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Always in the wrong gear
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Both are popular bikes, and well regarded.

I don't love Giant bikes. no justification. I just dont. That reason alone would make me choose the Ripley.

I'm also a travel junkie and have no problem pedaling a 170mm travel enduro bike on green trails, so neither bike is gonna grab my attention.
 

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2019 Giant Trance 29 2 2021 Intense Tazer MX Expert
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I have the Giant Trance 29 2 and I absolutely love it! It is a great climber and despite the 115mm of rear travel it decends very very well. It definitely punches up a weight class.... I demoed a Ripmo AF also. Both bikes were fantastic and it came down to price. I got the Trance as a demo for $2k.The Fox suspension on the Trance is great,it rides way deeper! I would compare geometry of the two bikes. Ill bet the Ripley doesn't have the slack head tube angle the Trance does,this helps the downhill handling at the sacrifice of the climb. If you are into more xc then the Ripley is probably the choice,but if you are riding aggressive down hill too,perhaps the Trance is the choice? I ride mostly at Kanuga bike park in NC and my Trance is awesome,but some of the harder landings are the limit. The brakes are ok with the Guide T but I upgraded to the Guide R and added I9 Hydra wheelset.
 

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I've demoed both and I absolutely loved the Trance and hated the Ripley. I'm honestly not sure why I wasn't jiving with it. I'm a big fan of the Ripmo so it's nothing against Ibis. I just didn't feel very comfortable on it. Perhaps it was the tires, it was running Schwalbe and I've really only ever ridden Maxxis. This being said it was an absolute rocket up the climbs and definitely beats the Trance in the overall efficiency department. The trance, on the other hand, was the most immediately comfortable bike I've demoed. Most other bikes I need to spend a few minutes figuring out handling, feel etc. but with the trance I just jumped on and felt like I'd been riding it for years. I felt very connected pumping and moving the bike around. It also does ride like it has more travel. Initially I was intending to demo the 27.5 trance but when they didn't have any they offered the 29 version for me to ride. I assumed it was the same travel 150f/140r as the 27.5 version so I was pleasantly shocked when I got home, researched and found out it was only 130f/115r. The Ripley feels like it has exactly as much travel as is advertised. On the other hand the Ripley might have a slight edge in capability because of the longer wheelbase, reach, and steeper head angle. Also, if it means anything to you, the Trance 29 has been out for a few years so if you're the type to really 'need' the most modern thing then perhaps the Ripley might suit you better. Long story short, if you could try and demo both bikes that's the way to go but obviously very difficult in today's climate. I don't think you will honestly go wrong with either bike, bikes these days are so good
 

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Better for what?

Where and what sort of trails are you planning to ride? What's your riding style?
 

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All rounder, never goig to do downhill. Looking for more trails, equal climbing to descending
I have a 2020 Giant 29 (non X). I ride everything from fire roads to Mammoth's single black trails and I'm very happy with the bike.
 

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All rounder, never goig to do downhill. Looking for more trails, equal climbing to descending
Either on those will work great for that. Both offer great spec for the money. I'd say that the Ibis would likely be a bit better on the climbs and the Giant a bit smoother on the descents. You can't really go wrong with either of those. It may come down to availability.
 
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