|Bike||Niner RDP Rip 9|
|Trail System||Crested Butte Bike Park, Crested Butte Colorado|
|Testers Personal Bike||Kona Process 153|
In the past couple of years Niner has gone through a number of changes. They’ve been bought by the same parent company as Huffy and they’ve opened up their minds to producing bikes that are not 29ers. Their first foray into this market is the Niner Rip 9 which is offered in both 29 and 27.5 wheel sizes.
The Rip 9 is also Niner’s most aggressive bike. It feature 150mm of travel up front and 140mm of travel in the back. The Rip 9 also features a new frame look for Niner while maintaining the same CVA suspension platform. We got a chance to ride the 29er version of this bike and put it through its paces.
The most striking part of the Rip 9 are the Rib Cage struts across the front triangle that encase the shock. This extra bracing is designed to reduce bottom bracket flex while allowing the rest of the front triangle to be more compliant. The tradeoff is that the rear shock is a bit harder to access (as can be noted by the warning stickers) and there’s a little bit more material in that area of the frame. Overall I found that I liked the way the Rip 9 felt under my feet, even if it didn’t feel very different from other bikes.
Components and Build
The Niner RDO Rip 9 Does not come in a budget build. The 2020 builds of this bike are now out (I was riding on a 2019 build). The base build for 2020 has SX Eagle drivetrain, but you won’t find other budget price tag on this $4,400 build. The rear shock is a Fox Fload DPS paired with a Fox 36 Float Rythm fork. The brake are the two piston SRAM Level’s which I think would be a little under-gunned.
Niner has 6 different build with both Shimano based and SRAM based components sets. Honestly, I would expect to spend between $5,000 and $8,000 on this bike for something that you are going to be happy laying out cash for.
The build I tested had an XO1 drivetrain, SRAM G2 RSC brakes and Fox 36 Factor Float Evol Fork and Fox Float DPX2 Shock. Overall a pretty baller build.
Even though I normally ride a bike $4000 less expensive than this bike I felt immediately at home on the Rip Nine. All the dimensions and angles on a size medium felt immediately at home. Likewise the suspension immediately felt controlled and predictable. After setting sag I needed to do nothing more to really rail this bike.
Working the CVA suspension through it’s travel it felt equally at home soaking up big hits and small bumps. I felt as though I could push the bike without having any nasty surprises. Going up, the suspension behaved nicely in the wide open setting and the bike climbed well.
The bike did have a bit longer feel, as it should, as the the most aggressive bike in Niner’s lineup. It definitely did not feel like an XC race machine that Niner is historically known for producing. At the same time the bike felt very accurate. When pointing it through a rock garden, it was easy to get it to go exactly where I wanted.
I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this bike and how much fun it was to ride. I honestly didn’t know quite what to expect from a long travel trail/enduro bike from Niner. That being said, the pricing is problematic for me. At a $4,400 intro price tag, Niner is lining themselves up head to head against other boutique bike brands. For any brand, be it Niner, Santa Cruz, Yeti and so on, I think the law of diminishing returns comes into play. If you want a bike that will ride like a dream and get out of your way, the Niner Rip Nine will deliver that. However, this is a bike that I would definitely demo before laying out cash for it to see if the ride is worth the price tag.Buy Now