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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm ebaying my 26" life away so as to build a full squish 29er this winter. I've pretty much settled on either a Salsa Big Mama or a Niner RIP 9.

Are there any of you that have spent some time on both? If so, could you offer some feedback?

RIP seems a benchmark of sorts. And CVA suspension design is pretty excellent from what I read, is sounds very similar to the DW Link and definitely a step in the evolution of rear suspensions.

Big Mama is basically a single pivot design. I've read Guitar Ted's reviews and any other reviews I could get my hands on. Its sounds like a great ride geared for what I need. I Big Mama frame AND fork for the cost of the Niner frame only makes it a pretty good value.

So I'm left to wonder....is the difference in suspension design worth the difference in cost? How does this manifest itself on the trail? Do these designed offer a dramatically different feel and performance or ?
 

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The only comparison would be the Big Mama against the '08 year RIP9.

The new RIP is a completely different animal and FAR superior. I have owned a 2008 RIP9 and I currently have a 2009. I have ridden the Big Mama and while a nice riding bicycle IMHO it does not hold a candle to the new RIP9 at all.

dos pesos,

PF
 

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It is always so hard to know how to advise anyone in this manner, but I would give the Big Mama more credit than the previous post did. Yes, it is a single pivot design and not as...how should I say it...upmarket, perhaps? But the execution of the Big Mama is pretty well done and has a very tight and snappy feel on the trail. If I were riding smoother trails and not ledgy chunk, I would be very happy with a Big Mama. I think the CVA is very well done and really comes into its own when things are rough, especially the ability to keep the rear tire hooked up under varied conditions and the tapered HT is nice on the RIP.

For where I live...So Cal...I would ride a Big Mama if I wanted an all around bike, maybe even stay with a 100mm fork. But I would get a RIP9 if I wanted a second bike for rougher days, trips to Moab, etc, and I would only run it with a 120mm fork as anything less seems to be a waste of the RIP-9's potential.

Both are really good and IMO the RIP-9 has no magic fairy dust over the Big Mama unless you are in the nastier stuff quite often. YMMV.
 

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from what i understand you can run the rip with no propedal where the big mama really needs the propedal in order to avoid bob, that the rip does not generate easily, but still has big hit abilities. i have read alot of goog things about the big mama, but its an older suspesion design that depends on propedal platform.
 

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I had a single pivot Bionicon Edison Ltd, in XL. Not the best climber, but it was a 26" bike. It was replaced with a Bionicon Edison with hydroformed tubing. Much more AM bike with the 6" of travel it had. Demo'd a RIP, bought it, huge improvement in how it climbs, in chunk, etc, all part of the 29'er advantages. Just built a 2010 RIP, holy cow!!! Niner has given in to change from a light AM / heavy XC bike frame, beefed things up, went with hydroformed tubing, and the bike is point and shoot on chunk. No flex, great tracking, with efficient climbing with very little bob in any front ring that you use. Propedal is rarely if ever needed, due to good design and geometry.

In my limited experience, CVA design is very, very nice in efficiency and in climbing, as well as on the downs. Slap a 140 Marz on the RIP or a 120mm with a 15 or 20mm through axle and enjoy the ride.
 

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david8613 said:
from what i understand you can run the rip with no propedal where the big mama really needs the propedal in order to avoid bob, that the rip does not generate easily, but still has big hit abilities. i have read alot of goog things about the big mama, but its an older suspesion design that depends on propedal platform.
Everyone is different, but from what I've read here, I can't recall anyone using the propedal on Big Mama. The Speedgoat review mentions it not being neccessary. I am heavy and don't use it.
 

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PanFry said:
The only comparison would be the Big Mama against the '08 year RIP9.

The new RIP is a completely different animal and FAR superior. I have owned a 2008 RIP9 and I currently have a 2009. I have ridden the Big Mama and while a nice riding bicycle IMHO it does not hold a candle to the new RIP9 at all.

dos pesos,

PF
The old rip was a stunning bike, rode amazingly. It was just too weak, bent rear triangle and snapped frame for me. So if the Mama rides like the 08 RIP but is made properly, awesome.

I have the 09 WFO, very shiny.
 

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mtroy said:
It is always so hard to know how to advise anyone in this manner, but I would give the Big Mama more credit than the previous post did. Yes, it is a single pivot design and not as...how should I say it...upmarket, perhaps? But the execution of the Big Mama is pretty well done and has a very tight and snappy feel on the trail. If I were riding smoother trails and not ledgy chunk, I would be very happy with a Big Mama. I think the CVA is very well done and really comes into its own when things are rough, especially the ability to keep the rear tire hooked up under varied conditions and the tapered HT is nice on the RIP.

For where I live...So Cal...I would ride a Big Mama if I wanted an all around bike, maybe even stay with a 100mm fork. But I would get a RIP9 if I wanted a second bike for rougher days, trips to Moab, etc, and I would only run it with a 120mm fork as anything less seems to be a waste of the RIP-9's potential.

Both are really good and IMO the RIP-9 has no magic fairy dust over the Big Mama unless you are in the nastier stuff quite often. YMMV.
I would second what is said here. My experience was the same as I owned an 07 RIP & tried a friend's BM. No need for PP on the Mama - tight, solid & snappy. RIP doesn't feel as 'connected' on the trail (or as snappy), BM feels heavier. RIP steeper, BM slacker. It does depend on your riding terrain though
 

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MagicCarpet said:
Everyone is different, but from what I've read here, I can't recall anyone using the propedal on Big Mama. The Speedgoat review mentions it not being neccessary. I am heavy and don't use it.
I would have to agree... I do use my PP but not as a necessity, just as a feature of the shock like any other rider would use it.
 

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david8613 said:
from what i understand you can run the rip with no propedal where the big mama really needs the propedal in order to avoid bob, that the rip does not generate easily, but still has big hit abilities. i have read alot of goog things about the big mama, but its an older suspesion design that depends on propedal platform.
No, the Big Mama does NOT need Pro Pedal to prevent bob. I keep the PP lever in the "open" position all the time.
 

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david8613 said:
from what i understand you can run the rip with no propedal where the big mama really needs the propedal in order to avoid bob, that the rip does not generate easily, but still has big hit abilities. i have read alot of goog things about the big mama, but its an older suspesion design that depends on propedal platform.
i take back what mentioned before about the big mama, i test rode alot of bikes before i settled on a niner, i dont how i got mixed up with thinking the big mama needed propedal. if you read reviews it very effecient in the rear...
 

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tuckaloe said:
I'm ebaying my 26" life away so as to build a full squish 29er this winter. I've pretty much settled on either a Salsa Big Mama or a Niner RIP 9.

Are there any of you that have spent some time on both? If so, could you offer some feedback?

RIP seems a benchmark of sorts. And CVA suspension design is pretty excellent from what I read, is sounds very similar to the DW Link and definitely a step in the evolution of rear suspensions.

Big Mama is basically a single pivot design. I've read Guitar Ted's reviews and any other reviews I could get my hands on. Its sounds like a great ride geared for what I need. I Big Mama frame AND fork for the cost of the Niner frame only makes it a pretty good value.

So I'm left to wonder....is the difference in suspension design worth the difference in cost? How does this manifest itself on the trail? Do these designed offer a dramatically different feel and performance or ?
I test rode the Big Mama, JET9, and current RIP9. All rode very well. I preferred, and bought, the Big Mama.

It has the combo of good control and snappy feel that I wanted. In general, it felt like it split the difference between the two Niners.

The RIP was a bit too "isolated" from the trail for my taste.

A year later I could not be happier with the Big Mama.
 

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I ride a Big Mama with a 100mm Manitou Minute fork and one of my riding buddies has a new RIP9 (also orange) with a 120mm Reba. They are surprizingly similar even with the RIPs technical advantages. I think its a great credit to the BM.
-for XC stuff I would say the BM is very quick and rides lighter than it weighs on the scale.
-the RIP9 really shines on the drops and steep rollers.

I would say if you are looking for a really good XC machine that can still handle the AM stuff then get a BM with a really nice light wheelset and you will be very happy. If you want something that is ready for drops or you are riding mostly AM trails than go with the RIP9. Both great options, you have a good problem here...
-MC
 

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tuckaloe said:
I'm ebaying my 26" life away so as to build a full squish 29er this winter. I've pretty much settled on either a Salsa Big Mama or a Niner RIP 9.

Are there any of you that have spent some time on both? If so, could you offer some feedback?
You'll probably need to find somebody who has spent a lot of time on both - not just a test/demo ride, but several months of riding each to get an accurate comparison/description of the two frames. I don't think you can go wrong with either bike, just make sure you know what your end riding goals are with the bike.

I would compare the travel between bikes as the 2 you are looking at are different. The Big Mama is a 4" travel bike and the RIP is a 4.7" travel bike (although Niner calls it a 4.5" travel bike). Plenty of bikes in the 4" category, but the RIP has more travel front and rear. I can't say enough about the additional travel.

And that does make a difference. I've got a 3" travel bike, a 4" and I've got the longer travel RIP. Working your way through each inch of travel - obviously - gets more plush and FUN. I can feel a huge difference over the 3" and 4" travel fullies when I get on the RIP. It's a different beast. It firmly plays in more than one fach [or category] and is happy with all mountain gear on it or XC gear on it. Both bikes could do this well, but as others have said - if you're going to be dropping, flying and bashing chunk the RIP may be the better condition specific frame.

Or you could get both......... ;-}

BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the feedback thus far gang. I see a theme emerging with respect to the type of riding I'm going to be doing.....my trails are *all chunk* but the speeds are typically pretty low as a result of said chunk. Pa ridgetop singletrack/rocks.
 
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