IBIS RIPMO GX - BIKE TEST
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Ibis are a company that have been on our radar for some time, having first sat on a Mojo a while back on a trip to Canada. This 29” Ripmo seems set to make its mark on this years bike test lineup.
With the EWS team getting solid results onboard one of these, there is no doubt that it is a capable bike. Let’s see how the Ripmo handles some real world tests on a lower specification.
Suspension and Chassis
The Ripmo that was selected for this test was the middle of the road specification build. Now don’t go thinking that the performance has been compromised in any way. A full Fox setup is on show here. Up front a Fox 36 Perfromance Grip, giving the required 160mm travel. The differences in the Grip and the Factory Grip 2 unit are very small for the average rider.
At the rear the DW Link suspension is similar to the Pivot Firebird that is one of the top bikes on the market at the moment. This is driving a Fox DPX2 performance damper making 145mm travel, this balanced well with the front end.
Shape and Fit
The size large on paper was a more than adequate bike. When looking closer, the 50mm stem did help make the bike feel larger than it was. It was by no means small but not as large as I am used to. It would be interesting to see what the XL size was like.
The 65.9 degree head angle came as a slight shock to me when looking through the numbers but I trust that Ibis do their homework and this is all done for a reason. The reach figure of 471mm and 341mm BB height along with the 1220mm wheelbase are all numbers that sit well in my book. It will be interesting to see how this performs.
Fox Float 36 Performance Series 160mm, 29”, 110x15
Fox Float Performance Series, DPX2 with EVOL, 210 x 55
Ibis 938 Alloy, Ibis Hubs
Maxxis Minion DHF WT Front / Aggressor WT 29” x 2.5” Rear
Shimano Deore 4 piston
Rotors Shimano SM-RT66 180
SRAM Descendant Alloy 175, DUB spindle, 32t Alloy Ring (170,175)
SRAM DUB BSA
SRAM Eagle GX 12 Speed
SRAM Eagle GX 12 Speed
SRAM XG 1275 10-50 12 speed
Ibis 780mm Alloy
Ibis 31.8mm (50, 60, 70, 80, 90mm)
Bike Yoke Revive Dropper (125, 160 or 185mm)
WTB Silverado 142
Straight out of the box the Ripmo seems pretty well set up. The super low seat tower coming in at 418mm is a great touch. This is something that I like to see, especially when dropper posts are becoming longer. There is no need for a super high seat tower.
After the first ride out the cockpit was swapped. This is a personal thing. In our eyes the stem length and bar shape did not suit the style of bike.
The Ripmo has a slightly steeper head angle than other bikes that have recently been tested. Coming in close to the 66 degree mark it was something that I noticed fairly quickly. This did not hold the bike back. Words I would use to describe this bikes ride would be fun, fast and nimble.
The component that we were most impressed with was certainly the Shimano Deore brake. This new cheaper option to the XT and XTR setup was faultless and more than powerful enough for the Madeiran terrain that it was subjected to.
The specification Ripmo that we had comes equipt with an in house Ibis wheelset. Before we had the chance to get some time on the bike we didnt think this would stand the test of time. It has to be said that this setup was flawless, even after a weeks hard graft in Maderia on EWS tracks. They have certainly not jepodised the overall quality feel of the bike.
Something that was worth a mention is how Quiet the Ripmo is. If there was no freehub noise you would not even hear a thing, other than that lovely tyre noise from the Wide Trail Maxxis rubber.
If you are out on a big mission of a ride then it will come to a point where the descent becomes an assent. Don’t worry, the Ripmo climbs well. Having a 76 degree seat angle helps this no end. The lack of abuse that the bikes outlays on your body from the stiffness balance is also a good thing to note.
There is very little to say here. Some more specification items to report about really. When it came to the cockpit the Ibis 780mm bar and 50mm stem did not match the way the bike needed to be ridden. After swapping this setup out for a more aggressive and higher rise bar that came in at 810mm, this then allowed the use of a 35mm stem and gave a far better feel.
The other point that is worth a mention is that the head angle is fairly steep. Now this was great for most of the riding that we threw at it. For the steeper super technical sections it would have been great to have that little extra stability from a slightly slacker head angle. A simple offset bush or headset would have been a great addition. Keep in mind that the shock bush lowers the bottom bracket so the headset option would have been the first port of call.
All in all this Ibis Ripmo ticked all of the boxes that would be expected for a long travel 29” enduro bike. The solid construction and fun, fast ride keeps you smiling and in control. This model is more than enough bike to go and race or just enjoy blasting some laps at the local spot without the worry of the performance being affected. This bike has already made it onto the shortlist for our top bikes of 2019.
Price - £4.999 for GX build with higherand lower price points available
Words - Ieuan Williams
Photos - Alex Hunter