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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At sunshine bikes, Fairfax, ca. Great bike. Really a beautiful frame. Tubes are huge around the top tube - downtube junction (siimilar to Santa Cruz bikes). Bike was nice and light - about 25-26lbs with Fox CTD suspension, XT stuff, and Stan's arch EX wheels. Frame felt very stiff. Suspension action in the rear was excellent, as expected, but the way the bike accelerated was way better than I expected and I think with the right build It could easily be 24lbs and would make a phenomenal race bike. It is very fast. Definitely not a super plush ride, but again to be expected somewhat given that it is only 120mm. Nonetheless, it still felt good because of the suspension action. Also it was a demo so was not dialed as it could have been. It was very impressive in the tight twisty stuff for a 29er, and is definitely a Singletrack slayer. It was a actually a little odd at times as I forgot I was on a 29er when zipping around, only to be reminded when it found stupid amounts of traction when cornering, or just getting up and over technical climbs without fuss. As a testament to this, the tires were spesh fast trak, which I have used in 26" before and hated. Fast but no traction. In 29 flavor, they were both fast and got great traction for such a XC race type of tire. I would have loved to have found out how it handled the gnar, but just did not have enough time to ride it to those trails where i could find out. I think for my purposes i might want something with a little more travel but this was an impressive bike no doubt.
 

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Thanks for the write up....

"bike accelerated was way better than I expected " personally I'm looking for a fast manueverable bike for XC, so this sounds positive.

Just curious if you're riding an ibis bike right now? HD? If so how does it compare?
 

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I, as well, grabbed a bike from Sunshine but got a longer time period to ride it so I was able to hit some gnar. The bike is the best all around mountain bike I've ever ridden. The only FS bike that I've been on that climbs better was an S-Works Epic but the Ripley blew the Epic out of the water when the trail got technical and/or pointed downhill in any meaningful way. I view it as an XC race bike quite a bit of travel over an all mountain bike with a bit less travel (think Blur TRc). There is definitely room for my HD 160 and the Ripley in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the write up....

"bike accelerated was way better than I expected " personally I'm looking for a fast manueverable bike for XC, so this sounds positive.

Just curious if you're riding an ibis bike right now? HD? If so how does it compare?
Maneuverable is exactly right. I am coming off a Santa Cruz Blur TRc, possibly the most agile bike I have ever ridden. So to go from the TRc to the Ripley, and find the Ripley to be almost as agile is quite a compliment. The only place where the Ripley was not as good was going down tight switchbacks, which took a little more rider input. Getting up and around those same switchbacks was actually easier on the Ripley, which was weird, the opposite of what I was expecting.

I have never owned an Ibis. I demo'd the SL up at Downieville, and have ridden a friend's HD. I currently own a TRc and a Nomad, and always preferred the Nomad to the HD. I cannot offer a good all round comparison of the Ripley to the HD as I just did not get enough time on it in varied conditions. What I will say is the Ripley is significantly faster up hill. The big wheels also give it the edge in technical climbing. The geo seems to be much more suited than the HD to XC. I never got to ride the Ripley down any gnar, so cant compare the two there. However, my gut tells me the HD would be much better. If what you are after is a bike for XC then you can't go wrong with the Ripley. It's fast. Reminds me a little of the Titus Racer X I had a number of years ago, except the 29" wheels make it a better tech climber and give it much better cornering traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I, as well, grabbed a bike from Sunshine but got a longer time period to ride it so I was able to hit some gnar. The bike is the best all around mountain bike I've ever ridden. .
Out of interest, what trails did you ride? Better than your HD?
 

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I climbed Pine Mtn to see how it was on the Oh **** climb and the following rock garden climb (it did very well though Oh **** is generally in the best shape I have seen it in 4+ years right now for some reason) then took White's Hill Fire Rd down and hit a couple short things off that before going into Tamarancho then back out and down Porcupine. To me White's Hill FR and Porcupine are a good enough test to get a feel for an XC bike, which the Ripley is in my opinion. The rock garden at the top, while short, will quickly let you know if the suspension wouldn't keep up on a trail like Solstice while the water bars and s-turn on the fire road give you a very good taste of the high speed handling. I got a very long and solid 2 wheel drift going through the turns with total comfort, the GC/Fast Trak wasn't nearly enough tire for how hard I was pushing. Porcupine shows you the tight switchback mannerisms plus you get a couple good turns through chunk at full speed.

The Ripley is a great long travel XC bike similar to the SL-R. It is by no means a replacement to an HD which is built properly (I run mine with a Vengeance @170 front, Vector rear, Hans Dampfs, Flow Ex, etc) nor is it intended to be. I'll buy one and happily ride it at Annadel, Skeggs, Solstice, Tamo and some spots of SG ridge. I'll keep the HD for stuff like Oat Hill Mine, Pacifica, Santa Cruz, etc.
 

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One other thought, I climbed back up on the HD to do work on the Flow Trail and went out Porcupine. The HD was significantly faster through a couple sections and no slower anywhere though I imagine the right stem and tires on the Ripley would have made them very close on a trail like that which is open and carries speed throughout.
 

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Great Info! Thanks. Have you ridden any other 29ers that you can compare and contrast with?
I've ridden lots of other 29ers, both HT and FS. Most recently I owned a Kona Satori which I rode extensively and raced at Downieville last year. The Ripley obviously climbed in a whole other league (very close to S-Works Epic) but didn't feel as good on the descents (quite a bit better than an S-Works Epic). It was not nearly as plush though running similar amounts of sag. From my limited time on the bike (with a 100mm positive rise stem and an XC oriented tire setup) it is an XC bike which happens to have 120mm of travel versus an AM bike which happens to have 120mm of travel. I would personally run it with a 70mm stem and some grippier tires which I think would really be able to utilize the frame.

If you only care about going as fast as you can up a smooth trail, get an Epic.

If you care about going fast all over the mountain, get a Ripley.

If you care about going down hill very fast and want a 29er, get a Satori.

If you care about going down hill very fast and want a 26er, get an HD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I demo'd a TB LTc which was built up a little heavier than the Ripley. I loved the TB.
Climbing up the techy stuff, both bikes were very good. On all other climbing, I'm not sure if the Ripley is much quicker, but it felt much more efficient if that makes sense. I think this just has a lot to do with DWL vs. VPP, with the DWL having the edge over VPP in that regard in general. But also I came away thinking that this iteration of the DWL was executed extremely well. The rear suspension really is impressive. I think the 120 of travel vs the 135 also played a role here in making me feel like the Ripley was a more efficient climber.

Like I said, I did not get to ride the Ripley down any gnar, so can't offer direct comparisons there to the LTc, but the TB felt like an AM bike going downhill, very confidence inspiring, and my gut tells me the TB would be quite a bit quicker downhill. However, the Ripley did have XC tires on, and I think with proper tires there would be a significant improvement.

I think for an all rounder, the TB LTc is probably better. I'm leaning toward it just because I want a bit more travel. For a XC race bike, the Ripley. For a great handling trail bike, either one.
 

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@Danish and @Simen, I've only ever pedaled a TB and LT around for short distances, not enough to enough to get a real solid feel for either. That said quick impression is that the Ripley goes up and down better than a TB and happens to have 20mm more travel.
 

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I demo'd the Ripley on Saturday as well. I rode up Loma Alta - 680 - Solstice. My impressions of the bike are much the same as everyone's here. XC/Trail bike leaning towards XC. However, much of this was due to the way the bike was setup with 120 fork, XC tires, 100mm stem. I think with a 140 fork some beefier tires and an 80 mm stem ti would be different bike on the descents.

It certainly climbed like a dream, and made the stinger sections of the loma alta fire road pretty painless.

I am almost 6'2" and 200lbs. The bike felt small to me, and the XL would be a better fit. The seatpost (KS Lev dropper) was maxed out and I could have still used a cm or two of height. I felt overly forward on the bike during the Solstice descent, and I think the slacker angel with a longer travel fork would help significantly. The fork was doing some pretty viscious brake diving which contributed to the lack of confidence on some of the bigger sections of Solstice.

I swapped to my buddy's C Tallboy (no LT) and it descended much more confidently than the Ripley, based upon the stock setup by Ibis.

The owner of Sunshine is getting an XL, and I'm hoping he gets the 140 fork so I can take it out for a spin to see if it can be the all-around trail bike I'm hoping for.
 

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I'm currently racing a Scalpel Ultimate and have an itch for a little longer travel ("Trailish") bike. Do any of you think this would be an option?
 

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I wanted a Ripley but after waiting forever I couldn't wait anymore and last November opted for the SC TBLTc.

The one thing I'll recommend to anyone who gets the Ripley and likes to ride some steep gnar is to look into the angle set. Imo, the Ripey and TBLT are way too steep and slacking the head angle down to 68 or less completely changes the bike. It doesn't surprise me that Ibis offers the CC angle set as an option, I think they know it could be slacker. In my case I went for the Works since the CC AS gimbal design has quite a few complaints. Regardless, the slacker head tube made the bike unbelievely more stable on the fast steep stuff and I can't recommend it enough.

BTW, the Ripley looks like a beautiful bike and I don't think you can go wrong with it. The geo is very similar to the TBLT and I'm enjoying the TBLT with the slacked off HA.
 

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Of course the Ripley is already a degree slacker than the LTc, so it will probably already be an improvement in that regard. Although I must say that the LTc felt more slack and stable than the numbers would suggest.
 
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