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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.
 

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I like the Ripmo but damn, $5k for the gx build and only a performance 36 on that.
Well... I don't 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 "could" get into a Ripmo for less if you could live with an NX build. I'm not saying you should and I didn't 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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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#.
 

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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.
 

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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, it's just more composed. But otherwise the Ripmo but not significantly.

Cornering
Maybe I'm just getting better but the Ripmo just rails. The SB was darn good but I think I'm 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/
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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.
 
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