Ibis Ripley AF SLX: An Extraordinarily Succesful Descender and an Wonderful Worth


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What’s higher than a path bike that’s enjoyable to experience virtually all over the place, has glorious suspension, and is straightforward for anybody to get together with? Effectively if you happen to took that bike, and lower hundreds of {dollars} off the worth tag, that would definitely make it higher, proper? That appears to be the considering behind the aluminum counterpart to the Ibis Ripley path bike, however sure, it’s a bit extra nuanced than that.

Our testers for this bike are Matt Miller (rider profile under) and Chris Schieffer.

Check pilot profile top: 173cm (5’8″) weight: 75kg (165lb) testing zone: Colorado Entrance Vary

Ibis launched the Ripley AF in January of this yr, and like they did with the Ripmo AF, the parents at Ibis made an alloy body as an alternative of carbon, including some weight, slacking and stretching it out simply barely, and lowering the worth tag by virtually two grand on some builds. Body units for the Ripley AF are $1,300 lower than a carbon Ripley — Imagine it or Not. (Sorry, needed to). Journey continues to be 120mm rear, and 130mm entrance.

ibis ripley af

Our Ripley AF Shimano SLX construct got here with a 12-speed, please-don’t-make-me say-it again-drivetrain, Shimano 2-piston SLX brakes, Ibis S35 wheels, Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires, and Fox Efficiency Sequence suspension 34 fork and DPS shock. The cockpit is all Ibis OEM gear, and the bars are 780mm vast. Often, Ibis would spec the SLX construct with a Bike Yoke Revive dropper publish. Our check bike got here with a 150mm Sort Shock dropper. The value on this construct is $4,100, however the Deore construct could be had for $3,000.

Geometry on the Ripley AF is almost equivalent to the carbon fiber body. The top tube was slackened by one diploma to 65.5°, and the wheelbase was elongated by 10mm, and the standover top will get even decrease. Attain stays the identical; 450mm on our dimension medium, and the chainstays are nonetheless 432mm throughout all sizes.

Climbing

ibis ripley af

The DW-link suspension is well-regarded and the implementation on the Ripley AF feels spot on. The AF, heavier than the common Ripley at 32.3lbs with out pedals, feels gentle as could be via its pedal stroke. The bike companies up underneath energy, however stays fairly lively via the primary 30-40% of its journey. Transitioning from clean grime highway to chunky path is seamless and the rear finish of the bike doesn’t skip a beat, whether or not it’s carrying a rider over buff or blown-out path.

Traction uphill on the Ripley AF is superb, whether or not meandering up steep roots or clawing up a slab of rock. Some bikes really feel such as you hit a wall dipping previous 35% of the journey, however the Ibis balances sensitivity and assist, and retains the rider and wheels planted.

The seat tube angle at 76° might be thought-about steep for a 120mm journey bike however the Ripley’s climbing place feels extra relaxed. We by no means felt shoved into the handlebars, and have been nonetheless draped excessive tube for a cross-country really feel that makes it straightforward to spin for miles. Dealing with continues to be sharp sufficient to spin and put some energy down via slender, tight, and rocky singletrack.

Descending

ibis ripley af

While you connect AF to the tip of a reputation, it’s type of an final: How hungry are you? Hungry AF. Is there anybody hungrier than you? Don’t know. Don’t Care. Doesn’t matter.

The Ripley AF hits above its weight class on the descent. That additional weight you have been involved about while you spent $2,000 much less on the aluminum model? Didn’t matter a lot on the climbs, and nonetheless doesn’t matter. The added weight, and balanced suspension really feel creates an uber steady, brief journey bike over unfastened and chunky terrain, which makes it simpler to hold pace via trails the place it might need been unnerving in any other case.

The rear suspension soaks up small and mid-sized path chatter, and it feels prefer it ramps up extra shortly near the tip of the stroke, however once more assist and sensitivity mix proper into one another.

Dealing with stays sharp sufficient at pace to make snap choices, however the Ripley AF can nonetheless really feel surfy and steady on steep and unfastened trails.

Element test

ibis ripley af

There are some attention-grabbing specs on the Ripley AF that give the bike a little bit of added character, particularly across the wheels. Often, bikes which might be underneath the $5,000ish mark carry stutteringly gradual hub engagement, however the OEM Ibis hubs are surprisingly fast. The S35 rims are mounted as much as 2.6″ vast Schwalbes entrance and rear, and the Hans Dampfs have a pleasant spherical profile and the added width makes the Ibis much more enjoyable round unfastened corners.

Two-piston brakes are by no means very best both, however since this bike hovers simply over $4,000 and carries a high quality spec in any other case, it’s onerous to get hung up on them.

We’d have most well-liked the Bike Yoke dropper that the SLX construct usually comes with however the KS labored high-quality, and hopefully patrons will get the previous if inventory is low.

ibis ripley af

Cable routing on the Ripley AF could be a little messy the place the down and seat tubes meet, and patrons may discover it onerous to clear a water bottle mount. For the reason that routing is completed via the primary tubes, the cables do bounce round inside and make some additional noise.

Closing ideas

ibis ripley af

The Ibis Ripley AF is among the bikes in our roundup that we had a tougher time sending residence. From the primary experience on, the path bike was a blast on virtually any sort of singletrack we rode. The suspension is superb and the added weight of the aluminum body is greater than well worth the cost-savings. We’d be happy to see extra manufacturers reducing the barrier to entry and offering glorious bikes like this in aluminum.

The Ripley AF isn’t excellent, but it surely’s onerous discovering a complete lot to complain about. Path riders who’re model new to the game, and those that have been driving a decade or extra, can have a good time on the Ripley AF.

Professionals

  • Wonderful worth
  • DW hyperlink suspension feels nice uphill and down
  • Enjoyable, playful, and assured bike

Professionals and cons of the Ibis Ripley AF

Cons

  • Brakes might be higher
  • Dropper publish routing could be tough to take care of



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