18 July 2007 - 1:25oh my fokking gawd – or RIP 9 first ride report
(Mandy here, guest blogging to review my new bike) It’s finally done. All the waiting for the shorter seatpost, the smaller bars, etc is over. The rain let up for a few days and tonight was the inaugeral ride of my new RIP 9. I’ll let George go over all the details of the build in some other post, but I will say that this is a top of the line build and Hot Damn! does it ride well!
It’s very responsive, quick handling and great in turns with that super-fun, roll-over-everything 29er feel. I was out riding the Town Loops in Stowe which have a little of everything, but aren’t terribly technical.
I felt that the suspension worked really well. I’ve grown accustomed to the extremely nimble climbing of my Niner EMD, and feel that the RIP can easily outmatch the EMD in climbing ability. I’ll elaborate further on the ride characteristics when I do a longer term review – but for now I’m extremely pleased.
When George first started talking to me about getting a full-suspension 29er, I couldn’t possibly imagine how it would ever fit me. I’m just a smidge taller than 5’6″ and have approximately a 30″ inseam. The small Niner EMD with an 80mm Reba just barely allowed me to standover. The small RIP 9 has much more standover height. In fact, I think that this bike would be a great fit for smaller riders. And check out the long legged fork…
So if you fit into the ‘smaller rider’ category and thought that you couldn’t get a 29er to fit, this would be a great setup to try.
George often gets calls from elated customers out on the trail during their initial ride of their new custom bike. If my phone hadn’t just suffered a fatal meltdown, I too would have called to express my elation with the bike. It’s perfect for me. Truly perfect. And the amazing thing is that I didn’t select one thing on the bike. It’s entirely a George build from soup to nuts and proof that the guy knows what he’s doing. Sure, after ten years you’d expect that he knows what I like. But this is above and beyond what I ever expected.
There weren’t many folks out on the trails tonight, but as I was headed out towards Last Run I came upon a group chatting on the side of the trail. I greeted them and rode on by and one of the fellows called out after me, “Sweet bike!” 30 feet later I fell off one of the little wooden bridges into a bog. Not only did I fall off the bridge, I fell onto my right side, the side I don’t automatically clip out of the pedals. My Speedplay frogs only release if you kick out to the right. When you leg is bent under the weight of your bike in a bog, it is nearly impossible to get that right foot in a position to kick out of the pedal. I’m talking highly embarrassing, serious maneuvers to get that foot out of the pedal.
Keeping it humble.