Review: Niner's 2019 RIP 9 RDO 29

Feb 5, 2019 at 1:27
by Richard Cunningham  
The RIP 9 RDO is back, and it's a ripper. Niner fans have been waiting for the re-release of the brand's flagship long-travel trail bike since the first name in 29ers was sold to United Wheels in March 2018. Much was at stake. It's no secret that Niner's following has traditionally come from cross country roots but, like the sport at large, many of them were evolving towards more aggressive skill sets.

The RIP 9 RDO was launched back in 2015. It was Niner's first crack at addressing the all-mountain crowd with an aggressive-for-the-time, long-travel chassis. The RDO was well received, and its appearance coincided with the explosive growth of enduro. Timing, however, couldn't have been worse for Niner. They were riding on the RIP 9 RDO's momentum, with a new all-mountain design ready for production, but lacked the cash to launch it successfully.

RIP 9 RDO 29 Details

• Intended use: Trail/All-mountain
• Travel: 140mm rear / 150mm front
• Wheel size: 29" (tested) and 27.5" models available
• Construction: Carbon fiber, CVA dual-link suspension
• Flip Chip toggles geometry +/- 1°
• Head angle: 66°/65°
• Chainstay length: 435mm/437mm
• Reach: (M) 440mm/430mm
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: (Size M 29") 30.5 lbs (13.76 kg)
• Price: $8800 to $4500 USD ($6950 4-Star Eagle X01 build tested)
• More info: Niner Bikes
The United Wheels purchase provided Niner with the power to move forward with the new bike, and some breathing room with which to fine tune it. Understandably, the new RIP 9 RDO project became a powerful incentive for the team to show their new owners that Niner was on track for success. No pressure, right?

bigquotesIf you've watched any Kirt Voreis videos lately, you'd probably want to experience their take on the ultimate all-mountain 29er. I did.RC


Meet the New RIP RDO 29

Two big disclosures: Niner broke tradition and made one RIP 9 RDO model dedicated to 29-inch wheels, and a separate design for 27.5-inch wheels. That's crazy stuff! You'd think then, based upon the novelty alone, that PB would ask for the smaller wheels. But... we chose the 29er instead.

Twenty nine inch wheels are enjoying a renaissance now that folks have finally figured out the right mix of offset, angles and frame number to incorporate long travel suspension. Niner has been doing big wheels longer than almost every brand out there and, if you've watched any Kirt Voreis videos lately, you'd probably want to experience their take on the ultimate all-mountain 29er. I did.
Niner
The big surprise: The RIP 9 RDO 275 is a ground-up design based on the mid-sized wheel format. The 29" wheel version has a separate chassis.

What about that carbon chassis? Two ribs surround the Fox DPX2 shock - the frame's standout design element, used to directly reinforce the bottom bracket area against lateral forces. In fact, almost all of the improvements that Niner built into the new RIP RDO chassis were targeted to improve lateral rigidity, while maintaining a little flex in the linear plane to mute G-outs and larger impact events. More on that later.

Look beyond its steep seat-tube angle, extended reach, and slack front end, and you'll notice an equally worthy component pick. In Niner fashion, four builds are available, ours being the second tier, four-star kit that features a SRAM Eagle XO1 transmission including the carbon crankset. Wheels roll on Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 rims and a capable Maxxis 2.5 WT Aggressor rear/ DHF front tire combination, and it has a Race Face cockpit. Suspension is all Fox, with a 150mm 36 FIT4 fork and DPX2 shock that cranks out 140 millimeters of travel from its CVA rear suspension. The four-star build leaves nothing to want for with an MSRP of $6950 USD.




Niner bikes photo shoot
Niner incorporated "ribs" to directly reinforce the seat tube near the upper suspension pivot against lateral flex.


Construction and Features

Niner began life selling frames only, so they pay attention to features that help customers with future upgrades. The RIP 9 RDO has a threaded bottom bracket shell, and full-length tubes to guide cable housing and hoses through the carbon frame. Future proofing comes from things like wiring ports for Fox Live Valve. There's a water bottle mount on the down tube, and Niner put a lot of planning into lowering the seat tube and providing enough straight section to allow owners to run full length droppers. Most will be able to use a 170mm model.

Uninitiated viewers often comment about the perceived vulnerability of Niner's lower link, which tucks beneath the bottom bracket shell. It's an element of their CVA suspension, used to provide shorter chainstays and greater tire clearance. Chief designer, George Parry, says that they put a nylon guard on the link to ward off cosmetic damage, but there has never been an issue with that link in the history of Niner's CVA suspension. "It's a sturdy aluminum link," says Parry. "If you do manage to get past the chainring, It'll get dinged up, but it's not going to be affected by rock strikes."

There's a lot going on with the new frame and suspension - visibly and in an engineering sense. Kinematics favor mid-stroke support and the leverage rate was increased to get the shock moving earlier. Visibly, the main frame tubes are wider laterally and thinned on the vertical plane to keep the chassis tracking at speed and in the rough, without creating a bike that rattles the teeth out of its rider over the bumps. Parry says that the built in vertical compliance can be felt.
Niner bikes photo shoot
A heavy duty nylon bash guard protects the lower link from cosmetic damage, Niner reports they have yet to see an issue with unprotected links.

By far, the most visible design elements are the twin "ribs" that encircle the Fox DPX2 damper. Parry says that they wanted to eliminate the seat stay bridge in order to make more room for big tires (the RIP 9 RDO sports Maxxis 2.5 inch WT rubber). To accomplish this, the seat and chainstay tubes are enlarged to provide stiffness and the upper link has been reinforced. That puts an additional load on the seat tube, however, which normally would be countered by enlarging the lower seat tube and bottom bracket area. Parry says, "it's always better to support loads as directly as possible. We did that, using those rib structures to tie in the down tube to the middle of the seat tube and it made a significant improvement - more than we could have accomplished by strengthening the bottom bracket area."

Niner bikes photo shoot
Eliminating the seatstay bridge makes room for more suspension travel, bigger tires and shorter chain stays.

Niner bikes photo shoot
Minimized head tube heights increase clearance and give riders the option to up or down-size frames. Full-length tubes guide internal cable routing.
Niner bikes photo shoot
Ovalized cross-sections provide lateral stiffness and help take the edge off of sharp impacts.



nnr
Click on chart to enlarge.


Geometry & Sizing

Niner product manager Barrett James was the driving force behind the new RIP 9's geometry. Barrett is one of three accomplished bike handlers on the Niner staff who have been chafing at the bit to get a real gravity bike in the Niner portfolio. Designer George Parry said that he and Barrett thought that the funny thing about the current move towards steep seat angles was that they needed to do that early on to obtain clearance for the rear tire at full compression, and also to bring riders closer to the handlebar because larger wheels required longer reaches to fit everything in place. "That aspect of so called modern geometry kind of fell into our laps," said Parry, "We settled on 75.8 degrees, which is plenty steep to climb well, and it centers the rider over the bike."

Niner offers four sizes and, as mentioned earlier, the head tubes and seat tubes are kept as low as possible to allow "tweener" riders to size up or down to obtain optimal reaches without sacrificing stand-over clearance or dropper-post stroke. That's a good thing, because our medium sized framed bike was more compact than the last two bikes that came through for review. At five foot seven inches (170 cm), most medium sized bikes are roomy for for me. The medium-sized RIP RDO 29, has a 440mm reach with a 40mm stem and it felt just right, so lankier riders may want to size up to a large.

Flip chips are commonplace on today's bikes, but it's a first for Niner. The rocker-mounted chips lower the bottom bracket by seven millimeters and slacken the head tube angle by one degree, from 66 to 65. I may be getting ahead of the story, but I was smacking the cranks about as much as I could tolerate in the high position, so I asked Parry why they bothered with the chip. "We wanted to give gravity riders the option to set the bike up for park and shuttling, where lower is better," says Parry. "But I admit that, in the high position, it's about as low as you'd like to have it for riding both up and down trails. I think we found a good balance with the geometry."


Niner bikes photo shoot


Suspension Design

I expected that Niner would have a story about new kinematics and leverage curves, but Parry said that they have worked out the CVA kinematics over time to achieve the right balance between pedaling and ride quality, so they only needed minor changes for the new bike. That translates to slightly more anti-squat, with less "pedal effect." That's Parry's term for using chain tension to stiffen the suspension - a function many erroneously call anti-squat.
Niner bikes photo shoot
Niner makes shock setups easier with a sag indicator on the rocker arm.

The most noticeable aspect of the suspension is an increase in mid-stroke support and that the starting leverage has also been increased to overcome the shock's seal friction and provide more grip. Niner's literature also states that the ending stroke leverage curve falls off slightly to compensate for the natural ramp-up of the Fox DPX2's air spring.

Niner bikes photo shoot
Hard to argue with the industry standard Fox 36 fork.
Niner bikes photo shoot
Niner's "crack pipe" is used to access the air-spring filler valve.

Speaking of air springs, Niner's frame development sort of collided with changes with the Fox DPX2 damper, which created a post-production clearance issue with some shock-pumps and the location of the shock's air valve. The frame rib on the air valve side is a tight fit, so the solution was the "crack pipe" - an angled adapter that comes clipped to the RIP 9 RDO's frame and allows easy access to the filler valve.

Niner chose Fox's 36 Float Factory fork with the FIT4 damper and a 150-millimeter stroke. Paired with the bike's 140-millimeter-travel tail end, that seems to be the sweet spot for all but the most aggressive gravity riders on 29ers these days. I like the 36 because I can set it and forget it, almost from the first ride. The offset is reduced to the now popular 44 millimeters, which works fine for me with a light, but consistent feel at the handlebar.


RIP 9 RDO 29 Four Star Build
Specifications
Release Date 2019
Price $6950
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox DPX2 EVOL
Fork Fox 36 Float Factory FIT4 Kashima 150mm
Headset Tapered
Cassette SRAM EAGLE XG
Crankarms SRAM X1 Eagle Carbon DUB 32T
Chainguide NA
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB threaded
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle XO1
Chain SRAM Eagle XO1
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods SRAM Eagle XO1
Handlebar Race Face Next R 800mm wide, 20mm rise 35mm clamp
Stem Race Face Turbine R 40m x 35mm clamp
Grips Niner
Brakes SRAM Guide Ultimate Carbon 180/180mm Centerline rotors
Wheelset Custom
Hubs Neo
Spokes Butted stainless
Rim Stan's NoTubes Flow S1
Tires Maxxis WT 2.5" Aggressor R, DHF F
Seat Niner custom
Seatpost SDG Tellis (S-125mm, M-150mm, L/XL-170mm)



Niner bikes photo shoot





Riding in mild winter conditions gave me the chance to scrape up slippery rock gardens, drift around snowy corners and experience some of the best hero dirt we've had in Southern California for a long while. I've had the Niner RIP 9 RDO 29 for a couple of months, and have become quite familiar with it. Initial setup is made easy by Niner's rocker-located suspension sag indicator, which encourages 30-percent on the pip. I found that I needed a slightly softer setup to prevent the shock from overdriving the fork, which I set at 20 percent sag with both compression and rebound at Fox's sticker recommendations.

Later, Niner sent a memo that suggested that I switch the Fox DPX2's .4 air-volume spacer with a more linear .2 sized spacer. That would be the only issue that cropped up with the Niner's suspension through the entire review period. My feelings were echoed by two other riders I regularly share testing duties with who are much harder on the bike than I am.

Niner ships the new RIP 9 with full-width, 800 millimeter bars, so cut them to your satisfaction. I prefer 770mm. Everything in the cockpit felt like a proper pro bike, with one nagging exception that never resolved itself. The SDG Tellis dropper post required a good push to get it to drop. Once in motion, it slid smoothly to position. No, the frame clamp was not too tight, nor was the seal head screwed down excessively. The post was functional throughout the review - just annoying.

The only other tickler was the "crack pipe" adapter, which works great. Remember to keep it handy though. The only time I consciously left it on the workbench was the one time I wished I had it at the trail head.
Niner bikes photo shoot
bigquotesEverything in the cockpit felt like a proper pro bike.

Niner bikes photo shoot


Climbing

No worries in the climbing department. Niner's rear suspension can deliver efficient pedaling with or without the help of the DPX2 shock's low-speed compression lever. When I did employ it, I was ascending fire roads or paved sections to access trails, otherwise, I left it open. The medium-sized frame is roomy enough to pedal comfortably out of the saddle for extended periods, but it never felt stylishly long. I fit it quite well, and as I mentioned earlier in the text, many medium-sized all-mountain bikes are a tad long for me.

Traction always seems to be on tap, whether I was scratching my way up a rocky pitch or negotiating tight switchbacks. I rarely had to contort to keep the rear tire biting. I can't recall many times when I had to be concerned about technique in technical climbing situations.

Most of the time, I just powered down, stayed centered over the bike and let the Niner find its way up the rubble. Some of that stability was attributable to the bike's steady steering, which is one of the Niner's strong points.
Niner bikes photo shoot
Taller riders who ride medium sized bikes will want to size up to a large RIP 9 frame.

If you like a bike that feels super crisp with each pedal stroke, the Niner will fall a little short, but on the dirt - real dirt - its suspension has the right combination of cushion to keep the bike moving forward over the chatter and pedaling firmness to keep your legs feeling fresh.

Niner bikes photo shoot


Descending

This is the first Niner I have ridden that felt comfortable at speed from the outset. It's stable in the corners and its feel at the handlebar is very steady, no wiggling around, just point and go. I like that. Typically, I run my fork about 20 percent stiffer than my shock, and the RIP 9 responds well in that configuration with no front end push and just the right amount of rear wheel drift when I overcook the turns.

Braking leaves a little to be desired. I am surprised that Niner didn't put SRAM Code brakes on this machine, or a 203 millimeter rotor up front. There is plenty of braking power available from the Ultimate brakes and 180 millimeter discs, but you have to ask for it. The Niner's light steering and smooth suspension would be better matched with a brakeset that required a lighter touch. Certainly not a deal breaker, but that's my two cents.

When I did need to brake in earnest, nothing bad happened. There is a lot of grip available from both wheels and the front tire is very predictable on and off the brakes; I can't recall a big push into a turn, ever. That pays big dividends when dropping into rock chutes or muddy descents (a rare pleasure in San Diego). I chalk up much of the bike's control under braking to the fact that I didn't have to shift my weight far to make something happen. It's a very intuitive handing bike.

Niner bikes photo shoot

bigquotesI didn't have to shift my weight far to make something happen. It's a very intuitive handing bike.

Suspension performance is assured by Niner's choice of a Fox 36 fork and DPX2 shock. I never switched out the volume spacer in the DPX2 because the CVA suspension delivered such a gentle bottom-out that I could run the shock at 33 percent sag and let it fly. The mid stroke support was still strong enough to keep the bike up in its travel, even though the O-ring was always slammed. I rode some stupid boulders - long sections of them - at a pretty good pace and never got the "bounce of death."

When I handed the bike off to more accomplished riders, I thought the verdict would com back that the RIP 9 was too short and too soft to handle the big stuff. Instead, I got thumbs up and a similar report on the bike's cornering and suspension performance. In short, we all agreed it was an easy bike to ride in just about any situation.

Niner bikes photo shoot



How does it compare?

Let's compare Niner's RIP 9 RDO 29 with another famous Colorado brand: Yeti's 29-inch-wheel SB 130. The Yeti and Niner both share 150-millimeter forks, but the Niner sports 140 millimeters of rear wheel travel, while the Yeti has ten millimeter less. Not a big difference, but there are times when a little more can be a game saver. Both bikes have similar head angles, with the SB 130 at 65.5 and the RIP 9 at 66 degrees. not much difference there, especially considering you can run the Niner at 65 with the chip.

Niner bikes photo shoot
Niner RIP 9 RDO 29
Yeti SB 130


Yeti wins the reach game with a whopping 460 millimeter reach over the Niner's 440 millimeters. You'd have to bump up to a large RIP 9 to get 465 millimeters of reach to achieve parity - but that's possible with the Niner's low-slung chassis. That extra reach and the wheelbase that comes with it, gives the Yeti the upper hand on the scary downs, but how do they climb?

Turns out that both bikes shred the ups as well as they get down the mountain. The Yeti weighs about two pounds less than the Niner, though, which is a turnabout. Normally it's Niner that wins the weight game. You'll pay a lot more to get that two pounds though, with the similarly equipped SB130 costing about a thousand bucks more than the RIP 9 RDO in this review.

The takeaway here is that Niner has done its homework. If their new 140-millimeter travel shredder can fly alongside the likes of Yeti's SB 130, that's a win. So far, it's looking like the RIP 9 RDO 29 has pulled that off.

Niner bikes photo shoot
SDG Tellis dropper post issues.

Niner bikes photo shoot
SRAM XO1 Eagle Drivetrain.
Niner bikes photo shoot
Guide Ultimate brakes.


Technical Report

SDG Tellis Dropper: Stiff action and a wobbly thumb lever were not a good first impression for this new entry.

Eagle XO1: Hard to justify the expense to step up to XX1 when SRAM's second tier 12 speed performs so well.

New frame design: You may balk at the cross-stays that Niner designed into the new RIP's chassis but this thing rails turns and eats up the chop, just like its creators promised it would.

SRAM Ultimate brakes: No issues, good stoppers, but after riding Codes for a season, I think their power and modulation would be a better fit.

Niner bikes photo shoot
Easy to ride in any situation. Niner got it right this time.


Pros

+ New chassis rocks
+ Stable, point and shoot steering
+ 27.5" wheel option available
Cons

- Riders may have to size up to maximize reach
- Needs air spring adapter
- Niner haters may like it


Is there a Niner in your future?

This is the bike that Niner has been missing for a long while. It's a solid bridge between Niner's core customer base and the crop of aggressive, gravity oriented trail riders that Niner failed to connect with when enduro came to prominence. The new RIP 9 RDO 29 assures us that Niner can deliver the goods, with the climbing performance we'd expect from its XC/trail heritage and the gravity skills we had hoped for, but never expected to receive with such abundance.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesNiner's new RIP 9 is a keeper. It's not going to dazzle the Pole or Geometron camps, but it's got all of the essential numbers that a top bike handler would want and a killer component spec to back it up. If Niner follows this up with a more aggressive sibling, they will be on track for a strong comeback.RC



Views: 4,847    Faves: 8    Comments: 0








320 Comments

  • + 119
 Niner produces their first 27.5 wheeled bike and PB reviews the 29er version. Duh!
  • + 119
 We'll be riding the 275 version too... And a back to back comparison.
  • + 60
 Wot, no 26" option?
  • - 14
flag viatch (Feb 5, 2019 at 3:28) (Below Threshold)
 thats dissapointing. the previous 150mm travel was perfect.
  • + 29
 Great article thanks @RichardCunningham:
Did they give you any info on the inspiration behind the colour schemes. I thought they either used
1: Paint scheme is only test pot pre production model .
2: Started first coat years ago. Then added 2nd colour after change of ownership
3: used left over yeti and santa cruz paint .
4: non of the above ( Stop being a dick)
Thanks GC
  • - 3
 @vinay: Perhaps, but the 29" is gorgeous, has to be one of the best looking bikes out there right now for me. Hey @NinerBikes, need an ambassador over here in the UK?
  • + 28
 @gcrider: Hey thanks for reading and thanks to RC for the thorough review! We have a 2nd color in grey/green that is more toned down than the sand/aqua that RC reviewed. Our goal is to have one 'mild' and one 'wild' in the line. You should see it in person!
  • + 6
 I just think it's funny. Niner….29er Review
  • + 14
 Equally interesting is using the word 'novelty' to describe a 27.5 ....what??
It crams the 29'ers down our throats or it gets the hose again! hahaha
  • + 7
 @RichardCunningham: So, 700mm is your preferred handlebar width now? I think RC gave us a glimpse of the next big trend. Forget fork offset...it’s all about going retro with ultra narrow bars.
  • + 7
 @DRomy: HA, typo -770
  • + 1
 "There is plenty of braking power available from the Ultimate brakes and 180 millimeter discs, but you have to ask for it."
Wtf does that means? So if I ask for it it's gonna be ok then.
  • + 12
 @Twowheelsjunkie: It's industry lingo for "SRAM pays our bills, but these brakes don't have enough power".

Nice review RC. Looks like a cool bike.
  • + 2
 {weird PB comment duplication}
  • + 6
 @Twowheelsjunkie: I think he means that there is always the ability to go the whole way to wheel lockup if you want, but that you have to squeeze the lever harder than most modern brakes to get there.
  • + 5
 @Twowheelsjunkie:

It means Guides have similar power to last generation Shimano Deores.
  • + 10
 Sick bike, but will today's buyers struggle with the value proposition?

NX Carbon Sentinel - $4,000
NX Carbon Ripmo - $4,200
NX Carbon Rip 9 RDO - $4,500
NX Carbon Stumpy - $4,520 (also not a great value)

Also, has Niner changed their dealer network? Will these go on sale at Jenson at the end of every year as per usual? If so, then it pays to wait and traditional brick & mortar shops will be hesitant to help the brand sell these. I left the Jeffsy out of the above on purpose.

I like the updates though, this looks spot on for an aggro trail bike. Just wondering what else Niner was going to bring to the table in terms of HOW to sell these in the current climate..... small shop only? big shop only? D2C?
  • + 1
 @DRomy: I remember when 56 was normal and 58 was hyperlite
  • + 0
 Thanks @NinerBikes: Congrats on a great looking bike. I must be a MILD one! My last WILD paint purchase was 1998. My Last 2 bikes ( both Niners)( yes I’m sucking up now) have been bad ass black. Looking forward to your ( hint hint) WFO replacement with 29er 160 or 170mm fork , 64 to 64.5 HTA , +/- 27.5 rear wheel to illimate very occasional bum rub from very persistent bike rider deficiencies.
  • + 8
 @Twowheelsjunkie: You have to squeeze the levers with much more authority "ask for it."
  • + 3
 Niner produces new bikes, and no mention of the extremely shady business practices they used to get here?
  • + 4
 @gdnorm: do tell! :popcorn:
  • + 3
 @Twowheelsjunkie: the polite way of saying that the Guides lack power unless you wrap 3 fingers around the lever and squeeze them to the grip. Even then there won't be enough power for very long if the bike is ridden in proper terrain.
  • + 3
 @gcrider: "let's take two of the most trendy bike colors being used today and smush em together, it'll look fantastic I promise."

- Niner color selector person.
  • + 3
 @gdnorm: can’t open that door without context...
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: I have guide RSC breaks and this is exactly how mine feel. You just need a little extra to lock them up
  • + 1
 But why compare an NX bike to an XO1 bike? @WasatchEnduro:
  • + 1
 @vinay: shhhhhhhhh, not for another 2 years. That wheel size is only being prototyped still
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: god bless, was already feeling like no one gives a care about, I know it rolls over smoother etc, but there are still many riders finding 29" uncomfy to ride
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Niner F#$%$& small shops a few years ago. I don't know who would want to carry the name. It ain't the same Niner from 5 years ago. Niner's geo back 5+ years ago was perfect. Now they try to be like everyone else and Niner, to me, has lost their niche.
  • + 1
 @VwHarman: I could say a lot about that...……..
  • + 1
 @PhillipJ: serious double speak aye? Call a bloody spade a spade
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham:
In other words the brakes lack power, not have plenty. L2journalism mate.
  • + 95
 Stop telling me the opposite wheel size of what ever bike you review is a con or a plus.
  • + 4
 The "plus" is that the bike comes in both 29 and 27.5 wheel options. As they tested the 29 wheel size the "plus" is that you can find this bike in a 27.5 wheel size as well. If they had tested the 27.5 I would assume the "plus" would have been that the bike also comes in 29 wheel size.
But at the end of the day, the reality is that staff at Pinkbike does not write reviews for you specifically so the pros and cons may not apply to you specifically. So a comment like this just really means that you believe this is your world and the rest of us are just privileged to live in it. I am disappointed in the Pinkbike community for upvoting such a dumb comment, we are better than that.
  • + 5
 Not at all. If it was a 27.5 size wheel they say no 29 is a con. Like in the bronson review @jgreermalkin:
  • + 1
 @jgreermalkin: I completely agree with you... However, I learned a long time ago that there is no shortage of stupid people generally referred to as the Majority...
  • + 35
 I’m sick to death of bike companies and reviews referring to effective seat tube angle - by the time you raise the seat higher than the stem (which most riders do) that number goes out the window. Give us the actual number dammit
  • + 15
 This! I'm 6'6", it basically becomes guesswork when I'm in deciding on a new bike!
  • + 8
 I agree the actual angle will help give the true picture of the angle between BB and your butt, though we'll need the horizontal offset and our personal saddle height to do the trigonometry. While there's no easy answer, at least we can agree the current "effective angle" stat is a mess.
  • + 7
 @R-M-R: if they gave us a geometry chart but focusing solely on saddle height and what angle it would effectively be at a given height and how far you ended over the rear axle it would definitely help. Wouldn't be too much work for the engineers to include.
  • + 2
 I complained about this about a week ago and one of the esteemed PB reviewers refuted me and said they do call out the actual seat-tube angles when they're really slack, and then informed me it was too hard to measure and include in reviews. I offered to purchase him an inclinometer. In any case, not once have I seen a PB review (that I can recall) where they noted how slack the ACTUAL seat-tube angle was.
  • + 7
 Do you mean an actual number that changes depending on your height... A table would be good so that someone has already done the maths, but then that would have to include different body dimensions for each height. OR They could give you a number that is parallel to the ground relative to the BB and a seat angle. Maybe they could call them stack, reach and seat tube angle...
  • + 9
 @mars-bar-man: Yes, but what saddle height? Yours? Mine? A "standard" height that isn't quite accurate for anyone and leaves you and me still doing trigonometry?

It's possible to provide an estimated height for the "ideal" rider of each size. This would be fairly accurate for most people - certainly better than what we have now - but it's a lot of complication to still end up with imperfect numbers. The only universal, accurate solution is to state the actual angle and offset from BB, then we do some trigonometry.

This is why I said there's no easy answer!
  • + 3
 I find effective speaks more than actual. Sure effective changes but it should not change tha tmuch. Easiest would be to give both numbers, actual and effective at headtube height. Or do like Unno does and give a few different values.
  • + 2
 Maybe seated reach would be a better number to compare?
  • + 1
 @littleskull99: That's essentially what "effective top tube" measures. Unfortunately, it's a misleading stat. For example, imagine two bikes with the same measurement, but one has a crazy slack seat tube and the other has a vertical seat tube. Extremely different ergonomics, extremely different handling, but the same effective top tube.

This is why the "reach" dimension took over, though even reach is a little misleading, as two bikes with the same reach fit differently in length if they have different stack. Still, it's a step in the right direction.
  • + 10
 Have you seen how Unno does their seat tube angles? Shows at multiple saddle heights what the effective is, much more accurate
  • + 11
 Yes. Or post the STA for a given inseam/inseams. If they give a STA at two or three different inseams riders could extrapolate. Maybe effective STA's at 30", 32", 34" for a size large bike.
  • + 1
 Just give us the seat tube angle at recommended sag along with the effective and well figure it out from there
  • + 3
 @powderturns: you do realized the actual angle isn't going to change with the height of the saddle? Yes, the position of saddle relative to BB and bars changes, but the angle is the same... Until you factor sag into the equation...

Perhaps there should be a measurement from the center of the BB on a vertical plane to the center of the saddle clamp.... That distance would change with the saddle height...
  • - 1
 @MikerJ: Then you need crank length, seat thickness and don't forget pedal thickness- oh wait what shoes was the person using when then measured.

You see where it goes right.
  • + 1
 Of course people with more mass in the torso would have a center of gravity different than normal sized people, so we'd need a chart for that as well.
  • + 20
 @mars-bar-man: That is exactly how our geo charts work. The "effective ST angle" we list is based on an estimated height per size... 660mm, 720mm, 780mm, etc.
  • + 19
 None of this bothers me. Have never given a poop about what my seat tube angle is. Never. This seems only to have become an issue with the rest of you in the last 6-8 months for some reason.
  • + 4
 @TheR: I 've noticed that there's always a number people want to grab on to... Reach, CS length, ST angle, TT length...
  • + 5
 How about instead of talking about the importance of steep SA and then pushing it forward 2", kinking it, and slackening the sh!t out of it, just make it straight and steep so I can run a 200 dropper. Santa Cruz, Intense, Ibis, and Pivot have their issues, but they're the few that truly get this concept.
  • + 2
 I totally agree, but isn't the issue one of what it is at sag? And how variable that can be relative to saddle height etc?

I agree though, I'd like more realistic numbers across the board on all bikes. Some companies measure it all sagged, some don't.

It's just such an emotional televisual l rollercoaster... I can't take it anymore
  • + 3
 @TheOriginalTwoTone:

You can actually effectively communicate seat angle with just two variables: actual seat tube/post angle, and the distance that that straight line is offset from the BB, along the horizontal axis.

With these two numbers, as long as you know your usual saddle height, you can easily calculate exactly where your saddle will be.
  • + 3
 Yup. With my 34" inseam, I took one look at that Niner and knew that bend in the seat tube would not work for me. I recently demoed an SB130 and it's "true" 77deg seatangle is a game changer. YT have also addressed this in their updated Jeffsy design.
  • + 1
 Easily the most varied, difficult, and irritating problem in mtb. One can see STA here is hardly any steeper than HTA. Expect a rearwardly biased seated pedaling position. As a 6' tall rider of a large 5010.2, I'd want a large Rip, but with an STA that gives the toptube length of a medium. Without going long--i.e. Pole, new GG, SB130/150, there are few bikes that offer this: Spot Rollik//Mayhem, Eskar Elkat, and Chromag Stylus come to mind. At least half of these makes give actual STA.
  • + 0
 @skylerd: Apparently you missed that I was replying to someone that asked for STA for specific inseams.

Well my post stands, if you trying to give numbers based on inseam everything else I mentioned would also need to be given.
  • + 0
 @TransitionBikeCompany: But based on a line from b.b. to where?--seatpost axis at rail? At saddle top? A large Sentinel is plotted at a saddle height of 78cm. What's the ETT (headtube axis to seatpost axis at saddle rail) at that height? Publishing that with a parsec conversion would be helpful.
  • + 7
 @ceecee: measure from BB center to the centerline of the seatpost. Our ETT numbers are just horizontal from the top of the HT to the centerline of the seatpost... which does make them seem a touch shorter than reality... but that is the most common method we see for ETT and it's an arbitrary measurement anyway.
  • + 1
 @TransitionBikeCompany: We're asking for nonarbitrary measurements.
  • + 2
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: yeah, my comment was intended to be one of agreement, and suggesting a better way of communicating STA in geo charts.

We just need two things, actual seat post angle, and horizontal offset of that slope from the BB. @TransitionBikeCompany will you be the first to give these actually useful numbers?
  • + 3
 @R-M-R: how about seat angle at a range of inseam leg lengths. Say 28 inches to 36 inches at 2 inch increments would cover 95% of people. It would take 5 minutes to adjust the seat height and measure each one
  • + 0
 @chrismac70: That would work, though it would significantly increase the size of the spec sheet. It's always a balance between providing easy data and accommodating everyone.
  • + 4
 @HVrider, we don’t mention actual seat angle as much as effective because it’s not as easy of a number to compare. Not all seat tubes are in the same location relative to the BB. Because of that fact, you could have two bikes with different actual seat angles that result in the same effective seat angle.
  • + 0
 I reckon you can get a pretty good approximation of seated position just by zooming in on a standard studio profile image of the bike (not a review photo - these are more likely to be not perfectly lined up straight). So long as the wheel axles are lined up horizontally, and you know how high you run your bars (most manufacturers tend to photograph the seat level with the bars), zoom in until the tip of the seat lines up with the edge of your screen. Then see how far behind the bb the seat is. Depending on the seat, I know I prefer 30mm or less behind the bb. You can check your own bike in real life just by lining the bb up with a (straight!) door frame, then measuring how far behind it the tip of the seat is. Sure, some seats might be a touch shorter than others (this method wouldn’t work with a specialized power saddle for example) but it’s good enough to see if you can get the seat where you want it within the limits of saddle rail adjustment.
  • + 1
 @lumpy873: hey - you're right, but we have no idea what the actual angle is, since Niner doesn't tell us. I hope you're also aware that the effective angle, which they do publish, will get worse (slacker) the higher you raise the seat, for example, when fully extended for climbing.
  • + 4
 it's not hard to see that a bike which has a seat tube angle as slack as the head tube angle (such as this) isn't going to produce favorable seated climbing geometry for tall or long inseamed riders. it's not hard to publish both actual and effective seat tube angles (with seat height level with top of head tube).
  • + 2
 @shredddr, with seat angles suddenly getting way more attention than they ever have before (remember when they weren't even worth a mention? I do.) we are seeing more and more companies provide the actual seat angle along with effective.

At the end of the day, it's simply another number to factor into the equation in order to figure out if a bike will work for you.
  • + 1
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: fyi it was me downvoting your posts, crank length is irrelevant to STA, and giving a simple x-x-z saddle height sta's would go a long way giving answers to the general public who isn't provided inside engineering stats needed to calc on their own. Or as skylerd mentions - at least give us the 2 necessary measurements to calc for our own inseam.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: my Excel sheet is getting bigger and bigger! :-)
  • - 3
 @WoodenCrow: Why is this a hard concept? I replied to someone asking for STA for specific inseams not saddle heights. Do you know what an inseam measurement is? So I have a 32'' inch inseam and I go out and set my saddle to the right height for me on my bike and now measure the angle what does that tell you? Please answer me? NOTHING because you don't know if I had 165mm cranks or 175mm cranks, you don't know if I had my thin Crampon pedals on or thick Shimano platforms, what if I had clipless? Is it starting to sink in yet? Maybe I was wearing flip flops. Even your saddle height request is stupid, it should be the center of the rails since saddles vary. You down vote me but you're the one too dense to grasp the concept.
  • + 2
 Effective angle is fine if we A) give a measurement per size (many do), and B) agree on some kind of standard for how high above the BB the saddle is when measuring effective STA, say, using as a basis for measuring the avg. inseam for a person in the middle of the recommended height for that size. Stating only actual STA is a mess too because everyone's kink in ST starts at a different height above the BB.
  • + 1
 Currently the effective TT measurements are off because of the unrealistic imaginary seat height used in these charts. Only extremely short people run their saddle at the height of the top of HT.

If we assume that an average rider has the seat approximately at the same height as the handlebar, we would need to add ~15mm for the headset, ~10mm spacer, ~30mm from the stem, ~20mm from the handlebar. So that makes +70mm if we round it down a bit. If we raise the saddle height that much, the effective STA measurement would change radically for these slacked out actual angled bikes. Even more for us tall folks. But that would still give a way more realistic number for most riders out there.
  • + 3
 @scvkurt03: ibis stated they compiled their demo data saddle heights for each size to generate their effective sta for the ripmo. Seemed reasonable to me.
  • + 0
 What about taking into consideration that on some frames the effective seat tube angle changes through the suspension compression...
Factor in that people ride different sag and some coil, some air.. Then some set their sag with no kit on then put a rucksack on (camelback), as they remove some of that 3L of water and food etc, then their weight changes.
What if you put an offset headset in which impacts your reach.
Then crank arm length, stem length, stem rise, spacer below stem, handlebar width, bar rise, bar sweep, saddle position...

OMG... I think I will just ride from some approximate static figures and setup from there as there are to many variables to get an exact figure.

There is no magic answer, we are all different and ride setups which are different based on personal preference, strengths and skill level.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: They were always worth a mention for a tall guy - Specialized published both angles - go look at their 2010 geo charts. And the frames didn't have as severe of kinks in the seat tubes until long travel 29ers came along - they're usually the worst culprits. But as you say it's simply another factor to consider if a bike will work for you. Great - now how about actually giving us both angles? This review fails to do so as do most of your reviews.
  • + 1
 I can understand how raising the saddle moves it further back relative to th BB but doesnt the angle remain constant?
  • + 2
 @RyanMTBx: no, because if you draw a line straight down the seat tube you don't end up at the bottom bracket (because it's bent). To get the actual angle you play connect the dots; center of bottom bracket to center of the top of your saddle.
  • + 1
 @RyanMTBx: Yes, but there are two different angles (effective and actual). The angle of the actual seat tube won't change, but the measurement that matters most (arguably...) is from the bb to the seat, called the effective seat tube angle. That will vary with height, and on a bike like this, you'll end up with a considerably slacker effective angle when your seat post is at full extension for climbing - the time when you'd really want a steep seat angle. Make sense?
  • + 2
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: Indeed it is obvious there exist endless component variables between the skin under your metatarsals and that of your taint. So Following that logic, and as some have suggested... it would seem helpful and easy for mfg's to give the 2 or 3 #'s needed to figure our own; or even give STA's at 4 or 5 BB-to-seat-clamp distances. Then a rider as passionate and perspicacious as yourself could say, "hm, this saddle's real thin, running 172.5 cranks, thick shoes, thin pedals, no shorts, and an offset saddle clamp... = roughly X."
Let each rider account for those minutiae to whatever degree they're so inclined.
Nevertheless! I'm happy you're passionate about these nuanced numbers and our delicate minds mulling and musing upon them Wink
  • + 2
 @TheR:
Clearly you've never pedaled up a steep grade with your butt behind the rear axle because of a slack seat tube angle...
  • + 2
 @batorok: some of us have been doing that for years...
  • + 2
 @batorok: Yeah, I guess the people who have designed every bike I've ever ridden have done such a great job that I don't have to think about it. Props to the people at Specialized and Turner.
  • - 2
 @WoodenCrow: What the hell are you babbling about. My post was a direct response to someone that suggested STA specific to inseams be listed, which I pointed out was useless because of all the variables I mentioned.

So please tell me how crank length is irrelevant if you are given a STA for a person with a 29'' inseam.
  • + 4
 @TheOriginalTwoTone: re inseams you wrote, "Then you need crank length, seat thickness and don't forget pedal thickness- oh wait what shoes was the person using when then measured. You see where it goes right."

Others are observing you just need 2 or 3 measurements to calculate an Effective STA at any given height -- just for the frame as a baseline -- nice and simple -- applicable to any inseam/setup from there. Then (...and only then) you can extrapolate all the specifics of Your component/gear choice from there... if you really want to?

It appears you're suggesting either: A) each manufacturer put together a 2000-page spreadsheet calculating all possible variations of components, gear, and height of hemorrhoids; or, B) there are just too many variables, we'll never figure it out, why even try to penetrate the unsolvable mysteries of frame geometry.

Clarification on downvote -- was just a signal of disagreement, not trying to 'disappear' your comment, nothing personal dude. Cheers
  • + 34
 Suspension action video please
  • + 22
 This needs to be standard on all full-sus reviews
  • + 1
 @tevmintz: *and hard-tails. I'm sure Lauri and Anni can help us out with some nice hard-tail flex videos Smile
  • + 5
 @jaame I'll add that in soon
  • + 1
 Not a snarky question: why do we need these? To see pedal kickback?
  • + 5
 @scvkurt03: I like watching them because I enjoy seeing mechanical things move. That's it! I enjoy watching them, pure and simple.
  • + 1
 @jaame: same here, just really satisfying to watch
  • + 1
 @scvkurt03: and how much brake movement
  • + 21
 The crack pipe is the best bit Smile
  • + 4
 Hopefully theyll do aftermarket sales on the Niner crack pipe
  • + 6
 @the-joe: You're in luck, it just so happens they sell glass versions! See your neighborhood drug dealer for details.
  • + 1
 I don't understand this piece. They could have made a custom angled valve tube that screws directly into the shock. The stock one just unscrews once you take out the valve core.
  • + 1
 @the-joe: I could use one of these for the DPX2 on my Evil Following MB, clearance to get a shock pump on is real tight and cross threading is a concern. Hope they offer it separately!
  • + 2
 @acali: I see two potential issues

1. The valve and the shock eyelet would both need precise threading so it always tightened to the right angle, this is pretty dang expensive

2. The valve moves down towards the "ribs" of the frame meaning if it stuck out there may be frame gouging
  • + 20
 700mm bars?? Thats narrow af
  • + 4
 That's late 90s xc width!
  • + 2
 That must be a typo... Who prefers 700mm bars for enduro-style riding??
  • + 4
 I know, right? How does he even steer that bike?
  • + 10
 So intellectually stimulating to see the faux discussion on "effective seat tube angle".

To me, it's counting the number of angels on a pinhead. Who cares? Inseam length, saddle setback, shock sag, etc. all are variables that make it irrelevant IMHO.

Of course, I'm a KISS believer -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. Ride on!
  • + 9
 but, but, but, i'm very tall with long legs, pay attention to me! i'm 6 5 (i am) and am very special, i want special angle measurements just for me!! tall guy rights now dammit! 37" inseam special club membership, lets start a revolt.... blah blah blah...
  • - 2
 @jamesbrant: Hahahaha! Exactly.

What I don't get is why everyone is suddenly sperging out on seat tube angle. This is a phenomenon that has happened only within the last 6-8 months. Look, most of these bikes are pretty solid, and the geometry is designed on each the make the bike work as a whole. Get a bike you like, test ride it, ask yourself if you like it overall then just ride it, get used to it and have fun, just like you used to before everyone was worried about seat tube angle.
  • + 9
 It's not unreasonable, to expect to understand what you're paying for? It's just a number, whether it matters or not is debatable, but providing it takes 2 clicks on cad, so not much to ask.
  • + 0
 @pbuser2299: You can always test ride the thing to get an even better understanding of what you're paying for than numbers on a chart can provide. Or you can make an extrapolation based on your current bike, if you're that into numbers. "Hmmm... My current bike has a 74-degree STA, this one has a 74... Therefore I think this bike would be acceptable (or not -- whatever the case may be)." I personally maintain a STA steepened or slackened by a degree really isn't going to make that much of a difference -- or not one that you can't get used to -- if you're truly honest with yourself.

Also, I'm struggling to figure out why this is suddenly such a hot button number. No one cared two years ago.
  • + 6
 @TheR: not entirely true. The steeper STA lives in harmony with the rest of the bike geo. The bike gets longer, the reach gets longer etc. Your butt gets further from the rear axle. When you go up the steeper stuff, especially with tech, the bike doesn't auto wheelie forcing you to jump around the bike wasting energy to compensate. Its a funny thing to get excited about but it does make a noticeable difference.
  • + 1
 @TheR: because they finally got super short chainstays and realized they suck if you climb up anything that's not smooth. Just like low as you can go bottom bracket heights before that.

Find what works for you where you ride and buy accordingly.

Unfortunately a lot of people buy based on brand loyalty, or color, or whatever the dude in the shop sells them.
  • + 0
 @yzedf: It's because we're solving the issue of climbing the wrong way-- by moving the rider up and away from the rear wheel, rather than stretching the wheel back and away from the rider. And the only reason we're doing that, is so Pinkbike/Vital/Bike reviewers can talk about "poppy" and "playful" short chainstays.

It's wrong because it makes you push the reach out further to maintain a decent sized cockpit, and it completely imbalances the bike between front and rear-center lengths. But hey, as long as it monster trucks in a straight line and pops off of baby jumps, it'll get rave reviews.
  • + 3
 @jlf1200: I don't disagree that there are disadvantages but a bit longer reach has been pretty proven to be great for the typical rider, especially for the taller rider. 29ers aren't ultra-playful so a shorter backend does help balance that out a bit. These new bikes are pretty sweet, tho I'm not in love with this one.
  • - 2
 @Svinyard: I think we're mostly in agreement, and I like longer reach. I just dont like mismatched geometry and the fore/aft imbalance it causes, requiring forward bias from the rider to make up for it. As I'm reading these geo charts, Niner has done a good job here, in terms of allowing the rider to sit between the wheels and use less upper body to maintain front wheel traction. In terms of playfulness (I would use "responsiveness" as a synonym), a balanced bike allows the rider to get more out of the bike when shifting their center of gravity around. Bikes that are long in front and short in the back require forward bias just to neutralize the bike, which leaves less opportunity for weight adjustments.
  • + 2
 @jlf1200: it'll be interesting to see where geometry for 29ers goes from here. I'm sure there is more to it than I can realize (as you articulated well). I wonder if things go shorter or if bike keep getting longer. Like the geo stays similar to a Ripmo/Jeffsy etc but the rear end starts to extend.

I've heard other guys talk about the long reach bikes of today being nice for regular Joe's as it forces you into attack a bit more, but for racers who really need to move around... that they may benefit from a shorter reach, thus allowing them to throw their bodies a bit more. I can't relate but it'll be interesting.
  • + 2
 @Svinyard: nice to hear someone who knows what they are talking about
  • - 1
 @Svinyard: Indeed it will. I think we’ve made some really great changes to bikes in the last few years, but we’re just stuck with a lazy assumption that everyone needs their rear wheel tucked under their ass. I predict someone, somewhere, will stand up and own long stays as a feature not a bug, and their marketing guy will have to challenge the media on their cult of “playfulness.” Because a long travel bike with progressive geo that doesn’t make you work to keep the front wheel biting will really haul ass. Just ask Sam Hill— he’s pretty much the only guy racing one right now.
  • - 1
 @Svinyard: ...and BTW, I think you can relate to the need for more ability to move your weight around naturally than you give yourself credit for. I don’t think anyone benefits from being forced out of neutral positioning on a bike— it’s just that long bikes have opened up new possibilities for average riders, so we swallow the whole offering as if it’s a unified solution (and of course the marketing guys make this claim).
  • + 9
 "Look beyond its steep seat-tube angle,..."
Okay, I will. This *ACTUAL* seat-tube angle is not steep. For anyone who is tall, or has a long inseam, they're going to experience a slack seat-tube angle while climbing. The actual seat-tube angle appears to be slacker than the head angle...
#seatanglol
  • + 9
 It's not a mystery why this bike rides well and is "effortless" to rail-- Niner didn't mate dirt jumper chainstays to a huge front-center like literally every other brand making "progressive" geometry.

News flash, you don't need a 4' long front end on a bike to go fast downhill. You need a long *balanced* wheelbase where the front wheel isn't pushing out all the time. When people talk about short chainstays being "playful" and "poppy" on their trail bikes what they're really saying is "hey look I can screw around on this bike at 7mph and it's still fun."

This makes 2 brands who aren't being dumb with geo: Niner and Nukeproof. Even Yeti jumped on the bandwagon with their recent bikes. It's fine to compare this bike to the SB 130 and suggest it won't bomb straight down as well, but I guarantee it will corner better.
  • + 2
 Well thought out and written. Thanks for a providing a counterpoint to the ongoing assault on maneuverability.
  • + 4
 @juansolo57: Sure, although even Niner themselves can't resist the pressure to talk up their "short chainstays." This shit is out of control, and has been for years now. Meanwhile the fastest riders alive have all been riding (or pleading their sponsors for) long chainstays. Hill, Minnaar, Gwin. Weird how none of those guys ever look out of control, out of balance, and rarely crash, isn't it.

[EDIT] Before some jabroni claps back, no, I wasn't suggesting they don't crash because their bikes are long in the back. I'm suggesting they know more about riding fast than the average fast guy, and there's a reason they all want (and finally got) balanced bikes.
  • + 2
 And life is about corners! Anyone can go fast in a straight line.
  • + 1
 Agreed. The current RIP v2 which is still available is one of if not the most dialed high-speed trail bikes (“aka enduro”) ever made.
  • - 1
 @Ktron: The sb130 corners phenomenally with its progressive geo.. It simply does everything so well.... Toss a leg over one!
  • + 6
 @bohns1: To be clear, pretty much every new bike is good these days. We're in the midst of a MTB renaissance. But that doesn't mean mistakes aren't being made, and it doesn't mean we should blindly trust every aspect of mass-market trends just because the overall product is improved.

What I'm bringing up involves pretty simple math and really boils down to neutral athletic positioning rather than bike features. I can absolutely promise you that a bike with lower FC:RC relationship will rail turns better than one with a high ratio, and that the difference becomes more extreme as a rider fatigues. Yeti makes incredible bikes but they're not magic, and with the SB130 & 150, they've abandoned one of the things that made them so unique: long rear-center values, relative to the front-center.

The SB130 is a hell of a bike, and I'd love to own one. But I would put lots of money down that an average rider would corner drastically better through a fast, loose, un-bermed turn on an SB5.5. Traction would be easier to find, manage and maintain because he/she could apply front wheel pressure in a more neutral position, supported more by their legs instead of their core, shoulders, arms and hands.
  • + 2
 @bohns1: what jlf1200 said ^^^
  • + 3
 @jlf1200: I appreciate your posting here on FC:RC ratio, as it helps me look at the benefits more objectively. On the other side, not everyone has (or even often wants) local terrain with ripped loose chunky high speed corners... thus the significant market segment for bikes that are nimble and 'playful' at moderate speeds.
  • + 3
 @WoodenCrow: I certainly agree that this is true for a large percentage of consumers. But I completely reject the notion that every.damn.bike is serving it’s target rider with the tightest stays possible, and that’s the current state of design we find ourselves in. It’s a marketing fail, and shows how mindless the industry can be at times.

I’m really looking to brands like Guerrilla Gravity to take the whole “geo nerd” approach to the next level and offer long stay kits for their new bikes. Until then, if you want a balanced trail bike, you’re looking at Nukeproof, Norco, Niner, or an older design without the long aggressive front-center or raked out HA (and you’ll have a less descending-capable bike due to that).
  • - 2
 @jlf1200: As a 6'2" tall rider I agree with everything you've said. When a new bike is released the first thing I check is if it's got a longer chainstay than is currently fashionable. If a new bike came out with some 460mm chainstays i'd be buying it so fast.
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: I'm not buying it.. The 130 is better at cornering than the 5.5 in everyway..Being more over the front aids in this and the rear being shorter isn't even noticeable.. I've owned both and the 130 is just straight up a better bike in every way possible... Real world riding trumps hypothesis everytime.. Which is what most pb Commentors are about for the most part.

Forget the numbers and perform back to back rides if you want to prove your theories atleast to yourself. The traction on the new yetis are one of the attributes most raved about aspects of the new bikes. That's just for starters.. Climbing is an entirely other mind blowing aspect along with straight up composure/stability on the downs.. The balance feels perfect despite the numbers.

No, it isn't magic.... But it's made me a better rider in every coming off the last gen versions and that's all that matters to me..
  • + 3
 @Ktron: like I said.. Toss a leg over one rather than playing in the armchair Olympics.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic: I remember the 2012-2015 stumpjumpers I had a 13.. The bike was good for the time and super stable on the downs but that was it.. It was like a semi truck with the 457 stays and not very maneuverable.. It could smash but it wasnt poppy or playful. The worst thing... Manualing was an impossible chore.. I thought I'd never learn them.. Ahh, the good old days!
  • + 0
 @bohns1: You don't have to buy it, I'm not selling anything. You've already made it very clear that you care about "playful" "poppy,", manuals, etc. You actually needs short chainstays, because you value a bike that does tricks.

That you feel fast on your new bike in corners is not "real world" evidence of anything. There are lots of reasons why a new bike feels (and is) amazing. I have two Transitions and I love those bikes. But they're probably the worst offenders when it comes to the imbalance I'm talking about. The demand for longer stays has been coming from faster riders than you for years-- you're skeptical right now because you just weren't aware of it.

teamrobotkillsyourface.com/2017/12/19/breaking-news-425mm-chainstays-still-suck
"I’ll extend an olive branch here, and concede that 425mm chainstays can be fun in certain circumstances, like if you’re building a dirt jump bike, or you’re 5’4″, or you suck at riding, or some combination of the three. But if you’re riding somewhere above walking pace, and are at or above global average height, and we’re talking about a full suspension for trail riding, 425 chainstays suck."

www.pinkbike.com/news/behind-the-bike-developing-the-xxl-santa-cruz-v10-2016.html
"As a result of feedback from the back half of 2014 we tooled up an XXL size but made the chain stay longer to maintain the same front/back weight distribution as the XL. Midway through 2015 we continued this progression of thought and made custom lower links to make the chainstays longer still for certain tracks that were loose where front wheel traction was going to be an issue."

Here's a dose of "real" for you.

Hill
Minnaar
Gwin
Rude
Maes
Graves

What's the commonality here? Well, they win more and crash less than their super-elite competition. And they do it while rarely getting out of control. They have all either raced on or requested balanced front-to-rear bikes (either with long stays or shorter front ends), and in some cases forced their sponsor to make special linkages or just redesign their bikes entirely. I'm not saying that is *why* they win. I'm pointing out the correlation between superior, clean riding and the preference for balanced bike geometry.

Something is off when 99% of production bikes aren't doing what 90% of the top of the podium is asking for. I'd have no problem if we sold bikes for "poppy" riding and bikes for stability while hauling ass. I don't think the industry is serving the latter need very well, because they refuse to release a product that won't get the "playful" word mentioned in its reviews.
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: These again are just your opinion and nothing factual.. Most of the riders u mention are downhill riders.. Rude praises the 150..Graeves loves the new stumpy.. Yes they are sponsored but I've never seen an article of them rallying for longer stays(follow both of them on the gram as well) . Your links are again biased opinion and make sense on the downhill discipline.

Ur right.. I can't prove I'm faster in corners on my 130 but all my times are blown out of the water vs my 5.5 and my older 2013 stumpy... I'll chalk that up as a win.. I'll even toss u a bone and say that if perhaps, and this is a stretch, that I'm in fact slower on berms on the new bike,then is by an unnoticeable margin and I have destroyed my times in every other aspect.. But I doubt that..

Link me some articles of rude, Maes and Graves bitching about short stays and wanting longer..

There's nothing special about Rudes Yeti either.. Lots of talk on his Insta about it.. Yet he still smashes..

I stand by my points. I don't just crave playful and poppy.. I crave a well balanced package that comes with mes as close to do it all as possible and the sb130 delivers that on all fronts.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: Glad you asked. The Stumpjumper has more balanced numbers than any other bike on the market right now, followed closely by the SB6, which actually carried Rude's wins. They both have similar numbers to their old SB66, which has all Graves' wins. Maes is up there with them on his GT, which is slightly less balanced, but still very reasonable numbers, comparable to Sam Hill's Nukeproof. Sam's won a few races on that.

Oh look, I didn't list any downhillers.

Dude, skepticism is fine, but not if you refuse to even try to educate yourself. Then you're just being an ostrich.
And you can't stand by any "points" because you haven't really made any beyond praising your own recent purchase. I'm not saying your bike sucks. I'm saying your bike isn't balanced. Doesn't mean it's not fun to ride. Doesn't mean Ritchie isn't going to tell you it's cool on Instagram. Don't take it personally.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: [Edit] Actually the 29er Stumpy has the most balanced numbers. Graves' 27.5 Stumpy is closer to the Nukeproof. The SB6 is the most balanced in this group we're discussing, with 442mm chainstays on a medium, which Ritchie chooses to ride over the large (a less balanced bike, as Yeti doesn't grow the chainstay proportionally). All of these bikes have better FC:RC numbers than almost all of the cool big travel slayers being promoted right now.

I would personally choose a big travel 29er over a 27 any day for racing enduro, and those guys are racing EWS courses which are honestly closer to domestic DH. So yeah, I'm not surprised he's riding a 150. I would too. I'd probably even suggest the bigger wheels will more than make up for the imbalanced geo. We live in an imperfect world where heroes like Ritchie have to choose the fastest bike Yeti decides they can sell. None of that negates the trend I'm pointing out here.
  • + 1
 @jlf1200: out of curiosity, what do you consider the optimum ratio FC to RC for a general ragging trail bike e.g. SC bronson 150 mm trail bike?
thanks in advance
  • + 2
 @Murfdog: I don't have a great answer there, and I'm not sure there is an "ideal" because we're always talking about concessions between traction, descending and climbing prowess.

If you look at the bikes I'm calling out as more balanced, they generally sit between 1.68 and 1.73. Compare that to the trendy bikes that I'm saying are unbalanced -- my Transition Sentinel and Scout are perfect examples-- which sit around 1.80. And compare those to the really "progressive" (whatever that means) bikes like Pole, Geometron, etc., which are up around 1.9.

One problem is nobody has really explored this at a production level. Another problem is it's very difficult to find a true FC:RC value for a given bike, since the rear axle path varies between designs and the front axle path varies by HA (I have been ballparking the numbers with static measurements, since trail bikes aren't as wild with their linkage designs as DH bikes). Another confounding factor is seat tube angles. We have them all ratcheted up in the air to improve climbing, but with long chainstays that wouldn't really be as necessary (my hypothesis) and so it's not just a matter of bolting longer stays onto a progressive bike (steep STA, long reach, slack HA).

Everything you need to know has been covered by Steve in these videos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5R60JHJbxI&t=1s
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: nothing personal takin.. Rude is on a near stock 150 and is open about.. Zero sense of him trying to be cool at all.. The new stumpy still has shorter stays than and praised them as well upon launch compared to past iteration..

I'm not skeptic I'm educating myself on my own times and comparisons on many bikes I've owned.. I think companies have a pretty good idea of what makes a bike ride and perform better than someone such as yourself participating in the armchair engineer olympics..

I get it you don't like short stays.. So don't buy a bike with them.. At the end of the day wether u like it or not.. The newer bikes are better.. Yes, that even includes your beloved sb66.. Your hanging on to the past dude..

The big boys will still win on the newer bikes wether u claim unbalanced or not.. I get your points if u are strictly talking a downhill bias.. But not all pros want longer stays..

Still waiting on ur links as to Rude or Graves praising longer stays or requesting it and downplaying the shorter so called unbalanced rears..
  • + 1
 @bohns1: You're just waiting for your turn to talk and not listening. Either you're ignoring the very clear things I'm saying or you're dim. There's a trend here. "Not all pros" is not an argument. "But downhillers" is not an argument. This is not armchair anything, I race bikes too, bro. Every format there is. I know what I'm talking about.

Please read what I just wrote about Rude's choice to ride a bigger 29er. And please consider his choice to ride a medium 6.

Please consider using the internet to actually look up geometry numbers before spouting off. Graves 29er Stumpjumpers are lower in FC:RC ratio than any major bike on the market, period. Especially the ST version. The 27.5 Stumpy has numbers closer to HIll's Nukeproof. Graves picked this bike over an Enduro. I'm saying he wants a balanced bike, because he's choosing to ride a balanced bike. Do. You. Understand.?
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: Waiting to talk.. Haha.. Ur the guy writing novel responses and getting a bit hot under the collar playing in the armchair Olympic games..

Richie chose the big wheels because he likes the roll over.. Hes never stated anything about balance.. Hes on a medium because he's he sized down for preference.. Hes in between.. Hes not even on the 6 anymore he's on a 150 98% of the time..

That's great u race bikes.. I dabble myself but who cares really.. Its all internet squabble.. You sound like u have the need to want to squabble to help the ego a bit..

Graves has stated nothing in regards to balance on riding the stumpy.. He chose the stumpy because it performs almost as well as the enduro but in a lighter package.. Believe there is a youtube vid of it as well.. When they were testing them..

I see zero proof still as to your reasoning as to your points as to why they ride what they do.. Nothing dim about it..
  • - 1
 @bohns1: Just annoyed that you're not able to follow along. It's ok I'm done trying. Enjoy your bike.
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: iam following.. But not all your reasoning are the reasons that certain pros are on certain bikes is all.

At the end of the day it's all about preference anyways.. That or bike feel.

Enjoy the longer stays.
  • + 0
 @bohns1: You're right. It's just pure coincidence that every one of them rides/wins on a bike more balanced than the trendy ones being marketed now. Totally unrelated that Graves goes from riding a full blown, heavy hitting SB6 to a little ass Stumpjumper because he just suddenly decides he doesn't want to ride enduro bikes while racing enduro. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the differences in design philosophy between Yeti and Speshulized.

FC:RC
SB6: 1.67
Spesh Enduro: 1.93
...
(Spesh Stumpjumper 29: 1.74)

Yes, it's all about "bike feel," that's real world data. Not like those pesky abstract "numbers."
  • + 2
 @jlf1200: agreed, more diversity of frames and geo that each work well as a unit, more betterer. Shorter stays for those like me who like'm, longer stays for you... more options make things much more interesting.
  • - 1
 @jlf1200: thanks for having the time to reply, very grateful.
  • + 1
 @jlf1200: It would appear that fir the most part it is size Medium on most brands eg
Nuke proof mega medium ratio is 1.72, the large 1.81, due of course to static chainstay length !!
  • + 2
 @bohns1: I had a bike in this era with geometry realllly close to these stumpjumpers. It's most of the reason that I'm a fan of long CS bikes. I'm actually looking for one of these Stumpjumpers as a second bike. I struggled to manual it for a great distance but manualing for a few metres to get over obstacles was no trouble. I felt that the stability of these long stay bikes didn't come at the cost of manuverability, they had 68 degree HAs and wheelbases were under 1200mm. Also it was the most poppy bike I've owned. despite my lack of talent, at some of the races I was clearing obstacles that some of the fastest guys weren't hitting.
  • + 2
 @jlf1200:

jilf! the big S grew the stays on the stumpy EVO, which i thought was kinda cool. I may buy one this year.

also, have you ridden a 130? i demoed 8 bikes last year and if i had to choose one today it would be the 130, but the EVO and carbon Sentinel NX are more in my price range this year. i know you opine based on experience, and principles are principles, but 435 stays on an aggressive slacked out trailbike won't make the world implode. the sentinel's fast as hell with those short stays. Also rider preference trumps everything as does the almighty demo. Something that looks right/wrong on paper may feel orgasmic on the trail. Also, I could make the new Stumpy work for me with some setup tweaks, but it was nowhere near as fun to ride as the 130 or Sentinel.
  • + 1
 @panaphonic:

to each his/her own. my first gen Salsa Horsethief had stays in the 460mm range and although straightline climbing and descending was good, it cornered quite like shite. Not once have I wanted to go back. I do like the idea of size-specific stays though, which a few brands are doing, albeit by only a few mm.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: I own a Sentinel. Here's the thing: it's f'n fast, everywhere, in all contexts. Yes, even in turns, it's fast. People are so quick to be black and white about this, and that's not the sort of point I'm trying to make.

What I'm saying is this: it's harder to find, manage and maintain traction (i.e. biting vs controlled drifting) when you ride a Sentinel (or any Transition besides a Smuggler). There's a lot more body english involved because the bike is imbalanced and requires a lot of forward bias to ride it. Since you're already biased you're forced to find traction when you're not in a neutral position. Multiply this times 10 or 20 turns, add core fatigue (and arm/shoulder fatigue) from all that forward bias, and you have a bike that just isn't as good as a neutral one. Sorry, it just isn't. I'm not saying it's slow. I'm not saying it's boring. I'm saying it's NOT AS GOOD as it could be, and that's all to protect the "poppy/playful" short chainstay consumer, who theoretically revolts if they can't ride a manual at 7mph. I think that's dumb, *especially* for a monster truck like the Sentinel.

[EDIT] Big hugs and kisses to the butthurt gangster who keeps down-voting my comments instead of saying something. That'll show me. Pinkbike is so full of idiots.
  • + 1
 @jlf1200:

I appreciate the feedback. And I am curious about the longer stays on the evo, that bike looks pretty well thought out tho the bb is pretty low.

So quick question - size wise I’m right between a L and XL Sentinel (ridden both) so wonder how a L with a 60mm stem would handle to: a) give me my preferred cockpit feel, b) keep the wheelbase in check, and c) help keep the front weighted. Just thinking....
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: Even the pros don't give most fuks about pesky digits! Give em a ride that shreds and they'll take it..

Sb6 is old news dude! Watch rude win on the 150..After his ban that is! Ha
  • + 0
 @WoodenCrow: This exactly!
  • + 0
 @panaphonic: well, I still got a 2013 semi truck all black stumpy comp frame with rockshox debonair luxe on her if ur interested
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: The 130 is probably the best bike I've ever ridden.. Blown away.
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: Well the larger size Sentinel will be that much more stable blasting through steep, rocky trail. It will be that much less reasonable when leaned over, which is more often than not. If you're in between sizes and this is your only/primary bikes, I'd go down a size for that reason. It's already great at ploughing shit.
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: all my PR's are smashed on the the 130.. The bike just rides great numbers aside.. Too many armchair engineers here on pb getting way to butt hurt on numbers.. Ride the bikes and as you said, demo Demo demo!
  • + 3
 @bohns1: SB6 is old news because of wheel size, mostly. 29ers are the hot shit now (must be tough for Yeti, they were the last ones to the party).

It will be interesting to see if they update a 27" bike, and if so, whether they keep the long rear-center.
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: I'm sure it's not to tough for them.. They can't keep em in stock at my dealer anyways..

I think the updates to the 27.5 are on the horizon.. We'll see how they pan out.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: I meant "tough" for them, philosophically.

You're fairly careless about accusing people of being "armchair" just because they're discussing ideas on the internet. That screams "I don't know what they're talking about so my ego wants to take them down a notch."

People who race bikes ride at their limit all the time, and they notice things that people who just ride for stoke never do. If you want to push past your limits, you need to understand your bike. I only came to this hypothesis by racing, crashing, making adjustments, winning, and comparing new geometry to old.

If you don't believe me, there's a much more intelligent discussion on this topic over at Vital. No "armchair" in this thread either. One guy is about to build a custom swingarm for his Sentinel:

www.vitalmtb.com/forums/The-Hub,2/The-Internet-Was-Wrong-Short-Chainstays-Suck,9344?unread
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: Haha ok man.. You win.. There is that better? Did ur ego need that?

Dude I race and ride for stoke.. Hence the reason I bought the 130..It does both so well.. And no, that's no that's not because of new bike stoke or whatever it was u said earlier on.. Its after numerous demoing back to back with other brands and varied geo.

Understand my bike? Ha, ok.. I'm as picky as they come in that regard.
I demo then demo and demo again even just to get down to the final few before making my conclusions. You see that's what actually works vs studying graphs charts and geo numbers.. I say armchair because, well, really, that's what it is. Linking articles on forums for people to read and discuss and banter about.. If that's ur shtick, then great! But keep in mind your linked articles are just bias opinions within themselves..

I'm not saying there's no place for longer stays.. But if I'm crushing all my numbers on the 130.. Well, that's telling me something.. That's all I need.. No article is going to sway real world truths.

Ride all the bikes you can man.. Its the only way really
  • - 1
 @jlf1200: Again, your linked article is of the ethos in the discipline of downhill bias.. Ie going very fast downhill.

Great if your gwin or Minaar or aspiring to be.. But I, and I'm sure most will agree, need as close to possible as full package.. With all the traits in one bike performing 95% of the tasks extremely well.. Hence why I chose what I chose..

Also your article is three years old.. Bike companies still haven't changed their thought process.. I guess they all must be doing it Wrong and the engineers and testers have zero clue as to what performs best for the intended bike.

I don't know, just a hunch.
  • + 0
 @bohns1: thats not an article. It’s a thread. The last 2 pages are a week old. It’s a bunch of advanced riders noticing what I notice, which is that moto, auto, skis, etc all pay special attention to forward/rearward balance for the sake of performance, while mountain bike designers just keep making half the bike longer while totally ignoring proportionality across sizes. That is not common anywhere else, and it’s a mistake.

You keep citing your bike and your PRs as if that discounts what I’m telling you, but it doesn’t. It just means your new bike is better than your old bike. If you think the industry wouldn’t sell you something inferior so long as it saves them money and nobody complains... you must be new to cycling. That’s been true for every style of bike ever invented.

Finally, “downhill bias” isn’t some sort of niche focus. I don’t think enthusiast riders are less interested in speed than competitive riders, they’re just less committed to understanding how to unlock it.
  • - 1
 @jlf1200: That's just it.. My new bike is better than all my old bikes.. Many of which were more front /rear center balanced Than these newer iterations..

Some did corner very well and were very stable at speed, but also lacked in many other areas making them less well rounded..

No downhill bias is not niche, obviously! Your references are mainly Gwin Minaar.. Whom are downhillers. We've already established that if u want to unlock the absolute pinnacle of cornering speed then yes, your links have merit.. But the rider will lose out in other areas.. Those bikes are out there for those people.. Ie pole, nuke proof, mondraker as well as your everyday downhill bikes..

Again, the vast majority are looking for that bike that does 90% of everything pretty damn well.. Hence the new Yetis, Scott Ransom and the soon to be unvailed new Santa Cruz line up (again with shorter cs and steeper SA).

This is not a mistake.. This is companies trying to edge closer to the best or as close to possible in the realm of bikes that have most attributes and do them really farking well!

Finally in regards to industry selling us something with no complaints.. Why the Fuk aren't the pros complaining.. Rude praises his 150 all day long.. Hes genuinely stoked on the bikes via his Insta account... Same with Vinny T and his Ransom amongst many others.. Surely the best of the best would be complaining.. But their not! Same goes for Kurtis Keene..

But your right! The bike industry is making a huge mistake.. We'll all be back to 470mm stays before long.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: Let's just recap your hot takes so far:

- DH is irrelevant, but EWS is relevant. It must be that last 20mm of travel.

- A single EWS rider sponsored by your pet brand says his new bike is nice, which should be taken as evidence that his bike is perfect and what I'm saying is wrong. Because of what this kid says about his sponsor's product, we can ignore the older, more experienced guy who regularly beats him (along with everyone else) while riding a bike with the geometry I'm proposing (which he directly developed).

- Even though bikes have drastically changed and improved during the last few years, (as you know first hand with your new Yeti), you're sure the industry has nailed the rear-center, and that dimension will never change because "they must know what they're doing." They just didn't know what they were doing with all those other parts of the bike, despite what their marketing guys told us back when they were selling inferior products.

Oh-kay dude.
  • - 1
 @jlf1200: Are you ok bro... I'm starting to get a little worried about you..

You should apply to some major brands and try to land a gig.. Show them all how wrong they've been this entire time and help fix these travesties of bikes we are all riding today.. I don't know how all these pros are riding these unbalanced rigs.

Such a shitty time to be a mountain biker eh with all these geo mistakes..

Haha ok dude.
  • + 1
 @bohns1: Maybe these guys are wrong about your bike, too.

www.bikemag.com/gear/mountain-bikes/review-yeti-sb130-xo1-race-turq

"The bike corners exceptionally well, but it requires the rider to completely shift his or her weight forward over the front end. It can actually feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first, as you timidly inch farther and farther forward, corner after corner, to get the front wheel to stick. That much forward bias would pitch you over the bars on a lot of other bikes, so it takes some practice to get used to it. Also, it takes more energy, so when you get tired and want to sit up and relax, the bike will understeer and blow corners. But when you're switched on, the SB130 will not disappoint."

"Are you qualified to ride an SB130? That depends, how many push-ups can you do?"
  • + 1
 @jlf1200:

As this is still going I think PB should just cave in and make this a live debate. It'd be fun.
  • + 0
 @jlf1200: Haha old review man read that before I demoed.. It depends how sensitive you are to geometry change.. Its just a slight recalibration of rider position..This also makes it one of of the best climbers out there in its genre. Once one adapts(If need be) it is a phenomonal bike.. Either way it is one of the best new releases weather u believe so or not..

Like I said previously.. If I'm smashing all PR's, that's good enough for me.

Man, you are really hung up on all this aren't Ya? Go ride ur damn bike!
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: bring it!
  • + 10
 Well I'm glad it rides well as I'm not a fan of the way it looks! Those curves make it look like a normal bike that has been squashed...
  • - 3
 I don't see why they need to put the shock through the frame like that. Trek, giant, etc, have similar shock setups without the need for that funky design. Strange
  • - 2
 First thought I had! What an ugly bike...
  • + 0
 @thetrailpup: Stiffness to make up for the lack of seat tube bridge? But Trek and ect have the stabilizers a lot lower towards the bottom of the shock, not the direct middle.
  • + 11
 A $7000 bike with the lowest spec Stans wheels... come on Niner, that’s the worst place to skimp on the build.
  • + 2
 Not a good choice on the brakes as well.
  • + 2
 How to: Make more money selling carbon wheels 101
  • + 9
 So we're still doing $7000 bikes with $500 wheelsets? If this bike was $9000 could I get into some $700 wheels? haha
  • + 2
 Even though it's retail price, $500 is generous for the S1's... you'd be lucky to get $200 resale for those things.
  • + 1
 @stevemokan: Truth. This fixation with Stans is baffling when a DT M1700 wheelset would cost exactly the same but be better in every way.
  • + 6
 I thought my wfo was great until i got a ripmo it pedals much better and is still plush over rocks i did break the lower link on the wfo but from stress not impacts niner was great and got me a free link even though it was out of warranty
  • + 3
 I'd like to see this up against the Ripmo.
  • + 4
 @MikerJ: yeah Ripmo is the new standard for the trail-duro segment. SB130 prob too.
  • + 10
 A water bottle and comes with a crack pipe, what else do you need.
  • + 7
 Hookers?
  • + 8
 A syringe to inject sealant. Smile
  • + 9
 All E-bikes need the same top-tube quote
  • + 5
 Never thought I would say this. Nice job Niner!! This bike looks awesome. I hope you guys sell a million of these. Only suggestion is you have a lot of competition with the boys down south (think Denver area) with pricing. Get your pricing inline and you just moved to the top of list looking for a new bike.
  • + 4
 "That translates to slightly more anti-squat, with less "pedal effect." That's Parry's term for using chain tension to stiffen the suspension - a function many erroneously call anti-squat."

Uh what, no. Anti-squat is suspension’s mechanical resistance to compression due to pedaling forces... You can't have more anti-squat but less "pedal effect" on the suspension unless you define your made up term "pedal effect" to be something other than the effect of the force on the pedals on the suspension.
  • + 1
 @lgent Not true. Check out the anti-squat on Commencal's high-pivot DH bike. The idler roller cancels chain tension's effect upon the suspension, but its anti-squat numbers are high for a DH bike.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: Probably better described by likening it to vehicle suspension (like a 4 link on an offroad truck) to get the chain tension out of people's heads. Or maybe not
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: I copy and pasted that definition from Pole's article on anti squat and that definition is widely accepted among suspension engineers to be true (also outside of mtn bike design). On the Commencal Supreme, the idler roller does not cancel the chain tensions effect on the suspension, which is exactly why the anti squat value is still high. The idler roller changes the direction of the chain force from a line connecting the rear cassette to the chainring (where the chain normally would be without an idler) to a line connecting the rear cassette to the idler roller. What the idler does do, which I'm assuming is what you and Parry is referring to as "Pedal Effect" is reduce the level of pedal kickback, BUT this is only accomplished with an idler, this suspension design does absolutely nothing out of the ordinary to "increase anti-squat, with less "pedal effect."

They should stick to widely used, defined, and accepted terms when describing the suspension characteristics. This is smoke and mirrors marketing speak.

Link to Poles article: polebicycles.com/what-is-anti-squat-and-pedal-kickback
Link to my favorite article explaining suspension characteristics which also supports what I am saying: www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gear/article/ultimate-guide-to-mountain-bike-rear-suspension-systems-50849
  • + 1
 @tgent: Pedal kickback, chain growth, pedal effect are useful Industry terms. We need common language. Back to the Commencal. The anti-squat equation includes the chain in tension as one of its calculated variables. In that sense we are on the same page. The Commencal shows that high anti-squat can be achieved without significant chain growth... a tool that designers use to firm up pedaling feel and that many refer to, in error, as anti-squat. Two separate tools in the designer's arsenal. Take away one and you can still have pedal bob without rocking back under acceleration.
  • + 2
 @RichardCunningham: I think I follow and agree with most of you are saying. I don't understand what you mean by saying that people are referring to something in error as anti-squat? Anti-squat is defined as the force that resists suspension compression due to acceleration and comes from two sources: the driving force from the rear wheel, and the chain-pull force.

By "Pedal Effect" do you and Parry mean Pedal Kickback??? That would make more sense, but let's stick to using the term Pedal Kickback since that is a more widely used term. I still have issue with the statement above though:

"That translates to slightly more anti-squat, with less "pedal effect." That's Parry's term for using chain tension to stiffen the suspension - a function many erroneously call anti-squat."

It is impossible (without an idler) to increase anti-squat while decreasing pedal kickback, as they are directly proportional.
  • + 1
 @tgent: You wrote: "It is impossible (without an idler) to increase anti-squat while decreasing pedal kickback, as they are directly proportional."

Yes, when talking about the instantaneous rate of kickback. Total kickback, however, can be thought of as the area under the anti-squat vs. travel curve. When designing rear kinematics, I like to reduce anti-squat as rapidly as possible beyond a point in the travel at which I've found almost no one will be pedaling. ex. If your bike is nearly bottomed out, you will not be turning the pedals.

Also, we can move beyond simply looking at anti-squat and, instead, look at total force. As the suspension moves deeper into its range, the spring provides more support, so a slightly decreasing trend in the anti-squat curve can be balanced against an increasing spring force to produce a constant total force.

People don't pedal perfectly smoothly and there are inertial forces from our legs, so it's hopeless to try to make a perfect system, but we do our best!
  • + 2
 @R-M-R: Hey, thanks for the reply! Now we're on the same page, and now I understand what you mean in relation to pedal kickback. Higher anti-squat in say the first half of travel and it drops off quickly to reduce the overall amount of pedal kickback throughout the full travel. I totally agree and also think designing anti-squat suspension kinematics that way is ideal because like you say, you won't be pedaling when you're 75% into the travel. Still slightly confused by what you mean as "pedal effect" and took it to mean pedal kickback, but I now understand what you mean by higher anti-squat (early in the travel) with less overall pedal kickback because the anti-squat drops off faster. Good stuff!
  • + 1
 @tgent: Cheers, glad I could help!

Regarding "pedal effect": I wasn't the one who said it and it's not a term I, or other kinematics designers with whom I've spoken, have used. The article describes it in a way that seems to refer to both instantaneous kickback rate and total kickback, so it's incorrect in at least one way.

The anti-squat of this Niner Rip 9 RDO starts high and rapidly decreases at a nearly linear rate. It's one of the most dramatic total changes in anti-squat I've seen. As such, it should pedal firmly with less total kickback than average. The only caveat is that if the rider uses more than typical static sag, weight transfer when climbing will compress the rear suspension into a range of rather low anti-squat.

I suspect this bike will feel best with a little less sag than average and few, or zero, volume reducers.
  • + 4
 Kirt is the man! I normally despise when the athletes try to act, but Kirt nailed it! That was a sweet launch video. I rode a Niner RIP9 for years and am glad to see that they are still making relevant bikes. Pedal Dammit!
  • + 3
 Industry standard Fox 36,that will most probably start creaking loud enough to wake the dead ,replaced the CSU once , then second time it happened , silverfish refused to do anything about it,on a £1000 factory version. I will NEVER buy another Fox fork or a bike with a Fox fork on it
  • + 6
 Sweet pics from Luca Cometti!
  • + 3
 Cheers!
  • + 2
 Not going after Niner here but why do so many spec NX level on $5K priced bikes? Is it even equivalent to old X7? Why do we as users, presumptive buyers accept this declining component level on increasingly expensive bikes? Yes, the quality and function has been improved over the years but still, some years back and you could get XT quality or sometimes even X01 on bikes at these price levels.
  • + 1
 I thought that was the whole point of coming out with the revised NX group? When it was launched, many people (accused of being cynical at the time) correctly predicted that it would soon be speced on all bikes that where at the time speced with GX/SLX. One year later, here we are. Oh, the prices still went up somehow too!

A guy's gotta eat, but have frames really gotten that much better?

Most manufacturers are doing this now. It seems wrong that the same group that comes on a $1000 bike would also appear on a $5000 bike. Even if you are getting something valuable elsewhere, that alone makes you feel like you are being cheated.
  • + 6
 Nice price or crack pipe? Well we've got one of those at least!
  • + 4
 Jalopnik shout out!
  • + 2
 I've never like the aesthetics of their bikes, but this one looks great....much more masculine looking. The bottom bracket reinforcement is a great idea...makes me wonder why other's having done similar reinforcement. Kudos to Niner for not making the bike dual 27/29!
  • + 4
 $2k more than Guerrilla Gravity’s The Smash Race build and made overseas. Swing and a miss Niner (or whichever holding company owns you now).
  • + 2
 So the right side seatstay is not connected to the left with a bridge and the shock linkage is split, is that not gonna behave like a leaf spring which create a force that is handled by the right side linkage bearing and the shock mount? Or have you managed to build the right side so stiff that it won’t flex? Any engineer care to correct me if I’m thinking wrong here?
  • + 2
 I'm sensing some bullshitting going on with the geo: HTA: 66 degrees (high) / 65 degrees (low) and STA 75.8 degrees (high) / 75.2 degrees (low) - uh, last I looked, the HT and the ST were pretty well attached to each other by, you know, the frame.
  • + 4
 I like Niner and wish them well.... but my '16 aluminum RIP 9 creaked worse than a bed in a motel 6. That traumatized me all the way to my '19 Chameleon.
  • + 6
 So the new company name is Niner (mostly).
  • + 5
 So if they dropped the travel on the Rip, does that mean the WFO is going to come back with more travel?
  • + 20
 >wink
  • + 2
 Hopefully, that was my 1st thought when I saw the RIP dropped to 140mm.
  • + 2
 @NinerBikes: it better come with a crack pipe!
  • + 1
 @NinerBikes:

Bump

Set

Spike
  • + 6
 Ellsworth: “we make the ugliest bikes”
Niner: “hold my beer...”
  • + 0
 My thoughts exactly.
  • + 16
 Aw, c'mon. Not even close to as ugly as Ellsworth.
  • + 6
 I actually think it looks good, especially for a niner.
  • + 0
 @HARv379: Well, there's this fugly bend in the top tube, which makes it look like a fat dude sat on the top tube and it collapsed. Or like the bike rammed a tree head-on at 30 mph. I still don't know what the reason for this is, more and more bikes have this lately.
  • - 2
 Ugly AF.
  • + 3
 @HARv379:

Same here. Did a parking lot test on the old Rip RDO and it's gorgeous in person. Niner makes some lovely carbon bikes, i dig the aesthetics and could make the colors work.
  • + 1
 @HARv379: that's like settling for the cute fat chick at the club
  • + 1
 @Niner-huffy: Nothin wrong with cute fat chicks, but going to the club is definitely a no!
  • + 4
 I stopped reading after i saw the "crack pipe"

Adapter needed to air the shock...FAIL
  • + 1
 Not exactly their fault Fox switched shock specs mid-production run tho
  • + 5
 Why does Sram even make the Guides? Just sell Codes and Levels.
  • + 3
 At a time when most companies are producing loads of 29 inch wheeled bikes, 9er comes along and makes a 27.5. I'm so confused.
  • + 1
 That lower link is going to be full of %&$' every time there is a rain cloud on the horizon. Destroyed my intense frame this way and these rear triangles will last about a month in a wet environment.
Sorry but in this day and age anyone can do better with such designs
  • + 1
 "In short, we all agreed it was an easy bike to ride in just about any situation."

Still waiting for that first-ever Pinkbike trail bike test that is honest and doesn't over hype the downhill abilities of a bike with a 65 head angle and 160 mm of travel.
  • + 0
 So they explain in great detail how their funny suspension design allows for short chainstays an then make them the same length as on every other bike..... It probably rides better with that length, but they could have gone with a simpler, lighter and cheaper frame design.
  • + 4
 FINALLY!!!A bike with a crack pipe!
  • + 2
 the lower link is on the other side of bb, but first thing that came to mind was 2005 Giant reign. goo.gl/images/zwVqDK
  • + 1
 All I see when I see a super slack seatpost angle like that is a giant "recliner". A Big Wheel. A wheelie machine.

I'm no longer interested in 1994. Nor are most of you.
  • + 4
 Can we see that humble pie picture again?
  • + 4
 So don't they need to change their name now?
  • + 8
 SevenPointFiver
  • + 0
 @Dimebolt22b: 650 Beer sounds better IMHO Big Grin
  • + 1
 Good looking bike, I have last years alloy version and like it quite a lot. In comparing to the Yetis weight I have to disagree, 1000 bucks is a great deal for 2 fewer pounds.
  • + 4
 Most important : Does it have a Vories skills pack included in the price?
  • + 2
 Weighty bits down low, tire clearance, basher link, edgy color. Nice bike.
Does a coil fit in here?
  • + 1
 Yes it does. Push is right down the street.
  • + 3
 Hold my beer while I go back amd try and find that dam crack pipe.
  • + 2
 I'm officially the only person left that likes the older seat tube angles and 66.5 head angles.
  • + 3
 This bike looks like it has scoliosis.
  • + 0
 The picture of the front of the bike, that's just before the riding review shows it with a stock kick-stand. That's pretty neat!
  • + 2
 I have the previous carbon RIP, now I want this one!
  • + 2
 It looks like it's been slightly squeezed in a giant vice
  • + 0
 My back - it's broken!
  • + 2
 "chafing at the bit"? Chafed from all the chomping?
  • + 3
 Or champing?
  • + 1
 They didn't apply enough chamois butt'r to their lips!
  • + 2
 Where is the standard Pinkbike suspension compression slow mo vid?
  • + 0
 They've taken their weird looking bike and made it look less weird, but it still looks weird but I kinda like it. I'm confused.
  • + 1
 So, this is a niner... 9... 29... something. What size wheels does it have? Smile
  • + 1
 So let me get this straight, it's ribbed for our pleasure and it's a "tickler" regarding the shock valve.
  • + 1
 Those 180mm rotors are unforgivable on a 29er. Not enough braking power for that Minion.
  • + 1
 Ugly & Expensive. At least it comes with a crack pipe!
  • + 0
 What happens when you smash the lower linkage into a rock and the back wheel lifts off the ground?
  • + 7
 it will sounds strange then
  • + 3
 You can see the sparks
  • - 1
 OTB?
  • + 8
 Same thing that happens when your bash guard hits a rock.
Everyone one make a big deal over Niners lower link, the thing is tough and it moves/tucks up when the suspension compresses.
  • + 2
 You Rest in Peace.
  • + 7
 @in2falling: yeah, and we have a guy named Kirt who regularly smashes his lower link doing scrubs. It's basically impervious.
  • + 2
 @in2falling: Exactly. At sag it’s basically tucked under the chainring entirely anyway. Never had an issue with this.
  • + 3
 @NinerBikes: I have the original rip 9 rdo from 2013 and have never had an issue. That bike cane with a small bash guard that attached to the lower linkage and I also put on a taco bash guard just in case but it really turn out to be unnecessary.
  • + 1
 @NinerBikes: For those not named Kirt, it makes it a lot harder to sell a used bike when the lower link looks like it's been beat to hell. I know I wouldn't buy a bike that looked like that. YMMV
  • + 1
 @ridingsteeps: Are you really not running a bash guard tho?
  • + 1
 @ridingsteeps: Did you see the integrated skid on the lower link?
  • + 1
 That rear tire is snug. Say goodby to the paint...
  • + 1
 Unpopular opinion. I think this thing looks sick.
  • + 1
 Way too much swoop for my taste...
  • + 0
 When niner air was the most beautiful hardtail ever made... Now this... sad
  • + 2
 I'd rip it
  • + 1
 And I thought Ellsworth were ugly...
  • - 2
 That link tho! It's such a rock basher. I don't care what the article says, that link is garbage. The link on my buddies RIP has been beat to hell and looks like it will fail any day now. Such a poor design.
  • + 0
 Canyon has already had a sag indicator on the rocker years ago... Just saying.
  • + 1
 And Lapierre before that.
  • + 1
 And Evil
  • + 1
 And my Devinci
  • + 0
 San Diego, eh? I thought I recognized that berm....
  • + 0
 Yet another bike with racist routing. No sale.
  • + 1
 Looks like a (old) Demo
  • + 0
 is it a 29 wheeled revolution
  • + 0
 Niner bikes, ribbed for your pleasure!
  • + 0
 Extra extra Chick-fil-A starts selling beef burgers.
  • + 0
 What about the WFO? That was the real game changer and ahead of its time
  • - 1
 I think there's one too many colors on that frame...remove one color...any color...
  • - 1
 also - you spelled "dammit" wrong
  • - 1
 Remove all three colors.
  • + 0
 I scrolled this far to watch Voreis
  • + 0
 No mention of coil shock fitment?
  • + 3
 Already seen a couple with PUSH ELEVENSIX shocks, so yeah, they fit a coil....nicely : )
  • + 0
 Looks sweet!
  • - 1
 Clint Gibbs will be salivating!
  • - 1
 Damn.. Look how slack that seat angle looks!
  • - 1
 @dsapp put some knee pads in
  • - 1
 Old Specialized Demo an Giant Had a baby
  • - 1
 @Joelrider: Some Santa Cruz and Fezzari mixed in there too... Such an original design! They could have at least charged $12k for it.
  • - 1
 I'm buying this bike for the crack pipe!
  • + 0
 Hey look another 29ers !
  • - 1
 Tire alignment... Just sayin'
  • - 2
 Niner Ripmo
  • - 3
 Nicest looking Huffy I have ever seen....
  • + 0
 Please explain?
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.185841
Mobile Version of Website