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  1. #1
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    THC Demo - Stumpy vs Sentinel vs Ripmo + bonus bronson

    I went to the Trail Head Cyclery demo day at Santa Teresa and tried out a few bikes.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1946698886

    My normal ride is an aluminum Tallboy short travel 29er upgraded with guides rsc brakes, GX eagle, 130mm fox factory fork and 30mm SC reserve wheels. All my comparisons are with respect to the Tallboy as that is essentially the only bike I ride. Also, I live near Santa Teresa so I know these trails very well.

    First I rode an S-Works 27.5 Stumpjumper. The bike was super light and plush and was fun to pop into the air off of rocks. However it did not climb that great and on the downhill I wasn't feeling that confident through the chunkier parts of Stiles. A couple of times my front wheel was getting stuck in holes.

    Next, I rode the Transition Sentinel (aluminum). This thing is a beast. I took it up and down Rocky Ridge. I really wanted to like this bike but unfortunately the Sentinel is just not suited for Rocky Ridge. The sentinel was very difficult to climb up the tech and was really too much bike for the fairly flat descent. It felt like a monster truck that I had to manhandle to keep under control.

    Lastly I rode the Ibis Ripmo. Holy shit this bike rips! It climbed so well up the steep fire road and the tech of Stiles. Descending on Stiles was so smooth and in control flying over the chunk and bouncing off features. The steep seat tube made pedaling so nice. The not too slack head angle also kept the flat Santa Teresa trails fun.

    Bonus review. I also recently had the chance to ride a 2019 Bronson for three days in Finale Ligure, Italy. A mix of flowy and steep technical trails. The Bronson was amazing. I never missed my 29er wheels. It climbed very well, even better than my Tallboy. The bike handled everything well, was fast and poppy and descending steep chunk was confidence inspiring. I loved it.

    Bottom line, I would choose the Ripmo out of these with the Bronson a very close second only because I'm partial to the 29er.

    I would like to try the stumpy in the 29er variation as I hear that is where it shines. I'd also like to try the Sentinel on some steep Santa Cruz trails as well to give it a fair shake.

    Thanks to Trail Head for putting this on!

  2. #2
    rox
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    thanks for the great writeup

  3. #3
    fc
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    very good analysis. i concur!!
    IPA will save America

  4. #4
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    I donít agree that a Bronson climbs better than a tallboy. I think there must have been something in the water over there that gave you a little extra power.

  5. #5
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    There's climbing in Finale Ligure?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    I donít agree that a Bronson climbs better than a tallboy. I think there must have been something in the water over there that gave you a little extra power.
    The difference I really felt was that the new Bronson had a really solid pedaling platform. I never felt any pedal bob or the need to lock out the shock. On my Tallboy I do feel that bob and almost always flip that switch on climbs. Without riding the same trails its tough to know which bike really is more efficient.

    Also, everything is better with pizza and gelato.

  7. #7
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    I also demo-ed those three bikes during the last two demos from thc and came away with about the same findings.

    Of the three, Ripmo is top on the list. The Sentinel was fun on the downhill b/c it was so smooth, but as an enduro bike, the climbing sucked a bit more out of me than the easy climbing Ripmo.

    Stumpy was ok on the climb, and ok on the decend. I wanted to like it, but it was just stiffer than I like going down.

    I wish thc still carry Santa Cruz because I really want to try the htlt, or even just the high tower for that matter.

  8. #8
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    digging my Ripmo.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    digging my Ripmo.
    How would you compare to HTLT?....or anyone who has ridden both....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    How would you compare to HTLT?
    I can't compare them as I haven't ridden an HTLT.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    There's climbing in Finale Ligure?
    Lol!

    Only if you do it wrong like I did on the first day I was there and go solo.
    Next two days were all day guided shuttles. Drop off. Pick up. repeat. Best thing ever!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by infotekt View Post
    Lol!

    Only if you do it wrong like I did on the first day I was there and go solo.
    Next two days were all day guided shuttles. Drop off. Pick up. repeat. Best thing ever!
    That place looks like MTB paradise. I lived in Rome for a year, Italy is an amazing place.

  13. #13
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    I need to ride the Ripmo. I'm curious about the steeper seat angle and longer reach vs. the HTLT that I'm riding now. Running a longer dropper might be a plus as well.

  14. #14
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    Dang I did not realize this event was this weekend, I went to one last year and kept checking the THC website recently to see if there would be another this November but never saw it, I just remember seeing abunch of ads on their site that they were moving to cupertino and that's it. Now that the event has passed its on their front page.

    I find your thoughts on the stumpjumper interesting. I have been trying to demo a higher end stumpy for awhile too as I want to buy one. I just demoed a stumpjumper carbon comp (29) elsewhere recently and thought it pedaled soooo slow with the 2.6 rear, I felt much faster on a hightower lt I demoed before but that also had the santa cruz carbon wheels and 2.5dhf/2.4dhr2 tires which are narrower.

    I have heard both praises for the stumpjumper and also some "meh" reactions, which is how I felt about riding the comp but that is mostly because it had lower-end specs than my current bike and other demo bikes I rode. Again, the tires played a huge role as I was doing more flatter riding and climbing rather than blowing downhill. I plan on riding much more with it though, it would be so much better with narrower tires and I mostly rode it on flat stuff but it carried a lot of momentum downhill with those 2.6 knobbies.

    In terms of geo, the bike on high does feel kind of up there in height, but it was still confidence inspiring enough and the bike was decently agile. It has enough travel for my purposes also, not too much but enough. The hightower lt felt less agile and like it was harder to turn sharper but it was extremely confidence inspiring when blowing straight donwhill. As I was looking at buying either bike, more testing is in order for both the hightower lt and stumpjumper.

    Sounds like the bronson and ripmo should be on my demo list, i've been avoiding 27.5 bikes but maybe they are right for me.

  15. #15
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    Me too, I checked thc website recently looking for the fall demo. Didnít see any and thought they decided not to run it.

    I m sure Lars had his reasons.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    Me too, I checked thc website recently looking for the fall demo. Didnít see any and thought they decided not to run it.

    I m sure Lars had his reasons.
    Likewise. I was at demo yesterday with 500 other people. I wish I knew about this. I bought my SB95 from a THC Santa Teresa demo 5 years ago!

    The Ripmo is a beautiful bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by agreenbike View Post
    Dang I did not realize this event was this weekend, I went to one last year and kept checking the THC website recently to see if there would be another this November but never saw it, I just remember seeing abunch of ads on their site that they were moving to cupertino and that's it. Now that the event has passed its on their front page.

    I find your thoughts on the stumpjumper interesting. I have been trying to demo a higher end stumpy for awhile too as I want to buy one. I just demoed a stumpjumper carbon comp (29) elsewhere recently and thought it pedaled soooo slow with the 2.6 rear, I felt much faster on a hightower lt I demoed before but that also had the santa cruz carbon wheels and 2.5dhf/2.4dhr2 tires which are narrower.

    I have heard both praises for the stumpjumper and also some "meh" reactions, which is how I felt about riding the comp but that is mostly because it had lower-end specs than my current bike and other demo bikes I rode. Again, the tires played a huge role as I was doing more flatter riding and climbing rather than blowing downhill. I plan on riding much more with it though, it would be so much better with narrower tires and I mostly rode it on flat stuff but it carried a lot of momentum downhill with those 2.6 knobbies.

    In terms of geo, the bike on high does feel kind of up there in height, but it was still confidence inspiring enough and the bike was decently agile. It has enough travel for my purposes also, not too much but enough. The hightower lt felt less agile and like it was harder to turn sharper but it was extremely confidence inspiring when blowing straight donwhill. As I was looking at buying either bike, more testing is in order for both the hightower lt and stumpjumper.

    Sounds like the bronson and ripmo should be on my demo list, i've been avoiding 27.5 bikes but maybe they are right for me.
    First, I completely concur with the original poster and other reviewers on in their assessments.

    I rode a couple versions of the new Stumpjumper and my thoughts: I liked the 27.5 ST version probably the best because it was just so darn playful and fun to throw around. The BB is LOW though, I had lot of pedal strikes on that bike. I felt the 29 standard travel was, as others have said, meh. It didn't do anything great. Funny thing if you compare the #s, the geo on the 29 Stumpy is super close to the Ripmo, but those two bikes couldn't ride more differently. The Ripmo IMHO was better in every way: climbing, descending, cornering, etc... and I agree it should be on your short list.

    As to the 27.5 vs. 29 question, I tried a bunch of bikes and myself ended up with 29. 27.5 is going to feel snappier and is great particularly if you want to run bigger rubber. I found the ability to roll over things and stability of the 29er to suit me better.

    Finally, I think THC's (in-store) demo program is a great way to go to find your perfect bike. Keep renting bikes until you hone in on what you want. That's exactly what I did and was able to apply all the $$ spent on my final bike purchase... My 2 cents. In any case GL.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    Me too, I checked thc website recently looking for the fall demo. Didnít see any and thought they decided not to run it.

    I m sure Lars had his reasons.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy_Steve View Post
    Likewise. I was at demo yesterday with 500 other people. I wish I knew about this. I bought my SB95 from a THC Santa Teresa demo 5 years ago!

    The Ripmo is a beautiful bike.
    I'm betting the demo wasn't advertised due to crowd reasons. There were a lot of people there last fall and i'm sure the event's popularity has only grown over the last year, so its possible they didn't want to overwhelm the park.
    Quote Originally Posted by shinjohn View Post
    First, I completely concur with the original poster and other reviewers on in their assessments.

    I rode a couple versions of the new Stumpjumper and my thoughts: I liked the 27.5 ST version probably the best because it was just so darn playful and fun to throw around. The BB is LOW though, I had lot of pedal strikes on that bike. I felt the 29 standard travel was, as others have said, meh. It didn't do anything great. Funny thing if you compare the #s, the geo on the 29 Stumpy is super close to the Ripmo, but those two bikes couldn't ride more differently. The Ripmo IMHO was better in every way: climbing, descending, cornering, etc... and I agree it should be on your short list.

    As to the 27.5 vs. 29 question, I tried a bunch of bikes and myself ended up with 29. 27.5 is going to feel snappier and is great particularly if you want to run bigger rubber. I found the ability to roll over things and stability of the 29er to suit me better.

    Finally, I think THC's (in-store) demo program is a great way to go to find your perfect bike. Keep renting bikes until you hone in on what you want. That's exactly what I did and was able to apply all the $$ spent on my final bike purchase... My 2 cents. In any case GL.
    I got to ride a stumpy again this week and then my bike on the same trails back-to-back, I was definitely liking the stumpjumper more on the second ride with a lot of adjustments to the setup. Plus, my 2nd ride was strictly downhill-ish stuff and the bike did carry a lot of momentum there and was plenty smooth. I still think a 2.3 tire would make the bike have similar descending capability but with faster climbing and better performance on flat trails.

    The only 27.5 bike I rode on trails was a yeti sb5, it definitely felt like it had less speed than a 29er but I liked the agility, so I may need to try a 27.5.

    I demoed a bike from THC before, which is how I found out about the demo days, I should demo another bike from them I think.

  19. #19
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    That was my impression of the Ripmo as well, when I demoed it at the THC demo! The smile and whoop factor was higher than with anything else I tried. It just wanted to fly over the rocks. It's so easy to get in the air! The Ripmo solves the only issue I had with my HD3, which feels a bit more sluggish in comparison. I feel like you get 2 bikes in one with the Ripmo - a gnar-capable all mountain/enduro bike plus a much lighter trail-oriented bike for longer technical rides. So, I put in my order for a Ripmo. Full disclosure: I had 20% off on an Ibis due to the 55 hours of volunteer trailwork my husband did with MBOSC. (He wants a different bike, lucky me).

    I also rode the Stumpy 150mm 29'er, carbon. It was not the highest end build, unfortunately, and I think the Fox Rhythm fork or maybe just the settings were not to my liking over all those rocks on Rocky Ridge and Stiles. It felt pogo-stick-like and out of control where I needed to feel planted. It was more sluggish to respond to my pedaling as well. I did get a chance to briefly jump on the S-Works version in a wrong size and with the wrong pedals. Although I can't really vouch for it as I didn't ride it much, it was a lot lighter, and I feel that would be a fairer comparison with the Ripmo.

    I didn't try the Transition because I wanted to check out the SB100 Yeti as a XC race machine. I actually rode the Yeti Beti - basically the identical pink version. That bike was pretty incredible on the climbs, as you would expect, and not bad for a 100mm on the descents. It would be a fantastic technical XC rig - think Enchanted loop or Zane Grey. However, despite the hype, it is no replacement for a 150mm+ bike for me, so unfortunately not a quiver killer. While you can certainly bomb Rocky ridge and Stiles on it, they were not the most comfortable descents. (ouch, my hands!)
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. Weíre just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
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  20. #20
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    THC Demo was when??

    Big thanks to everybody who came out and played in them thar hills with us! The Fall Dirt Demo is busy and without Yeti or Transition bringing their big fleets to help us out we run out of those models fast. Big props to Specialized and Ibis for making this event a staple for them. We sent hundreds of bikes out. Sunday was over 160 folks out there! Those two companies really pulled resources to make this event better than ever. It's a big family!

    The website not having the event was honestly just an oversight by me. Overwhelmed with moving the shop to Cupertino and all the follow up has been tough! But I hired Kevin Horstmann to take care of that for us so we should be better moving forward. Apologies to any and all who wanted to go and didn't see it in time. Facebook is kept up to speed and you can always sign up for our email newsletters so as not to miss out on any and all THC festivities!

    I could just throw fc under the buss for not letting you all know since he obviously did...

    But that wouldn't be cool...

    On that note. Top two bikes in demand were the new Levo and the Ripmo.

    Finally, y'all can mark your calendars for May 3, 4, 5 as those are the dates for our Spring Dirt Demo with Specialized, Ibis, Yeti and Transition for bikes and Ride Concepts, Kali Protectives, Dakine, Fox Shox, SRAM, TLD, WTB, G-Form and a few others to round out the fun!

    Now come on out to Cupertino and check out the new shop!

    Lars
    ďEverything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.Ē
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  21. #21
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    I went from a tallboy 3 to a Ripmo and somehow the ripmo feels more playful. The have identical builds xx1 eagle. It's hard to tell the difference in climbing other than the fork not having a lock on the grip2.
    I had to slide my seat all the way back as the STA was too steep for my liking. Overall it jumps, climbs and feels perfect.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

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