From the 23st February issue #015 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine will be available for you to download. Along with our big brakes group test and exciting travel stories, we will also be presenting our XC bikes group test. We made a special trip to the USA in order to test the bikes under sunny Californian skies. Here’s a look at the first bike in the group test – the Ibis Ripley 29.

Das Ripley wurde von Ibis für den Test modifiziert und hat neben robusteren Laufrädern auch eine potentere Federgabel erhalten
The Ripley was modified for the test by Ibis and received more robust wheels along with a more potent fork.

About the test

Our request to the manufacturers was simple: Send us a fast, light and potent XC bike for maximum fun on the fast, flowing southern California trails.

We let the manufacturers decide for themselves which exact models, wheel sizes and suspension-travel range this actually meant. The only fixed criteria was the price limit of € 5.500.

The bike makers were also allowed to improve the downhill performance of their bikes by making small spec changes, just like bike shops often do. This includes changes to the cockpit, tyres and retrofitting a dropper seatpost.

The test team, made up of ENDURO editors Robin Schmitt, Joe Parkin and several other experienced test riders carefully examined the bikes over multiple days. The team established the strengths and weaknesses of each model, and discussed in depth the verdict of every bike.

Neben anspruchsvollen Uphills bot der Testtrack auch knackige Abfahrten und eine traumhafte Kulisse
Along with demanding trails the test track rewarded with breathtaking views
Unterstützt wurde das Testteam von Bike-Legende und California Local Duncan Riffle
The test team were supported by bike legend and Santa Barbara local Duncan Riffle
Bis zum Sonnenuntergang wurde getestet, analysiert und diskutiert
The team tested, analysed and discussed until sunset

The Ibis Ripley 29

For our test we received the Ripley in the X01 specification. The company made good use of the upgrade option and changed both the wheels and suspension fork. Instead of a Fox 32 with 120mm travel, our test bike was fitted with a Fox 34 featuring 140mm – the right choice? We’ll tell you in the next issue.

The DW-link rear suspension system developed by Dave Weagle should give the Ripley the combination of plush suspension with maximum forward propulsion. The chic carbon fibre frame has externally routed cables, a tapered steerer tube and a BB92 bottom bracket.

Die Züge verlaufen unterhalb des Oberrohrs über den Dämpfer hinweg und teilen sich dann auf.
The cables are routed together under the top tube above the rear shock and then part ways.
Eine PM-160-Aufnahme ermöglicht bei kleinen 160 mm Bremsscheiben die Montage ohne Adapter
A PM-160 mount allows the brake to be fitted without adapters when using small 160mm rotors

A further exciting upgrade was in the choice of wheels. Here Ibis switched the standard ZTR Arch wheelset for their own brand, super wide 941 carbon wheels. You’ll also find out how the Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.25″ tyres worked when fitted to the über-wide rims in the upcoming issue.

Changing the suspension fork has a noticeable effect on the bike’s geometry. Both the head and seat tube angles become about 1.5° slacker (HT 68,5° / ST 71,5°) which is immediately apparent on both climbs and descents. The extremely short reach (396mm size L) and the very short wheelbase of 1131 mm (large) promise playful handling even though the chainstays are relatively long at 445 mm.

Here’s an overview of the geometry:

Screenshot 2015-02-04 16.04.45

How the Ibis Ripley 29 fares with against the other bikes in the group test as well as how the bike rides with the modifications will be revealed from 23rd February in issue #015 of ENDURO Mountainbike Magazine – digital and free of charge as always.

Words: Christoph Bayer | Photos: Abner Kingman

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