The 2017 Ibis Ripley LS Carbon Special Blend Complete Mountain Bike earns its LS designation as the Longer and Slacker version of the original Ripley, a move that takes one of our favorite trail bikes firmly into gnarly territory. Its longer wheelbase and slacker head tube provide a large footprint that breathes confidence into big runs and revels in pushing the envelope ever further. Understanding that not all bank accounts can tolerate eye-popping dream build prices, Ibis' Special Blend build pairs the same top-tier frameset found in the pricier builds with SRAM's workhorse NX drivetrain, an Ibis seatpost, and wide aluminum rims so you can get rowdy without completely crushing your budget.
Aside from the geometry changes, this is still the classic Ripley that we've been ripping in all manner of terrain. The construction process remains the same, beginning with an internal bladder that's wrapped in a monocoque carbon layup that keeps the carbon fabric intact through joints. The precision of this method means that no additional molds or fillers are needed to keep the frame light and strong. The Ripley LS's swingarm and clevis are still filled with foam glass microsphere cores to ensure their structural integrity while keeping weight down, and it has the same expanded dropper capacity as the regular version.
The Ripley LS utilizes the latest Fox Float DPS shock, which is tuned for the DW-Link suspension's firm, consistent pedaling platform. Expect it to handle with nimble speed while accelerating out of turns and taking advantage of the suspension's strong anti-squat tendencies. The 120mm rear travel, combined with the Ripley LS's 67.5-degree head tube, makes for a surprisingly eager trail platform that combines the best qualities of XC and trail bikes.
Increasing rear stiffness was the key to this versatility, and is bolstered by the inclusion of a boost rear axle. To this end, Ibis engineers also revisited the internals of the dual eccentrics used in the DW-Link suspension, modifying the cores and adding extra carbon to the frame for more responsive power transfer. In addition to adding tire clearance, the redesigned right-side upright and inclusion of a swingarm-mount for the front derailleur contribute to an overall stiffer rear triangle. The chainstays also contribute to stiffness by remaining impressively stubby, and the CNC-machined threads of the 73mm bottom bracket grant peace of mind with less creaking than a PressFit model.
- Ibis' 29in trail bike gets longer and slacker
- 4.7in of responsive DW-Link suspension
- Long, slack geometry handles steeper lines
- Carbon construction reduces weight and bumps up stiffness
- Boost rear axle further increases stiffness
- SRAM's NX drivetrain drives precise shifts