The Ibis Ripley offers a nimble and playful ride with razor-sharp handling. Downhill skills are precise allowing riders to change direction in a hurry. Playful antics are highly encouraged and riders are inspired to slice and dice their way through technical sections. Cornering this fluorescent fun-wagon provides the overused, but extremely relevant, doesn't feel like a 29er sensation. Climbing abilities are respectable, but we expected a little more efficiency from a 120mm bike. This zippy bicycle features a dialed frame and suspension design but is outfitted with a few sub-par components. Regardless of the lack of braking power and drivetrain quality, the Ripley provides an undeniably high-end ride.
We recommend this bike for a pure, grin-inducing trail bike experience. Intermediate to advanced riders with the skills to finesse through technical sections of trail will especially appreciate the Ripley. The 2.6-inch tires also make it an excellent choice for loose or sandy conditions. The Santa Cruz Tallboy is nearly as fun and a little more stable when straight-lining through chunky sections of trail, but it's not as flat-out playful and is harder to work through tight turns. If you want to attack steep and rowdy terrain regularly, look to the hard-nosed Santa Cruz Hightower. Interested in the same nimble handling as the Ripley in a bigger riding bike with an eye-popping value, check out the dialed 27.5-inch wheeled Canyon Spectral.