First Ride: 2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO - Lots of Travel, Efficiency, & Acronyms

Apr 21, 2021
by Mike Kazimer  


The first generation of the Niner WFO 9 was released all the way back in 2009, a bike that was well ahead of the curve considering there really weren't that many long-travel 29ers on the market at the time.

A second version debuted in 2014, and then a few years later the WFO quietly faded from Niner's lineup. That's no longer the case, and the WFO is back for 2021, with 170mm of rear travel, a 180mm fork, and a design the Niner claims is “optimized for all-out, top to bottom, brake-rotor-bluing descents.”

There are five different complete version of the carbon-framed bike available, with prices ranging from $4,800 all the way up to $10,100 for the 5-Star LTD version, which has DT Swiss carbon wheels and SRAM's X01 AXS wireless electronic drivetrain.
WFO 9 RDO

• Wheelsize: 29"
• Carbon frame
• Travel: 170mm (r) / 180mm (f)
• 64° or 64.7° head angle
• 435 or 438mm chainstays
• Lifetime frame warranty
• Weight: 32.25 lb / 14.6 kg (size L)
• Price range: $4,800 - $10,100 USD
• Price as shown: $6,950 USD
ninerbikes.com


I've been spending time on the 4-Star XT version, which retails for $6,950 USD. Highlights of the build kit include a Fox 38 Factory fork, Float X2 shock, Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain and 4 piston brakes, and a 2.6” Schwalbe Magic Mary / Hans Dampf tire combo. Due to supply issues the bike pictured has Industry Nine wheels instead of the DT Swiss EX 1700 wheels that it's supposed to come with.

Oh, and before going any further it's worth taking a brief moment to pull apart the model name acronyms. WFO stands for Wide Full Open, and RDO stands for Race Day Optimized. The 5-Star LTD version is the way to go for TLA aficionados, because then you'd be in possession of a WFO 9 RDO with CVA suspension and SRAM X01 AXS, plus a KS LEV Si.


2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

Frame Details

Love it or hate it, there's no mistaking the extra-swoopy look of Niner's carbon frames, and the candy apple red color of this WFO really makes it stand out from the crowd. For the record, I'm a big fan of the color, and not quite as enamored by the melted-in-the-sun look, but that's just me.

Achieving the right amount of frame stiffness was high on Niner's priority list, and to help accomplish that there are struts joining the seat tube to the down tube, and the one piece rear triangle has a cross brace to prevent unwanted flexing. Enduro Max Black Oxide cartridge bearings are used throughout that have a corrosion-resistant treatment applied to the bearing races for extra longevity.

Other details include SRAM's Universal Derailleur Hanger, clearance for 2.6” tires, a threaded bottom bracket, and room for a water bottle inside the front triangle. There's internal cable routing, with a full sleeve to make installation hassle-free.

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO
2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

Geometry

Niner chose the WFO's geometry numbers with their sights set on creating a versatile long-travel machine, rather than making the longest and slackest thing possible. In the low setting the WFO has a 64-degree head angle, 438mm chainstays, and a reach of 480mm for a size large. A flip chip on the seat stays can be used to steepen up the head angle to 64.7-degrees, which also raises the bottom bracket and shortens the chainstays ever-so-slightly.

The effective seat angle sits at 77-degrees, although keep in mind that the actual seat angle is around 66-degrees. That effective angle changes depending on the height of the seat, which means taller riders will find themselves positioned further back than shorter riders. The 462mm seat tube length for a size large is also a little longer than what's becoming the norm, which could make it harder for some riders to run a 200mm dropper post.

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

Suspension

The WFO uses Niner's CVA (Constantly Varying Arc) suspension layout, which uses two co-rotating links to join the swingarm to the front triangle. The lower link is positioned under the bottom bracket, where it's protected from flying debris by a plastic shield. It also moves up towards the bottom bracket when the suspension is compressed, which should help keep it out of the way of mid-trail obstacles.

The leverage rate is progressive until the last third of the travel, at which point it becomes slightly regressive (6%), which Niner says helps the bike work especially well with air shocks, although it's also possible to run a coil shock.

The WFO's anti-squat number sits above 100% at the sag point, and then it drops off as the bike goes through its travel.

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

Build Kits
2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO


Niner WFO 9 RDO


Ride Impressions

The plethora of longer travel 29ers released over the last year or so seem to fall into two categories – those that are purebred downhill focused machines, the kind where climbing performance is more of an afterthought, and those that are more well-rounded than you'd expect a 170mm 29er could be, which is where the WFO sits.

The suspension is impressively efficient, and I never felt the need to reach for the Float X2's climb switch. It brought to mind the manners of the Propain Spindrift I reviewed late last year, another dual-link bike that delivered excellent pedaling performance. Even during out of the saddle efforts the WFO's back end stayed nice and calm, free of any excessive bobbing.

I mentioned the relatively slack actual seat angle earlier, but luckily at my preferred seat height the effective angle was steep enough for comfortable pedaling. The fact that the WFO's suspension design is so efficient helps out here – the bike doesn't bob or sink excessively deep into its travel, which means the climbing position stays relatively consistent. Granted, I wouldn't have minded if the actual seat angle was steeper, closer to something like the Nukeproof Giga - on the Giga the front end feels more planted on steep climbs, while I found myself concentrating a little more to weight the front wheel on the WFO.

2022 Niner WFO 9 RDO

The WFO's all-rounder manners continue on the descents, where it's just as easy to plow through the chunky stuff as it is to pop and play around on trailside features. It does feels a little shorter and taller than the numbers on paper might have you expect, a trait that comes in handy in tighter, slower speed tech, although it might not be exactly what dedicated enduro enthusiasts are looking for.

Could it be used as a race bike? Of course, although it doesn't have quite the same need for speed as a bike like the Trek Slash. Despite having fairly similar geometry, the Slash felt like it was constantly telling me to go faster, while the WFO didn't deliver the same sense of urgency. Also, as fun as it is taking the monster truck route and letting those bulbous tires run over everything, I'd also probably ditch the 2.6" rear tire in favor of something slightly narrower in order to gain more precision.

The WFO does a good job handling bigger hits and rougher terrain, aided by the Float X2's excellent resistance to harsh bottom outs. The suspension feels smooth throughout the entirety of the travel, but riders who like a more progressive feeling ride may need to add in a volume spacer or two from the stock configuration – it feels fairly linear out of the box. The flip side of that is that it's possible to access all 170mm of travel when needed; all of that squish is usable, rather than being hidden behind an impenetrable wall of progression.

Overall, the WFO falls on the friendly side of the long travel category, a bike that could work well for riders who want plenty of travel without paying too much of a penalty when it comes time to pedal.






Pond Beaver 2021





175 Comments

  • 362 9
 looks like the old microsoft 3D pipes screensaver
  • 52 2
 Strong reference game!
  • 7 1
 So mean ! (But so true) Smile
  • 5 0
 Gonna find that screensaver at work today!
  • 38 5
 That paintjob would look so good on a nice bike
  • 3 25
flag barbarosza (Apr 21, 2021 at 4:57) (Below Threshold)
 looks grosse as usual.And then that slack seat angle....color is a constant reminder of my Commencal Meta 2017 which I hated.
  • 22 0
 I love the finish of that red! I would ride-wrap that bike before I even sat on it though. That gloss is gorgeous.
  • 7 0
 @rrolly: That is a beautiful red.
  • 3 3
 @tonkatruck Comment of the year right there!
  • 12 0
 @broscience: he’s had 6 months to think about it. He saw the frame when it was in the development stage.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: It’s red! That’s a good looking red.
  • 1 2
 Why is NINER now releasing a new model when they have lied to numerous dealers about there fulfillment time while still expecting funds after orders are being cancelled on dealers.
  • 4 0
 2 Stars for SX is a bit generous.
  • 2 0
 @brodieclan: They, like everyone else, are at the mercy of component supply (or lack thereof) on the manufacturing end.
  • 152 12
 I spent the winter riding my WFO on South Mountain, AZ, this bike shreds!!! I've ridden many bikes over the years and I can say this is one of the most fun bikes I've ever ridden and its indestructible. The bike is stout, doesn't fish tail out of hard hit corners, no rear triangle flex. Great to hop, great to spin, loves the rough stuff and climbs very well. The thing that blows my mind is how fast it rolls through dirt jump rhythm. I can ride the steepest and deepest dirt jumps with ease, no energy lost, just keeps on charging. I'm gonna shred the heckin hell out of this bike!!!
  • 7 21
flag WITBC (Apr 21, 2021 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 How is this not the top comment? C'on people!
  • 4 0
 Is this the bike you were playing around on with JKW a couple weeks ago? Looks like that seat tube angle allows for some sick no footed manny's! Wink
  • 57 13
 @WITBC: Because he's a pro paid to write standard positive hyperbole comments about his employers on the internet?
  • 6 2
 You clearly don’t know Kirt.
  • 5 8
 Dude...WTF do you know about riding bikes and how they should work...I’m going with the opinions of the Punkbike forum faithfulls who have never accomplished anything on a mountain bike....but know it all.
  • 2 5
 I had the carbon and the alu RIP9 just before they butchered the travel down to 140mm and with the "pre-bent" wierdo designs of the new gens i dont think Niner has a very good image right now.

its lik going to the gun range and shooting yourself in the foot. completely missed the mark
  • 94 2
 Module DS106 Product Design. 3rd Year Final Exam Paper

Question 1: Draw a bicycle frame using a shape comprising of 20 lines. None of the lines must be the same length or width. None of the lines may be parallel or perpendicular.

Actually, you know what, I take back my snarkiness, I can forgive it because it's such a nice colour and I desperately want their to be more bright coloured bikes. I miss the amazing Cannondale metallic paint jobs of the early 90s! Also, the more I look at it, the more I like it.
  • 21 0
 Agree. Lets get rid of earth tones bikes and make more earth toned earth.
  • 22 0
 Best factory paint ever on an MTB:
1999 Schwinn 4 Banger, in Bass Boat Blue, or Bass Boat Gold. Spectacular deep, metallic fleck paint, with clear coat over decals that look miles deep. Looked like it came from a custom car paint shop.
  • 4 0
 Yes, please on the bright colors. Mix in some of the old Cannondale team yellow once in a while.
  • 6 0
 @Straight6Rocks: Yup. Nothing will ever top the first time I walked through the doors of the Toronto International Bike Show as a kid and saw those Schwinn bass boat paint jobs. Absolutely gorgeous and set a standard that I have never seen met on a production bike.
  • 4 0
 I can remember a metallic british racing green Cannondale hardtail around '94. was a beauty of a colour
  • 20 0
 Not forgetting the early 90's Kleins too..
  • 6 0
 @big-red: I still have a complete Bass Boat Gold frame hanging in my shop as wall art.
  • 2 0
 @Grosey: Yeah, agree. Various shades of Turquoise and Cyan can go, too, unless you’re Yeti. Purple has kind of been a thing with a couple manufacturers for the last couple years. The candy apple clear coat thing at specialized and Santa Cruz is kinda cool. But colors would be nice. Miner was one the right track with the color here. The frame? Not for me.
  • 3 0
 @Straight6Rocks: Still love my 95 GT Team Scream Yellow/Blue splssh paint scheme.
  • 1 2
 Was the end result really worth the effort? Seems like the entire design is just a way to get around the linkage and shock placement. In the end of the day maybe I'll take a single pivot for 5lbs less weight and less pivot maintenance to worry about.
  • 54 8
 Looks cool and has good geo, but thats where it ends. Terrible leverage curve and the putting SX Eagle on any proper mtb, let alone a 4800$ one is a straight up insult.
Not impressed.
  • 18 1
 Fox 38 and X2 is a much better suspension spec than you usually see on a sub-5k non-DTC carbon frame.

For comparison, a Specialized Enduro Comp is $4700. You get better brakes and drivetrain (Code R and full NX). But a Lyrik up front and RockShox Super Deluxe Plus out back.

I’m not sure that was the right trade off for Niner to make, and it seems like they could have at least used an NX derailleur. But I’ll bet that suspension is why this otherwise-$3800 bike costs $4800.
  • 16 0
 @bocomtb: I think this is the right move, since it's both easy and cheap to upgrade individual drivetrain components as desired, compared to suspension.
  • 8 8
 No one is making you buy it.
  • 11 3
 Actual seat tube angle is way too slack. Actual vs effective is noticeable. A good example of the difference is: ride a Ripmo then an Enduro. Same “effective” seat tube angle, but the Ripmo feels more upright because it’s actual angle is closer to its effective angle than the Enduro. I guess companies go slack STA because they prioritize putting their super awesome fancy suspension linkages on the bike, which is fine, just not for me. As someone who rode DW Link for years in and now owns horst and single pivot bikes, steep ACTUAL STA improves climbing more than an uber efficient linkage design imo.
  • 8 0
 The leverage curve is not terrible. I think it restricts riders to air shocks only, but with the shape of the curve you can get a supportive midstroke that would pair well with air. It’s pretty similar to previous gen banshees
  • 3 0
 Eh. Look at frame-only prices and then add up the cost of the components. Not saying that this is the way it should be but I am saying that if you compare it to a Rocky Mountain you're coming out ahead with this full carbon frame $4800 build.
  • 1 0
 @bocomtb: I would prefer the better suspension. It doesn’t take too many months of riding to wear out a drivetrain and replace the wear parts/brake pads with finned etc. But suspension is a lot more of an outlay to upgrade. Btw, do you want to buy some internals from the Lyrik that came on my Enduro? It now has a charger 2.1 in it.
  • 27 3
 Nice review, per usual, Mike.

Note: As a moto guy from way back, I can assure you that WFO does NOT stand for Wide FULL Open. :-)
  • 5 11
flag AddisonEverett (Apr 21, 2021 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 It is what it means for Niner though.
  • 7 0
 Next you're going to tell me that Ibis doesn't mean Aluminum Frame.
  • 4 0
 And BFR stood for 'Big Falcon Rocket'
  • 20 2
 "Thee leverage rate is progressive until the last third of the travel, at which point it becomes slightly regressive (6%),"

Yeah, you'll need that Float X2 slammed with volume spacers to counteract that regressive last third of travel, lol!
  • 5 6
 170mm travel, slacked out HTA, ...but still doesn't scream "Go Faster!!" My go-to worst bike was the Scott Genius LT (recently replaced by an almost just as bad Scott Ransom) but this new WFO has me thinking "WTF was Niner thinking?"

...but at least it pedals well.
  • 3 2
 Seems like it would depend on rider weight and style. No? A slightly regressive top end helps to counteract the inherently progressive nature of air springs (especially if you're "slammed with volume spacers") to give the end result of a fairly linear response on the trail.

Putting volume spacers in, and then lowering the pressure to get back some initial small bump responsive makes the end stroke so hugely progressive that some riders will almost never be able to use all of the shock's stroke during regular trail rides.
  • 3 1
 Until one actually rides the bike with the proper suspension setting, I think it's really hard to make judgements on volume spacers or anything like that. Other factors come into play besides the leverage curve. I know I've made the mistake of judging how a suspension design will work just by the graphs.
  • 2 2
 It seems like the main reason everyone wants progressive leverage curves is that they want to run a coil. That's great if you run a coil but if not you might not be able to get things linear enough even if you remove all volume spacers. Obviously you can make it too linear/regressive but I would guess most people can tune this to their liking using volume spacers and be able to use all the travel like Kazimer said
  • 12 2
 Better be damn impressive if someone is to spend 5k on an SX equipped bike, brands own probably rebranded wheels that you may or may not be able to change to XD or MS drivers. Dunno couldent find any more info on them.
  • 13 3
 I think it looks cool. I like engineering. I also do not give a damn about how a bike looks as long as it rides really well.

Here is my problem: $6,000 for a GX Eagle build. $6,000!!!
  • 18 3
 To play devils advocate here...you’re getting great brakes, factory suspension and a great wheelset for that $6k. Drivetrains are wear components and that’s a super solid baseline build to upgrade onto later when/if supply chain issues die down or you wear parts out.

COVID has made almost all bike brands compromise somewhere and I’d much rather see it on the drive train than somewhere else
  • 4 1
 @BamaBiscuits: $6k buys you an amazing amount of bikes. That is a ton of money.
  • 5 1
 @jmhills: walmart bikes?
  • 6 1
 @jmhills: yeah I mean you could buy 5 of those Canyon Stoic hard tails for that. But not a lot of 170mm long travel 29ers with factory level suspension. $6k is absolutely a ton of money but it’s not out of line for what you’re getting here is all I’m saying
  • 7 2
 @BamaBiscuits: I think your view of “great” may be a little jaded thanks to watered down build kits from bike companies lately. I’d hardly call Code R brakes and DT Swiss E1900 wheels great. Serviceable maybe, but they’re low spec and have no place on a $6000 bike. Especially with a $500 (retail) GX drivetrain.
  • 12 3
 The price for the 2-star built is just a straight up insult to consumers. They think we're morons to spend almost $5k for SX, G2 brakes, performance suspension, and house wheels. They are laughing at us with that price.

I get that parts are harder to come by these days but you'll never convince me that $5k is justified for that spec list.
  • 1 3
 OK, When you do the math what do you come up with? The frame isn't more than other similar carbon frames, add a $700 fork etc and what do you get?
  • 9 1
 The Covid era might be what Niner needs for success. In contrast to the before times, they should actually be able to sell out a run of their bikes at retail and not have to clear them out on Jenson for cheaper than a shop employee’s EP form, thereby pissing off all their dealers. Provided they can get enough parts to hang on all their frames, they should do well. I’ve liked most of their bikes over the years, and heck, you could always score a deal on one, but I know shops got really frustrated. Maybe that’s all changed since their bankruptcy and restructuring. Hope they stick around.
  • 10 0
 I see the era of $5k bikes with SX is here. Now SRAM needs to come out with an even shittier drivetrain called PX in order to move forward the race to the absolute bottom.
  • 13 1
 Lots of tubes
  • 5 1
 Reminds me of a Ducati trellis frame
  • 6 2
 @Braapp: Those look pretty though
  • 2 0
 Are you saying Niner made a bike out of the internet?
  • 2 0
 @Braapp: blasphemy
  • 9 0
 At first I thought it had a bashguard, but I couldn't see the lower linkage. Turns out the bash is the lower linkage... Looks good though.
  • 5 0
 The lengths bike brands go to to get their version of short link four bar suspension patented
  • 2 1
 Yes. How hard can it be smacked, that's the question.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: the bike looks good I meant, the bash link looks like an aberration.
  • 2 0
 @BenPea: Why aberration? It's a functional component. It sure is exposed, that's why I was wondering how hard it can be smacked. It could indeed work as a proper bash!
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: exactly, but it does raise questions. It seems like a risky choice, unless the link, but also the bearings have been designed to take the kind of beating that might occur on a rig this burly.
  • 7 0
 I've got one of the 150mm travel Rip9 RDO's they brought out when the killed off the earlier WFO. The CVA even now is still one of the most impressive feeling suspension designs I've ever come across. But I'm forever wishing they'd stretch the thing out a bit longer! As it is I had to go to a large which I had to put a 50mm stem on and slide the seat back on the rails to the max and then slam the 125mm dropper as low as it can go in the frame and run shorter cranks to squeeze myself into the bike.
  • 2 0
 I agree, the CVA on my RIP, is probably the best suspension out there, that most will never ride!!
  • 1 0
 Sounds like you come in pretty high on the ape index
  • 1 0
 @TannerValhouli: Yep very much so, thankfully I was also gifted "Monkey muscle" to go along with that which makes rock climbing easier.
  • 11 1
 Wide Full Open - Sorry that's not what the f stands for.
  • 10 0
 username checks out
  • 2 0
 Yes and I’ve let the marketing department know I’m not happy with their “Marketing Correct” version of WFO. Lol.
WFO will always mean WFO...damn it.
  • 6 0
 I personally like the looks and geometry of this new WFO. I am a hardtail guy, but have owned a 2011 JET 9 for 5 years. I always liked the suspension feel on that thing. I understand it was a XC race bike back then. I still ride my 2011 SIR 9 as a singlespeed, and have the original RLT 9. Though my main ride is currently a Salsa Timberjack. Does this make me a fan boy? Probably. I just think most of the hate comes from people who have never ridden a Niner. It if works for Kirt, then it will work for anyone. My preferred local shop is a Niner and Kona dealer and if I ever go back to a full suspension bike it would be a RIP 9 or Process 134 for my type of riding.
  • 9 0
 3 sizes, none of which are for tall people?
  • 4 0
 Would tall people really want to ride this bike with that actual STA? Maybe it’s a strategic omission.
  • 2 0
 @stevemokan: fair point. I feel for the people buying a small, the STA on the chart for those guys is slacker than slackity slack slack slack.
  • 3 1
 There are fewer and fewer bikes for legit tall people. I'm reluctant to get rid of any of my bikes right now.
  • 5 1
 Love it when a brand doesn't make an XL, and then they just add "up to 6'5" on their large size guide. I guess they figure they can fool people into buying a bike too small for them instead of owning up to the fact that they're not making a bike for tall folks.
  • 1 0
 I think they probably planned on making an XL but killed it for financial reasons
I also presume this bike was designed before they changed ownership A( from their statements at the time and the Geo)
And that they used its manufacturing slots to capitalise on the ebike boom.
So that why this bike is here now ,the way it is.
  • 7 2
 First off let’s get something straight.... WFO is Wide Fu€king Open...not Wide Full Open .... come on marketing, it’s ok to call it what it is. Lol

Second, I have never seen so much negativity and bashing every time a new bike is released as I see on PB...WTF people, what’s with all the negativity? Why do so many mountain bike people act so snobby, elitist and douche? Should every mountain bike look the same and have the specs you think they should...and hell all the same color and parts spec...is that what you guys want? For what it’s worth I go the same fricken speed on every bike regardless of what name is on the parts hanger (frame)...but I do like the fact we have plenty of options.

My 2014 Niner WFO is still one of my favorite bikes and can’t wait on to throw a leg over the new one. I’m an old Moto guy and WFO is a full Moto term. Which is the only reason I bought my first WFO...wide fu€king open baby.
  • 5 1
 Loved my 2018 RIP 9 RDO, always wished for a slacker HTA for more stability at higher speeds and descents. Looks like the WFO in size Large is as big as my XL RIP9 was, but with a better stand over. Too bad I just built up a Stumpy EVO! Love those Niner's CVA suspension.
  • 3 0
 Cool aesthetics, looks quite accomplished. Nice antisquat profile, and the slightly regressive rate gives the impression of more usable travel. Also seems to offer a decent amount of torsional rigidity on the rear section. It would be good to have measured tests on this, but then again - some might always say that they want the flex!
  • 7 0
 That thing looks rad! Nice work @NinerBikes
  • 8 2
 My friend once described Niners aesthetic as "The Pontiac Aztec of bike brands" i don't disagree w/ that statement.
  • 8 3
 Abbreviation ≠ acronym. I’m sending in a SWAT team to save your FUBAR headline ASAP, Kaz.
  • 3 0
 M.O.A.R. acronyms pls
  • 1 1
 @ceecee: I found the acronyms! Re-do, Woof-oh, Luttid, Axis, Civa, Tullah and Sram (Shimano Really Aggravates Me).
  • 2 1
 @rider001: u lost me until the finale, where irritation is confused with aggravation...oh, I see, they're homophones of initials. Hashtag fake clarification
  • 4 2
 Effective seat tube angles are so misleading. I dig that brands like Nukeproof, Canfield, and a few others post actual ST angle. My Knolly Fugitive LT and my Meta AM 29 have the SAME effective STA on paper, but wildly different actual STA's... and the difference is VERY noticeable. This effective STA stuff feels like cross country propaganda...
  • 3 0
 Canfield had AMAZING geo sheets for the original Riot - CAD screenshots showing ETT, ESA, etc, at different seat post extensions for each size. No hidden assumptions, no BS - real numbers straight off the drawings. It was super helpful for me sizing my first, at the time, modern AM 29er. I actually just measured my Fugtive LT effective seat angle - 75.6 degrees vs. the geo chart's 76, if I remember right. Close enough for me.
  • 2 0
 Fortunately Commencal fixed that on the 2021 bikes. Much straighter STAs now.
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer: And standard title block tolerance for a one decimal angle is +/- .5 degrees
  • 2 1
 I have been riding my 2020 RIP 9 RDO 4 star XT build for the last year. Absolutely love it. Got along with it much better than the 2018 Orbea Rallon M-Team I briefly had before it. Specifically once I replaced the dpx2 for a dhx2 coil and increased the front to 160mm. It has been rock solid so far, 0 issues. Pricing seems a bit steep on the WFO though when something like the Evil Wreckoning or Transition Sentinel XT builds are $500-1000 cheaper (assuming we were in a world where bikes were in stock someplace). That said, I'd still love to test one out, it seems to check most the boxes for me.
  • 1 0
 I can dig it. But why did Niner abandon the blended toplink concept that their bikes used to be known for? I miss when that link wasn't so easy to pick out on the frame. That top link can fool the passerby into thinking its just an FSR suspension, when it is so much more than that. All they had to do was give it a curved upper profile and color match with the frame.
  • 3 1
 @mikekazimer , can you guys consider verifying some of the basic bike geometry when you make observations akin to a bike feeling shorter/higher than the numbers suggest?
  • 5 2
 This bike is a non-starter where I ride in the Northeast. That low linkage would be bashed constantly on the rocks.
  • 5 1
 Rockier than Colorado? Smile In any case, in practice, it's not really that big of a deal. Once you sit on the bike, the link moves up pretty much inline with the chainring. So if you're hitting stuff at speed, and the suspension is compressing at all beyond sag, you'll hit the chainring first. That said, that link is beefy AF. If you break that solid aluminum link you'll probably have bigger problems.
  • 2 0
 @jmvcolorado: The issue for me wouldn’t be hitting things at speed, but slow technical trails. Lots of rock gardens where a higher bottom bracket is desirable to avoid getting hung up. This linkage would be getting bashed constantly. I can’t compare to Colorado trails since I’ve only ridden Durango many years ago.
  • 1 0
 @jmvcolorado: I had the Jet 9 RDO with that same design, I smashed that link on rocks several times here in New York. Thankfully you’re correct that it’s a beefy link and it just got some nice scars on it.

Many of the times it was low speed tech and messing around “rock crawling” when it happened.
  • 1 1
 I had a Jet 9 that I sold last fall to fund a new bike (Revel Rascal). While I loved the Jet with the CVA linkage, it had two major issues:
1) lower pivots: I wore out two sets of lower pivots due to gunk and frame flex in one season
2) frame flex: the frame did a ton of flexing under any sort of load on the climbs. I live in WNY so all of our trails are punchy ups and downs.
I can see this bike having the same pivot issues as my previous Niner.
Sweet paint job though.
  • 3 0
 And then again if anyone has doubts about its versatility you can always google Kirt Voreis lol
  • 1 0
 Best thing about this bike is the color. This color is the bombshell redhead of the big travel bike game right now. But seriously... 2005 called, they want their regressive kinematics back.
  • 2 0
 Is the lower rear triangle linkage in a bit of a exposed space under the bottom bracket?
  • 2 0
 Absolutely, but don't worry, there's a plastic skid plate! ...a skid plate that got ripped off during Vital's review period. Hahah
  • 3 2
 Actually I fell victim to this with Blur TRc. My Antidote CJ also gets a bit of smashing there. SC moved away from this design around 2015. Niners execution is a good way forward but they should have made it even burlier next to pivots.
  • 2 0
 I doubt I've ever seen seat tube kinked rearward so much… kind of reminds me of my friend at Saturday morning
  • 1 0
 If I was sprinting in a 32x12 gear and the rear wheel hit a dip causing the suspension to compress, would it just suck down until my pedals hit the ground?
  • 1 0
 Possibly. A BB drop of 19mm + 48mm sag (28%) puts you in the dirt before you even touch anything ledgy. This bike is best spec’d with 165mm cranks.
  • 2 0
 I built a new $4K XT/Pike/etc level trail bike last year, and I thought I paid more than I should have...
  • 1 0
 With everything going on with the frame of this bike, it's actually the aesthetic of the head tube area that hurts my feelings the most....
  • 4 0
 i think it looks good...
  • 1 1
 Why on 2 start build put fox 38 and SX? what is wrong with product managers? literally 5 k for SX should not be charged at any circumstance, this is cheap shit that deteriorate on it's own
  • 1 0
 looks like you could get a 250cc 4 stroke OHC single in that bottom frame nest Wink
  • 2 0
 5k sx, I’m definitely thinking WTF...
  • 4 2
 imagine coughing up $4800 for a bike with an SX drivetrain
  • 3 0
 Or $10k for DT Swiss wheels on it....
  • 2 1
 @mikekazimer has there ever been a bike that had a seat tube angle that is too steep for you?
  • 3 1
 From the review of the Privateer 161: "All that being said, the good news is that the 161's steep seat tube angle does create a very comfortable climbing position for getting this beast up the hill. I'd say it's teetering on the brink of being too steep – it can feel a little strange on the flats, and I wouldn't want the effective top tube length to be much shorter, but as it is it works very well for making it as easy as possible to get the 161 up to the top of a steep ascent. "
  • 1 0
 I'm getting one...and a Grevil...and a DeRosa Tango to complete the quiver.
  • 2 0
 Love the bike... but i wouldnt pay 3480 gpb for a bike with an sx
  • 2 1
 If the lower links survives Danny MacAskills bike grinding stunts, that will be the best testimony for Niner.
  • 2 1
 Note strategic placement of crank arms in pics to hid the massive guppy belly....
  • 2 0
 I actually like the cable routing solution on the seat tube area.
  • 2 0
 How does a narrower rear tire add "precision"?
  • 1 1
 For the record, WFO & RDO are not Acronyms; they are abbreviations. An acronym forms a ‘word’ like NASA or scuba. In case you were wondering....
  • 2 0
 Those bikes look damn sexy.
  • 1 0
 A little too much jump between M and L. I think it needs separate XL in the lineup.
  • 2 0
 Nice color !
  • 2 3
 Product Meeting Heading - How can we over complicate a simple design using as many tubes as possible? but it is a nice colour :-)
  • 9 5
 I appreciate everything that doesn’t look like a Session. Hard thing to find these days...
  • 2 0
 It's a statement
  • 1 0
 I first read niner WTF 9 RDO
  • 4 3
 Niner reminds me of Ellsworth
  • 1 0
 Not a Mullet, Not Interested.
  • 2 2
 Frame looks like it was designed on an etch a sketch
  • 2 2
 Top tube that looks like a baseball bat
  • 1 1
 When is the float X3 coming out?
  • 1 1
 Gotta lie, I kinda like it.
  • 1 0
 ok
  • 1 0
 Is that a.. low pivot!?
  • 2 2
 If Quasimodo was a bike.
  • 5 6
 Weird design, overpriced, regressive suspension....perfect dentist bike.
  • 3 2
 Regressive at the end stroke isn't necessarily a bad thing. It actually helps some riders and shock setups create a more linear feel and be able to actually use all the shock's travel. The more you know…

"The wheel rate, or how the suspension actually feels at the wheel, is a combination of both the suspension design and the spring design; for example, a regressive suspension leverage ratio combined with a very linear coil spring may feel regressive, but the same design with a high volume air can may feel quite linear, and with a small air can may actually be progressive."
  • 2 1
 @jmvcolorado: sure, but this is a bike designed to be smashed into stuff. If I’m going full compression on a big landing, I want the last few mm of shock travel to be firmer to deal with the impact.

This setup means adequate bottom out resistance (even with a MegNeg or X2) will require a bunch of volume spacers, making the ride harsher.

For a 170mm bruiser that WILL get bottomed out on rough landings, a linear stroke with a little ramp up at the end is the way to go.
  • 1 0
 Dentists........offended. I guess they prefer the assumed association with Yeti to being Ninerds.
  • 1 3
 Niner dealers and owners must love their 2021s are dated by a year before the end of the first third of 2021.
  • 2 2
 Ellsworth hold my beer
  • 4 7
 Time to start a new company 32er... THIRTY2 or something. Just saying. Kirt will tailwhip it off a curb anyways.
  • 4 6
 Still haven't figured out how to unkink the seat tube I see...
  • 1 1
 funny this got more downvotes than upvotes, guess you simps like needing a certain brand post just to get more than 150mm drop haha
  • 2 4
 Never....Ever! No way.
  • 7 10
 oh man... that is fucking ugly Top tube
  • 2 4
 Niner makes bikes?
  • 5 7
 Avert your eyes!
  • 6 8
 Ugly AF.
  • 1 3
 Who even buys theese
  • 7 10
 Kill it with fire
  • 5 8
 That bike is fugly
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