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Brutalize the mountain.
It's no secret that 29-inch wheels are making appearances at the highest levels of enduro and downhill racing, due to these bigger wheels holding lines at higher speeds and steamrolling chunky terrain with uncanny ease. Realizing this, Ibis set out to create a big-wheeled brawler to defend their 2017 EWS Championship, seeing much of the competition is now racing on 29ers. After a lengthy development and testing process, the Ripmo XO1 Eagle 942 Complete Mountain Bike was perfected to devour the steepest, gnarliest lines on technical enduro courses and your favorite mountain pass, but without inhibiting its ability to pedal back up for another grin-inducing lap.
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. This particular build is upgraded with the Fox X2 Shock, which provides a more linear damping profile for a smooth and supple feel over rough terrain where you'd normally struggle to maintain traction.
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, 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.
- 29er enduro rig is a mashup of the Mojo HD4 and Ripley
- Pushing the limits of long, slacked-out 29er geometry
- Light, stiff carbon frame comes in at 6lbs with shock
- 65.9° head tube angle + 44mm fork offset for stability
- 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
- Upgraded with Ibis 942 Carbon Wheels and Fox X2 Shock
- Item #IBS004R
- Q & A
Ripmo does it all
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I was looking for one bike to do it all, and I must say this bike comes pretty darn close. I now have about 10 weeks of riding on it, primarily bike park, but plenty of mellow and chunky XC. I love it so far. I only made a couple minor mods, 203 rotor up front and swapped to the new 4 piston XT rear brake since my brakes get abuse at Angel Fire bike park. I also had to upgrade to the “Double Down” casing Maxxis Aggressor tire in the rear following a sidewall cut in the first two weeks, no problems since.
It feels like a big bike but it somehow still manages to feel nimble, even with steep uphill switchbacks. I'm 6' and the Large seems to fit well. It’s fairly svelte, but it’s no XC race bike, and although it climbs well I’m huffing a bit more on familiar ups. Cockpit is comfortable, and reach is long but comparable to other long travel 29ers out there. I looked for a Jeff Kendall-Weed manual button in the cockpit but mine must not have been equipped with one. His Ripmo sure seems like it's on one wheel more than two.
Although it was spec’d with an RC2 fork, I was pleasantly surprised that mine arrived with the latest 2019 Grip2 fork. It didn’t take too much adjustment to get it right, although Fox documentation was scarce on their site because it was so hot off the press. I thought I would miss the quick lock out but if you’re rocking a 36 up front, bob when climbing probably isn’t an issue anyway and I don’t miss lock out. The fork is definitely well suited for rough stuff. The X2 shock adjustment out back was a bit more challenging for me to get dialed in. On the plus side, it’s very adjustable. DW rear link behaves exactly as expected, flawlessly. Only very minor gripe is the junction of the top link does tend to collect pebbles thrown by the 2.5” meats, and they chewing up the frame and link if they are in there during suspension travel. I had this same issue with a lower link Pivot Mach 6, and they later developed a small adhesive tape to keep it clear, I’ll probably make something similar. Not sure what it is but the bike launches like crazy. I’m clearing the backside transition on large jumps by a long shot and it’s created a few harrowing experiences. Possibly because it’s such a fast bike I’m not gauging entry speeds well.
I love the XO drivetrain, it’s high quality and it just works. It’s my first Eagle setup so the monster cog helps for the brutally steep ups, although there seem to be very few instances where it’s ideal. Not sure I’d ever run anything other than Shimano brakes, so the XO drivetrain/XT brakes was the perfect build for me.
The wheels are monsters, but unfortunately it's the one thing I don't like, and I dinged it a star for it. I cracked the rear rim just last week, with 22psi, and on a relatively small rock at speed at a bike park, and I’m not a big dude at 175lbs. I imagine the wheels would hold up fine for mellow XC riding but no such luck for me at a bike park. Hopefully the warranty process will go smoothly but I'll switch to an Alum I9/305 rim from here on out. Other points on the wheels, I hadn’t noticed the 35mm internal width spec on the 942 carbon wheels, the things are steamrollers with a 29” wheel!
Overall the bike is a great steed, and I'm very impressed, just go with a build that doesn’t have the Ibis carbon wheels if you ride a bike park.