Ripley vs Ripmo - I demoed both along with a Pivot Trail 429 and my current Niner- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ripley vs Ripmo - I demoed both along with a Pivot Trail 429 and my current Niner

    I don't know if this is useful to anyone, but I demoed the new Ripmo and the new Ripley. For comparison, I also took out my current 2015 Niner Rip 9. I did the same trails with the same perceived effort. This is not scientific at all, of course, but take this for what it is worth. For the record, I am a heavy guy in pretty good shape. On a skill level scale of 1-10, I'd put myself at a 6.5 or so. I ride about three times a week, a bout 12 miles per ride.

    For my testing, I rode a 1 mile loop with 200 feet of climbing on each bike. Winding trail through thick trees with a flowy downhill. I didn't push it all that hard so fitness/fatigue wasn't an issue.

    Here are some thoughts about the different bikes:

    Time Comparison:
    2015 Niner 8:35
    2020 Ripley - 8:10 (Fastest uphill by 7 seconds)
    2020 Pivot Trail 429 - 8:07 (7 seconds slower uphill than the Ripley, but faster downhill in this run)
    2020 Ripmo - 8:12 (uphill was 15 seconds slower than the Ripley)


    Components thoughts:
    So these bikes were not equal on components (like I said, not scientific). I don't think that mattered all that much in time, seeing as I'm pretty heavy, so the extra weight on the Ripley (NX Package) probably didn't matter that much, but I will say, the NX package is a huge downgrade from the GX or Shimano XT drivetrain and the brakes that come standard. If you are going to spring for one of these bikes, I'd say go for the SRAM GX "trim level" or the Shimano XT. I don't feel like you need to go up to X01 or XTR. But that's just me. The Ripmo I rode had the SRAM GX drivetrain and I liked it a lot.


    Ripley vs. Ripmo:
    Honestly, I think the Ripmo just felt sluggish. Sure, it absolutely crushes the downhill and you feel so confident. I didn't think I was going that much faster downhill, but apparently I was. Still, I just think the bike is more bike than I need. After this test, I rode the ripley around on other trails, and I honestly think it would handle 95% of the downhills I do without me wishing for the Ripmo. Plus, for me, the Ripley completely dominated the climb, even with the heavy NX drivetrain. Even though the time suggests the Ripmo was much better downhill, I think I probably had more fun on the Ripley, even on the downs. In the end, the 120 MM travel on the rear and 130 mm travel on the front was plenty for the trails I ride.

    Ripley vs. Pivot Trail 429
    To be honest, I don't think you can go wrong with either bike. I would probably lean slightly toward the Pivot for some reason, but if I went out 10 times, I may choose the Ripley on 5 days and the 429 on 5 days. So if you are looking at these two bikes, my advice is that they are both awesome. I felt like the handlebars on the Ripley were too wide for my taste. The reach on the Ripley for a large was great, but it definitely didn't feel like a stretch. I have a long torso and short legs, so I'd probably go for an extra large, even though I'm only 6 feet tall. If you are 6 feet with a 30-32 isneam the large will probably fit well. The 429 reach was a little shorter. I'd go XL on that one for sure for me.

    2015 Niner Rip 9 RDO vs. the new bikes:
    My niner has XT/XTR components and it's been a great bike. The standover height is just way too high for me, so I need to switch. But if that weren't a problem, would it be worth upgrading? I think so. Each of the three bikes I demoed were superior and faster, and more fun. The Ripmo was faster for me uphill than the older Niner, even though the pulse was about the same and I rode the Ripmo last and the Niner first. (Though, to be fair, sometimes the first uphill is the slowest).

    it's a great time to be in the market. If anyone in the world has actually read this far, I'd love to hear your thoughts and any recommendations for other bikes I should look at. I think I'm still leaning toward the Ripley even though the Pivot 429 made a really great case.

  2. #2
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    Nice review and i like that you created your own method of comparison.

    Last July the three bikes I considered were also the Ripley, Trail 429 and I was also curious about the Ripmo. I demoed the Ripley and determined it was enough travel so I never demoed the Ripmo. I then demoed the T429.

    It was a toss up for me between the Ripley and T429, decided I couldnít go wrong. Hard to choose.

    I chose the trail 429 as it seemed slightly more bomber (but a bit heavier) and I liked the idea of super boost.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review. Iím on a 18 Jet RDO which I similar to your 15 Rip. Iím looking at a RAF or V2 Ripmo. Iím curious to your thoughts on CVA vs DW link.

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    What state do you ride in/what trails? I've demo'd both the Ripley V4 and Pivot 429 Trail but not on the same trails. I currently ride a Ripley LS V2.

    I felt the V4 was the better climber than the 429 or my LS. The LS feels snappier than either the V4 or 429 which I'm guessing is due to the shorter wheelbase. Because the 429 has super boost and a press fit bottom bracket I've crossed it off my list and am looking to upgrade to the V4 otherwise I'd say they are both great and similar options for bikes.

    Have you considered endurorizing the Ripley e.g. 140mm fork, piggy back shock, aggressive tires? I live and ride in Minnesota and have considered going for the Ripmo but it's too much bike for the Midwest I feel. I've asked around about XCing the Ripmo to a 150mm fork, in line shock, and mild tires but it seems no one has attempted doing that so I don't have any ride impressions. I'm leaning the V4 route.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush1nRuss1an89 View Post
    What state do you ride in/what trails? I've demo'd both the Ripley V4 and Pivot 429 Trail but not on the same trails. I currently ride a Ripley LS V2.

    I felt the V4 was the better climber than the 429 or my LS. The LS feels snappier than either the V4 or 429 which I'm guessing is due to the shorter wheelbase. Because the 429 has super boost and a press fit bottom bracket I've crossed it off my list and am looking to upgrade to the V4 otherwise I'd say they are both great and similar options for bikes.

    Have you considered endurorizing the Ripley e.g. 140mm fork, piggy back shock, aggressive tires? I live and ride in Minnesota and have considered going for the Ripmo but it's too much bike for the Midwest I feel. I've asked around about XCing the Ripmo to a 150mm fork, in line shock, and mild tires but it seems no one has attempted doing that so I don't have any ride impressions. I'm leaning the V4 route.
    I'm in MN and have a trail build Ripmo. I love it, but have also ridden a V4 Ripley and love that bike as well. There is still a big gap in pedaling, handling, and feel between my "light" Ripmo and the V4. Ripley feels like a rocket in comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    I'm in MN and have a trail build Ripmo. I love it, but have also ridden a V4 Ripley and love that bike as well. There is still a big gap in pedaling, handling, and feel between my "light" Ripmo and the V4. Ripley feels like a rocket in comparison.
    Can you elaborate on what your trail built Ripmo is and which trails in MN do your normally ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush1nRuss1an89 View Post
    Can you elaborate on what your trail built Ripmo is and which trails in MN do your normally ride?
    I live in the Twin Cities metro and mostly ride Lebanon Hills and Murphy. I also spend considerable time riding in Duluth on all trails there, including the bike park at Spirit Mountain.

    My Ripmo has seen trail miles in Colorado (front range, Fruita) and Moab, UT. Have been trying to get to BC, but the first trip was scuttled due to injury and now COVID has postponed it again.

    Nothing super weight weenie on my bike, just went with a Factory DPX2 shock, instead of a Performance DPX2 or X2. Running XX1 Eagle w/Next SL cranks, and relatively lightweight Schwalbe tires on carbon wheels. My fork is still at 160. I've never considered dropping down to 150. I'll take all the BB clearance I can get.

    As for size, I could ride either M or L, but chose Medium for a more nimble ride. It's still a long bike, even in the medium frame size. The only places I notice the extra length is in slow-speed rocks and tech. And, even then, I've adapted my riding to make it work just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    Thanks for the review. Iím on a 18 Jet RDO which I similar to your 15 Rip. Iím looking at a RAF or V2 Ripmo. Iím curious to your thoughts on CVA vs DW link.
    Honestly, I'm not sure what I think about it. It seemed to me like the DW link worked really well and I have no complaints about it, but I think I'd have to run it on more of a variety of terrain to get a good sense and contrast the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush1nRuss1an89 View Post
    What state do you ride in/what trails? I've demo'd both the Ripley V4 and Pivot 429 Trail but not on the same trails. I currently ride a Ripley LS V2.

    . . . I'm leaning the V4 route.
    I live in Northern Utah, so most of the trails are long climbs with flowy downhills. A lot of roots and rocks and twists and turns. There are plenty of more technical trails around the state, but 95% of my riding is pine tree forest runs (or similar.)

    I think i'm leaning toward the V4 route as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post

    Nothing super weight weenie on my bike, just went with a Factory DPX2 shock, instead of a Performance DPX2 or X2. Running XX1 Eagle w/Next SL cranks, and relatively lightweight Schwalbe tires on carbon wheels. My fork is still at 160. I've never considered dropping down to 150. I'll take all the BB clearance I can get.

    .
    Do you feel like the carbon wheels are worth it? I'm just not that fast or efficient, and at 230 lbs or so, the weight savings aren't as significant as it would be for a 150 pound guy. But I am interested in the stiffness and I know the "rotating weight" changes things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    Do you feel like the carbon wheels are worth it? I'm just not that fast or efficient, and at 230 lbs or so, the weight savings aren't as significant as it would be for a 150 pound guy. But I am interested in the stiffness and I know the "rotating weight" changes things.
    I'm 215 lbs and upgraded to carbon wheels prior to the start of this biking season. Came from Ibis' aluminum 938 wheels and upgraded to the S28. I've noticed quicker acceleration and a more responsive ride. Didn't notice anything for stiffness. To me, the upgrade was worth it as it significantly improved the way my Ripley LS rides and handles.

    Keep in mind that tire choice has significant impact as well. In my wheel upgrade I changed from 2.35" Nobby Nics to 2.4" Maxxis Ardents. Both of these tires are designed for all around riding with similar weights and width and can be assumed equivalent. This allows me to compare my aluminum wheels vs my carbon with tire difference being negligible. Stock Ripleys come with 2.6" tires whereas your Niner can have a maximum tire clearance of 2.4" in the rear. A wider tire will have more rolling resistance due to friction with the trail as well as be heavier which means greater rotational weight. If you upgrade to the Ripley, definitely consider keeping the similar tire setup you have now. Much cheaper to have tire changes than an aluminum to carbon wheel change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush1nRuss1an89 View Post
    I'm 215 lbs and upgraded to carbon wheels prior to the start of this biking season. Came from Ibis' aluminum 938 wheels and upgraded to the S28. I've noticed quicker acceleration and a more responsive ride. Didn't notice anything for stiffness. To me, the upgrade was worth it as it significantly improved the way my Ripley LS rides and handles.

    Keep in mind that tire choice has significant impact as well. In my wheel upgrade I changed from 2.35" Nobby Nics to 2.4" Maxxis Ardents. Both of these tires are designed for all around riding with similar weights and width and can be assumed equivalent. This allows me to compare my aluminum wheels vs my carbon with tire difference being negligible. Stock Ripleys come with 2.6" tires whereas your Niner can have a maximum tire clearance of 2.4" in the rear. A wider tire will have more rolling resistance due to friction with the trail as well as be heavier which means greater rotational weight. If you upgrade to the Ripley, definitely consider keeping the similar tire setup you have now. Much cheaper to have tire changes than an aluminum to carbon wheel change.
    Thanks. Good point about tires. I run Maxxis Minion DHR/DHF 29x2.4, and they are good tires, but not exactly light and quick. But I prefer the stability on the dusty and winding trails I ride. I'll have to think about carbon with the Ripley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    Honestly, I'm not sure what I think about it. It seemed to me like the DW link worked really well and I have no complaints about it, but I think I'd have to run it on more of a variety of terrain to get a good sense and contrast the two.
    I'm finally getting my DWLink dialed in on my HD3 where it is both plush and poppy. I always had stand over issues on my Niners (and warranty issues which pushed me to Ibis), but I have always felt the CVA was a great suspension. Some of my fastest times uphill are still from my RIP 09 RDO V1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crush1nRuss1an89 View Post
    A wider tire will have more rolling resistance due to friction with the trail as well as be heavier which means greater rotational weight. .
    This isn't necessarily true. It depends on the tire construction, the rubber compound, and the tread pattern as well, among other things. All of these probably are bigger factors than the width when it comes to rolling resistance. In some conditions the wider tire will be more efficient and faster, like when a bit more float helps (sandy, gravel, etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bizango View Post
    This isn't necessarily true. It depends on the tire construction, the rubber compound, and the tread pattern as well, among other things. All of these probably are bigger factors than the width when it comes to rolling resistance. In some conditions the wider tire will be more efficient and faster, like when a bit more float helps (sandy, gravel, etc).
    Agreed! You add excellent examples to the complexity of correct tire choice.

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    Still curious how Niner CVA feels compared to Ibis DW, both climbing and plushness going down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    Still curious how Niner CVA feels compared to Ibis DW, both climbing and plushness going down.
    I ride a 2015 RIP 9 with a fox float with 125mm of travel. (They added a lot more travel in the newer bikes). Honestly, I felt like the plushness was the same as the Ripley suspension going downhill. (Nothing very choppy though, and no drops. Just a few jumps). As for climbing, with both fully open, I thought the Ripley had much better efficiency in the suspension while still maintaining traction. But Iím not sure how much of that comes down to a new shock vs a 6 year old shock, or if it is CVA vs DW Link

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    Your 15 Rip at 125 is basically my 18 Jet at 120. Iíve read that DW can ride harsh. Sounds like that wasnít your experience

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    Your 15 Rip at 125 is basically my 18 Jet at 120. Iíve read that DW can ride harsh. Sounds like that wasnít your experience
    It was pretty smooth, but I would be interested to try it on some rougher trails a and see how it feels

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    I live in Northern Utah,

    I think i'm leaning toward the V4 route as well.
    ALL DAY LONG in Northern Utah!!
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    It was pretty smooth, but I would be interested to try it on some rougher trails a and see how it feels
    It also doesn't help that most people are afraid to venture away from Fox or RS shocks. Get yourself a Cane Creek DB IL and plushness you shall have!!
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    It also doesn't help that most people are afraid to venture away from Fox or RS shocks. Get yourself a Cane Creek DB IL and plushness you shall have!!
    But most fox or rs are simply diy service... Not so much with the Ccdb...

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    I ride a 2015 RIP 9 with a fox float with 125mm of travel. (They added a lot more travel in the newer bikes). Honestly, I felt like the plushness was the same as the Ripley suspension going downhill. (Nothing very choppy though, and no drops. Just a few jumps). As for climbing, with both fully open, I thought the Ripley had much better efficiency in the suspension while still maintaining traction. But Iím not sure how much of that comes down to a new shock vs a 6 year old shock, or if it is CVA vs DW Link
    CVA was may more efficient in the saddle than out. The Ripley (I own a V1 also) standing is more efficient than CVA. Overall pedaling, the CVA is more active than DW, but it really soaked up the bumps and provided a smooth fast ride in xc terrain. My JET9 RDO was a rocket (Yup had one of those also). I'd still take a Ripley over the older RIP/Jet with its way quicker (in a good way) steering and overall more efficient suspension. CVA was nice. I miss it sometimes, but the steering and standover never agreed with me.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    But most fox or rs are simply diy service... Not so much with the Ccdb...
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    99% of MTBR's aren't even thinking about doing their own shock service. I don't have a single friend or member in our riding group that does there own suspension. I personally know the owner of the most successful suspension shop in our area and according to him, there are of course a number of riders who regularly service their suspension but 70% don't even know it's supposed to be serviced and never bring it in until it completely fails.
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    ALL DAY LONG in Northern Utah!!
    I ended up going with the Ripley. Hopefully it will be perfect for Northern Utah trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack24 View Post
    I ended up going with the Ripley. Hopefully it will be perfect for Northern Utah trails.

    I live in Ogden and can confidently say that my RAF is too much bike. Until all the bike parks open and i get to ride there more i imagine i'll continue to wish i was on a Ripley or Tallboy. The RAF is a killer bike but I wish it were snappier and lighter.

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