Niner JET 9 80mm-travel suspension platform

Stronger and stiffer, but not quite lighter

Niner's latest edition of their 80mm-travel JET 9 suspension platform has added generous helpings of stiffness and strength relative to the previous version while adding only a smidgeon of weight in the process.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of a tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/2in head tube, which not only improves steering precision and braking feel but also allows for a much bigger down tube for a claimed 30 percent jump in frame stiffness. 

Niner have also switched from a traditional headset to an integrated one on this latest JET 9, allowing designers to push the down tube and top tube further apart while retaining the same stack height as before. In addition, the seatstays now have a rectangular profile.

Niner have also infused the JET 9's aluminium chassis with healthy doses of hydroforming and forging – the former in the top tube, down tube, chainstays and rear triangle brace, and the latter in the seatstay and chainstay yokes, the bottom bracket shell and main pivot assembly, dropouts, seat tube pivot and all linkage plates. Double-pass welds in the main triangle add strength to the joints, too, while also making for a smoother appearance. 

Niner principal chris sugai says the new rear triangle brace has been beefed up and lightened, too.: niner principal chris sugai says the new rear triangle brace has been beefed up and lightened, too.
Niner principal chris sugai says the new rear triangle brace has been beefed up and lightened, too.: niner principal chris sugai says the new rear triangle brace has been beefed up and lightened, too.

Niner principal Chris Sugai says the new rear triangle brace has been beefed up and lightened

Adding all that stiffness and robustness has resulted in a slight weight penalty – but only 20g according to Niner, when accounting for the savings of the integrated headset versus the traditional one. Frame weight with shock is a somewhat average-sounding 2.7kg (6lb) but Niner principal Chris Sugai says the CVA suspension design and larger 29in wheels' bump eating capabilities will make up for the extra mass on the trail. We'll aim to find out for ourselves.

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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