RIP RDO 27.5 3-Star Complete Mountain Bike
We know, the thought of a 27.5-inch specific frame from Niner seems odd, but truth be told, we'd much rather see a frame designed specifically for each wheel size instead of compromising a frame to accommodate both sizes. And while modern long travel 29ers are infinitely more playful than the wagon wheel bikes of yore, it still can't match the agility and playfulness of a proper 27.5-inch trail bike. Enter the RIP RDO 27.5 3-Star Complete Mountain Bike, an all-new 3rd generation RIP designed to slay technical trails while packing plenty of innovative features like Rib Cage construction for added stiffness, increased standover height and room for longer dropper posts, a high/low flip chip adjustable geometry, and 140mm of re-tuned CVA suspension. This particular model gets FOX Factory suspension and a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain rolling on Stan Flow wheels with updated, progressive geometry for modern trail bike handling.
While the old RIP had a dual wheel size persona, the new RIPs are frames dedicated to each wheel size. This allows Niner to optimize the frame for each wheel size by dialing in the suspension kinematics and geometry specifically for each size eliminating compromises. Either way, you're getting 140mm of CVA rear travel that’s sensitive off the top and supportive in the mid-stroke paired with 150mm of fork travel and clearance for 2.8-inch tires with room for mud. This is the longest, lowest, and slackest Niner ever created, however, with the inclusion of its adjustable geometry via flip chips at the seatstay pivots, a Niner first, you can make adjustments as needed for your terrain and riding style.
The high mode geometry is perfect for tamer trails and daily riding. You'll quickly appreciate the climbing and pedaling efficiency of its steeper 75.8-degree seat tube angle and reworked CVA suspension platform. On the way down, you can shred in confidence with its longer reach, slack 66-degree head tube angle, and a 37mm, reduced offset fork. If you have some shuttling or bike park laps on the docket, its low mode brings out even more aggression by slacking out the head angle by a full degree (65-degree) and lowering the bottom bracket by 7mm. Niner further gives its sendy blessings by shortening the seat tube by 20mm to accommodate longer, 170mm dropper posts as well as increasing the standover height. Furthermore, a lower stack height and shortened head tube accommodate a wider range of fit and varying rise of handlebars. Lastly, the short, 430mm chainstays on this 27.5-inch version ensure the bike can handle tight singletrack trails as well.
Visually, one feature that's immediately apparent is the new frame design with a wide and stiff Rib Cage struts on the main triangle. This, in conjunction with a flattened top and down tube, wider main rocker link pivot, and an oversized rear triangle boosts the frame's responsiveness for precise handling. Things that might not be so noticeable are the durable and long-lasting Enduro MAX Black Oxide bearings at the pivots and Niner's wonderful end-to-end, full sleeve internal cable guides making any maintenance down the road a breeze. Other frame niceties include a sag indicator on the rocker link pivot, factory installed scuff guards and frame protection at vulnerable locations, FOX Live-valve ready, water bottle compatibility inside the frame, and a creak-free threaded bottom bracket with ISCG-05 chain guide mounts.
On the trail, you'll notice the struts reduce bottom bracket deflection down below for efficient pedaling while allowing the upper portion of the front triangle to remain compliant and better able to track across rough rock gardens, while the wide, flat surfaces found on the top and downtube help to absorb frontal impacts and vibrations from repeated waterbar bashings while resisting deflection under a torsional load. And since the rear triangle received beefier tubing, it allows Niner to remove the seatstay bridge at the rocker link opening up extra room for wider rim and tire combinations.
As we mentioned above, the RIP receives an updated CVA platform that's designed to increase pedaling efficiency by riding more in the mid-stroke of the travel. We experienced gobs of traction when scaling technical climbs while remaining sensitive and fully active, even under braking, while descending. It basically takes Niner’s proven patented CVA linkage layout and axle path and refines the leverage ratio curve for supple travel early on with more support in the middle, before progressively ramping up at end stroke.
The new, higher leverage ratio off the top makes it easier to set the shock in motion and overcome static friction. At the mid-stroke, the leverage ratio decreases toward the sag point, meaning less rear wheel force is transmitted to the shock allowing it to better support you in the travel. And at the end stroke, the leverage ratio increases just slightly to overcome the natural progressivity of an air spring, giving a bottomless, smooth response under the biggest hits.
- Niner's latest RIP ushers in its first 27.5in specific frame
- 140mm of plush and efficient CVA suspension handles any trail
- Progressive, modern geometry is efficient on climbs, confident on descents
- SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain adds a huge gear range worthy of all-day epics
- FOX Factory suspension gobbles up terrain with a range of adjustability
- Boost spacing improves stiffness and allows for up to 2.6in tire clearance
- More standover height gives shorter riders and longer droppers more room
- RDO Carbon frame with new features is equally light, durable, and responsive