Ibis celebrates its 40th birthday with retro-inspired Ripmo

Ripmo 2021 88
Ripmo bringing the 80s back on trend (Image: Ibis) (Image credit: Ibis)

Ibis is one of the founding mountain bike brands. The Santa Cruz domiciled company has been in business since 1981 and produced some of the most iconic mountain bikes.

To celebrate four decades of mountain bike fabrication and design, Ibis has produced three custom frames for its EWS team riders. These carbon Ripmos feature a colorway that pays homage to one of the Ibis legacy graphic designs from 1988.

It was an Olympic year in Asia (the Seoul games) when Ibis released the 88 SS (Super Sport) colorway. A blend of blues and purples, designed to complement each other.

On the thin-wall steel tubing, it was a radical look for any off-road frame, with the light blue fork and front tringle colors fading to purple halfway across the chassis.

Ripmo 2021 88

(Image credit: Ibis)

On point with the retro trend

The year represents yet another Asian Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan and Ibis has skillfully applied the 88 SS design to its halo enduro bike. 

Although the Ripmo has a shock linkage and active rear triangle, not to mention much larger composite tubes, the industrial designers at Ibis rarely get it wrong.

The custom EWS team bikes look terrific with their blue-to-purple colors. Some might find the bright orange Fox fork lowers and matching chainguide a touch too vivid, but 1988 was a year of outrageous colors, which makes the extravagant Ripmo 88 SS finish entirely appropriate.

Ripmo 2021 88

(Image credit: Ibis)

There can be only one 

Beyond the authentically retro colors, the Ripmo anniversary edition is mechanically unchanged. That means it is configured around a 147mm shock and sits at a 64.9-degree head angle, when fitted with the recommended 160mm fork.

If you prefer this 1988 colorway on your new Ripmo V2, there is good and bad news. The unfortunate truth, first: Ibis won’t be offering it as a limited-edition customer finish.

The good news is that one of the three Ibis EWS team bikes will be auctioned. If you fancy owning this Ibis Ripmo unicorn bike, you merely need to support a raffle to the benefit of Santa Cruz’s Mountains Trail Stewardship initiative.

Lance Branquinho
Freelance writer

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born journalist who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. As well as Bike Perfect, Lance has written for MBR.com, Off-Road.cc and Cycling News.