Ripmo Vs Hightower | What Is The Difference?

Ripmo Ibis V2 bike

If you are trying to choose a bike, it’s important to do careful research into the different options so you know what you are getting and whether it is likely to suit you. It’s always tricky to choose, and if you’re looking at Ripmo vs Hightower, you might be wondering what the pros and cons of each are.

Both Ripmo and Hightower have a lot to offer; they are high-end bikes that are designed for serious riders, and they have many advantages. The Ripmo brand seems to win on a few counts, although some people do prefer the Hightower. Your individual needs and preferences will probably make a big difference.

In this article, we are going to look at Ripmo vs Hightower and compare these two popular brands to help you determine which might be right for you and your needs. We’ll look at the suspension, climbing ability, weight, price, and more.


Ripmo Ibis V2 mountain bike suspension

If you’re looking at the suspension of Ripmo vs Hightower, Ripmo is almost bound to be the winner. Most Ripmo bikes, including their popular Ibis model, have superb suspension, and this has made them much loved for a wide range of circumstances. If you spend a lot of time riding on bumpy trails, you will particularly appreciate this, and you shouldn’t overlook it.

The suspension makes such a difference to how you will feel after a long ride, especially if you are someone who bruises easily or feels all the bumps of the trail the next day. Although the Hightower bikes don’t have bad suspension overall, they simply cannot compete with the Ripmo bikes, and this makes a big difference to many users.

Suspension is probably one of the factors that you will notice most when you are riding, so you need to make sure that you pay attention to this. If you get the opportunity, try riding both bikes in a relatively bumpy area, and you’ll immediately be able to feel the difference between the two options.

If you regularly deal with bumpy terrain, there’s no question that the Ripmo brand is the top one to look at. Although many Hightower bikes are great, if you put these two brands side by side, the Ripmo will pretty much always outperform the Hightower.

It is worth noting that the suspension on some Ripmo bikes can be a little harsh if it isn’t set up properly, so take the time to do this. If you are struggling, get help from your local bike shop or other enthusiasts, as it can make all the difference to enjoying the ride.

Climbing Ability

The Ripmo is also generally better when it comes to its climbing ability; it has the power needed to climb hills with ease. However, you should pay attention to the weight of the model you are choosing, as this will make some difference to the climbing ability too. A really heavy bike will struggle more on the hills, no matter how good the design is.

A lot of people find that the Ripmo bikes are lighter on the terrain and cope better with steep ground, making the trails easier and more enjoyable to ride along.

You should check what the frame of the model you are looking at is made of. The more updated Ripmo and Hightower models both tend to be carbon, but make sure you check the individual weights of the models you are considering too.

Some of the climbing ability comes down to personal preference as well as the bike’s ability. Your confidence on the hills will alter what you find most comfortable. Both the Ripmo and the Hightower should perform admirably when climbing, so bear this in mind when you select your bike.


Hightower Santa Cruz descending rocks

Although it depends heavily on which of the models you choose, between Ripmo vs Hightower, the Ripmo models often win when it comes to weight. How much difference this will make is hard to say, however; it depends on your situation.

If you are cycling along easy roads that are smooth and flat and straightforward, you might find that the weight makes very little difference at all – especially if you don’t carry many bags. However, if you’re spending a lot of your time cycling up grueling climbs, you might find that even a few extra pounds can make a big difference.

Weigh this up with care when you’re comparing the Ripmo vs Hightower, particularly if your situation means that you are likely to be dealing with the bike’s weight regularly. If you have to lift the bike in or out of vehicles, over steps, or in other contexts, you should be careful to choose one that you can comfortably lift.

The later models of the Ripmo Ibis and the Hightower Santa Cruz are made from carbon, but the Ripmo Ibis SLX is 12.8 kg and the Santa Cruz Hightower CC X01 is 13.5 kg. The Santa Cruz Bronson X01 AXS RSV is 13.8 kg.

That isn’t likely to make much difference on the trails, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you struggle to lift your bike and you’re looking for the lightest model available.

Enduro Bike

In terms of their categories, comparing the Ripmo vs Hightower may bring the Hightower out on top if you are looking for a bike that’s right for endurance.

Although the Ripmo is close to the Hightower in actual performance, the bikes aren’t full on enduro, and they may lack some of the best features. Many Ripmo bikes are not as nimble when it comes to dealing with difficult terrain, and they don’t turn as neatly.

The Hightower models tend to be better in really challenging terrain. The Ripmo is comparable, but it’s more of an all-rounder, and it may not be able to handle aggressive ground as effectively. Some people find that it’s a little clunky. When comparing the Ripmo vs Hightower’s maneuverability, the Hightower often wins.

In light terrain, however, you may find that the Hightower feels like overkill. It’s built to handle really difficult ground, but that means it doesn’t operate brilliantly in mellow terrain. If you are looking for a bike that will suit all occasions, the Ripmo is more likely to be a good choice for you.


Both of these bikes are at the upper end of the price band, and you will not find them available cheaply, even if you purchase them second-hand. Depending on which model you choose, you will be paying several thousand dollars at least. Neither brand has a particular edge over the other in terms of the price.

If you purchase the most up to date model from the Hightower brand, you will likely pay more, because this is a newer release. However, the Ripmo’s popularity helps it to retain its value, and even second-hand, it is pricey.

The cost of these bikes is likely to vary depending on what’s available in your local area, what the demand is like, and how well they retain their resale value. In some places, you should be able to find a used option for just a few thousand, while in others, you’ll be paying close to $7000 or more.

That’s one of the reasons that it’s so important to handle the bikes and ride them if you can.

This will let you compare the feel of them, which is so important for something like a bike, where personal preference plays a massive role. If you have the opportunity to take the models you are considering out for a trial run, do so; it will make it far easier to choose between them.

Many people feel that the Ripmo bikes offer better value for money, and this may mean that the resale value stays higher – so take this into account when buying your bike. Even if you don’t plan to resell it, it’s worth investing in a bike that retains its value. Hightowers don’t lose value too quickly, but they may not keep it as well as Ripmos.

Low-Speed Handling

If you sometimes need to cycle more slowly and you’re worried about how the bike will handle, you’ll find the Ripmo’s 2020 model an ideal option, because it’s very easy to control, even when you are pedaling slowly. It operates well in tight terrain, and will maintain its balance without needing you to be moving fast.

Hightower’s Santa Cruz also operates pretty well at low speeds, and it is stable at high speeds too. It does feel the bumps a lot more, however, and you may find that it’s difficult to get it over obstacles when traveling at slow speeds, partly because the wheels are on the small side.


Comparing Ripmo vs Hightower is a challenge because both of these brands produce superb, high-end bikes that are enormously popular. Whichever you buy, you are likely to be very satisfied with your purchase, but on the whole, Ripmo bikes get better reviews and seem to offer better features. If you are looking for a bike for really rough terrain, however, a Hightower might be more suitable.

Paul Tuthill

When Paul isn't riding through the mountainous terrain he's writing posts for Conquer the Bike (or gaming). He loves hardtail bikes.

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