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Ibis’ New Ripley AF is an Aluminum Ripper

To make a sub $3,000 Ripley, Ibis moved to an aluminum chassis, with a few geometry tweaks to make for a short-travel trail bike. Check out their launch video for the new Ripley AF featuring Pat Smage and some glorious Utah singletrack.

Specs:
-29” Wheels⁠⠀
-130mm front travel⁠⠀
-120mm dw-link rear travel⁠⠀
-2.6” tire clearance⁠⠀
-Aluminum front and rear triangle⁠⠀
-Available in four sizes S-XL, fits riders between 5’ and 6’6⁠⠀
-Frame weight of 7.45 w/ shock⁠⠀
-Complete builds starting at 30.5 lbs / 13.04 KG⁠⠀

Leaving Behind the Persistent Illusion of Permanence: a Review of the KONA 2021 Process 153 DL

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Leaving Behind the Persistent Illusion of Permanence: a Review of the KONA 2021 Process 153 DL

Modern beings are swimming in a self-destructive bath of distraction and doubt. “What is our usefulness?” we ask. What are we missing out on? Obviously something way better than what’s presently available to us. Is there a possible transaction of labor and capital that will permanently remove our doubts and self-diagnosed shortcomings? Is loving our own being possible? What is the best lifestyle accessory for our feelings of inadequacy? Such is our cruel method of measure, our search for moments of ease. This pernicious dance is as tedious as it is destructive. In this mindset, we will never be enough, never feel whole. It’s a zombie game that eats the possibility for our own contentment and moments of equanimity. This seeking is a cruel grift.

From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

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From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

Since moving to Santa Fe, I’ve ridden my mountain bikes almost exclusively, which is a stark contrast to how much time I would spend on my drop bar bikes in Los Angeles. It’s not that there isn’t gravel in our area, it’s just that mountain biking is so accessible, so remote, and so sheltered from the wind and the sun, it’s a no-brainer.

Another major difference is whereas I’d drive to the trailhead in LA, I find myself riding to the trails here 99.9% of the time, even on my Starling Cycles Murmur, which is a really big bike to pedal across town, up the foothills, and into the mountains.

These miles spent on my full suspension had me spending a lot of time adjusting the coil system this bike was built on. Some days, I’d pedal with only a hip bag, while others, I’d lug a heavy camera bag around. This 10+ pound differential made it somewhat awkward to adjust the coil shocks as I found myself smack dab in the middle of the two coil weight zones. While the ride quality of the coil system is undeniably noticeable, it felt like I needed something less finicky.

So, when Fox reached out, asking if I wanted to try out their new fork and rear shock, I jumped on the opportunity. Little did I know I’d gravitate back towards air after vibing so hard on the coil shocks’ ride quality…

Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

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Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

My first taste of full suspension came when I was working as a wrench at a shop in Quakertown PA just after graduating from college and not really having a plan. On mornings off, I’d take out a demo and ride the local trails up on South Mountain in Emmaus. Those bikes were terrible. But at the time, I was young and loving any bicycle I could get my hands on. That was 1998. A degree project when I went back to school confirmed I didn’t have a clue about geometry, handling, let alone suspension kinematics. Fast forward to 2012 when I hung my shingle out starting 44 Bikes, I became solely focused on honing geometry and understanding fit. But deep down, I wanted to build a full suspension bike but I knew I wasn’t ready. Which brings us to the here and now. Things began to click after building hundreds of bikes and dozens of prototypes where I finally felt like I had a grip on geometry and handling. I wanted a new challenge. So in the Spring of 2019, I started acquainting myself with a platform I had largely ignored.

A Perfect Fit: the Revelate Hopper Frame Bag on John’s Starling Cycles Murmur 29er

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A Perfect Fit: the Revelate Hopper Frame Bag on John’s Starling Cycles Murmur 29er

Full suspension bikes can be used for bikepacking. It just takes a little problem-solving in terms of bag design, fitment, and capacity. Yet, that’s not what we’re discussing here. Modern mountain bikes seem to be designed for shuttle runs in perfectly-groomed bike parts, not all-day rides on backcountry trials. Most new bike models fit a bottle and by “a bottle” I mean a small bottle. I ride XL-sized frames and every time I throw my leg over one, I’m baffled at the lack of bottle carrying capacity. This is a gripe for another day, however, because I recently found a way to solve this problem on my Starling Murmur 29er and it was easier than you’d think.

The Revelate Hopper Frame Bag is an off-the-shelf option that fits like a custom solution. Let’s check it out below. Yes, I’m excited about this one!

Transition’s All-Country 120mm Travel Spur

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Transition’s All-Country 120mm Travel Spur

120mm travel bikes don’t get a lot of love these days, even though they’re plenty fun, capable enough to MTB tour on, and great companions for slogging it out on an endurance race. Transiton’s new Spur is a 120mm front and rear travel 29er with details and looks to spare. Read all about it at the Transition website.

Revel’s New Ranger Scouts the Backcountry Trails

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Revel’s New Ranger Scouts the Backcountry Trails

Revel’s new Ranger XC bike is a lighter and snappier version of its big sibling, the Rascal. Designed around a 29×2.6″ or 27.5×2.8″ wheelset, the Ranger is a 120mm front and 115mm rear travel bike, build on a CBF-engineered chassis. Think lightweight but still capable. The Ranger comes in three build kits, ranging from $4,999 to $9,999 and a frameset, which is priced at $2,799. You can pre-order now at Revel with a mid-July delivery estimate. See more at Revel.

Specs:
-Wheel Size 29″
-Front Travel 120mm
-Rear Travel 115mm
-Shock Spec 190 x 45-22.2 x 8 Hardware Spec
-Boost Axles 148mm rear / 110mm front
-Seatpost Diameter 31.6mm (use our size guide to choose the best dropper height!)
-Bearings: BOLU 6801 VRS full complement, 12mm x 21mm x 5mm 6pcs per bike
BOLU 6901 VRS full complement, 12mm x 24mm x 6mm 12pcs per bike
-Rear Brake 160mm post mount / 180mm max
-Tire Clearance 29″ x 2.6″ or 27.5″ x 2.8″
-Bottom Bracket Threaded (73mm English threaded)
-Chainguide Custom Revel guide included
-Tapered Headtube IS42 upper / IS52 lower
-Colors Johnny Green Jeans / De La Coal
-Sizes S / M / L / XL
-Frame Warranty Lifetime Warranty

Save on a Starling Cycles

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Save on a Starling Cycles

A lot of people are offering up deals on their bikes and with their announcement of moving production back to the UK on their front triangles, Starling has a lot riding on this first season of sales. To spice up their already solid deals, they’re offering something special.

Frames are now £1,327.50, that’s 10% off and they’re offering a free custom paint upgrade, worth £120.

TO ORDER: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your frame. Once frames are ready to ship, the remaining payment will be requested. Use the code starling2020, at checkout. This will reduce your basket total by 75%, allowing you to pay a 25% deposit.

They will then invoice you for the remaining 75% once frames are ready to ship.

See more information at Starling Cycles and check out John’s review of the Murmur Factory from 2019 and his own bike review to get a sense of what these bikes truly are.

John’s Starling Murmur 29er

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John’s Starling Murmur 29er

After reviewing the Starling Murmur Factory early last year, I placed a deposit for one myself, springing for the made in the UK front triangle, made in Taiwan rear swingarm model, in a larger size than the demo large I reviewed. Joe and I discussed the bike, I sent in the money needed and waited. A few months later, Joe alerted me that the bike was done and he shipped it to the United States. Little did I know that I wouldn’t see the bike for almost 8 months later.

Salsa’s 2020 Rustler Comes in Aluminum

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Salsa’s 2020 Rustler Comes in Aluminum

Starting at $2,649 for the SX Eagle, or $3,199 for the SLX (pictured), the Rustler’s all-mountain capabilities are now available in a more affordable aluminum frameset. The 6066-T6 aluminum frame features 425 mm chainstays and 27.5” wheel size, with 130 mm of rear suspension travel, with a 150 mm fork, and a nicely-equipped component specification. Now, all three full suspension models from Salsa come with an aluminum frame option, making it a little easier to get your mitts on one. Head on over to Salsa to see the full spec rundown.

High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

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High Desert Shredding with the Revel Rascal

It was a rainy afternoon in Sedona. I finished my volunteer shift, and headed into the festival to try and get a demo. I had heard of this new company, Revel Bikes, that was supposed to have some real pretty and real fast carbon full suspensions. I wanted to try one of those bikes as soon as I could. I arrived at the tent about 10 minutes after the event opened to the public.

Every bike was gone.

Philly Bike Expo 2019: Moth Attack

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Philly Bike Expo 2019: Moth Attack

For the tenth anniversary of the Philadelphia Bike Expo, PBE introduced a diversity and inclusivity scholarship to support women, trans, POC frame builders who have been underrepresented at bike shows and the industry at large. SRAM is stepping up to sponsor the PBE Inclusivity Scholarship inaugural class consists of Moth Attack, Pedalino Bikes, Schon Studio, and Untitled Cycles.

Pushing and Punishing Pivot’s Insatiable Mach 6 Carbon 27.5″ Trail MTB

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Pushing and Punishing Pivot’s Insatiable Mach 6 Carbon 27.5″ Trail MTB

Chris Cocalis, the owner of Pivot Cycles, knows a thing or two about bicycle design and the popularity of his bikes prove just that. I’ve reviewed a lot of full-suspension bikes over the years and am accustomed to people’s reactions at the trailhead or on the trails but no bike received such trail accolades as the Mach 6 Carbon. Before I had even gotten to ride the bike, it seemed like everyone had something to say about it. Which, as someone trying to approach reviews without any bias, can be a bit much to handle. Yet, here we are, with a month on the bike and a month since I’ve ridden the bike, ready to talk about the Mach 6. Does it live up to the lore? Read on below.