2019 Niner RIP 9 RDO 27.5 4-Star Bike

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2019 Niner RIP 9 RDO 27.5 4-Star (Sand)
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Vital Rides Niner's First 27.5 Bike: The Reinvented RIP 9 RDO V3

Now in its third generation, Niner's flagship trail bike comes in BOTH 27.5 and 29-inch versions. Niner is making not-niners, and the RIP 9 sees several updates for 2019.

Rating: Vital Review
Vital Rides Niner's First 27.5 Bike: The Reinvented RIP 9 RDO V3

Itis time to lift the curtain on the new Niner RIP 9 RDO. This bike has 140mm of rear travel, 150mm up front, and it comes with a frame specifically designed around each wheel size. That means the 27.5 version isn't just small wheels slapped into the same frame, but a purpose-built frame to suit the wheel size.

This is the part where we let Kirt Voreis take over to introduce the new rides:

"Why didn’t we just make a 29er that also fits 27.5-inch wheels? Because compromises. If we’re going to do something so big (or should we say, small?) and so contrary to our brand history, dammit, we’re doing it right."

It turns out they've been getting requests for a 27.5 bike from their retailers, demo riders, and fans for years. Knowing how good it can be, people wanted Niner's CVA suspension

Itis time to lift the curtain on the new Niner RIP 9 RDO. This bike has 140mm of rear travel, 150mm up front, and it comes with a frame specifically designed around each wheel size. That means the 27.5 version isn't just small wheels slapped into the same frame, but a purpose-built frame to suit the wheel size.

This is the part where we let Kirt Voreis take over to introduce the new rides:

"Why didn’t we just make a 29er that also fits 27.5-inch wheels? Because compromises. If we’re going to do something so big (or should we say, small?) and so contrary to our brand history, dammit, we’re doing it right."

It turns out they've been getting requests for a 27.5 bike from their retailers, demo riders, and fans for years. Knowing how good it can be, people wanted Niner's CVA suspension system in a smaller-wheeled package. Timed with the release of several major updates to the RIP 9 RDO platform, Niner is looking to fill that void. Plus, talented two-wheel rock stars like Voreis are often in search of a more playful ride.

Curious to see what the new bike was all about, Vital MTB scooped up a 27.5 and headed to Moab, Utah to give it a try. Join Vital's Product Editor, Brandon Turman, for a shakedown lap and some insights from Captain Ahab:

RIP 9 RDO V3 Highlights

  • Available in dedicated 29 and 27.5-inch versions
  • RDO carbon fiber frame
  • 140mm (5.5-inches) rear travel // 150mm (5.9-inches) up front
  • Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design
  • 210x55mm shock with a 0.4 cubic inch volume spacer stock
  • Enduro Max Black Oxide pivot bearings
  • Sag indicator on the rocker link pivot
  • FOX Live Valve ready
  • Clearance for 2.6-inch (29) or 2.8-inch tires (27.5)
  • Flip chip geometry adjustment in seat stay pivot
  • Full sleeve internal cable guides molded into the downtube and rear triangle
  • Scuff guards and frame protection in key locations
  • 1X drivetrain specific
  • 73mm threaded bottom bracket with ISCG05 chain guide mounts
  • Water bottle mount inside the front triangle
  • Frame Weight: 6.8-pounds (claimed, size medium with shock, all hardware, and seat collar)
  • Complete Weight: 30.0-pounds (actual, size large, no pedals)
  • Five-year warranty

Beefed-Up Frame

One glance at the new RIP 9 RDO and you're bound to do a double take at the front triangle, which now features "Rib Cage" struts surrounding the rear shock.

"The struts reduce bottom bracket deflection," Niner claims, "while keeping the upper portion of the front triangle supple and compliant. The wide, flat surfaces found on the top and downtube help to absorb frontal impacts and vibrations while resisting deflection (twisting) under torsional load."

The Rib Cage does introduce an obstacle when attaching a shock pump, but it's easily remedied with the included 90-degree adapter that comes clipped to the inside of the seatstay. Development of the new RIP 9 RDO began several years ago, and, following extensive testing, Niner settled on the strut placement before FOX switched up the orientation of their valve.

Niner also bulked up the rear triangle considerably and was able to remove the seatstay bridge in the rocker link as a result. The new two-piece rocker link allows room for more tire and mud clearance. Double-width bearings at the rocker link pivot help with torsional rigidity.

Suspension Refinements

Niner’s unique dual-link, four-bar, CVA linkage layout, and axle path remains the same for 2019, with the lower link under the bottom bracket to allow for shorter chainstays. The big suspension changes have to do with the amount of travel and how the bike uses that travel.

"140mm is the new sweet spot for do-it-all trail bikes," says Niner, and they've actually reduced the bike 10mm from the previous version to hit that sweet spot. Combined with tuning the suspension to ride more in the mid-stroke, reducing the travel increases the bike's pedaling efficiency.

The bike now sports a shorter 210x55mm metric rear shock, bumping up the overall leverage ratio a bit. Niner tweaked the leverage ratio curve to be higher initially to add more sensitivity off the top and more support in the mid-stroke. Near bottom-out, the bike turns slightly digressive "to overcome the natural progressivity of air springs and give a bottomless, smooth response under the biggest hits." Overall, it's a progressive design starting off at a leverage ratio of 3.0 and ending at 2.3. And yes, it has a skid plate.

Geometry

Compared to the previous RIP 9 RDO, the new 29-inch model sees some notable improvements. It is now 1.5-degrees slacker, has a 0.8-degree steeper seat angle, 10-21mm longer reach across the size range, 5mm shorter chainstays, 20mm shorter seat tubes to accommodate longer dropper posts, and 20mm lower standover height across all sizes. Niner is also using shorter 44/37mm offset forks on both the 29 and 27.5 versions. All good things.

The V3 model is also the first to get a geometry adjustment with flip chips in the seat stay pivot.

27.5 Versus 29

Niner's 27.5 model has 5mm shorter chainstays, 20-25mm taller head tubes, a slightly slacker effective seat tube angle (half-degree or less), and lower standover heights than its 29-inch brother. Note that the 27.5 model is only available in small to large sizes, so tall riders in search of an XL will need to look to the 29er. A few numbers remain consistent between the bikes, including suspension travel and the head angle.

Build Kits, Pricing & Availability

2-Star NX - $4,500 USD
3-Star GX - $5,600 USD
4-Star X01 - $6,950 USD (Tested)
5-Star X01 - $8,800 USD

Build Specs: 2-Star NX | 3-Star GX | 4-Star X01 | 5-Star X01 | Frame Only: $3,200 USD

The new Niner RIP 9 RDO is available now. Visit www.ninerbikes.com for more details.

Vital MTB First Ride Rating: 4 Stars - Excellent


About The Tester

Brandon Turman - Age: 32 // Years Riding: 17 // Height: 5'10" (1.78m) // Weight: 175-pounds (79.4kg)

"I like to have fun, pop off the bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when I feel in tune with a bike, and really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill." Formerly a mechanical engineer and Pro downhill racer, Brandon brings a unique perspective to the testing game as Vital MTB's resident product guy. He has on-trail familiarity with nearly every new innovation in our sport from the past several years and a really good feel for what’s what.

Specifications

Product Niner RIP 9 RDO 27.5 4-Star Bike
Model Year 2019
Riding Type Enduro / All-Mountain, Trail
Rider Unisex
Sizes and Geometry
S (High/Low), M (High/Low), L (High/Low) View Geometry
Size S (High/Low) M (High/Low) L (High/Low)
Top Tube Length 574, 576 596, 598 625, 627
Head Tube Angle 66°, 65° 66°, 65° 66°, 65°
Head Tube Length 110 120 135
Seat Tube Angle 75.5°, 74.7° 75.5°, 74.7° 75.5°, 74.7°
Seat Tube Length 376 406 446
Bottom Bracket Height 13 (drop), 20 (drop) 13 (drop), 20 (drop) 13 (drop), 20 (drop)
Chainstay Length 430, 432 430, 432 430, 432
Wheelbase 1149, 1150 1173, 1175 1204, 1204
Standover 677, 671 706, 700 732, 725
Reach 420, 413 440, 433 465, 457
Stack 593, 597 603, 607 616, 621
* Additional Info Adjustable geometry with flip chip in the seat stay pivots
All measurements are in mm unless otherwise noted
Wheel Size 27.5" (650b)
Frame Material Carbon Fiber
Frame Material Details RDO carbon front and rear triangles with factory-installed frame protection and end-to-end, Full Sleeve internal cable guides
Rear Travel 140mm
Rear Shock FOX Float DPX2 Factory EVOL, 3-position adjust, Kashima coat, 210x55mm, 0.4 cubic inch air volume reducer
Fork FOX 36 Float Factory FIT4 EVOL, 110x15mm axle, shorter 37mm offset
Fork Travel 150mm
Head Tube Diameter Tapered
Headset Niner Internal, SHIS ZS44/28.6|ZS56/40
Handlebar Race Face Next R, 800mm wide, 20mm rise, 35mm clamp diameter
Stem Race Face Turbine R, 40mm length
Grips Niner Grrrips, lock-on
Brakes SRAM Guide Ultimate carbon, 180mm Centerline rotors
Brake Levers SRAM Guide Ultimate carbon
Drivetrain 1x
Shifters SRAM Eagle X01 12-speed
Front Derailleur N/A (1x specific)
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle X01 12-speed
ISCG Tabs ISCG 05
Chainguide (None included)
Cranks SRAM X1 Eagle, carbon, DUB
Chainrings 32-tooth CNC
Bottom Bracket SRAM DUB BSA threaded 73mm
Pedals (None included)
Chain SRAM Eagle X01 12-speed
Cassette SRAM Eagle XG 1295, 10-50 tooth, 12-speed
Rims Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 wheels, 32 hole, 6061 alloy, 29.0mm inner width
Hubs Stan's Neo, 4 pawl, 36-point (10°) system, oversize bearings
Spokes Sapim Race Black 2.0/1.8/2.0mm
Tires Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 3C/EXO/TR 2.5" WT
Rear: Maxxis Aggressor 2C/EXO/TR 2.5" WT
Saddle Niner Custom TR with CRN-Ti rails, printed Niner graphic
Seatpost SDG Tellis (S: 125mm, M: 150mm, L/XL: 170mm travel)
Seatpost Diameter
Seatpost Clamp Standard single bolt
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 148mm x 12mm
Max. Tire Size 2.6 x 27.5-inches
Bottle Cage Mounts Yes, inside main frame
Colors Santa Fe Sand or Military Green/Cement Grey
Warranty 5-year limited
Weight 30 lb 0 oz (13,608 g)
Miscellaneous Dedicated 27.5" version
CVA suspension
Progressive and adjustable geometry with flip chip in the seat stay pivots
Sag indicator on the rocker link pivot
Rib Cage struts on front triangle add stiffness
Enduro Max "Black Oxide" pivot bearings
2-piece rocker link
FOX Live-Valve ready
Price $6,950
More Info

Niner website

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