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Interesting take. I've had mine for 10 months now, and really like it. I'm a relatively light rider (165lbs) and the gravity tune on the Topaz really works for me. A lot of heavier folks on the forums have a harder time with the damping tune, but with the spacers at 0 neg/3 pos, I love the Topaz. The bike really works well with less damping back there. I agree that one might find it a bit less precise than a Ripley, but what I really love about the Ripmo characteristics is how poppy it is when you bump off of stuff. It's quite lively, but can also plow at the same time. The Diamond came on the front of mine, and it's a good fork. Probably the most tunable fork that one could hope for on a base model bike.
The newer base model spec is way better than when I bought mine. I'm not complaining, as I bought mine RIGHT before the world/industry was affected by Covid, but it was the NX version (prior ot Deore launch). Within 4 months I had an SLX deraileur/cassette/driver and Saint brakes, and I would have been absolutely stoked on the full Deore kit that's been arriving on back-logged RAF's lately.
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