Got about 10 rides on my ripley now and thought Id put a report up since Im very happy with the way the bike is working out
Setup - Medium X01 34 talas, low rise bars, stem reversed and slammed on HT, 20mm of bar cut off, 28T chainring, swapped XTs out for X0 trails, fork lowered to 110/130, 2.2 nevegal and 2.3 ground controls GRID, 28.4 at LBS with xt trails and grips etc.
First off the bike doesnt creak its super silient Im running the cables externally, and with the cable dice have some mastic tape on where the dropper cable touches HT and ST, and a little more on CS and under seat stay, along with lizard skin. Theres a little chain slap (not on carbon tho) when in the low gears, but the bike doesnt creak, and I was worried about this before I pulled the trigger.
My other trail bike is a spesh endure with a 75 degree ST, so the only I dont like about DW bikes is the 73 degree seat tubes, I like the feeling of being over the BB when pedaling so I have the seat moved forward (maxed out) and dropped the fork to 110/130, since the 34mm fox has a 12mm higher A2C, Im essentially at the same geo as a 120mm 32 fork. 140mm just seemed too high and I can rail the bike in 120 mode anyways, so its a all around benefit (climbing (steeper), trail riding (quicker), decending (lower BB), and the 20mm of drop seems to be just fine.
I come from learning how to ride DH first, and slowly (over 8 years) learning how to ride trail bikes with less and less travel. This is my first 29er and probably 10th trail bike I demoed this bike on Toads and was able to clean the rock garden completely for the first time ever (setup with a 120 32 fork), and being that this bike was going to be my trail light (have an enduro and DH bike still) I knew that it going to be more than capable enough on the downhills, so I decided to put the brakes and tires I like and keep it light with the 1x.
Some observations bike never feels like it wants to send me OTB, Im able to weight the front end properly and drop into turns. The WB is 2 inches shorter than my long enduro so its super responsive and nimbly even for a 29er. Doesnt wheelie and lift the front wheel as easy, but thats expected with an inch longer CS. Im faster on any decent that has any pedaling. Im only slower in the chattery and loose stuff because the tires have smaller knobs and the travel is light and I get bounced around a little more but everything else which is 90% of going down Im just as fast as my mini sled setup. Trail pedaling and flat trail riding, climbing Im about 12% faster on all my climbs and less fatigued.
Its such a fun bike grin is pinned ear to ear every time the trail gets fun. Of course, the usual DW attributes are there pedals great and small bump while pedaling is great the 28t seems to have a little more bob due to the bike being designed around a 32t chainring but thats about it I just changed the trail setting to 3 and it rides like the other ibis bikes with normal ring sizes. Did that gearing for the high country riding that is opening up soon.