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  1. #1
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    Scary descent on Ibis Ripley LS

    I am an older road cyclist who is new to mountain biking. I recently built a lightweight Ibis Ripley LS (24 lbs) with a fixed seatpost, which I have been riding in the Santa Monica mountains. The bike has Racing Ralph tires, both at 26 psi. I love the way that bike climbs. Until yesterday I had no trouble with descents. Then I tried a steep rocky descent, which was obviously beyond my abilities. The rear tire kept breaking traction and skittering all over the place. I couldn't control my downhill speed and felt like I was about to go over the handlebars. I ended up falling twice, fortunately without getting hurt too badly.

    The Ripley LS is supposed to be good on descents, why did I have so much trouble? Would a dropper post help? Are the Racing Ralph tires not good for downhill? Should I run lower tire pressures? I need your suggestions!

  2. #2
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    sure a dropper would help and so would chunkier tires. I wouldn't run lower pressure unless you are a lightweight.

    What will really help you is your technique. On steep descents you should be over the back wheel and behind the saddle. A dropper post lets you get there easier but it's still possible with your setup. We all did downhills for years without one. I would practice your technique on less technical areas and see if you can start to feel comfortable straightening your arms and weighting back.

  3. #3
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    The Ripley is not good for big decents and wasn't built for that kind of stuff. That being said, talented experienced riders can really blaze down fast but it takes a lot of skill, especially on those tires. You don't need a dropper but you should slam the seat before decending. Part of the problem with the Ripley is that it's a really short bike with really short reach so stability going down suffers just due to the realities of geometry on bikes. But the upside is it climbs really well and is pretty dang nimble.

    There are bikes with a little more balance regarding decending vs climbing. They will pedal a little less going up but really eat up the downs better. The old saying is we will all make it to the top but not all of us will make it to the bottom. Norco Sight, Rocky Mountain Instinct, Hightower, Intense Primer will have that balance and take care of a beginner rider better going down.

    That being said, you could look into over forking your bike (getting the fork extended for more travel and slacker HTA). That will help. Definitely get some new tires dude. Those tires are not built for traction and you aren't racing. A high roller, Dhr2/DHF or Aggressor will all be heavy and slower but you will be much safer. You want something grippy and big up front. Maybe a Rekon if you really hate the weight I guess.

    Always have a dropper. My 6yr has a dropper and for good reason. We are flying along a Trail and at times there are big jumps or a random drop he has to hit. Need to get that seat out of the way to stay safe.

    Also if you are a beginner, watch all of the skills with Phil YouTube videos. Invaluable. There is a huge skill gap going from road to mt. and the consequences are high or at times REALLY high. You'll want to practice those skills .

    For example, my wife who is newer road up a big canyon with friends. At one point the switchback climbs were on a cliff and she didn't know that would be there. She stumbled a bit (was exhausted) and thankfully caught herself before going down the ridge. Nothing crazy but some of the practice on the skinnys we have for the kids helped her. That and not having clipin pedal. Flat pedals and 510 shoes are a must.

  4. #4
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    I think a wider, more substantial tires and a dropper post would help a lot. The bike seems capable to me.
    I brake for stinkbugs

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    In general, the bikes are usually more capable and it is the technique that needs focus.

    You have to remain balanced on a mountain bike and that point changes when you are pointed DH or Uh and varies with steepness and terrain.

    From what you described I would recommend getting lower and pay attention to braking. Brake when trail is smoother and flatter to control yourself, let it off when it is rougher and steeper. If you brake too much on steep stuff the tire looses traction and breaks loose like you describe.

    relax and look ahead, bend those knees and elbows and get a little more forward than you think.


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  6. #6
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    Until you get a dropper go old skool. Drop your seat before a big downhill. So you can get your weight back over the tire.
    And you can ride with your seat a bit lower anyway than what you use for road.
    How wide are your rims-- inner width in mm between the beads. With 2.35 or a 2.6 front tire you will have a bigger footprint at a lot lower pressure and that means more grip. Bontrager XR2 Teams are fast rolling and you can get 2.35 and 2.6- Ask a dealer to order them. Same with XR4 with taller knobs if your trails are loamy. 14 psi front and 18 rear to start. Adjust up for rim hits or high speeds.
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...-tire/p/11866/ 2.6 not listed yet but available.

    You may need to tune your shock. You could have the rebound set too fast.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    I have been riding in the Santa Monica mountains
    What trails have you been riding? The SM mtns are my main trails. I switched over to MTBing a couple years ago from the road too. I can remember the first time going down some of the singles on Westridge and how scary that felt. The bike I was riding didn't have a dropper either.

    There are far more experienced riders here who can offer much better advice. But for me adding a dropper and then just hitting those scary trails over and over until they started feeling less steep was the answer. Also doesn't hurt if you can get some time in the parking lot working on skills. Riding down sets of stairs can help with descending technique.

  8. #8
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    Are the Racing Ralph tires not good for downhill?
    Ok, but not great. Try the new 2.35 Hans Dampf.

    https://enduro-mtb.com/en/first-ride...ns-dampf-2018/

  9. #9
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    The Ripley LS is a more than capable bike. Iíd consider new tires, work on your skills, and if you havenít yet, make adjustments to your suspension. A dropper post is definitely nice, but not necessary.

  10. #10
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    Man, I do mostly XC type trails and I don't even bother with Racing Ralphs.

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    Racing Ralphs should never be ridden unless a gun goes off at the beginning of every one of your rides. Even then probably not. Different tires will help, a dropper post is pretty much standard fare on a bike like a Ripley LS (I have one), and a little technique help (Youtube maybe?) and practice will have you killin' steep downs in fairly short order. BTW, unless you bought the wrong size, that bike is MORE THAN fine for those kinds of trails.
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    Yeah, I hate RRs. They're so flat-prone even tubeless (at least where I ride).

    That said, technique is probably the main thing you need to work on if you're new - watch some vids on youtube about descending.

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    It's you, not the bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by warpdatframe View Post
    It's you, not the bike.
    Technique and skill are paramount but a dropper post and some decent tires will make steep, rocky descents a whole lot easier and safer for the op. So it's partly the bike IMO.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  15. #15
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    I have an LS as well. If you are not running your fork at 140mm do so. Also let us know which rims you run and upgrade to a size appropriate Maxxis DHF front and Agressor rear. Oh, get a dropper post. The Ripley LS is an excellent bike and yours is being held back by the tires.

    I used to ride Racing Raplphs.

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    Tires need to be swapped out.

  17. #17
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    What kind of brakes do you have on that bike? I know how sktechy I feel when I have shitty brakes. I won't even ride some trails if I got shit brakes. Also, switching out the tires and adding a dropper will help too.

  18. #18
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    Ditto on bumping your fork from 130mm to 140mm. You can do so for under 100 bucks in including installation. If your running a Fox 34 you just need to do a air shaft swap. Part is 50 bucks. Shop shouldnít charge more then 50 to install it.

    I ride a similar bike a Niner Jet 9 RDO came with 130mm upfront and 120mm in the rear. After a few rides I changed it to 140mm. Made the bike a lot more trail then XC.

  19. #19
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    Try dropping your heels as you descend. Its something that I've been trying to work on as of late. It really helps with that getting pitched over the bar feeling.

    I would work on technique first...before replacing a bunch of parts.

  20. #20
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    Even before dropper posts were invented, bikes sucked at descending unless you dropped the seatpost.

    This is undoubtedly the biggest thing. You can do it manually, with a seatpost QR, which kind of works if you have a long uphill followed by a long downhill, but that only works in limited situations and then you have to compromise on short climbs or descents that are interspersed. In Sedona I was riding my 100mm XC race bike down Highline, that's an expert trail and has steep rock chutes. Without a dropper or lowering the post, no freaking way. I can make said bike more trail-worthy with a 120mm fork, 2.35" tires (instead of 2.2-ish race tires), but the biggest thing by far is being able to drop the seat.

    Right now, I'm building a 2nd wheelset for said bike to do just that. A Ripley is a good all-around trail bike, don't let anyone say it's not. The prime thing it's missing is a dropper post, but there are other important things to give it security and make it descend better:

    You should be using at least a 180mm front brake rotor, hopefully you are. You might need some extra fade-reistance with Shimano finned pads and ice-tech rotors. For example, on my descent today (epic big mountain) grades averaged above 40% for a while, topping out at 49.something. That's mega-steep and it doesn't let down on this for several thousand feet, so I need significant fade-resistance and power. 180mm rotors won't cut it. But having enough brake up front is important, gives you much more control, etc. Then there's decent fat tires. As said above, racing ralphs are XC race tires. Pretty good ones at that depending on the exact sidewalls speced, some are too light. But are you XC racing? Products like XC race tires are meant to be used up pretty fast and replaced they aren't meant to stay on your bike all season and deal with all conditions. Some good 2.3-2.35 tires would be a good start. Nothing crazy big or crazy heavy, but expect them to weigh 700-800g, which is normal for a "normal" 29er trail tire. If they are down around 600g or less, like racing ralphs, they are sacrificing something. Then there's the fork, a Fox 34 is a fairly stiff chassis, so is a RS Pike. These give people better control and deflect less fore and aft, which absorbs more bumps and keeps you going in the direction you want to go, rather than binding and adding to endo-moments. IMO, having more than 120mm isn't important if you have a dropper post. You are only going to make the climbing suck more if you go much more than 140mm, with marginal downhill benefit. The downhill benefit will come from your dropper post. 20mm more travel isn't much on a bike like that and if you already have a 34mm stanchion fork, I wouldn't waste money there. Then there's handlebars. Normal sized handlebars these days are around 740-800mm. If you are running shorter than this, you may need to stop and think about why. Modern bikes like the Ripley are meant to run a bar in this range and then a short stem. This puts your weight further back (good for descent!) and gives you a lot more leverage with which to resist the wheel changing directions (also good!). Lastly pedals, the shimano "trail" pedals can be a nice boost too. If you are already on regular shimano SPDs, I probably wouldn't worry about it, but just in case you have Crank Brothers eggbeaters, ditch them and get some pedals with at least a little platform. Again, you will have better control and confidence.

    These mods will bump weight up a bit, not too much if you are careful and want to spend a lot of money, but even if you spend less and bump the weight up a bit, it'll likely be worth it. The guys that can ride the lighter stuff and go faster have more skills and have been doing it longer, it's not realistic to match them until you spend a lot of time refining your skills and ability.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmaninthed View Post
    racing ralphs should never be ridden unless a gun goes off at the beginning of every one of your rides. Even then probably not. Different tires will help, a dropper post is pretty much standard fare on a bike like a ripley ls (i have one), and a little technique help (youtube maybe?) and practice will have you killin' steep downs in fairly short order. Btw, unless you bought the wrong size, that bike is more than fine for those kinds of trails.
    this ^^^
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    this ^^^
    To be fair, there are several grades of racing ralphs, from stupid-light paper-thin sidewalls to much more reasonable ones. I still agree that they have no place on a trail-bike, but they aren't *that* bad either. If you are basing it on the lightest ones, maybe so. There's like 6-8 different versions for each size.
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  23. #23
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    Guys thanks for your suggestions, a lot of good thoughts here.

    More about the bike: I built it with road weight-weenie mentality. I am using Trickstuff direttissima brakes; THM cranks; Enve M50 rims laced to Extralite (boost) hubs; Fox 34 130mm fork; XX1 drivetrain; Schmolke bars; Enve stem; Carboniche seatpost; and Racing Ralph snakeskin (not sure which one) tires. It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.

    I will get a dropper post. I'm thinking of the KS Lev Ci. Any thoughts?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    I hate to add weight, especially in tires.
    Any thoughts?

    A little extra tire weight can allow you go faster off road, seems counter intuitive but it's true. Extra volume is especially important because it allows lower pressures, which again is usually faster.
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  25. #25
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    chin up, look down the trail, look through the turns, lower cc, stay centered (not further back), relaxed shoulders, relaxed upper back (not hunched), drive from the hips / core, soft hands, good wrist position (straight neutral), bent arms, drop those heels, weight from the feet.

    Ripley LS is super capable going downhill. Try the tips above and youíll also find that the racing ralphs have plenty of grip.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    Guys thanks for your suggestions, a lot of good thoughts here.

    More about the bike: I built it with road weight-weenie mentality. I am using Trickstuff direttissima brakes; THM cranks; Enve M50 rims laced to Extralite (boost) hubs; Fox 34 130mm fork; XX1 drivetrain; Schmolke bars; Enve stem; Carboniche seatpost; and Racing Ralph snakeskin (not sure which one) tires. It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.

    I will get a dropper post. I'm thinking of the KS Lev Ci. Any thoughts?
    Well, I'm not sure that even makes sense. The Ripley isn't the lightest frame ever, but it's light, but my Pivot 429SL with 120mm dropper post weighs about 23lbs.

    Get out of your weight weenie mentality and make your bike fun to ride. Get a Bikeyoke Revive (it's like butter!) or if you need to go cheap, one of the new 1up droppers.

    Seriously, you built the bike to suck at riding trails. Schmolke bars? What are they, 650mm? Enve stem? Those don't actually save any weight, they just cost a lot. Something there weighs a lot though, possibly the fork, my 32 SC is pretty light, about a pound lighter than an older 32 that it replaced. But here's the kicker, if you are running a 34, that is weight that is well spent. Same thing for decent tires. Same thing for a bigger front brake rotor. There's a difference between stuff that weighs more than it needs to, and stuff that is functional. This is often where people take weight-weenie-ism to the extreme and cross the line. Then all of a sudden you got people putting cork in the place of brake pads. I'm not kidding here, some guy tried it.

    You can have a 23lb-24lb bike that is fun to ride with a dropper post. If you let it balloon up to around 25lbs it'll be even better. Like someone said above, unless a gun is going off at the beginning of every ride, you have no business riding that bike and even then the component choices would be suspect in some racing situations. XC racers, the successful ones, by and large do not put the ridiculous weight-weenie stuff on their bikes. The reason isn't just because of sponsorships, it's because they need the bike to work every single race. They have to take sketchy components that have been stripped down out of the equation, because they might fail or not hold up to the incredible abuse of XC racing.

    I know I'm being harsh here, but I literally do not see any people riding a bike such as that and having fun at the same time. You've built something that doesn't do what you want it to do.

    The good news is that it doesn't take a huge shift to fix it, just a few things, you could even go cheap and use a seatpost QR, far cheaper and lighter than a dropper post. Dropper, tires, it's an investment, but fairly simple changes. If you like that direction, then do the bar, front brake rotor...
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  27. #27
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    A dropper post is weight worth adding in my opinion. It is one of a few things you can buy that actually make you a "better" rider. I think it was Jolanda Neff that said Kross team riders were faster round the XC course in testing with a dropper than without. Not that we should compare ourselves to pros, but it is interesting. Of course if you mostly ride flat terrain then a dropper is probably a waste.

    Racing ralphs are ok tires i think, it depends where you ride and what you ride. But it is no downhill tire, and it is puncture prone. There are xc race tires that are a little more grippy than the racing ralphs. If you want schwalbe tires, rocket ron at the rear and nobby nic in front is a good combo with low rolling resistance and more confidence in decending. I used this combo on my ripley when i first got it. I would not go full downhill tire for what you want from your bike. And if you are happy with the racing ralphs for everything else than this particular downhill, I would not change them.

    Regardless, the skills of the rider is what determines what you can and can not do on the bike. I have friends that blast the downhills on xc race tires and bikes at speeds i dont dare to do on grippy trail tires. And i have friends with hardcore enduro bikes with dh tires that cant keep up with me on the downhills on my ripley. But the right equipment for the job definetely helps. For clarification I am not a great rider, strava tells me I am pretty average. so take my advice with a pinch of salt.

  28. #28
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    This thread should be titled "Scary Descent Racing Ralph Tires".

    Spend ~60 bucks on a good front tire, ride the same trail, and report back.

    Adding a bit of weight to your dream machine sucks, and might cost a bit of time in a race, but far less than going over the bars twice!
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  29. #29
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    I've ridden NE singletrack for 30 years and just got my first bike with a dropper in Jan. Pre-dropper, for the knarliest sections my seat is in my chest. I would sometimes end up with bruises in my chest from seat after a tough ride. If you are not getting your butt WAY back and low over the rear wheel on these sections...you WILL get scared and for good reason.

    Having better tires, a dropper, bigger rotors, etc. helps but it will do no good if you don't drastically adjust your riding position for these situations. I'm still getting used to the dropper...it's a great tool to make these body position changes easier to perform.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post

    The Ripley LS is supposed to be good on descents, why did I have so much trouble?

    Would a dropper post help?

    Are the Racing Ralph tires not good for downhill?

    Should I run lower tire pressures?

    I need your suggestions!
    You dont have the skills yet to descend confidently on XC race tires.

    Yes.

    No.

    Not enough information. (weight Rim width tire size, how inaccurate your gauge is)

    Buy Better tires until your skills significantly improve. I would start with a 2.35 Nobby Nick up front if you want to stay schwalbe (maybe something more substantial in the rear as well). This will help a lot. I never liked the way the Racing Ralph broke away. It also doesn't last very long because the rubber is so soft. While it adds to the traction in some areas, It is not a tire for hard charging downhill. Pretty much every other tire I have ever ridden is better than it is for flat and off camber loose over hard corners.

    A very important technique that few newer riders posses is the ability to lean the bike and not their body through the turn, while applying downward pressure on the bars to push the side knobs of the front into the ground, all while keeping their center mass in the perfect spot out of the saddle to balance weight and traction on both tires. This will take lots of practice, and conditions may change from day to day and trail to trail requiring you to adapt.


    Lots of people try to ride a mountain bike through turns like they are on a motorcycle. This will put you on your ass eventually.

    I'm pretty sure my first several months i was riding leaned over and knee out like a Moto GP racer. My corner speed probably went from 8-14 in the same turns as I progressed over the years. Sometimes it takes seeing it to believe you can go tat fast through a turn. Whether it be following another skilled rider or looking at GPS data on strava to see where others are so much faster in a short segment.

    The FREE SPEED is so much more important than the lighter bike or teh High FTP. It allows you to save all of your energy and ride farther and faster. You should have partial rides where all you are doing is working on cornering technique and see whats faster. Coaching should not be out of the question.

    Ned overand's Mountain Bike like a champion is a Great read. As is Mastering Mountain biking skills by Lee McCormick.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    If you are not getting your butt WAY back and low over the rear wheel on these sections...you WILL get scared and for good reason.
    I think this^^^ is likely the main thing...it is scary because unless you are hanging waaay back, your being pushed toward going over the bars and can feel it coming on...

    That is much easier (along with a lot of other things, like railing turns, and hitting jumps (or even just taking big bumps with no air)) with a dropper. Not necessary though...and if you are a roadie, your spandex is less likely to get hung up getting on your seat in hanging off the back!
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    Guys thanks for your suggestions, a lot of good thoughts here.

    More about the bike: I built it with road weight-weenie mentality. I am using Trickstuff direttissima brakes; THM cranks; Enve M50 rims laced to Extralite (boost) hubs; Fox 34 130mm fork; XX1 drivetrain; Schmolke bars; Enve stem; Carboniche seatpost; and Racing Ralph snakeskin (not sure which one) tires. It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.

    I will get a dropper post. I'm thinking of the KS Lev Ci. Any thoughts?
    So the loss of traction, skittering and crashing is good for you? Bigger tires with some more grip might help. Check out some u toob vids or take some lessons. Go to your LBS or stop at the trail head for what riders use for tires.

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    Yup...been there, done that and got the scars. Not a good feeling to suddenly realize an OTB event is coming while in a 'controlled skid' down a steep rockpile at speed. That only has to happen once or twice before you start making adjustments...either in your riding style or your trail selection.

    And you are right about baggy shorts getting hung up on seat...there was a learning curve when I started using them too!
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  34. #34
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    This whole thread is screaming weight weenie.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    Guys thanks for your suggestions, a lot of good thoughts here.

    More about the bike: I built it with road weight-weenie mentality. I am using Trickstuff direttissima brakes; THM cranks; Enve M50 rims laced to Extralite (boost) hubs; Fox 34 130mm fork; XX1 drivetrain; Schmolke bars; Enve stem; Carboniche seatpost; and Racing Ralph snakeskin (not sure which one) tires. It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.

    I will get a dropper post. I'm thinking of the KS Lev Ci. Any thoughts?
    I get it, I'm a closet weight weenie too. That said, tires/ forks/ dropper/ bars/ brakes, these items MAKE the bike in that order imo.

    I run the KS LEV Ci 175mm dropper on my Yeti 5.5 and it's an awesome dropper. However the lever that comes with it is awful and you have to buy the Wolfcreek aftermarket lever, which does add weight (and cost $). It's been the most reliable dropper I've ever had and combined with a seat change dropped 1/3# off my rig.

    Droppers are nice but I've had my butt kicked by lots of long legged old timers on steep descends that didn't even have one. Your lack of traction is the real hindrance.

    It's ALL about the tires imo. I have went back and forth trying to get fast rolling tires and for me, the trade off in traction was just too great for me and I always go back to proper tires for my rocky conditions (DHF 2.5 3c F & Aggressor 2.5 dual R).

    I have a full shred Enduro machine that weighs something like 28# ready to ride. I can't get it any better than that and still have a bike I trust and want to be on.

    Good luck!

  36. #36
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    The road riding frame of mind came over to both your bike build and your riding. (not the bike frame itself which is perfectly fine) Not much in the road world transfers to the mountain world very well.

    It helps immensly to think like a mountain biker when tackling steep and rough trails.

    Lightest isn't always best. A static riding position will pitch you off the trail. And so on.

    I'd suggest hanging out with some more experienced mountain bikers to get a better idea of what equipment and skills will work best for you.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I run the KS LEV Ci 175mm dropper on my Yeti 5.5 and it's an awesome dropper. However the lever that comes with it is awful and you have to buy the Wolfcreek aftermarket lever, which does add weight (and cost $). It's been the most reliable dropper I've ever had and combined with a seat change dropped 1/3# off my rig.
    Is that the KS southpaw lever? I don't get why people don't like it, I've had 3 now on 3 bikes.

  38. #38
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    Watch a "how to" video?


  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    I hate to add weight, especially in tires.
    You won't add weight to the single most important item between the dirt and your face, but you'll add a POUND+ of seatpost weight? Get this "must reduce rotating weight" crap out of your head before you end up in the hospital.

    Let me make it crystal clear. Your descent was terrifying because your front tire was providing ZERO braking grip. In an effort to not lock up the front brake and go over the bars, you were constantly locking up the rear brake. Which was equally ineffective. I have no idea how the brakes you have stand up to others in terms of power, but if you had appropriate tires (the front one MOST importantly), you probably could have safely slowed yourself to a crawl without even causing the back tire to skid.

  40. #40
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    I love me some racing ralphs. All you guys that hate them and mail yours to me.

  41. #41
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    Lot is this thread some great advice, some good advice, and some of it is well just advice, all is opinated that being said this thread grabbed my interest because I am building up a Riply now, have done multiple types of riding on all different bikes and figured rather than opinons would provide you wit hsome of my lessons learned.

    First off Technique and Practive: Have to get used to the technique and descending takes as much practice as building fitness or skills required to clear rock gardens. One thing really good riders will tell you and I have experienced my self is you will end up descending with same risk tolerance and close to same speed no matter the bike. Sure a Full Suspesnion Trail bike might be more comfortable and forginving of mistakes than hardtail but if technique is not there it wont matter anyway. Brake when it is smooh to scrub speed, stay loose, weight distributed, etc.

    Traction: Everyone is right let those RRs go, but traction is not jsut tires it is suspension setip, postion on bike, technique, braking right time, not just braking with rear, list goes on. Ride your terrain over and over and understand how you get traction when you need it. For the descending part weight bike is correct but if you have no weight on front tire when trail levels out just for second to turn that can be just as bad.

    Learn to pick lines: Already mentioned in this thread, look thorugh your turn, out side foot down when leaning bike, knee in when needed, practice track stands, small circles in your dirve way, spend some of your singetrack lines just worring about carrying speed through corners, work on it.

    Suspension setup: You cant begin dialing in fit until your suspension sag and rebound are at least very close to correct. Watch you tube videos or get other local riders to help if you think that is the issue.

    Last and yes maybe least equipment: Concentrate on comfort and touch points about your bike first. Tires are number 1 first thing between you and the ground. Also keep an eye on hand elbow postion second so stem, bar grips. Body postion seated so saddle and knee postion, which means adjusting seatpost, saddle, maybe crank length, etc. Work on small tweaks at a time until you get your balanced comfort postion for a variety of terrain. Dropper may help but plenty of great technicial riders dont use them also.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  42. #42
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    If you're new to mountain biking it's probably a skills/technique thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.
    Everyone is recommending to put some beefier tires on your bike to aid in going down hill safely, but you're too concerned about weight. This bike was specifically designed to run beefier tires, yet you run weight conscious tires, kinda defeating the purpose the manufacturer intended. If you don't take the advice to add beefier tires, you'll end up with extra weight on your body with pins and screws to hold your broken bones together, but hey, at least it won't be rotating weight

    BTW, there are 2.6" grippy tires in the 780g range and 2.35" in the 660g range, well worth reducing the chance of a serious injury IMHO.

  44. #44
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    No point in having a light bike if you can't ride it down steep scary trails.
    Put real tires on and a dropper, then go practice.

  45. #45
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    Theres a couple main issues here.

    1)You need to build skill to be able to descend technical track. Get our there and practice. It's that simple.


    2) your bike is setup for up hill not down. Get a dropper post, Think about bigger tyres, Look at your stem length.

    Go and practice, then practice some more.

    Did i say practice.

  46. #46
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    All these responses about building your skill, different tires, stem length, technique and practice, get a dropper post etc... all good stuff I'm sure.

    But the first thing that I'd ask is if the bike was properly set up in terms of suspension pressures (proper sag and rebound dampening), tire pressure (about 20psi should do), and fit?

    If you hopped on this bike with too much air in the tires and/or the suspension setup incorrectly, yeah... it's going to bounce and break loose and skitter on you all over.

    The biggest part of enjoying these new advanced mountain bikes is realizing they need proper set up and fit, understanding the dials and knobs... like don't have it locked out when bombing the rocks etc.

  47. #47
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    Good point, does he have some high road air pressure in the tires?

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  48. #48
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    My Internet diagnosis(tm) is it's not the bike, it's you. You new to mountain biking, you've possibly got road biking habits which don't work so well on dirt (leaning your body into corners, for example, and a high seatpost for efficiency), and you're probably wary of falling and hurting yourself. You might not be able to stand up, legs and arms bent, let go of the brakes, and roll through the terrain yet. You need to slowly (a couple years at least) approach your limits from below. In my experience the approach goes faster if you take an intro or intermediate class and/or ride with better riders. Youtube and books too.

  49. #49
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    Sort out suspension set up, tyres and tyre pressure, dropper post, in that order. Skills may be lacking, but having a poorly set up bike isn't going to help them improve. (well, it might in some ways, but it might also lead to time off the bike if you crash!)

  50. #50
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    Yeah fair call re set up. You can almost guarantee an ex rody will be pumping the tyres to 40 bastards. Get a few experienced mtbrs to check your pressure. I do agree 20psi is a good starting point unless you've eaten a lot of pies.

  51. #51
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    Add me to the list of people who recommend:
    Good, grippy tires. And wider, is generally better. The RaRa is a good tire, just not for your application.
    Even an experienced, expert rider would want to use something other than a RaRa for steep, rocky descents. And do experiment with lower pressures!
    A dropper post. They are very helpful, even if not absolutely necessary. As mentioned, you could just drop the seat at the top of a steep, rocky descent. You could also stop using toilet paper, but some advances in technology are REALLY nice!
    Once you have the tools to succeed, go out and get good at the technical aspects of riding. It's not just you. The LS is a fine bike, but the setup should reflect the kind of riding you will do.

  52. #52
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    I am really ashamed by the comments in this thread. So many people say you "Need" a dropper or "need" different tires. Hmm step rocky descents? Rear tire skittering around.... Yeah that happens. I used to ride a hardtail on rocky descents I would get used to having the rear end bounce around on my all the time. It is technique skill level thing. A dropper will help as will tires, but in the edge 90% of this rider skill and technique. I ride 22lbs XC FS bike until I get to desecnts with siginficant drops and 12" step up "catcher" rocks that will tend catch a front tire halting speed and sending you over the bars my XC bikes (100/100 FS and 100mm XC Singlespeed) are just fine. I do have longer 130/125mm bike with a dropper for the really nasty stuff, but in the end most of the comes down to the rider the Ripley LS is more than capable on steep rocky descents and racing ralphs are and issue for me only due in cornering and due to thin sidewalls. I run XR3 in the rear of my bike because I got tired of cut Ikon EXOs in the back. Grip was not the issue with Ikons. I actually run these up front still. BTW.. Run 20-21 psi front and 27-28 psi rear. I am 165lbs and need that much in the rear prevent rim strikes.

    It would also help to know which trail this is as if you were to tell me you had issues down a certain trail in Phx I could pretty much tell you if are asking too much of the bike or if you just need to build skills.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I am really ashamed by the comments in this thread. So many people say you "Need" a dropper or "need" different tires.
    I only saw 1 post saying that the op needs new tires, everyone else just suggested they would help. Same with the dropper. Personally I agree and think that wider tires with a little more tread (e.g. bonty xr3 2.4") can make a big difference in control, especially on steep & loose stuff.

    Skills are most important, seems like most here agree on that but equipment and setup can make learning easier.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  54. #54
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    1st thing is get a dropper post. especially if you had trouble getting back behind the seat. This will make things so much easier and well worth the weight (which you won't feel unless your world cup XC level)
    Then try it again.
    if you still can't ride the section, then tires. Ralphs have a lot of grip for XC tires despite what is being said here, but they are not durable. You might have 2.25s so you want 2.4-2.6 especially in front to keep the bike tracking and placing where you want. If your going to change size, then consider something other than RRs like a DHF or Butcher in front. Keep the RR in the rear as long as your not puncturing it. If you are skidding and losing control out back, then pulse the brake more so it doesn't do that!

    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    I am an older road cyclist who is new to mountain biking. I recently built a lightweight Ibis Ripley LS (24 lbs) with a fixed seatpost, which I have been riding in the Santa Monica mountains. The bike has Racing Ralph tires, both at 26 psi. I love the way that bike climbs. Until yesterday I had no trouble with descents. Then I tried a steep rocky descent, which was obviously beyond my abilities. The rear tire kept breaking traction and skittering all over the place. I couldn't control my downhill speed and felt like I was about to go over the handlebars. I ended up falling twice, fortunately without getting hurt too badly.

    The Ripley LS is supposed to be good on descents, why did I have so much trouble? Would a dropper post help? Are the Racing Ralph tires not good for downhill? Should I run lower tire pressures? I need your suggestions!

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I am really ashamed by the comments in this thread. So many people say you "Need" a dropper or "need" different tires. Hmm step rocky descents? Rear tire skittering around.... Yeah that happens. I used to ride a hardtail on rocky descents I would get used to having the rear end bounce around on my all the time. It is technique skill level thing. A dropper will help as will tires, but in the edge 90% of this rider skill and technique. I ride 22lbs XC FS bike until I get to desecnts with siginficant drops and 12" step up "catcher" rocks that will tend catch a front tire halting speed and sending you over the bars my XC bikes (100/100 FS and 100mm XC Singlespeed) are just fine. I do have longer 130/125mm bike with a dropper for the really nasty stuff, but in the end most of the comes down to the rider the Ripley LS is more than capable on steep rocky descents and racing ralphs are and issue for me only due in cornering and due to thin sidewalls. I run XR3 in the rear of my bike because I got tired of cut Ikon EXOs in the back. Grip was not the issue with Ikons. I actually run these up front still. BTW.. Run 20-21 psi front and 27-28 psi rear. I am 165lbs and need that much in the rear prevent rim strikes.

    It would also help to know which trail this is as if you were to tell me you had issues down a certain trail in Phx I could pretty much tell you if are asking too much of the bike or if you just need to build skills.
    It's all a matter of perspective. I am at the opposite spectrum to you. I'm running 165/180mm 64deg head angle 2.3 tyres and dropper post. I wouldnt even consider not running a dropper post these days and have no quams recomending one.

    I kinda s****** a bit when i read a guy riding a 100mm bike with no dropper seat up stating he hits significant drops. To me that means he doesnt hit anything remotely signifcant at all by my standards. His significant is most likely not even registering on my scale of hard.
    But my favourite tracks are stupid steep. Sections with gnarly roots and steeps well past 45 degree. Those tracks are simply not possible with the seat up.

  56. #56
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    I agree with the bigger tires and dropper sentiment (especially tires). Jayem gave the best explanation of where to "spend" weight IMO so no point repeating all that.

    After that, just practice. Lots. The speed will come, but not overnight.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    this ^^^
    This x billion no doubt about it.

    Remembering that a few changes like shock damping, a dropper and fresh chunkier rubber will add up to making a good bike great
    Riding bikes means life behind bars, except no TV :-d

  58. #58
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    If you want to be able to ride steeps with your current set-up, which is fine, learn how to brake.

    Try this on flat dirt: ride at slow speed, get back and down behind your saddle (almost sitting on your rear tire), and lock the front brake (skid the front tire).

    If you flip over your handlebars, you're not low enough. If you skid off to the side, you're not centered.

    Play around with that until you have good control of your front brake and your weight transfer.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by plummet View Post
    It's all a matter of perspective. I am at the opposite spectrum to you. I'm running 165/180mm 64deg head angle 2.3 tyres and dropper post. I wouldnt even consider not running a dropper post these days and have no quams recomending one.

    I kinda s****** a bit when i read a guy riding a 100mm bike with no dropper seat up stating he hits significant drops. To me that means he doesnt hit anything remotely signifcant at all by my standards. His significant is most likely not even registering on my scale of hard.
    But my favourite tracks are stupid steep. Sections with gnarly roots and steeps well past 45 degree. Those tracks are simply not possible with the seat up.
    This why it is important to know the trails the OP is riding. I know for certain an XC bike can tackle alot more terrain than many people give them credit for. Rider skill is really a big factor. I don't see Ripely LS as limiting bike for what 90% of people ride and 90% of trails. However there is stuff where you need a big bike. My guess is that is not the trail the OP is taking about, but someone who knows the area really needs to weigh in.
    Now it probably likely that trails you ride a different from what I ride most often so that drives the difference. And in my post don't take signification drops on my XC bike with seat post up. I have another bike with dropper when I want to do that. Even so my version of significant drops is probably not the same either. Since I know Arizona riding pretty well I probably could say pretty clearly what kind of bikes work best for certain trails within a range of skills and approaches. There are some places where if you want to ride that stuff all day long get a big bike and roll on. If you don't then no need for heavy slow beast. A light snappy XC bike even with fixed seat post can be stupid fast with some skills. Some of trails I went down yesterday were steep and rocky and I had no issues on my 100/100 XC bike with fixed seatpost. I just have no way to know how they compare to the OP's trails as my perspective is different. Yeah they were steep and rocky, but well with in the range of even 26" HT with old school geometry (I rode these years ago on one). Just maybe not as fast and as comfortable today.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This why it is important to know the trails the OP is riding. I know for certain an XC bike can tackle alot more terrain than many people give them credit for. Rider skill is really a big factor. I don't see Ripely LS as limiting bike for what 90% of people ride and 90% of trails. However there is stuff where you need a big bike. My guess is that is not the trail the OP is taking about, but someone who knows the area really needs to weigh in.
    Now it probably likely that trails you ride a different from what I ride most often so that drives the difference. And in my post don't take signification drops on my XC bike with seat post up. I have another bike with dropper when I want to do that. Even so my version of significant drops is probably not the same either. Since I know Arizona riding pretty well I probably could say pretty clearly what kind of bikes work best for certain trails within a range of skills and approaches. There are some places where if you want to ride that stuff all day long get a big bike and roll on. If you don't then no need for heavy slow beast. A light snappy XC bike even with fixed seat post can be stupid fast with some skills. Some of trails I went down yesterday were steep and rocky and I had no issues on my 100/100 XC bike with fixed seatpost. I just have no way to know how they compare to the OP's trails as my perspective is different. Yeah they were steep and rocky, but well with in the range of even 26" HT with old school geometry (I rode these years ago on one). Just maybe not as fast and as comfortable today.
    With your way of thinking, I'm guessing you still have a flip phone and use a rotary dial land line at home, right? Heck, maybe you still smoke your cigarettes in your house. After all they are more than capable, just a little slower.

    I know everyone is different but I would get got dead on a hard tail or SS. Then again I ride about once a week, have degenerative discs and patella tendinitis in one of my knees, so waking up without back pain is a good thing.

    It's 2018 and I wouldn't even consider riding without a dropper or 2.2" tires on any rough terrain, so suggesting the OP getting a dropper and more capable tires is clearly where he should start. As capable as a bike like the Ripley is, it becomes less capable and a lot harder to ride without a dropper, and that's a fact. I think he's mature enough to know that that riding more and gaining experience will enhance his skills and make steeper terrain much easier.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicane32 View Post
    It's 2018 and I wouldn't even consider riding without a dropper or 2.2" tires on any rough terrain, so suggesting the OP getting a dropper and more capable tires is clearly where he should start.
    Obviously but people can't miss an opportunity to brag about how they don't need a dropper. It's not relevant and there's no reason to not get a dropper but they can't miss that chance to remind people about the finely honed craft of riding dropperless.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Obviously but people can't miss an opportunity to brag about how they don't need a dropper. It's not relevant and there's no reason to not get a dropper but they can't miss that chance to remind people about the finely honed craft of riding dropperless.
    He would be bragging from the ER if he attempted to ride his 100/100 fixed seat post down some of the steeps in Laguna Beach,Ca. Hoping that his flip phone got reception.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicane32 View Post
    He would be bragging from the ER if he attempted to ride his 100/100 fixed seat post down some of the steeps in Laguna Beach,Ca. Hoping that his flip phone got reception.
    Believe it or not, some people are ďcapableĒ of riding things in ways you donít believe are possible.

    One manís steep is another manís tame.




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  64. #64
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    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Le Duke again."

    Leave it to a few "plum smuggling" XC racers to be the ones who say you dont "need" a dropper"

    The only place i really "need" a dropper is on a jump-line with doubles where consequences are catastrophic. Riding down a hill does not require a dropper. If you bike is too big and your fit is poor, I could see how others might struggle with getting behind a rigid Highpost.

    I think we can end this thread with the recap:

    -OP needs different tires until he is a much better rider
    -Dropper will help with confidence, but not necessarily improve this situation.
    -OP need to work on skills and even take some coaching.

    a dropper costs as much as some great coaching... which one do ya'll think would have the biggest impact?

  65. #65
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    I think guys with longer legs can get behind the seat easier and therefore a dropper isn't nearly as important.
    That said, modern bikes don't seem to like being so far back anyways.

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  66. #66
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    Where did the OP go anyways?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I think guys with longer legs can get behind the seat easier and therefore a dropper isn't nearly as important.
    That said, modern bikes don't seem to like being so far back anyways.
    Yeah there's no reason to ride in a compromised position even if it's a possibility. Obviously a dropper isn't a necessity but you don't need to feel ashamed if you can't do a 360 or tailwhip without a dropper, it's not like riding without a dropper is an impressive feat in itself.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I think guys with longer legs can get behind the seat easier and therefore a dropper isn't nearly as important.
    That said, modern bikes don't seem to like being so far back anyways.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    I short legs, so thats probably not accurate.

    Long arms paired with a short effective reach will help you get back and behind the seat.

    You could take a guy with long legs and average arms on a bike with a real long reach bike and its going to be hard for them to full extend. But typically that type of bike will have a dropper.

  69. #69
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    Based on the description, it does not seem like we are not talking smashing thru knar or hitting doubles and so OP seems to need more fundamental technique input vs hardware changes to get comfortable on dirt. And I fully agree, that it is not the bike at all.

    Ill bet a DHF that the OP is still riding >40psi ...like others have hinted, ex roadie WW usually wont get on a bike if the tires are not near MAX PSI. I did the same thing way back when.

    IMHO & probably in order of importance, here is a possible plan prior to going on next ride:
    1. Find a buddy that wants to show you dirt and chill ride with them. Even hop on their bike to get a feel of a dialed set up.
    2. Lower tire pressure to 25psi (OP is likely not going fast) - do it. If you get a rim strike, bump up 2psi.
    3. Roll the parking lot and get your butt to touch your rear tire - yeah that is too far but need to get that sense of what getting back is all about.
    4. Lower your seat 3cm, this is not road riding, and this puts you in a much better range if on fixed post. Get a $10 seat QR if you want to be sold on a dropper.
    5. Learn to lean the bike beneath you with heals down in the parking lot. Focus on high outside elbow and weighting outside heal.
    6. More advance - learn to put more weight over tire you are braking on. You should be balanced braking F/R, but if your braking hard on rear, need to get back hard on that wheel, even if on flat ground. Likewise on a turn, if you happen to lean back and brake hard on the front, you are probably going down. The net here is to learn to move around on top of the bike (front - back - left - right)
    7. Last thing is brake feel, need to feather brakes. Certain brakes are really grabby when wheels are rolling slow (like Shimano) and super easy to grab too much brake and lock up the wheel. Practice panic stops on a gravel road, you should be able to get to the point of stopping really fast without skiddering at all on F/R and both wheels.
    8. Go watch some videos for troubled areas.
    9. Then spend $ on the upgrades as others have noted as the WW hardware limitations will start to show up.

    Anything else to add?

    OP - good luck and have fun, you will be hooked soon enough!

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicane32 View Post
    He would be bragging from the ER if he attempted to ride his 100/100 fixed seat post down some of the steeps in Laguna Beach,Ca. Hoping that his flip phone got reception.
    I can't comment on any specific trail in Laguna Beach since I have never even seen these trails, but I am quite happy riding a lot of trails without a dropper and even on my SS HT. Again it comes down to perspective. I do have 130/125 bike with a dropper and 2.6s that I use in certain places, but for a lot of my riding a 30lbs bike is just too much. I would rather ride a 22lbs XC bike (geared or SS HT) given my skills and approach to riding.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  71. #71
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    I think the skill set stuff is certainly critical and always a challenge for roadies at first. YouTube is great for fixing that. With that being said, a properly setup bike can really do wonders for a beginner. I see it frequently with new adult riders and kids that we coach as well. It just makes riders a touch more confident and provides a more forgiving ride which protects that confidence.

    An aside, my 6yr kindergartner eats DH black diamond runs (easier ones) like this for breakfast (literally on some days as he is homeschooled). Rides a 20" Spawn Hardtail. Its a sobering reminder seeing a small child shame you as they nail a 6ft drop. Sometimes you just have to sack up and send it. Fear is part of the game.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    Guys thanks for your suggestions, a lot of good thoughts here.

    More about the bike: I built it with road weight-weenie mentality. I am using Trickstuff direttissima brakes; THM cranks; Enve M50 rims laced to Extralite (boost) hubs; Fox 34 130mm fork; XX1 drivetrain; Schmolke bars; Enve stem; Carboniche seatpost; and Racing Ralph snakeskin (not sure which one) tires. It weighs a bit under 24 lbs. I hate to add weight, especially in tires.

    I will get a dropper post. I'm thinking of the KS Lev Ci. Any thoughts?
    1. The word Trick should never appear near the word brake. Get rid of those things.
    2. Get a bar at least 720mm wide, probably 750.
    3. How long is your stem? It should not be longer than 60mm on a bike like that. The wider bars will lengthen your effective reach, so shorten your stem appropriately
    4. Get a front tire with more grip. Try a Forekaster 2.35 exo. I'm not bothered by a RaRa in the back.
    5. Get a dropper with 125 of drop. Don't worry about a few grams. Since you've got a fox fork, get the fox dropper that matches.
    6. Pressure--for xc 26psi is high unless you are heavy. A couple psi can make a world of difference

  73. #73
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    Scary descent on Ibis Ripley LS

    Quote Originally Posted by euro-trash View Post
    1. The word Trick should never appear near the word brake. Get rid of those things.
    2. Get a bar at least 720mm wide, probably 750.
    3. How long is your stem? It should not be longer than 60mm on a bike like that. The wider bars will lengthen your effective reach, so shorten your stem appropriately
    4. Get a front tire with more grip. Try a Forekaster 2.35 exo. I'm not bothered by a RaRa in the back.
    5. Get a dropper with 125 of drop. Don't worry about a few grams. Since you've got a fox fork, get the fox dropper that matches.
    6. Pressure--for xc 26psi is high unless you are heavy. A couple psi can make a world of difference
    By many accounts, the Trickstuff brakes are better than anything made by Shimano or SRAM.

    I believe they are the highest braking power MTB brake ever tested. Used on WC DH bikes.

    Boutique German engineered/made brand.


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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I know for certain an XC bike can tackle alot more terrain than many people give them credit for. Rider skill is really a big factor.
    Rider skill is irrelevant. Yes a more competent rider can handle a more XC sorta bike over gnarlier terrain, but you'd be a fool to think the same rider wouldn't be faster over that same terrain on a more capable bike (if they aren't maybe they're not as skilled as they'd like to think they are).

    But the OP can't just go out and upgrade the rider can he. Skills have to be learned and developed over time, and if he's trying to deal with a skittish short-travel bike with hard nearly-bald tyres, poorly set up suspension and a seat jammed way up his arse there's going to be a lot less room for error while developing those skills. And as I said before that may mean the skills develop faster or it may mean you end up in the ER. A bike set up with good suspension, big tyres and brakes and a dropper is going to be a whole lot more forgiving for someone still trying to hone their skills.

    And just to preempt the counter arguments, I cut my teeth on a rigid 26" bike with 2.1/1.9" tyres riding steep eroded old walking tracks. Been there done that, modern bikes are awesome.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    Rider skill is irrelevant. Yes a more competent rider can handle a more XC sorta bike over gnarlier terrain, but you'd be a fool to think the same rider wouldn't be faster over that same terrain on a more capable bike (if they aren't maybe they're not as skilled as they'd like to think they are).
    If you only care about going downhill get a big bike and be done with it. If you care about climbing, turning and rolling terrain as much as going down you need to consider how much bike you need. Then again the OP is talking about a Ripley LS 130f /120 r 67.5 deg HA. That should be able to handling everything short of an Enduro course while still being pretty good to pedal everywhere. Heck my "Enduro" bike is a Santa Cruz 5010. 130/125 27.5 with a dropper post and 68 deg HA. The dropper helps turn it into a bigger bike and did 1 Enduro on it and finished about mid pack. That said is too big heavy for most of my riding so it sits a lot. I took it for a big Sedona loop (55 miles around town) and while it was great for some sections like nasty lower section of the hiline descent it was in fact overkill for most of the trails and my older 29 HT SC Highball would have been faster overall. I could feel the extra weight as the miles wore on, but the plushness was nice. That day I was just a friendly group ride so it was no riding for time. Now since I have a 100/100 FS XC bike I would take that over the 5010 if I wanted to do that loop fast. If I just wanted to play around on the steeps the 5010 is nice. So I don't consider 130/120 to be short travel and while 26psi is a bit much for the front tire it is not bad for a rear tire in a 2.2 to 2.4 size. I run 27-28 with my 2.2 XR3 and 20-21 for 2.35 Ikon in front for my XC bikes. My 5010 is using 27.5 2.6 on 35mm internal wheels at 15psi front and 20 psi rear.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  76. #76
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    All of this analysis and discussion for what sounds like a simple issue...

    Rear tire breaking traction, feels like he's going OTB, all on a steep rocky descent. Seems obvious his weight is too far forward, no?

    Get your ass back behind the seat on steep descents, legs bent, arms bent, attack position with bias toward the rear.

    Good luck.

  77. #77
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    Joe maybe you need to ride your 5010 more often and ditch the xc bike, your legs will soon adjust to the heavier bike. A good rider can get a big bike up the hill just as quick, with enough training. You don't need an XC bike to be fast on the flats or climbs, one of the guys I ride with has many climbing KOMS locally on his 160mm Speshy Enduro. Another nearly won a local XC race which included a bunch of roadie/gravel bashers on his old alloy Trance Advance with flat pedals, and [ironically, in this case] only came second because his dropper post failed and had to be adjusted between the first and second lap.


  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by tantra View Post
    I am an older road cyclist who is new to mountain biking. I recently built a lightweight Ibis Ripley LS (24 lbs) with a fixed seatpost, which I have been riding in the Santa Monica mountains. The bike has Racing Ralph tires, both at 26 psi. I love the way that bike climbs. Until yesterday I had no trouble with descents. Then I tried a steep rocky descent, which was obviously beyond my abilities. The rear tire kept breaking traction and skittering all over the place. I couldn't control my downhill speed and felt like I was about to go over the handlebars. I ended up falling twice, fortunately without getting hurt too badly.

    The Ripley LS is supposed to be good on descents, why did I have so much trouble? Would a dropper post help? Are the Racing Ralph tires not good for downhill? Should I run lower tire pressures? I need your suggestions!
    I have a Ripley ls with a dropper and 2.4 Vittoria morsa front, 2.3 maxxis aggressor rear and it rips up and down. You need grippier rubber, a dropper, proper pressure ans more time on the bike.

    The tires you are riding are crap, save them for race day only.

  79. #79
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    Forget about dropper posts and tires for a moment.

    Go find a park with a grass hill and spend some time playing on your bike. Practice your front brake. See if you can't feather the rear wheel off the ground little by little by using only the front brake while going down the hill.

    You can generally use more front brake than you think you can, but you have to apply it smooth. If you grab an instant handful it will lock up.
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