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Thread: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

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    Default New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I'm looking to add a FS XC race/Trail bike (80/20 split) to my lineup. There aren't many opportunities to demo anything where I live, especially from these two brands, so that option is of the table. If anyone has any real world comparisons between the two bikes I would really appreciate the input. Here's what I'm looking at:

    1) 2015 Niner Jet 9 Carbon, RockShox Pike 29 120 rct3 solo air, XT m8000 build
    2) 2015 IBIS Ripley, RockShox Pike 29 120 rct3 solo air, XTR m9000 build

    Both options are essentially the same price with option 1 being brand new, and option 2 lightly used.

    I'm more of an XC racer type who struggles when things get more technical. That being said, I'm looking for something that will play to my weakness.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I cannot speak with experience about the Niner, but the Ripley I owned was a phenomenal machine.. with a few downsides.

    I owned a Ripley from about June 2014 until February 2015. It was the model with cable routing through the head tube and exiting through the shock area. I always battled with cable rattle, to the point I was breaking the bike down almost weekly trying different methods to quiet the maddening sounds. I believe that has been remedied in the newer models (cables run internally along downtube). Also, I'm pretty sure my ripley was a melon. Constant eccentric bearing noise; I never pressure washed my bike or rode in the mud, but a friend that did both of those things NEVER had to service his eccentrics or had noise. However, my eccentrics were always noisy and the sound reverberated inside the big carbon tubes. Between the bearing noise and cable ticks, I was being driven crazy.

    Once again, those issues have been addressed in the new models. I can attest to every magazine article praises I'm sure you have read. It climbs like a goat, in and out of the saddle. Descends with confidence and tracks predictably. If I wasn't improperly sized, or had the bearing/tick issues, I would still be riding it!
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I can't speak to the Niner either but I have had a V1 ripley and now have a V2 ripley LS. The V1 which I believe is the one you have the option of getting is a great machine. I didn't have issues with cable rattle but I had the ibis cable dice installed. It is / was a quick handling trail machine. It got a little skittish on some gnarlier descents with the Fox 32 120mm fork so I got a Pike 140. That really transformed the ride. The climbing prowess, which is the ripley's strength, was effected a smidge but it still climbed better than any mtb I've ridden. With a 120 pike I think it will be much better than the 120 fox as the fox was a bit of a noodle. Plus, if the ripley is in good shape, getting XTR is a plus. I have both current versions of XT and XTR and XTR shifts are smoother. However, you give up some gearing range with the XTR cassette as it only goes up to 40 vs 42. Depends on your terrain, fitness and front ring size. Plus, I think the ripley will have better resale value. Good luck.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Can't you contact Cascade Bicycles Studio in Seattle? Zac sells Ibis. I'm a definite Ibis fan, loved my Mojo SL, only sold it because of kids and lack of mtb time. If I could afford a full suspension mtb again it'd be either a Ripley LS or a HD3.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I haven't ridden a jet or a ripley, but I own a RIP and have ridden a mojo. Both suspension designs are very efficient and both bikes will ride well across the range you are talking about. I would focus on geometry and fit, for that usage I would want to run a 50-70mm stem and a ~740mm bar assuming you are average height or taller so think about which bike has a better stack and reach for you with an appropriate bar/stem noting a more upright position will help in the technical stuff. I think the v1 ripley ran shorter than the jet does but I am not sure by how much, I know a v1 ripley is smaller than my rip (both XLs). The ripley might have a slightly slacker front end and slightly shorter stays for a more trail feel but this will be over-ridden by the fit of the bike. A new niner also has a 5 year frame warranty which a used bike won't and the ripley might need a suspension service if it is a year old which runs a couple hundred dollars.
    If you are tall you could test ride my RIP, but it is set up very trail focused.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Quote Originally Posted by roseyscot View Post
    Can't you contact Cascade Bicycles Studio in Seattle? Zac sells Ibis. I'm a definite Ibis fan, loved my Mojo SL, only sold it because of kids and lack of mtb time. If I could afford a full suspension mtb again it'd be either a Ripley LS or a HD3.
    Good call, looks like they charge $80 to demo a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by sailor View Post
    I haven't ridden a jet or a ripley, but I own a RIP and have ridden a mojo. Both suspension designs are very efficient and both bikes will ride well across the range you are talking about. I would focus on geometry and fit, for that usage I would want to run a 50-70mm stem and a ~740mm bar assuming you are average height or taller so think about which bike has a better stack and reach for you with an appropriate bar/stem noting a more upright position will help in the technical stuff. I think the v1 ripley ran shorter than the jet does but I am not sure by how much, I know a v1 ripley is smaller than my rip (both XLs). The ripley might have a slightly slacker front end and slightly shorter stays for a more trail feel but this will be over-ridden by the fit of the bike. A new niner also has a 5 year frame warranty which a used bike won't and the ripley might need a suspension service if it is a year old which runs a couple hundred dollars.
    If you are tall you could test ride my RIP, but it is set up very trail focused.
    Thanks for the offer, but your bike would be way too big for me at 5'8.5". Your right the Ripley does have a shorter wheelbase and chain stay than the Jet. It also has a lower BB.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I have no experience with the Ibis, but I owned a Version 1 Jet 9 RDO (same frame as the one you are considering, as far as I know.) I was smitten with this bike when I ordered it -- the overall design, paint etc. It's a stunner. The suspension design suited me just fine -- I ride and race a lot on rocky terrain and it worked very, very well. Unfortunately the bike was almost constantly failing in one way or another. The cable routing was a disaster (since changed), the threads for the shock bolt in the linkage plate stripped out (replaced under warranty), the inserts for the pivot bolts in the rear triangle came unglued from the frame (new rear triangle under warranty)... Finally the same inserts broke loose in the front triangle and they gave me a new frame. Niner's warranty service was top-notch, but I would have rather not needed them so much. Fed up with the brand, I sold the new and unridden Jet 9 Carbon I received as a warranty replacement. Unfortunately, the new owner then cracked the seat tube.

    I can think of six people in my immediate circle who have broken Niner frames (granted, only three of them were the frame you're considering.)

    I can't see me ever buying one of their products again. Which is a shame, because they have some great looking bikes. It seems like they do very little testing, and I don't want to be a (paying!) beta tester.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Funny, I've had 2 niners and found them to be excellent and reliable machines. The jet 9 is an excellent bike and may be better than the ibis if, like me, you ride with a more rearward saddle position than most folks. the longer stays provide may provide better weight distribution.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I'm not a Niner fan at all. They just seem like internet-specials to me.

    I'm currently sell both Ibis and Santa Cruz, among several other more and less boutique-y brands. Ibis are nice, don't get me wrong, and I've never heard a single complaint about the ride. But Scott Nichols and Handjobs aside, they seem a little adolescent as a brand, like about where SC was ten years ago (remember Santa Creak?! It's gone). They're still experimenting on customers (front derailleurs, linkage and shock hardware, cable routing?!) a little, sometimes a lot.

    Santa Cruz, on the other hand, makes about the most finished products I've seen: I'd put a $4k SC up next to a $10k S-Works, as far as fit-and-finish goes. And this is the stuff that makes a bike liveable or not. Ride quality is all well and good, but if you can't live with the little stuff, or you're constantly dropping into the shop to see about this creak or that wheezy shock, you're not going to like the bike. As the guy who works on these machines, and thus fields most the "technical" complaints, take my word for it... Most of these complaints stem from annoyances, not technical issues. Santa Cruz wins in both departments, anyway.

    Or don't take my word for it. The Internets seem to love to hate on SC or VPP or what-have-you, but riding bikes happens on bikes on trails, not on the Internets. Dave Weagle can suck it: I'll take a Tallboy any day.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Thanks everyone. I ended up test riding the IBIS and loved it. I'll be in my garage Friday night getting it dialed. Hope my Indy Fab Steel DLX isn't too jealous.
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Congrats! Welcome to the Ibis family
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    I helped out at a buddies shop for a couple years in my spare time, he carried Niner for maybe two years max. They make you cut out the bottom bracket of the warranty claim frame, snap a picture and then send it to them. I had at one point maybe 7 or 8 Niner frames with bottom brackets cut out hanging in my basement graveyard. I thought I would do something artsy and cool with them but after a few months I already had too many and didn't do anything with the previous ones I couldn't see go in the dumpster. I started to just shake my head and hum a death march tune every time thereafter (often) I had to take another out back of the shop to be put down.

    I still have a few down tubes from an AIR and a SIR that I cut out a long time ago and didn't do anything with. If you still need a Niner fix I can send you one.
    justin rogers.

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Good to know that you liked the Ripley. I own a ripley and feel that is the the best handling 29er in the market for it's travel. I also test rode the Niner RIP 9 before I bought the Ripley. But the Niner was not as good -- did not climb as efficiently while at the same time was not as plush on the downhills. Moreover, I felt that the Niner seemed to have a taller front end -- I felt as if I was sitting too far off the ground when I would look down from the handlebars. Lastly, one of the LBS that sold th Niner confided in me that they have had to make many warranty replacements on the Niners due to cracks appearing in the bikes near the carbon BB.
    Anyway, I'm glad you'll be hopefully getting a Ripley. BTW, I have had no issues of cable ratting on on v1 Ripley nor do I have an eccentrics creaking. But i do get some BB creaks. Stupid PF BB. But this should be fixed in the v2 beccause it is English threaded!
     

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    You can't go wrong with a modern FS bike. Have fun on the trails!

    -Joe

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Would love to hear your impressions about the Ripley as I just finished my first ride on a new to me Mojo SL and could not imagine wanting anything more in a full susser.
    Dave Bradley...not the grumpy old Hogwarts caretaker "Mr. Filch" or the star of American Ninja 3 and 4.

    formerly "Mr.President"

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    Quote Originally Posted by Applesauce View Post
    I'm not a Niner fan at all. They just seem like internet-specials to me.

    I'm currently sell both Ibis and Santa Cruz, among several other more and less boutique-y brands. Ibis are nice, don't get me wrong, and I've never heard a single complaint about the ride. But Scott Nichols and Handjobs aside, they seem a little adolescent as a brand, like about where SC was ten years ago (remember Santa Creak?! It's gone). They're still experimenting on customers (front derailleurs, linkage and shock hardware, cable routing?!) a little, sometimes a lot.

    Santa Cruz, on the other hand, makes about the most finished products I've seen: I'd put a $4k SC up next to a $10k S-Works, as far as fit-and-finish goes. And this is the stuff that makes a bike liveable or not. Ride quality is all well and good, but if you can't live with the little stuff, or you're constantly dropping into the shop to see about this creak or that wheezy shock, you're not going to like the bike. As the guy who works on these machines, and thus fields most the "technical" complaints, take my word for it... Most of these complaints stem from annoyances, not technical issues. Santa Cruz wins in both departments, anyway.

    Or don't take my word for it. The Internets seem to love to hate on SC or VPP or what-have-you, but riding bikes happens on bikes on trails, not on the Internets. Dave Weagle can suck it: I'll take a Tallboy any day.
    What did DW do to you? Did he come to your house, let the air out of your tires and piss in your cereal?
    Μ0

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    Default Re: New bike help... Jet 9 or Ripley

    just rode my ripley this morning...good choice
     

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