First ride: Ibis Ripmo version 2.0

Is the revamped Ripmo as good as the original?

29er Enduro Pro Reviews

Ibis Cycles has launched an updated version of its long-travel 29er, the Ripmo. The Ripmo V2 features longer, slacker geometry and updated suspension kinematics that make it compatible with coil shocks. We were lucky enough to get a frameset in for an early test. Read on to see how the new Ripmo stacks up to the original.

Ibis Ripmo 2 Highlights 

  • Longer reach, slacker head angle, longer wheelbase than the original
  • Slight (2mm) increase in rear suspension travel
  • More progressive suspension leverage ratio
  • Compatible with some coil shocks
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • Frame weight: 6.3 pounds w/Fox DPX2 shock
  • Frame pricing starts at $2,999
  • Complete bikes start at $4,099
  • Available now
  • Visit www.ibiscycles.com for more information
The new Ripmo is available in Star Destroyer Grey and Zap Blue.

The new Ripmo is available in Star Destroyer Grey and Zap Blue.

How is the new Ripmo different from the original?

Improving on the original Ripmo is a tall order.

Improving on the original Ripmo is a tall order.

No model from the Ibis line-up, save the original Mojo, has garnered as much praise from riders and as many awards from media outlets as the Ripmo. So why mess with a good thing? In this time of ever-changing geometry trends, Ibis sought to keep the Ripmo on track with its competitors and give riders the option to run coil as well as air shocks.

Ibis didn’t spend too much time at the drawing board to update the Ripmo, since Ripmo AF’s (aluminum frame) updated angles were a hit with riders.

Related: Ripmo AF Review

The Ripmo AF (aluminum frame) served as the testbed for developing the geometry of the new Ripmo.

The Ripmo AF (aluminum frame) served as the testbed for developing the geometry of the new Ripmo.

Compared to the original Ripmo, version 2.0 has a head tube angle that is one degree slacker at 64.9 degrees with a 160mm suspension fork. Reach numbers across the four-bike size range are also longer. Reach on the small Ripmo grows by 2mm, 14mm on the medium, 4mm on the large, and 7mm on the extra-large frame.

Ripmo v2 geometry.

Ripmo v2 geometry is slightly longer and slacker than the original.

The new bike’s suspension kinematics were updated to make it more progressive toward the end of the suspension stroke. This additional ramp up makes the Ripmo compatible with some coil shocks, such as those offered by DVO and Cane Creek. (Fox and PUSH still don’t recommend running their coil offerings with clevis-driven suspension designs.) Like the Ripmo AF, the adjustments made to the rear suspension serve up an additional 2mm of travel, bumping rear travel up to 147mm.

IGUS bushings, backed up by a lifetime warranty, are still used in the lower link.

IGUS bushings, backed up by a lifetime warranty, are still used in the lower link.

Some things stayed the same. The Ripmo V2 has clearance for 29×2.6 tires and uses a 73mm threaded bottom bracket. The frame comes with a seven-year frame warranty and a lifetime warranty on the IGUS bushings used in the lower linkage.

Ripmo version 2.0 first ride review: the remix

First off, let’s start with a bit of backstory. I enjoyed testing the original Ripmo so much that I ended up buying one. The balanced handling and impressive pedaling performance won me over. It was the perfect companion to tackle the rocky, often janky, trails I frequently ride in Colorado and Utah.

Then came the Ripmo AF, which is better suited to the direction the long-travel 29er category is heading. The bike’s longer reach, slacker head angle, and extended wheelbase makes the aluminum Ripmo a more confident descender than the first-generation carbon frame, albeit by a matter of degrees—one degree, if we’re being literal.

Given the snowy winter we’ve had in Colorado, my time aboard the new Ripmo has been very limited. (Note the use of stock images, rather than my own snowy and uninspiring slushy riding photos.) Even so, there are no major surprises here. It’s a carbon counterpart to the AF and that’s a great thing. Like the AF, the increased front center length requires more body English when navigating tight switchbacks since there’s more bike to swing through turns. This is the trade-off for a bike that’s more adept at steep and speedy descents. I’m still dialing in the rear suspension, but it feels like there’s more rear travel. It’s not because there is actually 2mm more suspension to work with, but rather, because there’s more ramp toward the end of the stroke, which keeps the Fox X2 shock from feeling like I’ve reached the limit.

Some aspects of the Ripmo have stayed the same. The latest bike still pedals incredibly well and is much more of a do-everything rig than its competitors. For most riders, this will make the Ripmo a better option than some of the longer, slacker 29er enduro bikes on the market.

So there you have it, the 2020 Ripmo is evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. If the Ripmo were an early hominid, its opposable thumb would have a slight increase in dexterity—all the better to grasp the dropper post lever with. Speaking of dropper seatposts, there is one small but meaningful difference between the frames. I only stumbled across this frame change because I swapped parts from my old bike to the new test frame.

Full internal dropper seatpost routing makes the new Ripmo compatible with longer dropper seatposts.

Full internal dropper seatpost routing makes the new Ripmo compatible with longer dropper seatposts.

Dropper seatpost routing on the original Ripmo exited the seat tube above the bottom bracket before reentering the downtube. On the new Ripmo, the dropper is routed entirely through the frame. Here’s why this matters: I felt that the dropper port was higher than it needed to be on the original frame. In some cases (including mine) the seat tube port limited maximum dropper seatpost insertion. The new, fully-internal dropper routing sits lower in the frame, allowing riders to run longer droppers. I can now run a 210mm One-Up dropper seatpost on my size medium Ripmo. This is amazing, since I stand just a hair over 5’8” with a 30” inseam and a 70.5cm saddle height. Nice job, Ibis.

Is it worth upgrading my current Ripmo to the Ripmo v2?

Are the changes to the Ripmo worth upgrading? It depends.

Are the changes to the Ripmo worth upgrading? It depends.

Outside of the desire to own the latest and greatest, there are only a handful of situations in which I can see current Ripmo owners benefitting from this upgrade. If you like your current Ripmo but want the option to run a coil shock, the new Ripmo with its more progressive leverage ratio makes sense.

In terms of the handling differences between the two versions, the geometry changes are small enough that I don’t envision the previous generation holding riders back—don’t blame your current Ripmo for your shortcomings. But, if you’re a gravity-focused enduro racer, the longer reach and slacker front end do improve the new Ripmo’s prowess on high-speed descents.

If, in contrast, you enjoy the challenge of slow-speed tech and picking your way through trail features, rather than blasting over them, the original Ripmo is slightly better suited to chess-match-style rockgarden riding.

It's hard to find a good reason to trade your AF for the new Ripmo.

It’s hard to find a good reason to trade your AF for the new Ripmo.

If you already own a Ripmo AF, the reasons for upgrading to the new carbon Ripmo are even harder to conjure up. There’s a $1,200 difference in price between these two models. Do you really like how your aluminum Ripmo handles, but you also want to spend your hard-earned money just because you can? Well, you’re in luck; new Ripmo is here to facilitate this transaction.

Early verdict

Overall, version 2.0 of Ibis’ long-travel 29er takes small but meaningful evolutionary steps that keep it on track to meet the needs of aggressive trail riders and enduro racers. As with the original Ripmo, it’s neither the longest nor the slackest in the category, but rather, a balanced mountain bike that performs exceedingly well across a wide range of speeds and terrains, and it’s this versatility that continues to make the Ripmo a category leader. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the new Ripmo in our Ibis Cycles forum.


About the author: Josh Patterson

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998, and has been writing about mountain biking and cyclocross since 2006. He was also at the forefront of the gravel cycling movement, and is a multi-time finisher of Dirty Kanza. These days, Josh spends most of this time riding the rocky trails and exploring the lonely gravel roads around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.


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Comments:

  • Jake says:

    Exactly what I was looking for from a review. Especially the difference in the v1 vs V2

    • Josh Patterson says:

      I’m glad to read you found it useful. Check back in a couple of months for an updated, long-term review.

  • Greg says:

    If one was to install a -1 angleset in the V1 Ripmo, how close in performance would the V1 get to the V2? Appreciate the advice.

  • Josh Patterson says:

    You will get similar handling to the V2, but without the increased reach and suspension progression. Depending on the size frame you ride (size mediums see the longest increase in reach) this may or may not be much of an issue.

  • Greg says:

    Thanks Josh! I would be looking at an XL frame. Tough choice as there are some killer deals on the V1 to be had but I do love the descents.

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