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Which Bike Should I Buy: Ibis Ripley vs. Ibis Ripmo

I've been shopping for an Ibis Ripley because I think it could be my perfect do-it-all quiver killer for lunch rides, big desert riding trips, and bikepacking adventures. But the bigger Ibis Ripmo is giving me second thoughts. Which bike should I pick?

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Bikes

I’ve wanted a Ripley for years, but will I be tempted away by the Ripmo?

How do you choose between a short-travel vs. a long-travel trail bike? That’s the question I’m asking myself as I compare the Ibis Ripley V4 and the Ibis Ripmo V2. (Due to financial and space limitations, I can only choose one.)  

What I’m looking for is a “quiver-killer” bike — one bike that can do it all. Of course, a jack-of-all-trades has to make some compromises. Neither bike will be perfect for every riding situation. So do I err toward uphill efficiency (Ripley) or downhill performance (Ripmo)? Let’s dive into the specs and qualities of each bike to help me decide. 

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Ibis Ripley vs. Ripmo Specs

Ibis Ripley vs. Ripmo

Ibis Ripley V4 / V4S

Ibis Ripmo V2 / V2S

Front Travel



Rear Travel



Head Angle



Seat Angle (M)



Stack (M)



Reach (M)



Chainstay Length



Tire Clearance



Frame Weight

5.4 lbs 

6.3 lbs (DPX2) / 6.74 lbs (X2)

Frame Cost (new)



Why Am I Looking for an Ibis Mountain Bike?

Ibis logo headbadge Ripmo vs. ripleyI love the older logo and would love a 2020-2022 model with the screw-on headbadge. 

The simple answer is that I like Ibis! I’ve been a fan for years. It’s one of mountain biking’s O.G. brands and the Ibis Mojo was one of my original dream bikes. I also really like the DW-Link suspension that Ibis uses.

This clever twin-link system was originally designed by legendary suspension designer, Dave Weagle (hence the “DW”), and every Ibis I’ve ever tried has had amazing climbing efficiency without sacrificing much comfort or big-hit performance. 

While I never ended up owning my dream Mojo, I did spend a good amount of time on an old Ripley way back in 2016. It was my main trail bike that year and I loved using it for everyday trail rides and short track racing. But as my interests shifted toward enduro racing, I moved on to enduro bikes with more travel and more progressive geometry. I came very, very close to buying a Ripmo V1 back in 2018 since a few of my co-workers were riding it. I ultimately ended up with a Santa Cruz Hightower LT, but the Ripmo has always been high on my wish list.    

So what am I looking for now? These days, I’m not racing as much or sending any crazy features, but I still like chasing my fast friends up climbs and down descents. A lot of the trails I regularly ride have sections that can get pretty steep, loose, and rough. However, I also enjoy epic XC-ish rides that last 4+ hours, cover a lot of ground, and climb high into the mountains. 

Remembering how efficiently DW-Link bikes climb, I immediately took an interest in the Ripley and Ripmo. Both models got big updates in the last few years that have improved the geometry, making the choice even harder.

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Why Would I Choose the Ibis Ripley?

Ibis Ripley vs. Ripmo

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Ibis Ripley Pros

  • More efficient climbing
  • More playful/fun on mellower trails
  • Lower weight (28 lbs 12 oz)

Ibis Ripley Cons

  • Might be a bit underbiked and scary on gnarlier trails

The Ibis Ripley V4 received a 2020 update to bring the geometry in line with other modern trail bikes. Most importantly, the reach increased to 450mm for a size medium, which happens to be what I consider ideal for my height (5’8). I’d always felt the old Ripley felt too short, which sacrificed stability when things got really steep and fast. 

The 66.5-degree head angle will work great for a very wide range of trails. On mellow flow trails, it will feel agile and precise. But when things get steeper and rougher, it’s still slack enough to keep things in control. Having spent a lot of time on a Specialized Epic Evo (66.5-degree HA) and a Canyon Neuron (67-degree HA), I really do think head angles in this range are perfect for riders that want a playful yet capable trail bike that can do everything from XC to light enduro-ish riding. 

As for suspension travel, 130/120mm might not sound like a lot, but when paired with modern suspension components and modern geometry, it can actually get pushed quite far. After riding a huge range of trails on my Epic Evo (including jump trails at the DH bike park!), I think the Ripley will have no problem plowing down nearly every trail I’d want to ride. When the terrain gets seriously gnarly, however, I will have to descend a bit slower than I would on the Ripmo. Maybe even walk some sections. 

Climbing though is where the Ripley should shine in comparison to the Ripmo. The frame itself is about a pound lighter and the Ripley XT build is 28 lbs 12 oz while the Ripmo XT build is 32 lbs 3 oz. That’s over 3.5 lbs less. Combined with the shorter travel, the Ripley is going to feel a lot sportier when pedaling across flat terrain and up steep hills. It is the type of bike I’d have no problem using in an XC or endurance race. 

Why Would I Choose the Ibis Ripmo?

Ibis Ripmo vs Ripley

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Ibis Ripmo Pros

  • More suspension travel 
  • More confidence-inspiring geometry
  • Still impressively good at climbing

Ibis Ripmo Cons

  • Might feel like overkill on mellow trails and long-distance rides

The Ripmo is essentially the Ripley’s bigger brother. Suspension travel has been bumped up to 160/147mm, which is entering enduro territory. In fact, the Ripmo has been raced by the Ibis enduro team in the Enduro World Series/World Cup, proving that it has the chops to handle the world’s gnarliest DH trails. 

The V2 update in 2020 introduced much more progressive geometry to make the bike more capable downhill. The head angle was slacked out a full degree to 64.9 degrees, bringing it in line with many other enduro-focused bikes. The reach was also lengthened a bit, providing more stability on fast and gnarly terrain. Qith a 460mm reach, it’s 10mm longer than the Ripley (though strangely, they’re the same 475mm reach in a size Large), which isn’t massive, but noticeable. It would allow me to run a stem that’s 10mm shorter. 

The combination of more travel (and generally burlier suspension like the Fox 36 fork and Float X2 Shock) and slacker/longer geometry will do a lot to help my confidence on gnarly downhills. This is good because, a big goal on many of my rides is to hold the wheel of my fast friends as we bomb downhill. I’m a bit skittish descending and any extra confidence would be really nice. 

Also, I know from my co-workers who have owned the Ripmo, that it’s still a pretty decent climber. The DW-Link suspension provides a very solid and efficient pedaling platform that shouldn’t hold me back too much. That said, the Ripmo is heavier and the geometry is more laid back, so it simply won’t feel as sporty on the climbs. In fact, my biggest concern is that the Ripmo is so far removed from an XC bike, that I won’t feel stoked enough to join my friends riding short-travel rigs on all-day epics in the high mountains.  

What about the Ibis Ripley AF or Ripmo AF?

Honestly, I’m not considering these models right now because I’m currently only interested in riding a carbon frame. That said, the aluminum framed versions of these bikes are still great, and much cheaper. The Ripmo AF is essentially the same bike as the Ripmo, just in aluminum. 

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But interestingly, the Ripley AF has a head angle that is a full degree slacker than the carbon version. I think if the Ripley came with the same geometry as the Ripley AF, it’d be an easier choice for me because it would make the Ripley slightly more capable downhill, making it the ultimate lightweight all-rounder. 

Can I Overfork the Ripley to 140mm?

Ibis Ripley 140mm fork vs RipmoHere’s an option I’m considering. I’m a big fan of overforking bikes — increasing the travel of the suspension fork or upgrading to one with more travel. The Ripley comes with a 130mm Fox 34, which would be very easy to bump up to 140mm with a new air spring. This would slack the front end out to around 65.5 degrees and give me just a bit more downhill confidence without adding any weight. 

How Do I Choose Between the Ibis Ripley and Ripmo?

  • What are my riding goals?
  • What is my terrain like?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?

My suggestion to customers is to always consider their “dream ride” when choosing a bike. What I mean by this is, imagine what your perfect bike ride looks like. Are you traversing miles and miles of trail, maybe deep in the wilderness or high in the mountains? Choose the Ripley. Are you blasting down gnarly trails at warp speed, or hitting big jumps and drops? Choose the Ripmo. The right bike is the one that best supports your dreams. 

The second consideration is your preferred/local terrain. Smoother and less technical? Flat trails or lots long climbs? Choose the Ripley. Super rough and rocky? Really steep with technical descents? Choose the Ripmo. 

The big problem I’m facing is that I feel like I want it all. I want to do epic rides with big climbs, but I also want to shred tough downhills. Here on the Colorado Front Range, I can also hit trails that cover the entire spectrum of terrain. 

So for me, it really comes down to the third decision point. What are my strengths and weaknesses? Am I worse at climbing or worse at descending? The bike I should pick should be the one that best supports my weaknesses, right? My fitness isn’t bad, and as I get older, I’m getting slower on gnarly descents. Maybe the Ripmo really is the right choice?

What Bike Do My Friends Think I Should Pick? 

Ibis Ripley vs Ripmo TPC poll
  • Ibis Ripley: 10 votes
  • Ibis Ripmo: 8 votes

I decided to poll my co-workers on the slack channel we use to organize our mountain bike rides. 18 riders responded, and as you can see, the Ripley won (barely). Looking at the riders who voted, the more fitness-oriented riders (strong climbers and endurance specialists) seemed to prefer the Ripley, while the shredders (park rats and enduro racers) preferred the Ripmo. So the results really weren’t surprising, and not super useful. But it was fun! 

What Bike Do YOU Think I Should Pick

Maybe I’ll listen to you. Maybe I won’t. (Maybe I’ve already bought a new bike by the time you read this.) Anyway, let me know which Ibis YOU would pick. Or if you think there’s a better do-it-all trail bike with between 120-150mm of travel, let me know in the comments! 

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Photos courtesy of Ibis Cycles.