5/28/16

Ripping on a new-school 29"er...

What set it all off - my Wanderlust to wherever it would take me on a new full suspension bike - was my rental of an Ibis Ripley LS in Utah back in March. The Ripley LS is one of the new-school 29ers that has grabbed editor's accolades and awards.

Well deserved, I might add...

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The main downside for me with the Ripley were the pedal strikes. Luckily, after my research and narrowing the search down to the Yeti ASRC, there is not a pedal strike problem while aboard the Yeti. The Yeti has also received the new-school 29"er pedigree of accolades and awards from editors of industry magazines. I at least have enough time on this new-school 29"er now in the past few weeks to prefer it over the Ripley for my needs here in the Midwest. The beauty of the Ripley was on the big rock ledges and slickrock - both going up and down - in Utah. That bike would eat it up! Not sure about the Yeti as I have yet to throw it into that kind of terrain. With less travel in the rear on the Yeti, I'm going to say it probably wouldn't be as forgiving on the big chunk.

While that is okay, the Yeti shines in speed, maintains the plushness coming down the hills, pedaling efficiency on the flats and going up the hill, light weight, cornering, and being much more of a jackrabbit out on the trail than I was able to push the Ripley on dirt no matter how hard I tried...

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The longer fork travel up front, with the slacker HT angle, wider bar, shorter stem, new-school geometry of the Yeti ASRC and other companies offerings simply nailing it certainly has surprised me compared to all of the good riding on various 29ers I have been doing over the years since 2003. Sure, it's been happening slowly over the years with the small changes, but I think this past year or two is really when it all came together - or rather, to fruition for getting it right from many companies. For sure, if anyone bailed from the platform for all the reasons we heard ad nauseam over the years has not yet tried one of these new-school geometry bikes, run - don't walk - to the nearest demo or rental or test center to try one out. The difference is nearly as beneficial as the jump from the kiddie wheel 26" bikes to the 29"er platform was back in 2003 for me.

What's interesting to me - and has more or less come full circle - is that Yeti was one of the companies that pooped on the idea of 29"ers way back when with all the usual ad nauseam commentary. And yet, here it is 2016 and they have nailed it. I mean really nailed it! And I own a product from a company I remember reading were - back in the day - dishing up a lot of negative 29"er commentary.


I love the custom DT Swiss 240 Yeti Turquoise stickers on the hubs as a nice touch...

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Here's to the discovery of new-school 29"er Wanderlust bikes! I'm interested to see where it will take me over the years...

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