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  1. #1
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    New question here. Niner RIP9 vs Trek/GF Rumblefish

    Rode a new Trek/GF Rumblefish2 at a demo day and loved the extra travel on the fs 29er. However, lately I've been reading up on Niner's RIP9 and it seems that it has been getting far better reviews since they've overhauled the design. As of right now I am leaning more towards the RIP9 because I like the customization...I can get exactly what I want up front rather than putting the extra money into different parts with the RF (not a huge fan of Bontrager parts...)

    I have not had the chance to test ride the RIP9 yet but my only concern is regarding the head angle. In some of the pictures I've seen it looks kind of steep...am I just imagining this? I have only read one review mentioning that it felt too steep during downhill and I'm wondering if any RIP9 owners ever feel the same way. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    **Not looking for any other type of bike and I'm aware of the price difference, so please no posts trying sell me on Specialized or anything like that**
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Niner RIP9 vs Trek/GF Rumblefish-rip9.jpg  

    Niner RIP9 vs Trek/GF Rumblefish-rf2.jpg  


  2. #2
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    I have assembled and flat-ground-test-rode a Rumblefish 1 and was impressed witht he quality of the frame and parts as well as the relatively nimble ride of the bike. I've had good luck with the Duster wheels on other bikes - very solid rims that are easy to air up tubeless with the TLR strips and valves. I hink Bntrager kit is pretty under rated stuff, but to each their own. I would probably swap the bars to a flat bar, but other than that leave the bike as is. I haven't spent any time on a Rip 9 so I can't speak to that.

  3. #3
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    How much do you weigh? The Fishers have 28-spoke wheels on a lot of the models. They also don't have tapered steerers on some models. If you can afford to put together a RIP you'll have a better bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermont29er
    How much do you weigh? The Fishers have 28-spoke wheels on a lot of the models. They also don't have tapered steerers on some models. If you can afford to put together a RIP you'll have a better bike.
    Tough answer...right now I am 6'2'' 240#. That being said, my Homegrown frame bent about 10 months ago (due to a bad crash, not weight) and I have done virtually no exercise since...you know how that goes. I normally weigh around 185-190# and plan on getting back to somewhere near that range once I start riding again. From what I've read both frames are very solid but perhaps the RIP9 a little more so.

    Also...anyone have good recommendations for 29er wheelset strong enough to support hard riding for someone my size? Prefer under $750-800 for the set. Just need something strong and reasonably light.

  5. #5
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    The cva suspension on the rip will pedal amazing.

    The single pivot trek/fisher NEEDS the pro pedal or it will bob like a pogo stick.

    also the g2 forks on the trek/fishers is another deal breaker for me. It makes them steer like a truck.

  6. #6
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    Flows on your choice of hubs. I like Hadleys because they aren't as loud as others. If you plan to use a 36 tooth rear cog be sure to get strong hubs.

  7. #7
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    I haven't ridden a Rumblefish but I demoed a '10 Rip 9. I was very impressed with the Rip. It climbed great, the cva suspension seemed to subtlely assist uphill & the bike pedaled light for its weight. Downhill the bike cleaned all the rock gardens I could find. For '11 I read that Niner slackened the HA by 1 degree. I'm sure that both bikes are great, I think the RIP would probably cost a bit more but if you can swing it, it's a nice ride.

  8. #8
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    If money is not a limiting factor in the choice, get the RIP9 w/ Stans Flow rims on Hope Pro hubs. Loud but light and strong wheels. Great bike.

  9. #9
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    Rode the RF and Jet9. Ended up buying a RIP 9 from Speedgoat, got the exact wheels I wanted, but could not get Hopes on the Arches. So far the bike has exceeded all expectations. I am definitely a RIP 9, so much that in the next year or so, I think the chica will be getting a Jet or RIP.

  10. #10
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    I have not ridden the Niner but I did ride several brands before buying my RF 1. I could not be happier with it. I hope to have this bike for a LONG time! I don't get the "steers like a truck" idea. I have owned a few HT 29ers and none have been any better than the GF in my opinion. Anyway, I hear good things about both of these bikes so it would come down to price, components, and looks. If you could test them then that would be the primary consideration. Aside from upgrading the crankset to an SLX double, I have left it stock so far. The tires are stock but I did install a Stan's kit to go tubeless. I love the way the bike rides.

    I am 6ft tall and 240 lbs. I ride mostly with PP off and do not see any significant issue with bobbing. I have the shocks set for my needs and I honestly just love the ride.

    Todd

  11. #11
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    I have been on both and both are great bikes.RIP with raw finish just looks great compared to the GF But At 240# you will want the Rumblefish susp. and dual vavle shock for sure.The bike is really fun to ride and handling is better imho.Bonty duster wheels are no joke,they did go to 28 spoke but the rims are wide and do tubeless very well.12/142 rear end on the GF.RIP has 150mm option,but looks like 12/142 maybe winning the new standard there.GF has brand spec. rear shock and Fork if that concerns you when upgrading, Which I hate when brands do that.But for me the RF was a good bit better ride,just wished it looked like that RIP

  12. #12
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    Hands down, no question. Go with the RIP9.

    I had the first generation and currently have a Milk Dud ANO w/Fox/XT Build and it is by far the best AM bike I have ever built and I have owned several.

    Clearly this is my opinion but I assure you it is an educated one.

    Please Enjoy,

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  13. #13
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    I was also concerned about the HA of the RIP but made a leap of faith that Niner new a thing or two about designing 29ers. I did a little urban test ride on a RF and liked but the draw backs were no available G2 140mm fork and didn't know what that would do to the handling upgrading to standard fork. With the CVA suspension there is no noticeable bob when mashing uphill Second, the RF will never have the resale that the RIP is going to have. Either bike will be great in reality, it depends if you want just another run of the mill production bike that is forgetable. And all the G2 142 and shock on the Trek/GF is a gimmick so you have to buy from them at retail cost.

  14. #14
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    go rip its hydroformed tubing is way sexier, and that cva suspension is way effecient, you probably wont even use the propedal....

  15. #15
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    If you go for the RIP9, at your size, spring for the 10mm through axle rear if you have the cash. No sense in letting that rear have any flex. I did it on mine, and no regrets - it tracks perfectly, no wiggle.
    Last edited by schnee; 03-05-2011 at 10:24 PM.

  16. #16
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    I have a 2010 RF1, and I'm building a 2011 RF1 as a SS/backup/loaner. I don't even bother with the propedal, the bike climbs well enough without it. I do not think it handles like a truck, it handles like a trail bike should. The head angle is right in the sweet spot for a 29. The 28 spoke Duster wheels are basically the same set up as the Rhythm wheelsets were, but that being said, at my weight (270), I will not use them.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  17. #17
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    i'm pretty sure everything you read here is going to be people with niner's telling you to buy a niner and vice versa.

    only advice i can give is that i have a RF1 with stock wheels, i'm 215# and i've tried really hard to find the bottom of the suspension. my wheels have held up fine then again i only have about 15 or 20 rides on the fish. i don't feel like the bike handles like a truck at all. it's very nimble, i hear GREAT things about niner's stuff too so won't give my biased opinion.

    if you get the RF go tubeless with the bonty's though, excellent tire IMO especially tubeless, (i ride at about 31-32# front and about 33-34# rear until i get acclimated)

  18. #18
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    hey dgreene. i've had the good fortune to own last year's rf2 and a 2011 rf1. both are great bikes that will surprise you with their abilities. definitely great choices. that being said my sole bike now is a 2010 rip 9. i can't say that it does any one thing particularly well over another, but overall it's just the most FUN bike i've ever ridden. great handling, climbs like a beast, and hang on and giggle when you point it downhill. decked out in stan's flow wheels, ztr hubs, sram 2X10 drivetrain. you can't go wrong either way but the fun factor is what made the rip 9 a keeper for me.

  19. #19
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    WOW! I'm in the exact same boat, almost. I'm 6'4" and 250 lbs and I get down to about 235 in the summer.

    My LBS carries Trek and Niner. I'm coming off an '03 Specialized FS 26" Epic Comp. The shop had a rental RF1 XL that I took for two 8 mile rides. It climbs over roots and rocks much easier and it just floats on the downhill compared to my old bike.

    After playing with the pro pedal, I found that I liked it off when doing technical climbs, but otherwise I turned it on because it was waaaay to soft when getting out of the saddle for some quick aggressive climbs. It felt like it was just sucking the energy out of my legs. The tech was very familiar with this and spent about 10 minutes getting the suspension set for me before I left the shop. I was quoted $3000 for the RF1 and $3800 for the RF2.

    I plan to use a new i9 Enduro wheelset that I just picked up for whatever bike ends up hanging on the wall.

    The LBS doesn't have a Rip9 in stock and they didn't seem to excited about it. There is a Niner demo day next month and I will be at that for sure and have a chance to compare.

    Unfortunately, this LBS doesn't seem to deal at all and may every charge me over MSRP for the Rip9. I also checked out Speedgoat and may go this route. I don't mind paying a couple hundred more at the LBS, but if I can save $500 or more for the same bike, I won't be purchasing the bike at the LBS.

    I will continue to follow this thread closely!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    The cva suspension on the rip will pedal amazing.

    The single pivot trek/fisher NEEDS the pro pedal or it will bob like a pogo stick.

    also the g2 forks on the trek/fishers is another deal breaker for me. It makes them steer like a truck.
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  21. #21
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    I am 6'2" 275 and went with the large RIP9.
    NO regrets, just waiting for winter to end
    How did I do ?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    also the g2 forks on the trek/fishers is another deal breaker for me. It makes them steer like a truck.
    You're saying that Trek uses G2 geometry to make their 29er bikes handle worse than if they'd just used a standard fork offset? Seriously? You believe this?

    Have you ridden a Rumblefish? I have and I didn't notice that pedal bob or truck-like steering were an issue for me.

  23. #23
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    I'm 240 and ride a large 2010 Rip. 15mm front and 12 mm Maxle rear. Hopes on Flows. Flex free and a BLAST to ride. Haven't ridden a RF but I do know Niners CS is great.

  24. #24
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    If the g2 fork is such a great idea then why don't other company's use the raked out fork??

    Yes i've ridden a r/f and about 6-7 other g/f full squish including the superfly 100.

    "I" don't care for the raked out slower steering fork.

  25. #25
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    To the OP, best thing is to try to get a test ride on both bikes you're considering and then make the decission based on which one feels better to you. Also as said, don't discount Bontrager stuff, they make some good product, just maybe not as bling as Thomson etc in looks, but they work well.

    Just a little FYI, on shocks that have Pro-Pedal....PP is never off, it is always on, the lever just increases the amount of PP being used. Bike manufacturers specify the PP tune they want their shocks to have without the lever flipped "on". Look on the side of the shock and you'll see that Niner uses (or at least tyo use before the boost valve shocks) a Medium Rebound Tune and HIGH Compression tune, hence why you don't need to flip it on a lot because it's already there. If you don't believe me then go get a pre PP shock and throw it on your bike and see how aweful it pedals. I didn't do that, didn't need to, my PP blew a seal and I couldn't believe how badly it pedalled without the PP, thought the shock had lost all the air or something, but then saw the oil and realised what had happened - changed my mind of how fantasic CVA pedals, that's for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    The cva suspension on the rip will pedal amazing.

    The single pivot trek/fisher NEEDS the pro pedal or it will bob like a pogo stick.

    also the g2 forks on the trek/fishers is another deal breaker for me. It makes them steer like a truck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    To the OP, best thing is to try to get a test ride on both bikes you're considering and then make the decission based on which one feels better to you. Also as said, don't discount Bontrager stuff, they make some good product, just maybe not as bling as Thomson etc in looks, but they work well.

    Just a little FYI, on shocks that have Pro-Pedal....PP is never off, it is always on, the lever just increases the amount of PP being used. Bike manufacturers specify the PP tune they want their shocks to have without the lever flipped "on". Look on the side of the shock and you'll see that Niner uses (or at least tyo use before the boost valve shocks) a Medium Rebound Tune and HIGH Compression tune, hence why you don't need to flip it on a lot because it's already there. If you don't believe me then go get a pre PP shock and throw it on your bike and see how aweful it pedals. I didn't do that, didn't need to, my PP blew a seal and I couldn't believe how badly it pedalled without the PP, thought the shock had lost all the air or something, but then saw the oil and realised what had happened - changed my mind of how fantasic CVA pedals, that's for sure.
    Ohh man! You are so right! I had a flat on my Jet9 yesterday and it pedaled like crap after that, Niner totally should have designed around that. Seriously man, your shock blew a seal, of course it didnt work right. As someone who hat owned both gary fisher bikes and niner bikes, and a lot of others for that matter, I like the cva much better. my trek/fisher bikes were a lot of fun to ride but they needed the propedal to pedal even a little. That was fine because thats how they were designed and I bought the bikes knowing that. What eventually turned me off trek/fishers was the fit. I could not ride for more than a few hours without pain everywhere. I do not get that with my Jet9 or any of my other bikes.

  27. #27
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    That entire post went straight over your head, didn't it? I didn't say I blew a seal on the shock which stopped it from holding air, I said I blew a seal on the PP chamber which effectely killed the PP feature of the shock, not even close to your comparison of riding with a flat.
    If the CVA pedalled so well, then once the shock had in the same amount of air, whether with PP was working or not, it should still pedal almost identical if it's that head and shoulders above the rest, but it didn't because the design, contrare to what most think, relies heavily on PP dampening to make it pedal so "nice", hence the high Compression Tune they come with and why people do not like the new Boost Valve RP23s coming on them now.

    Quote Originally Posted by FoCo29er
    Ohh man! You are so right! I had a flat on my Jet9 yesterday and it pedaled like crap after that, Niner totally should have designed around that. Seriously man, your shock blew a seal, of course it didnt work right. As someone who hat owned both gary fisher bikes and niner bikes, and a lot of others for that matter, I like the cva much better. my trek/fisher bikes were a lot of fun to ride but they needed the propedal to pedal even a little. That was fine because thats how they were designed and I bought the bikes knowing that. What eventually turned me off trek/fishers was the fit. I could not ride for more than a few hours without pain everywhere. I do not get that with my Jet9 or any of my other bikes.
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  28. #28
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    Ohh I'm sorry, I didn't realize that you were such a suspension expert. So its totally inconceivable that if one part of an already complex system is not working then its totally isolated? A system is just that, a system. If one part is out of balance than there is no way of telling how the rest of the system will react. I am not trying to say that you are wrong(i also am not a complete suspension expert), just that you cannot take one huge part out of a system then complain why it is not working correctly.

  29. #29
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    The 2011 rip has a slackened HA. They also made it possible to use the cane creek angle set headset. therefore you can slacken another 1 0r 1.5 degrees. The reviews of the 2009 and later RIP 9's are off the charts...i demoed one and it was the finest bike I ever had the privilege of riding. I have two on order (his and hers). I own a rumble fish and like it, but after riding the rip I will be selling it. the CVA suspension is not a gimmick, it's the real deal. It's plush, bob free, and effecient. The RIP 9 is so fun to ride it reawakened my passion for biking. They are harder to find (backordered everywhere) and more expensive but if you \have the means, and patience, get a RIP 9
    29ers are more fun!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    If the g2 fork is such a great idea then why don't other company's use the raked out fork??

    Yes i've ridden a r/f and about 6-7 other g/f full squish including the superfly 100.

    "I" don't care for the raked out slower steering fork.
    G2 really works in New England where the trails are very rough and tight. Low speed turns are no problem on the new Trek/GF's. I also like the position of the front axle in relation to the bars in the rough. I really have no idea why you feel its slower. It's certainly equal or better than the other bikes I've owned/ridden. My King Kahuna had a fairly steep HA and I didn't think it made much of a difference other than being a bit more twitchy on the higher speed stuff. Must be the difference in trails......
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    If the g2 fork is such a great idea then why don't other company's use the raked out fork??





    Patents come into the equation I'm sure.

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    On the Propedal debate. On my HiFi, I left the propedal off a lot. I never had any issues with "bobbing." ANd I was 250ish. Just pedal gosh darn it. Stop looking at your suspension.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    On the Propedal debate. On my HiFi, I left the propedal off a lot. I never had any issues with "bobbing." ANd I was 250ish. Just pedal gosh darn it. Stop looking at your suspension.
    My PP was busted all last race season on my 2010 HiFi. I ended up getting it fixed before I sold the frame but, like you, I didn't often feel the need for it.
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    I'm trying to narrow down my FS 29er bike as well. I know you don't want to hear about other bikes, but I rode a Santa Cruz Tallboy briefly today and this is what I noticed. The frame is stiffer than the RF and it felt significantly lighter. I didn't get the bobbing when climbing like I did on the RF and it seemed to accelerate better.

    I still plan to demo the Rip9 in April and the Pivot 429 in May before I decide what to get, but the Rumblefish just got crossed off my list. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bike and seems to be a very good value compared to similar bikes, but I just liked a few things about the Tallboy more.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss
    I'm trying to narrow down my FS 29er bike as well. I know you don't want to hear about other bikes, but I rode a Santa Cruz Tallboy briefly today and this is what I noticed. The frame is stiffer than the RF and it felt significantly lighter. I didn't get the bobbing when climbing like I did on the RF and it seemed to accelerate better.

    I still plan to demo the Rip9 in April and the Pivot 429 in May before I decide what to get, but the Rumblefish just got crossed off my list. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bike and seems to be a very good value compared to similar bikes, but I just liked a few things about the Tallboy more.
    One thing I noticed about the RF is the shock is very pluch, too plush for my liking. The HiFi has a totally different feel. The 429 feels like it has more compression damping like the HiFi.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog
    If the g2 fork is such a great idea then why don't other company's use the raked out fork??

    Yes i've ridden a r/f and about 6-7 other g/f full squish including the superfly 100.

    "I" don't care for the raked out slower steering fork.

    You're incorrect about the design, effects, benefits, and riding characteristics of the Trek/Gary Fisher G2 geometry.

    The Rumblefish's G2 geometry features a 2-degree fork offset which REDUCES the steering TRAIL and QUICKENS the bike's steering characteristics.

    This G2 geometry design feature along with the beneficial aspect of a unaltered WHEELBASE provides the rider with better control, overall handling characteristics, and at-speed stability.

    The G2 geometry offset fork design also provides the rider with a reduced cockpit reach, thereby allowing the rider to more accurately control and effectively weight the front wheel.


    A primary objective of the G2 geometry design was to further improve the handling needed for tight single track and technical climbs; while maintaining Gary Fisher's already excellent, and proven, climbing, descending, and at-speed stability handling characteristics.

    Two-wheel riders, both motorized and pedal-powered, have long realized the dynamic effects of TRAIL and WHEELBASE and the necessary balance between responsiveness, balance, and stability.

    To be fair, I've found that those who describe the G2 geometry as being "truck-like" or "slower" at steering - along with describing a G2 fork as being "raked-out" - are usually those with truly limited or zero G2 riding experience and/or understanding.
    Last edited by Bambi19; 03-08-2011 at 05:41 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevermiss
    I'm trying to narrow down my FS 29er bike as well. I know you don't want to hear about other bikes, but I rode a Santa Cruz Tallboy briefly today and this is what I noticed. The frame is stiffer than the RF and it felt significantly lighter. I didn't get the bobbing when climbing like I did on the RF and it seemed to accelerate better.

    I still plan to demo the Rip9 in April and the Pivot 429 in May before I decide what to get, but the Rumblefish just got crossed off my list. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bike and seems to be a very good value compared to similar bikes, but I just liked a few things about the Tallboy more.
    Was my exact impression of the RF and the TB. If I did not buy the RIP 9, the TB would have been the choice with a possibility of Lenz Leviathan depending on test ride.

  38. #38
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    I have ridden the tallboy and there is no doubt it is a nice bike. However, there is no santa cruz dealer around here and I've heard countless issues with their customer service. Plus, I weigh 240# so going carbon probably won't increase my acceleration compared to just losing weight. I have decided to go with the rip...hands down in my mind. The guys at the lbs have been awesome, not just some stupid kid who knows nothing about the bikes he's selling. The rip seems like a much better bike and their service really sealed the deal (kid at the trek dealer tried telling me the hifi had 120mm travel and the rf had 150mm).

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