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  1. #1
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    Conflicted about my Ripley (edit: not anymore!)

    *disclaimer, first world problems ahead*

    I love my Ripley. I really do. It's a wonderful blue color. It's really a fantastic bike for a wide variety of riding. If I lived in Colorado (I usually go out to Aspen a few times a year for snowboarding and mtb), I wouldn't have any thoughts about other bikes.

    But...

    The majority of my morning rides living in Socal near the Santa Monicas consist of 45 min long climbs with steep, rough, techy and loose singletrack to get back down. My usual rides are going up Will Rogers to hit J-drop or up Sullivan Ridge to hit Jedi (for anyone in So Cal on the Ibis section).

    As a result, I've been left wanting more plush, with more travel and something more maneuverable around the very tight switchbacks. I swapped bikes with a buddy with a Mach 6 a month ago and it was a pretty different experience.

    Also, I already have another 29er in the stable that I built up with spare parts and a smoking cheap deal that I got on the frame (a BMC FS01 Fourstroke that is sub 23 pounds and will always be lighter than the Ibis as my long day bike)

    So here is the dilemma....

    Do I keep the Ripley, swap the Float 34 for a Pike, and force myself to learn to be a better rider?

    Do I sell the Ripley and get the new 650b secret Ibis bike?

    Or do I just keep the Ripley and go N+1 bikes for the new 650b bike?

    I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I need 2 29ers if I were to get the new bike.

    Edit: Problem has been solved with a stem change (to 70mm inverted from 90mm) and fork swap
    Last edited by Udyr; 1 Week Ago at 06:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Before you make your decision, I hope you have tested the Ripley with a set of lightweight wheels and tires. Makes a huge difference in handling through tight spaces.
    I have the stock wheel set (Stan's Arch EX) with Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3", and also a race setup with DT Swiss 1501 Spline wheels with Specialized S-Works Ground Control 2.3" front/S-Works Fast Track 2.2" rear, and the difference in handling is surprising. Both pairs are set up tubeless.
    I have ended up riding my bike with the race wheels all the time. The extra grip of the Purgatorys is not worth it compared to the playfulness and fun I get from the lighter wheels.

  3. #3
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    Funny, I had exactly the opposite problem - bought a Santa Cruz Bronson C, and for the kind of riding you describe it was awesome (plush, maneuverable, etc.). But I live in Colorado and do lots of longer climbs with longer, technical-but-not-crazy downhills, and realized it wasn't the right bike for me. Recently sold it and am awaiting arrival of a Ripley from my local shop. Too bad we didn't connect earlier, might have been able to engineer a swap.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkon View Post
    Funny, I had exactly the opposite problem - bought a Santa Cruz Bronson C, and for the kind of riding you describe it was awesome (plush, maneuverable, etc.). But I live in Colorado and do lots of longer climbs with longer, technical-but-not-crazy downhills, and realized it wasn't the right bike for me. Recently sold it and am awaiting arrival of a Ripley from my local shop. Too bad we didn't connect earlier, might have been able to engineer a swap.
    Bummer! That would have been quite the swap.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by perhas View Post
    Before you make your decision, I hope you have tested the Ripley with a set of lightweight wheels and tires. Makes a huge difference in handling through tight spaces.
    I have the stock wheel set (Stan's Arch EX) with Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3", and also a race setup with DT Swiss 1501 Spline wheels with Specialized S-Works Ground Control 2.3" front/S-Works Fast Track 2.2" rear, and the difference in handling is surprising. Both pairs are set up tubeless.
    I have ended up riding my bike with the race wheels all the time. The extra grip of the Purgatorys is not worth it compared to the playfulness and fun I get from the lighter wheels.
    I'm currently on a set of Enve AM rims with Chris King hubs (I had won them in a contest hence the super bling wheels). Rolling on a 2.2 Captain in the front and 2.1 Ground Control in the rear which is a nice balance of grip and rolling resistance. Since its so dry in SoCal right now I need some extra grip that the more XC oriented tires don't really provide.

  6. #6
    Lev
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    Quote Originally Posted by perhas View Post
    Before you make your decision, I hope you have tested the Ripley with a set of lightweight wheels and tires. Makes a huge difference in handling through tight spaces.
    I have the stock wheel set (Stan's Arch EX) with Specialized Purgatory Control 2.3", and also a race setup with DT Swiss 1501 Spline wheels with Specialized S-Works Ground Control 2.3" front/S-Works Fast Track 2.2" rear, and the difference in handling is surprising. Both pairs are set up tubeless.
    I have ended up riding my bike with the race wheels all the time. The extra grip of the Purgatorys is not worth it compared to the playfulness and fun I get from the lighter wheels.
    Interesting comment on wheels. I'm experiencing a bit of that right now. Rode the original wheelset w/ Arch EX NN/RR F and R for about 2 weeks. During that time frame, I kept saying I need a burlier rubber for some of the rocks. Now I'm rocking a Hans Dampf in the front and the NN in the rear, and I can't stop thinking about how nice it was to ride the lighter, easier rolling tires. The bike scooted up everything, and I was still busting out some fast times on the DH. i live in the mid atlantic, so conditions can go from dry and fast, to wet and sketchy pretty fast. Ideally, I'd have 2 wheelsets, but right now I can't afford it. Still on the quest for the perfect tires that allow for that fast and floaty feel, while still maintaining some stability at speed.

  7. #7
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    I have no advice for your bike dilemma.
    But I leave near Santa Monicas and thought Ripley is the perfect match for trails you mentioned. Mine is setup with Pike 34 and CTD with Avalanche mod.
    Switching from fox32 and tuning rear shock made a huge difference in plushness.
    I demoed Mach 6 before purchasing Ripley and decided it had to much travel for our local trails. And I ride in San Gabriel Mountains a lot.

  8. #8
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    I have some parts going on eBay right now and should end up with enough to put a Pike on. I can probably sell the Float 34 for a decent price so that should give me a good decent comparison.

  9. #9
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    I feel your pain. I had the Ripley and really like how it climbs, but was not sold on the downhill aspect of the bike. Instead of selling the Float 34 and buying a Pike, think about getting an Avalanche upgrade. Do a search on Avalanche and you will see all the great reviews.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brisco Dog View Post
    I feel your pain. I had the Ripley and really like how it climbs, but was not sold on the downhill aspect of the bike. Instead of selling the Float 34 and buying a Pike, think about getting an Avalanche upgrade. Do a search on Avalanche and you will see all the great reviews.
    I just got a DBInline a few weeks ago which has helped a lot on the rear end. Still trying to figure it out.

  11. #11
    OriginalDonk
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    I live in Santa Monica and have one of the first Ripleys that rolled through Ibis. I grabbed a Pike 130mm and a CCDB Inline and swap tires out given what I want the bike to do. I've got a pair of snakeskin Rocket Rons for the quicker stuff (like Millenium Trail) and a DHR II/Ardent combo for the loose stuff you mentioned (J-Drob, Hectic, etc.).

    I wouldn't give up on it quite yet. The Ripley is a very capable bike (find a few videos of Jeff Kendall-Weed railing it in Enduros throughout CA and the U.S.). If you're looking to send it off of some of the kickers on Jedi something like a Mach 6/Knolly Warden/Ibis or Turner secret bike might be the ticket.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalDonk View Post
    I live in Santa Monica and have one of the first Ripleys that rolled through Ibis. I grabbed a Pike 130mm and a CCDB Inline and swap tires out given what I want the bike to do. I've got a pair of snakeskin Rocket Rons for the quicker stuff (like Millenium Trail) and a DHR II/Ardent combo for the loose stuff you mentioned (J-Drob, Hectic, etc.).

    I wouldn't give up on it quite yet. The Ripley is a very capable bike (find a few videos of Jeff Kendall-Weed railing it in Enduros throughout CA and the U.S.). If you're looking to send it off of some of the kickers on Jedi something like a Mach 6/Knolly Warden/Ibis or Turner secret bike might be the ticket.
    Do you have trouble with the switchbacks on J-drop or do I just need more practice?

  13. #13
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    I'm with OriginalDonk...also have a pike 130 and running stiff wheels (kings on enve am's) and decent size tires (WTB weirwolf 2.3's)...first thing I'd do if I were you is change tires (to something bigger). It's cheap and easy and, while I haven't ridden the specific tires you said you're riding, there's easily room to go up in size (ie. it sounds like you're riding pinner tires)

  14. #14
    OriginalDonk
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    I find the switchbacks on J-drop to be some of the more entertaining sections of the trail. It may be wise to transition this discussion into how your Ripley is setup. A few of the more roadie oriented bike shops in the area seem to be sending Ripleys out in true XC/Endurance setups.

    How long is your stem? How wide are your bars? Are you running a dropper. An appropriate length stem, some wider bars, and dropper can do wonders for Ripley handling and really help you with the switchbacks. It's also loose as all hell up there right now so have a bit of patience.

    There are lots of VERY knowledgeable people on this forum willing to help out. A stem change will be far cheaper than moving to another frame. You've gotta admit the Ripley climbs like a scalded cat. Sounds like you might need to unlock a bit of that descending prowess.

  15. #15
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    re-reading your original post makes we wonder what the heck you're thinking.
    you have another 29er that you think is a better 'long day' bike than the ripley? and you're wondering if you need something bigger for rough stuff. first, I agree with others that you should reconsider how much the ripley is capable of (reference the weed's videos and I think we'll can all agree it's the rider, not the bike). second, you need a bike that's better 'all day' than the ripley. I really don't get where you're coming from but maybe others do.
    for me, the ripley is my all-day bike...and by 'all day' I mean creampuff 100 all-day. I also have a bigger bike (HDR 650b) but it's not as if I can actually utilize all of that bike's capabilities. (or the Ripley's, for that matter)

  16. #16
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    All research and test riding pointed to the Ripley for me ...although I was never able to ride the Ripley, I previously owned a Mojo and have ridden the Pivot Mach 6 and Mach 429. I needed a bike for the all day epics but something that could take the frequently limestone ledges I encounter.

    I almost pulled the trigger bu my heart said go with an Spec Enduro 29 based on the raving reviews so I picked up a used one to test it out thinking I could sell it for roughly what I paid for it. I've been riding it for two weeks now and love it even though this San Antonio, TX is not it's ideal playground.

    Climbing has always been my strength but not so much drops and ledgy downhill sections. This bike kind of evens things out with my riding buddies so it's more fun for all of us. I don't have to wait so long at the top of the climbs and they don't have to wait at the bottom.

    Not exactly sure what my point is though

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    re-reading your original post makes we wonder what the heck you're thinking
    I'm not really sure what I'm thinking, which is why I am here for advice

    Here is the rundown on what happened:

    #1. Bought the Ripley back in March, it had a Float 34 140mm and an XTR triple because Chris King didn't have an XD driver for my Enve wheels that I already had.

    #2. I got a smoking hot deal on a BMC FS01 frame that is almost a pound lighter than the Ripley frame and used my spare parts from my older hardtail to build it into an XC/Marathon bike. It will always be lighter than the Ripley and to be honest, I really dig the BMC. I'm not looking to turn my Ripley into an XC bike.

    #3. I've been fiddling with the setup on the Ripley and haven't gotten it to where I am happy with the suspension feeling and handling. Doesn't mean that I've exhausted all of the options and that I'm certainly willing to keep fiddling with it.

    Out of curiosity, why do you have both an HDR and a Ripley?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalDonk View Post
    I find the switchbacks on J-drop to be some of the more entertaining sections of the trail. It may be wise to transition this discussion into how your Ripley is setup. A few of the more roadie oriented bike shops in the area seem to be sending Ripleys out in true XC/Endurance setups.

    How long is your stem? How wide are your bars? Are you running a dropper?
    Stem is 90mm I believe, whatever came stock. Ibis Carbon 740mm bars. Yes, running a 150 KS Lev dropper.

  19. #19
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    I love the way my Ripley handles. Best bike I have ever owned. However I live in Michigan so I am pretty sure I am not hitting any terrain near as tough as you. I have a similar dilemma in that I want a new bike. However I am not going to get rid of the Ripley. I just want to add another bike. I also own a Ventana El Padrino HT 29er. The 2 bikes I am looking at are the Ibis Tranny 29er HT or the Pivot Mach 4 Carbon. I know 2 completely different bikes. However I just think it would be fun to have a smaller wheeled FS bike.

    When I got my Ripley I built a new wheelset with King hubs and Crest rims. I took the old set and put on a set of Surly Knard Cyclocross wheels and added a cassette and rotors. So if I got the Tranny I could throw the extra set of wheels on it when I wanted to cruise around on gravel and I wouldn't have to change the brake settings or derailuer if I got it in XT because the Tranny and Ibis use the same Speed Tuned hubs. Decisions Decisions. Maybe I should start my own thread. LOL

  20. #20
    OriginalDonk
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    Sounds like you have a bit of overlap to me with the Ripley and the BMC. I'd probably opt for the Ripley and a hardtail for the XC stuff (e.g. Pivot LES or something) or the Ripley built up for Trail and a 160mm steed for more aggressive All Mountain riding.

    At this point it looks like you're going down the weight saving rabbit hole with the BMC so add some burl to the Ripley. How tall are you and what size frame are you riding? Some would say 90mm is a bit long given sizing trends. A 2.2 Captain up front and a 2.1 Ground Control rear are solid tires for the trails around Santa Cruz where the Ibis guys ride. I definitely would call those "pinner" tires. I think you need something to handle the looser stuff. People seem to like the WTB Vigilante around here. I like my Ardent/DHRII combo.

    If you want to stay with the Ripley and have some money in your pocket, optimize the suspension. Send your Fox 34 and Float CTD to Craig at Avalanche for custom tuning. It'll be cheaper than snagging the Pike and you have the Fox 34 platform.

    Let us know how tall you are, it might be worth borrowing a 70mm stem. A stem swap and tire swap may change things for you. Avalanche will definitely be a revelation for you if you elect to go that route.

  21. #21
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    I'll give the shorter stem a try first.

  22. #22
    OriginalDonk
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    We still don't know how tall you are and your frame size. A 90mm stem may be good if you're a long armed lanky dude. If you're on the shorter side a 50mm stem may be better. At this point, no way to make an informed suggestion.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    *disclaimer, first world problems ahead*

    I love my Ripley. I really do. It's a wonderful blue color. It's really a fantastic bike for a wide variety of riding. If I lived in Colorado (I usually go out to Aspen a few times a year for snowboarding and mtb), I wouldn't have any thoughts about other bikes.

    But...

    The majority of my morning rides living in Socal near the Santa Monicas consist of 45 min long climbs with steep, rough, techy and loose singletrack to get back down. My usual rides are going up Will Rogers to hit J-drop or up Sullivan Ridge to hit Jedi (for anyone in So Cal on the Ibis section).

    As a result, I've been left wanting more plush, with more travel and something more maneuverable around the very tight switchbacks. I swapped bikes with a buddy with a Mach 6 a month ago and it was a pretty different experience.

    Also, I already have another 29er in the stable that I built up with spare parts and a smoking cheap deal that I got on the frame (a BMC FS01 Fourstroke that is sub 23 pounds and will always be lighter than the Ibis as my long day bike)

    So here is the dilemma....

    Do I keep the Ripley, swap the Float 34 for a Pike, and force myself to learn to be a better rider?

    Do I sell the Ripley and get the new 650b secret Ibis bike?

    Or do I just keep the Ripley and go N+1 bikes for the new 650b bike?

    I'm having a hard time convincing myself that I need 2 29ers if I were to get the new bike.

    get a pike. lopes rides a ripley in laguna which i guarantee is gnarlier and steeper than your LA trails.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by OriginalDonk View Post
    I wouldn't give up on it quite yet. The Ripley is a very capable bike (find a few videos of Jeff Kendall-Weed railing it in Enduros throughout CA and the U.S.).
    Ain't that the truth. Kendall-Weed is a bad mofo.

  25. #25
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    I would beef up your Ripley before getting rid of it. We ride the same trails and I would start with a more substantial front tire. Perhaps a Specialized Clutch, Maxxis Minion or a Schwalbe HD. Before you do suspension work, I would first try to figure out what you do not like about your existing setup. I'm not vouching for your CTD nor 34, but I would imagine Avalanche or any other suspension tuner would want to know what your issues are, before arbitrarily making changes. Personally, I think a Ripley would make a great bike for most all the trails you mentioned, but then again I pedal an overbuilt HD around the same trails. Good luck on your endeavor. Oh and the Kendall Weed & Lopes arguement doesn't fly with me. Those guys who ride a clapped out bikes on Enduro tracks.

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