After over 5 years of development and two years after its announcement, the Willy Wonka of bikes has been unleashed. With a countdown timer reminiscent of Dick Clark in Times Square, the Ibis Ripley 29er was finally introduced to the public on March 18. Ibis has been teasing the Ripley around here-and-there, but most recently, they took it on tour in NYC — no doubt the busy folks didn’t even notice that they were seeing one of the most anticipated bikes in years — right under their collective noses.
I first reported on the Ripley back in 2011 and the prototype frame shown then looks pretty much identical to the production model now nearly two years later. Just what took so long? I mean, the bike shown in 2011 looks pretty much identical to the just-released model. The crew at BIKE Magazine got the scoop on just why it took so long. It involved countless revisions of the eccentric pivots (from bushings to cartridge bearings), a factory change overseas and an industry shift in tapered head tube design before everything was finalized.
After viewing that, I remain bullish that the Ripley will do well. Ibis nailed the 26″ trailbike and has recently introduced a well-received Hakkalugi Disc cross bike, so they are on a roll. And, the Ripley should allow them to make their mark on the big-wheeled trailbike crowd.
Though I’m bullish, we all have to admit that the 29er trailbike market is much more competitive than it was two years ago. The competition is stiff and the market is crowded. I expect the stiffest competition to come from the new Niner RIP 9 RDO. Both bikes are very comparable and will likely duke it out for trailbike supremacy. Nearly every major manufacturer has a 120mm 29er trailbike, but Ibis hopes the Mojo’s magic will rub off on the Ripley and keep the hits coming.
Here is a collection of some of the most notable articles about the Ripley:
Wired says, “The Ripley could be the perfect companion if you like long days in the saddle, pushing yourself to the limit and riding a steed with phenomenal pedigree.”
BikeRumor.com says, “Going with the cartridge bearing system proved to be a wise decision as the weight was reduced, as well as the complexity.”
BikeRadar.com says, “While the mini dw-link suspension design has many benefits. Ibis does not plan to incorporate the technology into its entire full suspension range.”
PinkBike.com says, “Ibis has been working on its Ripley 29er trailbike, reportedly since 2007, when Dave Weagle concocted the idea that he could use eccentric, rotating cams to replace the linkages of his signature anti-squat rear suspension.”
BikeMag.com says, “The Ibis Ripley is a 120-millimeter travel, 29er uber-trail bike. The Ripley is capable of rocking a 140-milimeter fork up front, yet boasts a frame weight of just 5.2 pounds. This is not, however, the bike that Ibis originally planned to build.”