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About 4 months ago a group of friends came to Austin for a bachelor party and rented some mountain bikes; one friend rented a RIP 9. This was the first time I'd seen one and after an hour of riding i asked if i could give it a shot. I'd been riding 26" wheels and wanted to see what the 29er thing was all about. I instantly fell in love; the bike was balanced, plush and agile. I went ahead and sold all my bikes and bought a RIP. So far I've enjoyed the RIP; mine is a large frame, Manitou minute 120 fork, bontrager race x lite wheels and sram 1x9 drivetrain. The problem is that i'm not feeling the same balance as i did with the RIP my buddy rented. There are two principal differences; first the rental bike had a Rock Shock U-Turn 100mm fork and a straight seatpost (mine is a Thompson bent-back).

The question i have is relative to the rear suspension and the balance of the bike. Could the taller shock and bent-back seatpost be affecting the balance of the bike? Has anyone experimented with different travel forks on the RIP? If so can you report your findings? I'm wondering if anyone has experienced what I've described. Knowing the bike was originally designed for 100mm travel forks i get the sens that by riding a 120mm the effect on the balance of the bike is significant.
 

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Derailleurless
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Doesn't really matter if the post the bent or straight. "Straight" looking posts often have more set back in them than the layback model Thompson you've got now, so it's impossible to say without knowing what you tried before.

What it boils down to is your saddle's position relative to the crank. This has got to be correct -- at least in the ballpark -- for the bike to work efficiently for you. From a "balance" (rider center of gravity) standpoint, it doesn't matter if your saddle sits on a "bent" seatpost, a post with a straight shaft but a an inch of setback in the head, or a truly "straight post" with the saddle slammed all the way back on the rails. It's all the same net effect.

The fork? Yeah, that could make a difference. I don't know the axle-crown heights on these respective forks, but a 20mm height change at the front of the bike will change your stearing angle by 1°, and that has a notable effect on how the bike "feels."

Could be other things like fork setup and shock setup, even tire selection and pressures, though in four months of ownership, I'm guessing you've played around with those?
 

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Vaginatarian
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I ran into the same issue with my rip when I added a white bros 130mm fork, I ended up selling the wb and went back to my original reba @100mm
I think the added height changed the steering tube angle just enough to change the feel
I'm waiting for the new Reba which will have 80-120 mm travel and also an offset which I hope will negate the slacker steering angle when set to 120mm
Im not sure on the fork you have but the current Reba has a 35 or 38mm offset as well
 

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L U K I N said:
About 4 months ago a group of friends came to Austin for a bachelor party and rented some mountain bikes; one friend rented a RIP 9. This was the first time I'd seen one and after an hour of riding i asked if i could give it a shot. I'd been riding 26" wheels and wanted to see what the 29er thing was all about. I instantly fell in love; the bike was balanced, plush and agile. I went ahead and sold all my bikes and bought a RIP. So far I've enjoyed the RIP; mine is a large frame, Manitou minute 120 fork, bontrager race x lite wheels and sram 1x9 drivetrain. The problem is that i'm not feeling the same balance as i did with the RIP my buddy rented. There are two principal differences; first the rental bike had a Rock Shock U-Turn 100mm fork and a straight seatpost (mine is a Thompson bent-back).

The question i have is relative to the rear suspension and the balance of the bike. Could the taller shock and bent-back seatpost be affecting the balance of the bike? Has anyone experimented with different travel forks on the RIP? If so can you report your findings? I'm wondering if anyone has experienced what I've described. Knowing the bike was originally designed for 100mm travel forks i get the sens that by riding a 120mm the effect on the balance of the bike is significant.
I have tested and rode my RIP with a REBA dual air set at 100mm, a REBA coil set at 100 and 110mm, a Manitou 120mm and a White Bros Fluid 135mm.

In my experience, the 120 and 135mm forks suit this frame very well, much better than the 100mm forks ever did.

Remember, you have 4 inches of travel in the rear to balance out with the front fork. You don't want the rear end to be overpowering the front, so you really need a longer travel fork on there to get that nice balance between them.

If you only ever ride on smoother trails and bike paths, you could get away with the 100mm front end, but for any sort of rough XC or AM style riding, you are going to need that longer travel up front.

If your bike setup feels 'unbalanced' to you, I would suggest that your suspension tuning is out of balance. You should be checking this before you do anything else.

R.
 

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Rainman said:
I have tested and rode my RIP with a REBA dual air set at 100mm, a REBA coil set at 100 and 110mm, a Manitou 120mm and a White Bros Fluid 135mm.

In my experience, the 120 and 135mm forks suit this frame very well, much better than the 100mm forks ever did.

Remember, you have 4 inches of travel in the rear to balance out with the front fork. You don't want the rear end to be overpowering the front, so you really need a longer travel fork on there to get that nice balance between them.

If you only ever ride on smoother trails and bike paths, you could get away with the 100mm front end, but for any sort of rough XC or AM style riding, you are going to need that longer travel up front.

If your bike setup feels 'unbalanced' to you, I would suggest that your suspension tuning is out of balance. You should be checking this before you do anything else.

R.
got to dissagree with you RM
the trails I ride are pretty much nothing but sharp rocks and roots, granite rollers, small drops but above all tight and twisty
while the bigger suspension (above 100mm) is great for the bumps and drops Ive found that they also slow up the steering , not much , but noticable. For my riding style (agressive xc / all mtn.) with the tight and twisty I prefer the quicker steering.
Now , when the new Reba arrives I think we'll have the best of both worlds:D
 

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dan0 said:
got to dissagree with you RM
the trails I ride are pretty much nothing but sharp rocks and roots, granite rollers, small drops but above all tight and twisty
while the bigger suspension (above 100mm) is great for the bumps and drops Ive found that they also slow up the steering , not much , but noticable. For my riding style (agressive xc / all mtn.) with the tight and twisty I prefer the quicker steering.
Now , when the new Reba arrives I think we'll have the best of both worlds:D
No problem, intelligent discussion and debate on things like this topic are always welcome. . . :thumbsup:

I can only report on what I have found to be so under testing these components myself.

As we are all individuals that ride on our trails somewhat differently under mostly unknown to each others conditions, some test results are going to to skewed slightly because of this, that is to be expected.

However, I maintain that setup is the number one suspect in most cases of rider complaints of "imbalance" .... and that the longer travel fork, eg: Manitou 120mm, benefits and enhances the overall handling of the RIP 9 frame over that of the 100mm Reba.

Rainman.
 

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Rainman said:
No problem, intelligent discussion and debate on things like this topic are always welcome. . . :thumbsup:

I can only report on what I have found to be so under testing these components myself.

As we are all individuals that ride on our trails somewhat differently under mostly unknown to each others conditions, some test results are going to to skewed slightly because of this, that is to be expected.

However, I maintain that setup is the number one suspect in most cases of rider complaints of "imbalance" .... and that the longer travel fork, eg: Manitou 120mm, benefits and enhances the overall handling of the RIP 9 frame over that of the 100mm Reba.

Rainman.
just a thought, does the manitou have any offset? I know the WB doesnt and that could be a factor.
 

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conjoinicorned
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rainman is likely correct...it's probably tuning. make the fork and the rear shock feel "the same" through air adjustment and rebound adjustment (both the rp23 and the manitou are highly adjustable). if you are a big dude, you might look into the high volume air canister for the RP23 (maybe the rental had one, maybe not)

my RIP with 120mm manitou is the most balanced bike i've ever thrown a leg over....after a couple weeks of tuning!
 

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The first fork I had on my RIP9 was a Reba 29r set at 80mm, bike felt weird. I then took the spacer out to make it 100mm, bike was much better. Then I installed a Maverick DUC32 with the 29r kit (4.6"/116.8mm travel) and now the bike is very balanced and has a suspension action in front that matches the action of the rear.
 
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