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  1. #1
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
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    Choices - Sultan, RIP9, or new RM Altitude 650B?

    I'm 6'2" and 225 lbs currently, but have been up around 245-265 recently. I ride the trails in the CO Front Range area (Green Mtn, Bear Creek Lake, Lair O' the Bear, Centennial Cone, etc.) about 80-90% of the time and then some of the trails up in the Winter Park area the rest of the time (no DH stuff though). I'm looking for a nice FS Trail or AM bike to replace my SC Nomad (Gen1). I test rode a few 29-ers this summer and had narrowed it down to the Turner Sultan or Niner RIP9, and was planning to ride both again to do a final comparison before pulling the trigger.

    THEN, a friend who's a sponsored rider said she could get me a good discount on a Rocky Mtn bike, so I started looking at their site and saw the 2013 Altitude (27.5") with the Ride 9 feature that allows you to adjust the geometry of the bike with a 9 position adjustment at the top of the rear shock. Looks like a nice feature to set up the bike for you weight and riding style, but is this hype or reality? Also I tend to shy away from a newly designed product (cars, electronics, everything) and wait a year or two for them to work the bugs out.

    I'm not sure how long it will be before there are Altitudes in the local demo programs and even then if there will be one in my size, which has been a limiting factor for me to test ride bikes this summer already. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I have no experience with the RM, but I know that the Rip9 is a proven design and I own one. You would probably want the newer '11-'12 frame that has the slightly slacker HA, you can go even more slacker with a 140mm fork that the frame is designed to take. For me it's a beefy enough frame for technical and rocky descents yet it climbs great, although I have mine more setup for xc with a 120mm fork and arch wheelset.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Ross. I just rented Sultan again in XL and rode it twice. The first ride took a while to dial it in and the second was just okay. The reason being that they sent me out with a really short stem so the front end was really twitchy at low speed (climbs) and under weighted on climbs. The shop said they'd swap that out and give it to me again at no charge (kudos to Boulder Cycle Sport), so I'll take them up on that soon. I'm also going to get to Big Kahuna and demo a RIP (if they have the 140 fork) or WFO soon.

    If neither one of these just blow me away, then I think I'll hold off dropping that kind of $$$$ until I can test ride the Altitude too.

  4. #4
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    Have you considered a Tallboy? I'm pushing 250 lbs. and it's held up great for two and a half years.

  5. #5
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    That ride 9 feature... I'm not going to say it's just hype, but that sort of thing is as old as suspension in general (I don't think this is even the first time Rocky has tried it), and no one seems to have been able to get it working well enough to keep the feature around. Maybe Rocky finally figured it out though.
    650 is the thing I'd wait a few years before buying into. As of right now, all I see is hype compared to 26 and 29.

    It took me a couple rides on my Sultan before I really liked it. After my second ride I was looking at what they were selling for used... Now it's one of the only 29ers I've ridden that I'd voluntarily ride again. Just saying - it needs some break-in. Turner really likes short top tubes for some reason, so I needed a longer stem than I'd typically ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonD View Post
    Have you considered a Tallboy? I'm pushing 250 lbs. and it's held up great for two and a half years.
    Yeah, I rode a TBc a few months ago and it was good, but didn't blow me away - didn't like it on the DHs. I'd like to try a TB LT, but haven't found one in my size to demo.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    That ride 9 feature... I'm not going to say it's just hype, but that sort of thing is as old as suspension in general (I don't think this is even the first time Rocky has tried it), and no one seems to have been able to get it working well enough to keep the feature around. Maybe Rocky finally figured it out though.
    650 is the thing I'd wait a few years before buying into. As of right now, all I see is hype compared to 26 and 29.

    It took me a couple rides on my Sultan before I really liked it. After my second ride I was looking at what they were selling for used... Now it's one of the only 29ers I've ridden that I'd voluntarily ride again. Just saying - it needs some break-in. Turner really likes short top tubes for some reason, so I needed a longer stem than I'd typically ride.
    The bike shop with the Turner called me back today and asked when I'd like to schedule the re-ride with the longer (100mm) vs the 50mm they sent me out on. I'm going to try to do that next weekend.

    I just picked up a Lg RIP9 for the weekend, but it has the RS Revelation (120mm) on it rather than the Fox Talas (140mm), so I should get a decent feel on the climbing but less input on it's DH capability. Going to take a ride this afternoon to dial in the settings and then give it a hard ride tomorrow.

  7. #7
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    My afternoon ride on the RIP9 left me impressed. Felt as agile as a 26, climbed very well and felt great on the short downhills on today's ride too. It made me start looking around for deals on complete builds in case Sunday's ride on tougher terrain is equally impressive. I found this deal locally...

    Niner Special Buy R.I.P. 9 V.2 - Big Kahuna Bicycles - Littleton CO

    2012 Rip 9 frame/ Fox 34 Talas 110-140 travel fork, 2012/2013 Shimano 20 Speed XT, Stans No Tubes 3.30 ZTR/ Flow wheels, Shimano XT brakes with IceTech Rotors, and more for $3850. Seems like a great price to me. Thoughts on the build/price?

  8. #8
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    Seems like a decent deal, for that price you usually see an SLX or x7 build with cheaper wheels, there's almost nothing on that component list I would change.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Ross. The more I look at that price and set-up, I agree. I might want to go 3x10 or get a different gear ratio to have a lower granny gear for the long climbs around here and the only other thing I was thinking was upgrading to the Talas with the CTD settings.

  10. #10
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    I opted for a 3x10 too, for the trails around me I don't need to drop into granny gear often, but it's nice to have when I do.


  11. #11
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossluzz View Post
    I opted for a 3x10 too, for the trails around me I don't need to drop into granny gear often, but it's nice to have when I do.

    Nice! I ended up opting for the 2x10, but he swapped the front chain rings to have a 22T instead of a 24T so I can get a bit lower gearing.

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