Ripmo vs Switchblade?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ripmo vs Switchblade?

    I'm in the market for a mid-long travel 29er. Wife might kill me if I spend the money on a Ripmo, maybe not. Got me looking for something $4k or less with a good build which brought me to the switchblade aluminum. For about $3850, it's got a Fox 36 performance 44mm offset, float dps evol, KS LEV, Sunringle Duroc (meh), SLX brakes (love em), and 1x11 SLX/XT which is odd but I think it's due to the superboost limiting their options. I'm not worried about the 1x11 since I could drop a few teeth on the front if needed. Live and ride in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee so awesome riding of all types, long climbs, gap jumps, big downhills, and flowy stuff. Anyone ride one compared to the Ripmo lower priced builds? The Pivot is a about 10mm shorter reach but otherwise geometry isn't that far off. Other 29ers I'm looking at are the 2020 Hightower, Instinct BC, and Jeffsy 29. Demo'd a stumpy 27.5 and loved the plush active rear end but it's BB is like 335 mm and I probably hit the pedals no less than 15 times in a 8 mile ride. I'd like something that is plush with great small bump compliance but also has good mid stroke support.
    2020 Ripmo AF

  2. #2
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    For me the Ripmo was the better bike. I'm short (5'7" with 29" inseam) and the Switchblade felt huge. I could not get a dropper with 150mm (had to demo with a 150 and constantly move the seat down off the top.

    Both bikes I demo'ed were medium. Both bikes climbed well.

    For me it was the ability to run a long (I got the 160mm bike yoke) seat post which made the difference.

    I know the numbers show them to be the same but I really felt so high on the switchblade it was uncomfortable. I am sure a better rider than I could ride either and be fine. But for me the Ripmo felt very at home and that is why I went for it.

  3. #3
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    I've owned both, as well as the Instinct (non-BC, but with a 160 fork) and the new Stumpy but in 29er form. I'm a relatively advanced rider in Phoenix, overall more interested in descending performance than climbing.

    If I ranked the four I've owned for my riding in this environment:

    Ripmo
    Stumpy
    Switchblade
    Instinct

    Other than the Stumpy, none were what I'd call super-plush. Conversely, the Ibis and Pivot had very good mid-stroke support. Very hard to go wrong with the Ripmo; it's a fast bike, climbs great.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I've owned both, as well as the Instinct (non-BC, but with a 160 fork) and the new Stumpy but in 29er form. I'm a relatively advanced rider in Phoenix, overall more interested in descending performance than climbing.

    If I ranked the four I've owned for my riding in this environment:

    Ripmo
    Stumpy
    Switchblade
    Instinct

    Other than the Stumpy, none were what I'd call super-plush. Conversely, the Ibis and Pivot had very good mid-stroke support. Very hard to go wrong with the Ripmo; it's a fast bike, climbs great.
    That's awesome that you've had all the bikes I'm looking at. So you'd only consider the stumpy plush. How did the others ride over all the small trail trash/small rocks compared to the stumpy? I do like how the stumpy's wheels always felt in contact with the ground. Perk of being super active. Lots of pedal strikes was a bummer. Maybe the pressures were too low and I ride platforms so that makes it worse. I demo'd an Enduro as well and it was even more plush. Just felt like a little DH bike to me. It was fast downhill but had no pop and didn't jump well and just plowed through stuff. I have been leaning towards the Switchblade or Instinct BC just because of the build spec for the price. The Ripmo and Hightower will have lower spec and some waiting time due to demand. I've also been looking at the Bronson and Altitude but was trying to go for a 29er first and only go with a 27.5 if I couldn't find a 29er I liked. Anymore feedback on those bikes is greatly appreciated!
    2020 Ripmo AF

  5. #5
    Dude...
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    My buddy is selling his medium 2017 switchblade. You should take a look. It's in Golden, CO.

    https://classifieds.mtbr.com/showpro...product=116768

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebry74 View Post
    My buddy is selling his medium 2017 switchblade. You should take a look. It's in Golden, CO.

    https://classifieds.mtbr.com/showpro...product=116768
    Thanks man but I need a Large or XL for the shorter bikes.
    2020 Ripmo AF

  7. #7
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    Well, the Stumpy was the most plush overall. You could tune the Instinct to be pretty plush since it's a Horst link, but overall I didn't like it anywhere near as much as the Stumpy. I had no pedal strike issues on either bike.

    My issue with the Switchblade was I bought early and the only available shock was the DPS. Not an appropriate shock for that bike. I'm sure I would have liked it more with an X2.

    The Ripmo really is the real deal and could easily be a one-bike quiver for those in aggressive environments.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  8. #8
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    Makes sense. Did you ride the stumpy with clipless? I think the tire pressures were low on my demo. Sag was at 30%. Platform padals probably made it worse too. It does have a lower bb than any other bike I'm looking at though. I like the Ripmo but damn, $5k for the gx build and only a performance 36 on that. Kinda wish I didn't ride motorcycles and had less perspective on the two. I just turned down my friends used ktm 500 dual sport. $5500, 60 hp, and I could literally ride that thing from CA to Alaska on and off road! They even have cnc bling all over, brembo brakes, high end suspension, etc. Admittedly, new all setup that bike would cost $13k-14k.

  9. #9
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    for what you're after, i'd maybe go Instinct. best of both worlds, probably. will pedal better than stumpy, but still be more active in the rear than the DW bikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfr4dr View Post
    I like the Ripmo but damn, $5k for the gx build and only a performance 36 on that.
    Well... I donít know what kind of deals your LBS may be running on either brand but honestly looking at the Pivot and Ibis sites there is only 1 build which is comparable between the 2 and that is the XT build. Both with Performance Forks and pretty much all the same components, AL wheels etc...

    The Switchblade is $5199 ($5200) and the Ripmo is $5999 ($6000). [Side note $5199 is the cheapest full build for the Switchblade, you ďcouldĒ get into a Ripmo for less if you could live with an NX build. Iím not saying you should and I didnít either... But just saying...]

    Anyway, yes $800 is a lot of money and is a 15% premium... But at least for me I went with the bike I was going to be happy with. 15% was a small price to pay to have a bike I was going to be happy with.

    In the end you will not be able to tell without riding them. Maybe the difference will not be that big for you and you can save some money. The Pivot _is_ a really nice bike. But for me it just did not work and judging from all the internet hype that is true for a lot of others.

  11. #11
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    off topic, but curious what about the pivot didn't work for you?

  12. #12
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    There's a $3850 switchblade aluminum build. I'm fine with alloy and actually would prefer an alloy bike with better parts than a carbon build with base model parts. Like the Instinct BC alloy is about $3600 with a fox 36 performance, dpx2, Raceface wheels, RF dropper, and gx drivetrain. Not bad! I'm going to demo one this weekend and the Ripmo or Bronson next week. Thankfully we have almost every dealer here.

  13. #13
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    Yes, I run clipless and my Stumpy was the 29er version. For me, the Instinct was not a better pedaler.

    All are fine bikes. Whichever you go with, you should be pleased. I was happiest with the Ripmo for my riding. But if you put me back on the Instinct and said I had to ride it, the world wouldn't end.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    off topic, but curious what about the pivot didn't work for you?
    I have short legs and and a long torso. So I needed a Medium for the reach (My current bike is a small and has been too small for years and I can finally justify a new bike.) But with my short legs the biggest thing was that the Ripmo allowed me to run a bigger dropper.

    Even though the stand over is close on the 2 the lowest seat height was too high for my comfort on the Switchblade. I would say the Ripmo may have climbed every so _very_ slightly better because of the seat angle. But really while ridding I did not find the Pivot climbing to be that much different. The were both good climbers.

    In the end for my size the Ripmo fit better. I did consider cost and I really had my heart set on the Pivot having parking lot tested a Mach 5.5 a year ago. But the feel of the bikes drove me to a Ripmo.

  15. #15
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    For me I ruled out the switchbalde for 2 reasons. 1 Superboost , 2 Presfit Bottom Bracket. I don't want to deal with either one long term. 148 spacing is plenty and common and threaded BB really just the so much nicer for the at home mechanic. Of all my bikes only 1 has press-fit BB and that is on my road bike. That creaks when riding over 100F temps. Seems to be a thermal expansion deal and if the same thing happened with a threaded BB I would just pull it and clean and or replace to see if it worked. But with press fit I can't just pop them in and out. I have to take it to the bike shop and hope they even have some solution. The Ibis (as well as a many others) have threaded BB and 148 spacing. So really no need go with the switchbalde where there are other options. Now I realize that not everyone shares my disdain for superboost and press-fit.


    Let me also say that 5k for GX build is pretty common. I ran numbers on frame only and build up vs just buying and even with deals on some parts it hard to beak 5k with GX build with a $3k frame. Once you add in fork, and wheels you have little room for any drivetrain or brakes. This not to say prices are not too high overall, but 5k GX is "competitive" in the market right now.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Let me also say that 5k for GX build is pretty common. I ran numbers on frame only and build up vs just buying and even with deals on some parts it hard to beak 5k with GX build with a $3k frame. Once you add in fork, and wheels you have little room for any drivetrain or brakes. This not to say prices are not too high overall, but 5k GX is "competitive" in the market right now.
    Exactly. When you look at most builds these days, with a few exceptions, $5K is the starting price. Ibis makes only one frame set for the Ripmo as well while Yet and Santa Cruz offer their $5K bikes in their lower frame composites. The Ripmo with GX, FOX Factory front and rear, with the Bike Yoke post, Ibis carbon wheels with Ibis hubs, and a carbon bar for $6635 full retail isn't a bad deal at all. You would spend at least $1500 more building the exact same bike part by part and considerably more for an XO1-spec'd bike that would save you about 1/2#.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iweiny View Post
    I know the numbers show them to be the same but I really felt so high on the switchblade it was uncomfortable. I am sure a better rider than I could ride either and be fine. But for me the Ripmo felt very at home and that is why I went for it.

    This^

    Same for me. Demo'd a dozen bikes. I got on the Switchblade before I ever even seen a Ripmo and I felt so high "on" the bike it was an immediate no. I am a Pivot fanboy and think the Ripmo is ugly... I now own a Ripmo. I did recently ride a friends YT Jeffsey and it is super nice.

  18. #18
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    I have owned a Switchblade for a year and now a Ripmo for 7 months. I love both bikes, for me the differences are small and would gladly ride either one. The 2 builds where very similar except SB had a Float X2 Ripmo the DPX2, both are a significant improvement over the DPS on the Al SB.

    Pedaling
    Although more travel the Ripmo pedals better and has more acceleration than the SB could be the rear shock and or the different DW link adaptation.

    Climbing
    STD climbs normal single track w rocks n roots the nod to the Ripmo. Technical ledges and big badly spaced rocks the SB. I consider it the best technical climber I have ridden and I ride a lot of bikes.

    Downhill
    If rocky and gnarly the SB, but that maybe the rear shock, itís just more composed. But otherwise the Ripmo but not significantly.

    Cornering
    Maybe Iím just getting better but the Ripmo just rails. The SB was darn good but I think Iím more aggressive on the Ripmo.

    Ok my advice for your budget, buy a used carbon Switchblade w either an X2 or DPX2 shock and 29er wheels. The bike has been out awhile so lower resale value and lots of folks will be upgrading. Few Ripmos used and they all seem to be very proud of them.

    SB used :
    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2602391/

  19. #19
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    Thanks guys. I've got an Instinct BC demo for tomorrow and will try and get on a Ripmo later in the day or next week. Sadly, I can't get a leg over a 2020 Hightower or Jeffsy anytime soon. The Switchblade....not sure. The feedback on that bike does seem mixed and I just need to trim this list down!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDUBku View Post
    This^

    Same for me. Demo'd a dozen bikes. I got on the Switchblade before I ever even seen a Ripmo and I felt so high "on" the bike it was an immediate no. I am a Pivot fanboy and think the Ripmo is ugly... I now own a Ripmo. I did recently ride a friends YT Jeffsey and it is super nice.
    How was the Jeffsy compared to your Ripmo? Get a full ride on it? 140/140 isn't much for me but with a 150 fork, I might consider it. The geometry is about a match for the Ripmo I think. My concern with the Jeffsy is that I keep hearing that it's very progressive and can be somewhat harsh. That and I can't get a demo.

  21. #21
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    $3500 for a switchblade Al new on backcountry

    https://www.backcountry.com/pivot-sw...hoC2igQAvD_BwE

  22. #22
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    Got some real rides on the Instinct BC and Ripmo today. Ripmo railed turns better and climbed better, especially pedaling over obstacles. The Instinct still pedaled well, better than the Stumpy for sure. Jumped a ton on both. Nothing big but plenty of 2 bike length doubles. Both had good pop and we're stable. Ripmo more stable. Instinct more plush. Ripmo was rattling in the rear, not sure what that was but it was noisy. Mechanic said maybe the cheap demo pedals. Instinct was more plush decending over the chunk and loose rock. Ripmo was good but more firm in the back. Kinda wonder if it'd still be a bit firm even it was 160mm. Makes sense the rocky was plush since it's 4 bar and 155mm. I came away liking both but not totally sold on either yet. I want to demo Bronson and an Altitude before I make up my mind. I'd also like to try the new Hightower but it just won't be available until fall or after.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryMatt View Post
    for what you're after, i'd maybe go Instinct. best of both worlds, probably. will pedal better than stumpy, but still be more active in the rear than the DW bikes.
    Based on today, for riding characteristics, you were dead on!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfr4dr View Post
    The Instinct still pedaled well, better than the Stumpy for sure. Jumped a ton on both.
    #vindicated.

    ripmos not that noisy. probably an anomaly. wonder what the sag was set at. they like 30%. still, as you said, won't be a plush as Instinct. Ripmo covers alot of bases, but it's still a relatively firm bike.


    did anyone mention Evil Offering?

  25. #25
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    I had the same rattle in the back of my Ripmo. It was the brake line into the swingarm that was the culprit. It was easy to remedy. Now it is almost a silent bike.

    I found the Ripmo to be too firm when I initially set it up. Especially the fork (Fox Factory). I weigh 165#, 5' 8" on a medium XT Build with Ibis Carbon Fiber Wheels. I have the fork at 55 psi, down from the recommended 72 psi and the shock (DPX2) at 185 psi down from 210.

    The bike is an amazing climber and an incredible descender. The handling stability in corners is inspiring. I have ridden the Pivot 429 Trail but not the SB, but based on the 429 Trail, I'd say the SB would be a great bike as well. I preferred the Ripmo a lot over the Pivot 429 Trail.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Ripmo now.

  26. #26
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    I bought a Switchblade al on Backcountry in the fall and with a 12% Active Junky rebate they were running at the time for a total price of $3050.

    Iím 5í8 and bought a large and put a 40mm stem on. Also I run the 17mm lower headset cup with 29s and slam my saddle forward which makes the HTA about 66* and seat tube 75*. Iím super happy with the bike for the price. Itís heavy, the DPS is a little undergunned on longer downhills, but the fit and geo is spot on for me. I wish I would have upgraded to a DPX2, but I guess I can do that later.

    The Ibis demo truck is coming to town today so Iíll get a little time on a Ripmo. Not seriously looking to upgrade since money is tight, but Iím curious how it compares.

    Iíve ridden a non-B.C. Instinct in Hurricane and the Switchblade the following day. I love them both. The Instinct needs more than a 34 in the front but in my opinion it climbs better on technical ledges. Where the high anti-squat of the SB would cause it to stall out the Instinct would keep better traction. Maybe the longer chainstays help this as well. The geometry of them is very similar.

    Iím in Bend so we donít have as many of those ledgy climbs. Iíll get back on tomorrow to tell you what I think of the Ripmo. Iím keeping it overnight to get an evening and morning ride on two trails I know well.
    Last edited by Dirtriding4life; 07-24-2019 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Geo

  27. #27
    Hoolie Ghoulie on Strava.
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    Looking forward to your insights. I can get a Sale price Pivot pretty reasonably priced. Looking at getting a Ripmo for sure though. However, I will not wait for a backordered bike. I Demo'd a Ripmo a few weeks ago, finished a 3000 ft downhill, and said to my friend "I'm buying this bike". Little did I know, I was renting a 7,500 dollar bike. Whew. That's alot of clams.
    Last edited by hoolie; 07-25-2019 at 06:40 AM.

  28. #28
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    I really enjoyed my Ripmo demo and consider it to be better than the Switchblade Aluminum in every way that I considered the SB lacking. These are subtle changes and I'd be happy riding either, but the Ripmo just felt dialed and exactly what I'm looking for.

    I'm 5'8" + 1 ape index and 30" inseam. I rode a large and with a 50mm stem, wide bars, and saddle centered. I'd say it was slightly too big for me. Shorter stem and narrower bars would have it perfectly sized. I was able to pick it up earlier than my original reservation so I got on a total of 3 trails instead of 2. This is still an initial impression, but I think I've got a good idea of the bike. I'm a wanna-be endurobro that enjoys cleaning climbs, but climbing is a how I get to the descents where I put all my effort into.

    Suspension: I was running 25% sag and the best way to describe it would be sporty. The pedaling platform felt initially firmer than the Switchblade which allowed me to stomp on the pedals and really move forwards. It stayed very linear and as I impacted rocks they were absorbed and I kept momentum and traction. I used full travel, but it never bottomed harshly.
    The Switchblade feels more progressive to me. It still pedals excellent, but feels softer off the top and firms up in the mid stroke.

    Cornering: The Ripmo was incredible. The large size and and 175mm dropper really allowed me to get the saddle out of the way and lean the bike over. With the long reach I felt comfortable moving my weight forward on the front wheel and lowering my COG without feeling like I was in front of the handlebars. I measured the BB to be 4mm lower than the Switchblade. The sporty rear suspension really encouraged me to throw my weight into tighter corners and pop out of them. I felt more of the sensation people describe with something super slack like a Sentinel. It encourages more leaning than turning the bars to corner. Its definitely the best cornering bike I've ridden.

    Climbing: A lot of this is described in suspension. It weighed 4lbs less than my alloy Switchblade (It was the X01 build with carbon rims) so you can imagine how in ratio to my 160lb frame that's a good bit. I liked the longer chainstays and longer wheelbase. The front end didn't feel as light when the trail was pitched upward whether I was sitting or standing. It felt more like a trail bike than an enduro bike. I would do 170mm cranks to help with pedal strikes, but it wasn't as big of concern as I'd have thought. Any steeper STA than 76* wouldn't really be necessary for our flatter trails here.

    Descending: It's awesome, it rips. That's all you need to know. I measured the HTA about .5* slacker than the Switchblade. Unless you ride super steep trails I have no idea why you'd want a slacker HTA.

    All in all, I'm sold. The shorter seat tube length is a game changer. Comparing it to the Switchblade or Instinct I'd definitely save the extra change for a Ripmo because of the seat tube length and weight savings. I might be looking to sell my Switchblade and Canfield EPO to fund a GX Ripmo.

  29. #29
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    Nice writeup. I am sure there are many of us that appreciate your feedback, as these bikes are pretty expensive, and It is difficult to test ride them all, yourself.

  30. #30
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    I thought I'd chimed in here, but maybe I didn't. I demoed both bikes. I felt like they climbed pretty similar, although it felt a tad easier to keep the front of the Ripmo where I wanted it in steep sections.

    Ripmo just felt a lot better on the downhill side. I'm a masher monster trucker, and I felt much more confident on the Ripmo. I felt like I needed to pick lines a bit more carefully on the Pivot.

    Both are great bikes, and if I had ridden the Pivot and never the Ripmo, I would have loved it. But the Ripmo works better for my riding style at least.

    Btw, my new Ripmo is waiting for me to pick it up this afternoon. So that's how much I liked it...
    '19 Ibis Ripmo
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  31. #31
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    I own a Ripmo (and pivot Mach 6) and demoed the switchblade in both 27.5 and 29er.

    I rode the switchblade, trail 429 and my Mach 6 back to back on the same local trail the same day and have Ridden the Ripmo on the same loop. Pivots all ride and feel VERY similar too each other. For example I felt like the t429 in open felt about like the switchblade with the rear shock in trail mode.

    Anyway the switchblade is a very good bike and probably my second choice of bike on the marketÖbehind the Ripmo. For me the Ripmo simply climbed more efficiently seated due to the geometry. The switchblade is a little more maneuverable in the flats and also at slower speeds (shorter wheel base?). I could live with either and felt the ibis builds with S35/S28 wheels are a better buy so that is what I bought. I believe the ibis frame is almost a pound lighter too. The Super Mario boost of the pivot was a turn off too. Not a deal breaker but did not get them a sale from me either.

    One thing though is for me the pride of ownership is lower with the ibis. I have a black frame and it looks pretty plain imo. The blue did even less for me. But the pivots look amazing. The paint is perfect, the curves are stunning. Just classy and bedazzled at the same time lol.

    The Ripmo is the best bike I have ridden. Really no down side other than at 6í on a large I could use more reach (xl felt huge to me) and will be installing a longer stem. I also think the bike is ugly next to my Pivot which is 100% personal.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Dude View Post
    I own a Ripmo (and pivot Mach 6) and demoed the switchblade in both 27.5 and 29er.

    I rode the switchblade, trail 429 and my Mach 6 back to back on the same local trail the same day and have Ridden the Ripmo on the same loop. Pivots all ride and feel VERY similar too each other. For example I felt like the t429 in open felt about like the switchblade with the rear shock in trail mode.

    Anyway the switchblade is a very good bike and probably my second choice of bike on the marketÖbehind the Ripmo. For me the Ripmo simply climbed more efficiently seated due to the geometry. The switchblade is a little more maneuverable in the flats and also at slower speeds (shorter wheel base?). I could live with either and felt the ibis builds with S35/S28 wheels are a better buy so that is what I bought. I believe the ibis frame is almost a pound lighter too. The Super Mario boost of the pivot was a turn off too. Not a deal breaker but did not get them a sale from me either.

    One thing though is for me the pride of ownership is lower with the ibis. I have a black frame and it looks pretty plain imo. The blue did even less for me. But the pivots look amazing. The paint is perfect, the curves are stunning. Just classy and bedazzled at the same time lol.

    The Ripmo is the best bike I have ridden. Really no down side other than at 6í on a large I could use more reach (xl felt huge to me) and will be installing a longer stem. I also think the bike is ugly next to my Pivot which is 100% personal.
    That's interesting. I've had many Pivots and Ibis bikes and although I think the build quality of the Pivots is second to none, I never really liked the way ANY of them looked with the swoopy down tubes and/or top tubes. I have a new Mach 4SL on order which is the first Pivot I can remember that actually looks decent, with a straight down tube.
    Ibis Ripmo V2
    Ibis Ripley V4
    Ibis Mojo HD5
    Pivot Mach 4SL
    Pivot LES SS
    A road bike

  33. #33
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    Brake line rattle fix?

    [QUOTE=Prophet Julio;14198127]I had the same rattle in the back of my Ripmo. It was the brake line into the swingarm that was the culprit. It was easy to remedy. Now it is almost a silent bike.

    I'm getting some of the same-what was your remedy?

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