Ripmo NX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
29er enduro sleds have become more and more common on the EWS circuit as riders take advantage of the speed and obstacle rollover benefits of the larger wheels, along with the changes in geometry that have made these machines more versatile than ever. The Ripmo NX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike represents Ibis's foray into the long-travel 29er market, and as the name implies, it's the mash up between the lively handling of the Ripley and the straight-line rock garden smashing abilities of the Mojo HD4. The result is a bike that delivers confidence and stability on technical descents and high speeds, but with a lightweight, nimble feel that is eager to climb back to the top of the mountain for more.
With the Ripmo, Ibis wanted to push the limits of geometry. They made the bike notably long and slack to increase the bike's downhill prowess, but without compromising the ability to navigate tight sections of singletrack with fluidity. This is accomplished by a combination of a slack head angle and long reach, paired with a short offset fork and a steep seat tube angle. The 65.9-degree head tube angle is quite slack, but by using a shorter 44mm offset fork to increase the bike's trail measurement, the Ripmo responds a bit more slowly to steering inputs, making it even more stable at the higher speeds experienced while racing enduro or charging down steep trails. Ibis claims the shorter offset fork makes the bike feel as stable as bikes in the 64.5-degree head tube angle range, without requiring a drastic increase in wheelbase figures that could compromise the bike's ability to get around tight switchbacks and hairpin corners.
Another geometry trick that Ibis employs is a steep seat tube angle of 76 degrees, which shifts your weight forward on the bike for more control, while lowering the risk of the front end washing out. It also ensures the front end doesn't wander too much on steep climbs, and it puts you in a better position for cornering with precision, something that slacked-out enduro rigs have historically had issues with. With this steeper seat tube angle, you're in an optimal position to put down power on the climbs, allowing the Ripmo to move uphill much better than the slack geometry and long travel would suggest. Because your weight is shifted forward on the bike, Ibis compensates with longer reach figures as to not disturb the bike's stability or roomy cockpit.
The Ripmo uses Ibis's proven DW-Link suspension to deliver 145mm of rear travel, paired with a 160mm fork up front. Now in its 5th generation, DW-Link is more refined than ever, bringing high levels of efficiency while pedaling, as well as excellent small-bump compliance to smooth out chattery trails. DW-Link also does well soaking up square-edge hits and larger impacts, helping you float over chunky terrain with confidence and composure. When it comes to climbing, the system provides plenty of position-sensitive anti-squat, giving you a firm pedaling platform to rocket up steep climbs with minimal energy loss due to suspension squat under acceleration.
In addition to the dialed geometry and refined suspension, the Ripmo has a slew of other useful features for the aggressive trail rider and enduro racer. The frame allows clearance for up to 2.6in wide rubber, letting you run lower tire pressures for an extra plush feel with loads of traction. The frame also clears a full-size water bottle even with the piggyback rear shock, which may sound trivial but it's something other brands still haven't figured out yet. The frame has a short standover and seat tube, giving you the ability to run a 175mm dropper on the medium through extra-large frame sizes, with the small frame able to clear up to 150mm droppers. Now you can lower your center of gravity more than ever for technical descents. Ibis also incorporates full-length internal cable tunnels, simplifying maintenance because the housing slides right through the tunnels without the annoyance of fishing for it inside the frame. Lastly, Ibis overhauled the lower link with IGUS bushings instead of pivot bearings. The reasoning behind this is that the lower pivot experiences higher loads with less rotation, two situations where bushings hold up better than ball bearings while also delivering more torsional stiffness. If you're concerned about the longevity of the bushings, Ibis backs them up with a no-questions-asked lifetime replacement policy.
- Part Ripley, part Mojo HD4, impressive capability, and a lot of fun
- Long, slack 29er inspires confidence on fast, technical singletrack
- Short offset fork improves stability without increasing wheelbase
- Steep seat tube improves position for climbing and cornering
- 145mm of smooth, efficient DW-link travel (5th generation)
- Lower link pivots use IGUS bushings for torsional stiffness
- Stiff carbon frame keeps weight to a minimum
- SRAM NX Eagle provides a wide gear range with 50t bailout gear