Ripley X01 Eagle AXS Mountain Bike
Ever progressive, and always down for a good time, Ibis' Ripley is back for another generation that blurs the line between cross country rocketship and all-mountain fun machine. While Ibis' newest iteration of its Ripley X01 Eagle AXS 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 45mm to give you a little more room to move around, while the seat tube shifts up 3-degrees for the perfect perch when you need to attack climbs. The Ripley 4 features an all-new chassis, taking queues from it's beefier brother, the Ripmo, which provides more room for dropper posts, shorter chainstays, and the lively and reliable DW-link suspension. Additionally, this bike features SRAM's latest and greatest Eagle AXS drivetrain that lets you enjoy crisp, wireless shifting with no need to bother with cables ever again.
The Ripley 4's major update 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 SRAM's Eagle AXS electronic drivetrain, which offers numerous benefits over its mechanical counterpart. Not only do you enjoy crisp and precise wireless shifting that stays consistent over time, but you won't ever have to worry about changing cables or housing (at least on this bike), and the cockpit looks super clean. The XO1 AXS derailleur features 10mm more ground clearance and a more inboard position than mechanical Eagle, making it less likely that you'll impact rocks or low-hanging branches. The derailleur also has more chain wrap, which improves load distribution and durability, reducing wear and tear on your chain and cassette for better longevity of components. The shifter pairs with the derailleur using SRAM's own wireless network which they claim to be completely secure, and can also pair to head units and smart phones so you can program the shifter and view battery life. Speaking of battery life, SRAM claims the derailleur can run for 25+ hours from a single charge, and the battery is removable so you can leave your steed in the garage and take the battery inside to charge. If you're concerned about the durability of the electronics, know that SRAM built the groupset with seals that keep things working flawlessly, even when you're blasting through streams or getting caught in torrential rain at the summit of the mountain.
- Updated geometry graces the Ripley for XC and trail taming fun
- Steeper seat tube angle gives you a better climbing position
- Enhanced stability thanks to slightly slacker head tube angle
- Redesigned chassis boosts stiffness, drops a 1/2lb over previous frame
- Ultra-efficient DW-link for small-bump compliance and supple support
- Longer dropper post capabilities thanks to new chassis and low standover
- XO1 Eagle AXS drivetrain for crisp wireless shifting and a clean cockpit