Ripmo AF vs. Fugitive LT?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    sonoranbiker
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    Ripmo AF vs. Fugitive LT?

    Input needed! I'm going to be buying a new bike soon, and have it narrowed down to the Ripmo AF and Knolly Fugitive LT. I live in Tucson and ride all over AZ (lots of loose, rocky trails) and regularly head to other 4-Corners states for trail and park riding. Coming off a V1 Evil Following. This will be my only bike, so I need it to be that unicorn "1-bike quiver". I'm a big guy who favors the descents, crashes from time to time, and doesn't mind an extra pound or two for the sake of value and durability. Price differences between the two bikes isn't really a consideration, especially since I'm the ED for a trail building nonprofit and do contract work throughout the region so I get pretty good discounts. I will be buying either bike with both coil and air shocks for different applications.

    On paper the two bikes are relatively close. Both aluminum. Ripmo AF is slightly longer and slacker (well, more than 20mm longer including 6mm longer chainstays), and has about 10mm more travel front and rear. Fugitive LT has adjustable geometry and can run 150 or 160mm fork. Both are beefy bikes. Both have good suspension designs. They have similar reach and BB numbers Perhaps Ripmo AF will be more of a plow bike, and Knolly will be more of a nimble all-arounder?

    Especially curious for opinions from folks who have ridden both (or at least the regular Ripmo vs. Fugitive LT). Bonus points if you have ridden both in the SW, or at least have experience with desert trails. At this point for me, test rides aren't really an option. Would have to drive to Fruita to test ride the Knolly, and don't know when Ibis will be in town with a demo fleet.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have ridden the Fugitive (non LT), but not a Ripmo yet, and I'm in the same market. Another that tickles my fancy in that category would be a new Canfield Riot, but we'll see what they come out with.

    The Fugitive is a great bike. I rode it at a bike fest and it was by far my favorite of the ones I demoed. I think I was riding the 120mm Fugitive faster than the 153mm Kona Process. A little different than your impression though - I thought the suspension felt pretty active while climbing, but was the best I've ever felt in terms of not hanging up on rough descents. Felt like it was accelerating on its own through the rough stuff. Frame is super high quality.

    Looking at the geo, I think the AF is a little more "modern". And DW Link can't be beat for the ratio of uphill performance to suppleness in my opinion. I'd get the coil if I go that route. I'm gonna have to demo before I make a purchase.

  3. #3
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    I've got a Ripmo with a -1 angle set, so basically AF spec, and my buddy has a Fugitive LT which I've done quite a few laps on. Both our bikes are large, and we're 6-6'1 respectively. The fugitive is a bit longer in reach and top tube, but my Ripmo (and the AF) is slacker and has a longer WB. The Fugitive is a less efficient as a climber - you noticed the pedal bob more, it sits deeper in it's travel and pedal strikes more often (it's got a much lower BB). Going down there's not much to choose between them, at least with my bike with the X2 shock. The Knolly is really nicely made and I while haven't see an AF in person I don't think the workmanship is at the same level - the knolly really seems like it's made to last, however the cable ports look like an after thought which really detracts from the frame.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either bike but I'd go an AF every day because it's got a better pedalling suspension design without the additional complication of the Knolly linkage

  4. #4
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    I'd vote AF because you said you're a big guy who favors the descents and the extra 12mm of travel would be helpful if you head to Purgatory (or Angel Fire or Pajarito)

    I live in Albuquerque but have ridden my AF in Tucson, Sedona and Tempe (as well as 4-corners, Moab and north/central New Mexico).

    The AF amazes me from how it never feels like 'too much bike' but is still quite composed in chunk.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  5. #5
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    I live in Mesa and have ridden the AF all over South Mountain (and other valley trails) Flagstaff, Sedona, Prescott, Tuscon.

    I have not ridden the Knolly, but can vouch for the AF as a really good, all around bike for the loose, rocky, punchy desert riding. If you're ever up this way let me know and you can check mine out (size large).
    "Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast."

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  6. #6
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    If was at my LBS today. We were discussing the amazing value of the AF. The owner speculated that the low price might not last. We also speculated if DVO would be able to continue to meet demand

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    If was at my LBS today. We were discussing the amazing value of the AF. The owner speculated that the low price might not last. We also speculated if DVO would be able to continue to meet demand
    That's a lot of speculating. The price should stay pretty stable, and they're not selling as fast as you might think. Nothing like when the carbon version hit the market last year and you couldn't get your hands on one. The AF is in stock and readily available.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  8. #8
    sonoranbiker
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I have an AF SLX build coming in this week with the Jade X and carbon wheels through Copper Spoke Cycles in Tucson. Will post up impressions once I get some time on it.

  9. #9
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    Please do. Iím looking at similar build with NX. Are you going ibis or I9 Hubs?

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