Niner’s JET 9 cross-country machine and RIP 9 trail bike have been updated for 2017 with new, more aggressive geometry, boost wheel spacing and, in a move some may think odd for the company so keen on 29ers that it's named after the wheel size, compatibility with 27.5+ wheels and tyres.
- JET 9 RDO goes from 100mm to 120mm of rear travel
- RIP 9 RDO is now 1x specific with 150mm travel
- Longer reach, steeper seat angles and slacker head angles on both bikes
- Press-fit bottom brackets dropped in favour of threaded systems
- Both bikes get boost wheel spacing and 27.5+ wheel and tyre compatibility
- Multi-link CVA suspension platform stays the same
- Both bikes available this August
While that fundamental shift from their previous one true wheel might seem a little off message, Niner is keen to point out that there’s very little difference in overall diameter between a fat-tired plus setup and a conventional 29er. Seen in that light, the brand's engineers reckon it’s actually a development that plays well to their experience in trying to get the most out of a bike rocking big wheels.
The JET 9 RDO is now a short-travel trail machine
While the old JET 9 was an out and out cross country race machine with 100mm of travel front and rear, the new bike gets a more trail-riding friendly makeover. That means travel is boosted to 120mm at the rear, designed to be paired to a 130mm travel fork when running 29in wheels, or a 140mm item if you choose Plus hoops.
There’s more aggressively geometry to help you realise the potential of that extra travel, too. In 29er guise, the head angle is now 67.5 degrees with a 74.5 degree effective seat tube angle and a 445mm reach in a large frame. Head and seat tube angles get half a degree slacker in the Plus setup.
In a move that’ll make the heart of anyone sick of replacing knackered press-fit bottom brackets sing with joy, Niner has gone back to conventional threaded bottom brackets. Apparently, the worst countries for premature press-fit death were the usual muddy suspects of the UK and Belgium, with the rather left field addition of the Philippines. (Now you know where to avoid on your holidays.)
Another neat frame touch is the window in the frame by the bottom bracket that allows you to thread all your internal routed cables through it as well as providing a place to stash all your Shimano Di2 gubbins, should electric shifting be your thing. It’s covered by a bash guard to help protect the carbon frame from rock strikes, too.
In the US, the complete Jet 9 RDO will range in price from $4,500 to $9,500. In the UK, the JET 9 RDO frame will cost £3000, with importer Jungle bringing in a number of build kits. An XTR build will cost £6799, an XX1 build will cost £6599, an XO1 build will cost £6199 and an XT build will cost £5599.
The RIP 9 RDO goes even bigger
If you plan on cashing bigger cheques than the JET 9 can write, then the RIP 9 sports 150mm of rear wheel travel, with your pick of either a 160mm and 29in wheels or 170mm fork and 27.5+ wheels. It’s received a similar treatment on the geometry front, with the head angle now at 67 degrees, effective seat angle at 75.5 degrees and a reach of 451mm for a Large frame in 29er setup.
Unlike the JET, which needs to cater to the tastes of many riders who still prefer a double, the RIP is single-ring specific, which has allowed the chainstays to be shorted down to 439mm / 17.3in. Both the boost wheel spacing and cable port seen on the JET 9 are present and correct.
Complete RIP 9 RDO builds in the US will start at $4,700 and top out at $9,800. In the UK, the RIP 9 RDO frame will cost £3200. Again, complete bikes will be available in the States, but UK buyers will be able to pick from build kits. An XTR build will cost £6799, an XX1 build will cost £6599, an XO1 build will cost £6199, and an XT build will cost £5599.
Both bikes are slated to be shipping from the middle to the end of August this year and we’ll try and get our hands on them for proper testing as soon as possible.