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With the chunky lines and burly rock gardens strewn through today's enduro courses it really was only a matter of time before 29ers started to take a hold on the gravity-oriented market. Capable of bulldozing through root-laden tree lines and surging at higher speeds, 29ers are capable of taking on the big and burly terrain with surprising ease, so it's no surprise that the designers at Ibis have been working away to find a perfect 29er enduro sled like the Ripmo X01 Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. Defending Ibis' 2017 EWS Championship, the Ripmo hits the trail to do the dirty work with the ideal geometry to conquer gnarly lines packed with ultra-steep pitches, while maintaining its ability to push up climbs for round two of mud-splattered ear-to-ear grins and good times.
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.
- Geometry pushes further into longer, slacked-out realms
- Keep weight at a minimum with light, stiff carbon fiber
- 44mm fork offset combines with 65.9° head tube for stability
- Keep the front end from washing out with 76° seat tube angle
- 145mm of smooth, predictable DW-Link travel (5th gen)
- Gobble rock gardens with Fox Float Performance DPX2 shock
- Clears 2.6in tires and accommodates 175mm dropper (M-XL)
- Item #IBS004Q
- Q & A
The holy grail of bike?
I've been riding mountain bikes for over 10 years, and no other bike in the past has put as big a smile on my face while riding. I came from a mojo 3 and an SB6, and now own a ripmo which I use for everything from XC style rides to chunky tech. While it rides like a bigger bike compared to the M3, I find it still to be playful and poppy to the point where I don't miss the smaller bike at all. I maintain more momentum on the 29 wheels and roll over trail undulations while keeping more speed. Steep climbs are less work, as I find myself fighting less to weight the front wheel (steep STA most likely). I'm getting PRs on downhills (no surprise) but also the climbs! I'm also feeling much less fatigued. Since changing over I've been extending my normal 10 mile loop to 12 or more, and somehow feeling more refreshed and less beat up at the end. If you're thinking about buying one of these, in my humble opinion this makes for a perfect 1 bike quiver. Just as fun on long XC rides, capable on tight switchbacks, better climber than my M3 and SB6, and a downhill confidence-inspiring beast.
Upgrades from stock: 2018 fox X2 (no bottom out issues here, 2 spacers 175lb rider), Hope 3 E4 brakes, XX1 drivetrain, Ibis 942 wheels, bontrager XR4 team 2.6 front tire (super fast rolling, tons of grip in loose pebbles in desert Southwest, predictable drift).