RIP 9 RDO GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike
The RIP 9 holds up to its name as an absolute ripper of a bike that confidently slays big terrain without feeling cumbersome when you have to pedal to the top to earn your turns. If you're looking to up your game on double-black diamond trails or blazing fast park runs and want a bike that's stable and confidence-inspiring on fast technical sections, but doesn't feel like a pig to pedal on all-day epic rides, look no further than the RIP 9 RDO GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike. Combining plush yet efficient long-travel suspension with balanced geometry and fast-rolling wagon wheels is an instant recipe for fun, and with a solid and value-packed SRAM GX Eagle build and Rockshox Yari fork, you'll still have plenty left in the bank for road trips to first-class mountain bike destinations or entry fees to regional enduro races.
Niner redesigned the RIP 9 for the 2017 model year, increasing the travel and making it longer, lower, and slacker to keep it right in line with modern all-mountain oriented geometry. The frame uses Niner's stiff and lightweight RDO carbon fiber layup, as well as their patented CVA suspension platform delivering 150 millimeters of rear travel paired with a 160mm fork up front. It has the ability to accept 29-inch wheels as we have here on this build, or you can run it as a 27.5+ setup for rock-crawler style traction and handling. With the bike's Boost hub spacing you can clear up to 2.5in wide tires in the 29er setup, and should you make the move to 27.5+ you'll clear 3.0in trail rubber.
Having a peek at its geometry numbers, you'll find the RIP 9 RDO hits a sweet spot with its 67-degree head tube angle that lends stability and confidence at high speeds or on steep descents, yet still remains nimble enough on climbs and tight trails. The longer reach numbers pair quite well with the wider bar shorter stem combos that are pretty much the standard for trail bikes these days, offering better handling at high speeds and plenty of room to shift your weight fore and aft on the bike to match the terrain at hand. Another measurement that hits an ideal number is the 17.3-inch chainstays which balance traction and climbing with nimbleness and responsiveness. We're consistently amazed at how well this bike climbs and it's due, in some part at least, to the steeper 75.5-degree seat tube angle that places you in an optimal position with your weight further over the bars so you can lay down power on the climbs.
As we mentioned above, the bike uses Niner's Race Day Optimized (RDO) carbon construction method and the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design. RDO involves an optimized compression process that eliminates resin pooling and imperfections in the carbon. By reducing the imperfections, it makes for a more structurally sound frame and gives Niner's engineers targeted control over the lay-up and wall thicknesses, allowing them to reinforce structures where it's needed, and reduce material in places weight can be saved without sacrificing strength or stiffness. The result allows for low weight and impressive durability that's backed by a 5-year warranty that, unlike many brands, isn't voided by racing.
Niner wasn't satisfied with the available suspension platforms on the market when they sought out which designs to implement on their full-squish bikes, especially options for 29-inch wheels, so they created their own. CVA suspension allows the 150mm of travel to be fully active while going fast and braking, perfect for rapid descending on loose trails with square-edge hits, yet the platform remains surprisingly responsive when you punch the gas. Since it's optimized for bigger wheels it tends to ride higher in its travel with a controlled mid-stroke that doesn't wallow under pedaling inputs and remains stable through rock gardens. It also isn't afraid to catch air on the trail or in the park—this is one wagon wheeler that's not afraid to fly.
The frame's finishing details are everything you'd expect from the obsessive designers at Niner, and one of our favorite elements is the inclusion of a BSA threaded bottom bracket. PressFit shells might be lighter and easier to build a frame, but the exact tolerances of CNC-machined threads are still untouchable by today's composite technology. The threading means bearing cups install perfectly, bearings are better aligned, and it helps to silence the creaks and groans that so often plague PressFit models. Vulnerable frame bits are girded with titanium protection plates, and the frame also includes integrated battery storage in case you get the urge for electronic shifting later on.
- Niner's long-travel all-mountain bike that rips any trail
- 6in of CVA travel provides optimal performance for 29in wheels
- Geometry climbs well yet drops-in with enduro bike stability
- RDO carbon lay-up optimizes stiffness while reducing weight
- Compatible with both 29in and 27.5+ wheels
- Threaded BB reduces creaking and simplifies maintenance
- Steeper seat tube angle helps you put power down to the pedals
- GX Eagle has wide gear range and 50t bailout gear for tough climbs