Ibis brings value and even slacker geometry to its short-travel 29er offering.
The other bike brand from Santa Cruz, has revised its short-travel 29er.
Ibis is aiming to deliver more value for followers of the brand who prefer the responsiveness of a downcountry category bike.
The new Ripley AF offers responsive geometry with a lower price point, thanks to its alloy construction. If you like the idea of a 120mm 29er trail bike with boutique branch cachet, the latest release from Ibis should have great appeal.
Alloy with all the right angles
Over the last two years, Ibis has reconfigured many of its carbon-fibre frames in aluminium. The product strategy is simple: all carbon-fibre bikes start as aluminium test mules. As such, the technical potential for an aluminium production bike always exists, if prevailing markets conditions become favourable.
Aluminium bikes might be a touch heavier but they are cheaper than carbon and for those Ibis followers who value the trail feedback of a short-travel 29er, the Ripley AF should be ideal.
Core technical changes between the composite and alloy Ripleys regard head angle and weight. All the attributes you’ll find on a carbon-fibre Ripley, are present with the new aluminium version: Dave Weagle engineered short-link suspension, lower bushing hardware for durability and 2.6” rear triangle tyre clearance.
Where the aluminium bike differs, slightly, is its 65.5° head angle, which is a full degree slacker than a carbon-fibre Ripley. Reach numbers are similar, with the size large Ripley AF stretching to 475mm.
Ibis is only marketing the Ripley AF in two build options. The Shimano configured bike is finished in M6100 componentry whilst the slightly more expensive derivative uses a mix of SRAM NX and GX kit.
Lots of traction from large tyres and wide rims
Both Ripley AF build kits use two-piston brakes and similar suspension bits. Fox’s Performance Float 34 fork keep the front tracking with stability on technical terrain, whilst a Float DPS Evol shock keeps the rear in check.
Ibis product planners have chosen to run Maxxis Aggressor 29×2.5” dual compound EXO tyres front and rear, instead of opting for a different tread pattern at each axle. Those tyres are mounted on Ibis S35 rims which measure at a very generous 35mm internal diameter, creating the potential for a huge tyre contact patch and allowing Ripley AF riders to run very low inflation pressures if they wish.
And the weight ranges? A frame is 7.45lb and the Ripley AF complete build is 30.5lb.
The new Ibis Ripley AF is available in two colourways (Pond Scum green and Monolith silver), with sizes from small to extra-large. Ibis is marketing the Ripley AF frame and shock option at $1799, with a complete Shimano build at $2999 and the SRAM equivalent priced at $3299.