Learn about suspension setup basics on the following tabs. Each tab has a video with the basics of Air Spring / PSI, Volume Spacers, Compression, Rebound (or watch it all in one place with the final tab).
Each tab has a text section with a bit more in-depth look at the typical MTB suspension settings and how they intertwine.
PSI / Spring Rate
MTB suspension must accommodate a wide range of rider weight. To achieve this nearly all forks and rear shocks use an adjustable air spring.
By varying air pressure riders set a desired sag, or percentage of travel that the bike “sits into” under neutral loading.
Modifying this sag percentage will change small bump compliance as well as bottom out characteristics.
Learning how to Pre-Charge your suspension pump will help you make finite adjustments to sag.
Typically 15% sag is for a firm setup and 20% sag is considered plush.
Air Spring Fine Tuning Control(s): Volume Spacers & Compression
Air springs ramp rate, sometimes called Spring Rate, is based on how air compresses in the containment cylinder. As the air is compressed the PSI increases according to the decreasing volume of the containment. This is done via non-compressible volume spacers in the air chamber.
Hydraulic damping assists air spring providing support in mid-stroke and bottom out.
Opposing Control: Rebound.
Higher spring rate will drive the suspension back to neutral with more force than a lower spring rate. To keep the bike from skipping across trail rebound damping is utilized.
**on the Ripmo AF’s DVO Onyx fork much of this adjustment is done by the OTT or Off the Top negative air spring adjuster. However, Volume Spacing is used on most forks and nearly all air shocks.
As suspension compresses (travel reduces) a piston moves closer to the end of a sealed container. By decreasing the volume of the container the PSI pushing back on the piston is increased.
By adding or removing non-compressible volume spacers riders modify the air spring’s ramp rate which directly changes the amount of support and bottom out feel of the fork or shock.
By removing volume spacers a rider increases the available volume in the suspension. The larger volume compresses less per mm of travel resulting in a lower PSI per mm of travel. This creates less support and is utilizes more travel.
Adding volume spacers decreases the available volume. With less air volume the PSI per mm of travel increases providing more support and greater resistance to bottom out.
Opposing Control: Rebound.
Rebound may need to be adjusted for volume tuning depending on how drastic of a PSI change is being tuned in or out of the suspension.
“Helping” Control: Compression.
Compression provides additional support and bottom out resistance.
Compression controls provide damping to slow suspension travel as a load is applied and the suspension is compressed. (easy one right?)
When riders have found sag and volume spacing preferences compression controls provide minute adjustments to dial in performance. Adding compression provides more support allowing the suspension to ride taller in its travel which is important when dialing in a bike’s personality in corners, etc.
With too little compression a bike will sit deep in the travel. This compromises cornering and braking force resistance. Headtube angle, bottom bracket height, front to rear weight bias, etc are modified as a bike goes through its travel. Maintaining control of the use of travel is paramount for good performance.
Since compression hydraulically slows the suspension’s use of travel it therefor lowers the air spring’s PSI. Properly setting compression controls will help ease the load on the rebound system by controlling the air spring’s push back onto the rebound circuit.
Too much compression will cause a bike to feel harsh and not use appropriate amounts of travel.
Generally, compression settings are fine tuned after sag and volume spacing have riders “in the ballpark.”
Low speed compression controls mid-stroke as well as support in cornering and against brake dive.
High speed compression helps with bottom out and high shaft speed inputs.
3 positions switches are a type of compression circuit with Open the most plush, Mid providing some additional support and Firm for climbing. If you climb in firm remember to put it back to plush for the downhill or you’re in for a potentially rough ride.
Rebound damping controls a suspension’s shaft speed returning to a neutral position. Or, how fast the air spring pushes back as the load changes.
More rebound damping slows the suspension by decreasing the amount of fluid allowed to pass through the hydraulic design.
Less rebound damping allows the suspension to return faster with less hydraulic restriction on the damper.
Rebound setting is based on weight, ground speed, terrain and aggression. Setting the rebound properly means finding the right frequency or feel for your riding.
If your rebound is too fast, or doesn’t have enough clicks of rebound, the bike will tend to skip and suffer poor small bump compliance.
When the rebound is too slow, or you have too many clicks of rebound, the suspension may “pack up” creating a harsh ride as each bump uses progressively more travel forcing the suspension deeper into the travel, which will have higher spring rates.
Opposing: Air Spring PSI / Spring Rate.
“Helping” Control: Low & High Speed Rebound.
Some suspension is designed with 2 rebound circuits. The High Speed Rebound circuit is designed to provide additional control resisting increased PSI late in suspension travel.
Typically High Speed Rebound settings are used as the Low Speed Rebound controls edge towards closed. Example: you might not use any clicks of High Speed Rebound until you reach “X” clicks on the low speed.
DVO Onyx D1
For the 160mm travel Onyx SC D1 suggested sag is 15% for a firm feel and 20% for a plush fork. On the stock 160mm setup 15% equals 24mm or about 1 inch of sag. 20% will use 32mm or about 1.3″ of sag.
The DVO Onyx SC D1 fork offers a wide range of tuning capacity with 22 clicks of rebound.
DVO Onyx SC D1 Compression Controls
The DVO Onyx SC D1 provides Low and High speed compression controls to fine tune support.
The Low Speed Compression, seen above, features 6 clicks of adjustability.
High Speed Compression is adjusted by spinning the above dial in full rotations. Don’t feel for detents. There are 5 rotations of High Speed Compression adjustment on the Onyx SC D1.
DVO’s OTT adjustment adds or removes preload on the fork’s coil negative spring.
A 5mm allen allows for external adjustment on the 12 clicks used to fine tune small bump compliance.
DVO Topaz T3
Air Spring & Volume Spacers
The Ibis Ripmo AF uses a 210 x 55mm shock.
SAG is adjusted by PSI – typically Enduro riding styles gravitate to 25-30% sag. This would measure about 17mm for a plush setup.
Volume spacing provides fine tuning options to support the air spring.
By adding volume spacers, thus reducing the volume, you increase the air spring’s ramp rate for improved bottom out support and pop.
Conversely removing volume spacers produces a more linear feel as the air has more volume during shock compression per mm of travel.
Do not install more volume spacers than the DVO advises. Installing more than the maximum volume spacers will result in product damage and potential for injuries, etc.
DVO Topaz T3 Rebound Controls
The Topaz T3 has 22 clicks of rebound adjustment.
The Topaz T3 features an Open, Mid and Firm switch for on the fly adjustment.
Support modifications can also be made by adjusting the rubber bladder from 200 psi (lighter riders) to 200 PSI (heavier riders)
Ibis Ripmo AF SLX Build – $4,399
Updated for 2022 the 29″ aluminum Ripmo AF frame is available 3 builds. Starting at $4,399 the Ibis Ripmo SLX Build offers riders cutting edge geometry and DW Suspension design at a cost-conscious price point.
All of the Ripmo AF builds are highlighted with DVO Suspension.
The stock fork offering is the DBO Onyx D1 and the rear shock is spec’d with the DVO Topaz T3. For riders looking for a more linear feel the DVO Jade X Coil is also an option.
Learn more about the available suspension adjustments below or skip to the SLX Build Kit Spec.
Ripmo AF SLX Kit – $4,399
DVO Onyx SC D1 160mm, 29”, 110×15
DVO Topaz T3 Air
Ibis Logo Front Hub, 110×15, 32 Hole
Ibis Logo Rear Hub, 148×12, 32 Hole
Ibis S35 Alloy, 32 hole, 29″
Sapim Dlight Double Butted
Sapim 14G Alloy
Maxxis Assegai EXO + WT 29″ x 2.5″
Maxxis Assegai EXO + WT 29″ x 2.5″
Shimano SLX M7120 4p
Shimano SM-RT66 200/180
Shimano SLX M7100 24mm spindle, 30t Alloy Ring
Shimano SLX BB52
Shimano SLX M7100 Shadow Plus
Shimano SLX M7100
Shimano SLX 10-51
Shimano SLX M7100
Cane Creek 40: ZS44/ZS56
Lizard Skin Charger
Ibis 780mm Alloy
Bike Yoke Revive Dropper
WTB Silverado 142
Popular Upgrades to the Ibis Ripmo AF Complete
There are a variety of popular upgrades or part swaps on the Ibis complete bikes. Flip through the tabs below to explore some of the most popular including Brakes, Tires, Chain Guides and Frame Protection.
Along with tires the most common upgrade or swap to a stock Ibis build is brakes.
Brakes are extremely important to your bike’s personality as well as your confidence on trail.
Finding brakes with the right modulation and power for your riding style allows you to further fine tune performance with rotor size.
Brake modulation is how the lever position relates to the amount of power at the caliper.
Brands like Magura and Hope offer great modulation. A slight pull on the lever will produce less pressure at the caliper and increases as lever throw continues. Magura riders can fine tune this even further with a variety of short or long brake levers to further modify the leverage ratio. In fact, Magura offers brake levers with adjustable modulation!
Shimano brakes have less modulation and the power tends to “come on” quicker. This isn’t necessarily good or bad – it’s just a personality.
Magura and Shimano offer similar levels of total power differing in personality more on modulation than max power or feel.
Hope brakes have a little less “bite” at full power but most riders are able to fine tune this by running a slightly larger rotor to increase both leverage and heat capacity.
Pricing / Value
Interested in updating the brakes but on a tight budget? Check out the Magura MT5. In many cases it’s available as a No-Cost upgrade. Cost conscious yes, light on performance or service life? Not a chance. The MT5 brake is the most popular offering here at BikeCo.com
Ripmo AF Tire Upgrades / Swaps
The Ibis Ripmo AF kits are spec’d with Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 29×2.5″ tires. These are on the aggressive end of the spectrum for tread pattern and about middle of the road for sidewall support and protection on current Enduro tire options.
Since tires play such a big role in a bike’s personality it’s very common for clients to swap to other tread patterns, sidewalls or sizes.
Some of the most popular changes are listed below.
Front Tire: Spec’d Maxxis Assegai
The Assegai is a very popular front tire for aggressive trail and enduro riding. Designed with tall lugs the Assegai provides excellent grip in a variety of conditions keeping you confidently attacking the terrain.
Riders looking for a bit faster rolling front tire typically review the Maxxis DHR II and DHF.
While the DHR II is branded as a rear tire it is popular as a front tire in some conditions. This is due to the slightly larger spacing and braking sipes in the tires center section.
The Maxxis DHF is probably the most popular front tire across MTB. Designed with tall cornering knobs and moderate center section the DHF is designed to roll fast and corner hard.
Rear Tire: Spec’d Maxxis Assegai
Ibis spec’s the Assegai rear tire giving the Ripmo plenty of grip for the gnarliest terrain. The Assegai features tall lugs with moderate spacing to chew into terrain.
Riders looking for faster rolling rear tire options tend to shop the Maxxis DHR II, then the DHF (slightly tighter packed and faster than the DHR II), followed by the Aggressor.
Looking to go even faster on the rear tire? Chat with us about the new Rekon tire’s with aggressive sidewall technologies for support.
The Assegai EXO+ stock tire is a popular option balancing sidewall support capable of attacking burly terrain without adding too much rolling weight.
EXO+ construction combines two puncture protection materials: SilkShield and EXO. The SilkShield layer runs from bead-to-bead with a layer of EXO along the sidewalls. Combined, these two materials create EXO+ which improves tread puncture protection by 27%; sidewall durability by 51%; and resistance to pinch flats by 28%.
Riders looking for additional sidewall support and resistance to damage will shop the Double Down or DD options
DoubleDown (DD) is the next step in the evolution of the dual-ply tire casing for enduro racing. Two 120 TPI casing layers reinforced with a butyl insert provide the enduro racer with the support and protection of a downhill tire, but in a lighter package.
The “light” tire option for most enduro riders would be the EXO sidewall.
An extremely cut-resistant and abrasion-resistant material added to the sidewalls of select mountain tires. This densely woven fabric is also lightweight and highly flexible, ensuring that the performance of the tire remains unaffected. Choose EXO Protection for exceptionally rocky, treacherous trails where the chance of sidewall cuts and abrasions is high.
One of the most common upgrades to the Ibis Ripmo AF is adding a chain guide.
A variety of options are available depending on your riding needs.
The Wolf Tooth Gnarwolf is a great upper guide as is the OneUp option.
OneUp goes a step further with the Guide + Bash or, for riders who don’t need or want the upper guide, simply a lower bash to protect the chain ring and bottom bracket area.
The lower bash only is a popular option with oval chain ring setups that can be complex to pair with upper guides.
RideWrap Frame Protection
A popular upgrade for any mountain bike, we offer two options of RideWrap Frame protection.
The RideWrap Tailored Kit covers the majority of your frame based on individual model size and shape. This is a $95.00 addition. We will install the Tailored kit for an additional $250.00 labor at time of initial build.
RideWrap’s Covered Kit protects the high wear areas such as downtube, top tube, etc. Custom trimming of the stock Covered Kit helps with fitment depending on model and size. The Covered Kit is $65.00 and installation is $150.00 at time of build.
Installing RideWrap isn’t particularly hard – but it is time consuming. Thinking about doing the labor yourself? Awesome! Check out a quick video on the installation process below.