Took my Ripley for its first offroad ride this morning...
I'm really pleased with it. It felt really good for the first time offroad. I've come from a 1992 Merlin Ti Hardtail to a Ripley, so it was quite a transition.
Tyres felt a little slippery in the corners, but that is probably a pressure issue. I also noticed it bobbed more than I expected when up out of the saddle. I had the rear shock setting on trail, and the fork. Maybe next time I might try the rear shock setting on ascend. Maybe it is just me comparing it to the hardtail
It felt really light and nimble though. Nimble enough that on a few bumps I got a little (crossed up) air, BMX style. Being an old (very) BMX racer, it just felt like the thing to do
A dual suspension bike won't feel like a hard tail when climbing out of the saddle unless you have a shock with a full-on lockout. I Imagine what you are feeling is when your leg gets to the bottom of the pedal stroke (6 o'clock position when looking at it from the side) there is no longer tension on chain (known as the dead spot in the pedal stroke), so the suspension becomes more active and bobs due to your body weight coming down on the bike and activating the suspension. However, when you are actually coming down on the pedal stroke, there is tension on the chain, making that part of the stroke very efficient. Putting your shock in climb mode will reduce the sensation you are mentioning.
Originally Posted by mcam
I live in the midwest and typically the trails are pretty smooth, mostly roots and ruts. I mostly ride in trail mode with the lightest amount of low speed compression damping (1 on the red knob).
I have ridden a few dual suspension bikes, including 29ers (though never a DW link, but FSR and ABP) and the Ripley is the most lively, best pedaling, yet supple feeling bike I have ever been on by a long way. I've had it 3 weeks and I'm still amazed every time I ride it. I like the way hard tails pedal and that is what I would usually end up going back to. This is the first dual suspension bike I have owned where I don't feel like I'm giving up anything climbing to a hard tail. I'm not going back as long as this bike is available.
Glad you're loving your Ripley. I've got about 20 rides on mine now, and almost every ride I find something else it does great! Today I climbed a short, loose climb I've never made on my 26er, and I just motored up with no problem. It really climbs well.
I'm still undecided about the shock settings. At first I just put the shock in Descend and rode everything that way, and the suspension really is efficient that way. I still think that's the best setting when the climb is rocky. But I did a bunch of rides in the Trail setting (also with the lightest amount of low speed compression), and it rode great like that, too. I didn't use Climb at all for the first couple of weeks because I didn't feel any bob climbing in Trail, but I've used it now on some smooth climbs and improved my times a bit, so it seems like it is a bit more efficient. So there are subtle differences between the settings, but the Ripley seems to ride great in all of them! I don't climb out of the saddle very much and my bikes have been full suspension rather than hardtail, so it seems like you might like the Climb setting when climbing, but I think you'll find the suspension is really efficient regardless of the shock setting.
I also found the tires didn't grip as well as I expected at first, but it was definitely because of too much pressure. I started with around 30psi, which is what I was using in my 26er, but I'm down to 18-20psi and the handling is way better.
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