 as indicated in the article.

www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/ripley-af
  • 3 0
 Ibis raised the price --but they also altered the brakes (now 4-pot), tires (2.4" Maxxis), and maybe more... I'm happy to pay an extra $200 for 4-pot vs 2-pot brakes, myself. Now I just hope my back-ordered pre-order comes in some day!
  • 1 0
 @ProfDad: Fair enough; however, it would be nice if the article and the Ibis ad copy were accurate.
  • 2 0
 I'll state again that I've really enjoyed this field test series, for the record! I see this Ibis as a bit of an outlier though. My current bike is a 2nd hand low end Kona (my first MTB), and now I'm ready to take it up a notch with a new bike. My price point is $2k, and I know I'll be tempted to spend a bit more (and/or Covid will bump up the price), but going up to $3k for the Ibis feels like a whole different price bracket to me. I know the Marin wasn't much cheaper, but I can use the Marin review to consider whether the cheaper Rift Zone 2 might work for me. Still, I enjoyed the Ibis review all the same.
  • 4 0
 Cons-none really.

I mean-not rowdy enough? Shimano brakes?!

Just say no real cons!!
  • 5 0
 Ah...so Levy was at Space Camp.
  • 1 0
 I've had brakes from virtually all manufacturers. And apart from my favourite Trickstuff's its Sram Code rsc that get my vote but nit a fan of their other brakes.
Magura ok but plastic levers and tight pad clearance, good power
Formula cura ok look nice but didn't have so much power, Same for Hope
Shimano, bite point issue & sticking lever pistons + always need bleeding. good power but modulation lacking a bit.
Trp Gspec not much power
  • 1 0
 Have you tried shigura? I'm loving the set up. They still have the tight pad clearance of the Maguras but that's the only real con. Also the finish line mineral oil seemed to solve the sticky levers for me.
  • 1 0
 @grldm3: haven't tried it tbh. Maybe if the magura levers brake I'll try it out than!
  • 1 0
 Looking at the website, the SLX model is $900 more than the Deore. Everything else looks the same except the dropper which is a big jump to a bike yoke. Still seems like a lot of cash to go from Deore to SLX. All sold out, so it doesn't matter anyway.
  • 3 0
 I have to say, I'm pretty happy with my NGX model. Put some bigger but lighter tires on there, and the bike is awesome.
  • 2 0
 Same. I bought a damper upgrade too, but honestly the low end grip on the performance works great.
  • 10 6
 Agreed that the Shimano brakes are the biggest con on my Ripley!
  • 4 0
 Shimano brakes are a con?????
  • 2 0
 So even the manufacturer of the bike can't even get one of their own bikes in the right size for review due to supply chain issue?
  • 3 0
 Everyone mentioned the brakes, but how is SRAM NX/GX an upgrade worth paying for?
  • 2 0
 When it is the only one available. Ask me how I know.
  • 1 0
 @RTon20s: If that were the only one they had...I'd wait. (I already have a bike but can see if someone didn't)
  • 1 1
 The video said no amount of bleeding cures the dreaded wandering bite point. That’s not my experience. I certainly know this issue. Purging air out of the system and topping off the master cylinder with mineral oil always fixes this issue.
  • 6 0
 I've bled a bunch of them in my shop and had no improvement, but I don't think any brakes should need to be bled on a brand new $3,000 mountain bike Smile
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: You only have 100x more experience than me. Agree, Shimano has this problem and they need to fix it. Every new product press release claims it’s been fixed, and it’s not. I’ve traced the issue to air space in the master cylinder. Bleeding doesn’t fix it, but topping off the master cylinder with mineral oil seems to. It could be caused by bubbles forming in the master cylinder? IDK
  • 1 0
 @KnowMtB: that's what I think too. Shimano always claims it to be fixed but for the past decade all of their brakes use 98% the same exact design. Shimano seems to spend most of their r&d redesigning I spec and making the calipers look a little different then calling it good. There is a Shimano "micro bleed" procedure that is pretty much a fancy way of topping off the fluid that has always fixed it for me though.
  • 2 0
 I feel like "wandering bite point" and "creaking crown steerer unit" people all hang out together and complain about things that aren't real.
  • 20 17
 "SeEmS LiKe ThE cOnS aRe ReAlLy PrOs"
  • 4 1
 came to keep you company down here...
  • 4 0
 @ScottB-408: sincerely grateful
  • 3 0
 @ScottB-408: Reminds me of a Family Guy episode

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv-VRxMlB5Q
  • 5 2
 At 0:52 the wheel hits the seat tube.
  • 3 0
 Sure looks like it - Not sure what's going on. I have this bike, I've taken the air out of the rear shock, and my 2.6 Rekon on the back does not hit. Paint looks fine back there as well, despite multiple bottom-outs since getting the bike in late January.....
  • 2 0
 @Ride-on-Chris Down voted for a fact?
  • 2 0
 @FatTonyNJ: interesting. A Forekaster 2.6 will def rub the linkage on a carbon Ripley, which is a shame because I liked it better than a NN otherwise.
  • 1 0
 @Giddyhitch @mikelevy: why is Giddy scoring a sweet bike like this in January (no offense, good for you) and the reviews like field test come out much later and after everything is sold out. Just asking as I wasn’t in the market so wasn’t looking but seems ass backwards...other than media needs content. Vaporwear for all but a select few that are scouring the market. Maybe early reviews were out on YouTube and other unnamed media outlets/blogs...but again, I wasn’t in the market.

Nice bike though. Wanted the Ripmo AF early in COVID but due to availability went with a Troy, but quite happy nonetheless.
  • 2 0
 @thorpeauthority: I think that you’re getting me confused with @FatTonyNJ as I’ve had my Ripley for almost two years
  • 1 0
 @Giddyhitch: I have a Forekaster 2.6 on the front! Might be a fun experiment to try in the back on the AF.
  • 2 0
 @thorpeauthority: Yeah, I took a risk. I wanted a Norco Fluid or a Siskiu. Looked at Nukeproof - all were sold out. They announced the Ripley AF; I had ridden the carbon model, knew the fit and the ride would work for me. Called one of the bigger dealers in the state and bought the bike. It worked out, and could have been a disaster, but it was a calculated risk.
  • 1 0
 @Giddyhitch: sorry, duly noted.
  • 1 0
 @FatTonyNJ: good for you. I was coming off a quite old 2014 bike and didn’t have the chance to demo leading into COVID. Somewhat of a paralysis of analysis situation but not fully. I just ran up against a market push that was unanticipated. I’m glad you knew your target zone and pulled the trigger and got a sweet whip.

My concern is why outlets like PB drum up demand or excitement (while normally we all love to lap up) quite a bit after the fact that availability has been exhausted? I’d prefer transparency in the reviews about current market availability or just bring in to review available bikes regardless of brand as long as they loosely fit categories.
  • 2 0
 I really don’t understand why the ego would be different from the carbon to aluminum version??
  • 1 0
 Finally, someone says what I think about Shimano brakes. They're good stoppers, but will my brake engae here? maybe here? maybe there....
  • 1 0
 At $3199, it's nearly a thousand bucks more than the Marshall and $850 more than the Polygon... almost the same price as a Trance X 2.
  • 1 0
 Would love to snag one of these for my girlfriend. But I think we all know the reason why I can’t. No need in beating a dead horse I guess.
  • 1 0
 I don’t know guys. The energy seemed kind of low in this video. You getting bored with riding awesome bikes all the time, @mikelevy?
  • 2 0
 To be fair, he was only halfway through his six-pack of Monster when this was shot. Barely awake basically.
  • 2 0
 32.6 Pounds for a short travel bike?..No Thanks! 29ers and Budget builds don't mix, it seems.
  • 1 0
 Because a number on a scale is a problem because of what exactly?
  • 1 0
 @Ido83:
Because I have 27.5 bike that weighs 27 pounds. Admittedly, I got a screaming deal on that bike, so maybe my sense of value is skewed. Last year I test rode the new Trance X and the new Stumpjumper in aluminum and both bikes felt a little heavy. Seems like I would have to pony up to a super expensive build in 29.
  • 1 0
 @Glory831Guy: this thing rides great from every review out there, who cares what it weighs if it rides well? I can imagine you notice a 5 pound difference if you switch between bikes, but that doesn't mean the budget builds don't work on a 29er. Anyway the weight difference between a 27.5 and 29 is not big, so whatever problems you have with a budget build on a 29er would also be there at 27.5
  • 2 0
 The sudden weight doesn’t matter mantra is just BS to justify, well, the high weight. For example you could get a quality used Trek Fuel EX 9.8 for 2-3K. Full carbon, full XT, around 28-29lbs. The Ripmo AF in L with pedals, sealant, cage etc probably weighs an honest 34lbs. You will 100% feel that extra 5lbs.
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: where do you see an argument in your post? 5 pounds makes a difference, but doesn't mean a bike at this weight doesn't ride well. What does the price of a second hand fuel ex have to do with it?
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: But you're comparing two completely different categories of bikes. The Ripmo is a 147/160 travel aluminum bike, whereas the used Fuel EX 9.8s you're referring to are 120 travel carbon bikes that are two generations old. With that age comes dated geometry and components, as well.

The Ripley AF would be a fairer comparison. I purchased a Ripley AF NGX build, and I can tell you that a used Fuel EX 9.8 within my budget isn't even something I would have considered.
  • 1 0
 @RTon20s: Sorry, obviously meant to say Ripley AF per this article. I’ve ridden all three, and yeah no, I would choose a ~2019 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 all day over this bike. Not even a question.
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: agreed that I would rather have the couple year old trek over this bike. But I think most of us that would make that case would be buying the trek new. I also think weight matters but it is subjective. We gladly added weight for a dropper post, wider rims, meaty tires, a big fork on a bigger bike, etc. I think it makes sense for a new rider to be willing to add a few lbs for a warranty, a free tune up in a month and not having to worry about replacing drivetrain components on a used bike. That being said my pivot firebird 29 with cushcore, ex511 rims, a fox 38/x2 rear shock and minions is several lbs lighter than this bike so I get the point you are making about the weight.
  • 1 0
 How much more do you have to pay to get something like this but under 30 lb?
  • 1 0
 About DOUBLE now, as I just noticed that the carbon Ripley recently skyrocketed in price! Deore used to start at $4199, as I recall, but today it's listed at $5099 --and add at least another $849 for carbon rims, if you're really looking to get light. I'll take the slightly heavier AF model any day, myself.
  • 1 0
 @ProfDad: All the carbon models now get Factory level suspension and 4-piston brakes at the new price point. I don't necessarily agree with that change in strategy and wish they had kept a more "accessible" carbon option closer to $4k. Folks willing to settle with a Deore drivetrain probably don't need/want the extra complexity/cost that comes with the factory suspension.
  • 1 0
 @nogirlsatgt: Thanks for the clarification; but I agree that's too bad, as I hadn't even yet been able to convince myself to drop $4199 on any bike. I see they also now offer a $4099 Ripley AF SLX, so I suppose they figured they needed to distance the carbon and aluminum offerings...
  • 5 6
 Glad to see Pinkbike finally listing the wandering bite point issue that's affected the last three generation of Shimano product as a Con. No idea how it can be considered acceptable performance...
  • 2 0
 Now if mine will just come in this year....Glad I kept my current bike!
  • 1 0
 Prices are higher on ibis site then review mentioned, other then that nice option
  • 1 0
 The only issue with this bike is that it's £3399 in the UK, which converts to $4808
  • 1 0
 Our dollar appears to be surging in Canada and we can get one of these for about $3600. Which is a great price for this bike. Not that it will be available anytime soon to purchase…
  • 2 0
 Pinkbike editors only run SRAM guide T brakes.
  • 2 0
 Sweet affordable bike. I'm biased towards DW-link rigs though.
  • 1 0
 Wait wait wait, this video was filmed when the SpaceX SN10 launched...that was quite a while ago. They just landed SN15.
  • 1 0
 Suddenly the lack of water bottle mounts is not discussed any more I can not see any under the downtime like my Mojo has
  • 1 1
 and no interior storage on an aluminum frame anywhere i find it oddly lazy in 2021
  • 1 0
 It fits a bottle; mount inside the frame triangle, low on the downtube. But no internal storage. Fine for me though, as I still ride with a pack, like a savage.....
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy I can't decide between a Ripley and a Spot Mayhem 130. Please help!
  • 1 0
 Anybody else check the Ibis website only to learn that this bike is actually $3100? Am I missing something?
  • 1 0
 Pros:
Shimano brakes
It's a Ripley

Cons:
GTFO. It is a less expensive Ripley with a decent build spec!
  • 1 0
 Can anyone comment on this versus the Banshee Phantom? Levi or Sarah if Iḿ super lucky :p
  • 1 0
 www.pinkbike.com/u/sarahmoore: does this reference work here?
  • 1 0
 @sarahmoore: You also did a review on the Juliana Furtado: how does that bike compare to the IBIS Ripley AF?
  • 1 0
 And the Banshee Phantom if you could comment on that? Don't know if you have ridden that as well.
@tommynator sorry for hijacking your message, I did not manage to address sarah directly in my own comment.
  • 1 0
 Lol, those cons!! In the market for a trailbike, this one made my shortlist.
  • 3 2
 Sold out until next model year!
  • 1 0
 A precision weapon for your wallet
  • 1 0
 Whelp, that's it: I'm applying to the Chuck Ibis School of Dentistry.
  • 1 0
 Does rowdy refer to not plush. Tonnes of platform?
  • 1 0
 Never wanted an Ibis. Until this bike.
  • 2 3
 Seems like the bike most riders should be on. Imagine how much fun they would have compared to dragging around their YT Capras on 2.5 DH tires to ride normal trails.
  • 3 0
 I own both - Ripley and Capra 29 170mm - and both a great fun. Different - and great fun.
  • 2 0
 It sure would suit a lot of people. As always though, very much depends on what your normal trails look like...
  • 2 0
 Bikes are no weapons.
  • 2 0
 To quote the movie Step Brothers "...today I saw my own son use a bicycle as a weapon."
  • 2 0
 Trek hybrids are
  • 1 0
 I am confused. Who actually reviewed the bike?
  • 2 0
 Con - ugly as hell
  • 1 0
 Paid for by ibis & sram lol
  • 1 0
 Might look better if the top tube is straight.
  • 1 0
 If l had the money l would get Hayes brakes.
  • 1 0
 whats mike leveys strava??
  • 1 0
 Peter Enis
  • 1 0
 Someone needs to get Levy some tenacious tape for his jacket.
  • 2 3
 Funny that the article says that it is spec d with Deore but the pics show SLX cranks?
  • 8 0
 This is common right now. Lots of parts swaps due to supply chain issues.
  • 4 0
 Welcome to the world of parts shortages
  • 2 0
 This is not unusual. Ibis does this a lot. I know it says Deore but that does not mean every part will be Deore
  • 4 4
 LOL cons shimano brakes.... someone spelt pros wrong.
  • 5 3
 Wandering bite points aren’t acceptable Smile
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: as a Clyde who can say I’ve never experienced this Shimano wandering bite point, but have heard of it...perhaps your praying mantis physique throws off the engineered mass algorithm or some such.
  • 5 0
 @mikelevy: In years of owning Shimano brakes I've never experienced this "wandering bite point" ... why not do a more in depth video of what it is?
  • 1 1
 Why is "Shimano Brakes" a Con??!
  • 1 0
 Aluminium love affair!
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