Ibis is the latest company to join the long-travel 29er movement. The Ripmo sports a 160mm fork with 145mm of dw-link suspension in a package that seeks to be capable without feeling unwieldy.
Ibis Ripmo highlights
- 145mm travel via dw-link suspension
- Designed around a 160mm fork
- Room for a water bottle
- 73mm threaded bottom bracket
- Full carbon tube internal routing
- 1x specific frame design
A long time coming
This long-travel 29er was a long time in the making. Ibis began sketching out the Ripmo soon after the company introduced the original Ripley in 2012.
So what took so long? In a word: standards. According to Ibis, the endless cycle of component standard revisions that has disrupted the cycling industry sucked up all of the company’s resources.
Though Ibis was keenly aware of the benefits of big wheels on trail bikes, keeping up with 27.5, 27.5+ and Boost spacing delayed the Ripmo’s development.
Staying up to speed with geometry trends was another issue for this small company. In fact, Ibis retooled the carbon mold after testing some of the most progressive bikes on the market. "Essentially, the large became the medium and so on," Ibis marketing manager Saris Mercanti noted.
Ibis Ripmo design details
The Ripmo borrows elements from the HD4 in a 29-inch package. The arrangement of the dw-link suspension and clevis mimic the longer-travel HD4 and serve up 145mm of rear wheel travel.
The front triangle has similar shock placement to the HD4, minus the carbon brace dividing the front triangle. The Ripmo uses a removable plate for compatibility with ISCG-05 chain guides. There's also plenty of space in the low-slung frame for a water bottle while running a piggy-back shock. Nice job, Ibis.
No word from Ibis as to the possibility of a version of the “Porkchop” frame bag for the Ripmo. It’s a very clean way to carry gear, so I’m holding out hope.
Like Ibis’s other full suspension models, the Ripmo stays the course with a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. It’s the first Ibis bike to feature full carbon tube-in-tube cable routing, which should make shift cable/housing and brake line replacement nearly painless.
Unlike some of the latest crop of heavy-hitting 29ers, the Ripmo sticks with 148x12mm thru-axle spacing, rather than the 157x12mm “Super Boost” standard that appears to be gaining steam.
The proven and the progressive
In terms of geometry, the Ripmo doesn’t live at the bleeding edge of long and slack. The 76-degree seat tube angle and long reach numbers across the four frame sizes are progressive, though the 66-degree head tube angle is steeper than other bikes of the breed, such as the Transition Sentinel, though is more on-trend than the Santa Cruz Hightower LT and Yeti SB5.5.
Much like component standards, long-travel 29er geometry is a rapidly moving target. Ibis has done a good job of balancing the proven with the progressive.
As a complete package, the Ripmo is an incredibly sorted machine. The seating position is excellent for tackling technical climbs. Steering is precise with no wandering, making it easy to ascend tight switchbacks.
But enough with the uphill acclaim, the Ripmo was designed to go downhill fast.
According to Ibis, some of the company's enduro racers tested the Ripmo against the HD4 on a two-mile test course and consistently finished 8–10 seconds faster on this 29er.
After getting acquainted with the Ripmo over the course of a few rides, this is easy to believe. Ibis chose to equip the Ripmo with shorter, 44mm offset forks, which make it more capable at high speeds.
Not only is it quick, it’s also very maneuverable. One factor in the Ripmo’s agility is the frame’s impressive standover clearance. My size medium test frame has a seat tube length of just 14.5in / 36.8cm.
Additionally, riders of almost any stature can run long-stroke dropper seatposts. Case in point: with my saddle height of 71cm, I'm able to run a 175mm dropper with room to spare.
Long droppers and low standover are a match made for carving deep through corners and tossing the Ripmo quickly through switchback turns.
Ibis Ripmo pricing and availability
- Complete bike price range: £4,099–£8,449 / $4,099–$10,699
- Frame pricing: £2,999 / $2,999
- Available: Now
Ibis Ripmo early verdict
It’s still early days testing the Ripmo, but nearly all my initial impressions of the Ripmo are favorable. Ibis paid attention to essential frame details and did its due diligence in keeping pace with evolving geometry trends to produce a long-travel 29er that's fast, balanced and fun.