Spending up to $6k - looking at 120mm - 150mm Trail / All-Mountain- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Spending up to $6k - looking at 120mm - 150mm Trail / All-Mountain

    Hey all. Sorry for yet another one of these posts. I think I've read every thread on this forum, Reddit, Pinkbike - every video, every article, over the past few years. Multiple times. I've also demoed as many bikes as I could. I'm stuck.

    Me: 6'0", 225lbs, mostly likely a Large frame. Live in Boise, so mostly buffed out single track XC style (long climbs, long downs) but access to some decent lift-serve mountains; occasional epics and destination rides. I love downhills and going fast over climbing and jumping. Moto background.

    I have up to $6k to spend; having a hard time with a final decision. Here's my order thus far:

    1a. Ibis Ripley V4 XT build: Demoed it, loved it. A bit spendy and not quite the value as other bikes; worried it might be a little lacking in travel for rowdier downhills and technical trails. Noticed some hand pressure on flats. Probably the right bike for the area. Supply is about a 2-3 weeks out. Awesome local bike shop and dealer. Could upgrade fork and shock.

    1b. Pivot Switchblade Race XT build: Will demo soon (not available yet). Beautiful bike, seems to hit the right mix of climbing ability, stability, and downhill fun. A bit on the pricey side for what you get (mid grade Fox suspension, SLX gruppo except for the derailleur), but still well spec'd. Strong contender. Local bike shop, too. Bike is available now.

    1c. Orbea Occam M10: Seems to be the middle ground between the Ripley and the Switchblade / Ripmo. Reviews are solid - light, playful, good climber, etc. A bit odd looking. Not a US bike. Probably the best value when it comes to components and price - for the same price as the Ripley and Switchblade, I can upgrade the fork and suspension to the best Fox offers (160mm Fox fork Kashima coat), XT gruppo, upgraded brakes, etc. Custom color if I want it. However, haven't been on the bike, worried a bit about resale value. Local dealer, seems to be about 2 weeks out; 4 weeks for custom color.

    Other contenders:

    2. Ibis Ripmo AF: used, but extremely nice build. Not sure about price yet.
    3. Ibis Ripmo V1: used, decent build, will need to negotiate on price.
    4. Yeti SB 130 LR: new, available locally, haven't demoed. Pricey, not as well spec'd. Tons of Yetis in the Boise area. Solid reviews but not as hyped as the Ibis or Pivot bikes.
    5. Trek Fuel EX 9.8: new, available now, great value, but not super exciting. Awesome local bike shop. Mixed reviews. Need to demo (this weekend hopefully).
    6. Guerilla Gravity Smash: Great value; interesting bike; best mix of components and price. A few weeks out. Can't ride or demo.
    7. Revel Rascal: My favorite on paper. However, no availability until late summer / early fall. Can't wait that long.
    8. Ibis Ripmo V2: Also a favorite, but no availability for some time. Not gonna wait.

    Also, not super interested in any of the other strong bikes out there at this time: eg, Pole, Fezzari, YT (not available), Canyon, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Giant, et al.

    Thanks for any insight!

  2. #2
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    Lots of bikes out there.

    Commencal website
    https://www.commencalusa.com/?Currency=USD

    Knolly Bikes
    https://www.knollybikes.com/
    Good luck.
    2019 Commencal 29 Meta AM.

  3. #3
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    Side note that you mentioned some hand pressure, I find switching to a 30mm riser bar fixes this issue for me.

    Good luck on finding your bike. I'd go with the Ripley with a 140 up front.

  4. #4
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    With $6k you can do a custom frame-up build and get exactly what you want (within reason). I would expect a full XT groupset with a carbon wheelset and Fox Factory suspension for that price.

    Iím also 6í and found the Large Ripley too cramped. I posted some additional details in the Ripley thread but demo an XL Ripley. That is what I ended up buying (140mm fork, riser bar, couple of spacers and 40mm stem).

  5. #5
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    120 to 150 is a really broad range. You could be looking at enough bikes to make your head spin.

    If you're riding "buffed" trails...you probably don't need anything more than 140mm out back. Doing the occasional bike park thing is hard...because if you only do it a few times a year...I'm not sure if its worth it to buy a bike with more travel just for the sake of those few trips. With 140mm...depending on hard you ride...you can get away with it at a bike park. I'm not a super hard charger...and a 140mm bike is my park and shuttle bike. The rest of the time...I'm on a 120mm bike.

    With your budget...it may be possible to get two bikes with some decent spec if you shop carefully. If you live in an area of varied terrain...having two bikes can let you get the most of your riding

    With your budget of 6k...you won't buy a bad bike with whatever brand you decide on...but its pretty easy to buy the wrong bike.

  6. #6
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    Im personally very partial to dw-link. For your everyday riding, the ripley seems like the best choice. Ill sacrifice downhill composure for rock solid climbing.

    Ive ridden 3 generations of pivots and really wanted to like them, somehow they havent felt right to me.

    Im in the process of building a ripmo V1. My other bike is a turner czar (100mm travel, 120mm fork)

    Frame 2500 (includes tax) at backcountry
    XT drivetrain/brakes $400 - merlin cycles
    wheels - chinese carbon with used i9 torch hubs (built myself) $500
    fork - used rockshox lyrik 160mm - 350
    tires - have them
    bars, seat, stem - 150
    works angleset $60
    ks lev dropper - already have it.

    about 4000 for XT build ripmo v1, mostly new.

  7. #7
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    Alchemy Arktos ST... they have some good deals right now https://alchemybicycles.com/product/arktos-29-st/

  8. #8
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    My brother has that Switchblade build. Ive demoed it as well. Can't speak for the others but you really want to throw a leg over it before you buy a bike. One of the best bikes I have ridden. I rode the xt/xtr build but the xt build has a nice blend of components. It's a bit longer travel that you might be looking for but it doesn't pedal like it. I demo'd a large and am just under 5'11" and was 225 when i rode it. He is 6' 2" on a large and it fits him well. I ride a Mach 5.5 but had this bike been out when I got mine, I'd be on it for sure.

  9. #9
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    SC Tallboy should be a contender if you favour the downs. That said I have Ripley V4 and love it. My previous weakness compared to my riding buddies was climbing on my spec stumpy 650B so I got the Ripley to help make up for it. With some off season heavy cardio and the Ripley I'm leaving them in the dust on all the climbs. The SC Tallboy is a little burlier so it should be slightly better on downs but worse on climbs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    120 to 150 is a really broad range. You could be looking at enough bikes to make your head spin.

    If you're riding "buffed" trails...you probably don't need anything more than 140mm out back. Doing the occasional bike park thing is hard...because if you only do it a few times a year...I'm not sure if its worth it to buy a bike with more travel just for the sake of those few trips. With 140mm...depending on hard you ride...you can get away with it at a bike park. I'm not a super hard charger...and a 140mm bike is my park and shuttle bike. The rest of the time...I'm on a 120mm bike.

    With your budget...it may be possible to get two bikes with some decent spec if you shop carefully. If you live in an area of varied terrain...having two bikes can let you get the most of your riding

    With your budget of 6k...you won't buy a bad bike with whatever brand you decide on...but its pretty easy to buy the wrong bike.
    I agree.

    The difficult thing is my backyard trails don't demand much more than a XC hardtail, but the stuff I actually enjoy riding demand at least 140mm (obviously you can get away with less travel, but ya know...).

    I do have hardtail, but I'm finding less and less enjoyment on that.

    Thank you, I value your input!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dc40 View Post
    Alchemy Arktos ST... they have some good deals right now https://alchemybicycles.com/product/arktos-29-st/

    They're sold out online, but I did find a used Arktos in SLC, in case anyone is interested (on KSL). Looks sharp, solid reviews.

  12. #12
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    Quick update note: I did source a large Rascal that I'm going to go with. I just think that box checks all of the boxes. I give up a little all around "fun" from the Ripley V4, but gain so much more on the descents. Plus I can upfork it if I want. I just think it nudges me a bit closer to where I want to be without going quite into the Switchblade / Ripmo territory (which I may eventually end up in anyway).

    I really like the Switchblade and the Ripley. Both are amazing bikes and I may find myself on them eventually. The Ripley is just especially so fun.

    If people are interesting, we should try to keep this thread going anyway. There seems to be a ton of interest in this range and these bikes, and more information the better.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
    They're sold out online, but I did find a used Arktos in SLC, in case anyone is interested (on KSL). Looks sharp, solid reviews.
    I would contact them, because they are flexible and will work with you to meet your build needs. For example, large is available in arktos 27.5. If you are good with the frame color, they maybe able to just swap out the linkage, suspension, and wheels for 29 ST build.
    https://alchemybicycles.com/product/...-5-xtr-w-enve/
    https://alchemybicycles.com/product/arktos-27-5-shimano-xt-12-speed
    /

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    With $6k you can do a custom frame-up build and get exactly what you want (within reason). I would expect a full XT groupset with a carbon wheelset and Fox Factory suspension for that price.

    Iím also 6í and found the Large Ripley too cramped. I posted some additional details in the Ripley thread but demo an XL Ripley. That is what I ended up buying (140mm fork, riser bar, couple of spacers and 40mm stem).
    I got close to that for 6200 before tax. Tallboy4, xt, pike ultimate, chrisking, industry9 enduro S hydra (aluminum not carbon). Maybe other brands you could manage it, but imo ibis/yeti/santa cruz and others in that top teir it's hard to get carbon wheels and still get a topish (xt or gx, factory or ultimate fork) of the line build for the 6k price mark.

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    I used to own a high end shop and have been riding my Turner Sultan for the last 8 years in Austin. Tight, twisty, rocky and technical. I was looking to get a new bike to get me back into riding more.. I was looking hard at the Ripmo and called my buddy Wes at Velorangatun. I have known him for 20 years and he used to be our team captain. He told me I really need to demo the Orbea Occam, I must admit, I wasn't that interested for some reason. Probably old school bike snobbery, I always liked the small, "boutique" builders and rode and sold Titus, Turner, Ellsworth, Intense, etc.. unfortunately it seems that these days everything is carbon and probably all made in the same factory in China. Well, I did go ahead and demo the Occam and was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled (hard for a dude like me to see a 66 degree head tube angle and think it is going to be nimble and responsive) It's a DAMNED nice riding bike and probably will be getting one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anchorless View Post
    Quick update note: I did source a large Rascal that I'm going to go with. I just think that box checks all of the boxes. I give up a little all around "fun" from the Ripley V4, but gain so much more on the descents. Plus I can upfork it if I want. I just think it nudges me a bit closer to where I want to be without going quite into the Switchblade / Ripmo territory (which I may eventually end up in anyway).

    I really like the Switchblade and the Ripley. Both are amazing bikes and I may find myself on them eventually. The Ripley is just especially so fun.

    If people are interesting, we should try to keep this thread going anyway. There seems to be a ton of interest in this range and these bikes, and more information the better.
    Congrats. By all counts, an excellent bike and right in the sweet spot between fast, buff trails and aggressive all-trail brawler. I also really like the Canfield rear suspension design. It's even more plush than a good four-bar/Horst, but can be tuned to be pretty responsive to pedal input without a lot of bob.

    In the interest of keeping it going since I was about to suggest it: Another plus side to the GG Smash is that you could order the Trail Pistol and have your Boise area speed demon, and with a swap of the shock, some seatstays, and an adjustable fork you could have your Smash too..... or one of 3-4 other iterations as well.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  18. #18
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    Spending up to $6k - looking at 120mm - 150mm Trail / All-Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHammheaddude View Post
    I used to own a high end shop and have been riding my Turner Sultan for the last 8 years in Austin. Tight, twisty, rocky and technical. I was looking to get a new bike to get me back into riding more.. I was looking hard at the Ripmo and called my buddy Wes at Velorangatun. I have known him for 20 years and he used to be our team captain. He told me I really need to demo the Orbea Occam, I must admit, I wasn't that interested for some reason. Probably old school bike snobbery, I always liked the small, "boutique" builders and rode and sold Titus, Turner, Ellsworth, Intense, etc.. unfortunately it seems that these days everything is carbon and probably all made in the same factory in China. Well, I did go ahead and demo the Occam and was pleasantly surprised at how well it handled (hard for a dude like me to see a 66 degree head tube angle and think it is going to be nimble and responsive) It's a DAMNED nice riding bike and probably will be getting one.
    Is this Charles from Hammerhead Cycles? If so, welcome back. Long time, "no see".

    Also really impressed with the new Occam. Seems to tick all the boxes. I rode one two or three years ago and it was very good, just needed to be built out a little more for aggressive trails (stiffer fork, wider bars, bigger tires)... and now they've done that, plus updated the geometry and increased the travel.
    Last edited by KRob; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:40 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

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    Hey there, I recognized your name right away! yes sir.. I am back!

    I am looking very hard at getting one and putting a Fox 36 160 on it.. in a size large the geo would be damned near identical to a Ripmo. I would probably just do an XT kit but with a set of Inine carbon wheels.. well, the wheels are ordered! I demoed out a NukeProof Reactor 290C this morning with a Pike 140, that's a very sweet bike as well.

    When I rode the Occam I was really trying to see if I could detect anything I didn't like in the rear suspension. Was there any pedal kickback climbing over rocks and roots (nope), rear end lockout under braking (nope), what about the rear end compressing on steep switchbacks causing the front end to get light and wander? (nope) In fact, the rear felt very much like the DW on the Turner but with more travel. Frame was stiffer as well.

    I spoke with an old friend and customer that bought one with the XT kit and Fox 36 150, he loves it, said he can ride it on easy hardpack trails where he lives and has taken it out to Angel Fire New Mexico and bombed downhill on it.

    I

  20. #20
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    The Rascal is an awesome bike. If I could only have ONE bike, that would probably be it. Climbs well (but it's no V4 Ripley) and as you mentioned, it's string suit is the descents. That rear suspension design may be the best I've ridden for soaking up repeated chatter, baby heads and braking bumps. One of the demos I rode had a 150 Lyrik on it which didn't hurt the descent.
    Carpe Diem!!

  21. #21
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    I am going to ride the Rascal demo when it comes into the shop and I would like to ride it with the 150

  22. #22
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    I have a Fuel EX that I do what you do on. Like you say kind of blah, but there is also a reason they sell so many of them. They really do everything pretty dang good. An extra set of wheels may just be the answer to the bike park / light trail days.

    FWIW: I have been riding a demo Remedy 9.8 for the last few days - it's too much bike for me. Would be awesome on lift assisted stuff, but is just too much for casual trail riding. My Fuel EX feels much more efficient on anything but the nastiest trails.
    I wanna ride!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelandk2 View Post
    I got close to that for 6200 before tax. Tallboy4, xt, pike ultimate, chrisking, industry9 enduro S hydra (aluminum not carbon). Maybe other brands you could manage it, but imo ibis/yeti/santa cruz and others in that top teir it's hard to get carbon wheels and still get a topish (xt or gx, factory or ultimate fork) of the line build for the 6k price mark.
    I agree. Unless you're bringing some of your own parts to the table.

    Trek is one of the better "values" with their 9.8XT build, which for around $6k you get carbon wheels and a custom paint job, along with the XT gruppo. You still have to work with their own unique Fox suspension, which isn't Factory.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Congrats. By all counts, an excellent bike and right in the sweet spot between fast, buff trails and aggressive all-trail brawler. I also really like the Canfield rear suspension design. It's even more plush than a good four-bar/Horst, but can be tuned to be pretty responsive to pedal input without a lot of bob.

    In the interest of keeping it going since I was about to suggest it: Another plus side to the GG Smash is that you could order the Trail Pistol and have your Boise area speed demon, and with a swap of the shock, some seatstays, and an adjustable fork you could have your Smash too..... or one of 3-4 other iterations as well.
    I was smitten by the Guerilla Gravity and was considering that exact option! Two bikes at a premium build for what... $6k - $7k or so, once you order the different suspension and chain stays! GG seemed to check all the boxes for sure.

    I just couldn't find one to demo, and its hard for me to spend that much coin without at least sitting on the bike.

    But I think GG is a strong option for anyone a little more open to some innovation, and I think their idea is going to catch traction in the MTB world. Too many people are looking for unicorn bikes because they can't afford a proper XC and enduro bike, and GG solved that problem, it seems.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHammheaddude View Post
    I am going to ride the Rascal demo when it comes into the shop and I would like to ride it with the 150
    I ordered it with the 150.

    The Occam was my next in line, and until I found the available Rascal, I was about ready to click "buy." I would still like to ride one. JKW made that bike look like so much fun, but I think I had a little bit of reservation because I'm not close to the rider he is, and I wondered if that bike would be a lot more muted than he made it seem. Reviews are a little more mixed on it than the Rascal (for whatever those are worth).

    Switchblade, GG, and Ripley were runners up.

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