The best FS 29er for the money and reliability?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The best FS 29er for the money and reliability?

    I know I've asked a similar question previously this is a bit more specific...

    What is among the best FS 29er for the money and reliability? in terms of reliability I mean, the least maintenance issues and the best company support when things go south ( like a cracked frame, etc..). I'm mainly interested in a full carbon frame.

    Btw, I currently ride a V1 Ibis Ripley.

    Thanks peeps!

  2. #2
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    I'd stay with Ibis - Ripley or Ripmo if you're currently on a Ripley.

    LBS found a small frame crack where the shock mounted while in for a non related repair. LBS shipped bike to Ibis and I got a brand new front triangle, no questions asked.

  3. #3
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    Check out the new Guerrilla Gravity carbon bikes.

  4. #4
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    V4 Ripley. It rips even 'Mo' than the V3.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  5. #5
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    Some of the big manufacturers have great warranty support, but you quickly run out of options when they stop producing that brain shock and in general, I don't find their bikes are built to last season after season. Little things like how the bearings are accessible (or not) and how easily they can be changed, how stiff the rear triangle is the 2nd season, how no crazy special shock sizes or mounts (yoke mount) are used, etc. Those things add up to a reliable bike year after year for me. I had an issue with my pivot, they replaced the frame. The company supports and stands behind their stuff. I find that companies like Pivot, GG, Turner, Evil, Knolly, Ibos, generally do this. Sometimes, you have to be careful, because small manufacturer doesn't inherently mean better and the big companies do have a lot of R&D power, but they are often more interested in selling something than making something that will last year after year. Sometimes, it's the less exotic stuff that is more reliable in the long run. No right or wrong answers here.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Some of the big manufacturers have great warranty support, but you quickly run out of options when they stop producing that brain shock and in general, I don't find their bikes are built to last season after season. Little things like how the bearings are accessible (or not) and how easily they can be changed, how stiff the rear triangle is the 2nd season, how no crazy special shock sizes or mounts (yoke mount) are used, etc. Those things add up to a reliable bike year after year for me. I had an issue with my pivot, they replaced the frame. The company supports and stands behind their stuff. I find that companies like Pivot, GG, Turner, Evil, Knolly, Ibos, generally do this. Sometimes, you have to be careful, because small manufacturer doesn't inherently mean better and the big companies do have a lot of R&D power, but they are often more interested in selling something than making something that will last year after year. Sometimes, it's the less exotic stuff that is more reliable in the long run. No right or wrong answers here.
    So basically, the OP has asked another loaded question! 🤔
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dolittle View Post
    I'd stay with Ibis - Ripley or Ripmo if you're currently on a Ripley.

    LBS found a small frame crack where the shock mounted while in for a non related repair. LBS shipped bike to Ibis and I got a brand new front triangle, no questions asked.


    Ibis has amazing support! I recently had to replace my Swingarm because one of the bolt holes stripped. Since I'm not the original owner they were nice enough to give me one at a reduced price.

    Also, whenever I email them with a question they respond promptly.

    Most likely, I'm going to get the new Ripley. However, I'm curious about other brands. I also don't want to break the bank too badly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbyd View Post
    I know I've asked a similar question previously this is a bit more specific...

    What is among the best FS 29er for the money and reliability? in terms of reliability I mean, the least maintenance issues and the best company support when things go south ( like a cracked frame, etc..). I'm mainly interested in a full carbon frame.

    Btw, I currently ride a V1 Ibis Ripley.

    Thanks peeps!
    The most reliable bike is the one that never changes, doesn't fail, so low tech, burly build, steel.

    If you want high tech, lighter weight, then you will probably need to change out bikes every few years.

    In terms of support, if you don't use support then you don't need it; ie don't buy stuff that breaks.

    ^this is what reliability means. Support does not equal reliability.
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  9. #9
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    Trek - by miles and miles

    Find a Trek dealer and you’ll have support for life of bike.

    They are abundant so are their parts they have solid resale value too.

    But they’re the Camaro of bikes the ultimate me too bike - “‘you have a trek? Oh me too”

    Depends what you want


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    The most reliable bike is the one that never changes, doesn't fail, so low tech, burly build, steel.

    If you want high tech, lighter weight, then you will probably need to change out bikes every few years.

    In terms of support, if you don't use support then you don't need it; ie don't buy stuff that breaks.

    ^this is what reliability means. Support does not equal reliability.
    True!

    I'm the original owner of a 92' GT. Although I retired it from MTBing, I rarely have to do maintenance to it. My Ripley on the other hand, needs at least semi-annual maintenance.

    It's like A Ferrari is high maintenance compared to an older "average Joe" car.

    I'd like to find something in the middle, otherwise I'm getting the newest Ripley and be done with it!

    How is the Shred Dogg? I'm curious about GG.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Trek - by miles and miles

    Find a Trek dealer and you’ll have support for life of bike.

    They are abundant so are their parts they have solid resale value too.

    But they’re the Camaro of bikes the ultimate me too bike - “‘you have a trek? Oh me too”

    Depends what you want


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    The reason I don't consider Trek is probably because I'm a snob!..LOL. And am stuck in the boutique brands. Perhaps I'm sucked into "Marketing Manipulation". I assume Trek
    sucks compared to Ibis, Yeti, etc. I'm sure it's not the case. Maybe I'll give them a chance...LoL...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbyd View Post
    The reason I don't consider Trek is probably because I'm a snob!..LOL. And am stuck in the boutique brands. Perhaps I'm sucked into "Marketing Manipulation". I assume Trek
    sucks compared to Ibis, Yeti, etc. I'm sure it's not the case. Maybe I'll give them a chance...LoL...
    They don’t suck but it’s like buying a Honda Civic ... their bikes all have a familiar feel ... the Farley feels like a Stache ( I’ve owned both ) the Fuel Ex feels like a Slash etc etc ..,

    You got an ass they have 3 bikes in every category for it ...

    Good builds tho good specs for the most part too and their tech trickles down year to year ...




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  13. #13
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    GG makes good bikes that are durable and don't cost that much, a good group of folks who work hard to manage sales and consumer issues, super responsive, but they are kinda backed up right now due to the overwhleming response to the carbon frame release.

    I like that the GG is highly adaptable, like legos, change the rear triangle and shock and now it's a different bike. Also have a neat headset that can adjust by 10mm horizontally.

    I'm on my second GG bike, had an auminum Smash that rode great, now riding a carbon Shred Dogg. I like both bikes, the Smash was the best downhill oriented bike I've ridden, the Shred is similar but a tad twitchier/agile.

    All that said, GG is a newer company, they just switched all their manfacturing and designs, and stuff can break, so if I was looking at a FS bike for the ages, I'd get a time tested steel or TI frame from a reliable maker.

    I might also look into a Pinion drive or a Rohloff, you'd have to use a tensioner or a no chanin growth suspension design with the Pinion, but this would be the absolute best for reliability. Someday I'll run a Pinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by norbyd View Post
    True!

    I'm the original owner of a 92' GT. Although I retired it from MTBing, I rarely have to do maintenance to it. My Ripley on the other hand, needs at least semi-annual maintenance.

    It's like A Ferrari is high maintenance compared to an older "average Joe" car.

    I'd like to find something in the middle, otherwise I'm getting the newest Ripley and be done with it!

    How is the Shred Dogg? I'm curious about GG.
    Guerilla Gravity Shred Dogg
    Fezzari Signal Peak (For Sale)
    Pivot Shuttle (wife's)

  14. #14
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    I second Trek. They do some weird stuff not necessarily to my liking, but the bikes are solid and support is great, especially if you know a good LBS that has Trek.
    Do the math.

  15. #15
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    "Best FS 29er for the money" wants "reliability" and CARBON

    To fit all 3 of your criteria above, I'd say the Intense Primer. I've had one over 2 years and I haven't had a single issue with mine and it's been surprisingly versatile, similar to a Ripley. I put beefy tires on it and ride trails were everybody else is on 6" bikes. Ever since Intense went direct to consumer, their prices are much lower than most other manufacturers. That Fezzarri Signal Peak is getting very good reviews an is a bargain compared to many other brands as well.

    Even though the OP didn't ask, I'll add my .02 cents on support: I've been riding 30 years this July and I've owned most major brands a few "boutiques" as well. In *MY* experiences, Ibis (which I have NOT owned) has been the most helpful when I've had to call or send an email about their bikes, Yeti is the worst and acts as if you are bothering them, Intense has been great for me on minor stuff while Pivot was a PITA for a simple lost bolt.
    Carpe Diem!!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    "Best FS 29er for the money" wants "reliability" and CARBON

    To fit all 3 of your criteria above, I'd say the Intense Primer. I've had one over 2 years and I haven't had a single issue with mine and it's been surprisingly versatile, similar to a Ripley. I put beefy tires on it and ride trails were everybody else is on 6" bikes. Ever since Intense went direct to consumer, their prices are much lower than most other manufacturers. That Fezzarri Signal Peak is getting very good reviews an is a bargain compared to many other brands as well.

    Even though the OP didn't ask, I'll add my .02 cents on support: I've been riding 30 years this July and I've owned most major brands a few "boutiques" as well. In *MY* experiences, Ibis (which I have NOT owned) has been the most helpful when I've had to call or send an email about their bikes, Yeti is the worst and acts as if you are bothering them, Intense has been great for me on minor stuff while Pivot was a PITA for a simple lost bolt.
    It's tough to meet all those criteria - I know. These days there are so many brands out there and want to consider my options before putting my money down. I don't buy a bike very often. About every 5 years I get a different bike. I'm a weekend warrior that appreciates a good bike and I just get out there to try to stay in shape...LoL.

    Interesting, what you said about Yeti - I've heard their support isn't that good despite their ridiculously high prices - I like their bikes by the way ( love the SB5).

    Ibis has great support as you stated - whenever I email them with a question they respond by the next day. I went to their HQ, took a tour, and demo'd their Ripmo back in January - it's a small company. I might just get the new Ripley due to their great support and how well they stand behind their bikes. We'll see..

  17. #17
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    A couple I know just bought matching Canyons, those should be considered.
    skidding is the signature of the novice; learn how to use your brakes.

  18. #18
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    You absolutely can't go wrong with the new Ripley....I'll be taking the Yeti SB130 and Ripmo out next Friday on back to back demos. I'll be passing on my Tracer to my son and will need a new long travel bike. I definitely think the Yeti is a better looking bike but I'm hoping I like teh Ripmo more out on the trail. We'll see...
    Carpe Diem!!

  19. #19
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    Amazing how many yeti 5.5’s are for sale now


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  20. #20
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    Pivot has the best, by far, customer service when it comes to frame/bike issues I've ever encountered. Had a major, recurrent issue with my Pivot's Fox rear shock. Not only did Pivot handle the situation very well, Chris (Pivot's owner) communicated with me directly more than once to cater to my issues.

    First thing I do when considering a brand is contact the company with a few questions. The questions aren't as important as how they are handled - quickly? competently? Pivot, Knolly, SC heck even Surly, have been great with this. Try doing that with Trek or Spec. Maybe if you had the number of the local rep, I don't know.

    That said two bikes I own are Giant's. There is a semi-local dealer who is great to me and gives me a great price, and those frames had exactly what I wanted. Fingers crossed, so far so good.

    When cost to benefit is weighed in I'd think an aluminum frame from Knolly would be a good choice. That said, I've never had a problem with my Knolly - so I can't say how'd they handle that. For the money, the best bike I've ever bought is my Knolly Endorphin. Knolly still sells amazing bikes, aluminum, at a great price.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    You absolutely can't go wrong with the new Ripley....I'll be taking the Yeti SB130 and Ripmo out next Friday on back to back demos. I'll be passing on my Tracer to my son and will need a new long travel bike. I definitely think the Yeti is a better looking bike but I'm hoping I like teh Ripmo more out on the trail. We'll see...
    Yep, the new Ripley is no-brainer. I don't have to demo it, I know what I'm getting. I'd just like to consider a few more before putting my money down. What do you guys think of YT or Whyte?

  22. #22
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    I don't think you can beat Ibis' CS period.
    Ripley LS v3
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I don't think you can beat Ibis' CS period.
    Yep. I notice you're a true Ripley fan, like myself. I been riding a V1 for about 4 years now.

    Question: If I see a good deal on a V3 should I get it, or hold out for the latest one - V4?

    I'm siding with the V4 since it's essentially redesigned especially the linkage, however, I hear the V3 is great too.

  24. #24
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    Can't say really, sad part had the V4 for a while and only have one ride- work is just killing me. I want to gt a few months of riding on it then try my V2 OG again and compare.
    Ripley LS v3
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Can't say really, sad part had the V4 for a while and only have one ride- work is just killing me. I want to gt a few months of riding on it then try my V2 OG again and compare.
    It sucks when you want to ride, but you can't! That would be a great comparison. I still love my V1. It's lighter than new generations, but will probably get the V4 eventually and sell the V1.

    My LBS loaned me a Yeti SB130 today while they figure out why my V1 Ripley creaks. I just had them replace my Swingarm. Ibis sold me a replacement for a very good price that belongs to a V2 but is compatible. The bonus is that it's stiffer, can run wider tires and boost. My LBS, thinks the Swingarm is defective and could be causing the creaking which I disagree. Why would Ibis give me a defective one? Mistakes happen though. I'll see what they say next week, in the meantime I'm gonna see what the SB130 is made of!

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