The Ripmo exploded into popularity when it first launched back in 2018. The second iteration released in 2020 somehow became even more popular than the first. Ever since they’ve been one of the most sought-after bikes in MTB. Throw a leg over one and you’ll quickly learn why. It is impossibly quick and efficient for how smooth it feels in bumpy terrain. I don’t know what voodoo magic Ibis sprinkles into this bike, but I can’t get enough of it.
Ibis Ripmo Ride Impressions
Sorry, I already spilled the beans about how the Ripmo does in the climbing department — It takes the cake. The DW-Link suspension platform makes the Ripmo so quick to accelerate you’ll be looking for the motor. The second you hit the gas, the bike is propelled forward with purpose. That quality by itself can be found in a lot of other bikes, however. What comes next is the incredible part. The Ripmo is somehow ultra-smooth in rough terrain, too. So how do you make a bike feel like a hardtail under pedaling forces yet buttery smooth in the bumps? I don’t know — I’d be making bikes if I did.
The Ripmo is as efficient as the shorter-travel Yeti SB130, yet somehow way smoother and more comfortable in bumpy terrain. This unique combination is what makes it the best climber in the test. It does very well on smoother, straighter climbs as well as bumpy, twisty, and rocky technical climbs. It’s not quite as smooth as the Hightower on bumpy bits of trail, but it is quicker and more efficient. There isn’t a place it doesn’t shine while going uphill.
What goes up, must come down. The Ripmo comes down almost as well as it goes up. Bikes that are the best climbers aren’t always the most fun descenders. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the Ripmo. Judging a bike’s downhill ability can be a tricky beast. There are so many factors that come into play on the downhill — capability, riding style, fun factor, plushness, speed… You get the idea. While the Ripmo isn’t the most capable descender in our test when it comes to flat-out rough terrain, it’s probably the most poppy and playful bike on offer. The Sentinel whoops it in the capability department, the Hightower is smoother and more controlled in the bumps and the SB130 is faster, but none of the others are as jibby and fun.
What I think makes it the most poppy bike in the test is where it sits in the travel while descending. Bikes like the Hightower and Sentinel sit a little deeper into the travel giving them a more stable and grounded feeling. The Ripmo, however, sits higher in the travel. This stance gives you more mid-stroke to push into when it comes time to bunnyhop, pump or unweight. You get more support instead of blowing through the travel. You also get more return on your energy investment when you try to get off the ground.
I’m a firm believer that a bike’s geometry and suspension design make up 90% of how it rides. Most of the other stuff is secondary. Both the Hightower and Ripmo have very similar geometry. They both have excellent suspension platforms. Like the Hightower, the Ripmo’s suspension platform is what makes it so special. The Ripmo is special in a different way, however. Where the Hightower’s suspension makes the bike more capable by being plush, deep, and planted, the Ripmo’s suspension makes the bike more lively, fun, and engaging.
Who is Ibis Ripmo for?
If you value climbing performance over most other things, get the Ripmo. Ibis is great at making bikes climb well. In fact, their bikes are usually the best climbers per category in the entire industry. If you value having fun on the downhill, this is your bike. Riders who enjoy side hits, pumping through rollers, and bunnyhopping every obstacle will get a lot of bang for their buck out of the Ripmo. If you’re looking for flat-out monster truck-ability, this might not be your bike.
Want to shred harder? – Check out the Sentinel
Want to go blazingly fast everywhere? – Check out the SB130
Want the plushest ride out there? – Check out the Hightower
the bottom line
Unbelievably good uphill and the most playful back down.