Impeccable trail manners.
When we unboxed the Forme Ripley 2, we thought that Forme had merely chucked a long travel fork on an average XC frame to achieve its slack 66.6° head angle.
On closer inspection however, the regular 311mm BB height indicated otherwise. The frame’s geometry is 100 per cent correct for the 120mm RockShox suspension fork, but it is also very tall, with the top tube offering little in the way of standover clearance.
However, as soon as we did this, the shifter pod would hit the top tube when the handlebar spun round, and both could get damaged in a crash.
Watch now: Hardtail of the year 2017
The Ripley also shares the same issue as the Scott Scale 760, in that the 9mm quick-release RockShox fork reduces stiffness and gives less precise steering than 15mm designs.
Even with the gangly frame proportions, the Ripley’s trail manners were impeccable.
It has a really neutral riding position, it maintains speed incredibly well, and there’s a decent level of compliance in the rear end for added comfort.
With a lower top tube and a stiffer fork, this great value package could easily give the top bikes a run for their money.
Review by Charlie Collins