Ibis Ripmo – Review

The Ibis Ripmo is the enduro weapon of choice for several Gravitas racers

Reviewed by Colten Jones

The bike:

        This is a 29er enduro bike. The frame is made from carbon fiber and can fit up to 2.6 tires front and rear. The bike runs on 145mm of travel in the back via a DW link with bushings used at the lower links rather than cartridge bearings. Also the Ripmo has 160mm of fork travel with a 44mm reduced off set crown. A steep 76 degree seat tube angle for all sizes above small and a 65.9 degree head tube angle. Some more highlights of the bike build is it has a threaded bottom bracket and a 7 year frame warranty from ibis. It also has an eye catching blue with orange accents (Tangerine Sky) paint job or a more subdued grey/black with dark green accents (Black Olive). Both look really good in my opinion. Tubes molded into the Ripmo’s carbon frame make routing cables absolutely hassle free. This feature is wonderful and saves a bunch of trouble. The Ripmo also has a very short seat tube so people on all sizes can run a longer dropper post than they are probably used to. I am 5’ 11” on a size large and am running a post with 175mm of drop.

Ripmo Setup:

            Like I just said I am 5’ 11” and 142lbs riding a large. I am running 28% sag on the rear shock with a 0.6 volume spacer and 145psi in the fox DPX2. Ibis recommends to run 25% sag, but I find running a bit more sag with a larger volume spacer helps to make the rear end a little more responsive and plush. On the Fox fork I am running 26% sag with two 10cc volume spacers and 53psi. Since the bike came with the new ibis bars that are very easy to experiment with different bar widths I tried running 750mm bars as opposed to 800mm’s wide. The 750mm width is my preferred bar width for this bike. It keeps the bike active and lively feeling and lets you get through or closer to objects more comfortably than with 800mm bars.

Riding the Ripmo:

            Climbing: The Ripmo has one of the lightest frames on the market for an enduro bike. This combined with the very efficient DW link suspension and a steep seat tube angle makes the bike climb like a goat. It is sure footed on the climbs and you almost feel like the bike is propelling you forward, (compared to the very heavy aluminum Trek Remedy I came off of). The longer reach and relatively slack (for sure not the slackest) head angle do make the bike a bit harder to manage on super steep climbs, but you aren’t going to buy this bike to see how fast you can hammer up a steep fire road. As a side note Jefe Branham who won the tour divide race in 2014 rode a Ripmo to a second place finish at the Colorado trail race. If you don’t know what that is, it’s around a 500 mile self-supported race with 70,000 feet of climbing most of which is above 12,00ft of elevation. It’s for the toughest of the tough. Why I mention this is to say you really shouldn’t be worried about how the Ripmo climbs, it will get the job done and well at that.

              Descending: This bike rips. For real it rips. The longer reach on this bike than “traditional” helps significantly to put the rider in a better attack position (ridding position). It is way easier to get the appropriate amount of weight over the front wheel without putting your body in a comprising position over the bars. This translates into a more confident and comfortable bike descending and way more traction in the corners because you are actually able to weight the front tire as you should.  This bike has a pretty long wheel base across all of the sizes, this isn’t something to be intimidated by though. The longer wheel base helps to keep the bike stable through the gnarly stuff and at speed, but some how the bike is still very playful. It loves to jump from one side of the trail to the other and will do whatever you want it to. I think it has something to do with it having one of the lightest frames on the market for an enduro bike and the very supportive DW link suspension design. I will say though the rear end of this bike isn’t quite as compliant as past bikes I have been on. With a suspension design that climbs so well you are going to give up a little bit of compliance descending. However I do not feel like this hinders the fun factor or the speed factor when descending. The bike still feels very stable through gnarly stuff and is a very confident descender. As a testament to how fast this bike is, on my third or fourth ride on the Ripmo I took a Strava KOM that I had tried to get many times before and could never touch it. This bike rips! It should be mentioned that my rear shock is the Fox Float DPX2 currently, I have heard that getting the Fox Float X2 on the Ripmo gives it a more ground hugging and compliant feel. I am anxious to try the X2 on my bike and see how different it is. You can order theRipmo with a X2 already on it, I just wasn’t sure if that is what I wanted to do so I held off initially.  MRP also has their Hazzard coil shock and they are soon to come out with a progressive spring. That could be an option for an aftermarket shock if you want to try a new coil on the Ripmo.

Recap:

              The Ripmo is a great bike that puts you in a great body position for descending and absolutely rips. It climbs very well also, which is a huge asset for where we live and the kind of enduro racing we have here in Arkansas. This bike will not hold you back at all, it will let you realize how fast you can actually go!