Niner Rip 9 RDO Push Edition - Review

Aug 28, 2017
by Mike Levy  



From the company that embraced 29'' wheels like no one else, Niner's 150mm-travel RIP 9 RDO is designed to be a long-legged trail weapon that's ready for anything. The new version of the RIP 9 isn't just a single wheel-size pony, however, with Niner designing the frame to accept 27.5+ tires of up to 3" in width as well, although the bright orange test bike that I spent my time aboard stayed on 29'' wheels for the duration of my testing.

RIP 9 RDO models start with the $3,950 USD 1-Star spec and go up to the 5-Star version that's sports ENVE wheels and a correspondingly high $9,100 USD price tag. What's that, you want to spend more money? Niner's got something for you with the Rip 9 RDO Push Edition that's reviewed below and comes with, you guessed it, a custom tuned Push Elevensix coil-sprung shock. It also has Push's new ACS-3 coil-spring conversion kit inside the 160mm-travel Fox 36 Factory FIT4 fork, but Niner doesn't plan on offering that in stock builds. The bike's price jumps by $900 USD thanks to the Elevensix shock, pushing it up to $10,000 USD. Five digits always look like so much more than four, doesn't it?




Niner geo

Rip 9 RDO Push Edition Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 150mm
• Wheel size: 29'' (tested), 27.5+
• Push ElevenSix shock and Fox 36 coil spring conversion
• Niner's dual-link CVA suspension
• Clearance for 29 x 2.5'' or 27.5+ x 3.0''
• threaded bottom bracket shell
• ISCG 05 chain guide mount
• Weight: 30lb 2oz (large, w/ Push suspension)
• MSRP: $10,000 USD
www.ninerbikes.life


Frame Details

Niner redesigned the RIP 9 recently, and the all-carbon frame features some expected design notes like a Boost rear-end and ISCG 05 chain guide tabs, as well as one that I don't see many riders making use of: compatibility with 27.5+ wheels and tires. It's not that the bike wouldn't ride well on ultra-wide rubber, but the number of riders who actually swap between wheel sizes has to extremely low. It does create a wider market for Niner, of course, but I'll choose big wheels over fat tires every day of the week, thank you very much. Anyway, with loads of tire clearance, the option is there.


Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
Niner Push RIP 9 RDO


Niner went with a threaded bottom bracket shell, and like most high-end bikes these days, you can bolt on Di2 if you want a heavier and more expensive drivetrain. The RIP 9's cable routing is a mix of internal and external, but I'm not a fan of the rear brake and shift lines that look like they're floating in space beside the Elevensix shock. It's a gorgeous bike besides that, in my opinion, and those lines detract from an otherwise sharp appearance.


Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
The RIP 9's 150mm of rear wheel travel is controlled via Niner's CVA suspension design.


Suspension Design

There are a lot of dual-link designs on the market these days, most which seem to promise to end everything from pedal bob to world hunger, and Niner's CVA system is no different. Okay, so they aren't swearing that CVA will end starvation, but Niner does make some pretty bold claims as to its performance: ''... CVA has solidified its reputation for remarkable pedaling efficacy while remaining fully active around today’s larger wheel size while our competition struggles to adjust their suspension systems.''

The CVA name comes from the bike's axle path, which Niner says is a constantly varying arc (get it?) once the axle is past its rearward-most position when the bike is into its sag. Niner also claims that it's how the two aluminum links ''interact with pedaling forces by creating an ‘instant center’ location in front of the drivetrain'' that really make the design stand out from countless other dual-link designs on the market, as well as how it's said to function well regardless of chain ring size. I'm going to let Niner explain it to you here, but I'll sure as hell tell you if it performs as promised farther down in the review.

In Niner's own words: ''CVA’s linkage system works independently of chainring size and isolates pedaling forces by creating an ‘instant center’ location in front of the drivetrain. To illustrate, when a rider cranks on the pedals, the chain is trying to pull the lower link down and away from the bottom bracket, and the upper link in its regular, upward rotational path. Because of the lower pivot’s orientation, the force from chain tension pulls the two linkages in opposite directions regardless of chain ring size.

This effectively isolates the drivetrain from the rear triangle, and since the rear triangle is one piece, these opposing forces cancel each other out. That means the only outlet for pedal force is turning the rear wheel, and that’s exactly what you want.''
Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
CVA is a dual-link system that's said to be both efficient and active.

Regardless of how efficient the CVA system is said to be, all of their RIP 9 models come spec'd with a shock that has a pedal-assist lever, and my Push-equipped test bike is no different. The coil-sprung Elevensix shock goes for $1,200 USD on its own, but it adds 'just' $900 USD to the price of the RIP 9 RDO shown here. Hey, suspension salaciousness doesn't come cheap. The shock is manufactured in Colorado (the same state that Niner calls home) using US-sourced materials, and it features two independent high- and low-speed compression circuits that allow it to essentially be two shocks in one.


Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
See that gray lever? It lets you switch between two entirely different and independent compression modes.
Push ACS3
While not stock, my test bike came with Push's coil-sprung conversion kit inside of its 160mm-travel Fox 36.


My test bike also has Push's ACS-3 coil spring conversion kit inside of its Fox 36 fork, making the Niner coil-sprung both front and rear. That said, Niner doesn't plan on offering bikes with the ACS-3 conversion, despite my orange machine coming with it installed, but I'm sure that Push will happily sell you one for $389 USD.





Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $10000
Travel 150
Rear Shock PUSH ELEVENSIX
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT FACTORY FIT4 EVOL, 3 POSITION W/ ADJ, KASHIMA COAT, 160MM, 110X15MM
Headset NINER INTERNAL
Cassette SRAM EAGLE XG 1295, 10-50T
Crankarms SRAM DESCENDANT EAGLE CARBON GXP 32T CNC RING
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01 EAGLE 12SP
Chain SRAM X01 EAGLE 12SP
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 EAGLE 12SP
Handlebar RACE FACE SIXC 820MM WIDE, 20MM RISE, 35MM CLAMP
Stem RACE FACE TURBINE BASIC 50MM, 35MM CLAMP
Grips NINER GRRRIPS L/O FLANGED
Brakes SRAM GUIDE RSC
Hubs DT350
Rim ENVE M70 HV
Tires MAXXIS MINION DHF / DHR
Seat NINER CUSTOM TR
Seatpost KS LEV INTEGRA



Niner Push RIP 9 RDO






Climbing

If you had asked me a few years ago how well a coil-sprung, 150mm-travel bike would climb, I probably would have told you that I don't have a clue because I don't want to pedal it up a serious ascent to find out. My guess, however, would have been either poorly or very poorly, at least relative to air-sprung rigs with pedal-assist cheater levers that act as a crutch. Things are a lot different in 2017, though, and the big orange Niner is a solid climber, coil shock or not. That said, 30lb 2oz sounds a bit porky to me for a $10,000 USD trail bike, regardless of its coil suspension and beefy tires.

The Push Elevensix isn't just any coil shock, of course, as its design allows it to essentially act as two shocks in one thanks to a lever that switches from one dedicated circuit to another. The obvious advantage is that you can set one circuit up for climbing, which is exactly what I did. With more low-speed compression in the climbing setting than in party mode, the Niner goes from being a decently efficient trail bike to a star performer relative to its travel. But I'm not a fan of switches, to be honest, despite it widening a bike's performance window greatly, as I'm much more of a 'set and forget' type of guy. Thankfully, the bike's 150mm of coil-sprung, incredibly active travel manages to stay relatively calm when you're on the gas, so while reaching down to flip the Elevensix's gray cheater lever does help, I also got by just fine without using it on singletrack climbs. Let's not forget that the Push shock also allows you to have the bike's rear end perform however you want it to, so you could go to town with the LSC or, if you don't think you need it, leave it more open to help with traction.


Niner RIP 9 review
Loads of traction, efficient suspension, and relatively quick handling means that the RIP 9 RDO is an impressive climber.


And speaking of traction, this bike has it in spades - Niner seems to have struck a real world balance between drive and traction that works well. The bite is always there thanks to the beefy tires and wide ENVE rims that allow for low pressures, as well as the active Elevensix shock. The front of the bike is a different story, with the ACS-3 spring conversion inside in what used to be an air-sprung Fox 36 being extremely active. I'd probably look past my disdain for levers and switches if the fork had a three-position compression adjustment like some of Fox's other forks make use of.
bigquotesWith more low-speed compression in the climbing setting than in party mode, the Niner goes from being a decently efficient trail bike to a star performer relative to its travel.

The RIP 9's intentions are a bit ambiguous, with Niner placing it under the enduro category on their website but also calling it their "most capable trail bike.'' Thankfully, at least when it comes to climbing, the RIP 9's handling certainly leans more towards the latter than the former. For how much travel it has, it's a bike that eats up technical climbs laced with spaghetti monster roots and switchbacks that call for trackstands far more proficiently than any of the latest enduro machines with chopper head angles and limousine wheelbases. There's an obvious tradeoff to that sort of ability, of course, and I'll get to that later on, but just know that those who enjoy challenging climbs and a good amount of forgiving suspension will be won over by the Push-spec'd RIP 9 RDO.


Niner RIP 9 review
What goes up must come down, and the RIP 9 RDO descends like a very capable trail bike when that time comes. Rider: Jed Sims.


Descending

I'm of two minds after spending time on the RIP 9 RDO. On one hand, it's a hell of a long-legged trail bike that's ready for any type of battle you might want to throw it into. On the other hand, it's not exactly a prime-time enduro machine as some other 150mm, 29'' wheeled bikes are. With a 67-degree head angle (it backs off half a degree with 27.5'' wheels and a 170mm fork), it can't keep up with the likes of the Slash, Enduro, or Hightower LT, all of which are slacker and more stable under duress.

That's not a fair comparison, clearly, as Niner is obviously not intending the RIP 9 to compete head-to-head with those monsters, but it's hard to ignore them given the obvious parallels.


Niner RIP 9 review
The Push coil-sprung shock and fork conversion make the RIP RDO more of a ground-hugger than a jumper, but it can still get off the deck when needed.


I've never been shy when it comes to telling people that slacker and longer isn't always better, and the RIP 9's combination of relatively lively handling and ultra-active coil-sprung suspension create quite a unique package. Sure, it feels a bit too tall and pointy to be a true beast on the descents, but it makes up for that with agility that an enduro machine can only dream of, and suspension that makes air-sprung trail bikes feel like they're grasping at straws when things get rough or traction gets low. The Push-equipped coil-sprung fork and Elevensix coil-sprung shock track the ground in a way that almost makes them feel under-damped, but that's far from the case: there's more than enough control to the stroke, but both ends of the bike take in and delete the smallest of impacts. As you'd expect, traction feels endless, especially with the big Maxxis WT meat, and the whole thing just screams capability. Interestingly, the supple coil-sprung setup did well to resist hard bottoming on either end, despite shaming air shocks and forks at every other point in stroke.

But the geometry... Damn, this thing deserves to be slacker and lower. Yes, Mike ''everyone should be on a quicker handling bike'' Levy just said that. I know that Niner is positioning the RIP 9 RDO as more of a burly trail bike than an all-mountain or enduro machine, but its aftermarket suspension is better than any off the shelf enduro bike that I can name. Niner says that the RIP features revised geometry that's ''optimized for modern trail riding," which is something that I can definitely get behind, but I couldn't help but find myself wishing for more progressive numbers when I rode the bike at ten-tenths.
bigquotesBut the geometry... Damn, this thing deserves to be slacker and lower.


Niner RIP 9 review
Traction equals confidence, and the big Maxxis tires and incredibly supple suspension mean that the orange Niner delivers that in spades.


The nimble personality does make the big Niner a fun rig when it's more about slicing and dicing than all-out speed, and it's more than happy to take novel lines or cut inside when most other 150mm-travel bikes would struggle to do anything but head straight through the widest, most obvious route. It isn't as stable on fast corners as other bikes of the same ilk, Push magic or not, which is the tradeoff for that agility.

No, she's not a bike park or race machine, but I'd happily live with the RIP 9 RDO if most of my riding consisted of big days in the saddle that covered rough, technical ground, especially if I dropped some extra coin on the Push suspension upgrades for the front and back of the bike.


Niner RIP 9 review
The RIP 9 can't compete with slacker machines of the same travel when things get steep and deep. This a long-legged trail bike, not an enduro rig.


Component Check

• ENVE M70 HV Rims: I haven't been shy about poking fun at exceptionally pricey carbon rims, but ENVE's M70 HV hoops were trouble-free and suit the RIP 9 RDO's intentions as a burly trail bike. There were no issues when it came to their performance, but there's one weird thing to note: rattling sounds from inside of both rims required the tires and tape to be pulled off to dump out small plastic pieces that looked like they were left over from manufacturing.

• Push Suspension Upgrades: I've already waxed on and on about the bike's Elevensix shock and ACS-3 coil spring conversion kit inside the 160mm-travel Fox 36, but my time on Push's kit has me wanting to give both a try on a slacker, more enduro-focused sled. Regardless, the Colorado-built units are well suited to anyone who values exceptionally active and controlled suspension.


Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
The ENVE M70 HV rims performed well, but the plastic rattling around inside of them was odd.
Niner Push RIP 9 RDO
The 70mm stem isn't out of line given the RIP 9's intentions, but a shorter option helped to tone down the bike's quick handling.


• Creaking Links: The rocker under the bottom bracket started to groan and complain after only a few weeks of riding, and while enough dust and miles will eventually make any bike creak, noise after two weeks of use is a bit too soon for my liking. Pulling the link to clean it and do a re-greasing job eliminated the noise, and it hasn't returned since.

• Cockpit Adjustments: If I forget that I've spent twenty-five years riding in the Pacific Northwest, I'd say that a 760mm wide handlebar and 70mm stem aren't completely out of line for a trail bike like the RIP 9 RDO, but I couldn't help but think that most riders will benefit from at least swapping out the stem for something in the 50 to 60mm range. A stubbier 50mm stem helped to dampen the Niner's steep feeling 67-degree head angle, which in turn let to more confidence on the descents.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesDon't buy the RIP 9 RDO Push Edition thinking that it's an enduro beast, despite its travel and wheel size matching more capable bikes - this is yet another lesson that geometry trumps everything. The RIP 9 RDO is an interesting combination of trail bike handling and ridiculously capable suspension, and it's going to be a winner for a rider who values agility over plowing capability. Mike Levy







About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 36 • Height: 5'10” • Inseam: 33" • Weight: 165lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: killed_by_death
Mike Levy spent most of the 90s and early 2000s racing downhill bikes and building ill-considered jumps in the woods of British Columbia before realizing that bikes could also be pedaled for hours on end to get to some pretty cool places. These days he spends most of his time doing exactly that, preferring to ride test bikes way out in the local hills rather than any bike park. Over ten years as a professional mechanic before making the move to Pinkbike means that his enthusiasm for two wheels extends beyond simply riding on them, and his appreciation for all things technical is an attribute that meshes nicely with his role of Technical Editor at Pinkbike.



252 Comments

  • 200 3
 Maybe it's just me, but a bike specd with a Fox 36 and 70mm stem just says someone at Niner is asleep.
  • 106 2
 The long stem was strategically chosen to take your mind off the cable routing.
  • 21 36
flag caravan (Aug 28, 2017 at 9:05) (Below Threshold)
 whats wrong with a 36?
  • 82 5
 it's a niner, dentists and CFO's won't know the difference.
  • 23 0
 @caravan: Nothing, it is just that a 36 with a long stem is an odd combo. Long stems are for more XC oriented bikes while a 36 screams long travel plower.
  • 90 2
 niner - the company that for the most part popularized the wagon wheel only to get surpassed by just about every other bike company...
  • 38 1
 The entire bike is a contradictory mess. And as said above, the cable routing is all-time bad.
  • 10 1
 @caravan: The fork isnt the problem here...its the LOOOOONG stem for the bike/fork combo
  • 21 0
 @atrokz: This dentist isn't buying a Niner (nothing wrong with them, but they've never have been my cuppa joe) and the last 70mm stem I ran was on my cyclocross bike. Nowadays a 50mm stem seems too long as I run a 35mm.
  • 7 2
 @hellbelly: so, for CFO's then? I guess SC CC bikes are the new Dentist bikes? SWorks? We all want to know! haha.
  • 22 1
 @atrokz: I ride an Evil Wreckoning that I built up with mostly my own parts.Local dealer is a friend and a patient. Not light weight, but an insanely fun bike. The fanciest thing on it is a Chromag BZA bar that I scored off eBay. Otherwise it's str8 forward no bs bits.
  • 12 1
 @hellbelly: I hope you're ok being the brunt of all the new mtb jokes Wink
  • 26 1
 What's wrong with dentists? Along with surgeons, they're the most hands-on of the lot. Insurance company execs and political lobbyists are a better target. Signed, Not a dentist.
  • 17 1
 @ceecee: Facepalm Long, long standing joke. Even used by PB.
  • 14 0
 @atrokz: Finance guy here on a Bronson CC. I'm pretty sure the 2 dentists I know both have S-Works bikes.
  • 16 0
 @Connerv6: ok, confirmed then. S-Works for dentists.

@hellbelly Please send your bike up to me, if size L or XL, and purchase an S-Works. Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Spec wise this bike is nearly a twin to my 2016 Enduro...I'm wondering where the difference lies...
  • 6 3
 @atrokz: Size medium and a big Nope to S-Works anything. Spending thousands to save grams is foolish IMHO. Specialized is the company that everyone loves to hate and hates to love in the bike world. I think Specialized has many clever ideas and well designed products, however I do not care for any of their bikes, save maybe some of their cyclocross offerings. I have never liked the way any FSR rode (demoed on different models nearly yearly since '99) and while they've improved greatly over the years, I believe there are vastly superior suspension designs available.
  • 13 0
 @hellbelly: sorry bro but the rules are the rules! Even if I agree with your point we dont decide these things. The lizard people do.
  • 6 1
 @jclnv: I've never liked Santa Cruz's cable routing much either which is pretty much the same but nobody has ever mentioned it
  • 8 5
 @atrokz: Dentists buy Yetis
  • 18 8
 Dentists take your pain away... show some freaking R3spec't
  • 3 1
 @hellbelly: Snap bro, but you gotta put some choice bits on. I love a Hope Hub click..
  • 2 0
 @LCW1: Uh...not this one. I don't like Yetis nor do I want one.
@faceplanting: Funny you mention that as I have new rear wheel being built for me with a Pro4 hub.
@atrokz: Rules? They are made to be broken. At the end of the day, anyone may ride or do whatever turns them on. However, I will reserve the right to make fun of them. Functionality, durability and simplicity are turn ons in cycling for me.
  • 18 2
 30 pounds... $10,000
Go home you are drunk.
  • 2 3
 @richierocket: I have a fraction of that cost in my bike. I also have no desire to lighten my bike up.
  • 4 0
 @hellbelly: that's what they want you to believe.

m.imgur.com/gallery/meftV0q
  • 1 1
 @dwojo: I very nearly put, "even worse than Santa Cruz" in my original comment.
  • 3 3
 Cable routing is not too different from a sc bronson and many other bikes. After owning the new jet 9 rdo for a year, i am pleased with a mix of internal and external routing options.
  • 1 3
 @caravan: somebody wake up caravan back there...
  • 6 13
flag jrocksdh (Aug 28, 2017 at 22:02) (Below Threshold)
 @ceecee: dont question the leftist millennials, they'll melt or start a protest- assuming they can get something for free while there.
  • 2 1
 Carbon wheels and fancy bouncy parts aside, there's no reason for this bike to cost 10 g's
  • 4 3
 @Jmc1gear: suspension and rims alone give you that price. It's hard to go more expensive than this for those departments. Priciest shock, priciest fork, priciest rims. +3k on these. You'd have to drop in Di2 or some stupid German uber-lightness components with sketchy durability margins.
  • 3 0
 Kirt Voreis and guys just slapped them on the face doing a promo video on stubby stemmed bikes.
  • 1 1
 @AlexS1: long stems do better whips, just sayin'
  • 8 3
 @jrocksdh: Jesus... I think you're on the wrong site. You should be over at Breitbart talking about how global warming is a Chinese hoax.
  • 4 2
 @jrocksdh: Back at it again i see. Here is the link to infowars www.infowars.com. Go complain about freeloading leftist millennials in your echo chamber.
  • 2 2
 @packfill: It's possibly a global hoax.
  • 1 2
 Fake offended!
  • 3 6
 Don't get me wrong--I like short stems better, but 70mm isn't long.
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: you mean... disc hoax
  • 2 1
 @jclnv: Riiiighht. The vast majority of climate scientist from around the world flew to a leftist island somewhere in the south pacific, and came up with an elaborate plan to fool everybody for no gain. Wait... Now that i put it that way, it sounds completely legit.
  • 3 3
 @packfill: Well if you don't agree with the consensus, you don't get further funding.

I'm totally of the opinion that human caused carbonic acids are doing lots of damage to oceans via acidification but I'm not totally convinced airborne Co2 is causing warming. Look at the data yourself, the Icelandic ice core samples for example show 10 degrees of warming in a couple of decades yet we're arguing over 2 degrees over 100 years.

Listen I'm a closet hippie and 100% science. I'm also fully aware that we're f**king up every ecosystem on the planet but I'm just not convinced that humans have had as much effect on the warming as we think. I appreciate the industrial revolution/warming correlation but it might just be coincidence.
  • 3 1
 @jclnv: also more concerned with what's happening in the oceans but you can't sell 'green' product for that. Instead, you can (force) sell millions of new cars to people contributing less than 1% to greenhouses gasses, get the tax, collect the carbon tax on production, and sit on your high horse flying private jets around, eating livestock, and allowing sharks to be de-finned and reefs to be drudged. Don't forget selling the province on 'green energy for 42b' while buying US coal burning plants.... what a time to be alive.
  • 4 4
 @packfill: I can't stand people that wave off climate science with a conspiracy theory. It bothers me so much that, since I am about to finish a PhD in math, I've started boning up on PDEs and reading a bit about climate science models, since numerical analysis and algorithms is something I can do.

I am a very petty person. I am doing this so that the next time someone says something retarded about climate science I can fire off and be like 'oh, do you think I'm part of the conspiracy, too?'
  • 1 0
 @WaterBear: Are you though?
  • 7 0
 YOU ARE ALL RABID ANTI-DENTITES!
  • 3 0
 @atrokz: I guess it's true. Dentists don't have a sense of humor Wink
  • 1 0
 @FLATLlNE: No sense of humor whatsoever. Everything we do is completely serious. Thankyouveramuch, I'll be here all week, tip your bartender. Big Grin
  • 1 3
 @hellbelly: I'm sorry for his bartender... Big Grin just a joke no harm meant
  • 3 0
 @hellbelly: lol. Maybe you're alright after all Wink
In all seriousness I have a great relationship with my own dentist. Can't imagine ever wanting to disrespect the guy - my teeth look amazing and for that, if he wants an Evil, I think he should have two of them.
  • 3 4
 @jclnv: it is impossible to cover a topic like impact of humans on average atmospheric temperature of the Earth on Pinkbike. What I can tell you though that it's not that hard to measure how much greenhouse gases humans give off to the atmosphere, because there is an estimate how many humans there are on the planet, and what is their energy consumption and expenditure. If vast majority of scientists say that humans are contributing to global warming at "large scale" then take it for granted, because many of these folks don't agree with each other on what gravity is. The leftist bias on the case is sometimes disturbing, but "we don't give a fk" is worse. Ok we cause the atmosphere to warm, and so what? Well, we can't do much about it. We won't change our ways from one day to another, not even in 20 years. Oceans are dying, really? What will you do about it? Nothing. you can hope we will save some as we get a bit better at not killing them. What about AI? Post biological life? We'll make it to 2050 at full speed, maybe by then we'll be sliwly becoming robots and the leftist bullsht "think about your grand children" will become irrelevant. You will worry if "your" grand children won't kill your children. After all Non biological "life" doesn't need fresh air, doesn't even need ozon layer. Planet will be fine, so will biological life on it, it's been through worse. But will humanity be here in 150 years? Quite probably not. There may be a lot of stuff flying in our solar system though...
  • 1 1
 @FLATLlNE: Excellent. I know a few other doctors that ride. Some are flashy and some are not. Some spend money because a lbs told them that whatever bike they had at the shop was "the best" or whatever. I however believe that retail is for schmucks and Christmas shoppers and as such I am not much for flavor of the week items. I know what I am looking at when I shop and/or I do my homework. I ride an Evil because it blew away everything else I demo'ed and my friend is a local dealer. I have been mountain biking now for thirty years. I am not flashy. I am a bigger guy and I buy stuff that works for the riding I enjoy (enduro/all mountain/light oldskool freeride/dh or whatever marketing term you prefer). I do most of my own repair/maintenance work having built up all of my bikes over the last fifteen years with only a modicum of assistance. If you see me out riding there is nothing about me that would point to me being a dentist. No one ever knows and honestly I don't want to give off that kind of haughtiness anyway. Well, actually I do wear hideous tiki shirts to ride in, but that's about it. Wink
  • 3 1
 @hellbelly: I respect you for your self reliance. But I respect the next guy who may rely on the bike shop just as much in the end. People have lives, families, and careers. Not everyone has the time to dedicate to learning bikes. I'd sooner see a Dr. who spends his cash wrecklessly on shop advise because he spends too much time paying attention to what's new in the medical field, rather than staying abreast on what's new in the bike industry himself. Know what I mean? That guy deserves is paycheck, and an overly blingy bike should he choose. And I owe it to him to respect that, because in the end he got there by looking out for my best interest.
  • 3 0
 @cky78: Dude I would love it if some global conspiracy wants to try to bribe me. Funding is hard to come by for basic science in the United States these days.
  • 1 2
 @WaterBear: blame yourself, should have gone into nutrition and supplements... plenty of funding there
  • 1 5
flag jclnv (Aug 29, 2017 at 14:19) (Below Threshold)
 @WaterBear: What is climate science? It's a recently introduced branch of atmospheric science. Where does the data come from for atmospheric science? Ice core samples. Now, go and look at that data and get back to me.

There's this rather large nuclear reaction going on in the sky above half the planet at any one time and we know very little about it's variability over time.
  • 1 0
 @jclnv: A bunch of people who are much smarter and more qualified than you or me did that and 99.99% of them agree human produced CO2 is contributing to global warming. When 99% of doctors say you have cancer from aesbestos, do you ask for the raw data or have the gall to pretend you are more qualified (or qualified at all) to interpret it? I know its all the rage to dismiss expertise as elite know-it-alls but umm... they are experts, you are not.
  • 1 2
 @freestyIAM: To a point I agree with you but I have no bias and agenda either way unlike most "climate scientists".

Ultimately though I don't really care if the changes required to reduce Co2 are implemented. I'm hardly a fan of the fossil fuel industry!
  • 2 0
 @jclnv: so you really think that relation between Suns activity and raise of average temperature wasn't studied enough? So you mean no one took notes from Suns observations and put them on top of the graph of raising temperature? well they did, that's quite basic investigatory stuff - there is no corelation between suns cycles and recent raise in temperature. There is however corelation between temperature and raise in population along with increase in energy consumption per capita. No, ice cores are not the only source of information. It's not that hard to come up with other markers... why are we even discussing this?
  • 1 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Yeah likely true but the historical data we have for solar radiation is extremely limited.
  • 2 0
 @FLATLlNE: I am not really sure how to respond to this as your statements seem to infer that people can really only focus on their career skills if they are to serve others at the top of the curve. You might want to consider that people have the ability to do multiple things at a high level. Being the highest paid doctor doesn't mean you are the most skilled at your profession. It means you are the best business person. I avoid defining people by their careers, addresses, bank accounts, cars they drive or bikes they ride. None of that crap matters to me. Instead, there are two kinds of people you will encounter; a*sholes and everyone else. Ride on.
  • 1 0
 @hellbelly: No - not at all. Apologies if I'm not clear in my message. You are completely right, there are people who can do it all, and there are people who just don't care too or can't manage time wise. Seems there is a large number of users who will slam someone for buying a high ticket item they "don't need", or who blindly follow shop advice, who don;t scour the internet for the latest bike news and facts, and who simply can't make time to have the neatest most well curated bike. It really comes down to time and priorities, and really who are we to judge someone else's list of priorities, especially when you don't know them? If someone has the cash and want's to spend it on some whacky dream machine - who cares, if it makes them happy. Even if I think it's an odd bike because I spend countless hours studying bikes, I shouldn't expect that sort of analysis from someone else - maybe while I'm reading bikes, they are spending precious time with family, or actually out saving lives and in their off time they'd rather ride than read. While this probably isn't the lion share of people, it certainly is the case sometimes, and I don't think that particular niche deserves to catch flack. You follow me?
  • 3 0
 @FLATLlNE: I'm sure I'd follow you if we rode together as I'm not that fast. I like to say that I will never begrudge anyone their proclivities, desires, beliefs or priorities, but I do reserve the right to heckle them. The only thing I take seriously is my lack of seriousness. Party.
  • 2 0
 @hellbelly: Well stated...
  • 78 0
 @mikekazimer, @mikelevy, @vernonfelton, @richardcunningham - So we have this class of 29ers that push versatility to new levels by being way more nimble and way more bomber than their predecessors. Or, really, two classes of 29ers, as all the aggressive short travel 29er trail bikes now have longer travel aggressive trail/enduro bike big siblings. And you guys keep testing them, usually in higher end spec, and telling us which of these work best for what niches/preferences/etc. But the rub is the higher spec thing - I know you probably hear that a lot, and the brands want you to test the drool-worthy halo bikes. But what about a comparison of high to mid to low spec? You can buy this bike for 10k, or for just under 4k, and at various price points in between. Same is true, more or less, of Specialized, Evil, Transition, Kona, Trek, etc. with their offerings. That's a lot of range.

Where's the sweet spot? What are the weak points on the lower-end builds? Which of these bikes do great only in the top end spec because they need insanely good suspension to make their kinematics work? Which of these companies do a better job at offering common sense spec levels that will actually do the job? Value for money is a big consideration for most of us when buying our toys; we don't want to spend money on stuff that's not providing a lot of return on investment, but we also don't want to end up doing the penny-wise-pound-foolish thing.
  • 6 0
 Yes
  • 5 9
flag PLC07 (Aug 28, 2017 at 9:44) (Below Threshold)
 I don't think suspension quality alters the ride significantly, unless you're going very low end. All you'll get is a sllightly better performing suspension.

As a rider that is probably somewhere above average but nowhere near pro, I find the sweet spot is around 3k-4k$ USD. You get quality suspension with decent adjustments. Low end forks/shocks don't even have compression settings sometimes, which is unforgivable as far as I'm concerned while most riders don't get all that much benefit from both low/high compression/rebound settings (most people don't even know how to set rebound right). Also, if you're going to do any serious riding, the cheaper bikes will usually have flimsy rims, sub-optimal tires and cheap brakes.

All you get for paying more is more adjustments and a lighter bike. It is great to have but nowhere near a must. Also, after the 4k$ range it seems like the "bang for your buck ratio" is taking a massive dip in the sense that you pay a lot more only to shave a few grams here and there and get slightly better performing components.
  • 19 5
 @g-42 - if you equip that frame with Superstar rims, SLX Drivetrain, Deore brakes you won't lose much if anything.

When it comes to suspension, heh, that's something I would find hard to let go as I am pretty sure that shock and fork actually do make a difference. Which brings me to say, that I'd rather have a low end Jeffsy 29 boosted with this suspension than that Niner with all those bells and whistles but on stock Fox or RS.
  • 5 1
 It's been said before, but bike companies send the best of the best for reviews. Why? Because, "lightest, best performing, reliable" parts make for a better experience. If it had base parts, it would easily add 2-3 pounds. Less expensive shifters, wheels or droppers, though perfectly fine, break down quicker and have so-so performance once you ride the top shelf stuff. It's to put an experience into the reviewer. Oddly, when you do find a "base price" review, you find the reviewer says, "The bike is a solid bike, but I would upgrade (insert part/parts) to make it better". If you look at the ride qualities, not including custom shock/fork parts, you can see past the fluff and decide if it has a decent ride to buy the lower priced models. The shock/fork can make a difference in overall ride, but can be upgraded later.
  • 5 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Agreed. You get what you pay for with suspension. Big difference between my a Vanilla R and RC2 or Vanilla RC2 and RC4 or Performance/Evolution line and Factory and Pike RC and RCT3. XT and XTR? Not a huge deal. Sram X9 and XO? Meh. I just upgraded to a Float X2/36 RC2 and it’s a different bike. A better bike.
  • 2 1
 @PLC07: Let me just quote part of the conclusion of 2017 Specialized Enduro 29 linkage kinematics analysis: "A couple of years FSR patent expired and since then Specialized has concentrated much in designing their forks and shock absorbers, manufactured in collaboration with Ohlins. It is a strategy designed to stand out from other brands and the truth it is that this system is highly damper dependent so in principle it seems a good idea, the problem is that models midrange and low are equipped with suspensions much more simple and they will not work so well ..."

From: linkagedesign.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/specialized-enduro-29-2017.html using Google translator (with some editing).
  • 1 0
 ...and we don't want to hear the usual response "If we like the $10k bike the lower level models are probably comparable but a bit heavier and without the flash".

Carbon wheels and push suspension probably make a mediocre bike feel decent!
  • 4 1
 I build my own bikes. From the frame up. It's not hard and the kit can be perfectly picked and suited for any preference.
  • 5 3
 @emilio333: building up bike on your own is more expensive than buying a complete. My current bike was the first one that came out cheaper. Only because I wanked the hell out of online sales and classifieds. That takes time and patience.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns:Then there is also the industry generated noise that's not helping either.

Do I go for this discounted non-boost fork or do I wait for the this year's boosted one to get cheaper? Oh, it seems that the 20mm axle is making a comeback. Maybe I'll wait for that one. Don't wanna buy the incompatible front hubs either. Shame, this deal on wheels is very sweet. Wait! They are reducing offsets on those forks. Maybe I should wait this one out as well? What? Geometry of that frame in box, collecting dust is already outdated? Great! There is a fully built bike on Bikemarkt with the asking price of my frame alone.

Or you just give in and say:"Take my money!"
  • 2 4
 @jollyXroger: exactly. And then there is availability. Yea I go for GX crankset! Oh... out of stock... I'll take the 50€ pricier XT then... or should I wait... or... maybe... I buy a dosage of new parts every 3rd year. The buy/sell season in Sweden is around October-January. It takes me around a month of wrap up everything. I am a rather unpleasant person to live with under one roof. It stresses the hell out of me. Right before Christmas...
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I think at least for the shock, that's a question of which rear suspension system you're riding. Some rear suspensions are pretty sensitive to how good a shock you throw at it, others are not. I upgraded shocks on my Process 111 (long story involving a very nice discount offered by RS upon lobbying from my LBS), and while I like that new shock a whole lot (among other things, because the damper part that had died on my old one can be easily replaced on this one), the (pretty simple) suspension on this bike does well even for a heavy rider with a pretty basic shock. That's not true of a bunch of other bikes - cheap suspension on Specialized bikes tends to not do so well for heavy riders, and tends to be abysmal on Giants.
  • 1 2
 @g-42: I personally don't get why would anyone tinker too much on shocks for short travel bikes. I rode a few including Process 111 and in my personal experience suspension on those bikes is there only to get edge of big hits and to provide traction on smaller bumps. It feels incapable of absorbing anything and doesn't provide any error margin. Fair enough, after all these bikes are XC bikes with rowdy geometry allowing to open a bit more gas on descents than racing rigs. Definitely a better choice for mile eating bike than XC racer due to much better handling.

As to Specialized, huh, well it's as bad/good as Trek, YT, Canyon and many more. The issue is that even Stumpjumpers are equipped with air shocks without reservoirs, which never will work as well as let's say Float X2 or CCDB. The reason is obvious, lower price and lower weight, he does care about the weight though. Most Joeys I know often mention low weight when proudly talking about their new bike. After all average buyer cannot feel difference between Float and Ohlins. Kinematics are overrated. If someone claims he is serious about his component choice and gets a 140-170 bike then he should get a real damper, not some sophisticated tyre pump like FLoat or Monarch.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns:Yes this can certainly be the case if one isn’t careful. I take my time and plan my builds moths in advance. Sure it takes time and effort to hunt down the right deal but it makes the spending much easier as it doesn’t happen all at once. I can honestly say that I saved over $3500 over a factory bike on my last build and have a kit that is absolutely superior in every way. Hit up craigs and ebay the deals do exist if you’ve got patience.
  • 70 1
 Overpriced. For $7000, you can get a x01 carbon wheeled pivot. For $8000, an Ibis HD4 with X01 and carbon wheels with industry nine hubs. For $8300, a Turner RFX with a push 11-6, X01 and Enve wheels. If I wanted to be really cheap, I could get a YT Jeffsey CF Pro for $5,600 and send the shock to avalanche for $250 and have it custom tuned and the fork to Push for $225 to have it tuned and upgraded. Why would I want this bike with its poor cable routing and questionable handling?
  • 90 1
 And as an added bonus, none of them are Niners.
  • 47 0
 It's so overpriced I didn't even bother reading the article, 10k and it has a basic aluminum stem, and not even top tier drivetrain. Go fuck yourself Niner, this is everything wrong with the bike industry
  • 5 2
 for 7000$ you can get the best model of the Intense Tracer
  • 3 0
 Firebird w/ carbon hoops is more like $8400, but point taken.
  • 7 1
 For $7100 Pivot, you don't get a dropper. It comes with DT XM wheels. Raynold's wheels are an upgrade. You pay extra for the known reliability of Enve over Reynold's which fall far short of Enve's reputation. The Pivot XTR 1x build with dropper and non Enve carbon wheels is $9300, $200 more than this.

To get Carbon wheels on the IBIS is $8400, which once again is their house brand wheels. Comparable to Enve for sure. But then you don't get a kashima shock. Has XT brakes instead of Guide RSC, which is down to personal preference really. But the Guides are more expensive.

The Turner is $8400 with 11-6 and Enve, but still comes with a Pike, cheaper brakes, and unknown handlebar.
  • 5 0
 @core559: You get a dropper.
  • 5 0
 @MetalheadWolfRider: Or you can wait a until the end of the season, and get it for half that!
  • 5 1
 Send your stuff to Avalanche, dude. You probably get more knobs and such from Push but Craig's got some nice technology I don't think you can get elsewhere, like his blow off LSC valve.
  • 2 1
 Niner makes some really solid bikes, and has basically led the 29er movement. That said, they've kind of shit the bed the last few years. This bike's aesthetics are pushing into Ellsworth territory. And it has PFBB.
  • 3 1
 @core559: Pivot 5.5 X01 with carbon wheels and a fox tranfer dropper is $7099 on the Pivot Website.
  • 2 0
 @carym: 8500 for an S-Works Enduro complete with Eagle XX1, carbon roval wheels, and ohlins suspensions
  • 1 0
 @MetalheadWolfRider: that's almost 10k not 7
  • 1 0
 @MetalheadWolfRider: actually 11k lol
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888: right,it's the Pro build that you can get around 7k
  • 4 0
 There is no secret, if you want all the components you like and the best possible bike, you got to build your own bike. Plus it's part of the fun and it's YOURS, sort of one off. Did that and will probably never go back to anything else.
  • 1 0
 @carym: Well you actually get the aluminum wheelset and the carbon Reynolds are available as an upgrade at that price. It's kinda misleading on their site. But with the upgrade, the Pivot still a better bike at a lesser price.
  • 1 1
 @Uhlrichl1: I never thought I would see the day the price on an S Works would seem reasonable.
  • 1 1
 @carym: Pivot 5.5 X01 wheel upgrade. Comes with DT M1700, a $300 wheelset.
  • 29 0
 $10k and you didnt love everything about it?? thats awesome!
  • 26 1
 Every PB review of flagship $8,000-$10,000 bikes should include an accompanying review of the same bike in its $4,500-$5,500 configurations because the latter are the bikes that actually get purchased and ridden in relevant numbers. The reviews would also probably find that there's little noticeable performance difference at the less offensive price-spec levels
  • 10 1
 PB isn't big on denouncing industry hypocrisy and they'd probably tell you that those bikes get sold a lot more than you'd think.
  • 2 3
 @PLC07: If you're looking at Pinkbike, I'm surprised you'd buy a whole bike.

All my high end parts have been bought once, on sale. They go from frame to frame. The only time that changed is when I went ahead and made the move to boost. Sold old wheels and fork, now the new ones will move from frame to frame along with the other parts
  • 1 1
 They review what they're sent. Unless it's a Trek, in which the re-review is on the second bike they're sent.
  • 4 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: got my bike set the way I like and since its a 26" I'm better off just buying a new complete than holding on to the few parts that still fit. So I chose to ride mine until it dies of old age, kinda tired of paying through the nose for marketing so I'm just doing minimal maintenance and that's it. I still love riding but I'm not dropping 5k on a bike ever again so after this one I think I'm done.
  • 15 0
 "The 70mm stem isn't out of line given the RIP 9's intentions, but a shorter option helped to tone down the bike's quick handling."

I thought a shorter stem tended to quicken handling and a long stem slowed it down...at least as far as steering feel goes.
  • 3 0
 You are correct. The article is wrong.
  • 1 0
 It depends how you define "quick". Adding length to the stem increases distance from the grips to the steering axis, which decreases the amount of force required to rotate the stack, but also decreases the degree of rotation for a given distance of grip travel about the axis.
  • 1 4
 The longer the stem the more understeer you get. I rode with various combinations of stems and bars, I even tried 120 stem and 800 bars. At 120 stem with 750 bars, the ride becomes very stable, too stable. It is hard to dismount from corners. Bike feels like it has 2 degrees slacker head angle.
  • 21 6
 $10g, 30lb long travel xc bike eh? No thanks. Does look pretty neat though.
  • 1 0
 Until the frame cracks....
  • 12 0
 This is the quintessential Colorado Front Range bike...which is where Niner happens to be located. People have money here and just want to pedal on an average XC/trail ride..with maybe an occasional trip to Fruita thrown in the mix. The majority of their customers will never push the bike steep/hard enough to notice the geometry limitations.
  • 8 0
 That's so true. I lived in Boulder for a couple years for work. Everyone it seems has a newish $6,000+ bike and the trails are so busy and full of these riders that no one can pick up any speed on the downhills to actually scratch the surface their bikes' potential
  • 7 1
 But.....Niner already makes bikes for those folks. If they're bothering to build a burly bike, build it for burly home trails. I live an hour north of FoCo and I ride the trails that Niner's employees ride on pretty regularly.

For something mellow like Blue Sky, this bike is waaaaaay overkill. For the bigger lines (Ginny, Wathen, Mill Creek, Timber etc.) the geometry on this bike kinda sucks. All of those trails involve a long slog up a fire road and then fast, chunky descending with some burly alt. lines.

Yeti makes really, really expensive bikes but they're really, really, really capable (it galls me to say that because of their prices, but I'm scraping to buy an SB6-holy balls it's fast). Evil makes bikes that are lively, playful, and near full-on DH capable. Do most people who buy a 10k bike ever come close to wringing out the performance? No...they drag the rear brake on every and any descent like the poseurs they are. But.....some of us actually ride trails on the Front Range, or Moab, or Sedona that are hard, and scary, and consequential.

Just like most Porsches, Corvettes (yeah, yeah, gold chains...but the new ones are stupid fast) and Ferraris aren't used to their limits, most 5-10k bikes also aren't used to the extent of their capabilities. And yet.....the best sports cars are still AWESOME if driven hard on a racetrack. Likewise, a bike that has this much travel and such exotic suspension should be super capable, not because most buyers will ever test those limits but because

A: A few of us will. And we're "core users" whose experiences and opinions matter.
B: Without that earned reputation for competence, bikes like this won't be bought by status seeking wankers, just like the folks who buy full-on sports cars.

It wouldn't take much for this to be a ripping bike-so nut up Niner and build a bike that can shred the Front Range and beyond.
  • 11 0
 Niner's HQ is in Fort Collins and I see lots of them around. I don't get this bike's spec, premium price, or geometry but it seems like something the roadie-oriented Front Range money buyers can get behind. I had a first-gen RIP9 in 2008 and it was pretty good for the time, when FS 29ers were pretty bad overall. They have paid little attention to the progression in geometry over the last 10 years and it's their loss. Their Jet is now a 120mm 29er that seems like a better all around bike with a less schizophrenic identity.
  • 1 0
 Almost got the Jet9 instead of the RIP9 because it is such a capable bike! Just finished a race at Northstar at Tahoe and am happy I went with a bike with a little more travel. Both bikes insist you ride them FAST!
  • 5 0
 I think we see a lot in Fort Collins because nobody here is paying close to full price for them. God bless their warehouse sales.
  • 3 0
 Can't lie, the Jet 9 geo looked pretty wicked for a short travel 29er. Guys I ride with have broken quite a few Niner frames, so everyone's reaction to the bike was cold 'cept for min.
  • 11 1
 If you look at the RIP and compare it to the Yeti SB5.5 they're very similar in geometry, travel and purpose.
The RIP has 10mm more rear travel and .5 degree steeper head angle.
Ask the pros that ride these bikes if they can handle bike parks and enduros.
Nate Hills LOVES his SB5.5 and has successfully (enduro) raced it all season.
Nate Adams and Kirt Voreis crush the baddest bike parks around on their RIPs.
There's plenty of media showing them keeping up with the truest of "enduro machines".
I think these bikes are just slightly better climbers with slightly more agility in the corners.

I've ridden my Slash29 9.8 for a year now and love it but would definitely not mind a little more climbing and cornering ability.
My 2 Cents.
  • 14 1
 $10k = no way. I'd rather have a brand new KTM 300.
  • 3 2
 True that. Nice Moto.
  • 11 1
 Another motorcycle priced bike with a questionable audience (do they even exist). I really hope this industry gets a shakeup from this trend.
  • 9 0
 I can't help but think this type of bike is marketed towards the customer that: A) doesn't really know the deal but has lots of disposable income, and B) simply thinks if they buy an expensive bike with all that disposable income, it'll make them a better rider.
  • 4 0
 Most guys I know can get their financial advisor (wife) to approve a bicycle purchase but not a motorcycle purchase. It is too bad, life is good in the braaaap world.
  • 1 0
 I guess it could be a decent bike for a XC rider that wants more confidence on the downhill sections or a confident descender that needs help on the way up but going coil + a 36 is massive overkill for that purpose. An air shock and a 34 would probably cut it and they'd save some weight too.
  • 12 1
 @Fluidworks This is hardly a trend. In 1994, you could have bought a Specialized S-Works Epic Ultimate hardtail with an 80mm fork for (then) $6,000USD. In today's dollars, that is a little over $9,900.

Super high bike prices are nothing new. If anything, we are paying about the same but getting WAY more bike for the money spent.
  • 5 2
 @ka-brap: I know expensive bikes aren't a new thing, but there's no question the average price has gone up vastly.
  • 5 1
 @Fluidworks: While you constantly see reviews for bikes that are priced in the stratosphere, the actual reality concerning the majority of full suspension bikes being sold is between $2,000 and $3,000. It's been this way for at least 10-12 years. These are the bread & butter of retailers that hardly get review time because there's not a lot of wow on paper. They fly out the door because of their economic value. The only thing that has really changed is the amount of bike that you get for that money, and that is what is gone up vastly.
  • 2 0
 @Fluidworks: I don't think that's true. If you buy an average bike you do not really pay more than you did 10 or 15 years ago, taking inflation into account. And with direct sales companies like YT or Canyon you might even get a better spec at that price point, than you did get back then.
  • 2 0
 @FuzzyL: Look up Technische Inflation
  • 1 0
 @colincolin: I am aware of the term, but not of it's relevance in this context. Sure, a bike with a 71 degree head angle and a 140 mm stem is not worth much anymore (except to some collectors), because technology just moved on. But that was always the case, with the introduction of disc brake, thousands of bikes became obsolete, and therefore worthless, almost overnight.
  • 1 0
 Except disc brakes were a game changer, 2-3mm or half a degree there isn't. I think it is also about "perceived obsolescence" as a 67 degree angle is viewed pretty much as a XC today when it was enduro like 5 years ago but 67 degrees is still more than fine for 99% of the trails out there.
  • 6 0
 If I were to be crazy enough to spend $10k on a bike the only components that would be similar would be the Push shock and the Enve wheels.... which leads me to believe this is a HUGE miss from Niner; and I'm a niner owner and fan. I'd surely want someone to be more impressed with the machine after riding it as well.... Pinkbikes take "Meh".
  • 10 0
 $10,000 and you still get Cleansweep rotors lol
  • 9 0
 and house branded stuff...
  • 2 1
 I was about to say that! I wonder if he got the bike with pre-sizzled rotors?
  • 7 1
 "The 70mm stem isn't out of line given the RIP 9's intentions, but a shorter option helped to tone down the bike's quick handling." Actually, a shorter stem will make the handling quicker, not slower. A wider bar slows the handling down. Also, maybe the reviewer should have tried the 27+ size before bashing it. It would have lowered the BB so the bike wouldn't feel so tall as he put it, and with the 170 fork, the HTA would be slacker. So still quick handling, but more stable package. Plus even more cushion and traction with plus size.
  • 7 0
 No surprises on this review. It isn't a WFO

Anyway...can you review the Spot Mayhem now? That bike is charming the pants off all the Yeti fans here in Colorado.
  • 4 0
 @Sycip69er - I'm pretty sure NSMB.com has a Spot on test. Not to say that PB won't be, but if you're looking for a real review it'll be worth a look.
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: Cool thanks.
  • 1 2
 its basically a knock off yeti! and higher price it seems with less build packages
  • 1 1
 Oddly enough it looks a lot like a Yeti (the Mayhem, that is).
  • 2 1
 @PHeller: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhhc3oEA2qs Here's a video. uses the flex link with a pivot. Basically does the same thing as the switch infinity. The downward motion of the switch infinity is mimicked by the flexing of the leaf spring on the spot (last half of travel for both)
  • 2 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Thanks but I know.
  • 6 1
 Well...That's about what you'd expect. Fairly conservative geometry plus high quality, 150mm travel suspension equals beefy trail bike. Makes sense.

Also, why does Niner talk about instant centers and then also reference torque calculations about the pivots? Anti squat can be calculated as a single torque about the instant center or the sum of torques around the various pivots, right? Do one or the other calculation and then just tell me the anti-squat curve. Lots of dual link designs have torques with opposing directions on the different pivots. You need numbers.
  • 2 0
 agreed and the discussion about isolating pedaling forces and being "exactly what you want" for efficiency is flat out wrong.
  • 6 1
 Any big 29 with 150/160mm escursion and 67 head angle are useless...

If you have a near freeride capability you need stability so the bike must be open

Specialized made same mistake with 2017 enduro and for 2018 coincidency... longer and opened...

Sorry for niner but like the old WFO the bike come on the market yet old
  • 5 2
 How then did team Specialized race the entire EWS series all this time on "useless" 29ers before the 2018 models came out?
  • 5 1
 @Chadimac22:

And never win a single race... or place on podium...

Graves liked to race with stj than enduro, big signal of a crappy race geo?
  • 1 0
 @barbasma: get your facts straight and see the 2016 round 5 results.
  • 3 0
 @Chadimac22: Not to get into this, but Jared won that race his Stumpjumper, not his Enduro.
  • 5 0
 It's kinda funny... Almost everybody on here complains how the industry is moving too fast, always following the latest trend, making components that are just a few years old completely obsolete.. But if a brand presents a bike with a geo that would have been perfectly acceptable just a few years ago, they are immediately ridiculed for it.
  • 5 0
 I've got this bike with the standard fox shock and a Pike. It's good at everything and certainly the best bike I've ever owned
  • 4 1
 I have a wfo 9. (Older version of this bike). 67° headangle really is no problem at all and I ride that thing HARD.extremely stable at uncountable amount of bikepark days and taking it to the races. The size of the wheels really do not require as slack a head angle, and I appreciate the quicker handling all around in tighter stuff that some of these extremely slack 29ers can not deal with as well. I would only want a slacker head angle when things get REALLY steep, almost steep enough to just drop. The old frame, albeit short on reach, is sort cheap right now on Jenson with eagle and better dh geometry and value blows the old enduro out of the water. My 2¢
  • 3 1
 I also have a wfo that I have beaten like a rented mule bike park etc and think it's the best bike I've ever rode in over 20 years of Mt biking
  • 2 1
 Older WFO's have a nasty, nasty habit of breaking on a regular basis if ridden hard. Head angle alone doesn't make or break a bike (trail, front center, bb height, chainstay length all matter). Niner just doesn't seem to get big trail bikes. They're fragile and don't quite handle right for intended purpose.
  • 1 0
 @peleton7: I'm talking circa 2015, 150mm travel. Is that the one you are talking about? Or the older 140mm?
  • 3 0
 I bought the aluminum version of this bike with the 170mm Lyric. Swapped out to a shorter stem and wider bars. By far the best riding bike I've ever owned. It can handle climbs like a champ as well as long days in the bike park. Last bike was a remedy 29.
  • 3 0
 Eh, I'll just fork over $3k for a Specialized Enduro 29er, get the Push shock and a push upgrade for the fork, and viola! Saved thousands and got the bike that the Niner was aiming to be...
  • 4 2
 I raced the WFO9 for two years before buying the base level (4k) version of this RIP9 RDO as my dedicated enduro race rig. This is also my first carbon bike ever (Been riding for 10 years.) I am placing in the top half of expert men 19-29 at my races. People need to understand that this bike at any level build will still let you have fun, go fast, and feel confident that you are riding a quality bike. So what if Niner doesn't have a 5+million dollar marketing budget to get the word out about the different things they are trying.

I came off of a Enduro 29er 3 years ago and have no intentions of going back, even after riding several stock, and fully custom S-Work level builds. Go ride your bike! If you are so skeptical of what Niner is doing, just ride one and give it a shot. Niner has been focusing their efforts on ONLY 29" wheels for over 10 years...I think they have the recipe down!
  • 2 0
 I agree. I ride number like a dh bike, and is faster than my dh bike in some trails. Also CVA is amazing, climbs better than enduro, but really provides a nice gradual ramp that is awesome for going fast and keeping reaction over medium and fast compressions. Specialized Fsr is to soft and linear imo
  • 2 0
 I have an aluminum 2016 RIP 9 with 125mm rear and 140 Yari up front, and it is a great trail bike.... all this new RIP 9 is, is a WFO and 9er simply trying to "keep up with the Joneses". They should've just perfected their already awesome RIP 9 instead of making this schizophrenic bike.
  • 2 0
 Lots of downers in here but don't expect a comment section on PinkBike to fair to Niner. When many people were still riding 26 and are now happily moved up to 27.5, these same riders simply will never forgot or forgive Niner's founder for calling 29 a superior wheelset
  • 3 1
 C'Mon Niner. Your burly home trails are Timbers, Wathen, Mill Creek and Ginny. Trestle and Granby are an easy drive away. Build a bike that's suited to the rippers in your own fricking backyard!!

Or.....dial down the suspension and cost (Fox 34 and a HV single air can out back) and make the bike light enough that the geometry makes sense for all-day adventure (but not Mach 10 descending).

Either way, this bike doesn't suit the local trails around FoCo......WTF?!
  • 3 1
 While I don't really buy into the Push Shock, I do ride the RIP RDO every day and it is a fantastic bike. I have owned and ridden most of the other contenders and sure its not as slack as some it does do fast, steep, and tight very well. I have not found a bike which is as laterally stiff as this frame period. We have some world class steep technical riding on the doorstep and have a few people riding this frame and all love the handling. Some times you have to ride the bike yourself to get the whole picture not just read the reviews. PS. Im not a feckin dentist either.
  • 6 1
 Huh. Who's going to buy it?
  • 62 0
 The dentist that dentists go to.
  • 3 0
 @NoDHinKentucky: i have an appointment tomorrow, gonna be expensive i see
  • 5 3
 Dentists, and me if i could afford it. I'm not racing any enduro's any time soon so a bike that is easier to live with on the climbs is more valuable to me than all out descending geos.
  • 3 0
 Bike shop employees at 50% off. Even then, many others I'd pick before this one.
  • 5 0
 @Rasterman: most of them don't have that coin, and they would also know better.
  • 3 0
 @freestyIAM: Then the suspension and weight of this bike wouldn't make sense for you either. A 145mm travel trail 29er would be a waaaay better choice. The problem with this bike isn't that every bike has to be Enduro burly, it's that this bike uses very expensive burly bits on a frame that doesn't live up to those parts.

At 10 large you'd have a 25-26 pound (with beef tires) bike that would slay adventure rides all day.
  • 1 0
 @peleton7: Fair enough. I'm just a sucker for coil sus. Clouds my judgement.
  • 13 8
 Look ma! Same color as the fake president!
  • 3 12
flag UserNumberTwo (Aug 28, 2017 at 15:52) (Below Threshold)
 Fuck off
  • 4 0
 probably a rad bike , just not the DH /trailbike I want , I appreciate the honest review
  • 6 0
 Tough crowd
  • 2 0
 I can't help but feel like rocks would get stuck beneath lower link and lead to a lot of issues. My friend's Intense got an impressive dent from a small hard pinecone due to the same issue.
  • 3 1
 "CVA is a dual-link system that's said to be both efficient and active" and isn't at all a ripped off copy of Balfa's 2-step linkage design.

www.balfa.wooyek.pl/2Step-FR/balfa-2step-fr-frame2.jpg
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Giant. (No one used that line yet?)

Honestly about that linkage, how come the article claims it is so very different from what other companies are trying to accomplish? Horst Link, ICT, Maestro, VPP, DW-Link, V4L, there sure must be some that I've forgot all have a four bar linkage (Yeti and R3act even do sliding members) which allow the rear axle to move around a "virtual" pivot to isolate chain forces from the suspension action.

At the end of the day my perception always was that if people used to race marathons on a Cannondale Rush (and do well), how much better are these complex multi pivot systems?
  • 1 0
 I am not an enduro guy, I have always had XC bikes, current one is a SIR 9. Why is there so much bashing of this bike? I thought it was marketed towards the long travel trail bike category. What would you buy if you were looking for a long travel trail bike? I will probably always buy XC oriented bikes, so I am not the market crowd for any of these types of bikes. Hell, I may not ever go full suspension ever again after riding a HT again for the past 2 years.
  • 4 0
 Such a weird spec for a bike with that geometry...
  • 5 1
 sends bike with fork you don't get when you buy the bike
  • 4 0
 All $10000 bikes should have an ALL CAPS spec list!
  • 2 0
 That brake hose routing on the swing arm...whuh boy. Looks like the builder just gave up and figured it would be a good idea to pop in a self-tapping screw and clamp, ha!
  • 3 0
 Favorite Quote: "..you can bolt on Di2 if you want a heavier and more expensive drivetrain."
  • 4 0
 Yeah, kind of a douchy comment. Just like the plus size one.
  • 5 2
 wow only $10,000. no motor, no gear box, no electric shifters, over priced rims, funky geo. cant wait to NOT ride one.
  • 5 0
 fix the cable routing
  • 4 0
 Cable routing reminds me of a mid 2000's freeride bike...
  • 2 0
 I had the old RIP9 ROD and loved it. However the cable routing was questionable at best, and I'm sure they could have sorted this and they should have.
  • 1 1
 Thanks for the explanation. You fellas must have thought I was retarded. I feel saved. This is proof of Jesus. Hopefully most people understood my comment about trees not lying.. and yeah I've seen a few fisheye shots in my time lmfao. @mikekazimer hahaha nah it's haircuts that don't lie...
  • 4 0
 Niner: where the lower link is your bash guard!
  • 2 0
 tru
  • 1 0
 Seems like it could be a really versatile bike,
Does it have a flip chip that can lower the bb? 180mm dp lyriks would make the head angle 66 degrees while in long travel mode and a fully sick trailbike when not.
  • 4 2
 Cant look at Enves the same any more, after seeing Minaar thrash one. DT Swiss wheels on the other hand, sexy AF.
  • 1 2
 ha, i thought the same thing
  • 5 0
 When? His tire blew out in the DH event and he rode down on the rim. How can you expect a carbon rim to hold up when ridden down that course without a tire on it?
  • 2 0
 cracked rims ride better than tacos from personal experience.
  • 1 0
 @thorsbane: Gwins DT Swiss wheel held up much better in Leogang a few years back. Campfire legend says its still true.
  • 3 1
 "you can bolt on Di2 if you want a heavier and more expensive drivetrain."

DAAAAAAAMN
  • 2 1
 It weighs less fitted on the bike champ, as the cable alone in mechanical tips it above DI2
  • 3 0
 This bike is a RIP off.....
  • 1 1
 punny
  • 1 0
 Everybody trying to sell us so much useless stuff... and nobody makes those cable guide stickers anymore so you can design your own. Alligator did some nice.
  • 2 1
 Definitely tested the bike's bottom-out capabilities on that rock-roll-drop!
  • 3 2
 put a single offset bushing to drop the BB and a -1.5 degree angleset in there and we have an enduro bike!
  • 7 0
 Or just buy one that's designed to do that sort of thing? I think this is a very deliberate design for a very specific audience. Niner seems to always be going their own way a bit, always a bit steeper/quicker on the geometry that others. And they're still around, so apparently they've found their market. Don't see them here in the PNW much.
  • 2 1
 @g-42: Agreed. I ride a 1st gen E29. I think now that even at 5'10" with a long torso I should ride an XL, but I use a 75mm stem to get the reach I need and more significantly run a dropper fork. Ostensibly the dropper fork is to get the front end lower for climbing but I leave it down 90% of the time because I prefer the snappier handling of the resulting 68 HA for anything besides steep downhils. Point being people set up their bikes for more than Enduro racing. By using a big bike setup aggressively I'm able to ride all day mountain epics efficiently and have the travel to suck up nasty backcountry rough trails, double black bike trails as well as place in the top ten in expert Enduro races on the same bike here in WA,

So I dont' see this Niner as some kind of incoherent design but a solution to a problem most PB'ers aren't striving after but that other riders are.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like this bike needs a smaller back wheel..........
  • 2 0
 and a front one
  • 2 0
 @erlkonig and then they can call it a 69er...
  • 1 0
 Most of the spec on this bike are within reason of my 2016 Enduro 29er. I wonder what the big difference is....
  • 1 0
 LMAO Put enduro-spec suspension to not be able to ride as well as enduro bikes due to geometry. Fail.
  • 2 1
 Mike Levy is right about one thing: The ACS-3 makes a Fox 36 insanely good on a longer slacker bike like my Evil Insurgent.
  • 1 1
 mmm good to hear. I am hoping to get one on my 36 in a few weeks.
  • 1 1
 @cgdibble: It's sick. I also don't really think having a 3-position lever is all that necessary. I've been leaving mine wide open most of the time. The extra mid stroke support makes for a nice pedaling platform with tons of traction.
  • 1 0
 @DrPete: Excellent! I have a 170mm 36 and have had a tough time getting that small bump just right. I have the HSC/LSC model and am fully prepared to leave that bad boy way open.
  • 1 0
 @cgdibble: Another alternative that came close was the MRP Ramp Control with the dual air upgrade. Running 10psi more in the negative chamber made a big difference, but there's still no replacing coil.
  • 2 0
 Thats one tiny rotor in the back!
  • 2 0
 Yup, notice the discoloring of the stainless due to being heat-soaked?
  • 2 0
 DT350's and Enve Budget hoops?
  • 1 0
 Needs a cool beer bottle cap on the stem cap. I'm guessing it was sent with a New Belgium cap that was taken off.
  • 2 0
 So a 10,000 dollar bike and it's not good for racing. Well that's neat!
  • 2 0
 Push needs to make a lil mini trunnion type coil for 120-130 bikes!
  • 1 0
 or you could spend $1,500 less and get this:
www.pinkbike.com/news/polygon-square-one-ex9-review-2017.html
  • 2 1
 exo casing on the rear? no thanks.
  • 2 1
 10000$ with sram guide brakes? WTF
  • 3 0
 Notice the old G3 cleansweep rotor WTF indeed
  • 1 0
 You can get good fakes for $5 on eBay, I guess Niner needed to keep the price down
  • 1 0
 How good does that trail look!
  • 1 0
 it's my favorite. it's really really really great!
  • 1 0
 $10k for an aftermarket sticker, that's brilliant!
  • 2 0
 "Is that a 29er???"
  • 1 0
 If I had a bizzillion dollars....
  • 1 1
 Is the rider in the pictures the same as the pictured reviewer?
  • 1 0
 No, it says in one of the pics that the rider is Jed Sims. The reviewer is Mike Levy.
  • 1 2
 I am thinkig abbout droping 10k € on a backhoe not a bike... sheet! Sweet looking bike tho.
  • 1 1
 10,00$, are they even expecting sell? WTF
  • 1 1
 Not as bad as the 2015 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 799 MSL, $11k MSRP. It came with Shimano electronic shifting but still..........
  • 2 1
 That color looks sick!
  • 3 4
 Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick...!
  • 1 1
 Great trail pics!
  • 1 2
 MATH FTW!!
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