Ripley GX Eagle Factory Mountain Bike
Ever progressive, and always down for a good time, Ibis' Ripley blurs the line between cross country rocketship and all-mountain fun machine. While Ibis' newest iteration of its Ripley GX Eagle Factory Mountain Bike does see a full redesign that does include the modern longer-slacker-steeper treatment, we think it finds a moderate landing place that's still capable of quick-rolling power and nimble control in XC applications, while offering unwavering support when you head into chunkier, steeper terrain. That's because the engineers at Ibis didn't go too overboard. Instead, they opt for just a one-degree shift in the head tube to slacken things, lengthening the wheelbase just a touch to extend the reach in the cockpit to give you a little more room to move around, while the seat tube shifts forward 3-degrees for the perfect perch when you need to attack climbs. The frame is an all-new design that drops weight over the previous generation while bolstering frame stiffness where it's needed most.
The Ripley 4's overhaul meant that Ibis' engineers could start from the ground up, and they chose to start with the heart-and-center of the bike, updating the dual-eccentrics used in the past to a new design based on the Ripmo, which still holds DW-Link suspension tucked neatly in the front triangle, but without as much weight, and with a huge boost in stiffness. This change in the frame's chassis allows massive weight savings of over a half-pound on the frame alone, giving your all-mountain machine a little more pep in its step when you're pushing up grueling climbs, and a more nimble feel when you're flicking it around tight switchbacks.
Weight savings aside, one of the biggest benefits we see with the drop of the double-eccentric design is extra room in the seat-tube, which enables taller riders to run dropper posts up to 185mm. This long-dropper length lets Ibis' engineers carry forward with even more geometry tweaks, like an extra-low standover height, so you can pick your frame based on reach, eliminating seat-tube size from your list of limiting factors on your new-bike hunt.
Changes didn't stop with the eccentrics though, the Ripley has been tweaked all over, including a one-degree slacker headtube for a stretched wheelbase that adds a bit of confidence to the descents, and a three-degree steeper seat tube angle that keeps you in the center of your cockpit perched nicely for climbs. On the rear end of things, Ibis shortened the chainstays by a whopping 12-millimeters to boost stiffness and make the suspension a bit more progressive without letting go of the lively pedaling characteristics of the previous Ripley.
This Ripley is built up with a trustworthy components group that puts money where it matters most without blowing up your budget. That means you get top-of-the-line Fox Factory suspension for the best possible handling and tunability on the trail, paired with a workhorse SRAM GX drivetrain that nearly as well as XO1 without the hefty price tag. The rest of Ibis's build kit shows they know what riders want, coming with powerful Shimano brakes, durable Ibis wheels with a wide internal width to support modern tire widths, and the smooth and reliable Bike Yoke Revive dropper post.
- XC efficiency meets all-mountain capability with the Ripley
- Refined chassis boosts stiffness, drops a 1/2lb over previous frame
- DW-link pedals extremely well and tames rocks and roots with ease
- Progressive geo finds a perfect balance of stability and agility
- Steep seat angle lends a comfortable and efficient pedaling position
- Short seat tube accommodates long travel dropper posts
- Fox Factory fork and shock for class-leading suspension performance
- GX Eagle brings crisp shifting and a wide usable gear range