Ripmo AF SLX Mountain Bike
Carbon weight weenies may rejoice every time grams are shed, but some of us prefer a little bit of heavy metal. Now, that's not to say that the Ripmo AF is heavy, it still scales in pretty modestly for an alloy bike, but its stable and powerful ride feel may have you guessing that its a bit of a Clydesdale. Ibis' Ripmo AF SLX Mountain Bike builds off of its carbon Ripmo sibling, with slacked out geometry that's as capable as it is willing, but it omits the lightweight carbon for a reliable aluminum build that can take the hard knocks of your shuttle packed afternoons and lift laps. Aside from the alloy construction, the only major difference you'll find between the AF and standard Ripmo is in the head tube, which stretches out a single degree slacker for just a touch of extra confidence when you point it downhill into rock gardens littered with suspension-gobbling boulders.
Like its ritzier carbon sibling, the Ripmo AF continues the trend of mashing together the big-hit craving Mojo HD4 and its livelier cousin, the Ripley. The result is a steed that rolls on 29-inch wagon wheels that soars through technical chunder, but with the longer slacker geometry that crushes steeps with steady confidence. Geometry wise, you'll find that the Ripmo AF sits close to the Ripmo, only stretching out slightly with the head tube that delves deeper to 64.9-degrees from the 65.9-degrees of the Ripmo, which still pairs up with a 44-millimeter offset fork that feels planted and steady at high speeds through rowdy terrain. Ibis chose this custom fork offset to increase the bike's trail, which makes it a bit slower to respond to steering inputs, subsequently making it more stable at the higher speeds you'll experience while enduro racing and aggressively pummeling down steep trails. This way, Ibis was able to design the Ripmo AF with the stability of a bike with an even slacker head tube angle, but without requiring a drastic increase in wheelbase figures, which would compromise its ability to get around hairpin corners and tighter sections of trail.
Another trick that Ibis employs is a steeper seat tube angle of 76 degrees, which shifts your weight forward. This way, you won't feel like the bike's front end inhabits an entirely different zip code while you're climbing and cornering, which is something that's plagued slacked-out enduro rigs since inception. This steeper seat tube angle places you in an optimal position to place power down on climbs, allowing this enduro machine to get back uphill better than its slack geometry and longer travel figures would suggest. And because you're shifted further forward with a steeper seat tube, Ibis compensates with longer reach figures, as to not disturb the bike's stability or roomy cockpit.
If you've been riding on Ibis bikes for a while or even moderately familiar with the brand, you know the DW-Link Suspension sits at the heart and center of all their frame designs. The new Ripmo AF is no different, employing the fifth generation of this much-lauded suspension to maintain high levels of efficiency and excellent small-bump compliance when you're pedaling over chunky terrain with roots and rocks aplenty. You'll find 147 millimeters of DW-Link travel out back for a bit more pedaling efficiency, paired with a longer 160-millimeter fork to soak up bigger hits and rowdy trail sections up front.
Besides being an increasingly slack and longer 29er, the newest Ripmo AF is designed with a host of useful features for the aggressive trail rider and enduro racer. You'll find the clearance to ride massive 2.6-inch tires for an exceedingly plush feel with gobs of traction, internal cable tunnels for easier maintenance and routing, clearance for a full-size bottle with a piggyback shock, and the ability to run a 175-millimeter dropper post on medium through extra-large frames (small works with 150-millimeter droppers). Additionally, Ibis overhauled their lower link pivots with IGUS bushings, seeing these pivots experience higher loads with minimal rotation, two areas where bushings are better suited than ball bearings. And in case you're wondering about the longevity of these new bushings, Ibis backs them up with a lifetime replacement policy, no questions asked.
- A party-lap machine that's stable, capable, and willing
- Extra slack, long, and low geo keeps things stable at speed
- Alloy frame construction keeps price pocket-friendly and reliable
- 76° seat tube angle improves pedaling and climbing efficiency
- 147mm of smooth and efficient DW-Link travel
- Lower link pivots rotate on torsionally stiff IGUS bushings
- New Shimano SLX 12-speed provides plenty of gears for punchy climbs
- DVO suspension package eats up rocks and rubble so you can charge hard