Redefining the 29er.
There was a time when we thought of 29ers as the dominator of XC hot laps and not much else, but with the surging presence of 29ers in the EWS that time has long passed us. Now, defending their 2017 EWS Championship, it's no surprise that designers at Ibis have been crafting up an enduro beast that's rolling on lofty wagon wheels for decimating chunky rock gardens and steeps with ease. After a lengthy development and testing process, the Ripmo GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike was created to gobble up steep, technical lines and spit you out ahead of the game, while maintaining the ability to spin around and power up switchbacks for another lap of chasing adrenaline rushes.
As you probably guessed from its name, the Ripmo is the mashup of the hard-charging Mojo HD4 and the lively handling Ripley. As such, the Ripmo retains the larger 29-inch wheels of the Ripley, but falls more towards the longer, slacked-out end of the spectrum inhabited by the Mojo HD4. Delving into geometry specifics, you'll find the Ripmo has a quite slack 65.9-degree head tube angle paired with a 44-millimeter fork offset that makes it inherently more stable at high speeds.
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 with the stability of a bike with an even slacker head tube angle (they claim it's as stable as bikes with head tubes in the mid 64-degree arena), 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. Well, the newest Ripmo 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 145 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 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 little bit of Ripley, a dash of Mojo HD4, a lot of fun
- Slacked out 29er goemetry offers gravity stability
- Stiff carbon frame keeps weight at a minimum
- 76° seat tube angle keeps front end from washing out
- 145mm of smooth, predictable DW-Link travel (5th gen)
- Lower link pivots with torsionally stiff IGUS bushings
- SRAM GX Eagle for lofty gear range without breaking the bank