The IBIS Ripley 4 bike is a true game-changer in the world of mountain biking. With its versatile frame and a plethora of upgrade options, it offers an exhilarating ride for both entry-level and mid-level enthusiasts.
One standout feature is its flexibility, allowing riders to equip their Ripley with carbon rims at a significantly reduced cost compared to standalone purchases. But what truly sets the Ripley 4 apart is its frame – often hailed as one of the best in the market.
In this blog post, we’ll mainly focus on the performance of the IBIS Ripley 4 and see why it’s become a top choice for riders seeking the ultimate mountain biking experience.
IBIS Ripley 4 Frame Setup
To test the IBIS Ripley 4 Frames performance, we have used the following setup. We tried to follow the factory setup.
|IBIS Ripley V4 (Available in various sizes)
|Fox 34 Factory Series Fork – 130mm travel
|Fox Float DPS Factory Series Shock
|Shimano XT 1×12-speed
|Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes
|Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims
|Maxxis Minion DHF Front, Maxxis Minion DHR Rear
|Race Face Next R Carbon Handlebar
|Thomson Elite X4 MTB Stem
|ODI Rogue Lock-On Grips
|WTB Volt Race Saddle
|Fox Transfer Factory Series Dropper Post
|Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Pedals
Setting up the IBIS Ripley 4 Frame
The IBIS Ripley 4 frame is meticulously designed to optimize efficiency and deliver a sporty suspension experience. Achieving the ideal sag is crucial for unleashing its full potential, and the recommended setting is 11mm of travel on the Fox shock’s stanchion, which equates to 25-percent of the stroke.
Deviating from this setting is unnecessary, as it won’t enhance pedaling performance, nor should one attempt to over-sag, as it can compromise Ripley’s intended character.
For a rider weighing 158lb, the Fox shock requires 205 PSI to achieve the desired sag. Remarkably, there’s no need to engage the shock’s lockout feature or stiffen it during rides.
The front suspension, a 130mm-travel Fox 34 fork, strikes an optimal balance. While it’s common to see longer forks, this setup avoids over-forking, maintaining a harmonious feel. Riders who have experienced previous Ripley iterations often find that a 120mm or 130mm fork complements the frame’s characteristics.
The specific configuration for the Fox 34 FIT4 model involves running it at 78 PSI, with the low-speed compression set halfway out. Throughout every ride, the three-position switch remains fully open, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable experience on the IBIS Ripley 4 frame.
IBIS Ripley 4 Frame Performance
Now, it’s time to see how the frame performs in descending and climbing. We can assess the performance after checking the climbing and descending power of this bike.
First, The Climbing
The fourth-generation IBIS Ripley continues to excel on climbs, maintaining its reputation as a climbing powerhouse. Its impressive ascent capabilities are evident, especially when equipped with the lightweight Schwalbe trail bike tires and carbon wheels it arrives with. Unlike some modern trail bikes that prioritize descending prowess over climbing efficiency, the Ripley 4 strikes a balance.
With 120mm of travel and the renowned dw-link suspension system, it remains a lively and speedy climber. However, a discerning rider will notice a subtle shift in its demeanor compared to the previous version. The suspension curve has evolved from being progressively ramping up to consistently progressive throughout its travel.
While the change may not be immediately palpable, seated climbing feels smoother. The bike retains its efficiency and agility but lacks the previous tension, that immediate readiness to surge forward with the slightest quad muscle twitch.
In terms of handling during climbs, the adjustments are not as dramatic as one might anticipate, despite a 45mm reduction and a full-degree shift in geometry. The 76-degree seat angle plays a pivotal role, allowing the Ripley to tackle steep and challenging terrains adeptly.
Tricky uphill corners that demand careful planning and positioning on other bikes open up to two or three viable lines on the Ripley, making it a friend to those who relish technical climbing challenges.
While the geometry has undergone significant alterations, the bike remains grounded and offers ample traction, even on steep pitches. This encourages riders to drop a cog, leave their riding companions behind, or attempt seemingly insurmountable ascents.
In short, is the new Ripley a superior climber to its predecessor? It may not outshine the old version in this specific regard, but make no mistake—it still excels in climbing, especially when compared to many of the bulkier and overbuilt trail bikes of today. Remarkably, it’s even completed the demanding BC Bike Race successfully.
However, the changes have endowed the Ripley with a more versatile personality, expanding its appeal to a broader range of riders. The new geometry has transformed it from a fun yet occasionally edgy descender into a bike that can confidently navigate a variety of terrains while retaining its playful spirit.
Then, The Descending Power
Descending on the new IBIS Ripley 4 is where the bike truly surprises and impresses. While previous iterations of the Ripley were known more for their climbing prowess and fun-loving attitude on milder descents, the latest model steps up its game in the downhill department without sacrificing its playful nature.
Let’s be honest, when people bought previous Ripleys, they weren’t primarily looking for a bike to conquer gnarly descents. The Ripley was all about fun, and for more aggressive or gravity-oriented riding, riders often turned to other options. But with the Ripley 4, there’s a noticeable shift.
The extended wheelbase of the new Ripley brings a sense of composure that its predecessors didn’t quite possess. It’s like comparing a nimble hatchback to a larger, stable vehicle when it comes to maintaining control and traction in challenging conditions. The bike now feels at home on steep, technical descents and in situations where maintaining control and stability is crucial.
This newfound stability doesn’t mean the Ripley has lost its fun-loving personality; it’s still more of a playful jetski than a ponderous ocean liner. However, it has evolved to become more capable, while retaining its sense of adventure.
You might find yourself hunting down those thrilling lines and natural gaps that add excitement to your ride, but the Ripley 4 does it with a touch more restraint, all while being more adept at tackling them.
As for stiffness, it’s true that newer bikes are often associated with increased stiffness. However, the transition from the old to the new Ripley doesn’t result in a night-and-day difference in stiffness.
And that’s just fine because the Ripley has never been about being the stiffest kid on the block. What matters is that it now corners with less drama, thanks to the added wheelbase and improved suspension.
Speaking of suspension, Ripley’s 120mm travel may not deliver the plushness of a long-travel bike, but the updates in the suspension department are noticeable. The previous Ripley was far from harsh, but it was clearly an XC-biased bike.
Now, the suspension feels more willing to assist, especially on smaller to mid-sized impacts. The new Ripley’s rear end feels like a significant improvement over its predecessors in terms of sensitivity and bottom-out resistance, making it feel better than ever.
Overall, the new geometry and refined suspension setup makes the Ripley 4 a more approachable and capable bike when pushing your limits on descents. It sheds its previous nervousness and edginess, offering a smoother and more controlled ride.
Importantly, it manages to do this without adopting the sluggish feel of an overgrown, over-slacked trail bike. The Ripley 4 strikes a balance that will leave the vast majority of potential owners thrilled with its enhanced descending abilities.
Q: Does the Ripley 4 handle descents better than previous models?
A: Yes, the Ripley 4 offers improved descending capabilities. It’s more stable and composed on technical descents while retaining its playful nature.
Q: How does the Ripley 4’s suspension compare to the previous version?
A: The Ripley 4’s suspension has seen improvements, offering increased sensitivity and better bottom-out resistance, particularly on smaller to mid-sized impacts.
Q: Can the Ripley 4 handle technical climbs effectively?
A: Yes, the Ripley 4 remains adept at handling technical climbs, thanks to its geometry, stability, and traction.
Q: Is the Ripley 4 a more well-rounded bike for different riding styles?
A: Indeed, the Ripley 4 has become more versatile, maintaining its climbing prowess while gaining enhanced descending abilities, appealing to a wider range of riders.
Q: Does the longer wheelbase affect the Ripley 4’s agility on the trails?
A: The longer wheelbase enhances stability without compromising agility. The Ripley 4 remains playful and versatile on the trails.
Q: Can the Ripley 4 handle diverse types of terrain?
A: Yes, the Ripley 4 is adaptable and can confidently navigate various terrains, making it suitable for riders seeking diverse trail conditions.
Q: Is the Ripley 4 a suitable choice for riders looking to challenge themselves on descents?
A: Absolutely. The Ripley 4 excels in descending, providing a smoother and more controlled ride while retaining its adventurous spirit. It’s an excellent option for riders seeking challenging descents.
Ibis’ bold geometry changes to the Ripley have catapulted it into the realm of fast-moving, nimble trail bikes that thrive on smoothness and skill rather than blind courage. If your riding style leans towards finesse and you relish long days in the saddle, the latest Ripley deserves a spot on your shortlist.
However, it’s essential to note that this bike isn’t your ticket to conquering massive gaps; it’s tailor-made for the ascent-focused rider. We say, the Ibis Ripley is a no-brainer choice for those who value precision and enjoy every moment of the trail, making it a standout option in the ever-evolving world of mountain biking.