We tested the carbon-fibre RDO version of Niner’s new Jet 9 last year but you can get this full alloy bike for the price of just the RDO frame. It delivers a similarly super-efficient pedalling ride, plus wheel compatibility and the niche brand appeal of the carbon bike.
With Niner’s own wide 780mm flat bar, 130mm RockShox Yari fork, 29x2.4in front tyre and 445mm reach on our large sample, and a weight just shy of 14.5kg, it’s got a serious trail presence for just 120mm of travel.
The CVA linkage is unique in that the upper and lower linkages splay apart on their top-quality enduro bearings as chain tension pulls the wheel forward. That means they effectively balance each other out, leaving it stiffer but essentially neutral in terms of what direction it moves in.
That’s pretty much ideal for delivering power with consistent traction, however random the surface, and despite its weight the NX1 is a very determined technical climber. Back off the power and the suspension is mobile enough to flow over trouble, and it’ll even take a hefty punch from a rock or drop without coughing you over the bars.
The frame will also accommodate 27.5x3.0in plus tyres if you really want to maximise its trail-smothering traction.
The sturdy RockShox Yari fork sits at a comfortably confident 67.5 degrees, while a short 434mm-long Boost-width back end means it snakes through tighter turns well for a big-wheeled bike.
Relatively slim rear stays, long linkages and curved and kinked main tubes with a steep slope down from the short head tube translate into noticeable flex if you start trying to force it through corners harder than it’s comfortable with, though.
Reach and wheelbase are also on the short side, which reduces stability when really scything through corners and chunder. The dropper-less NX level spec is definitely below par for the price, too.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.