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  1. #1
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    Ferrentino on the Ripley

    Exclusive: Dream Bikes-the Extended Version

    More or less lines up with my demo experience. It's a great read.

  2. #2
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    Does Mike still work for Santa Cruz bikes?
    Go get that KOM "You Deserve" - http://www.digitalepo.com/index.php

  3. #3
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    Ferrentino on the Ripley

    Sounds like he needed the Pike DPA/Talas or a 140 fork.


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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    Does Mike still work for Santa Cruz bikes?
    Hasn't for a year or more I think.

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    Honestly think that's the first and only time I've seen someone complain about flex on a Ripley. Also not sure why he didn't opt for a 140mm fork given the type of riding he knew he'd be doing.

    Maybe he was doing some old coworkers a favor by sandbagging the review a bit?

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    Ever reviewer and every rider is different. Some people don't like the ripley and some do.

    Some people like single speeds and some don't. It's whatever floats your boat I guess

    At least we now know he "doesn't give give a sh** how clean a bike looks"

  7. #7
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    I seriously doubt he dropped 10 grand on a Ripley so that he could write a quite fair, but not completely positive review. I'm also going to go out on a limb and suggest he's capable of telling the difference between front and rear suspension performance.

    The Ripley has a relatively firm and progressive feeling rear stroke. That's great for many applications. But for a lot of folks, myself included, it would prevent it from being a "one bike solution." If I could afford to have two full suspension bikes, a Ripley would absolutely be one of them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    I seriously doubt he dropped 10 grand on a Ripley so that he could write a quite fair, but not completely positive review. I'm also going to go out on a limb and suggest he's capable of telling the difference between front and rear suspension performance.
    Unless I misread something, he clearly states this bike was not purchased "out of pocket". He had a green light to purchase anything.

  9. #9
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    Great review. I experienced the same issues with my Ripley.

    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    Exclusive: Dream Bikes-the Extended Version

    More or less lines up with my demo experience. It's a great read.
    Yes, the Ripley is a great ride. BUT:
    When you buy a 6000 $ bike , it should not creak after a few rides. and if it does, it should be fixable. My Ripley kept creaking.
    Maybe the 2015 Ripley 2.0 will be better. Untill then, i'm Moving on to a Santa cruz Tallboy LTC.

  10. #10
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    Fairly thorough compared to most reviews we see these days. When it comes to multithousand dollar bikes I would sure like to see more than a few paragraphs however.

    Internal cable routing... Creates a lot of problems. Routing cables down under the downtube is clean and simple and effective. Aesthetically, downtube routing gets you 99% of what internal routing gives you. A frame at this price range should have absolutely zero problems with cable routing. It is such a simple issue and simple fix there should be no excuses.

    120 mm of travel is no mans land. Perhaps if your trails dictate this sort of bike to be best then go for it otherwise as an all rounder I think it is a poor choice. 140 mm travel on a multi link bike with new rear shock technology pedals extremely well. No need to shorten the travel. While I still like hardtails and purebred cross-country racers, I've evolved to where I find 120 mm travel cross-country land. And all-purpose quiver killer it is not.

    Creaking pivots. Totally unacceptable. A frame costing this much should not creak. I am assuming the creaking is coming from the frame and not components.

    If I had a dollar for every post that recommended a longer than specified travel fork as a panacea for poor downhill performance...

  11. #11
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    on the topic of flex, i agree with Mike that the Ripley does have a bit of noticeable flex if it's pushed hard into corners and/or ridden back-to-back against a less flexible bike like the Pivot 429C. I had a chance to do just that at Outerbike last year and the Ripley's flex was very noticeable. That being said, they are too different bikes with different goals, especially comparing the 429c with 120 fork and the Ripley with a 140 fork. I'm having a difficult time, personally, choosing between each bike bike for my area and type of riding... though I'm leaning towards a bit of flex.
    For me, the only option on the Ripley should be a 140 fork, specially with the Pike. That combo is nearly perfect or almost everything from cross-country to mild free ride. My dream would be for Ibis to build a bit stiffer frame to match the Pike fork and better cable routing while addressing all noise issues. Are you listening Hans?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Fairly thorough compared to most reviews we see these days. When it comes to multithousand dollar bikes I would sure like to see more than a few paragraphs however.

    Internal cable routing... Creates a lot of problems. Routing cables down under the downtube is clean and simple and effective. Aesthetically, downtube routing gets you 99% of what internal routing gives you. A frame at this price range should have absolutely zero problems with cable routing. It is such a simple issue and simple fix there should be no excuses.

    120 mm of travel is no mans land. Perhaps if your trails dictate this sort of bike to be best then go for it otherwise as an all rounder I think it is a poor choice. 140 mm travel on a multi link bike with new rear shock technology pedals extremely well. No need to shorten the travel. While I still like hardtails and purebred cross-country racers, I've evolved to where I find 120 mm travel cross-country land. And all-purpose quiver killer it is not.

    Creaking pivots. Totally unacceptable. A frame costing this much should not creak. I am assuming the creaking is coming from the frame and not components.

    If I had a dollar for every post that recommended a longer than specified travel fork as a panacea for poor downhill performance...
    Couldn't agree more...I really wanted this bike and still do. Unfortunately I can't justify buying it without looking around at other offerings due to some of these issues.

    Part of me is hoping that if I hold off long enough; ibis will release a more polished version of the Ripley and I can purchase that.

  13. #13
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    I don't disagree. I LOVE the ride of the Ripley, and I find it a perfect endurance race and aggro-XC bike. Built light with a 120mm fork it's really fun to ride (I have a BronsonC for rowdier days.) Really efficient, snappy, fun bike.

    That said there are certainly some refinements that are needed. I think we can all agree that the cable routing is not good. The Bronson is so much simpler, quieter, and generally better (top of downtube to swingarm, all external). The zip ties around the cables in side the frame to keep them quiet and the metal steerer tube protector are pretty bush-league. And even with all cables routed perfectly per Ibis's spec, there are several places that get massive cable rub, like inside of the clevis and the upper shock mount area.

    I've experienced pretty limited creaking in the ~3 months I've been on the Ripley. It does happen from time to time, but seems to come and go; not sure why.

    All in all it's a great bike, and I can't think of one I'd rather have. But these relatively minor issues do bug me, and keep it from being a PERFECT bike, in my opinion. Here's hoping the folks at Ibis can find some more elegant solutions to these issues.

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    I've had my Ripley since last October. To date, I can't recall any creaking from what would be the frame (only the SPD pedals, and some lube on the cleats/pedals fixed that). I don't notice any flex, even when carving into corners. I'm not an aggressive rider. I just like getting out and riding singletrack

    Cable rub points, indeed, there are a few. I noticed I was getting cable rub on the inside of the clevis, on the side of the head tube, and also under the rear derailleur housing on the top of the swingarm. I placed shelter tape patches in all those areas.

    I found the front derailleur cable housing kept getting sucked up into the frame whilst riding. It kind of crept inwards, and has resulted in scoring on the housing from the entry/exit (depending on which direction one is talking ) in the headtube. I had to add another zip tie to the cables after the exited the frame, and that seems to have fixed it.

    I like the Ripley. I went to this from a 92 Merlin hardtail with a 100mm SID, so I'm loving it. Sure there are some improvements that could be made. Hopefully if Ibis do end up with some improvements, I kind of hope they can be "retrofittable".

  15. #15
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    Ferrentino on the Ripley

    I test rode an XL Ripley in the fall and was completely put off by the back end flex. Granted, I'm a tall guy and over 200 lbs but every time I pushed the Ripley hard into a corner it just didn't want to go where I wanted it to go. Honestly, I've never ridden a bike with so much back end wag.

    I'm sure glad I rode one before I decided to buy one. Would have been a waste of money for be because of its inability to hold a hard line.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    If I had a dollar for every post that recommended a longer than specified travel fork as a panacea for poor downhill performance...
    I don't know what you mean here, since the Ripley is clearly stated by Ibis to be designed for a 120mm or a 140mm fork. Most of the complaints about the Ripley I've seen in reviews seem to be related to the reviewer wanting better (often more stable) performance during fast downhills, yet the reviewed bike had a 120mm fork. If you want the best downhill performance, you should go with the 140. That why I put a 140mm Pike on my Ripley, and I don't notice the negative traits on downhills.

    I suppose this just shows there is no perfect bike for every situation. Clearly there is a trade-off with fork size, and you can get better downhill performance with longer fork, but you will also get more weight and change the other handling a bit. The thing is, this is not a fault of the bike (in fact, it is an explicit part of Ibis' design), so to complain about it without recognizing the trade-off is poor reviewing. It's like complaining about a bike's lack of traction when the bike has small-block racing tires - it's not the bike's fault, and the reviewers should recognize the trade-off, but often they do not.

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    If you've ridden the Ripley through a rock garden at speed, you will have noticed that the rear end is not the pinnacle of plushness. This can result in a squirrelly feeling. You could put a dual crown DH fork on it and this wouldn't change.

    It's a great bike, but it is still sub 5" on the back end, and a relatively firm sub 5" at that. There are plusher bikes out there. This doesn't seem to be a controversial point to make. Nor is it relevant if it's the bike's "fault." Bikes can't be at fault. But the bottom line is that there are more capable bikes going downhill in chunky terrain than the Ripley, including some 29ers. Most of them compromise pedaling efficiency to some extent relative to the Ripley. Even the best bikes out there make some sort of compromise, and the Ripley leans more towards the XC side of the spectrum.

    If you want to read unequivocally positive reviews of your bike of choice, there are plenty of those out there. This review actually does a great job of pointing out the limitations of the bike, and the most amazing bikes have limitations, and that makes it far more useful than the ad copy that passes for reviews in most magazines.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    If you've ridden the Ripley through a rock garden at speed, you will have noticed that the rear end is not the pinnacle of plushness. This can result in a squirrelly feeling. You could put a dual crown DH fork on it and this wouldn't change.

    It's a great bike, but it is still sub 5" on the back end, and a relatively firm sub 5" at that. There are plusher bikes out there. This doesn't seem to be a controversial point to make. Nor is it relevant if it's the bike's "fault." Bikes can't be at fault. But the bottom line is that there are more capable bikes going downhill in chunky terrain than the Ripley, including some 29ers. Most of them compromise pedaling efficiency to some extent relative to the Ripley. Even the best bikes out there make some sort of compromise, and the Ripley leans more towards the XC side of the spectrum.

    If you want to read unequivocally positive reviews of your bike of choice, there are plenty of those out there. This review actually does a great job of pointing out the limitations of the bike, and the most amazing bikes have limitations, and that makes it far more useful than the ad copy that passes for reviews in most magazines.
    I agree that there are limitations/compromises in every bike design. That was one of my points. But my main point is that reviews that complain about downhill handling with a 120mm fork should recognize that handling is better with a 140mm fork.

    And I don't care to read only positive reviews. For example, your comment about plushness and it's usual trade-off with pedaling efficiency is a fair one. But it is a disservice to a review's readers to complain about the Ripley's handling during hard downhills using a 120mm fork when the 140mm fork is clearly better suited for that type of riding.

  19. #19
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    My Ripley has a 140 Fox up front, it's a good choice for anyone that does a bit more aggressive stuff. The Pike must work even better.
    It's great fun on twisty single tracks, the only weakness is that when you hit nasty rock gardens and the terrain gets really bad, you feel the bike is out of it's comfort zone.
    It is a very good XC/Trail 29 bike. (If I ignore the mechanical problems that i wrote about up on this thread).
    The best climbing 29er FS bike that i rode. great fun to corner and jump.
    The flickable feel has a down side - I felt a bit unsecured on a straight line super fast technical downhills.
    I did not notice any flex in the rear end of the bike, maybe because I'm a skinny guy...
    Hope Ibis will get the "Ripley mark 2" done right.

  20. #20
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    Putting a longer travel fork on a bike to improve DH performance is an act of desperation when trying to make the bike something it isn't.

    It raises the BB. It compromises a bike's ability to turn and carve not only on the flats, but also on the DH. It will shine a spotlight on a frames insufficient rear travel and stiffness.

    If you want a better band aid, start with a shorter stem, wider bars, bigger rubber...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    If you've ridden the Ripley through a rock garden at speed, you will have noticed that the rear end is not the pinnacle of plushness. This can result in a squirrelly feeling. You could put a dual crown DH fork on it and this wouldn't change.

    It's a great bike, but it is still sub 5" on the back end, and a relatively firm sub 5" at that. There are plusher bikes out there. This doesn't seem to be a controversial point to make. Nor is it relevant if it's the bike's "fault." Bikes can't be at fault. But the bottom line is that there are more capable bikes going downhill in chunky terrain than the Ripley, including some 29ers. Most of them compromise pedaling efficiency to some extent relative to the Ripley. Even the best bikes out there make some sort of compromise, and the Ripley leans more towards the XC side of the spectrum.

    If you want to read unequivocally positive reviews of your bike of choice, there are plenty of those out there. This review actually does a great job of pointing out the limitations of the bike, and the most amazing bikes have limitations, and that makes it far more useful than the ad copy that passes for reviews in most magazines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Putting a longer travel fork on a bike to improve DH performance is an act of desperation when trying to make the bike something it isn't.

    It raises the BB. It compromises a bike's ability to turn and carve not only on the flats, but also on the DH. It will shine a spotlight on a frames insufficient rear travel and stiffness.

    If you want a better band aid, start with a shorter stem, wider bars, bigger rubber...
    LOL, two pos reps given

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    LOL, two pos reps given
    Remember, we're looking at a 5lb frame with 120mm. Nobody is saying this is going to be a downhill monster. With that said, plenty of racers have shown the Ripley can be quite capable in enduro races if setup correctly. (using a 140mm fork)

    For Ibis-sponsored racers who have access to others frames like the HD or HDR, seeing them choose a Ripley for an enduro race shows the bike is capable downhill...

    Bikes of the Enduro World Series - Finale Ligure, Italy - Pinkbike

    Racing Enduro World Series Round #1

    Jeff Kendall-Weed's Ibis Ripley at the Santa Cruz Super Enduro - PIT BITS - 2013 Santa Cruz Super Enduro - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB

    Tommy McGrath with his Ibis Ripley at Bend Oregon Enduro - 2013 Bend Oregon Enduro Pit Bits and Pro Bikes - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelly_NH View Post
    Remember, we're looking at a 5lb frame with 120mm. Nobody is saying this is going to be a downhill monster. With that said, plenty of racers have shown the Ripley can be quite capable in enduro races if setup correctly. (using a 140mm fork)

    For Ibis-sponsored racers who have access to others frames like the HD or HDR, seeing them choose a Ripley for an enduro race shows the bike is capable downhill...

    Bikes of the Enduro World Series - Finale Ligure, Italy - Pinkbike

    Racing Enduro World Series Round #1

    Jeff Kendall-Weed's Ibis Ripley at the Santa Cruz Super Enduro - PIT BITS - 2013 Santa Cruz Super Enduro - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB

    Tommy McGrath with his Ibis Ripley at Bend Oregon Enduro - 2013 Bend Oregon Enduro Pit Bits and Pro Bikes - Mountain Biking Pictures - Vital MTB
    Not saying it can't be ridden downhill quickly and with much enjoyment. But you'll notice it's the only 120mm travel bike in all of those lists.

  24. #24
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    this is the first I've read of the ripley rear end flex.

    Can anyone coming off an ibis mojo / sl compare the flex? Tough question, I know.

    I've ridden a ripley more than once, but all parking lot spins. And all with carbon wheels. Felt pretty stiff!

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmr2_man View Post
    this is the first I've read of the ripley rear end flex.

    Can anyone coming off an ibis mojo / sl compare the flex? Tough question, I know.

    I've ridden a ripley more than once, but all parking lot spins. And all with carbon wheels. Felt pretty stiff!
    I never noticed flex on the Ripley while I was riding it. The next day, when I took my HD out on the same trails it became apparent. The HD felt super stiff in comparison. Apples to Oranges though.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Putting a longer travel fork on a bike to improve DH performance is an act of desperation when trying to make the bike something it isn't.

    It raises the BB. It compromises a bike's ability to turn and carve not only on the flats, but also on the DH. It will shine a spotlight on a frames insufficient rear travel and stiffness.

    If you want a better band aid, start with a shorter stem, wider bars, bigger rubber...
    So why are downhill bikes coming with 180MM of travel upfront?

    You're purposely missing the point, the bike is designed around a 120mm to 140mm fork. So the simple point is, if you're going to complain about the downhill performance of any bike, at least equip it the way it was designed to be.

    No one is trying to say that a 140mm fork is going to turn a Ripley into a downhill beast- but you know that, That said, of course a 140mm 34mm front fork will improve it's downhill capabilities.

    Even one of the skeptical guys from 2014 Bible of Bike Tests: Ibis Ripley - Bike Magazine - YouTube says he;d like to ride it with meatier tires and a 140 34mm fork out front and see what it can do.

    My TBc has a 120mm 34 Fox on the front. Did that turn it into a downhill bike- of course not. Does it perform better than it would with a 100mm 32 fork- yes.
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    Longer travel fork helps, he's just saying it doesn't magically transform the bike into something its not

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Longer travel fork helps, he's just saying it doesn't magically transform the bike into something its not
    And no where is that implied.
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  29. #29
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    I've been riding the snot out of a SL for a few years now, and I recently spent a couple days demo'ing a Ripley w/ a 120/32 fork. I was surprised by the amount of flex in the Ripley when stuffing corners really hard and hitting jumps a little off kilter. It wasn't bad or offensive. It just wasn't expected. Since the SL's not the stiffest tool in the shed, I thought I'd notice a stiffness boost on the Ripley. I immediately chalked it up to the fact that my bike has uber stiff 27.5 carbon wheels, and the Ripley had Arch EX's... I realize it can be hard to tell, but it felt like the flex was coming from the wheels, not so much the frame...I may have been too quick to chalk it all up to the wheels though.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    I realize it can be hard to tell, but it felt like the flex was coming from the wheels, not so much the frame...I may have been too quick to chalk it all up to the wheels though.
    This is not an attack on anyone's stated opinions, but what exactly does "flex" mean? I obviously know what it means in terms of lateral deflection of the frame, but how do you "feel" frame flex during a ride?

    My feeling is that with a FS MTB, there are so many factors and variables that it's nearly impossible to really diagnose a frame as "flexy" by riding it. I know the feeling of a bike that doesn't feel like it wants to hold a line through a corner or that lacks composure in rough and fast DH sections or drops. But there are so many variables that have much greater effect on this than "frame flex": tire choice and inflation, wheel choice, suspension setup, rider position.

    Do those calling the Ripley flexy really just mean "I lacked confidence cornering at high speed on this bike"?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    This is not an attack on anyone's stated opinions, but what exactly does "flex" mean? I obviously know what it means in terms of lateral deflection of the frame, but how do you "feel" frame flex during a ride?

    My feeling is that with a FS MTB, there are so many factors and variables that it's nearly impossible to really diagnose a frame as "flexy" by riding it. I know the feeling of a bike that doesn't feel like it wants to hold a line through a corner or that lacks composure in rough and fast DH sections or drops. But there are so many variables that have much greater effect on this than "frame flex": tire choice and inflation, wheel choice, suspension setup, rider position.

    Do those calling the Ripley flexy really just mean "I lacked confidence cornering at high speed on this bike"?
    Haha! No.... In my case at least it was not a situation where "I lacked confidence cornering at high speed on this bike"

    It was stuffing the bike hard into choppy corners, or loading the suspension while simultaneously sideloading the wheels catching air with the bike layed over a little bit...in other words not vertical... and getting a noticeable and obvious sideways BOOOIIING off the intended line. This was on trails I've ridden literally hundreds if not thousands of times on various bikes. Heck, I even felt it once on the way to the trail head, rolling fast, and turning off the street and catching air off the edge of a wheelchair ramp on the sidewalk....obvious lateral deflection coming from the back half of the bike. This was with tire models I've owned and ridden, pumped up to higher pressures than I normally ride (didn't want to trash any demo bike rims), so it was almost certainly not tire squirm.

    Don't get me wrong.... I'm not calling the Ripley a flexy frame... and rereading my post I can see how someone might take it that way. I KNOW that at least some if not most of what I was feeling was the wheels flexing. There's no way that a 24mm wide 29er alum rim is going to be as stout as a smaller diameter 40mm wide carbon rim....no big news there. If you push hard in challenging terrain and are tuned into your bike you'll feel the stiffness boost going from something like Arches to wide carbon wheels. I certainly felt it when I replaced my Flows, which I considered to be pretty bomber, with the Derby's. I simply assumed that the lateral flex I felt on the Ripley was ALL coming from the bigger & flimsier wheels. I still believe that it was largely the wheels. but, after reading some of the other comments, it made me wonder if it was maybe 90% the wheels, 10% the frame.... or 80/20, 98/02?? I'll probably never know without riding one built to my liking.

    I agree with you that people make assumptions about what's causing a particular feeling on the bike when there are too many variables to really pin it down. Then the E-rumor mill starts churning. That's a pet peeve of mine, so I try hard to avoid it....

    I came away from the demo feeling that THAT particular Ripley was not for me...I'm done with skinny alum rims, and the 29er size simply exaggerates their shortcomings.... I'm also done with pinner xc racing tires at 30+ psi and steep racy short-trail steering geometry...they have their place, but just not for me and where and how I ride these days. I wish there were more Ripley reviews, and demo bikes available, with 140/34 forks, and stiff wheels with chunky rubber on them...then I'm pretty sure I'd feel differently about it. If were going to pick up endurance, or even just XC racing again, I'd probably get a Ripley anyway...but it would have stiffer, wider wheels.

    And while I've loved Ferrentino's stories for decades now, bike reviews by him and Bike Mag in general are often pretty light on details and analysis, or at least solid support for their claims.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Haha! No.... In my case at least it was not a situation where "I lacked confidence cornering at high speed on this bike"
    Thanks for your clarification, very thoughtful. I didn't mean to imply that you weren't confident at high-speed cornering in general. My point was just that during bike demos I think "frame flex"can be a blanket critique that covers lots of unrelated issues, all of which conspire to make the tester not feel totally confident on a given bike.

    On my way out the door this morning I did a quick "tire waggle" comparison between my XL Ripley and my XL BronsonC. By this I mean I grabbed the top of the rear tire and pushed it side-to-side while holding the frame steady.

    As you might expect, the Ripley was a good bit more "waggly," by which I mean I could see the clevis move side-to-side relative to the seat tube more than I could with the Bronson. But this is not really a fair comparison obviously: The Bronson frame is built heavier, and the wheels are much burlier. 29ers are always going to be a bit flexier due to longer chain stays, spokes etc.

    With all that said, I'd be curious to know how Ripley compares to other 29ers on the market in actual torsional stiffness, i.e. using a testing rig on a bench (not just "ride feel.")

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    couple thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Haha! No.... In my case at least it was not a situation where "I lacked confidence cornering at high speed on this bike"

    It was stuffing the bike hard into choppy corners, or loading the suspension while simultaneously sideloading the wheels catching air with the bike layed over a little bit...in other words not vertical... and getting a noticeable and obvious sideways BOOOIIING off the intended line. This was on trails I've ridden literally hundreds if not thousands of times on various bikes. Heck, I even felt it once on the way to the trail head, rolling fast, and turning off the street and catching air off the edge of a wheelchair ramp on the sidewalk....obvious lateral deflection coming from the back half of the bike. This was with tire models I've owned and ridden, pumped up to higher pressures than I normally ride (didn't want to trash any demo bike rims), so it was almost certainly not tire squirm.

    Don't get me wrong.... I'm not calling the Ripley a flexy frame... and rereading my post I can see how someone might take it that way. I KNOW that at least some if not most of what I was feeling was the wheels flexing. There's no way that a 24mm wide 29er alum rim is going to be as stout as a smaller diameter 40mm wide carbon rim....no big news there. If you push hard in challenging terrain and are tuned into your bike you'll feel the stiffness boost going from something like Arches to wide carbon wheels. I certainly felt it when I replaced my Flows, which I considered to be pretty bomber, with the Derby's. I simply assumed that the lateral flex I felt on the Ripley was ALL coming from the bigger & flimsier wheels. I still believe that it was largely the wheels. but, after reading some of the other comments, it made me wonder if it was maybe 90% the wheels, 10% the frame.... or 80/20, 98/02?? I'll probably never know without riding one built to my liking.

    I agree with you that people make assumptions about what's causing a particular feeling on the bike when there are too many variables to really pin it down. Then the E-rumor mill starts churning. That's a pet peeve of mine, so I try hard to avoid it....

    I came away from the demo feeling that THAT particular Ripley was not for me...I'm done with skinny alum rims, and the 29er size simply exaggerates their shortcomings.... I'm also done with pinner xc racing tires at 30+ psi and steep racy short-trail steering geometry...they have their place, but just not for me and where and how I ride these days. I wish there were more Ripley reviews, and demo bikes available, with 140/34 forks, and stiff wheels with chunky rubber on them...then I'm pretty sure I'd feel differently about it. If were going to pick up endurance, or even just XC racing again, I'd probably get a Ripley anyway...but it would have stiffer, wider wheels.

    And while I've loved Ferrentino's stories for decades now, bike reviews by him and Bike Mag in general are often pretty light on details and analysis, or at least solid support for their claims.

    I haven't ridden the Ripley with anything but enve AM rims (I know...start playing the tiny violins for me...) but when I started trying 29ers I determined that stiff wheels was going to be really important. I remember talking to Dave Thomas (at Speeddream) one time and he commented that when you ride a bike, you're really riding two wheels...everything else just connects you to the wheels. I think he's *partially* right with that comment.
    Another guy that I super-respect in the bike business is the guy that owns / runs my LBS (and an awesome LBS it is)...when he started sending folks out of demo Ripleys he quickly came to a POV that he would be doing the bike a dis-service by not equipping the bikes with stout (carbon) wheels.

    I did a ride yesterday that was a bit of a mind-blower for me...super tight, steep, slow trail...on the Ripley...and, dang, just always come away so impressed with the versatility of the bike. (I'm running weirwolf 2.3's btw...curious tire, but that's a discussion for a different thread.

    Now, when it comes to stiffness, I wasn't expecting it to be as stiff as, say, my HD with a 26" rear enve AM and 2.35 hans dampf...so I'm not disappointed, in any way, that it's not.

    And I like Mike F...even bought a really cool Sycip tandem from him years ago (see 19965 bike mag feature on cottage frame builders...it was that bike...and he introduced me to some other great people / stuff in the bike world that have been hugely beneficial to my growth as a rider). I basically agree with what he's written...I just don't see it as a pejorative....it's a pretty accurate description of a pretty darn awesome bike!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    It was stuffing the bike hard into choppy corners, or loading the suspension while simultaneously sideloading the wheels catching air with the bike layed over a little bit...in other words not vertical... and getting a noticeable and obvious sideways BOOOIIING off the intended line.
    This was exactly my feeling when test riding and I was on trails that I'm very familiar with. I just couldn't get the bike to hold a good line when pushing through the rougher trails. Originally I thought something was wrong with the pivots so I checked them and everything was tight and smooth.

    I rode the bike back to my truck and swapped wheels from my TallboyC to the Ripley (Reynolds carbon AM wheels). These wheels are light but quite stiff and changed the ride of my TallboyC drastically but didn't make a big difference with the Ripley. It was definitely better but there was still too much flex in the back end and holding a line was still very tough compared to my Tallboy (which I don't not consider a stiff frame - middle of the road really). I stopped trailside to do the old wiggle the rear wheel test and there was noticeable flex up around those flat, skinny uprights of the rear triangle. I took some video of the flex in the back end so I'll try to find that and post it.

    So there it was, I was quite turned off by the Ripley and I'm still happily riding my TallboyC.
    Tallboy3 CC : Nomad3 CC: Highball2 CC : Stigmata2 CC

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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    I basically agree with what he's written...I just don't see it as a pejorative....it's a pretty accurate description of a pretty darn awesome bike!
    I think that the "norm" in bike reviews has come to be a litany of the good things about the bike while either omitting or minimizing discussions of shortcomings. So compared with some other bike reviews, this one comes off as partially negative. But as a piece of writing for a consumer thinking about a purchase, it's a great review. Every single bike out there has a shortcoming or compromise. The Ripley is insanely light and probably pedals as well as or better than any full suspension bike that's ever been built. You are literally insane if you think it's going to meet every person's needs for technical downhill riding or that the frame can't be flexed. If your reaction to his review is "well I'm going to go buy bike X instead, because Pinkbike said it's the greatest bike ever built, pedals like a hard tail and descends like a downhill bike," then you should ask yourself why you are reading these reviews in the first place. I think Bike Mag's recent stuff has been actually pretty good about critically reviewing bikes. See, for instance, their recent YouTube video on the SB-75.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bog View Post
    This was exactly my feeling when test riding and I was on trails that I'm very familiar with. I just couldn't get the bike to hold a good line when pushing through the rougher trails. Originally I thought something was wrong with the pivots so I checked them and everything was tight and smooth.

    I rode the bike back to my truck and swapped wheels from my TallboyC to the Ripley (Reynolds carbon AM wheels). These wheels are light but quite stiff and changed the ride of my TallboyC drastically but didn't make a big difference with the Ripley. It was definitely better but there was still too much flex in the back end and holding a line was still very tough compared to my Tallboy (which I don't not consider a stiff frame - middle of the road really). I stopped trailside to do the old wiggle the rear wheel test and there was noticeable flex up around those flat, skinny uprights of the rear triangle. I took some video of the flex in the back end so I'll try to find that and post it.

    So there it was, I was quite turned off by the Ripley and I'm still happily riding my TallboyC.

    Interesting how the same bike can elicit such differing views...and it's a good thing we have choices (and so many of them in what's become such a dynamic industry).

    We appear to have ridden similar bikes to compare the ripley too (I've owned current gen s-works enduro and s-works epic...and tallboy LTc)...and as I've written before in other threads, I've found the ripley to be just the right porridge for me for the kind of riding I use it for. And, again, context for that article is that he's really talking about whether the Ripley is the perfect one-bike. I'm not sure that exists anywhere based on people's elevated expectations. I don't use it as a one-bike...and bikes like the tallboy checked very few boxes for me for any kind of riding...a very capable bike for sure, just not very much fun to ride.

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    Ferrentino on the Ripley

    I am 75kg/165 lbs, ride gnarly trails moderately aggressive and notice the rear end flex compared to my '11 Trek Hifi 29". However not enough to be a problem for me.

    It would be useful if you state your weight and riding style in your comparisons.


    simenf - brainwashed by the big wheel mafia.

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    I'm 6'2" 175 pounds and currently ride an XL Ripley with Roval Control carbon wheels. My previous bike was an XL Tallboy carbon with Easton Haven carbon wheels. IME, the TB was more stable in the rough and I could really let off the brakes and let it steam-roll DH and through rough sections. I've had both a Fox 140 and currently have an RS SID 120 on the Ripley, and it is less stable and takes considerably more attention in the rough stuff. You cannot just let go of the brakes and freight-train through terrain, like was possible with the TB. However, the Ripley climbs better than the TB, and resolves the main weakness of the TB (IMO), which was slow, ponderous handling in both up- and down-hill tight switchbacks. Way fewer pedal strikes with the Ripley as well.

    As others have noted, each bike has strengths/weaknesses. Some riders would characterize the Ripley as fun/playful/responsive, while others would characterize it as twitchy/flexible.

    I enjoy riding the Ripley, but sometimes miss and notice the real/perceived relative lack of stability. The search for the perfect single quiver bike continues...
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    A little bit of pee just trickled out of my pipi when I saw that.

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