I was looking for a bike for general trail riding and one that could pull doubly duty for some XC racing. This bike caught my eye with the Fox Factory suspension and wide wheels and dropper, all of which are things I value. So I pulled the trigger and I'm very pleased so far.
On my first ride out I could tell that I was scooting along pretty well, but I wasn't necessarily blown away. I got back to the truck after my short 5 mile spin and I had PR'd every trail I rode. And these are my home town, ride every week trails. So needless to say its a fast bike.
The DW-Link suspension has quite a firm and supportive feel. It has great pedaling properties, and you are able to climb rough or chunky trail with no pedal kickback. I'm a Yeti fanatic, and having owned a SB5, a SB4.5, and I currently have a SB5.5... The switch is maybe a little better in some aspects, but this Ibis is honestly neck and neck with the 4.5 in climbing capability. I would say this bike has a slightly more active rear end than the Yeti 4.5. The Ripley is also a sharper handling bike, with it's steeper head angle and lower bottom bracket. It can't quite plow a rock garden on the same level as my 4.5 did, but it's close.
Some of the things I liked most about this bike and build is high end carbon construction on the frame, with the stainless hardware and internal routing, and threaded bottom bracket. It has a nice polished look to it. I like the KS LEV Integra dropper, I've had good luck with their reliability and they just have a nice smooth action. The Fox 34 and Fox EVOL rear shock are fantastic. The wheels are quite wide (almost too wide!), and they seem to be sturdy.
Some of the things I will nitpick on this bike/build would be... the brakes. These are pretty much the bottom of the totem pole here, but they will stop you. Coming from bikes with the SRAM guide brakes, these shimano (M396?) brakes just seem lacking in almost every area. The wheels, while sturdy and reasonably stiff, are heavy. 2060g according to my scale, and that's with tape and valvestems. The SLX drivetrain is adequate, but I much prefer the feel of the higher end XT shifter and derailluer. But again, it works, and this is just me nitpicking here.
Overall I would absolutely recommend this build to anyone looking for a capable trail ripper or something they could even do some XC racing with some component changes here and there. It's an effortlessly fast bike, and it's just plain good looking! And I will also throw this in there, I'm 5'11 with freakishly long arms. This large frame paired with a 90mm stem fits quite nicely! I was very worried it would be too small based off of the numbers. Also, your first thought may be to ditch the longer stem, but give it a chance. This bike's geo (reach and ETT) maybe slightly 'dated' compared to some of these bikes you're seeing today, but it just feels right. And this is a guy who owns a Yeti SB5.5 with a 50mm stem and 800mm wide bars.
If you're considering this bike, I highly recommend ordering it now! Zane will fix you right up!