IBIS Ripley AF Mountain Bike Review: All the Fun for Half the Price

The IBIS Ripley is a well-respected and almost universally loved short-travel trail bike.

For years, the short rear triangle and DW-link rear suspension with a long and slack front end have delivered a playful ride — a mix of stability and agility that has mesmerized riders since 2013.

In 2021, IBIS launched the Ripley AF, the aluminum-framed cousin of the Ripley. The big play was the price.

A current Shimano Deore outfitted Ripley AF complete bike retails for $3799, nearly the same price as the carbon Ripley frame alone ($3,499). So comparably, the Ripley AF is quite the deal.

But what about the performance? Does it do the IBIS Ripley and DW-link names justice?

In short, the Ripley AF delivers its much costlier cousin’s pedaling efficiency and suspension performance. The tradeoffs are minimal compared to the cost savings. It is one of the best deals for a trail bike with proven DNA.

First, the Suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF shock

Rear Suspension

DW-link rear suspension has impressed me every time. The resistance to power-robbing suspension bobbing while seated has always been stellar, and it was the same happy story on the Ripley AF.

Whether churning a big gear on the flats or grinding the lowest gears on steep and rocky climbs, the DW-link provided a stable platform and put the most power into the rear tire. And this was with the shock left wide open. I never remembered once to change it. That’s how good the DW-link was for seated pedaling.

2022 IBIS Ripley AF DW–link
(Photo/Seiji Ishii)

Stomping while standing elicited much of the same wonderment, but there was some bobbing. If I knew I had to stand a lot over a long period, I would consider switching the shock setting to a stiffer mode.

On the descents, both fast and flowy, and slow and chunky, the DW-link kinematics, Fox Performance Series Float DPS, and resultant 120mm of travel let me bomb down without hesitation or worry.

With the recommended 25% sag, I could tackle most intermediate lines at the bike park without any surprises. The rear end was predictable and never slowed me down. And again, this was with the shock wide open.

Front Suspension

2022 IBIS Ripley AF suspension fork
(Photo/Seiji Ishii)

The Fox Performance Series Float 34 fork with 130mm of travel was a great match. Again, at the recommended 25% sag, I didn’t feel anything annoying while climbing and attacked descents with abandon.

Surprisingly, with both ends left wide open, I never once bottomed the shock or fork out, try as I might. I routinely bottom 130mm forks out on specific jump faces or drops, and it never happened once on the Ripley AF. This speaks to the progressive nature of the suspension when it’s near the end of travel.

Overall, I had zero complaints about the suspension on the IBIS Ripley AF. The balanced climbing and descending performance made it a super-fun bike.

And the grin factor increased with speeds; I

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