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Thread: Ripley vs. SB5c

  1. #1
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    Ripley vs. SB5c

    Has anyone cross-shopped these bikes? If you have, I'd love to know what your impressions are. Thanks!

    I'm cross-posting this on the Yeti forum as well. If that's not cool, let me know.
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    Well, they are both trail bikes...

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    Completely different ends of the spectrum although the rear travel is similar. SB5 will be more of a corner basher and the Ripley will provide much more stability because of the wheel size difference. Both will pedal uphill well. SB5 is long, low and slack where the Ripley is more traditional XC geometry with shorter reach and a higher BB.

    The real question is what do your rides look like normally and what bike are you coming from? What do you want the new one to do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Completely different ends of the spectrum although the rear travel is similar. SB5 will be more of a corner basher and the Ripley will provide much more stability because of the wheel size difference. Both will pedal uphill well. SB5 is long, low and slack where the Ripley is more traditional XC geometry with shorter reach and a higher BB.

    The real question is what do your rides look like normally and what bike are you coming from? What do you want the new one to do?
    I would be careful in assuming the Ripley is more stable. It depends on what terrain and situation. As you said, the SB5 is low, long and slack which produces a very stable ride. It's also a beefier bike and very planted.

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    Let's not forget that it's entirely possible to make a 27.5 bike feel like a 29er. Just pick up a pair of wide wheels. I recommend the IBIS 741's. That's what I'm getting after I sell my car LOL!

  6. #6
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    The SB5C is really a lot closer to the HD3 than the Ripley. Two very hard bikes to compare in my opinion. I owned a Ripley, and rode a SB5C for a weekend in Fruita while I was waiting on my HD3. I was actually temped to get the SB5 if the HD3 didn't arrive when it did.

    Not sure I understand the comment about it being possible to make a 27.5 bike feel like a 29er if you put wide wheels on it. I can assure you the SB5C with 741's would not feel like a Ripley at all. Am I misunderstanding?

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    I mean that wide wheels/tires on a 27.5 bike (30mm-35mm internal width) would give a contact patch equal to or greater than a 29er wheelset without an equivalent wheelset of wide wheels/tires. However, since the diameter of a 29er wheel is greater than a 27.5 wheel, the 29er wheel, in most situations, would roll faster. You would feel just as comfortable, if not more so, on a 27.5 bike with the way the tire hugs the ground on turns and cornering, as you would with a 29er wheel without the wide wheelset. I am making a general statement here, not applying to certain bikes.

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    I would counter the "741 on a SB5c is great" with the "941 on a Ripley is better yet".

    The extra rollover of the 29er plus even lower PSI you can run and a weight that is roughly what a standard, normal width alloy rim would weigh gives some pretty incredible traction (and stiffness, in the case of the carbon 941).

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    I completely agree with you. I just meant comparing a 27.5 with a wide wheelset to a 29er without and strictly in regards to contact patch on the ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRSpalding View Post
    I would counter the "741 on a SB5c is great" with the "941 on a Ripley is better yet".

    The extra rollover of the 29er plus even lower PSI you can run and a weight that is roughly what a standard, normal width alloy rim would weigh gives some pretty incredible traction (and stiffness, in the case of the carbon 941).
    I would disagree with this statement, but that is purely personal preference. The extra flex from larger wheels, longer forks and chain stays means a lot less precision in high speed corners. Plus the additional rotational weight of a 29 may help on short punchy climbs, it is a detriment on longer sustained climbs. The 29'r is also not as quick side to side because of the same centrifugal force that makes them so stable.

    These are just my personal preferences based on a lot of experimentation in the 26 vs 275 vs 29 and having owned all three.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    The 29'r is also not as quick side to side because of the same centrifugal force that makes them so stable.
    That depends on who is riding said bike. I'd have to say Brian Lopes on a Ripley is going to be way quicker side to side and front to back than me on any bike 26, 27.5 and 29.

    I think people get way to caught up in numbers on a piece of paper. You gotta get out and ride bikes. You also have to pick bikes that work for your area and terrain you ride. I own a Ripley and Ventana El Padrino for my summer bikes and both are 29ers. I bought a HDR650B last year because I am only 5'6" and read into all the BS about short guys needing to ride 650B. Well I bought the HDR and sold it a few weeks back. It is a cool bike and I am sure it kick's serious butt out west but here in Michigan it was complete overkill. I am so much faster on my Ripley than I was on the HDR. I also fly uphill on the Ripley where when I was on my HDR I had to lean way over the handlebars to keep the front wheel planted.

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    As others have said they are completely different bikes. I'd compare the Ripley with a Santa Cruz Tallboy, Spec Camber, etc...

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    I was wondering if anyone has much experience on the HD3 and an Sb5. I am trying to decide between the two. I have ridden both, but on totally different types of trails. I rode the Sb5 on some rocky trails and the Hd3 on more technical and flowing trails. I am leaning towards the HD3 for the extra inch of travel. I am coming off of a Yeti sb66c. Any help would be appreciated.

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    I demoed both fairly extensively. It was difficult for me to decide between the two, since I like both of them a lot. I thought the HD3 climbed nearly as well as the 5c. The HD3 was more playful on the descents, but ironically the 5c felt more stable at high speeds, probably due the longer chainstays. The 5c has a very planted feel, which also made it feel less playful to me. I did notice the extra inch of travel on the HD3 when in really rocky terrain and bigger hits. Both bikes are very capable on steep technical terrain, if you go with wider bars. The stock Ibis bars on the HD3 are way too narrow IMO.

    Ultimately I chose the HD3 since I felt it suited my riding style better. Also the HD3 fit me better. At 5'10.5", I was between M and L on the 5c, but I fit squarely on a L HD3 with a 50 mm stem.

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    ^^ agree with Aerfooz's summary. I have a HD3, rode a friends 5c. Both size large. Both same fork and tires. Same trail, back to back. I thought they were close in capability with slightly different strengths. The 5c more stable at high speed (longer chainstays?) but when the trail got really rough I noticed the HD3 extra travel and the fox shock on the 5c feeling a bit overwhelmed versus the DB inline on the HD3. The HD3 felt quicker to react and change lines. I would be happy with either and prefer the HD3 for the more playful nature. These are minor differences in two very worthy bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerofooz View Post
    Ultimately I chose the HD3 since I felt it suited my riding style better. Also the HD3 fit me better. At 5'10.5", I was between M and L on the 5c, but I fit squarely on a L HD3 with a 50 mm stem.
    Interesting. The geo is basically the same between the SB5c and the HD3.

    EDIT: I, too, have demo'd both a Large SB5c and HD3. Both with 740mm bars, but the SB5c had a 70mm stem where the HD3 had a 50mm stem... Naturally, the SB5c felt 'longer' as the handlebars were 20mm further forward. Wished I could've ridden it with a 50-55mm stem as a 70mm stem seemed to deter from the bike's descending capabilities.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

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    I thought so too, but not sure about the reach numbers. I tested both L 5c and HD3 with 50 mm stems. 5c felt like a longer reach to me. I would need to run at least a 70 mm stem on the M 5c, which I wouldn't want to do. The head tube of the L 5c is also quite long, so I would have had to slam the stem and maybe run less handlebar rise. I think the L 5c would be ideal for someone around 6'.


    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Interesting. The geo is basically the same between the SB5c and the HD3.

    EDIT: I, too, have demo'd both a Large SB5c and HD3. Both with 740mm bars, but the SB5c had a 70mm stem where the HD3 had a 50mm stem... Naturally, the SB5c felt 'longer' as the handlebars were 20mm further forward. Wished I could've ridden it with a 50-55mm stem as a 70mm stem seemed to deter from the bike's descending capabilities.

  18. #18
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    SB5c and HD3 both have a 17.1" reach, in size Large. The SB5c has a slightly longer TT, but the HD3 has a slightly steeper STA, so the reaches work out exactly the same.

    HD3 stack (150 Pike): 23.9"
    SB5c stack (140 F34): 24.4"

    Technically a lower stack height should "feel" longer, but I agree the SB5c I rode felt longer (again, it had a 70mm stem vs. the 50mm on the HD3)

    Just shows that you can stare at geo numbers all day long and still not know exactly how a bike fits?
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by twschiess View Post
    I was wondering if anyone has much experience on the HD3 and an Sb5. I am trying to decide between the two. I have ridden both, but on totally different types of trails. I rode the Sb5 on some rocky trails and the Hd3 on more technical and flowing trails. I am leaning towards the HD3 for the extra inch of travel. I am coming off of a Yeti sb66c. Any help would be appreciated.
    I have owned both. My first question is whether you changed the rear shock on the 66c. This usually says a lot about how hard you push the bike and what you should be considering in your new ride. The SB5c is a very cool bike with great geometry, but where I ride I need more travel. Other than that I really liked the bike. My HD3 is an awesome machine and very fast both uphill and down. My recommendation would be to go HD3 if you were truly using the 66c for it's capabilities. If you were happy with the Fox CTD setup on the 66 or don't ride really rough DH sections then go for the 5c. Either way, although their geometry is remarkably similar their intended uses are very different. As they say, there is no replacement for displacement.

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    Thanks for the input. I have put on a Monarch Plus on the back and have been running a Pike 150mm up front. I do try and push fairly hard up and down. My goal is usually top 10% up and down on any given trail. I do a lot of riding in the San Jose/Santa Cruz areas.

    My one issue is that I probably can't get an XL HD3 for 2 months, when I can get a SB5 in a couple days.

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    Hey there, here is a review of my time on an SB5, coming from a Mojo SLR.

    I spent the last three days on an SB5, riding a variety of terrain including smooth single track climbs at China Camp in West Marin, loamy, smooth, tight single track in Mendocino, and rocky stuttery technical riding at Annadel in Santa Rosa.

    About me: Currently own a Medium Mojo SLR and Tranny 29er. No experience on a Ripley. Mojo is set up with a RP23 and Float 32 150mm fork, both tuned for my weight by Push. 5'7", 130 lbs, advanced rider, occasional XC racer, and coach for a high school XC team for the last 4 years.

    I demoed a Medium Yeti SB5, 2014-era Float 34 150 and RP23 on the rear. X01 on some mid-level WTB wheels.

    Summary: I've 4 Ibis bikes, I'm a big fan, but the Yeti SB5 will be my next bike.
    With the exception of wheelies, it does everything just a bit better than my SLR.
    Climbing: The switch-infinity is a great pedal platform. Like the Ibis, I could't detect much pedal bob while seated though over technical terrain, I could see the shock was working. Standing and sprinting, the rear end would sag a bit, but stay composed. On steep climbs and switchbacks, I used less body language to control and direct the front end than I'm used to on my Ibis.

    Note: I'm waiting for Yeti to equip the SB5 with the 2016 Fox shock. I didn't feel the Open, Trail, Close lever did anything to change the compression settings.

    Descending. Between the slacker HA, stouter fork, and 1/2" longer chain stays, I felt dramatically more confident descending new trails and old favorites on the Yeti than my Ibis. The bike was predictable over repeated boulders, at speed on loamy trails, and at drops up to 2' (I'm a shitty jumper).

    Casual riding The SB5 felt better at a casual pace, and at the end of a long ride. The Ibis feels like it need more speed to work well and deliberate input. The SB5 was comfy without feeling soft when I sat back and pedaled with friends or found myself on crappy lines.

    Wheelies I like to wheelie. I have a much easier time on my Mojo and Tranny than I did on the Yeti. I chock it up to the long stays, despite the slackish seat tube angle.
    Last edited by jake28; 05-26-2015 at 01:31 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake28 View Post
    Wheelies I have a much easier time on my Mojo and Tranny than I did on the Ibis. I chock it up to the long stays
    huh?
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

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    Fixed.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by twschiess View Post
    Thanks for the input. I have put on a Monarch Plus on the back and have been running a Pike 150mm up front. I do try and push fairly hard up and down. My goal is usually top 10% up and down on any given trail. I do a lot of riding in the San Jose/Santa Cruz areas.

    My one issue is that I probably can't get an XL HD3 for 2 months, when I can get a SB5 in a couple days.
    I think you will really like the SB5c for your local trails, but you will want a new rear shock. The CTD is really a let down. My only caveat would be how often you travel to ride places like Tahoe or Dville. I could definitely see the shorter travel being a deficit especially if you like bombing trails like the Dville shuttle run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    I think you will really like the SB5c for your local trails, but you will want a new rear shock. The CTD is really a let down. My only caveat would be how often you travel to ride places like Tahoe or Dville. I could definitely see the shorter travel being a deficit especially if you like bombing trails like the Dville shuttle run.
    I usually make one run to North Star and Dville a year. I would like to get up there more it just never seems to work out. I make that trip all in one weekend too. Maybe I'll keep my SB66c around for that weekend. Thanks for the input.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake28 View Post
    Fixed.
    Sorry, I still don't understand how long chainstays are helping you wheelie?
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Sorry, I still don't understand how long chainstays are helping you wheelie?
    Hes saying the longer stays are on the Yeti, the shorter stays on the mojo help with manualing

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    On the subject of manualing, wheelies and playfulness, I am interested in the direct comparison between HD3 and SB5c. I currently own an HD3, size medium. It has 16.9 Chainstays. I have found the cockpit to feel cramped such that I am now running a 90 mm stem. Considering a move to the Med Yeti SB5c as I suspect the cockpit will feel longer with a shorter, allowing say a 70mm stem. I do not find the current HD3 to manual or wheelie all that well. Might be a function of the longer stem.
    Can anyone comment on the affects of the longer SB5c chainstays in terms of manualing, playfulness or wheeling? for reference, I also had a Med SC 5010 that I felt did not manual well, possibly due to the 17.1 CS.

  29. #29
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    Do buy the right sized frame next time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haggis View Post
    Do buy the right sized frame next time...
    . Looking for riding impressions on the SB5c, specifically manuals and wheeling/ affect of longer chain stays. Fact is the Ibis Med cockpit is cramped, as widely reported (see Jeff Kendall Weed who at my height (5-7") alternates between Med and large frame despite longer TT.
    Last edited by buggymancan; 08-24-2015 at 07:24 AM.

  31. #31
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    Agree they are not particularly long bikes, but medium SB5c has shorter reach, so your butt is still going to be in the next State. Large would enable a short stem which would help with your wheelie requirement... Just thoughts, not trying to offend.

    Ripley vs. SB5c-toosmall.jpg

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