Ripley LS shock - lack of rear plushness- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ripley LS shock - lack of rear plushness

    I have about a year old Ripley LS. Came with Fox Factory Evolve shock. I've played around with the settings/pressure as much as I possibly can, although I'm certainly no expert in this area. I've also let all the air out and have done the re-pressurization exercise.

    Sag is fine and I'm getting full travel. Any ideas? Maybe an Inline shock? Or getting it custom tuned? Or fiddling more with rebound, etc.?

    Obviously the DW is amazing for climbing (in fact my times are getting faster despite putting on a heavy DHF 2.5" front tire). But I'm getting older.

    In comparison, I had a SC 5010 v2 for a while with 130mm of travel and while not as efficient going up it was so much more plush going down.

    Im certainly not looking to get rid of the bike at all but looking for any ideas?

    There are probably threads out there on this so I apologize in advance as I only did a quick search.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi!

    This shock is a major upgrade from the first Fox shock that came with the Ripley, and some say on par with the Inline.

    Did you set up sag and rebound according to the manual? Just to establish a proper baseline. Remember to measure sag in open mode.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=simenf;13150827]Hi!

    This shock is a major upgrade from the first Fox shock that came with the Ripley, and some say on par with the Inline.

    Did you set up sag and rebound according to the manual? Just to establish a proper baseline. Remember to measure sag in open mode.[/QUOT

    I did do all that, and I had the v1 Ripley with the older Fox shock. Again, it's probably just me or just being more sensitive to the bumps (getting older but riding harder).

    Perhaps I'll look at the Yeti 5.5 or Trek Fuek EX (supposedly very plush) or even the Hightower for next bike but that is two years away probably.

    Plus, I do love this bike and Ibis as a brand as a whole.

    Was just looking for ideas.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    It is true that the Ripley is not the plushest of trail bikes, rather focusing on efficiency, but it should not be experienced as harsh. If so there is something wrong with the shock, setup or the rear frame eccentrics.

  5. #5
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    If it is harsh despite adjusting, follow simenf's advise. Also check the torque on the bolts connecting the rear to the eccentrics.

    I'll give some info and tips so you can see if you can adjust it without taking the bike apart. So the most important bits of info would be sag length or %. I'm 150lbs now and running 160psi. I was running 155psi for the last 5 months I've had the bike (140lbs at the time) The fork is 50-55 psi. I believe the recommended shock sag is around 12mm. The suspension kinematics isn't poppy, harsh, or overly efficient imo. You can get it closer to the above by adjusting settings. I would say when properly setup it just works, it doesn't bob and doesn't give you insane feedback. Since you mentioned equalizing the shock, I'll add that it should also be cycled every 40-50 psi while clearing the air chamber.

    The shock in the trail setting with proper sag is a bit firm when hammering over obstacles. With a bit more sag you need to be very careful of pedal strikes, but you can get the ride more comfortable and active. If you want it closer to the 5010 add 2 clicks lSC and reduce rebound one click at a time. I also recommend going down a couple psi at a time, it makes a big difference. This will allow you to pop like on the 5010.

    I also feel Ibis is using wide rims and tires to improve traction, and compliment their suspension design. So if you go narrow tires or rims you might notice harshness on roots and smaller obstacles.

    Additionally, I would take a look at adjusting volume spacers before considering replacing the bike if the above doesn't give you the spring rate/characteristics you want.
    Good Luck.

  6. #6
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    I thought about making this same thread about a year ago.
    I have been on the Ripley for 3 years and have gone through 4 shocks, listed in order I bought them:
    1. xfusion microlite (best)*
    2. xfusion O2 RCX (third best) (custom tuned)
    3. CCDB Inline (that's $500 wasted)
    4. Fox DPS EVOL (current) (second best)
    *I have not been on the microlite in 2 years, so my memory may not be serving me properly.

    Across all shocks, I have never been able to get the suspension to feel good at high speed. At low speed, and landing moderate sized jumps the suspension is amazing. But once the speed increases it starts to feel rough.
    No amount of tweaking of pressure, rebound, compression, air volume, etc has ever made a difference. At this point I have just settled that this is how it is. It's not bad, but every high speed chunky section has me wishing for something better.
    When I demo'd the HD3 I was blown away by how well the rear suspension worked on it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokaankit View Post
    If it is harsh despite adjusting, follow simenf's advise. Also check the torque on the bolts connecting the rear to the eccentrics.

    I'll give some info and tips so you can see if you can adjust it without taking the bike apart. So the most important bits of info would be sag length or %. I'm 150lbs now and running 160psi. I was running 155psi for the last 5 months I've had the bike (140lbs at the time) The fork is 50-55 psi. I believe the recommended shock sag is around 12mm. The suspension kinematics isn't poppy, harsh, or overly efficient imo. You can get it closer to the above by adjusting settings. I would say when properly setup it just works, it doesn't bob and doesn't give you insane feedback. Since you mentioned equalizing the shock, I'll add that it should also be cycled every 40-50 psi while clearing the air chamber.

    The shock in the trail setting with proper sag is a bit firm when hammering over obstacles. With a bit more sag you need to be very careful of pedal strikes, but you can get the ride more comfortable and active. If you want it closer to the 5010 add 2 clicks lSC and reduce rebound one click at a time. I also recommend going down a couple psi at a time, it makes a big difference. This will allow you to pop like on the 5010.

    I also feel Ibis is using wide rims and tires to improve traction, and compliment their suspension design. So if you go narrow tires or rims you might notice harshness on roots and smaller obstacles.

    Additionally, I would take a look at adjusting volume spacers before considering replacing the bike if the above doesn't give you the spring rate/characteristics you want.
    Good Luck.
    Thanks for input. I checked my PSI and I was at about 205 and I currently weigh about 180 all kitted up. I lowered it to about 195. The sag still looks ok. In fact it looks pretty much identical. Going riding today and I'll see if it's better and/or if I get more pedal strikes.

  8. #8
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    I think that is just a characteristic of shorter-travel mini-link suspension designs. The compromise for the uphill efficiency is the lack of plushness on high-speed chatter. I have owned a few of them and still prefer them to four-bar suspensions but it seems that there is no free lunch in this case.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
    I think that is just a characteristic of shorter-travel mini-link suspension designs. The compromise for the uphill efficiency is the lack of plushness on high-speed chatter. I have owned a few of them and still prefer them to four-bar suspensions but it seems that there is no free lunch in this case.
    I agree. Just finished my usual after work ride. I lowered the PSI down to 195 from 205 and it did make a noticeable difference. Not plush but definitely better. Used all travel but I don't think I bottomed out. I did use the middle setting (trail mode) for climbing and opened it up for the downhill. Didn't seem to have any additional pedal strikes. The pedaling efficiency still amazes me, even after hundreds of rides on the Ripley v1 and now the LS. It's just been difficult to get PSI right given I dropped a bunch of LBS this past winter.

    So I think I'm good to go, at least until the Ripley 4 comes out (or a longer travel Ibis 29er, but I don't really want a longer wheelbase) in a few years, although I still wouldnt mind to demoing the Fuel EX, Yeti 5.5 and the Hightower just for a point of reference.

    But I'm completely sold on Ibis as a company (customer service is just simply amazing - Scot has emailed me back several times) and the Ripley rocks.

  10. #10
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    The Yetis have very good suspension systems as well. Just know that they are not going to be as personable a company when it comes to the owner...not even close. The CS is okay but they have to be pushed and Chris Conroy does not really act like he wants anything to do with customers. They have done really well as a company and Chris has done extremely well as the owner. You are simply not going to get the level of personal attention someone like Scot will be engaged in...ever.

    I now own a Yeti (after a 10-year hiatus) and like my SB 4.5 quite a bit. I like John in sales but I have no illusions of chatting with Chris or any of the main guys, even if I go by the HQ. Well, I actually have gone by the HQ. Still, good bikes and worth a look. Companies like Ibis and Turner define exemplary customer service. I like supporting them since it costs more to do that and we have to see them in business. I'm waiting for the next Ibis or Turner.

  11. #11
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    Go to local bike shop, ask salesman to check and adjust SAG. If it's still not plush enough for you, ask salesman to sell you a plusher shock.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
    You are simply not going to get the level of personal attention someone like Scot will be .
    Buddy of mine dropped by the HQ (long time ago when bikes were made in Sebastopol) on his Mojo and they cleaned & lubed his chain, drank coffee, shot the breeze.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgnreno View Post
    Thanks for input. I checked my PSI and I was at about 205 and I currently weigh about 180 all kitted up. I lowered it to about 195. The sag still looks ok. In fact it looks pretty much identical. Going riding today and I'll see if it's better and/or if I get more pedal strikes.
    You need to experiment with pressure. If lowering to 195 felt better, then you should try 185, 180, 175. Depending on what kind of riding you're doing, 10% above body weight may be fine, but for a lot of people, body weight in psi works very well on the LS/Evol DPS.

    Also, how much rebound damping are you running? That has a huge impact on the feel of the rear suspension.

    Your bike is a year old - have you ever checked the bearings--is there any roughness when cycling them; and is everything torqued down properly? I recently replaced a couple of the bearings, and tightened everything up, and it made a huge difference in how good the rear felt. Almost back to how good it felt when new.

  13. #13
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    Whats the compression tune on the shock? I know all fox shocks have atleast 3 compression tune L M H or they may have other names...

    One of my trail bikes came stock with a Medium tuned rear shock. Could never get it to feel plush at the proper sag. Ended up replacing it with a Low compression tuned one. Night & Day... Perfectly plush, but bottomed out more... Medium spacer added, now it's perfect. Super plush & doesn't bottom out hard, big ramp up at the end to keep it where it needs to be & ready for more.

    https://www.ridefox.com/help.php?m=bike

    If your shock is new enough, enter the 4 digit code into the link above & It'll give you enough info to figure it out. Older ones had stickers with letters or graphs for compression/velocity & rebound.

    Or go coil if you can fit one. Heavier & you have to play around with different spring weights but once you get it dialed....

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the input. Been on several rides now after lowering to 195psi. Seems better. But I just got on scale and weigh 165 lbs so I may lower it a bit more and see.

    Then, I'm going play around with rebound. Or maybe vice versa as I don't want to do two things as once.

    Finally, I may have my LBS look at bearings.

    As a last resort I'll look into turning and/or different shock but I think once I get psi and reboind dialed in I should be good to go.

    And I can't wait for Minion DHR 2 2.4" WT dual compound to arrive for rear wheel (going to replace Ardent Race).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgnreno View Post
    Thanks for all the input. Been on several rides now after lowering to 195psi. Seems better. But I just got on scale and weigh 165 lbs so I may lower it a bit more and see.

    Then, I'm going play around with rebound. Or maybe vice versa as I don't want to do two things as once.

    Finally, I may have my LBS look at bearings.

    As a last resort I'll look into turning and/or different shock but I think once I get psi and reboind dialed in I should be good to go.

    And I can't wait for Minion DHR 2 2.4" WT dual compound to arrive for rear wheel (going to replace Ardent Race).
    FWIW, I found I need to replace the pivot bearing more often than I would have expected. After ~600 miles my pivot bearings were gritty toast... and would have described my LS as lack of plushness. After replacing the bearings though... it feels great.

  16. #16
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    I converted my 2015 Ripley LS to coil. First I did the Push coil conversion for the Pike. Then I found a shock with the right eye to eye and stroke. I had to modify the shock ends and bushings, but was able to retrofit it. 180 pound rider and 550# spring. The difference is night and day! Huge increase in plushness. Bike is glued to the ground through rough rocky sections. I don't do big jumps so can't speak to bottoming resistance. I wanted plushness on really rocky Tucson trails, and now it is.

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