Hightower vs Ripley LS

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Hightower vs Ripley LS
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Posted: Sep 18, 2016 at 6:04 Quote
Currently I'm riding a 2014 Bronson and I'm looking at a 29er for my next bike. These two are top of the list. Any suggestions as to which is generally considered the better bike? I'd be looking at the Ripley with a 140mm fork. I'm basically looking for a one bike wonder, everything from long XC/adventure spins to local Enduros.

Posted: Sep 18, 2016 at 7:34 Quote
The Ripley LS will probably be a little more happy to climb than the Hightower because it has less travel and the frame is a little bit lighter. I would say your choice depends on which type of riding you value your speed more on. Both bikes will be good for long XC/adventure spins, but the Ripley LS will just be a little bit better at it because it is lighter and the geo is slighty steeper. Again, both bikes will be good for local Enduros, but the Hightower will just be a little bit better at it because it has more travel and slightly slacker geometry.

If you want to go pedal all day and care about your times up climbs and are willing to give up a little on the descent, Ibis
If you want to pedal all day so you can then smash some DH and are willing to give up a little on the climbs, Santa Cruz

Posted: Sep 18, 2016 at 8:51 Quote
Cheers for the reply. I'm leading towards the Hightower atm. Like you say they're both versatile but I think the Hightower would also be more comfortable on the odd bike park trip.

Posted: Sep 18, 2016 at 9:17 Quote
Tallboy 3 might be a good option too, not too xc anymore.

Posted: Sep 30, 2016 at 2:47 Quote
I've been looking for a hardcore mid travel trail bike for 6 months to replace my pivot Mach 429 and tried the pivot 429 trail, Ripley LS and Hightower all on my home trails. The ripley LS is a great bike, more competent than the travel would suggest and it's in another league when it comes to climbing compared to the Hightower. Dw link is way more efficient than vpp. I very nearly pulled the trigger on the Ripley but I found the large too short and whilst the XL had enough reach, the seat tube was too long for me to run a 125 dropper (I'm 5'10) with a long torso and most of my weight in my upper body). Whilst I was waiting for the XL Ripley demo bike pivot released the switchblade.
I ordered one based on paper specs. It outperforms the Hightower in every way. The way it monsters technical climbs is insane, I can ride up stuff I've not been able to get up in 25 years or mountain biking and that's with me running the fork at 160 (just remove a spacer) as opposed to 150 and with the longer headset cup installed to slack it out a bit more and a 40mm stem. The long forward centre makes a huge difference to me. It's this climbing ability more than the downhill ability that has blown me away as I wasn't expecting it. Downhill it's awesome too but I was expecting that.
My average ride is about 30 miles, 40 when I can get out a bit earlier and encompasses everything from long gut busting climbs to national downhill tracks and everything in between with a 6 mile Tarmac ride home. The switchblade is my ideal all day any terrain bike. It's a bit heavier than the Ripley but it is a chunk burlier which you really notice plowing through chunder.
If you are considering the Hightower over the Ripley for more dh ability then I would strongly recommend trying to demo a switchblade.

Posted: Sep 30, 2016 at 4:05 Quote
Good little write up that.


Posted: Sep 30, 2016 at 5:26 Quote
titaniumtit wrote:
Good little write up that.



Caveat: Bike fit is a very personal thing and manufacturers size guidelines simply do not work for me so I would strongly suggest trying a bike before taking the plunge (on any bike) as I find a bike that is too short really hinders climbing ability, peddling efficiency and the ability to move around on the bike on steep descents to flick the rear wheel about.

Another point worth considering when demoing bikes is that both the 429 trail and The Ripley had carbon rims shod with lightweight XC rubber. I was a bit disappointed about this and ended up destroying the racing ralph on the ripley on the first really rocky descent I came to on it. I put a tube in and then took it steady on the rocks from that point but the fact that it was shod with tires that were approximately 400grams lighter per wheel and had considerable less rolling resistance than the conti der baron/maxxis highroller/ maxxis shorty's I'm running on the switchblade will certainly have helped it to feel more sprightly. It would be interesting to ride the ripley again against the switchblade with both wearing the same tyres to see how much the switchblade gives up in acceleration against its extra aggro ability.

I'm going to the alps to do passport du soleil next year and I will happily take the Switchblade but I wouldn't have taken the a Ripley if I had ended up with one.

My second ride on the switchblade was a local enduro (my first enduro) and it just made me grin from ear to ear. Love this bikeCool


Edit, tried to post some pics from photobucket but it aint working.

Posted: Sep 30, 2016 at 5:32 Quote
Always good to hear how someone is enjoying their new ride.

Yes I would agree on sizing issues and demoing completely but when a deal pops up on what you're looking at, it sure is hard not to push the button.

I would love to see pics of the switchblade but shall go off to google now to find a pic for my viewing pleasure... haha

Posted: May 18, 2017 at 21:59 Quote
Ripley LS is flexy in the BB area. I thought it rode pretty fine cruzing, but when you are pressing it hard on the DH and braking real hard and slamming corners it really starts coming unhinged. I'd avoid it if you are over 180lb.

I do like DW better than VPP. Not just for climbing either.
The ibis HD3 and Mojo 3 are excellent and do not share the flexy short comings that the ripley does.

Posted: May 21, 2017 at 12:37 Quote
Went with a Hightower in the end built up with a 150mm fork. Unbelievable bike, it does everything!

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