The revised alloy RIP 9 follows in the footsteps of the carbon RIP 9 RDO. The updated chassis shares many of the same features as the more expensive carbon frame while, according to Niner, shedding more than a half pound of frame weight over the previous version.
The new frame has many features that have become commonplace on trail bikes over the past two years. There are ISCG 05 tabs for a chain guide, a 142x12mm Maxle rear end, and routing for a dropper seatpost. Unlike the carbon model, the alloy frame has external cable routing, running along the top of the down tube and left side of the top tube.
Geometry appears to be roughly the same as the previous bike. The frame is designed to accommodate 120-140mm suspension forks. It has a head tube angle of 70.5 degrees with a 120mm fork, which slackens to 69.5 degrees when running a 140mm fork. Rear suspension travel increases slightly from 117mm to 125mm.
Niner focused on shaving weight wherever possible. The forged yoke was redesigned to cut grams, as was the lower linkage, which is now offset to allow for a chain guide.
Air bladders are used to for the tubeshaping
A new (for Niner) tube shaping process allowed the company to use thinner-walled tubing to further weight savings. Rather than using hydroforming, many of the new RIP 9’s aluminum tubes are formed using bladders filled with heated, compressed air. According to Niner, this process allows greater control over wall thickness and uniformity. Niner claims that tubes manipulated using air forming can be up to 25 percent lighter than a comparable hydroformed tube of the same strength.
The new frame with a RockShox Monarch RT3 shock has a claimed weight of 6.85lb/3.1kg for a medium frame, which is 283g lighter than the previous version, and only 295g heavier than the carbon RIP 9 RDO.
Price for the frame with RockShox Monarch RT3 shock is $1,849 (£1,200). Frames and complete builds are expected to be available this May.