Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

The countdown timer is finished. The Ripley is back from its visit in the Big Apple, and now it’s official. The Ibis Ripley 29er is finally here, though the road hasn’t been an easy one. As often happens in the bike industry, due to the fact that at the original factory Ibis was the smallest company, but had the most complicated design, the Ripley wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. The original factory’s idea of solving problems was to add aluminum, so Ibis went out in search of a factory that could build the Ripley like it was intended. This meant a huge set back in time, and development as the molds for the bike had to be completely redone. It wasn’t all bad though, as the change in molds allowed for some changes in the bike like a different head angle and refined details. The suspension design was changed as well, with the angular contact bushings replaced by a standard sealed bearing system that improved the design on a number of levels.

As a result, the new Ripley (v2?), is finished and ready for riding. Want the details? Find them after the break.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

You may remember that in our original post on the Ripley, the suspension featured a an interesting Norglide angular contact bushing system for each of the eccentrics. While the bushings promised ever lasting performance, though after an extremely muddy 100 mile race in which Evan Plews was racing, the mud contaminated the bushings causing them to seize up and it destroyed the bushings. Note that Ibis is being extremely transparent about the design and development of the Ripley, as a lot of companies wouldn’t divulge such failures. Ibis was faced with two choices – redesign the bushings and seals since there wasn’t enough room in the current design to improve the seals, or switch to the cartridge bearing system that they had developed as a back up.

Going with the cartridge bearing system proved to be a wise decision as the weight was reduced, as well as the complexity. Through continuous refinement, the changes to the system resulted in it being easier to assemble and service, easier to find parts since they are all common bearing sizes, the system has lower stiction than the bushings for better small bump compliance, and the bearings are stronger and stiffer overall. In addition, the bearing design doesn’t require holes in the seat tube for bolts to hold the eccentrics in place, like the original. Ibis points out that the frame mounted bearings are standard BB30 cartridge bearings while the swingarm mounted bearings as common skateboard/roller blade wheel bearings meaning they should be incredibly easy to source.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

The end result though is still the same with an almost invisible suspension linkage that takes advantage of the two small eccentrics conceived by Dave Weagle. Thanks to the eccentric design, the pivots are mostly shielded from the elements, it allows for a shorter chainstay design (though not the shortest at 17.5″), and better clearance for the front derailleur which is a high direct mount on the swingarm itself. Working with the factory that ultimately is producing the Ripley, a new lightweight syntactic foam glass microsphere core (say that 10x fast) technology was developed and used for the swingarm uprights and the clevis since a removable bladder couldn’t be employed. Ibis claims these cores add strength and rigidity while at roughly half the weight of traditional foam cores.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

Frame spec wise, the Ripley is built with a press fit BB92 bottom bracket, high direct mount swingarm mounted front derailleur, 142×12 Maxle rear axle, standard tapered head tube, 160mm post mount disc tabs, internal cable routing, and provisions for two bottle cages. Although for large bottles inside the front triangle, Ibis recommends a side mount cage for larger bottles, while the other cage is mounted on the bottom of the down tube. The Ripley is fully 1x compatible, with an XX1 build supposedly tipping the scales at around 23 pounds. Claimed weights for the frame are 5.0 lbs for an X Fusion Microlite equipped frame, or 5.2 lbs with a Fox RP23 CTD equipped frame. Ripleys are approved for use with a 120-140mm fork. Interestingly, the Ripley relies on a 51mm offset fork, or the same offset as Gary Fisher’s G2 forks. Ibis states that to get the best performance out of the Ripley, the framesets should be run with a 51mm offset fork.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

Ibis likes to send their bikes to New York to be photographed by Nathan Kraxberger – the Ripley was no different. With a bit of bubble wrap to “disguise” it, the Ripley was taken across town and photographed in various locations like Grand Central Station, or this subway car.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally HereBelieve it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

Starting now, the Ripley will be offered in two frame colors, Blue and Black/Green, available in both frame only and complete builds. Builds will be offered in both Shimano and SRAM kits with all of the builds except the SLX, coming with E*thirteen’s TRS+ 24-34T double crankset. For complete build and pricing information, check out Ibis’ web builder.

Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

 

Comments

49 thoughts on “Believe it or Not, the New IBIS Ripley Is Finally Here

  1. what a strange photoset.
    Bike gets off the Metro North train at Grand Central Terminal, grabs the 6 train downtown, and then the L to Williamsburg…

  2. You know a bike manufacturer really believes in non-26″ bikes when they release exactly one(1) just 3 or 4 years after everyone else figures it out.

    Good to know that it’s already having reliability issues, though. Saves me from a $2,900 mistake.

    But yes, it does “look sick”. If only that mattered on the trail . . .

  3. Waitaminithere. It takes 13 bearings? Whut. The. Potsmoking. Fack. Isthatabout?

    Also, Bayard, you win this round of the internets.

  4. looks like Ibis is slowly starting to realize that their geometry was a little behind the times, aka short and steep. Although, i’d still prefer slacker.

  5. Chainwhipped
    “Good to know that it’s already having reliability issues, though. Saves me from a $2,900 mistake.” Please enlighten me to the reliability issues you’ve experienced on a bike that hasn’t even been released. I’m assuming it’s been designed to ride much like the existing Ibis bikes on the market and they’re pretty damn sweet performing bicycles.

  6. Why is Ibis claiming that SC Tallboy is theirs? Or is that a Pivot 429? Or a Yeti? Or a Trek Rumblefish? Or a Salsa Spearfish? Or a Scott Spark?

    Remember all the fuss made over the ibis 26ers and their “radical” design? About how they even hired a designer to help make the frame stand out and look artsy. Then on their 29er it looks like the Googled “Full Suspension 29er” and copied and pasted.

  7. Good looking bike. Too bad it’s expensive (like all other good 29er carbon frames).

    Also too bad that this post seems to have dragged some of the dumbest commentors alive out of the woodwork.

  8. I’ll stick with my S Works Epic since it seems that nobody is even coming close to it. The Ibis looks like the Trek Superfly

  9. I don’t care what the rest of you say, using an eccentric pivot to replace short linkages was genius… (Yeti included)
    I think eccentric pivots are the way of the future. Pretty much are single pivots could be modified to use an eccentric and really improve the suspension performance of an otherwise simple, solid good performing design.
    just my thoughts.
    -Greg

  10. @ChainWhipped

    “You know a bike manufacturer really believes in non-26? bikes when they release exactly one(1) just 3 or 4 years after everyone else figures it out. Good to know that it’s already having reliability issues, though. Saves me from a $2,900 mistake. But yes, it does “look sick”. If only that mattered on the trail . . .

    Buddy, you’ve obviously rode the bike already! How was it? Climbing? Descending? Spare no details! Does it handle as well as the Mojo? How was the front end?

    How did you get the early proto test ride?

    Lucky you!

  11. @Capn Snap, @Guy,

    “While the bushings promised ever lasting performance, though after an extremely muddy 100 mile race in which Evan Plews was racing, the mud contaminated the bushings causing them to seize up and it destroyed the bushings.” – See above article.

    Learn to read them wurds what come an’ go butween thuh pichurz.

  12. The use of bearings “as a back up” is a sign that these guys are already resorting to “plan B”. In my experience, designs that require afterthought band-aids become a maintenance nightmare, almost without fail.

  13. I rode the ripley last week two days in a row nothing like a tallboy plush, ripping,stiff bike far better bike than the tallboy. I have riden most of the new crop of 29er fs bikes, the dw link on this bike pedals firmer up hill and plusher in the rough than any other in its class it uses larger and stronger pivots than all others. 8 cartridge bearings 4 in seat tube and 4 in rear swing arm the main pivots wich use bb30 bearings have 2 large axles rear end bolts to them through a centric mounting position stiff , big, and consealed if you have a chance ride one you’ll love it.

  14. Oops eccentric. Also don’t understand all the hate mail about a bike only 20 or so people have riden the days I rode the ripley all 9 of us loved the bike..?????

  15. If you are familiar with mountain bikes, you’ll notice this actually isn’t a Superfly 100, a Tallboy or an Epic. Weird, I know… right? I mean, if I was a cool, small company I’d definitely want to release my bike when everyone else was releasing theirs and make it look the same, too. That would just be soooo cool. That really gets you noticed.

    If this 29er rides as well as their 26ers do, it’ll be a killer bike. I’ve ridden the Mojo HD a few times and loved it. It climbs like a XC bike and rips the descent. Great design and looks good, too. I hope this will be the same. It already has the good looks.

    Also, why has no one mentioned in a comment that this is, depending on the build, a 23 pound 29er with 140mm of travel? That’s really damn light for that sort of bike. I’m impressed.

    Sure, it has a lot of bearings… so do a lot of bikes. Look at Giant’s full suspensions. Tons of bearings but quick and easy to replace if you know how to. I’d rather have a lot of bearings and a great performing bike than a simple suspension system that sucks. I’m not saying there aren’t other options, but given the choice of just those two options, I’d take a well-performing but more complex system any day.

    In regards to to their decision to switch from bushings to bearings: you are sadly mistaken if you think Ibis is the only company who changes their design. Bikes take years to design. They may change hundreds or thousands of times. Every company does what Ibis did with some spec on some bike. Ibis has just chosen to be open about it to show they spent a lot of time developing and testing the bike. Would you rather they leave unreliable bushings in the design instead of find a solution? Would you rather every company use their initial design and spec for every bike instead of refining them to make them as good as possible? Anyone who criticizes the choice to change a design based on the sub-par performance of a prototype is uneducated and naive.

  16. And sure, the bearings do sound like a “Plan B”… probably because they were. So what if they’re a Plan B. Maybe Plan B was better than Plan A. I don’t care what plan they use as long as it’s the best one. That’s why people make plans and have back-ups, right?

    It’s a good thing they had the forethought to incorporate other options into their thought process because the world isn’t perfect and sometimes what you design on a computer doesn’t do what you thought it would in real life. Bummer. Good thing they’re engineers who can solve problems and keep their options open, right?

    Too bad they’re getting crucified by a bunch of commenters for trying to make their bike reliable.

  17. Really, people?

    Let’s settle this: It has an Easton cockpit and wheels. It’s OBVIOUSLY a BMC, either rebranded or a rip-off. Come on, so obvious! I’ll be waiting for the lawsuit article…

  18. I don’t get it. If plan B was lighter, stiffer, cheaper, more durable, easier to service, and “less complex”, what the hell was Plan A about? No wonder it took so long to bring to market.
    Secondly, the bike in profile looks lumpy and weird, the main tubes about mid way back look like they got hit with a belt sander or something. not to pile on, but ibis is asking for this one, if you say you’ve been working on something since 2007, and its obviously middling and ill-timed, prepare yourself for lumps.

    let me get this straight: its their vendors fault it took so long. Nothing to do with the bushing design that was obviously a disaster waiting to happen and was completely redesigned. Or anything that happened four years before that.

    1. @Nozzle, to be fair, the Norglide bushings teased the promise of near infinite life. Can you imagine a full suspension bike that didn’t require any maintenance, ever? That would be the holy grail of suspension, right? The bushings have been used in car doors, bike headsets, etc for years. Ibis seemed to be trying to pioneer a new technology and it didn’t work out. I for one am glad when companies take a chance, even if it doesn’t work out.

  19. Zach,
    From what you said, it sounds like there was not pioneering involved. They took an existing technology and misapplied it. Car doors are not bicycles, and the headset you refer to is a niche device, the purpose is for weight savings not high performance or low maintenance. “Infinite” life is offered by ball bearings that are used in things like cars and trucks and motorcycles and industrial machines. This ballyhooed attempt at novelty and subsequent failure seems more like hubris or ignorance of existing mechanical alternatives to me.

  20. Hi folks,
    as bike frame designer and realy BIIIG Ibis fan I have few following comments:
    Likes:
    1. DW-link (my own Mojo HD) performs great – virtual pivot positioning is really well thought-through
    2. frame shape – really nice work
    3. shock + V shape = in my opinion helps tune forces (or leverage ratio if u want to)

    Cons:
    1. short links (excentric pivots) gather all forces in one place instead of redistributing
    2. pivots close to each other my influence rear end stiffness
    3. not sure about the geometry – 445mm long rear end seems to me to be tooo long, 435 is just enough for steep climbs, shorter (e.g. 430) would be even better

    Tips:
    1. 140mm rear wheel travel OR 650b option with 140-160mm travel + shorter chain stays? :o)

  21. @(deleted)NOZZLE – are you serious? Why don’t you go ride a bike, instead of sitting there being angry that someone designed a new one. It’s expensive, and maybe it’ not your favorite, but these things don’t really effect you, do they?

  22. Ibis Ripley: chainstays size large = 17.5″
    Santa Cruz Tallboy: chainstays size large = 17.7″
    Trek Rumblefish: chainstays size large = 17.8″
    Yeti SB-95: chainstays size large = 17.5″
    Specialized Epic: chainstays size large = 17.6″
    And the winner is:
    Specialized Enduro 29er: chainstays size large = 16.9″

  23. I guess I’m one of the few excited about this bike. I hope they come out with a lightweight nude version. Anyway, I don’t get the obsession with min/maxing specifications like CSL. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything.

  24. Nozzle, so you’re comparing machines with high rpms to a suspension component that never even makes a full rotation? Most industrial machines/vehicles use roller bearings which are heavier and far more costly, not ball bearings. From what I understand from a lot of suspension engineers I’ve talked to, the problem with ball bearings is that they don’t make a full rotation, and have a high point load which causes them to fail. I’m not saying bearings aren’t a good system, just that I applaud them for trying something new, and then having the stones to say it didn’t work. As far as your comment for taking an existing technology and misapplying it, kinda like Graeme Obree taking those bearings from that washing machine, right?

  25. These have to be a trick photos as an unlocked bike in NY would disappear in 3… 2… 1… …and it’s gone! Wait–it’s on Craig’sList!

  26. Zach,
    I’m not making comparisons, I was pointing out that yours didn’t seem accurate. So are you now saying they’ve taken the wrong technology (ball bearings) and misapplied them? Everything has pros and cons.
    There seem to be a lot of useful bicycles that use ball bearings in them that have been around for a long time. The whole exercise smacks of designer self-aggrandizement to me. Bike designers are a silly bunch.

    1. Nozzle, no worries, just talking here. No, just that ball bearings aren’t the most durable system. They work great, so long as the bearings are in good shape. Granted bearing fills, seals, and engineering continues to improve as well. But I was pointing out that I’m not going to criticize a company for taking a chance on something new. If it had worked out, and it was the greatest thing since the ball bearing then this would be a different story, no?

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