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Ibis Ripley Review: Best Short Travel Bike of 2021

Best Short Travel Bike of 2021

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.87 lbs

Price: $4,199

What We Like: Upgraded rear suspension

What We Don’t: Bottom bracket has had some issues

You’ll be able to ride to your limits with confidence on the new Ibis Ripley. It is upgraded and ready to help you set some new PR’s on your backyard trails. Still super fast on the climbs, the new geo has added some forgiveness but keeps all the wheels on the ground during a steep climb and may have you trying climbs you used to ignore. A longer wheelbase has added a sense of security for your descents. Whereas the old Ripley would have gotten squirrely, the new version minds its manners and handles the cornering efficiently. It was easy to choose the Ibis Ripley as our Best Short Travel Bike of 2021.

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The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Buy Now at Ibiscycles.com

  • Climbing Ability 90% 90%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension

Cons

Bottom Bracket Has Had Some Issues

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 475mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.87 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 100% 100%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Downhill Ability

Cons

A Bit Heavy

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 76.2

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.63 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

Budget All Day Rider

Cons

It Is Heavy

Travel: 125mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.6

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 32.25 lbs (aluminum frame)

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  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Downhill Prowess

Cons

Seat Angle Could Be Steeper

Travel: 115mm rear/120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.5

Seat Tube Angle: 75.3

Reach: 473mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.23 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

App To Dial In Custom Suspension Settings

Cons

Slow On Climbs

Travel: 125mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 65

Seat Tube Angle: 76

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 30.2 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

DELTA Link Rear Suspension

Cons

Expensive Build Options

Travel: 120mm rear/ 130 or 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.9

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.3 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
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Pros

New Rear Linkage

Cons

Not Different Enough From The Yeti SB100

Travel: 115mm rear/ 130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 67.6

Seat Tube Angle: 74

Reach: 450mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.63 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Down Tube Storage

Cons

Suspension Sag While Climbing

Travel: 130mm rear/ 140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 28.94 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 80% 80%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 80% 80%

Pros

Upgraded Rear Suspension, Customized Colour Options

Cons

Left Hand Only Water Bottle Access

Travel: 140mm rear/ 140 or 150mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 77

Reach: 474mm (large frame)

Weight: 29.67 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 100% 100%
  • Downhill Ability 70% 70%
  • Overall Fun 70% 70%

Pros

Super Lightweight

Cons

Knock Block in Headset

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 68

Seat Tube Angle: 75

Reach: 470mm (large frame)

Weight: 26.08 lbs

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  • Climbing Ability 70% 70%
  • Downhill Ability 80% 80%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

High Quality Components

Cons

Heavy

Travel: 115mm rear/ 120-140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66

Seat Tube Angle: 76.6

Reach: 470mm

Weight: 31.97 lbs (aluminum frame)

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  • Downhill Ability 90% 90%
  • Overall Fun 90% 90%

Pros

New Rear Suspension Linkage, SWAT Bottom Bracket Storage

Cons

Price

Travel: 120mm rear/130mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.5

Seat Tube Angle: 74.5

Reach: 480mm (large frame)

Weight: 27.80 lbs

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Pros

High Quality Build Components

Cons

Low Bottom Bracket, Under Bottom Bracket Water Bottle Attachment.

Travel: 120mm rear/140mm fork

Head Tube Angle: 66.1

Seat Tube Angle: 75.5

Reach: 454 (large frame)

Weight: 30.75 lbs

Ibis, named for a bird that flies and is light…duh, has brought the Ripley into the world to accomplish the same things. Be light—check—and fly—(rider dependent but also) check. Right off the top, the flowing top tube and curved lines make the Ripley look smooth but oddly delicate. That is until you saddle the bike, push down on the pedal, and feel your eyes get pulled into the back of your head by the power this bike generates. Set with 120mm rear travel and a 130mm fork, the Ripley wants to go, and at some points, you may just need to hold on. As with most of the bikes on this list, Ibis has made the Ripley “longer, slacker, steeper!” It’s the way the riding world is going, and Ibis is making it work with the Ripley, no questions asked. Read on to find out why the Ibis Ripley is our Best Short Travel Bike of 2021.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

The Bike

As the fourth generation of the Ibis Ripley, long term Ripley fans will know the changes more acutely than other riders, so here are the big differences. The whole frame got a carbon upgrade. As we mentioned earlier, everything got a bit longer, slacker, and steeper! With the head tube a slack 66.5-degrees, the seat tube a steeper 76-degrees, and the reach 475mm (on a large frame, with 25mm changes going up and down the sizing chart).

The rear suspension is still a dw-link bike, but it now runs on the actual links. Ibis states that this reduced the frame weight while adding stiffness to the frame as well.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Climbing

With the short travel in the rear suspension and a new design that is more progressive throughout the travel, the Ibis Ripley is a climbing machine. You might as well call it an elevator! The quick handling is due in part to the 44mm fork offset and a shorter back end. The steeper seat tube makes seated climbing more comfortable and efficient as well.

The geometry helps to keep the front end on the ground while working up some challenging climbs, and you can feel the power you put into the pedal translated into the push of the bike uphill.
Some people do not think it is as good as a climber as the last versions of the Ripley, but that being said, it may appeal to more riders as they traded climbing prowess to improve the descending capabilities.
The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

Downhill

Now with the new and improved “longer slacker steeper” geo, this bike is going to keep you confident while allowing you to pick your way through rougher or loose corners at speeds you did not think possible on a 120mm travel bike.

With the longer reach and more advanced suspension, the Ripley feels solid and stable while you pick your way through descents. What may be a one-line-only section for some other trail bikes seems to be a choose-your-own-adventure on the Ripley. Ibis has approved the Ripley for a 140mm fork as well if you find you’re hitting the downhills more than the uphills; it just may tamper with the climbing efficiency.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

The two-piston brakes that come on all of the builds on the Ripley may be a bit soft depending on your riding style so just be warned that they could use an upgrade if you’re hitting long descents.

Build Options

The bike world just seems better than most when you read the color options that some of these rides come with. You can go with Matt Braaap or Blue Steel depending on your flavor, and who doesn’t want to picture Ben Stiller’s face every time they saddle up to ride?

For the frame only, the cost is $2833 with the highest non-wireless build price going up to $5799 for the Shimano XT build up. Along the way is the Deore build ($4199), the Shimano SLX build ($5099), and the GX build ($5399).

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

If you just got that promotion at work and are looking to spend some money, the XX1 AXS (wireless build) will set you back a noticeable $10,899, but I mean, wireless, cool.

On their website, you can also choose to upgrade certain areas of the bike, like the wheels and hubs, tires, and fork to name some of the options. This will help you dial in that perfect build for hitting the trails and setting PRs on the local track.

The Bottom Line

Built more modern than any of its predecessors the Ripley has become far more capable than any of the Ripley’s of the past. The updated geo has kept its climbing prowess while adding confidence to the downhill. The upgraded rear suspension keeps power in the pedal when you need it and a progressive curve on the ups and downs while charging on the local trails. This poppy rocketship called the Ibis Ripley was an easy choice as our Best Short Travel Bike of 2021.

People like the Ripley, from other reviews online to people on the trail. The Ripley has a high standard to maintain, and they have not let people down with V4. The poppy and playful nature of the lightweight frame is not lost on riders who were used to being able to manual little bumps and are now finding themselves just sailing over them.

With a 7 year warranty, you’ll be able to trust this bike until “modern geo” standards change again, and we’re all riding on bikes with 5-meter chainstays and 42-degree head tubes looking like Fred Flintstone on his way to work.

The Best Short Travel Mountain Bikes: Ibis Ripley - Gear Hacker

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!