At a glance
The IBIS Ripmo AF is the alloy version of the classic carbon Ripmo, Ibis’ 150mm travel enduro machine. It features a 64.9 degree head angle, DW Link suspension design and can be run with either a coil or air shock. The bike is built to take a 160mm travel fork, 29’’ wheels and can take up to 2.6’’ wide tires.Buy Enduro Bikes on
About the brand
Ibis bicycles have been around for a long long time. As early as 1981 the Ibis brand started to spread its wings right in Mendocino, California. Together with all the other usual suspects as Joe Breeze, Richard Cunningham and Jacuy Phelan they were the early pioneers of mountain biking. They actually got a really good write up on their website: https://www.ibiscycles.com/our-story/history/1-how-it-all-came-to-be
The brand hit a rough patch after being sold to investors in the early 2000’s but after being bought back, it resurfaced again at the 2005 Anaheim bike show with Scot Nicol, Hans Heim, Tom Morgan and Roxy Lo running the show. Currently Ibis is run by 40 odd people from their Santa Cruz headquarters. They focus on high end, quality bikes from alloy and carbon and sell all over the world. Frame production is done in the far east by their specifications, while assembly is done in the USA.
Sadly, there is nothing mentioned on their website in terms of sustainability or other goals.
The Ripmo AF is the Californian brand's answer to the demand for affordable enduro capable machines. Just a few millimeters short of 150mm travel this bike aims at the enduro and trail rider looking to spend between 3500-4500 USD which by today's standards is called affordable. We had our test ride as a custom build with RockShox suspension taking care of the damping duties.
Checking the frame details you’ll get a hydroformed alloy frame, with CNC machined linkages. The rear end takes boost sized hubs, 31.6mm seat post and we see the return of a threaded bottom bracket. There is no mention on the bearing specifications, but it does come with a removable ISCG05 mount. Frame finish is clean although the linkage itself looks a little agricultural to me. The frame is available in 4 sizes and comes with a 7 year warranty.
Geometry wise, the Ripmo claims to have some modern numbers, but to me it all looks quite middle of the road. They mention a slack 64,9 degree head angle, which in our book is definitely not slack and the 475 reach for a size Large is also fairly traditional. The steepish 76 degree seat angle makes for easy climbing and with 435mm the chainstay length is short-ish, keeping things playful.
As mentioned, we put our hands on the frame only option so the components are a custom build of Rockshox Zebs, Rockshox deluxe shocks and a mix of Sram NX for drivetrain and Shimano SLX 4 pistons for brakes. An eclectic combo, but what's a man to do with the current state of the bike industry? PNW supplied the cockpit and a trusty dropper to finish it all off. Retail value with a build like this would be around 4000 Euro.
Out on the trail
Pedaling up the Ripmo is stable and steady. The DW link provides a good platform to climb with and combined with the lockable Rock Shox Super Deluxe Ultimate there was very little bob to be noticed on long gravel and hardpack climbs. When things got technical on the up, the Ripmo got the job done with a little complaining. The rear suspension was active enough to provide some good traction though.
When pointing the bike down the smile returned on my face. Combined with the slightly longer than recommended ZEB (170mm travel) the Ripmo wanted you to go go go! The bike is not mega playful and when things get really steep, it starts letting you know about the 64.9 head angle, but on rock strewn descents this bike lets you set the pace. Straight line rough stuff is where the Ripmo shines and when pushed hard the progressive suspension gives you a bottomless feeling.
The Ripmo is a great value for money machine. Not the lightest, not the craziest geometry but just a solid ride for your day to day adventures. It loves going fast and enjoys the rock gardens and rough trails. It is less at home in the steeps, or if you fancy a super playful ride. Frame finish could be a little less agricultural in our opinion, but you do have to keep the price point in mind too.Buy Enduro Bikes on
This review was in Issue 70 of IMB.For more information visit Ibis Cycles
By Jarno HooglandJarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.