No Jet Lag.
The latest Niner Jet RDO Mountain Bike Frame reboot took what we knew of the XC race rocket Jet, and gave it a facelift adding some features making it a better all-around trail bike. Niner added 20mm of additional travel to the Continuously Varying Arc (CVA) rear end bringing the total to 120mm and added the ability to swap back and forth between both 29er and 27.5+ wheels. The headtube is now slacker, the seattube is steeper, reach has gotten longer, and all-in-all made the Jet an awesome mid-travel machine while the RKT steps in as the XC racehorse. We love the change and after just one ride, think you will too.
The move to boost spacing allows Niner to update the geometry and by doing so, they hacked 21mm off of the chainstays moving the rear wheel underneath the rider. This contributes to quick climbing and handling, not lost from the original Jet, despite the longer travel. The steep seat tube angle also contributes here. Niner recommends paring a 130mm for 29-inich wheels and 140mm with 27.5+ and despite the slacker front end, the seat tube angle remains similar to the older, steeper Jet 9 with its shorter travel fork. The steeper seattube keeps you on top of the pedals for more efficient pedaling, more intuitive handling, and prevents you from feeling like you threw a leg over a chopper.
With the recommended fork length for 29 and 27.5+ wheels the respective headtube angles sit at either 67.5 or 67 degrees. In practice, that angle strikes a happy medium between a quick and agile trail machine and one that continues to add confidence as both speed and gradient increase. The move to a longer reach paired with a shorter stem lengthens the wheelbase so you won't think twice hucking the bike into a nasty rock garden, yet steers quick enough getting you through uphill and downhill switchbacks with ease.
One thing that does remain the same on Niner's Race Day Optimized (RDO) frames are the materials and construction processes. Niner's compaction method squeezes out all of the excess resin and compacts the carbon ensuring uniform wall thickness. This gives Niner exact control of the material and lets the engineers reduce weight, add stiffness and durability, and overall tune the bike to how they want it to ride.
The CVA suspension is a patented platform that Niner specifically designed to work with 29-inch wheels. Since 27.5+ wheels are pretty damn close to the same diameter, it works very well here too. CVA relies on counteracting linkage forces that are not dependent on specific pivot locations. The bottom linkage is pulled downward when you're pedaling to negate squat, while the upward rotating top linkage is left free to react to terrain changes. What you get is an efficient, fun, and fully active suspension, all the time.
Finishing details checks off everything on the list of what we want in a modern mountain bike and we whole-heartedly approve of the inclusion of a BSA threaded bottom bracket. Pressfit shells might be lighter and easier to manufacture, but the tighter tolerances of a CNC-machined thread cannot be matched by any pressfit interface. The threading ensures the bearing cups install correctly and parallel with one another which reduces wear over time and virtually eliminating creaks, groans, and pops that so often plague pressfit models. Areas near the crank/bb area on the mainframe and chainstays are protected with titanium plates. The frame also features a battery storage compartment if you get the itch for Di2 shifting. Boost axle spacing accommodates 29er tires up to 2.5-inches and 27.5+ tires up to 3in.
- Niner's Jet gets trail bike friendly
- 120mm of CVA suspension designed for big wheels lines
- Revised geometry climbs faster and descends harder
- RDO carbon construction minimizes weight to gain speed
- Compatible with electronic drivetrain routing and battery storage
- 29in. and 27.5+ wheel ready