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Ibis Ripmo GX 2018 Review

An aggressive 29er with geometry to get rad while retaining a sporty and nimble feel
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $5,099 List | $5,099.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Pros:  Excellent climber, aggressive geometry, rim/tire combination
Cons:  Expensive, big impacts are less supportive, handlebars have too much backsweep
Manufacturer:   Ibis Cycles
By Pat Donahue, Joshua Hutchens, Paul Tindal  ⋅  Jun 14, 2018
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86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 22
  • Fun Factor - 25% 9
  • Downhill Performance - 35% 9
  • Climbing Performance - 35% 8
  • Ease of Maintenance - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The Ibis Ripmo is a capable, long-travel, 29er with a sporty and athletic feel. With 145mm of DW-Link suspension, aggressive angles, and a relatively sporty feel, this bike is comfortable attacking an enduro race track or grinding uphill on backcountry singletrack. Three testers spent one month charging this wagon-wheeled shredder around the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The Ripmo is a fantastic aggressive trail/light enduro bike that retains a lively and nimble feel. This bicycle climbs remarkably well thanks to an incredibly steep seat tube angle, loads of traction, and an efficient pedal platform. The feisty combination of a 160mm Fox 36 and 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF ensures confidence when rolling into a dose of gnar. At high speeds, the Ripmo offers excellent stability and a planted feel. Our GX Eagle test bike retails for $5099 and has some desirable components along with some weak ones. High-end performance can command a high price tag. It is easy to call the Ripmo a solid value.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Ibis Ripmo GX 2018
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award  
Price $5,099.00 at Competitive Cyclist$7,199 List$8,299 List$4,899 List$5,199.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Excellent climber, aggressive geometry, rim/tire combinationExcellent climbing abilities, impressive downhill performance, high fun factor, tremendous build kitVery stable at speed, hard charging, amazing build, supportive pedal platform, great deep stroke supportLightweight, playful, well-rounded, modern geometry, solid component specificationExcellent downhill performance, re-worked suspension layout pays dividends, respectable climber
Cons Expensive, big impacts are less supportive, handlebars have too much backsweepExpensive, pivots came loose a few times during testingBuild tested is expensive, somewhat less maneuverable than previous version, can feel sluggish at lower speedsNot a brawler, Fox 34 fork can be overwhelmedToo long to be playful, no climb switch on RockShox Super Deluxe
Bottom Line An aggressive 29er with geometry to get rad while retaining a sporty and nimble feelA fantastic trail bike that blends superb climbing abilities with fun and well-rounded downhill performance.The recently updated Santa Cruz Hightower is longer, slacker, and harder charging than ever.We loved the old version, but believe it or not, the new Ibis Ripley is even better.The Bronson is a ripping descender that is still capable of significant amounts of climbing.
Rating Categories Ibis Ripmo GX Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 Santa Cruz Hightower CC XO1 Ibis Ripley GX Eagle Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon S
Fun Factor (25%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Downhill Performance (35%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
Climbing Performance (35%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Ease Of Maintenance (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
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6
Specs Ibis Ripmo GX Yeti SB130 TURQ X01 Santa Cruz... Ibis Ripley GX Eagle Santa Cruz Bronson...
Wheel size 29" 29" 29" 29" 27.5"
Suspension & Travel DW-Link - 145mm Switch Infinity - 130mm Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) - 140mm DW-Link - 120mm Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) - 150mm
Measured Weight (w/o pedals) 29 lbs 7 oz (Large) 29 lbs 9 oz (Large) 29 lbs 13 oz (Large) 28 lbs 14 oz (Large) 30 lbs 13 oz (Large)
Fork Fox 36 Performance - 160mm, 36mm stanchions Fox 36 Factory - 150mm 36mm stanchions RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 150mm Fox Float 34 Performance 130mm 34mm stanchions RockShox Lyrik Select+ 160mm
Shock Fox DPX2 Performance Elite Fox DPX2 Factory RockShox Super Deluxe Select Ultimate Fox Float Performance DPS EVOL RockShox Super Deluxe Select+
Frame Material Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber "TURQ" Carbon Fiber "CC" Carbon Fiber Carbon Fiber "C"
Frame Size Large Large Large Large Large
Frame Settings N/A N/A Flip Chip N/A Flip Chip
Available Sizes S-XL S-XL S-XXL S-XL XS-XL
Wheelset Ibis 938 Aluminum Rims 34mm ID w/ Ibis Hubs DT Swiss M1700, 30mm ID w/ DT Swiss 350 hub Santa Cruz Reserve 30 Carbon Rims w/ DT 350 hubs Ibis 938 Aluminum Rims 34mm ID w/ Ibis Hubs Race Face AR Offset 30 with DT 370 hubs
Front Tire Maxxis Minion DHF WT 29 x 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF WT 29 x 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C EXO TR 2.4" Schwable Hans Dampf 2.6" Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 2.5"
Rear Tire Maxxis Aggressor WT 29 x 2.5" Maxxis Aggressor 29 x 2.3 Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C EXO TR 2.4" Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6" Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR 2.4"
Shifters SRAM GX Eagle SRAM XO Eagle SRAM XO1 Eagle SRAM GX Eagle SRAM GX Eagle
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle 12-Speed SRAM X0 Eagle SRAM XO1 Eagle SRAM GX Eagle SRAM GX Eagle
Crankset SRAM Descendant 30t SRAM X0 Eagle Carbon 30T SRAM X1 Eagle DUB 170mm(size Large) 30T SRAM Descendant Alloy 32T SRAM Stylo 7K 148 DUB 175mm 32T
Saddle WTB Silverado WTB Volt WTB Silverado Team WTB Silverado 142mm WTB Silverado Pro
Seatpost KS LEV-SI-150mm Fox Transfer 150mm RockShox Reverb Stealth Bike Yoke Revive 160mm RockShox Reverb Stealth 170mm
Handlebar Ibis Aluminum Bar - 780mm Yeti Carbon - 780mm Santa Cruz AM Carbon - 800mm Ibis 780mm Alloy Race Face Aeffect R 780mm
Stem Ibis 3D Forged Stem 50mm w/ 31.8mm Clamp RaceFace Aeffect R 35 Race Face Aeffect R 50mm Ibis 31.8mm 50mm Race Face Aeffect R 50mm
Brakes Shimano Deore XT Shimano XT M8000 SRAM Code RSC Shimano Deore 2 Piston SRAM Code R
Measured Effective Top Tube (mm) 628 628 619 625 625
Measured Reach (mm) 473 477 470 475 460
Measured Head Tube Angle 65.8-degrees 65.1-degrees 65.55-degrees H / 65.25-degrees L 66.5-degrees 65.3-degrees H / 65.0-degrees L
Measured Seat Tube Angle 76.1-degrees 76.8-degrees 76.8-degrees H / 76.3-degrees L 76.2-degrees 75.1-degrees H / 74.8-degrees L
Measured Bottom Bracket Height (mm) 343 335 340 338 342 H / 339 L
Measured Wheelbase (mm) 1220 1231 1230 1210 1215
Measured Chain Stay Length (mm) 436 438 435 434 432
Warranty Seven Years Lifetime Lifetime Seven Years Lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

Update
The Ripmo remains mostly unchanged for 2019. It now comes with a Bike Yoke Revive dropper seat post and retails for $5,099. Ibis also just released an aluminum-framed version of the Ripmo which they call the Ripmo AF. It is a degree slacker in the head tube and very competitively priced with complete builds ranging in price from $2,999 up to $4,299. September 2019

The Ripmo has a mean front end that exudes confidence.
The Ripmo has a mean front end that exudes confidence.

Should I Buy This Bike?


The Ripmo is a high-end, light enduro/aggressive trail bike. It is an excellent option for the rider who wants aggressive geometry with a sporty design. This bike has a mean attitude in rock gardens and steep trails while retaining an athletic and sporty feel. The combination of hard-charging abilities and a lively, finesse, feel is very difficult to come by. Riders who want long travel capability with mid-travel snappiness, handling, and acceleration will love this bike. The Ripmo is capable of long days in the saddle despite its long wheelbase and burly feel. This bike is an impressively efficient climber and it handles well in tight and technical terrain compared to similar bikes in this travel range. If you're a rider seeking enduro performance while retaining sharp handling and excellent climbing abilities, we think this is one of the best options on the market.

The new Santa Cruz Hightower is another excellent upper mid-travel 29er trail bike. The 2020 redesign has made the Hightower longer, slacker, and much harder charging than the previous versions. It now has a mini-enduro bike feel with outrageous stability at speed and a confident and composed feel when the going gets steep and rough. The Hightower has traded a bit of maneuverability and liveliness for its new more aggressive attitude, and it doesn't feel quite as sporty or quick as the Ripmo at low speeds or in tight sections of trail. We feel the Ripmo is a bit more well-rounded overall, though the Hightower feels a bit more eager to charge the fall-line.

The Yeti SB 130 is another stellar all-around trail bike. It has 130mm of rear-wheel travel paired with a 150mm fork, so it falls more in the mid-travel category when compared to the Ripmo. The Yeti has a modern geometry, an excellent build, and well-rounded and versatile performance similar to the Ripmo. Depending where and how you ride, the SB 130 may make more sense for you. It is fully capable of taking on the same terrain as the Ripmo, though the reduction in travel will likely suit riders who don't frequent gnarly terrain often a little better.

Frame Design


The Ripmo features DW-Link suspension. This is a dual link system with one link located above the bottom bracket and another approximately halfway up the seat tube. Both links rotate in the same direction as the bike moves through its travel. This design offers excellent pedaling efficiency and functions well under braking forces. One downside is questionable small bump compliance.

This bike boasts a clean and minimalist look.
This bike boasts a clean and minimalist look.

Our large Ripmo GX has a measured 628mm effective top tube and 473mm reach. The chainstays measure 436mm and the wheelbase is 1220mm. The head tube angle is 65.8-degrees and the seat tube angle measures a steep 76.1-degrees. The bike hit the scales at an impressive 29 lbs 7 oz without pedals or tubes.

We highly recommend sitting on this bike before pulling the trigger. The reach numbers are generous but the steep seat tube angle makes the cockpit feel tighter than the reach number suggests. In addition, the short seat tube makes setting saddle height difficult. Our 6'2" tester had the post raised to the minimum insertion point to find a comfortable pedaling height.

Design Highlights

  • 29-inch wheels only
  • 145mm of rear-wheel travel
  • Designed around 160mm fork
  • Features a reduced offset fork
  • Clearance for up to 2.6-inch tires
  • Frame only for $2999
  • Build kits ranging from $4,199 to $9,299

No matter how loose or dusty the trail  this bike tracks well.
No matter how loose or dusty the trail, this bike tracks well.

Downhill Performance


The Ripmo is a confident descender that lives for high speeds and offers excellent stability. This sleek shredder has the angles and attitude to inspire riders to feed it down gnarly and steep terrain. Cornering abilities are excellent and the sporty rear end provides a lively ride.

The Ripmo has a sporty and responsive rear end. The DW-Link suspension is effective and supportive and remains very athletic. This is not the kind of bike that has a pillowy and bottomless feel. The 145mm of suspension is a little tighter and firmer compared to some longer travel enduro bikes such as the Evil Insurgent, Santa Cruz Nomad, or Commencal Meta AM. This creates a more responsive and nimble feel. It is easy to load the rear end up and hop in and out of rock gardens or to get a little playful. The front end is mean and capable. Take an ultra-aggressive Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 WT and pair it with a burly 160mm Fox 36 fork. The result is an extremely confident front end that inspires riders to attack aggressive or steep lines.

The Ripmo offers excellent stability at speed.
The Ripmo offers excellent stability at speed.

This bike was impressive motoring through chatter and chunder. The bike remains in control and impressively quiet. It was relatively easy to find shock pressures and rebound settings that worked well on the Fox DPX2. Steeper terrain doesn't deter the Ripmo and riders should be confident rolling into any chute. Larger impacts were less composed. This is by no means a debilitating flaw, but bigger hits have the ability to shake the confidence of the Ripmo. The Hightower has far better deep stroke support.

This bike operates well with a dose of speed. The long geometry paired with the feisty tires instills confidence. High-speed cornering abilities are extremely impressive. Even on loose and sandy corners, the 2.5-inch Minion DHF WT pulls the bike through. No matter the trail surface, the Ripmo rails corners. Given the width of these tires, testers ran pressures as low as 21-22 PSI. The 34mm Ibis hubs provide an excellent footprint. Traction was fantastic over everything from loose, sandy trails to off-camber roots and rocks. Despite the mean front end and 1220mm wheelbase, negotiating tight downhill turns is easy.

Slow speed handling is solid despite the slack front end.
Slow speed handling is solid despite the slack front end.

The Ripmo is a relatively user-friendly bike. This bike doesn't fall into the same category of super-enduro bikes like the Santa Cruz Nomad that requires a super aggressive pilot or mach speeds. Anyone can enjoy this bike and it doesn't require huge amounts of body language or muscle to slap it into turns or maneuver over obstacles. There is no denying the Ripmo feels better and better at high speeds, but it isn't a requirement. Two testers noted that the Ibis branded bars have a large 9-degree back sweep and provide a disconcerting, twitchy, feel.

This bike inspires you to just point it down some gnar.
This bike inspires you to just point it down some gnar.

The 160mm Fox 36 Performance fork is confident. The Performance model comes with a GRIP damper as opposed to the more adjustable GRIP2 damper or Fit4 found on higher-end Fox 36 models. This fork worked well enough on this bike and provided a stiff and supportive feel. The 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF WT front tire is a tremendous specification as it only adds to the already confident front end. The fast-rolling Maxxis Aggressor 2.5-inch rear tire rolls fast while still offering sufficient braking bite. A few components that stood out as weak on the descent were the Shimano Deore brakes and the Ibis handlebars. The Deore brakes simply weren't powerful enough to confidently shut down the speed that the Ripmo craves.

The Ripmo is a very impressive climber in or out of the saddle.
The Ripmo is a very impressive climber in or out of the saddle.

Climbing Performance


The Ripmo is a stellar climber. This burly bicycle has a pleasantly calm and firm pedal platform that doesn't sacrifice traction. The frame geometry is excellent for putting the power down and retains reasonable handling despite its slack front end. The component grouping works very well on the inevitable uphill grind.

This bike has a steep 76.1-degree seat tube angle that puts rider smack dab on top of the cranks. Typically, the more aggressive bikes have slacker seat tube angles which position the rider slightly behind the cranks and is detrimental to power transfer. The Ripmo puts you in a great place to maximize power transfer. The front end of the bike is big and slack but doesn't seem to negatively affect the climbing position. The 343mm bottom bracket height helps this bike cleanly crawl over rocks and roots and largely avoids pedal strikes.

Climbing traction is exceptional thanks to a solid pedal platform and wide rim/tire combination.
Climbing traction is exceptional thanks to a solid pedal platform and wide rim/tire combination.

On the ascent, the Ripmo works quite well with the shock wide open. In or out of the saddle, the bike is reasonably calm and resists bobbing. Anti-squat is a technical design term to describe how a bike resists pedal bob or bouncing. High anti-squat numbers are nice but can sometimes be detrimental to climbing traction. A prime example of this is how the Yeti SB5.5 has less anti-squat and a more active suspension design. The Yeti provides great climbing traction over technical terrain. The Santa Cruz Hightower has much more anti-squat, and while it is an efficient pedaller, traction can suffer on technical climbs. The Ripmo splits the difference and blends a very efficient pedal platform with excellent traction. It should not be overlooked that some of this is likely due to the wide tire/rim combination and lower tire pressures.

Navigating uphill rock gardens is reasonably confident and easy. Given the slack geometry and relatively shorter 436mm chainstays, the front wheel can lift and wander on steeper pitches. As with most enduro/aggressive trail bikes, tight uphill switchbacks can require some attention. A clean and crafty entry goes a long way.

Working through tight spaces can be tricky  but a well laid-out gameplan goes a long way.
Working through tight spaces can be tricky, but a well laid-out gameplan goes a long way.

The component grouping on our GX Ripmo worked well on the climb. The GX Eagle drivetrain is always a favorite. A light, 30:50-tooth, climbing gear offers an airy and relaxing bailout gear on long climbs or epic days. The Ibis 938 rims feature a 34mm inner diameter and create an excellent footprint. The Maxxis Minion DHF and Aggressor 2.5-inch tires are no featherweights coming in over 1000 grams each. We feel it is worth pushing some extra weight for the added downhill performance. Weight weenies could consider some narrower rubber to help create a lighter feel.

Photo Tour


The Fox 36 Performance forked worked well despite lacking some of the adjustment of higher-end options.
The Fox DPX2 shock is a solid performer.
The KS Lev SI dropper post was mediocre at best.
When the seat is raised for our taller riders  the dropper cable can get restricted by the head tube when turning hard.
The 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF WT lends itself to fantastic front-end confidence.
The Maxxis Aggressor rear tire rolls fast but still offers solid braking bite.

Value


Our Ripmo GX retails for $5,099 with a build kit that features the typical highlights and lowlights. Given the fantastic on-trail performance, it is easy to call this bike a strong value. Yes, you can find a bike with similar geometry travel numbers at a lower price, but the Ripmo offers truly high-end performance with a dialed suspension design. The cost of entry is lofty, but for riders seeking top-notch performance, the Ripmo should be on your shortlist.

Hop aboard the Ripmo and start pinning.
Hop aboard the Ripmo and start pinning.

Conclusion


Ibis took a sporty and athletic approach with their entry into the popular long-travel 29er category. The Ripmo has all of the aggressive angles to attack an enduro race course while retaining a snappy and sharp-handling personality. We love it. If you're searching for a capable daily driver that retains impressive climbing abilities, the Ripmo is worth a look.


Pat Donahue, Joshua Hutchens, Paul Tindal