IBIS Ripley AF mountain bike evaluation: All of the enjoyable at half the worth


The IBIS Ripley is a revered and virtually universally liked short-travel path bike.

Through the years, the brief rear triangle and DW-Hyperlink rear suspension together with the lengthy and slack entrance finish have offered a playful journey – The mix of stability and agility that has mesmerized riders since 2013.

In 2021, IBIS launches replay af, the aluminum-framed cousin of the Ripley. The large drama was the worth.

A present Shimano Deore Ripley AF full bike sells for $3799, roughly the identical value because the carbon Ripley body ($3,499). So comparatively, the Replay AF is sort of a deal.

However what about efficiency? Does it do the IBIS Replay and DW-Hyperlink names justice?

briefly, the Ripley AF gives the pedaling effectivity and suspension efficiency of its costlier cousin. The tradeoffs are minimal in comparison with the fee financial savings. This is among the greatest offers ever for a path bike with confirmed DNA.

First, the suspension

2022 IBIS Replay AF Shock

rear suspension

The DW-Hyperlink rear suspension has impressed me each time. The facility-robbing suspension’s resistance to seated bobbing has at all times been stellar, and it was the identical joyful story on the Replay AF.

Whether or not churning out a giant gear on the flats or grinding right down to the bottom gear on steep and rocky climbs, the DW-Hyperlink offered a steady platform and put probably the most energy into the rear tire. And it was with the shocks launched open. I can not bear in mind as soon as to alter it. That is how good the DW-Hyperlink was for seated pedaling.

2022 IBIS Replay AF DW-Link
(Photograph/Seiji Ishii)

Tumbling whereas standing had the identical shock, however some motion. If I knew I would be standing for lengthy durations of time, I would think about turning down the shock setting to a extra stiff mode.

On descents, each quick and flowy, and sluggish and chunky, the DW-Hyperlink kinematics, Fox Efficiency Collection Float DPS, and ensuing 120mm of journey bombed me with out hesitation or fear.

With the really useful 25% sag, I may deal with most intermediate traces within the bike park with out surprises. The again finish was predictable and by no means slowed me down. After which, it was flung open.

entrance suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF Suspension Fork
(Photograph/Seiji Ishii)

The Fox Efficiency Collection Float 34 fork with 130mm of journey was a fantastic match. Once more, on the really useful 25% sag, I did not discover something annoying whereas climbing and tacked on descending.

Surprisingly, each ends are left open, I by no means noticed the shocks or forks slide down, strive as I would. I routinely backside out at 130mm on particular leap faces or drops, and this has by no means as soon as occurred on the Replay AF. This speaks to the progressive nature of the suspension because it nears the top of journey.

General, I had no complaints concerning the IBIS Ripley AF’s suspension. The balanced climbing and descending efficiency made this a super-fun bike.

And the grin issue elevated with pace; I felt the suspension motion enhance at each ends when climbing, descending or rising pace on the flats.

Relaxation IBIS Replay AF

2022 IBIS Replay AF top view

Our check rig was a 2022 model with an odd spec, largely Shimano Deore with SLX brakes and Schwalbe tires (the present 2023 spec is barely totally different). And once more, I had no complaints.

shimano deore rear derailleur
(Photograph/Seiji Ishii)

Even when churning out low cadence on climbs, I by no means missed a shift, stabbing the shifter furiously for the decrease gear inches away. The brakes had been impeccably well-behaved, from preliminary chew to full-on panic mode; The predictability of the response boosted my confidence and begged me to push the bounds of traction.

IBIS-branded wheels and Schwalbe tires
(Photograph/Seiji Ishii)

The IBIS-branded S35 aluminum wheels and Schwalbe tires took plenty of abuse on rocky terrain and got here out spotless. The body had clearance for two.6-inch-wide Hans Damph Addix Tremendous Gravity delicate rubber, which I felt was a fantastic mixture of traits for our usually hard-packed and chunky traces.

After they transitioned into the growing older knobs, I felt extra assured bending quick, which was stunning, as they felt comparatively fast to roll.

This bike offered my first expertise with a KS Rage-Eye dropper put up. The cable-activated 170mm journey dropper did its job reliably and went in any other case unnoticed.

One total feeling concerning the Ripley AF attracts consideration: It feels compact, particularly vertically. This compares to comparable bikes I’ve examined, equivalent to axle path 429 (additionally DW-Hyperlink).

The sensation was partly as a result of IBIS’s 12mm decrease backside bracket top. Attain was comparable at 475mm. Regardless, the compact feeling added to my confidence when confronted with scary drops or sluggish, super-technical, balance-oriented sections.

Lastly, IBIS gives a 7-year guarantee on the body.

downsides

Our large-size check bike weighed 32 kilos, 8 ounces with out pedals, and was constructed tubeless. The aluminum body provides about 2 kilos in comparison with its carbon cousin. After all, bike weight varies by half spec, however the Replay AF is heavier than carbon bikes in the identical class.

The Pivot Path 429 Enduro Construct has a verified weight of 28 kilos, 15 ounces with tubes. In comparison with all the opposite carbon mountain bikes I used to be testing collectively, I observed weight on the climbs. However, I’ve been paid to note.

On the flat and downhill, the load distinction largely disappeared. And it’s a must to bear in mind; The bike value lower than half of all of the bikes I used to be testing on the time, some that broke the $10,000 barrier.

One notable change made by IBIS between the carbon and aluminum variations of the Ripley is the one-degree slacker head angle on the AF. And certainly, the entrance finish felt sluggish on very tight, curvy trails.

However the flip facet is that the entrance of the bike had a planted really feel going downwind, and I by no means felt jerks at pace. So, I felt the bike benefited at pace from this compromise, and once more, I am attempting to note.

closing ideas

IBIS Stem Cap
(Photograph/Seiji Ishii)

If I droop my data of the specifics, surrender the bragging rights, and switch my consideration to leisure versus finance, IBIS Replay AF is unbelievable. When you have a strict restrict on what you possibly can spend on a path bike, I feel this bike will probably be arduous to beat.

Should you’re fortunate sufficient to have a quiver of a motorcycle, and your commonplace is carbon, then sure, the bike is prone to be heavier than different choices. And perhaps the slacker head angle is one thing you would not like coming off a cross-country race bike.

However, and this can be a huge however, you possibly can’t disregard the hundreds of {dollars} in potential financial savings.

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