2017 RIP9 RDOAs the parade of new 29/27.5+ capable trail bikes has been rolling out, I had to wonder, what about Niner Bikes?  With the 29er trailbike market morphing into a dual use scenario (two wheel sizes) and with 27.5 and especially 27.5+ looking to cut into 29er sales a significant amount…well, what would Niner do?

This, apparently.

2017 RIP9 RDO

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The new RDO level RIP9 and JET9 look to be a competitor in each of the levels of the MTB strata they will be found living in.  First up, the RIP 9 RDO.

It finally gets the geo it should have had all along (slacker where it should be…shorter where it should be), and now the travel is pushed into WFO territory with 150mms of travel at the back and either 160mm or 170mm for the front depending on the wheels size (27.5+ gets the longer fork).  The rear stays are shorter at 439mm/17.28″ and the front end is slacker at 67°/66.5°.  Bully bike.  Bye bye WFO?

It is Boost of course, 1X only, and uses a threaded BB interface.  Oh joy!  The front end is pushed out a bit to allow for the shorter stem trend too.  Builds run from $9800.00 to $5000.00.  No word on frame only yet or alloy options.

2017 RIP9 RDO

2017 RIP9 RDO

From the Niner press release:

Starting with the frame construction itself, the RIP is built using our Carbon Compaction system. To ensure proper wall thickness and minimize strength sapping voids, the carbon plies are cured under intense pressure. This forces out superfluous resin producing a remarkably resilient structure that not only matches our engineering specifications for strength, durability and weight, but also looks super clean and stealthy.

But in talking about the frame, an equally critical feature is the [R]Evolution geometry that we have tested exhaustingly, evaluated and ultimately chosen. The roomy cockpit has a comfortable reach for short stem lengths, giving you quick handling and plenty of room to maneuver when you go mobbing through big rock gardens and barreling around tight turns. The steep seat angle gets you centered in the bike and pairs nicely with the short 439mm horizontal chainstay length for better pedaling efficiency than anyone deserves from a long legged trail bike. And of course the compact rear allows you to square off turns and play your way down the trail instead of feeling like you’re a sled passenger.

But what about the suspension? With the heart of a real ripper, it serves up 150mm of just-send-it suspension that will give you a new lease on any trail. Gone are the same old obstacles. What you’ll see instead is a whole new series of fantastically fun features to hit, jump and gap for glory until you’re smiling ear to ear.

2017 RIP9 RDO

2017 JET9 RDOJET9…when Just Enough Travel is now 120mm/130mm.

Remember when 80mms of travel was just enough?  Wasn’t that the original JET9’s rear travel (that or 90mm…can’t remember)?  Well, times change and with the RKT9 taking up the less travel/XC racing banner then this opens up the JET. So 120mm/130mm is the new 100mm and this JET is what I would toss my rope around come roundup time.

From the press release:

The trail taming JET reaps huge benefits from Boost spacing on the rear. By taking advantage of the wider dimensions, our engineers have been able to grow tire clearance for typical trail sized 29er tires, while also providing adequate room for the similar diameters of 27.5+ tires. Boost spacing also changes the game with regard to suspension kinematics, paving the way for longer travel while achieving shorter, stiffer chainstays.

The JET lands right in the sweet spot for the all-in-one trail bike. The 120mm of roll-and-go rear suspension is nicely balanced with 29-inch wheels and an accompanying 130mm fork. The resulting 67.5 degree head angle is ideal for all day riding and tackling any tough spots along the way. To keep the geometry in line, the fork gets bumped up to 140mm when matched to 27.5+ wheels, giving the JET predictable steering response no matter which wheels you ride.

2017 JET9 RDO

There are so many drivetrains available today, but with the JET you can feel free to choose almost any of them. Take your pick whether you’re a dual-ring hold out, subscribe to the new 1X fashion, or even like mounting an ISCG 05 guide for added peace of mind. And if you’ve got some extra cash burning a hole in your bank account, then go for the ultimate, Di2 single-ring version. The 73mm bottom bracket stands out against the latest trends though. Instead of housing plastic press fit cups, it is threaded for good old-fashioned serviceability and lets you swap out the BB easily when the need arises.

Our Carbon Compaction System construction is a key factor in building this lightweight singletrack slayer. This method squeezes out excess resin during the molding process, reducing voids and allowing us to maintain close tolerances on tube wall thickness. What comes out of the mold is a carbon frame that tips the scale far less than one would expect and yet it delivers the calculated ride quality, strength and durability that our engineers intended.

2017 JET9 RDO

The JET is not just a product of expert engineering though, as our talented team of designers has also made sure that this mountain biking marvel looks as great as it performs. The colorful paint on carbon graphics they’ve drawn give the bike a brilliant pop that accentuates the frame’s bold, clean lines. Put all pieces together and what you get is the JET—a mach speed trail machine that looks as fast as it rides.

SO, like the RIP9 the JET9 is slacker now (as it should be with those longer forks) and shorter in back.  Ripper.  I love CVA, having experienced it on two JET9s and one RIP9.  So the pedaling and ride performance of the CVA rear end should be a great part of the new brew.  The yellow one in the Press Release is also quite good looking too, where the older JET9 seemed awkward to my eye.

Oh yeah.  It is 2x ready.  Oh happy day!!!!!  Take that, SRAM.

2017 JET9 RDO

It looks to me that Niner is staying relevant and I find that satisfying.  Will they ever offer a pure 27.5+ bike?  Not sure.  They could, and it really would not be a betrayal of their roots whereas a pure 27.5″ trailbike would be tantamount to blasphemy. But with the trend of dual wheel size options where the bike can run either 29″ or 27.5+, they have no need to.  I would love to see a non-RDO version too, but either would be welcome on my doorstep.  Or will there be a hydroformed alu version?  That could be a real budget trail-killer, but alloy has not been officially announced yet  We shall see.  Something tells me we have not seen all there is to see from Niner for next year.

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