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  1. #1
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    Ibis Ripley Vs. Santa Cruz Tallboy ?

    Hi all,

    I am curious to know how these two frames compare. I demo'ed these two bikes about 3 months ago. I couldn't tell a distinct difference. They both seemed equally stiff and very responsive. Also,
    what about durability? Does one have a better reputation for being more durable than the other?

    While comparing these two bikes, I wonder how they both compare to other manufactures out there such as Pivot Cycles or Intense..etc..?

    I'm assuming once you get to this 'high end' level there isn't much of a difference? Is this correct?

    Thanks
    Last edited by norbyd; 06-22-2014 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    I have demoed the ripley but no time on the TB. I would have to say they are both great but the Ripley seems to have more range, you could go xc or more trail with the build. TB to me is more on the xc side of things.

    Once you get into those price ranges it's all about what fits. Any of those bikes will rip anything you have the huevos to hit hard.

  3. #3
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    From a durability perspective, I'd say, all things being equal, the components will break before the frame does. Both are good bikes but I think the handling of the Ripley and the DW suspension are what gives it an edge. I don't have enough time on a Tallboy, however, to give a substantive comparison

  4. #4
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    Test ride them. 2 similar bikes that will have minor advantages and draw backs over one another.

    you gotta test em. its gonna be a matter of personal taste.


    if you cant try it... dont buy it
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  5. #5
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    Pivot 429, Intense Spider 29, Trek Fuel 29, Specialized Camber, all cool choices.

    I like Santa Cruz's threaded BB's.

  6. #6
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    havent ridden the Ibis, but i have demoed the Tallboy, Heckler, Nomad and the Bronson. all the SC bikes were sweet.

    get what you like. i like threaded BB too, so SC is what i would get. you cant go wrong with SC reguardless
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys for the input!

    I currently ride a 2001 Superlight SC.

    I did demo both bikes but really couldn't tell a distinct difference between them. This was my first time riding Carbon bikes. I liked the tallboy, maybe because I'm used to the Geometry ( it doesn't seem to change much over time on SC), so I could be a bit biased since I own an SC now. With my next bike, I'd like to go with a different brand; IBIS might be the way to go.

    When I demo'ed the Ripley they only had a small on hand, but I ride a Medium. I wish I demo'ed a Medium for a fair comparison.

    It was also my first time riding a full-suspension 29er. These things roll over anything! It takes a bit longer to get going then a 26er, but that doesn't matter to me.

  8. #8
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    With a 120mm fork, the Ripley's bottom bracket is less than 13", which I find to be a liability in technical terrain. With a 140mm fork it jumps up to 13.25", which is more functional. You can shred any corner hard with a 13.5" bb, I feel like it's diminishing returns below that.

  9. #9
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    I would re demo both. Put them through harder riding pick out some technical climbs and down hill. Some long fast descents. and tight twisty sections. time yourself on your current bike and the other two. Get the bike that you have the most fun on.


    but it sounds like you all ready want the tall boy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodson View Post
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_man_half_scab View Post
    With a 120mm fork, the Ripley's bottom bracket is less than 13", which I find to be a liability in technical terrain. With a 140mm fork it jumps up to 13.25", which is more functional. You can shred any corner hard with a 13.5" bb, I feel like it's diminishing returns below that.
    with all due respect, I disagree. I had a 13.5ish bb height bike for years, and I got one with a 12.8." I was worried that it was too low, but the benefits have been MASSIVE. I can rip turns and change the bike's course SO much faster than on the old bike. On trails that I used to find merely fun, now I feel like Superman on them, able to do anything with only a thought. It made the bike so much more lively, nimble and fun. I hit the pedals a number of times initially, but I don't even think about it anymore, and I never have pedal strikes. I guess it does matter to a degree what kind of trails you ride though. If my local trails were nothing but climbs with horrendous rocks every few inches, I might think about going with the higher bb. But even then it would be very hard to pry me away from the lower bb geometry. VERY hard. It's just too much fun. I'd think this would be magnified even more with a 29er, since the wheels by virtue of their size and weight, like to fight turning and quick movements. Lowering that BB height would bring its center of mass down, and help to reduce that sluggish feeling.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    with all due respect, I disagree. I had a 13.5ish bb height bike for years, and I got one with a 12.8." I was worried that it was too low, but the benefits have been MASSIVE. I can rip turns and change the bike's course SO much faster than on the old bike.
    I'm with you on BB height. I'm not exactly sure where I'm at but its definitely sub 13" on a 26" wheeled short travel bike (running an old u-turn pike around 125mm on a devinci dexter, their discontinued 110mm 26" xc frame).

    I'll be honest, pedal strikes ARE an issue for me. Not every ride but definitely something I need to watch for since I do ride it mostly on techy trails. I STILL feel that it is more than worth it. I mostly strike when I'm gassed and not paying close attention climbing and almost never while going fast DH even through rough/tech trails.

    The handling on this bike is incredible (it has a bit of an agile/nimble yet way more capable in the rough than you'd think split personality) and I know the BB geo plays a big role. I am turning a lot faster than I ever have before on any bike and it is amazing. This bike turns me into a monster especially on these new style trails that are mostly buff with a lot of turns and rollers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    but it sounds like you all ready want the tall boy.
    I definitely would have to re-demo them both. I am leaning toward the Tallboy because I own a Santa Cruz and they have a similar ride since it is virtually the same Geometry.

    I heard Santa Cruz came out with a more affordable line of bikes that include the Bronson and Tallboy with Carbon frames. They are offering a Tallboy - complete bike for $3300. I know with Tax it's going to come to about $4k. Check out:

    Hot News: Santa Cruz launches more affordable carbon bikes, bars and grips | Mountain Bike Review

    I just wonder if the components are decent. Since my components are outdated on my bike - over 13 years old! (at least they are XTR) - I am out of the loop when it comes to components

    To be fair, I need to test ride the Ripley in a Medium, I was stuck with a Small because that's all they had at the time.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbyd View Post
    I definitely would have to re-demo them both. I am leaning toward the Tallboy because I own a Santa Cruz and they have a similar ride since it is virtually the same Geometry.

    I heard Santa Cruz came out with a more affordable line of bikes that include the Bronson and Tallboy with Carbon frames. They are offering a Tallboy - complete bike for $3300. I know with Tax it's going to come to about $4k. Check out:

    Hot News: Santa Cruz launches more affordable carbon bikes, bars and grips | Mountain Bike Review

    I just wonder if the components are decent. Since my components are outdated on my bike - over 13 years old! (at least they are XTR) - I am out of the loop when it comes to components

    To be fair, I need to test ride the Ripley in a Medium, I was stuck with a Small because that's all they had at the time.
    I've been wondering the same between the two. Any updates?

    I have a SC Highball setup with 120 mm fox and I like the idea of jumping into a Tallboy which will have near identical geometry. I've demo'd a Ripley with 140 mm Fox 34 and absolutely loved it. I cannot believe how well that thing climbs, so much better than a hard tail. I think dw-link is much better than VPP, but have never ridden an SC full squish.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeromev View Post
    I think dw-link is much better than VPP, but have never ridden an SC full squish.

    Then how can you have an opinion?

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Then how can you have an opinion?
    I have a pretty strong background in physics and mechanics.

  16. #16
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    Re: Ibis Ripley Vs. Santa Cruz Tallboy ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeromev View Post
    I have a pretty strong background in physics and mechanics.
    Good. Would you please explain in what aspects exactly is the DW-link superior to vpp and how did you come to that conclusion.
    Feel free to use all your strong physics and mechanics background.

  17. #17
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    I remember in engineering classes how you could analyze the wing area of a bumblebee and its body mass and conclude its impossible for it to fly. You really can't analyze the sum of the parts, its a seat of the pants decision. However you may still prefer the DW, its OK.

  18. #18
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    Well, I hope it turns out I was wrong about DW link being better. I just ordered a SC Tallboy carbon. Being able to take all of my parts from my current build on my highball and transfer over to the tallboy was just too appealing. I just couldn't justify having to buy a new seat post, 51 mm offset fork, and direct mount front derailleur, after spending $2,900 on the Ibis frame. Here's to the sum of the parts!

  19. #19
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    I closely followed a Ripley up a steep climb yesterday on the Brec-Epic race course. Climb had a few log roll-overs and sketchy sections. I could't see any difference in pedaling cadence, traction, Bob or lack of it, or speed between myself and the Ripley. I was on my TB2. I know this isn't super scientific but FWIW.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitafrank View Post
    I closely followed a Ripley up a steep climb yesterday on the Brec-Epic race course. Climb had a few log roll-overs and sketchy sections. I could't see any difference in pedaling cadence, traction, Bob or lack of it, or speed between myself and the Ripley. I was on my TB2. I know this isn't super scientific but FWIW.
    Cool, thanks for the info. Glad to get feedback from other Rocky Mountain area riders. I should have a pretty strong opinion by next weekend.

  21. #21
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    Well I've ridden a Tallboy C (not the 2 version) for 2 years. It was the fastest and easiest to pedal bike I had yet ridden. I had two sets of wheels on it, stans crest and frequency I19 and they both felt about the same to me. I ran a racing ralph or maxxis Ikon on back and nobby nic on front. The bike just spun up so quick and rolled so easy when I pedaled compared to anything I had ridden. I really liked that part of it.

    But all my riding buddies are faster than me, and even though I much preferred the mojo sl in any riding condition except mostly smooth XC, I could keep much closer to them on the Tallboy. But when I say closer, I was still hanging a ways back much of the time trying to keep up, while they are all riding in a pack and waiting for me at intersections. I was a straggler.

    Well I just got a ripley with 120mm fork. (By the way my Tallboy C also had 120mm fork because I wanted to cross over to more trail riding and the trek hifly I had with 100mm was not enough for our riding terrain). The ripley has stans arch ex wheels with a specialized ground control up front and a fast track on the back. The wheels on paper are heavier than the wheels on my Tallboy C.

    Well I did a ride with my buddies tonight on our typical trails, one of those trails where I am usually quite a ways behind lagging, especially on the climbs. Not tonight. I was riding number 2 and three in the pack much of the night. I have never been able to do that before with these guys. And the guy leading was riding his fast bike tonight, which usually drops me like crazy. And it was a fast paced ride for us. All the guys were really getting worked.

    Anyway, after the ride, the leader said to me: "you were faster on that Ripley tonight than you ever were on your tallboy", And he was right. That thing is SO efficient pedaling, it was amazing. and with a 120mm rear vs the Tallboy C 100mm, it was so much smoother and better controlled over any technical terrain or downhill.

    By the way, I have a tallboy C for sale.
    Ibis Ripley 2014
    Tallboy C 2012
    Trek HiFi Pro 29er 2011
    Ibis Mojo SL 2009
    Kona Dawg Deluxe 2005
    StumpJumper 2003

  22. #22
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    Friwnd of mine who has a ripley is wicked fast. But he wishes it had more travel than 120. So I'd look at the TBLong

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailNut_Tom View Post
    Well I've ridden a Tallboy C (not the 2 version) for 2 years. It was the fastest and easiest to pedal bike I had yet ridden. I had two sets of wheels on it, stans crest and frequency I19 and they both felt about the same to me. I ran a racing ralph or maxxis Ikon on back and nobby nic on front. The bike just spun up so quick and rolled so easy when I pedaled compared to anything I had ridden. I really liked that part of it.

    But all my riding buddies are faster than me, and even though I much preferred the mojo sl in any riding condition except mostly smooth XC, I could keep much closer to them on the Tallboy. But when I say closer, I was still hanging a ways back much of the time trying to keep up, while they are all riding in a pack and waiting for me at intersections. I was a straggler.

    Well I just got a ripley with 120mm fork. (By the way my Tallboy C also had 120mm fork because I wanted to cross over to more trail riding and the trek hifly I had with 100mm was not enough for our riding terrain). The ripley has stans arch ex wheels with a specialized ground control up front and a fast track on the back. The wheels on paper are heavier than the wheels on my Tallboy C.

    Well I did a ride with my buddies tonight on our typical trails, one of those trails where I am usually quite a ways behind lagging, especially on the climbs. Not tonight. I was riding number 2 and three in the pack much of the night. I have never been able to do that before with these guys. And the guy leading was riding his fast bike tonight, which usually drops me like crazy. And it was a fast paced ride for us. All the guys were really getting worked.

    Anyway, after the ride, the leader said to me: "you were faster on that Ripley tonight than you ever were on your tallboy", And he was right. That thing is SO efficient pedaling, it was amazing. and with a 120mm rear vs the Tallboy C 100mm, it was so much smoother and better controlled over any technical terrain or downhill.

    By the way, I have a tallboy C for sale.
    A new bike is always faster than an old bike.

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    I've only had a few rides on the Ripley so far but the most marked difference I noticed between it an the Tallboy C I had been riding is it's control, confidence and fun factor.

    Where I would be hesitant to take certain jumps, drops, and ups, because I felt a little unbalanced or insecure, I find my self confidently taking all the drops, ups, jumps I either avoided most of the time or took hesitantly. I also find myself confidently taking the ones I never even considered before because the bike feels so much more in control. In addition I definitely feel way more confident in hard cornering. All this translates to pure fun on the trail.

    I'm sure there are many contributing factors, but one of them may be the lower BB height. I say that because I have struck pedals a couple times recently where I wouldn't have on the tallboy. At first it bothered me a bit, but then I thought, this bike is so much more fun, maneuverable and confidence inspiring I think the trade off is well worth it.

    Also, I will note that I run the ripley rear shock pretty soft to get full travel in our mostly 'trail' riding conditions, so this undoubtedly drops the BB and contributes to pedal strikes. I'm not sure others would run with quite as much sag as I do.
    Ibis Ripley 2014
    Tallboy C 2012
    Trek HiFi Pro 29er 2011
    Ibis Mojo SL 2009
    Kona Dawg Deluxe 2005
    StumpJumper 2003

  25. #25
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    I would get the Tallboy LTC, cheaper and serviceable due to the bottom bracket.

    Santa Cruz Bicycles Tallboy LT Carbon Mountain Bike Frame - 2013 | Competitive Cyclist
    195 lbs-6'4" Banshee Prime XL
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    PLEASE GIVE ME NEGATIVE REP!

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