Two of the biggest names in the industry have recently taken the scalpel to two of their most beloved, abuse-proof designs. The Ripley LS Special Blend Complete Mountain Bike combines Ibis' reimagined 29er chassis with Shimano's re-engineered XT M8000 drivetrain — a match made in trail heaven. The Ripley LS enjoys some trickle-down from the general all-mountain trend that's engulfing the industry, and the new XT is basically a scrappier, heavier version of Shimano's top-tier XTR race kit. We've been relying on XT's various iterations for years, so the newest version will feel a bit like coming home. The Ripley LS sees some pretty radical changes, though, bringing it in line with the trend of 29er platforms styling on mid- to big-hit terrain.
The two little initials tacked onto the Ripley LS may seem innocuous, but they've got some outsized importance. LS is an initialism for Longer Slacker, a pair of awkwardly free-floating modifiers that apply primarily to the top tube length, which gains 15mm, and the head tube angle, which loses almost two degrees. The effects of these changes are felt throughout the frame in the form of a wheelbase that increases from the standard Ripley's 1,125mm to the LS's 1,167. Combined with a head tube angle that drops from 69.2 to 67.5 degrees, that bigger footprint empowers those of us who have already been treating the Ripley as a baby enduro sled. As Ibis puts it, the LS modifications take the Ridley from "sporty" to "gnarly."
Other than those geometry changes, this is still the classic Ripley that we've been beating the hell out of across 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 includes 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, so Ibis engineers 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 the return 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.
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Reviews & Community
Are you getting more mediums in 1x in Tang? Does the bike come with the Fox EVOL kashima shock as pictured? The description says CTD.
Hey John - At this point we do not have any 1x Tang Ripley LS on order from Ibis. I would be glad to look into special ordering one for you or I could help you custom build one as well. What size are you interested in? Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions or if you want to get the process started.
- Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - firstname.lastname@example.org - 801-736-4337
Is this really the weight? 32lbs?
Hey Nick - The frame weight in Medium is 5.5 lbs and the complete Ripley LS Special Blend weighs in a little over 28 lbs I am pretty sure. I will verify that and see about getting the specs updated on the website. Feel free to contact me directly if you are interested in ordering this bike or with any additional questions.
- Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead
Boost 148 in photo, 142x12 in description. Both available?
Boost versions are available on this bike. Feel free to reach out to me direct if you need help ordering.
Wes Branham- Account Manager Bike