Review: Ibis Ripmo

May 28, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
What would happen if you took an Ibis Ripley and combined it with a Mojo HD4? Well, one thing's for sure – it would have to be called the Ripmo, following the time-honored tradition of calling celebrity couples by one cringe-inducing nickname. Kimye, Brangelina... You know the drill.

The result of Ibis' matchmaking has 29” wheels, a full carbon frame, and 145mm of rear travel delivered by a dw-link suspension layout. Ibis' geometry numbers have traditionally been on the more conservative side, but they've gone thoroughly modern with the Ripmo, and the relatively long reach, steep seat tube angle, and reduced offset fork put it right in the mix with the latest crop of longer travel 29ers.
Ibis Ripmo

Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
Travel: 145mm rear / 160mm front
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Head angle: 65.9º
Chainstay length:
Colors: black olive / tangerine sky
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 29.1 lb (13.2 kg) size large, w/o pedals
Price: $8,169 USD as tested
More info: www.ibiscycles.com

There are five complete builds available, with prices starting at $4,099 for the NX kit, all the way up to $9,399 for the XX1 kit. Our test bike began with the X01 build kit, and was upgraded with a Fox Float X2 rear shock and a set of Ibis' carbon wheels, which brought the final price up to $8,169 USD. Want to build your dream bike from the frame up? The Ripmo frame alone goes for $2,999 USD.


bigquotesThe Ripmo is quick and lively, with plenty of travel to take the edge off the occasional line choice error. Mike Kazimer







Ibis Ripmo review


Construction and Features


Just like the name implies, the Ripmo's look combines aesthetic elements from Ibis' Ripley and Mojo. According to designer Roxy Lo, “I felt like the era of straight, aggressive and angular, mixed in with a little swoop, might just be a fun and efficient way to approach this new platform.” The result is a carbon frame that still has a distinctly Ibis look, but with all of the features that today's riders are looking for in a longer travel 29er. There's a threaded bottom bracket, clearance for up to 2.6” tires, and plenty of room for a water bottle, even with a larger shock like Fox's Float X2 installed.

In addition, the Ripmo's short seat tube allows for the use of longer travel dropper posts – at 5'11” I was able to use a post with 175mm of drop on a size large frame with plenty of room left for adjustment.

Not all methods of internal cable routing are created equal, but Ibis went with one of the best options possible – molding tubes to the inside of the frame. Feed the housing from one end and it'll pop out the other, all without needing to resort to a combination of zip ties, dental tools, and magic to coax it out of the frame.


Ibis Ripmo review
Tubes molded into the Ripmo's carbon frame make internal cable routing hassle-free.
Ibis Ripmo review
igus bushings are use for the Ripmo's lower link.


Bushings vs. Bearings

Ibis chose to use bushings rather than cartridge bearings for the Ripmo's lower link pivots, citing the fact that bushings work well in areas with high forces and minimal rotation. That's true in theory, but removing the rear shock from the Ripmo and cycling the suspension revealed what I would call a significant amount of friction from those bushings.

Sure, the swingarm acts as a large enough lever to overcome that friction, and the rear suspension felt very smooth out on the trail, but I couldn't help but wonder if it could be even smoother. There's a reason we're starting to see more shocks released with cartridge bearing mounts – the reduced friction they create is noticeable, particularly when it comes to small bump sensitivity. Ibis does offer free lifetime replacement on the bushings, but still, I wish they'd gone with cartridge bearings.

According to Travis McCart, Ibis' Quality Engineer, they've recently implemented a change to the frame assembly that's designed to alleviate some of the friction I noticed, and the video below is of a frame that was recently pulled from the production line.

"Friction was a huge concern for us when considering to switch from bearings to bushing for the lower pivot. We knew from testing that bushings would have an advantage over bearings because they were stiffer, lighter, and would not become "notchy" feeling, but we also knew that they might be perceived as inferior to bearings due to increased friction. With all the steps suspension companies have been taking to eliminate friction, we realized we would have to spend a lot of time and effort refining and tightening our tolerances to minimize the friction in our system.
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"After receiving our first test frames, we experimented with opening up the ID as much as we could so that there is minimal friction but also no free play, even after the break in period. Based on our test results, we decided that we could open the lower pivot tube spec by .2mm to achieve the performance we wanted. To do this, we have added a final reaming process, and we check every pivot bore with go and no-go pin gauges that are within a few hundredths of a millimeter of each other in diameter. The result is that all production frames have a very smooth suspension action with minimal friction."



Ibis Ripmo review
A reduced seat tube height allows for the use of longer travel dropper posts.
Ibis Ripmo review
The Ripmo comes stock with a Fox DPX2, but the X2 is available as an upgrade.



Ibis Ripmo geometry

Geometry & Sizing

Ibis stepped away from the shorter and steeper geometry numbers found on many of their other bikes and moved towards more modern figures for the Ripmo. A size large has a 470mm reach, 76-degree seat angle, and a 65.9-degree head angle with a 160mm fork. That head angle number isn't wildly slack for this style of bike, but Ibis claim that by going with a 44mm offset fork the bike handles like it has a slacker head angle. Ibis also worked to ensure that the bike would fit a wide range of rider heights, which isn't always the case when it comes to long travel 29ers - companies often stop the size chart at a size medium.


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Suspension Design

The Ripmo uses a dw-link suspension layout for its 145mm of rear travel. Two short links connect the swingarm to the front triangle, while the shock is driven by a yoke that's mounted to the seat stays. The bike's anti-squat percentage is above 100% at the sag point, and the leverage curve is progressive initially, before becoming slightly regressive at the end of the stroke, which means that the bike is best suited to an air rather than coil shock.



Specifications

Specifications
Price $8169
Travel 145mm
Rear Shock Fox Float X2 210 x 55mm
Fork Fox Float 36 RC2 Factory Series 160mm, 44mm offset
Headset Cane Creek 40 ZS44/ZS56
Cassette SRAM XG 1295 EAGLE 10-50T
Crankarms SRAM XO1 Eagle Carbon 32T Direct Mount. 175mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle X01 12 Speed
Chain SRAM X01 EAGLE
Shifter Pods SRAM Eagle X01 12 Speed
Handlebar Ibis carbon 31.8mm
Stem Thomson Elite X4
Grips Lizard Skins
Brakes Shimano XT M8000
Wheelset Ibis 942 carbon
Hubs Ibis
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 / Maxxis Aggressor 2.5
Seat Ibis custom saddle, cro-mo rails
Seatpost KS Integra



Ibis Ripmo













Test Bike Setup

After a few initial rides on the Ripmo I made a few cockpit changes so that it would better suit my preferences. The spec sheet lists an 800mm bar, but the one that arrived measured 760mm, so I swapped it out for a 780mm bar I had lying around. I also switched out the seat – the stock Ibis seat was incredibly narrow, and not something I felt like sitting on for hours at a time.

Based on Ibis' recommendations I set up the Float X2 shock with 25% sag, a number that I stuck with for the duration of testing. I did end up swapping out the 2018 X2 for a 2019 model – I'll go into the details of that switch shortly.

The bulk of my rides aboard the Ripmo took place in Bellingham, Washington, and Squamish, BC, with springtime conditions ranging from slippery mud to the most perfect dirt you've ever seen.

Mike Kazimer
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 35
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


Ibis Ripmo review


Climbing

Over the last few months I've tested several bikes with seat angles in the 76-degree range and reach numbers hovering around 470mm, which meant that right from the start the Ripmo felt very familiar. Those numbers work well for my dimensions, putting me in a comfortable position that's well suited for long days in the saddle.

The Ripmo has a quick and efficient feel when climbing, the kind of traits that make it easy to spin out the miles on the way to a big descent. The bike's overall weight is already very reasonable, and yet out on the trail it somehow manages to feel even lighter than what the numbers on the scale say. As you'd expect, it's not quite as fleet-footed as the shorter-travel Ripley, but it's not far off – it's a remarkably speedy climber, even when shod with 2.5" tires front and rear. There's no unwanted bobbing or wallowing, and I never felt the need to reach for the lever that adds more low-speed compression on the Float X2 shock.

How About That Offset?

Fork offset continues to be a hot topic, especially since there's no hard and fast rule about what increasing or decreasing the amount of offset will do to a bike's handling in the real world. I tried forks with 51, 46, and 44mm of offset on the Ripmo, and ended up preferring the shorter offset fork that the bike is spec'd with. The handling with 44 and 46mm of offset felt the same to me – I'm not convinced that anyone can feel two millimeters of difference, but the fork with 51mm of offset did alter the bike's handling slightly.


Ibis Ripmo review
The Ripmo's Fox Float 36 has 44mm of offset.

It felt a little easier to get through tight switchbacks with the shorter offset fork – the front wheel seemed to trace a tighter arc, and it felt more locked into the turn. The same was true while descending – one of my favorite trails has a sustained steep section, a real brake burner, with multiple swooping turns in a row. With the shorter offset fork if felt like I was able to hold my line a little better, and push a little harder through the turns. Again, it's a subtle difference, and I could easily get accustomed to either setup, but in this case, if I had to choose I'd go with the 44mm option. On a similar note, I do think Ibis could have gone with a slacker head angle without negatively affecting the bike's climbing abilities, but the current geo does help keep the bike from feeling sluggish on less-steep terrain.


Ibis Ripmo review

Descending

I'm a big fan of rides that incorporate plenty of old-school technical trails, the kind that weren't necessarily built with mountain bikes in mind, and that require extra concentration to find any sort of flow through them. The Ripmo's maneuverability made it an excellent match for that sort of tight and twisty weirdness, especially if there was a little bit of pedaling thrown into the mix. It's quick and lively, but with enough travel to take the edge off the occasional line choice error.

The same goes for flowy jump trails – when faced with a nice lippy jump it seems like the Ripmo has some sort of hidden booster rocket that ensures you'll make it to the landing (or past it) every single time. It's a poppy, energetic bike that's extremely easy to get airborne.

However, coming back down for landing, or when plowing through really chunky sections of trail is when the more linear nature of the rear travel was occasionally revealed, and even with 25% sag I found myself touching bottom on the 2018 Fox Float X2 more often than I wanted. That shock already had two volume spacers installed, the maximum recommended amount.

Luckily, Fox just released the 2019 version of the X2, which has a new bottom out bumper and an air can that can take 4 volume spacers, so it was time for a quick shock swap. Running the new shock with three volume spacers delivered the feeling I was looking for – there was more end-stroke support, and the times when I did use all the travel were smooth and controlled, without any harshness.






Ibis Ripmo XX1 2018
Ibis Ripmo

Transition
Transition Sentinel Carbon

How does it compare?

The Ripmo and the Transition Sentinel use two different suspension designs, but they share several similarities when it comes to geometry – the seat tube angle, chainstay length, and reach numbers are all nearly identical. But there is one significant difference – the Sentinel's head angle is 64-degrees, almost two-degrees slacker than the Ripmo's.

That two degree difference is noticeable, and compared to the Sentinel, the Ripmo's handling feels a little sharper – it's more of an all-mountain machine rather than an enduro race rig or bike park smasher. That's not to say that it won't work as a race bike – Robin Wallner's EWS results illustrate that point – it's just that it feels happiest zipping around on trails that are a notch or two down on the gnarliness scale.

The Ripmo feels quicker on the climbs, likely due to the combination of the dw-link suspension design and a lighter frame weight. It also shines on more undulating trails, where the terrain forms a natural pump track. On the descents, the Sentinel has a burlier feel, with a planted, stable ride that allows it to plow right through the rough stuff, traits that make it shine on more DH-oriented trails. The Sentinel's suspension also feels more supple over small bumps, a trait that can help provide extra grip on wet, slippery terrain.



Ibis Ripmo review
The Maxxis' Aggressor is a good fast-rolling option that can handle a relatively wide range of conditions.
Ibis Ripmo review
The Ripmo comes with Thomson's classic X4 stem and Ibis' own 31.8mm carbon bar.


Technical Report

Fox 36 Float RC2: The 36 Float was flawless for the duration of the test, silently handling every obstacle without any strange noises or behavior. It's incredibly smooth, offers a wide range of adjustments, and has plenty of support to keep it from diving into its travel on the steeps, or bottoming out on bigger hits.

Shimano XT brakes: I'm not the biggest fan of the current generation of XT brakes, especially since they still seem to occasionally suffer from an inconsistent lever feel, even after a fresh bleed. If this were my bike, I'd swap 'em out for a set of SRAM Code brakes, which offer better modulation and consistency.

Thomson stem: The X4 stem is beautifully made, but I do wish the bolts didn't use a 3mm head. It's also worth mentioning that a 31.8mm handlebar is spec'd, which isn't the end of the world, although there are more 35mm options on the market than ever.

Maxxis DHF 2.5 / Aggressor 2.5 tires: This is a great tire combo for everything except super-sloppy conditions. The Aggressor is fast rolling and predictable, and the DHF is as proven as it gets.


Ibis Ripmo review


Pros

+ Excellent climber
+ Lively, energetic ride
+ Feels even lighter than its weight suggests
Cons

- Bushings
- Aggressive riders will need to use additional volume spacers to increase end stroke ramp up
- Shimano XT brakes



Is this the bike for you?

The Ripmo is the epitome of a modern all-mountain bike. It can take on everything from long, all-day pedal fests to the occasional enduro race or lap down a line of man-made jumps, all without feeling out of its element. It wouldn't be my absolute top pick for a pure DH / bike park machine, but it'll handle just about every other style of riding remarkably well.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIbis embraced modern geometry trends with the Ripmo, and the result is a bike that remains composed no matter which way the trail is pointed. It's a well-rounded machine that still has that classic Ibis efficiency, but with extra stability and composure for the rough stuff.  Mike Kazimer









281 Comments

  • + 311
 I like you Mike. I also like XT brakes. Don't make me choose between you two.
  • + 22
 Right? What's the dealio?
  • + 58
 Every PB technial report for the past year: “I would swap out the XT brakes”

We get it. You don’t like XT brakes. You can stop bringing it up now.
  • + 64
 He's just saying it so we consider buying the new XTR Can't fool me Kazimer, my XT's feel great
  • + 45
 The new XT brakes aren't good. They suffer from inconsistency issues. Get the XT M785 and you'll have the best brake on the market.
  • + 31
 My XT brakes have their middle finger pointing in your direction.
  • + 3
 @starpak: True !
  • + 21
 i have m785's on 2 bikes and m800's on 1 bike. the 785's are more consistent
  • - 13
flag sessionman123abc (May 28, 2018 at 7:02) (Below Threshold)
 xt is only good if u run galfer rotors and pads. stock ones suck
  • + 33
 I had to send my guides away for warranty work twice, resulting in a 7 month period without them. Bought a pair of xt's as a temporary replacement and I never switched back to the guides when I finally got them back. Really liked the easy feel of Shimano. Felt I had to squeeze the life out of my guides to get them to bite and the performance was less than the xts. After the nightmare dealing with Sram customer service, I'm sticking with Shimano.
  • + 7
 My M8000's had the wandering bite point issue. I found that I could correct it by doing an initial bleed as per normal, hang the bike up by the front wheel, let it sit vertical for an hour or so, rotate the levers parallel to the ground and do a final "burp" to get the last of the air.
  • + 0
 Choose the brakes.
  • + 5
 I dunno, my XTs are virtually garbage. Everything else of Shimano I love, but dang the brakes are awful right now.
  • - 5
flag luis-beri (May 28, 2018 at 7:59) (Below Threshold)
 Zee & Saints here... double the same problems... must be bleed all the time, otherwise would be great brakes!!
  • + 17
 @luis-beri: dunno man, i can go a year or so without bleeding my saints or xt's, even then its more a case of "i should" rather than "i need to"
  • + 9
 shimano must not be buying enough advertising?
  • + 10
 Have you tried the new code rsc brakes? They are a thousand times better, and I love xt brakes.
  • + 16
 @starpak: Older XT/SLX brakes are the most no-nonsense brakes I've ever had.
  • + 3
 @gbeaks33: 7 months?? holy hell, I had my guide rsc back from warranty less than two weeks after sending them back.. that sucks
  • + 19
 Hope Tech3 E4s FTW.
  • + 2
 @imho4ep: me as well, Sometimes two seasons... Zero issues.
  • + 1
 I have month old XT brakes (been using xt's for close to a decade) front is quad piston (8020) rear is dual piston(8000). The front 8020 is powerful, consistent but the rear is all over the place with the lever building up pressure during rides (air in system from factory?) It is behaving like my 15 year old Hopes...
  • + 2
 I’ll keep my 785’s forever. Even got a spare set when the reports of the new ones came out.
  • + 3
 XT over SRAM??? Are you getting paid? Biggest pile of crap I’ve heard in some time. My new XT’s are phenomenal and rival Saints in performance.
  • + 7
 Thank you Mike for being honest about XT brakes. Also should be pointed out that you can spend 5g’s on one of these and it comes with Deore brakes which is totally unacceptable.
  • + 2
 XT is a great brake. Reliable, with power at a GREAT price. They just don’t have the same buttery feel as SRAM does.
  • + 22
 Wouldn't know....don't use brakes
  • + 1
 @Gregorysmithj1: That's because being good speaks for itself, expect on pinkbike, apparently.
  • + 48
 As the comments clearly illustrate, brakes are a matter of personal preference, and your experience may vary. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't mention the inconsistent bite point I experienced, a trait that I found less than desirable on a bike at this pricepoint. I had very good luck with the prior generation of XT brakes, but the latest batch seem to be more finicky.
  • - 21
flag Waldon83 (May 28, 2018 at 14:35) (Below Threshold)
 @mikekazimer: No worries..... but what incentives do you get from up-setllng ? That's the real story here!
  • + 9
 @mikekazimer: I just threw XT 4 pots on my bike, I've had similar feel where they will bite really hard and fast sometimes, you're right though about preference. I was talking to another industry guy describing what its like working in a bike shop, "Basically everyone is a functioning alcoholic that talks shit about everything"

we need less hate, more bikes and beer!
  • - 2
 Am I the only one who doesn't like DHFs? You lean them over and they wash out unless you really tip them. Dead spot at a reasonable lean
  • + 12
 @hamncheez: yes, you are the only person that does not like DHF's. Now, go learn to lean them over and thank us later. Once you get used to actually leaning the bike over onto the side knobs, that gap gives a higher amount of grip.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: Did you all ever experience any issues with guide levers freezing up? I don't think I've ever seen a review talk about any issues, and you guys go through lots of bikes, but I have had 3 sets of guides now (not by choice, I'm no masochist) and all of them had an issue with the piston freezing in hot weather because of poor machining tolerances.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: yes, I believe you are
  • + 11
 @johnstanek89, yes, I encountered that issue and mentioned it in the Jeffsy review back in January of 2017, and I think it came up in an Ask Pinkbike at some point as well. SRAM made a change to their main piston tolerances since then, and all of the other bikes I've ridden with Guide brakes have been trouble free.
  • - 4
flag nhtowa421 (May 28, 2018 at 21:39) (Below Threshold)
 It's called modulation, not inconsistency...
  • + 3
 Went to my LBS for a new front brake, basically have a Guide on the rear, and a Shimano XT on the front now. My riding is shit, so I can't really comment on the brakes at the end of the day.
  • + 4
 Honestly I have owned and or used every disc brake since their conception. Sram lately have much better offerings but not the raw power of Shimano or magura. Hope, hahahaha don't even get me started on them. Hope you don't hit a tree. I run magura mostly, have a useless pair of xx world cup sram, but the XT brakes came dirt cheap rocking out the box. They take a little to get used to, literally seen veterans go OTB from their power. Basically only use brakes if you need to scrub speed. The longer you ride less brakes you will use.
  • + 1
 “it’s a feature not a bug”

I’m a customer. I talk sh*t because I spent real money on a product that didn’t deliver. It’s like I’m supposed to just say “they are a drunk, cut them a slack while they work out their problem”

Also, in full agreement with @mikekazimer that the previous generation Shimano brakes were flawless. That makes them fact they stuck with the current flawed design for years even more frustrating. SRAM fixed their problem.
  • - 1
 @fecalmaster: "Hope you don't hit a tree" Bah hahaha I love it!
  • + 4
 @pdarragh: disagreeing is not hating.
  • + 1
 Just installed new XT brakes on my bike and the rear inner piston split in half with the first squeeze of the lever post bleed. Literally WTF!!! I sent Ribble (they were on sale for $100 cad each) a picture of the piston and they said I disassembled the caliper so the warranty is void... so screw those guys. Anyway I bought a new caliper and all is well and they work great.... so far.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: 100% agree. I can't lean over a DHF without it washing out on me either.
  • + 1
 @ninjatarian: They ought to just swap them into a box addressed to my house
  • + 2
 @gbeaks33: I have never had to wait more than 3 days from SRAM. I own a shop and SRAM has always been super fast. Sounds like your shop forgot yours in the back somewhere for awhile.
  • + 1
 @thejames: Have to agree with SRAM customer service. They are fast and have actually given me free replacements of the current model when I was sending in something 3-4 years old. Never had to deal with Shimano cs so no clue how they are. The fact I haven't had to also speaks to their longevity. I guess it's guaranteed there is always going to be a bad product in the bunch, or is it installer error?
  • + 1
 Yeah what the heck man?? I swapped my Guides out for shimano when my patrol showed up. That shouldn't be a neg for a bike review
  • + 2
 @thejames: my 7 month sram turnaround time warranty claim was through a direct to consumer brand who shall remain nameless. Rumour is sram was processing warranty claims to please their dealers first and leaving the direct-sales folks (yt, commensal, Jenson, crc, etc) at the bottom of the pile. Just a rumour, but I def got the shitty end of that transaction. But...i ended up with Shimano brakes for cheap and I like them more so I guess things worked out.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: try a lower tire pressure
  • + 2
 @Golden-G: Should be the case but in todays world...
  • + 1
 Magura... I run MT trail sport and MT7s. I have owned XT 785 and 8000 series and while they are good... now I know what ‘better’ is. I still love shimano, but there is room for improvement. My XT8000s had the same bite point issue many have suffered.. Magura has been more reliable, with better modulation and power. The new levers feel great, too.
  • + 1
 @johnstanek89: SRAM has fixed this and offers a warranty replacement. I have had it happen to 2 bikes, both in the lever master cylinder on guide RSC’s within 2 years of purchase. The piston swells up and binds. Switching to DOT4 can also help, as it’s a bit less susceptible to moisture than 5.1
  • + 1
 @gbeaks33: You don't have to go through the place you bought your bike, any dealer can do it.
  • + 80
 The real MVP here is the readable geo chart. Bravo.
  • + 64
 Since when did having a 31.8 mm not a 35mm bar become an issue? Is it a 29er thing? :-)
  • - 7
flag MysticMCyclist (May 28, 2018 at 2:09) (Below Threshold)
 Where does it say it is an issue ?
  • + 9
 @MysticMCyclist: Here at the end: "Thomson stem: The X4 stem is beautifully made, but I do wish the bolts didn't use a 3mm head. It's also worth mentioning that a 31.8mm handlebar is spec'd, which isn't the end of the world, although there are more 35mm options on the market than ever."
  • + 14
 35 is the new thing. It has been for the last 3 or 4 years now. Its last gen... With that in mind i use 31.8 bc there is nothing wrong with it and i see no point on buying new stuff just for the hell of it. If i were spending 8 grand i would expect the latest and greatest however. That includes the bar standard
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer mentions the diameter but not the length. Curious if at 5’11” on a large he was using a 40mm stem.
  • - 9
flag MysticMCyclist (May 28, 2018 at 5:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Hockerz: that does not say it is an “issue” he is making an observation.
  • + 5
 @MysticMCyclist: Yes it does. He is mentioning it as an issue but not the end of the world kind of issue.
  • + 1
 When i bought my ripmo I upgraded to the carbon Ibis riser 800mm bar for $68 extra because i saw little gain to the bigger diameter. IMO i like the increased stack height over the stock flat bar because i come from racing motocross and I currently focused on enduro.
  • + 31
 I just switched BACK to 31.8 because I didn't like my last two sets of 35... Dunno what the big deal is with 35mm, was not impressed at all.
  • + 3
 @MysticMCyclist: saying 'it's not the end of the world' is like saying it's not ideal...
  • + 5
 Thomson bolts are a fkng shame and I am surprised they still haven't solved the issue, it's just mind blowing how they risk people's health for the thing to look better on the kitchen scale and on the pictures. Because stem itself looks wonderful.

When it comes to handlebars, 31.8 is better for alu, 35mm is better for carbon. Some call it polishing the turd, it being the carbon fibre bicycle handlebar. It doesn't matter if it's on a road bike, XC bike or DH bike. It's madness unless you change them after every crash. So if anyone doesn't get how dumb people fed by a*shole marketers dumb down the sport and make everyone take consequences, here you have an example: 35mm handlebar standard.

In both situations people set it upon themselves. Good luck. You may need it.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I was just a peeved as you at the bolt change with the Thompsons...so much so that I contacted them. The story they spout is the change was to keep ham-fisted people without a torque wrench from overtightening the bolts and resulting in the often cracked Thomson faceplate. It’s still was a dumb move.
  • + 1
 @b-mack: Yup. You can read that as "Any time our bars don't slip ends up with cracking the face plate." I will never ride a Thomson anymore.
  • + 2
 @PHeller, yep, I was using a 40mm stem.
  • + 0
 They could have added 1mm of thickness to the plate and it would possibly solve the problem. Right now I am wetting myself over rideworks stem. A bit impractical but strong and beatiful in my books.
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Syntace has everybody beat.
  • + 2
 @ratedgg13: 35 seem a bit chattery a not enough flex. I have sixc 800
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: Race Face never had enough flex. 35mm allows for more control over layup to build more compliant and at the same time more durable bar. In theory. In practice it depends on who makes it and how. Differences can be big.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer do you happen to know your ape index, by chance?
  • + 54
 In summary.. $8000 bike is pretty good
  • + 23
 But no mention of the Ibis carbon hoops. I cant remember a SC review that didn't give a handy to the Reserve rims.
  • + 2
 yeah its funny, Mike seemed to like pretty much everything about the bike but he wasn't expressing too much stoke there. if i were ever to try another 29er this would be near the top of my list. maybe he just like's that Transition more?
  • + 6
 next up!: $10,000 bike is phenomenal!!!
  • + 3
 After seeing that Kendallweed video I’m pretty sure this bike is a sure thing
  • + 4
 yeah, right? The review lacked the usual depth of a PB review.
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: I’m pretty sure that dude could make a Walmart bike look good! He has insane skills, and the bikes he is riding are near top of the class so it’s gonna be insane either way!
  • + 2
 @MikeAzBS: Exactly. What's up with this, @mikekazimer? Specifically mentions upgrading for the Ibis carbon wheels, and then... Nothing.
  • + 6
 I'm going to walk back my "this review lacked the usual depth.." a little. Great analysis on the bushings and x2 bottom out struggles with 2 spacers. I guess I was expecting a review like what @mikelevy did for the HD4 which came from a place of experience with the HD3 and DW link bikes. I would have liked to have seen how this compares to other DW link bikes somewhat in this class. The HD4 and Pivot Switchblade come to mind. I think there is a base of people who really like the DW link and we would like more comparisons to bikes that have the DW link or similar to DW link platform. I know I'm probably asking too much for PB to serve this niche that may be small.
  • + 1
 @garrettstories: yeah- after trying a switchblade I 1) am ready to drink the DW koolaid, and 2) would love to see a direct comparison to the Ripmo. The switchblade was super playful, and also the most precise and stiff 29er I’ve ridden. If the Ripmo is an improvement on that, I need one.
  • + 39
 xt brakes are not a con!!
  • + 27
 They are if you get a set with inconsistent lever feel. Honestly, when they work they are genuinely excellent, however nothing is more of a buzz kill than having to remember to pump the brake a few times on each traverse just to get it to bite in the next corner.
  • + 7
 It depends on the angle of the trail...
  • + 5
 @sourmix: bleed them the way Marshy bleed them for the syndicate.
  • + 3
 @sourmix: pretty sure you can get em replaced through good retailers. I’ve had 4 or 5 sets of M8000/ M9000 and only one of each exhibited the problem and I managed to get them replaced easily.
Another solution I’ve used is just swap the levers for M6000 Deore ones - I like this cus they’re very cheap to replace and don’t have the on the fly adjusters to snap off. For whatever reason the Deore levers don’t seem to suffer the same issue but it’s possible I’ve just been lucky with them.
  • + 0
 @ThomDawson: I think deore levers are the same as zee and they move more volume as they work for 2 piston and single piston calipers. They feel more solid than xt
  • + 10
 I would say yes- this bike is over 8.000$.... I want XTR brakes atleast, you can get XTs for 180€ per pair.... this is a joke.
  • + 4
 In my riding group we have 6 sets with problems..basically every one brake on every bike with XTs. For the new bike I spec'd Codes. I'll go back to Shimano once they have moved onto the next generation of XT and solved this problem.
  • + 2
 To add to the list of XT woes I just did the "flick the lever" trick after a bleed which did in fact release some small air bubbles, only to find the next day that the seal had broken there was fluid leaking everywhere. Grumble Grumble
  • + 8
 @NotNamed: I'd rather take a pair of xt's than the guides which are twice as much.

I think a lot of people would echo the same thing
  • + 31
 Yeah, let me just go out and buy one of the most expensive shocks to be able to put in additional volume spacers to prevent my 3k$ frame from bottoming out.
  • + 14
 They did a lot of research and development to realize that instead of fixing the actual problem it was cheaper to just make room for more spacers.
  • + 3
 @Powderface: More like the old X2 had a few problems which have been resolved with the latest refresh.
  • + 12
 The real question is, why do bike manufacturers supply the fork with extra volumes, but not the shock? My new mega came with 3 additional fork spacers and 0 spacers for the Super Deluxe.
  • - 2
 @Powderface: The FOX blows trough travel way too easy.
And if you bottom out an air shock the frame isn’t built good enough.
What would happen with a coil shock back there?
  • + 6
 Im 220lb with gear and my Ripmo has the base Performance DPX2 shock because the high leverage rate on the shock combined with the low max PSI of the X2 shock. I just got back from the Santa Fe BME round yesterday and that was the gnarliest course I've ever seen. I had it set to 282 PSI with stock spacers and i only felt one bottom out on a 4' drop into a minefield. The max on my shock is 350psi so it can take it, I just assume my oil and seal life is shorter than normal
  • + 1
 @bubba31147: that looked like a really fun course.
  • + 1
 You could just put more air in it too.
  • + 4
 The real question is: "Why the heck are so many gosh darn things so gosh darn expensive?"
"Well son, you see there are other good people who have families they need to feed, and this allows them to do that."
"But can't they just eat a little less?"
Yes. Bikes even this good shouldn't cost that much. Yes, tech is cool and gets expensive but come on. $5000 is enough.
  • + 2
 And you know what, if it is that much it better not have even one dang flaw.
  • - 1
 @NRogers27: start a company and try undercutting them lol.

or buy an intense frameset for $2500 and buy your parts from Germany.
  • + 2
 @NRogers27: that's why I don't own a Yeti. Or Ibis. Or Mondraker. Come on, there are tons of good bikes for a reasonable price, Canyon, Nukeproof, Propain, Radon, Rose, you name it!
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer I don't understand how the additional spacers is a problem... Isn't this a good thing? The base shock is probably fine for the average rider and the more aggressive rider can add a spacer or two to suit their style. Isn't this the entire reason why Fox and RockShox made volume spacers easy to add?
  • + 29
 Pro tip: don't spend 300 USD on the X2 upgrade and stick with the more progressive, stock DPX2. Better suited for the frame kinematics.
  • + 6
 Was gonna say the same thing. But not having ridden it I didn’t feel qualified. The x2 is a hot shit right now, many people will look right past the dpx2 when it may well be the better shock here (and elsewhere).
  • + 11
 For real. The DPX2 is a badass shock. Smooth, easy to tune, consistent.
  • + 9
 @ThomDawson: B-b-but all my Enduro buddies ride the X2- so much Kashima so cool
  • + 8
 Not to mention probably 75% of riders with an X2 simply don’t need it.
  • + 9
 @andnyleswillriot: +1000 if I pass one more dad with an X2 taking EVERY round route on EVERY technical section I am going to lose my marbles
  • + 5
 It was a shock pressure issue for me. I ordered right after launch anticipating the crazy backorder. I initially ordered it with the X2 upgrade, then a coupe days later the owners manual was updated to include the shock tuning guide. At 220lb rider weight the X2 is at the max pressure. I changed my order and put the money into Code brakes and a carbon rider bar upgrade
  • + 2
 @bubba31147: word through an Ibis dealer is that they will be shipping the current backordered Ripmo's with the 2019 X2's with the 300psi can. Once I found that out, I stuck with the X2 upgrade
  • - 12
flag mtbikeaddict (May 28, 2018 at 10:36) (Below Threshold)
 @The-mnt-life365: lol I just went to my local bike park... I was on my 2011 Marin Alpine Trail... And I kept watching fit guys on expensive, capable bikes take the go-around or smaller features, while I sent the bigger drops. Granted, there were also plenty there that could make me feel like a novice (I saw a guy from Specialized's Enduro team) but still... I had to laugh.
  • + 17
 @mtbikeaddict: Soooo to clarify, you're just jealous that there's less skilled riders out there with more money than you?
  • + 12
 @friendlyfoe: Hah... Good one. Hmm. Jealous? Maybe a little. Not too much, though. Sure, I coud get a nicer bike. It's not like I'm broke or in debt. It's just that they spent more money on their bikes than I would. It's all about priorities. Would I like a bike like that? Of course. Who wouldn't want to ride an S-Works, Intense, Yeti, high-end Transition, or Pivot etc? But do I really need it? No. And apparently, neither did some of them. They bought what they wanted, and it made them happy. It's their money. Good for them; I'm glad they could experience that. I guess I'm really laughing at myself. I've probably spent too much time on PB lately, so before that trip, I was convinced that my bike wasn't adequate. You know what? I went with a group of buddies, and my bike was probably the second nicest and maybe the second newest bike in the group. Most were hardtails, and except for my one friend's Kona Stinky Dee-Luxe, all had minimal suspension. But we still hit all the trails we wanted, and who cared about black diamonds in the ratings, or the other riders' bikes? At first I had felt mildly self-conscious and insecure... But so what? We had the best 6 hrs I've spent in a long time. So I guess that's my point. It doesn't matter if you're not the best rider, or you don't have the newest and nicest bike. Just get out there and ride, preferably with friends, because it's a beautiful world, we have bikes, friends are great, and you know what? Life's pretty dang good. Sorry if I had appeared pompous/rude/jealous whatever. I was tongue-in-cheek laughing at myself, but I guess I hadn't explained it well. Cheers, Happy Memorial Day everyone, enjoy the beautiful weather and no work, and LETS RIDE.
  • + 4
 Just put a cane creek on there ( if you don't mind a 3 ride service interval)
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: sooo to further clarify, you go to the local bike park to watch fit guys?

Also, if those fit dudes were having fun on their “overkill” bikes, what’s the issue?
  • + 5
 @friendlyfoe: i think he's saying they should learn how to drive a miata on track before stepping up to the Lambo
  • - 2
 @mm732: he wasn't. He already replied. And this thread was about shock options for the bike so what the hell people. f*cking comments section.
  • + 2
 @hamncheez: to be fair that's a whole season for your average dentist
  • + 1
 @mm732: Good one. Love the car analogy. Yeah, I was a little bit. That was only part of it though.
  • + 2
 @friendlyfoe: "And this thread was about shock options for the bike [...] comments section." Welcome to Pinkbike... You must be new here? Wink
  • - 2
 @VwHarman: Boy, another clarification? Ok... Your turn. Maybe I'm a bit off today; it seems that I'm not communicating effectively... Someone must've spiked the BBQ sauce. Razz Anyway, here goes. Read my long post... I think (hope) that further elaborated. If you're still confused, which appears to be the case, continue reading, and I'll see what I can do for you.
Q: "soooo to further clarify, you go to the local bike park to watch fit guys?"
A: No. I consider myself, my buddies, and pretty much everyone I saw that day as reasonably fit, so if you count the following - watching replays of videos that my buddies took of all of us riding the trails, gaping as a friend rode into a tree, or flew off a jump and landed in a manual, which he then rode down the rest of the trail, or admiring the way some guy was throwing perfect whips off monster gaps or making a techy section seem effortless - then maybe, but no, I don't watch in the way you are alluding to, and I definitely do not go to the bike park primarily to watch others; I'm much too focused on having fun on my bike!
Q: "Also, I those fit dudes were having fun on their 'overkill' bikes, what's the issue?"
A: There isn't really one. For some of those riders, were their bikes overkill for what they were riding? Yes. Could they have been fine with a less expensive bike that would've served their needs just as well if not better? Probably. They didn't need those bikes for what I saw them riding, but there were plenty of features there that would've fully warrantied those bikes, and maybe they ride harder at other times. At any rate, those bikes provide more comfort and margin for error, and were obviously what those riders wanted. At the end of the day, it's their money. I have no problem with them "having fun on their [...] bikes". I was just laughing because I saw them having big bikes and not utilizing them to the fullest, and I knew that I had been sucked into thinking that my bike was grossly inadequate and I desperately needed a bike like that when I should've just been happy with what I've got.
Hope that cleared everything up. Anything else, anyone?
  • - 3
 All this clarification and interpreting for people; I could start a business! @mtbikeaddict's Fortune Telling. 100% success rate, satisfaction guaranteed*. Payments accepted in cash, check, or bike parts. *Success is as defined by the proprietor, which may or may not coincide with your definition. Individual results may vary. Terms and Conditions may apply. See store or online for more details. Wink Big Grin
  • + 1
 They don't spec the performance elite which has LSC settings. This is the OEM only performance.
  • + 20
 $8000-$9000?!?
Fuuuuck that.
  • + 2
 My race ready build is currently under $4700. I glanced at the $7200 build and iwas surprised to see if my bike an Eagle drivetrain and a fork upgrade its the exact same build. That's just alittle higher than YT pricing and instead of a 5/2 year warranty the Ibis guys take care of you for 7 years. And frame quality is amazing
  • + 3
 Sure but no one pays that. 1year old bikes go for half that all day in soft used market.
  • + 17
 Reducing tolerances to reduce friction in bushings is kind of weird, you increase play and reduce lifespan.
  • + 4
 Yup, they lost me at bushings. Never ever again! It reminds me of my LTS! Bushings are and should be a NO GO.
  • - 2
 Bearings can be just as cr@p, as long as the QC isn't up to standards. Or the other way around: I've had one bike that ate conical bushings for breakfast, it's replacement and longer travel cousin with round bushings have been fine. In fact the bearings in the swingarm tend to go first, with the horrendous mud we can get out here. The bushings themselves last me 1,5-2 seasons - all same manufacturer, by the way.

Worse yet, two of my riding buddies (same weight & riding style as myself) and my girlfriend (30% lighter and certainly riding with more finesse) manage at most a season on their big-brand, all bearing bikes.
  • + 13
 Reducing tolerances is not the same as reducing clearances. Tolerances is a machining and/or fit spec. Reducing tolerances means the part dimensions and fit will be more exact and consistent.
  • + 8
 Can anyone explain to me this: Transition claim that shorter offset fork make bike feel more direct and that the shorter offset also brings the front wheel more under the rider which balances the effects of a slacker head angle.
So now about guys from IBIS claim that shorter offset make bike feel like it has slacker HA...

Does it make feel slacker or not? Because if it make it feel slacker, than Sentinel should feel like it has 62 HA O_о

If someone can explain this to me, I would be grateful.

Thanks in advance.
  • + 5
 If you go back to the original use of 51mm offset, Scary Gary and the Pals all used it so you could get some decent descending abilities out of a steep head angle. Offset the front end more, slow down the steering a little bit, and stick the front wheel out just a hair more. IE it descends a little bit better.

Transition, and others are trying it the other way around, IE a very slack head angle for descending, and then shortening up the fork offset & reducing the trail the biggest thing I've noticed on the ride quality is it doesn't seem to "flop" in corners. There are some other things it does, blah blah blah, but I've never read before that it would do some magical slackening effect. That may just be a typo AFAIK.

I bet ol' PVD could yak on for hours about it.
  • + 4
 The first impressions article of Ripmo on nsmb has some interesting insight on the subject. Summed up, the reviewer felt that the shorter offset makes the stem feel longer due to the wheel being closer, which can be unnerving. On the other hand, it helps when cornering. Judging from that, sounds like the guys at Transition have the right idea by making the head angles a little bit slacker across the range. But I know nothing, zero experience so far with any shorter offset forks. Would be nice to see some kind of an article with multiple perspectives from the different PB reviewers on the subject.
  • + 11
 @oilpathsuspension:
Except that a shorter fork offset means a longer trail.
  • + 8
 @oilpathsuspension: You’be got it the wrong way around. 51mm offsets were to speed up 29er steering to match 26” bikes with the same head angle. The new trend for shorter offsets is reduce front-centre length for long reach slack head angle bikes (improving front wheel weighting and balance at low speed) whilst making the head angle feel even slacker at speed (by increasing the trail figure).
  • + 2
 idk but I have experienced exactly what he says with shorter offset forks. I'm glad shorter offset forks are coming back. They just feel like they corner better.
  • + 2
 Here's a detailed presentation from way back in Summer of 2017: www.pinkbike.com/news/whyte-s-150-carbon-rs-review.html. The stuff on fork offset starts about a third of the way down the page. According to somebody English whose comment I can't locate, the 'moto rule' is for stem length to be longer than fork offset. It feels steeper, but these bikes are so long and slack, it's preferebale for maintaining cornering input, especially with the added length and mass of 29" wheels.
  • + 2
 I have been running 51 offset on a 67.5 degree HA for the last several years. I tried a 46 offset recently. First of all, the difference is pretty minor. Before anyone runs off and starts buying new forks remember its only a 1/4" at most, its not a big change. On this relatively steep bike, it was worse - sometimes felt like the front wheel wanted to tuck under on tighter turns, overall a little bit more twitchy and steep. I then tried both 51 and 46 on a bike with 25mm more reach (and 25mm shorter stem) and a 65 HA. There, I preferred the 46 offset - not so much because i could detect any real major difference in steering response but mostly because it brought the front hub in a little closer, I've found I'm not a fan of having the front axle so far out in from of me (good for steep DH, but not maneuverable and playful in other situations, especially tech climbing). I'm of the opinion that hyping up fork offset is mostly about market differentiation, and that we could all settle on one offset and probably be pretty happy. While I'm sensitive to some things, I'm not sensitive to others, so YMMV.

I've also been confused about how one person will say it increases trail (which it does) which should have a similar effect to increasing trail from HA, but then the next person says it will speed things up a bit especially on slack bikes.
  • + 4
 @threehats: the new trend same as the old G1 trend.

shorter offset tracks straighter w/ heavier steering, hence the comparison to slacker HA.

longer offset/less trail makes it easier to pick and alter lines IME.
  • + 1
 Trouble with offset is that you're changing front-center at the same time, and we can't change trail w/o changing front-center like the manufacturers can to experiment. Lower trail will feel lighter at the bars, higher trail will be harder to knock around off line. I don't know what the best solution is, but i bet there's a range that works best for most people, and we're slowly moving towards it with ongoing revisions.

How this affects you will be significantly determined by your riding style and ability, which can change.
  • + 1
 @preston67: "I've also been confused about how one person will say it increases trail (which it does) which should have a similar effect to increasing trail from HA, but then the next person says it will speed things up a bit especially on slack bikes."

This is what happens when a 5mm change doesn't make one ounce of difference (except to the best riders in the world), and people are searching for things to say about how the performance changes. Like you said in your post, the change is really, really minor. It's the hot thing for bike companies to talk about these days.
  • + 4
 Never ever write off 5mm as not making one ounce of a difference on bikes, that's crazy. I can definitely feel a 5mm difference in a number of areas on bikes.
  • + 8
 Bushings vs. Bearings - bearings may sound better, but looking at how little the lower link moves in that video, seems a non-issue at the outset.
  • + 1
 That video is from Ibis. You don't think they would cherry pick now do you?

Also notice they weight it with a hub and rotor. Also note that the swingarm length will provide a nice lever to overcome the noted friction. The engineer in me says bushings are best in this application for the long haul but the LTS/Turner experience in me says give me bearings for the best feel and I'll replace them as needed. I've ridden my HD4 almost daily for 8 months now and the bearings still feel great.
  • + 6
 Quotes Ibis stating the bushings work well in areas with "high forces"... removes shock and cycles the suspension under low force and complains.
When was the last time you tried to compress a shock with your hands? Surely you can see how much of a bullshit point this is?
  • + 6
 I bought one after trying a few other 29ers but I kept coming back to the RipMo. I have a Mojo3 which I absolutely love but the clearances (both tyres and DW links) are crazy for UK riding. I wanted something that rode like a cross between my Mojo and My 2017 Smuggler.

The RipMo is not that bike! It’s something quite different. Had two wet ride so far and I absolutely love it. Climbs better than my Mojo3, seems to rip grip out of the ground, is super composed on the steep stuff but still fun to ride on the more mellow trails. I deliberately didn’t go for a Sentinel as it’s only going be really good when I’m really scared!

Mine was frame only, DPX2 shock. Went 2019 (42mm offset) Lyrik rather than fox. 175mm KS post. DHF 2.5 and DHR 2.4 WT’s. 29.8lbs. QC on mine is very good. Paint is even and thick. Early days but I’m absolutely sold so far.
  • + 8
 How about compared to a Rallon?

And BTW, when is the Rallon review coming?
  • + 2
 Pretty sure Mike Levy has it coming.
  • + 2
 I did a orbea shop demo in Sedona a few months ago. I have my go to 18 mile loop around the whole Hogs/Hiline area and i was not really WOWed. I tell people the orbea just felt like a 150mm cross country bike. Going to standing on punchy stuff the rear end honestly felt like a hardtail. Some people like that, my climbs are way to technical for that. I felt like i couldn't get the rear to soak the chatter up unless it was 35-40% sag. It deflected off stuff more than my Ripmo did when i rode that same loop 2 weeks ago. And ive settled for aprox 28-30% sag on the Ibis. It may have just been a shock tune issue with the orbea but i did play with shock pressure with my electronic shock pump to get it as good as i could get it on a short ride. Both bikes had the exact same offset Fox 36 Grip fork, similar wheelbase, same chainstay length, and they both cornered great but i think the Ripmo tracked slightly better through chunk for me. Like the rallon felt a little twitchy when making adjustments mid turn
Neither bike felt to long either, and that's saying something because I'm coming off of a 2013 rocky mountain with a close to 430 reach on a large. The Orbea and the Ibis honestly felt about the same seated. The Ripmo is slightly longer when standing which helps descending.
The orbea was the first time i ever encountered a seat tube so short there were comparability issues with seatpost and my longish 765mm seat rail height. That was until i bought the Ripmo. On the large Rallon i had the stock Aeffect post to the max line. On the Ripmo, the stock 150mm KS wouldn't fit. My Bike Yoke 160mm would not fit, for some stupid reason bike yoke says the 185 wouldn't fit either, for $80 extra the 175mm KS would barely clear. So my options were slim. Instead of spending $450 on a 9point8 long travel i got a fox transfer 150mm that cleared by less than an inch. If your a shorter build you'll appreciate the low seat tube though
  • + 3
 @bubba31147: 150 mm cross country bike? I think we all know why @mikelevy hasn’t submitted his review yet...he hasn’t stopped riding yet.
  • + 1
 +1 on this! Reviews keep comparing to the Sentinel b/c of the fork offset, but the bike is nearly identical to the Rallon. ... and the Rallon has gotten so many good reviews in several multi-bike "compare-o's", I think this is the more interesting comparison. Maybe not a lot of folks riding the Rallon yet?
  • + 5
 Hi @mikekazimer, great review! I m really interested to hear (while waiting to get my hands on demos bikes for both) how the Ripmo compares to the Hightower LT since they are high up on my list for next purchase and seem relatively similar in terms of geo but especially feel/purpose...Thanks!!
  • + 1
 Or vs the Yeti 5.5...
  • + 8
 Also could have gone with the Mopley.
  • + 6
 Its 2018..it is completely unexceptable for there not to be internal guides for cables. Its blatantly wrong! Im glad Ibis did the right thing.
  • - 2
 i'd rather have the weight savings and simplicity. my Park cable routing tool works just fine.
  • + 4
 At 5'3" I'd always though a LT 29er wouldn't be for me, but the marketing for the Ripmo says otherwise. Be ace if PB could get hold of a small one and see if that's true or not.
  • + 0
 just because you can doesn't mean you should.
  • + 4
 @Dakuan The Ripmo was designed by Roxy Lo, who is 5'1 tall. She pulled out all the stops to make sure the size small Ripmo had great standover and would fit a water bottle. You can see a picture of her and Tom, our President, in the photo below. For reference, Tom is 6'6" and rides an XL frame:

www.pinkbike.com/photo/15730305
  • + 6
 Man, this looks like the best bike in the market right now. Real beauty, and seems like she rides real good too.
  • + 3
 I got a Ripmo with a GX build, upgraded to a carbon bar and swapped out the brakes for Code RSCs with bigger rotors. I have been absolutely in love with the Ripmo. On the trail I feel like I pay no penalty for it over a shorter travel trail bike on the climbs and as a daily driver, but it absolutely crushes the downhills and tech.
I think the Sentinel is the wrong bike for comparison even though the travel numbers are similar. I think the Rallon is the closest bike to it, followed maybe by the new Mondraker Foxy 29. I just think from my short time on the Sentinel it’s a little more of a sacrifice on the climbs.
If I was going chase Enduro glory, I’d be tempted to play with an angle set to try 0.5-1 degree slacker HA, but I don’t think it’s really needed. I’ve never felt limited by the bike at speed yet. I’ve even got a few top 10 DH segments locally, not bad for a 44 YO ex XC guy, not a former DHer.
  • + 3
 Can’t get past the notion that the bike needs a shock upgrade straight away. That’s a non-starter for me.

But I’ve bever been able to get too excited about Ibis bikes anyway, don’t know why but they just don’t move the lever for me.
  • + 11
 The DPX2 seems to be the better choice for the Ripmo. Many of the pros runs DPX2, most likely for a good reason... So instead of first upgrading to X2 and then change to X2 2019, just keep the stock DPX2.
  • + 4
 @SalkinL: Question is: Why do they even offer the X2 when it’s not suited for the frame?
  • + 3
 @NotNamed:
Easy answer, more bling, more expensive and people want an X2 to show their riding buddies.
I have ordered with a DPX2 and Perfomance fork. But I also have a custom damper cartridge on order.
  • + 1
 Damper cartridge for the fork that is, not the shock.
  • + 1
 @SalkinL: yep, trailhead cred.
  • + 0
 @SalkinL: DPX2 has no adjustments though. I like to have the ability to dial my suspension in the way I like it.
  • + 1
 @wibblywobbly: That is true. The DPX2 only has 3 pos compression and rebound. To bad since it in other aspects seems to be a really good shock.
  • + 2
 I think it goes beyond a shock upgrade for heavy riders. Mike lists his weight at 160#; I'm sure he gets up to all kinds of radness that I can't even conceive of, but if he needed the burlier end-bump shock with 3 spacers to get the bike from bottoming out even when he's running it at only 25% sag, that tells me I need to take a hard pass on this. Can't cheat physics.
  • + 7
 Saw the price, and stopped reading the review.
  • + 1
 Bingo. Let's see a review of the NX/GX version.
  • - 2
 @R0GUER0B0T: That'll be about $4k USD. No thanks.
  • + 3
 How is the fit and finish on the frame? HD4’s have had a ton of paint problems - paint flaking off and very unevenly applied. They cut corners in their prep someplace. Around the headset and around the seat collar seem very rough like they weren’t sanded down enough.

Seeing what happened to the paint on my HD, the talk of bushing tolerances makes me really nervous.

I know I’m being OCD and there aren’t many other people who look at their bikes like I do , but look at a Santa Cruz and then look at a 3600$ Ibis frame and tell me which one you feel good about.
  • + 2
 The finish on my blue Ripmo is stunning in the sunlight. I didn't notice one thing out of the box. It looked better than the finish on the Red/Black Rallon I rode. After hammering some hard miles in the AZ kitty litter there is 1 bad part of the frame finish. When the frame gets to bottom out position and that dam 2.5 aggressor is packed with rock it destroyed the finish off of the back of top link mount. Hard to explain it but the top frame mount on the seat tube. I actually just read a review of the Pivot Firebird on Enduro-mtb and she had the exact same issue on that DW link bike
  • + 1
 @LeetusBee: and then u see an orbea and u realize what quality paint is.
  • - 1
 My neighbor just bought a Mojo HD4 and he says the rear end creeks more than a screen door in a hurricane. Was fine the first couple of rides but has taken it back to the shop....3 times now trying to get it fixed. Mechs have replaced everything on rear end, still creeks and apparently some Ibis rep dude was hear the other day. Happened to stop by the shop and said "oh yeah, it's bushings issue in the rear triangle" Apparently Ibis put a new rear triangle in the mail, headed this way. So the DW Link is......???
  • + 4
 @lightsgetdimmer: Hi, sorry to hear about neighbors issue. We'd have to see the bike or speak with the owner to get a better idea of the issue but we can assure you it's not related to bushings....because the HD4 uses bearings in the linkage.
  • + 1
 @ibiscycles: then it's bearings
  • + 1
 @ibiscycles: Thanks for your reply though. Yeah, i'm not very familiar with Ibis bikes at all but unfortunately, like I said, the first.....5 rides, all was well. I was with him on those rides and he loved/loves the bike but it started making some creaking noises and he took it back to the shop quite a few times. The mechs took a couple parts off here and there, regreased some stuff, put it all back together and the last time completely stripped the bike down, rebuilt it but it still makes noise. When climbing, the bike creaks and pops every pedal stroke. And when the bike is laid over on either side and the crank is stepped on, at an angle, a very loud pop occurs. Then the bike is laid over on the other side and the same thing done but this time, no pop. Then laid back over on the original side, crank stepped on, at an angle and again, a loud pop. He's bummed but hopefully the mechs and this Ibis rep guy get the problem fixed soon.
  • + 2
 Have a few rides on my new Ripmo. Aside from just better overall components, compared to my Santa Cruz TBLTc there is always more flow. Bought from Fanatik Bikes with all my top choices for $7,500. Magura Trail brakes 4 pot front 2 pot rear are progressive, strong and silent. More power and less grab than Shimano XT/XTR. Yes the 3mm bolts on Thompson headsets (like on my TBLT) are insufficient. Ordered a 35mm x 40mm reach Renthal with 4mm bolts for my Ripmo. MRP Ribbon coil fork has noticeably better small bump compliance than previous Pike. Have a Bike Yoke dropper Seatpost that is unbelievably terrific and much better that the old Reverb- light, quick and accurate action. Since the Ripmo can handle 2.6 tires I had it equipped with 2.6" Schwalbe Nobby Nicks. This put my Ripmo on the verge of being a Plus bike with all the benefits in rocky and baby head trails. Equipped with 170mm cranks which pedal good with clip less pedals and have less pedal strikes. This issue of crank length needs more coverage by PB editors. Really good traction on twisty SoCal flat dusty trails. Biggest gripe? Wish I had the fork stem cut for 40mm spacers instead of only 20mm. Regarding Fanatic Bike - what a way to go! Why pay more a settle for components that you are not totally stoked to have on your expensive new bike?
  • + 1
 How do you like the 2.6 NN's on it?? Given the bike's versatility, seems like a perfect match if not Enduro-ing. Been waiting to hear from folks about them on the Ripmo, but seems like most still talking about DHF...
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer I think the biggest complaint I have with any bike review is the changing of integral components such as the shock. I think most people will be buying this bike with the DPX2, so you should review it as such. I think it's only prudent that when doing a review you do it in the form that most people will be buying it. Anecdotally you could suggest tasteful upgrades or changes that would suit your preference and why. Also when doing a review there isnt' a precedent that the average user will be buying the $8,000 model; you know the one college professors, dentists, lawyers, and engineers ride.
  • + 1
 Very much this.
  • + 2
 Quick clarification: if you're under the impression that college professors make enough to afford $8k bikes, then you're sadly mistaken.
  • + 2
 The Ripmo appears to be the 29” update to the HD3: all mountain more so than true Enduro race bike (HD4).

This bike does make me want to try riding a long travel 29’er again.

A note on the X2 shock: Most people ride with and love it because of its high and low speed adjustibilty on rebound and compression ( also why so many like the Fox 36RC2).

My XT brakes have been set and forget, with a bleed once a year. The code brakes on my dh bike are warranty replacements , hot weather/locked levers.
  • + 2
 Love the sport, but hate the prices some think they can get out of me to enjoy it..... I know how to search the internet, build a bike from top to bottom and am not afraid to buy a brand new frame or components on closeout...... 10k for a bike, lmao
  • + 4
 Pb/mtbr/ebay classifieds and last year shop closeouts.
  • + 1
 Dear tester, could you please detail, why 3mm bolt head is a problem? I find that to be a smart move from Thomson as it is less likely for hamfisted to strip the bolts with the smaller key. Also why is 31.8mm bar an issue? Did you feel it to be too flexible for your liking? If yes, is only sizing up a solution or other bar with same diameter could help resolve this concern? These statements of yours need some background info, otherwise they sound like some vague complaints.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer How do you feel about the sizing? You rode a Large for testing? Do you think I'd be silly to go for an XL when I'm 6' with a 32'' inseam?

This is definitely my next bike anyhow.
  • + 1
 Shorter stem, wider bars and seat slid forward could make it work. 44mm offset would help it not feel like a boat.
  • + 2
 We are about the same size, same inseam and I am a little taller and the Large fits me perfectly with a 50mm stem. I rode both the float x2 and DPX2 and the DP seemed to feel best for this bike.
  • + 1
 Xl bikes should usually be for 6'3"+.
  • + 1
 Im 6'1 with a 33-34 inseam and i like the large. The XL would be way to long for me. When i had mine on order i was looking into 35-40mm stems but once i rode it i havent thought twice about the short stem. My NX build came with the Ibis 50mm stem and i upgraded to the 20mm rise Ibis bar thats cut down to 792mm.
  • + 1
 @bubba31147: I'm 6'0" with a 32" inseam and the Large Ripmo with a 40mm stem is perfect. Only 10mm spacers though puts me in a tad (good) aggressive riding position. Really good position for ripping corners but super relaxed for an epic ride day.
  • + 1
 If you don't want to pay the price, go elsewhere to get something less expensive. You can get something that works well for a lot less, like the base NX version for about half the price of the revived version. Don't poison the comments with your complaints, go ride instead.
  • + 1
 I think Mike's review here is spot on. I demoed a Ripmo last month and also found that the bike would benefit with a slacker head angle, wider bars and a shock with better bottom out resistance. Furthermore despite all the Shimano fanbois, I too found the XT brakes inconsistent possessing the all too common on/off Shimano feel. I think the bike might be the best pedaling long travel 29er out there and is the only ride that I would consider as an alternative to my whip (Evil Wreckoning). However, I would want to make the aforementioned changes prior (works angle reduction head set, Code brakes, different rear shock [Avy modded Super Deluxe, maybe a new MRP Hazzard], etc.). These are more changes than I'm willing to make out of the gate to have the bike suit me so I will continue to stay Evil.
  • + 1
 Wider bars than 800 mm? That's what it ships with.
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: The GX kit ships with 780's. I'm not really sure why spending less means you would not benefit from a wider bar, but I guess one must pay for that extra 20mm. Perhaps Kazimer's kit was a mix match since his arrived with 760's, waaaaay too narrow for a bike like this especially a size large. However, the demo I rode had narrower bars as well.
  • + 4
 Let's compare trail brakes to dh brakes. Totally fair.
  • + 1
 @hellbelly: I immediately cut my 800's down to 780. :-)
  • + 1
 @hellbelly: Oh, and I'm guessing that the Ibis bars just happen to come as 780 for alloy (older model, maybe?), and 800 for carbon. So not a width decision on a per-kit basis, but just what's available in the different price point bars. In any case, a set of bars is a cheap upgrade if you really need the extra width.
  • + 1
 @MtbSince84: Hmmmmm, I'm don't know. Ibis offers no bikes in alloy. My point was simply that I agreed with Mr Kazimer's assertions and would make similar changes. It seems odd that his test bike came spec'd with the smaller bars as such, but it is a non issue for the consumer.
  • + 1
 @hellbelly: I was referring to alloy vs. carbon *bars*, not frames. Lower builds come with alloy bars (which happen to be narrower).
  • + 5
 So basicly you liked it, but were not blown away by it.
  • + 1
 With so many excellent bikes out there now, just how blown away can you be? I went from THE 2014 trail bike of the year to the 2018 Ripmo and the Ripmo is actually better all around. Almost over buyers regret. In walking away from 20 years of Santa Cruze brand. But the Ripmo does it all better than my old TBLT and without the suspension hammock hang up of the VPP. But then riding my buddy's SC Hightower, they are a near toss up. You just can't be too "blown away" when comparing a Ripmo to a Hightower. But the Ripmo does have the modern technology (metric shock and reduced offset).
  • + 1
 I tried one last week, 12km over mixed terrains. Compared to my 2016 Patrol the steering felt so light and nimble even though it's a 29er ! Pedaling platform was also good, I was pushing more than I use to going up, and never though to touch the climb switch. I tested the GX build, great overhaul, just maybe the combo wheels and Maxxis 2.5 felt a bit heavy, bot sure 34mm inner rim are needed.
  • + 5
 price: sell your house=buy a bike ????
  • + 2
 No, but buy used cars under 10k cash, and 1-2 year old bikes for 3300-4500 that retailed for 2-4k more when new.
  • + 3
 The Thomson stem is a true classic. Yeah, the bolts are not great but you can buy a set of black titanium bolts from Uberbike especially made for it that completes it.
  • + 0
 I want this bike!!! I have the alloy Sentinel and its stupid heavy on climbs. Totally disagree with his XT comment, I have the Code R on the sentinel and they are crap. Only 2 rides on them and I cant get them to run quietly.
  • + 1
 What do you mean by run quietly? Are the pads noisy? The Codes typically ship with metallic pads (which I prefer), but swapping to organic may quiet things down for you.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: I mean when I give it a check over before a ride I get a rubbing noise from the front and back brake/disc. I've taken the wheels off and checked the pistons and it just doesn't go away. Seems like the left pistons come out more than the right, don't know whether this is normal. I will have to get it looked over by a bike shop. Thanks for the organic pads advise!!! Selling the Sentinel for the Ripmo anyway. Same weight as my Bike park bike.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Mike, does a DW link bike like this (or this bike in particular) get pedal kickback/feedback like a VPP bike such as the Hightower? I'm considering both bikes, but really don't want to have the pedal kickback associated with the VPP design, as I am used to a very suspension neutral (when braking and descending rough section) Split Pivot Troy.
  • + 4
 How does this compare to the Yeti SB 5.5 and 2018 Orbea Rallon?
  • + 2
 Nice review, and nice to see a balanced mountain bike. Only issue is (so I’ve heard) availability, buy now delivered late July / August!
  • + 5
 So, Code brakes offer consistency?
We have sent back to Sram lots of Code crappy levers . We are sick of their So called, "Minor issues"
  • + 4
 There’s a 2.5” aggressor now? Amazing
  • + 1
 How does the 2.3 aggressor size? Is it real 2.3 or smaller ?
  • + 1
 Its a big tire to boot!
  • + 6
 Yes, and it’s a real 2.5, identical in size to the 2.5 DHF. 2.5 DHF/Aggressor combo is the shiz.
  • + 1
 I noticed my 2.5 aggressor on my ripmo picks up a lot of fun stuff to suck though the chainstays. Theres a lot of clearence but still makes a ruckus when rocks get pulled through. This weekend at the Santa Fe BME i crunched a couple pine cones through the swingarm too. Ive only noticed it at low speeds. Besides that their awesome in dry and hardpack
  • + 1
 @zede: it’s a tad smaller than a DHR2 2.4 ;-) all the latest Maxxis tyres I’ve used have been pretty true t size.
The condom exo one stretches a tiny bit fatter than the DD one.
Great size for U.K. winter I thought, just enough slim enough to cut through mud without sacrificing too much cushion but will probably suffer the extra width of the 2.5 come autumn and see what it’s like.
  • + 1
 It never gets old watching a company try to explain why the cheaper option(linkage bushings in this case) they chose to maximize profits is actually the BEST option, and the option you NEED, despite you not knowing it
  • + 1
 So it looks like you can't lower the seat all the way other wise it'll buzz, and the xt brakes are a huge positive. My slx brakes on my m9 stopped me just fine
  • - 1
 Bikes are getting way TOO EXSPENSIVE!! I don't care what technologies or new developments are being used, companies need to realise that the average rider just doesn't have 8K to blow on a bike. Soon it'll be 10k starting price for many more bikes, rant over;
  • + 4
 You did read they have a Ripmo at $4100 - and when stock settles down I am sure you could even get one under 4k. I get that is still a lot of money but you are getting a hell of a bike at $4k.
  • + 2
 Ripmo's at all price points sold out to August/September.
  • - 1
 Why are modern bikes so heavy? 29lbs ain’t light to me, not even close. I get that suspension is better and longer but my ancient Trek VRX weighs the same and it’s got heavy ass wheels and pedals.

Not sure I get 35mm for non-DH bike, just how rigid do you want your bars? I want a little give to help smooth out chatter, it’s like wheels where too stiff is possible.
  • + 2
 Mass return too threaded bb has increased overall weights along with 12 speed dish.
  • - 1
 How light do you need it to be? Anything under 29lbs around here won't survive real world use.
  • + 0
 My size M Nomad gen3 is 28 lbs with dt 471 aluminum wheels. 4000 miles on it, one pivot bearing overhaul.
  • + 2
 @jasdo: santa Cruz bikes always show up to the 28lb party..cc
  • + 1
 @jrocksdh: The almost-1000g tires (and wide rims) don't help, either. Still, for its capability, it's not a bad weight. And I agree with Kazimer that it pedals lighter.
  • + 4
 @IcehawkOS Anyone who is comparing this bike to a trek VRX isn't going to buy one anyway. They're gonna buy a 5 year old incompetent weight-weenie XC bike and wonder why other people think mtb is fun.
  • + 3
 So @MikeKazima I take it you still prefer the Hd3?
  • + 2
 Where can i get a 2019 Fox x2 in size 210x55?
  • + 1
 LBS told me that these won't be available aftermarket in that size but I'd love for someone to prove otherwise.
  • + 2
 the only con is that I don't have one... yet
  • + 1
 Is this high-end bike spec'd with the low-adjustability performance OEM shocks over the performance elite?
  • + 2
 How would this Ripmo compare to the Slash?
  • + 0
 Molded internal routing is one of the least marketed features in bikes, but it is one of the deciding factors for me when it comes to a new frame.
  • - 3
 Shit son, If someone has $ 8-9K to blow on a bike, they likely drive a car that costs two to three times as much, and also likely own / mortgage / rent a (nice) apartment or house. Which also likely means that this someone is over 30. I guess there are a lot of dentists and bankers on pinkbike. Who knew?
  • + 1
 What a bike. Should be a ripper on the trails - fun
  • - 3
 I haven't ridden this bike but I did just demo an Orbea Rallon 29, Pole Evolink 140 V1.3 and Pole Machine. I realize now that the only people who don't see the "revolution" coming haven't ridden the Pole bikes. There are only three companies making mountain bikes with a truly "modern" geometry, Mondraker, Nicholai/GeoMetron and Pole. IMHO these three companies are to mountain biking what Prince tennis racquets were to tennis... a revolution! People looked at the Prince racket and said things like, "It looks like a fly swatter", "Is this a joke", "That thing will play like a trampoline". Clearly the only people who realized just how amazing the oversize racquets would be, were those that had actually played with the racket. Within a few years every tennis racquet was "oversize"... every single one!
The Pole Machine and Evolink 140 on paper look crazy. A large Evolink 140 reach is 510mm and the wheelbase is 1317mm. By all other manufacturers standards they're crazy. Fortunately Leo Kokkonen hasn't based his bike designs on other companies standards and now we're looking at a revolution in mtb design!
Before you make a judgement, go ride a Pole bike. It will feel different and it will amaze you at just how much more fun you'll have on a bike! Climbing, descending, switchbacks, in the air, flowing trails, just cruising the flats, all of it! I demo'ed the Pole's at Mulberry Gap, GA for a few hours and the results were... I ordered an Evolink 140 EN. Welcome to the revolution
  • + 9
 Dude are you a f*cking marketer?
  • + 8
 The heck is tennis?
  • + 3
 I think fat skis in the 90's would be a more relevant comparison on PB.
  • + 1
 5'5" 29" inseam. Small or Medium with 40mm stem?
  • + 2
 Con $8169
  • - 3
 Does anyone sell a kit to remove the silly 50t cog from the eagle cassette? Eagle is making almost all new bikes undesirable. Why would such an expensive bike have a cassette geared for beginners?
  • + 3
 beginners ? depends on how steep you climb and what front ring you have... bigger range is better. nobody forces you to use 12 speed, they have non eagle build for much cheaper anyway... whatever.
  • - 3
 Thank you Mike for pointing out the flaws in bushings. No high end mtb company should ever put bushings at a shock or pivot mount.
  • + 0
 @WayneParsons: They suck in pedals. They'll suck even more in this application. IMHO at least. Definitely not what I would expect on such a 'boutique' product.
  • + 7
 @m1dg3t: You cannot compare both, pedals are always in rotation, suspension arm only goes a few degrees both ways. Have a look in the industry, bearings are not meant to be used like that.
  • + 1
 @TheLittleFox: Needle bearings in low rotation parts like shock eyelets. Always.
  • + 18
 Interesting to see how the way the type of bearings are being tested has next to nothing to do with the reason why they're chose in the first place. Suspension pivots are heavily loaded but only rotate over a small angle. Most of the time, they spend in more or less the same orientation. This could lead ball/needle bearings (bushings are bearings too) to - over time - (which is key here) develop notches in the bearing races over time. And these won't feel smooth. Bushings distribute the load more evenly.

So what we have here is a bike journo comparing a fresh (and possibly even unloaded) product against a bike manufacturer who has made a decision based on long term benefits. If you're going to argue against that, you'll need to base that on long term testing too. Now I'm not going to say I've done the testing but so far the pro-bushing statement makes sense and statement against them doesn't. Especially when pedal bushings (which actually do perform full rotations) are brought into the discussion.

There seems to be a sentiment of "expensive bike, we need the expensive option" but the expensive option isn't necessarily the best. Loose leave tea against teabags, shaving soap against shaving foam from a pressurized container... I could go full hipster dentist on this one. But considering it is an Ibis, I feel it is justified.
  • + 4
 This is a pretty broad generalization. Turner managed (very successfully) to use bushings on all of their bikes for a better part of 20years. I never had an issue with them at all. Bushing changes once every 5 years maybe? Dont see that happening with most bearing pivots.
  • + 4
 @m1dg3t: I despise pedal bushings too but i think pedals are a completely different application though. Consecutive thousands of full 360 degree rotations vs. ~10 degrees of rotation
  • + 1
 @vinay: Sounds like a double row would solve this, allowing both sets of needle bearings continuous rotation around the middle race.
  • + 3
 @WayneParsons:
In theory... in practice needle bearings seize up with a water ingress and rot in no time. I think IGUS bushings make a lot of sense in this low rotation application, and they have a lifetime warranty.
  • + 1
 @Otago: If they are sealed well (like RWC bearing kits are) then they can last a very long time. In fact, I can go all season without any issues and I'm always washing my bike. You're right though, if they are exposed then they die really fast.
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