In April of this year, while on MTB 246’s annual bike adventure, we travelled to Pisgah North Carolina. While there, I got to test ride 3 of 2019’s most popular Trail Bikes; the Yeti SB130, the Ibis Ripmo and the Evil Offering. Each has unique characteristics that shone on the trails and below I give my impressions.

Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be any bike expert but having rode many bikes in many places, the last couple of years, I wanted to share my experiences and insights, as some may never get the chance to test ride a bike before purchasing.

Additionally, the bikes below, websites’ have all the tech lingo. So, I’ve tried to keep the jargon to minimum. However, I would like to suggest, that you take a look at Geometry Geeks website. They allow you to compare all the stats of your favorite bikes. A great way to see on paper which bike may suit your intended needs.

Nothing beats real world testing so onto the reviews…

Yeti SB130

Room for a bottle cage on the frame is nice touch

Specs
  • Frame: 2019 Yeti SB130 Carbon 29, 130mm
  • Fork: Fox Performance 36, 150mm
  • Shock: Fox Performance DPX2
  • Brake: SRAM Guide R
  • Drive Train: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Tires: Maxxis (Front – Minion DHF 2.5, Rear – Aggressor 2.3)

Fire Mountain Trail System and Trace Ridge Trail Head allowed me to truly test this bike’s capabilities.

The Syrupy aka the 😃

The SB130 climbs like a goat that takes pre workout drinks. Every hill I pointed the bike at, it effortlessly skampered up, which I attributed to the super steep seat angle and 44mm offset fork. Having never rode a Maxxis DHF tire before, it’s traction was a great compliment. The bike was also very nimble on flowy sections of trails.

The Sousesy aka the ☹️

The SB130 was checking all the boxes for a fun trail bike until I pointed it down a super steep enduro line. The descending felt like I was holding on for dare life, like constantly being on the edge. In short, not confidence inspiring. The SRAM Guide R brakes’ bite point seemed too instantaneous and even after adjusting the lever reach, I still couldn’t adjust to their lack of modulation. This and the poor high speed damping of the fork made for some of the worse arm pump I’ve ever had.

At only only 130mm of travel, the bike interestingly never felt like it bottomed out.
The Score aka bottom line

The SB130 is a very capable trail bike that with the right tuning of the suspension can make for enjoyable all day rides as well as challenging tech sessions on single tracks.

Ibis Ripmo

This bike’s color scheme was sweet off!

Specs
  • Frame: 2019 Ibis Carbon Fiber 29 145mm
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance, 160mm Travel, 44mm Offset
  • Shock: Fox Float DPX2, 145mm Travel, 210mm x 55mm
  • Brake: Shimano Deore
  • Drive Train: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Tires: Maxxis (Front – Minion DHF 2.5, Rear – Aggressor 2.5)

My demo of the Ripmo occurred on Trace Ridge Trail Head, Spencer Gap.

The Syrupy aka the 😃

The test ride on the Ripmo was considerably shorter in comparison to the other 2 bikes but I did notice a couple things.

The bike’s climbing ability was adequate, not as fast as the SB130 at getting up the trail but definitely capable of doing it.

The bike also felt very lively at popping off of features. I attributed this to its extra mm of travel front and rear. The Shimano Deore brakes gave me that familiar modulation I was missing with SB130 and the front suspension felt a lot less chattery.

The Sousesy aka the ☹️

I couldn’t find much not to like about the Ripmo. Maybe if I had spent a little more time, I could have found some faults as I didn’t get to point it down as many gnarly lines as the rest.

Suspension layout looks simple but it gets the job done.
The Score aka bottom line

The Ripmo felt like a solid bike that could be used in almost any MTB scenario; Marathons, Trail days filled with ups and downs as well as full on Enduro courses.

Evil Offering

Big Bro to the Following or Lil Bro to the Wreckoning 🤔
Specs
  • Frame: 2019 EVIL Offering 140mm Travel UD Carbon 2019
  • Fork: Rockshox Pike, Charger 2, RCT3, Debonair 140mm Travel, 51mm Offset
  • Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe RCT Debonair
  • Brake: SRAM Guide RDrive Train: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.3 F&R

My demo of the Offering occured on Bracken Mountain Trail, Daniel’s Ridge Trail and Black Mountain Trail

The Syrupy aka the 😃

The Evil Offering hands down was the most fun bike of the bunch. The bike’s geometry and suspension gave it that hover bike feeling I was told about in online reviews. On relatively flat but bumpy trails, the bike’s rear suspension’s small bump compliance was amazing, allowing it to track over roots or small moving rocks. Beacuse of the previous SB130 and Ripmo experiences, I spent a bit more time ensuring the fork was setup correctly on this rig and man did it shine. The bike devoured the trails. I could not belive how much more confidence the bike gave me. I kept pushing the bike to do more and it seemed to love it. The ganrlier the line I took, the bigger the grin I had on my face. I was so glad I chose this to ride on the descending of Black Mountain as the gnar was up and as Bajans like to say ” I Up De Ting!”.

The Sousesy aka the ☹️

Even though the Offering “offered” lots of fun, there were a few things I didn’t like about the build. The Maxxis 2.3 tires were to me, inadequate for the bike and type of riding this bike is expected to thrive in. Even a modest upgarde to 2.4″ tyres will give you the cornering and traction, to bail you out in sketchy scenarios. I sure had one while riding a berm where the front wheel just gave away and left me feeding the ants. Also, with the shortest front travel out of the 3 bikes, I thought the bike would have surpassed the rest at climbing but it didn’t. Maybe this was due to it having a 51mm offset fork? It wasn’t that it climbed awful, just that it didn’t climb as good as the Ripmo nor the SB130.

The magic carpet effect of DW Linkage, progression!!
The Score aka bottom line

The Offering is the bike you buy when you want to devour the trails descending. Sure it will get you to the top of the hill but to me this bike is at home on chunky stuff. Pair it with a 150 fork, bigger tires and you have an agressive trail bike to set PR and KOMS with.

Pilot Cove the place to stay when traveling to bike in NC.

Down de Line

So, after riding these 3 awesome bikes, I bet you’re asking which would I chosse to take home right? It wasn’t a difficult choice for me, as I’d choose the Evil Offering. Why, because though the bike didn’t climb as well as the rest, I would take this as a challenge and embrace the hills. Because as they say #itsjustahill and since I know the bike can handle the gnar, I’d be ready to rumble whenever the trail starts to point down.

The Ripmo is a strong second and I’d recommend it for any one who wants to do it all.

Sadly, the SB130 felt very similar to my current short travel bike and though it had a mobba-ton more front travel, I could easily over fork my current bike and be in the same catergory. The Evil Offering just feels leaps ahead. Maybe if it was the SB150 I would rethink but that is a review for next year. 😉

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