Kona Process 153 vs Ibis Ripmo AF: Which is Better For Beginners?

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Kona Process 153 vs Ibis Ripmo AF: Which is Better For Beginners?
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Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 1:29 Quote
Both of these bikes have received stellar reviews. Both are 160/150 travel bikes. The ripmo AF has a slightly slacker head angle and slightly longer chain stays.

Which bike do you think is better for beginners or would both be great for a beginner? I'm looking for a bike which will be very comfortable to ride (hence the higher travel), erase some of my mistakes (hence the higher travel), and not be too expensive.

Based on geometry I assume the ripmo AF will be a bit more stable (better at high speed?) but the Kona should be quicker steering and more maneuverable. Is this a fair assessment?

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 2:22 Quote
I think you should start with something like a relatively cheap hardtail so then after you can actually enjoy the high end stuff, because if you start on high end stuff you are not going to see the quality and the difference. And also starting on a hardtail would be better for your skills on the long run because when you have a full suspension bike you don’t have to depend as much on the rear suspension.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 5:20 Quote
Or you could demo/rent a hardtail then go buy a Ripmo AF. I have yet to see any negative feedback on that bike.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 5:38 Quote
Please go and demo both bikes before spending 3k on a bike. Ride them a couple times each so you know how they feel. Change some settings (shock and fork pressures, tire pressures, stem length, bar width, etc.) as the renting shop will allow.
All that said the ripmo is a lot of bike for the money and will holds its value well. For my money I'd go with the ripmo.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 6:53 Quote
The most important bike for a beginner is one that will suit the local trails you plan to ride. Doing a bunch of demos will give you a far better feel for what feels good to you.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 7:27 Quote
I would buy the kona as a beginner, probably in 27.5 as well.

I think maneuverability is super important for beginners, and it isn't like the kona isnt stable, that bike will happily do mach 10 all day. i just don't think a beginner will utilize the extra stable bike anyways, and will feel more confident in slow techy stuff with a more maneuverable bike.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 10:32 Quote
My vote is for a Kona in 27.5. As a former racer I have ridden many top end bikes. I have demoed both bikes expecting to buy the Ripmo. Much to my shock, I found that the Kona outperformed the Ripmo. I found a killer deal on a 2019 Kona in carbon that I have had for 6 months now and I am 100% satisfied with the bike. A friend tried of mine out and he went and bought the same bike with 29 inch wheels and loves it. I also prefer the 2019 Kona because it came with the Lyric Debonair fork and a superdeluxe shock. I much prefer the Rockshox suspension because it is so easy to set-up and with the new Debonair air spring, it performs just as well as the Fox suspension. Another surprise on the Kona is how great it climbs, it out climbs my YT Jeffsy which is a great climber.

That's my 2 cents, and good luck with your decision.

Here is a unbiased review of the Kona on youtube.


Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 10:42 Quote
frasian wrote:
I think you should start with something like a relatively cheap hardtail so then after you can actually enjoy the high end stuff, because if you start on high end stuff you are not going to see the quality and the difference. And also starting on a hardtail would be better for your skills on the long run because when you have a full suspension bike you don’t have to depend as much on the rear suspension.

This person didn't tell us it's their first day on a bike. Beginner is a relative term. I'm also skeptical about the age old advice to start on a hardtail. That's like learning to type on a typewriter, as long as you have no intention of ever riding a hardtail.

Riding both makes sense to me. It's a decent investment and should be made with some research behind it.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 11:28 Quote
frasian wrote:
I think you should start with something like a relatively cheap hardtail so then after you can actually enjoy the high end stuff, because if you start on high end stuff you are not going to see the quality and the difference. And also starting on a hardtail would be better for your skills on the long run because when you have a full suspension bike you don’t have to depend as much on the rear suspension.

Disagree with this. I see how it would be kinda cool to see the difference in components BUT that is it. Buy the bike you want and ride it. If you are set on FS after researching then go FS. It would be ideal to demo but that is not always possible. People say the same thing about motorcycles "get a 250/300cc for your first street bike". If that is the route you want to take (also with the HT and mtbing) then there is NOTHING wrong with that. But if you don't want to, that is fine too. For me personally I would never go this route.... seems like wasting money.

I demoed the Kona Process 153 29er at Outerbike. I was coming from a Remedy 27.5 and didn't think I would like going back to 29 wheels.... the Kona changed my mind. My vote would be the Process 153 29.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 15:17 Quote
Yeah, I already own a hardtail. I want a full suspension bike though.

My plan is to demo as many bikes as I can.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 15:49 Quote
Ok, with that in mind I have an aluminum Process 153 29. It's a great bike, feels super solid and predictable. Its handled the bike park and rides with XC guys and anything in between.

Highly recommended

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 at 16:43 Quote
So i dont open new theme.

I am buying bike up to 2500€ since i own Hardtail already too. Here are the bikes i am looking at the most. What is your opinion or you can suggest something else.

https://www.gtbicycles.com/can_en/force-comp

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/trance-3

https://www.cube.eu/en/2019/bikes/mountainbike/fullsuspension/stereo/cube-stereo-140-hpc-race-275-greynwhite-2019/

Thank you

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 at 19:07 Quote
I have a Process 153 for sale on here. Love the bike just cant keep it. It's a fantastic bike that I hate to see go.

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