Rip the Trail.
Some were surprised when Niner eschewed from the wheelsize that has emblazoned its downtube since their inception. The truth is, 27.5 Plus' overall diameter isn't that different from 29ers and the added girth makes them so plush, and so grippy, if they fit in the frame and fork, why not try them out? Along with the redesigned Jet, the RIP 9 RDO 27.5+ 2-Star GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike sees many upgrades including the ability to work with dual wheel sizes and more modern geometry. Slacker headtube, longer reach, and wheelbase, and steeper seatube have the new RIP 9 willing and able to gobble up steep chunder and daftly pick a line through tight, technical singletrack. This build gets SRAM's workhorse GX Eagle drivetrain, KS LEV dropper post, and Rock Shox Yari fork and FOX Float shock for all-mountain trail and enduro performance.
The frame's versatility comes courteous of the Boost rear spacing. By widening the dropout spacing to 148mm, Niner was able to find enough clearance at the bottom bracket to shorten the chainstays by 11mm. The other trick in modern mountain bike geometry is to steepen the seattube to properly weight the front end and place you, the rider, in a more powerful pedaling position. Niner goes 2.5-degrees steeper and this helps the big bike pedal way better than a 6-inch bike should. Dropping the post when going downhill gets the saddle out of your way for added control and confidence.
The short rear end keeps the bike nimble, but with a 66.5-degree head tube and 170mm of FOX fork up front, it's doesn't mind plowing down the trail and offers a comfortable margin of error if lines get a bit hairy. The longer reach and short stem keep the handling intuitive, despite the aggressive demeanor, and you'll quickly learn that you can huck into some pretty gnarly terrain and get out of it intact.
Despite the changes to the geometry Niner continues with their patented Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension platform and Race Day Optimized (RDO) construction methods on the RIP 9. RDO involves compressing the carbon on the inside and outside during the curing process to eliminate resin pooling and for precise control over wall-thickness. This also reduces stress risers for a more structurally sound frame. The targeted control over lay-up and wall thickness lets Niner beef up structures that see high stress and reduce material to save weight where they can. The result blends low weight and efficient durability for a frame that can handle the abuse of lifts and shuttles and still pedal light underfoot.
The suspension design remains the same but the rear end sees an inch more travel. Now at 150mm, all-mountain exploits and long shuttles are well within the grasp of the Rip 9. CVA was organized to be optimized for the increased bottom bracket drop found on 29ers and is well suited to the similar dimensions of plus wheel. The design doesn't wallow in its travel so it pedals great and doesn't blow through the stroke on hard landings yet remains plush enough to soak up square edge hits with ease.
One frame detail that did change, and for the better, is the BSA threaded bottom bracket. PressFit shells might be lighter but we'll take the better tolerances and improved performance of a threaded shell. Cups install perfectly, bearings last longer and creaks and pops that accompany PressFit models are virtually eliminated. Titanium plates protect the carbon where a chain might drop or jam, and the frame includes an integrated battery storage in case you get the urge to go from digital to analog. In this 27.5+ build, the RIP 9 can clear 3in tires. Variety is the spice of life and if you choose to go the 29er route, it'll accommodate 2.5in tires.
- Niner's most capable trail machine for aggressive riders
- Updated geometry is long and slack for high-speed composure
- 150mm of CVA suspension for big-hit compliance on rowdy trails
- RDO carbon frame is exceptionally light, stiff, and strong
- Adaptable to 29 inch wheels with its Boost rear spacing
- SRAM GX Eagle components offer workhorse reliability
- Di2-compatible routing and integrated battery storage