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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Humor me for a minute. I now have a V4 Ripley and am selling a couple of other bikes to make room for a second new MTB. What would you get, given the following:

Needs to be an established brand (Ex: Specialized, Pivot, Revel, Evil, etc.)
Has to be a good slow-tech climber and pedal well enough on smooth stuff
Has to be carbon and not weigh more than 32 lbs
Points if it is a bike that likes to catch air on the downhills (Revel Rascal? Evil The Offering?)
130-145 mm rear travel

Riding- CO and a little UT, mainly. Tons of climbing and many steep climbs. Majority of time is spent climbing (several rocky/rooted slower climbs from Denver to Breckenridge and Vail) ) though descents are fast and rocky and fun.

I don't want 100% overlap with the Ripley (at least 10mm more travel) but I also don't want a bike that is too sluggish or too squishy for my local trails. This will still be a bike that can be used to climb 4,000 ft and 35 miles. My head tells me about these:

Evil Offering (great traction, lively feel, maybe a bit heavy?)
Pivot Switchblade (same as above but less lively and more planted)
Revel Rascal (another good tech climber and way too much overlap?)
Ibis Ripmo (nice but makes me a total Ibis Fanboi...may not be a great thing)
Spot 150 (I don't know...Spots are creaking like mad, I hear, and with no fix)
Specialized Stumpjumper (good on slow techy climbs?)
Yeti SB130 (fast bike but longish and maybe not great on the slow stuff)

One other thing- I would like to avoid bikes that get a bit hung up on square-edged hits. That sucks when on slow rocky climbs that also have roots everywhere. That is one reason I hear good things about the Rascal but have never ridden one.

Anyway, your thoughts would be appreciated. Not too heavy, good on square-edged hits, and carbon.
 

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I just switched from a Pivot 5.5 to a Yeti 130.
Love the new bike. Only 5 rides on it but it so far it’s a keeper. Absolutely no problem going slow and a great technical climber. It’s like a hair longer than my Pivot but I haven’t found out where or why that’s a problem. Several very tight turns on the ups and downs and no problems.

Wicked fast and I detected none of the ‘under steer’ that little bitches have been whining about. Get your weight where it belongs and let her rip.

Do not let yourself be fooled by some of the online crap into getting on a smaller frame if you are between 2 sizes. I’m 5’10 and right on the line between M and L. Went L and damn glad - couldn’t imagine being on a medium. Kept the 800 mm bars (up from 760 on the 5.5) and won’t change that. Puts me in perfect ‘push-up’ position.

Elevation has a couple demos. They bought a ton of frames back in March and have been building them up as they can get parts.

Might not be exactly as the complete
Bike is spec’d on yeti’s site.

Mine came with Code RSCs (won’t ever go back to Shimano) and different tires…

Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I am a Yeti fan sort of (though not a super loyal one..had an ASR-SL, a 575, and a SB4.5) so have been eyeing that 130. I just sold my SB 4.5C to get the Ripley. I'm 5'11 and would 100% get a Large. I know the guys at Elevation (well, I did but Phillip never emails me back though he built 3-4 awesome wheelsets for me) so may have to drop by. Thanks for the input. It made me more interested in the 130.
 

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No Clue Crew
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Rascal is rad and one of the best technical climbers I’ve ever owned. It does feel … different. Not bad, but having suspension disconnected from chain input taking getting used to.

I also owned an SB130LR. It’s none of those things.
 

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Humor me for a minute. I now have a V4 Ripley and am selling a couple of other bikes to make room for a second new MTB. What would you get, given the following:

Needs to be an established brand (Ex: Specialized, Pivot, Revel, Evil, etc.)
Has to be a good slow-tech climber and pedal well enough on smooth stuff
Has to be carbon and not weigh more than 32 lbs
Points if it is a bike that likes to catch air on the downhills (Revel Rascal? Evil The Offering?)
130-145 mm rear travel

Riding- CO and a little UT, mainly. Tons of climbing and many steep climbs. Majority of time is spent climbing (several rocky/rooted slower climbs from Denver to Breckenridge and Vail) ) though descents are fast and rocky and fun.

I don't want 100% overlap with the Ripley (at least 10mm more travel) but I also don't want a bike that is too sluggish or too squishy for my local trails. This will still be a bike that can be used to climb 4,000 ft and 35 miles. My head tells me about these:

Evil Offering (great traction, lively feel, maybe a bit heavy?)
Pivot Switchblade (same as above but less lively and more planted)
Revel Rascal (another good tech climber and way too much overlap?)
Ibis Ripmo (nice but makes me a total Ibis Fanboi...may not be a great thing)
Spot 150 (I don't know...Spots are creaking like mad, I hear, and with no fix)
Specialized Stumpjumper (good on slow techy climbs?)
Yeti SB130 (fast bike but longish and maybe not great on the slow stuff)

One other thing- I would like to avoid bikes that get a bit hung up on square-edged hits. That sucks when on slow rocky climbs that also have roots everywhere. That is one reason I hear good things about the Rascal but have never ridden one.

Anyway, your thoughts would be appreciated. Not too heavy, good on square-edged hits, and carbon.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'd get a 140-150 29er or 160 travel 27.5, not too much travel on the 29er, as 160-170 29er is just way too sluggish for the long-day epics IME, but a little less travel will hit a sweet spot, without being redundant with the 120mm bike.
 
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I ride Knolly bikes and wholly recommend them to anybody who asks, but you've eliminated them from consideration due to the carbon requirement, which is too bad:)
I've ridden some of the top big brand trail / all mountain / trail bikes (Ripmo and Switchblade to name a couple) and don't feel I'm missing out on anything sticking with my Knolly's.
 

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I’d get the Ripmo with a matching drivetrain to the Ripley so you can swap wheels. If you go pivot or some other super boost, you would lose this option. Also seems to me like Ripmo is going to be pretty hard to beat from a pedaling efficiency/weight perspective. You could also consider putting a coil shock on the Ripmo and maybe going Uber light on your Ripley build to get some more daylight between them, if that’s a concern.
 

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Here is what I see:
  • You are looking for a unicorn. Higher antisquat designs like your Ripley favor pedaling performance and feel snappy. The downside is that with higher antisquat comes higher pedal kickback and worse performance on square edged hits, both climbing and descending. Your Ripley is on one end of this spectrum, Knolly is on the other end, with low antisquat values that let the bike move more while pedaling and feel a bit sluggish, but give incredible climbing traction and square edged performance. Ibis tries to offset this by using softer compression tunes, but it can only compensate so much. It is physics compromise that cannot be avoided, you just have to choose where on the spectrum you are.
  • High Pivot Idlers- These help with the pedal kickback issue, but the benefits really show up in longer travel designs, and the compromises are more pronounced in shorter travel bikes (weight, extra components, drag). I have a high pivot idler downhill bike (Canfield Jedi) and it has some real benefits, but that is a 230mm rear travel bike.
  • You are looking a variation of the bike you already have, why?
My suggestions:
  • Take a look at your current bike: Would over forking the Ripley, and getting a better rear shock (Mara, tuned Rockshox or Fox, Cane Creek Inline) get you that little extra plushness you want without giving up the other aspects you like. Maybe combine it with a nice set of wheels if you haven't already.
  • Get a bike that is more different: I am not talking full enduro. I am talking that line between trail and enduro. Santa Cruz Hightower or a Transitional Sentinel. Both are reasonably light, pretty good climbers, but bomb downhill and have progressive geometry (especially the Transition). They can be ridden all day but provide a nice distinction between your current bike and what they can do. If you have not watched it, watch the Biker's Edge comparison on Youtube where they compare these two, a Ripmo 2 Carbon, and SB130 and really discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.
 

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I just got back from Crested Butte Colorado and used my Ripley the entire time I was there. I felt it was an excellent bike for the majority of the trails. There were only a few sections where I wished I brought either my Ripmo AF or SB130. I think either the Ripmo or SB130 would have been perfect for the trails I rode in CB. If you’re worried about being an Ibis fanboy, then get the SB130. I think the SB130 is every bit as capable as the Ripmo; it’s faster, and is a better climber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry, I was out for a couple of days. In fact, I went on a biggish ride today with the Ripley. I REALLY appreciate the feedback here (including the one telling me to simply stop thinking and basically get beard oil..I have to seriously think about growing a beard). I'm going to read all this again, since there is much knowledge/experience here that I simply don't have. Not sure if I mentioned this but I just sold my Yeti 4.5, and have owned the ASR-SL and 575 so I have owned as many Yeti as I have Turners.

Regarding alloy bikes, I really don't want to drag around a 35lb bike. I have owned some nice ones from Turner, Ventana, Lenz, and Yeti that were all alloy but shorter travel and not too heavy. I like Noel and Knolly too. I think I am getting older and appreciate the lighter weight of the carbon frames as the travel increases. So much climbing to do here too so sluggish-feeling bikes are a nindblock but I'll revisit that as well, and rethink. There are some bikes mentioned that I have not even thought about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Those Biker Edge videos are good. I'm trying to reset my mind a bit and got on the list to get a Topaz T3 or whatever that shock is called.

Blatant- could you give me a few more ride impressions and your thoughts of how the Rascal rides on slow and fast techy sections? If possible, a comparison to a couple of other newer bikes you have ridden...that would be cool too. I hear that Revel is coming out with a 145-150mm travel bike but no idea when.
 
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