Dare to stand out.
Although it's decked out in a camouflage paint scheme, the Niner RIP 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame is anything but stealthy as you crush every steep line in sight, hit berms at high speeds, and throw stylish whips in the bike park. The RIP 9's bold colorway is sure to garner the attention of everyone from hikers to seasoned rippers as you harness riding aggression into blazing speed on steep descents and across technical stretches of trail. Other than this camo paint scheme, it remains practically the same as the previous year's RIP 9 RDO, which is a good thing if you desire a long-travel sled for everything from downhill shuttle laps along the local pass to long days spent devouring miles of notoriously technical, rock-strewn singletrack.
For this particular version, Niner adds internal cable guide tubes to make cable and housing installation a whole lot easier for DIY mechanics building up their dream bike. Besides that, the RIP 9 RDO remains exactly the same in its all-mountain/enduro-oriented geometry specs, stiff carbon fiber lay up, CVA suspension with 150 millimeters of plush travel, ability to accept both 29-inch and 27.5+ wheels, and Boost rear axle for precise tracking over chunky, rock-strewn terrain. As with the previous colorway of this bike, this particular version clears wider 3.0-inch tires in 27.5+ form, thanks to the addition of Boost 148-millimeter rear axle spacing. In 29er form, you'll find it clears the 2.5-inch tires becoming increasing popular for their gobs of traction and smoother feel over unruly trail sections.
Delving into its geometry, you'll find the RIP 9 RDO features a relatively slack 66.5-degree head tube angle that keeps you composed and confident at high speeds and on steep descents, but without pushing things into overly slack realms like many long-travel 29ers on the market. Niner retains the longer top tube of the previous version as well, which pairs well with wide bar/short stem combos used for increased stability and better handling at high speeds. 17.3-inch chainstays strike a nice balance between agile cornering and straight line dominance on the trail. Additionally, the steeper 75-degree seat tube angle places you in an optimal position to lay down power on climbs, meaning this bike is actually much better at pedaling uphill than its long-travel figures would suggest.
There's obviously oodles of radness with this latest RIP 9 RDO, but two things remain pleasantly unchanged: The Race Day Optimized (RDO) construction method and the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design. RDO involves a dual-compression process that eliminates resin pooling and imperfections by allowing precise control over wall-thickness. Reducing imperfections makes for a more structurally sound frame, and the targeted control over lay-up and wall thickness lets Niner reinforce the structure where it's needed and reduce material where it'll save weight without sacrificing stiffness. The result marks the nexus of low weight and efficient durability that's equal to trail abuse.
The new RIP 9 RDO's CVA suspension design is also unchanged, but it allows that design to play with more travel. This brings it up to 150mm—which parallels the older WFO—and optimizes it for descending fast in hairy terrain while keeping it surprisingly responsive when you punch on the gas. Unlike other designs, CVA is optimized for the increased bottom bracket drop inherent in 29ers. It tends to ride high with a controlled mid-stroke that balances pedal input and suspension travel, keeping it stable through rock gardens and snappy when you stomp. It also jumps incredibly well; this is one wagon wheeler that’s very happy when it’s airborne.
The frame's finishing details are everything you'd expect from the obsessive designers at Niner, and our favorite new addition is the inclusion of a BSA threaded bottom bracket. PressFit shells may be lighter and more convenient, but the exact tolerances of a CNC-machined thread are unmatchable by today's composite technology. The threading means bearing cups install perfectly, reducing wear over time and helping to silence the creaks and groans that so often accompany 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 electro shifting.
- RIP 9 RDO updated with a striking camouflage color
- Now with internal guide tubes for easy cable management
- 6in of CVA travel smooths out rocky terrain and big hits
- RDO carbon lay up for weight savings and optimal stiffness
- Accepts both 29 in and 27.5+ wheels for greater versatility
- Accommodates electronic drivetrain routing and battery storage
- Boost spacing clears 29 x 2.5 in and 27.5 x 3.0 in tires
- BSA threaded bottom bracket for creak-free reliability