Niner has refreshed it's do-it-all 140mm RIP 9 RDO trail bike with updated geometry and tweaked suspension, but the big news is that the previous 29" wheel only brand - it's in the name, after all - will now offer a 650b wheeled version, aiming to give more choice in ride feel to those that don't like big hoops.
It's a first for the US company that has built it's following on both the early adoption and total commitment to big wheels, back in 2005 when 26" was still a thing. However, times change and their flagship trail bike now gives riders the option of two wheel sizes with specific geometry and suspension to match, though both use the twin-link CVA suspension system seen on the rest of the bouncy range to deliver 140mm at the back and a Fox-equipped 150mm up front.
Both bikes also get full carbon fibre frames with clearance for 2.6" tyres of either diameter, plus adjustable geometry via a flip clip in the seatstay. The internal cable routing now uses fully sleeved guides for easy fitment - no more fishing around inside your frames for cables and wires - and it's also got a full complement of ports and mounts for Fox's Live Valve adaptive suspension system. There's also a groovy little Delrin skidplate fitted to the lower suspension link, which is more exposed to rock-based beatings than most.
There's also a new 'rib cage' design that surrounds the now metric-sized shock to stiffen up the frame and a proper, threaded bottom bracket to avoid creaky woes with Press Fit types. Short offset forks are fitted across the board and the suspension now has a higher starting leverage rate and more progressive ending stroke for the sensitive start and supportive middle and end to the suspension.
While Niner says that it's the longest, lowest and slackest bike they've ever made, don't expect Geometron/Pole/Mondraker levels of reach and you won't be disappointed with the 465mm of the large in either bike in the 'high' setting and 458mm in 'low', though it's good to see 40mm stems and 20mm shorter seat tube sizes with improved standover to allow you to run a 170mm post or size up as you see fit.
Niner RIP 9 RDO 29
The 'original' wheelsize RIP 9 gets a 44mm offset fork and the seat angle is 75.8º in high or 75.2º in low, with head angle following the same split at 66º or 65º. Chainstays are pretty damn dinky for a big wheeler, sitting at just 435mm and there's a fair bottom bracket drop at 32/39mm. The big wheeler comes in a full range of four frame sizes from small to extra-large.
Niner RIP 9 RDO 275
While reach and head angle options are the same on the smaller wheeled machine, it does get slightly shorter stays at just 430mm, while there's a correspondingly lower 13/20mm bottom bracket drop and seat angle is a touch slacker at 75.5/74.5º. There's no extra-large frame size available either.
Both bikes will be available in two build kits for the European market (four in the 'States) and as a frame only. The top Four-Star bike gets all Fox Factory suspension with a 36 FIT4 up front and DPX2 at the back, along with a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain and some for €7,298.
The (marginally) more affordable €5,880 Three-Star gets the same suspension setup a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, with a few other downgrades in other areas, though the Stan Flow S1 wheelset is the same across both bikes.
Stock is said to be landing soon, so head to UK distributor Hotline for more info:
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