If you want a killer bike at a wallet-friendly price, Ibis' Special Blend offers value rarely rivaled in the world of mountain bikes, and the Ripley Special Blend Complete Mountain Bike upholds this tradition. In case you're wondering, it's the same Ripley frame that has had magazine reviewers and fast locals raving since it hit the scene, and it's dressed in a worthy blend of X-Fusion, Shimano, and Stan's NoTubes components. Time to see what all the fuss is about, without having to remortgage your house. When designing the Ripley, Ibis once again handed the suspension design over to Dave Weagle. Yes, the same Dave that brought the DW-Link magic to the Mojo. This time around, though, suspension linkages were the focus of scrutiny, as they are a main contributor to elongated chainstays. Mr. DW had his work cut out for him if he was going to retain the lauded characteristics of his original design in a compact package. What he came up with is a twin-eccentric system that's optimized for 32-34t front chainrings. It provides the same anti-squat pedaling efficiency and active motion that initially crowned Weagle as the suspension guru. While the eccentric pivot system seems complex on the surface, the reality is that the use of angular contact bearings and burly, yet decidedly lightweight, hardware makes it surprisingly simple in execution. The result is a durable system that uses standard bearings for serviceability. It's simple to disassemble and reassemble, with only a minute weight penalty. And while this is the first 29er Ibis, and the first to receive an eccentric suspension design, those aren't the only Ibis-firsts for the Ripley. Its carbon structure is also the first Ibis to use a micro balloon foam core. Forming monocoque carbon fiber structures without voids requires molds, both internal and external. And like the Mojo SL-R, the Ripley uses an internal bladder in order to create a smooth, joint-free layup. But, in tighter areas, where complex shapes are ...