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Niner Bikes Review

When it comes to high-end mountain, cyclocross, and adventure bikes, Niner Bikes is an industry leader. Under the management of President and Co-founder Chris Sugai, the brand has managed to build an impressive range of bikes across multiple disciplines.

Currently, Niner’s main headquarters are in Fort Collins, Colorado. Their philosophy embodies passion and dedication to off-road riding, and they say they are ‘100% committed to impeccable designs and exquisite ride quality.’ 

Among their latest design features is the inclusion of 29” wheels in their mountain bike range, and a technological principle known as CVA suspension – which controls the unwanted movement of suspension components without the use of compression damping or manual lockouts. Their new carbon compact system features 9 of Niner’s models which emphasize making use of rigid internal structures.

Niner is a brand that relishes consumer feedback as a way to improve and as such, they often use their sponsorship program to gauge responses to new bikes and technologies. As a member of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), they also support the development of great trails across the U.S. to therefore grow the mountain bike community without the need for riders to travel long distances to find a suitable place to shred. 

Niner is a relatively new company, after being founded in 2005 by Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy. This American bicycle manufacturer has its headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado where it specializes in 29er bikes (two-niners), mountain bikes that are built to use 700c wheels, more commonly known as 29″ wheels

niner bikes website

Image source: https://ninerbikes.com

 

The popularity of 29ers in the late 2000s helped the company’s growth in the sector. By 2011, the Niner Bike company was recognized by Forbes “as one of the most promising American companies in the world.”

Currently, Niner Bikes is owned by the UWHK Ltd. group, a Hong-Kong-based investment firm after they acquired the brand in 2018.

Niner bikes logo

The company management embraces open communication with its employees and partners as a way of generating new ideas. Niner’s slogan, “Pedal Damn It” is the inspiration that drives them to create better bikes.


 

History

Niner bikes were founded in 2005 by Chris Sugai. While running a successful car tinting business, he played around with the idea of 29″ wheel bikes. He was riding his own 29er single-speed bike at the time and noticed how much faster he was than the other local riders – not due to fitness, but due to the bike’s build. As a businessman, he recognized a gap in the market and set out to build a new company, based around custom 29er bikes. 

Eventually, as Niner Bikes took off, he sold his window-tinting business and focused full-time on bikes. He’s been the serving Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since then. 

 

Niner believes in the benefits of 29ers and uses its platform to make them accessible to the wider mountain biking community, and took advantage of the rising popularity of 29ers in the late 2000s.  Even though the design of the bikes takes place in its headquarters in California, manufacturing is done in Asian countries.

In a Forbes report in 2011, Niner was featured in the list of the most promising companies.

With over 300 global dealers, Niner Bikes has managed to increase its outreach to over 40 countries, coming a long way from its humble beginnings as a single person operation in 2005. 


 

Technologies Used

CVA
Constantly Varying Arc, or CVA™, is what Niner bikes rely on for suspension. Patented by the company, it’s unique to Niner suspension mountain bikes and boasts of a short dual-link, four-bar system. It’s ideal for the larger wheel and tire sizes found on modern bikes, including 29er, 27.5+, and wider 27.5″ tires (2.5-2.6).

MCR
The Magic Carpet Ride is a full-suspension set-up on a gravel bike. It is the world’s first drop-bar full-suspension gravel bike and uses Niner’s patented CVA suspension system.

niner mcr 9 rdo

World’s first full-suspension gravel/drop bar bike


 

Models

This year, the company has managed to produce various suspension models. They include full-suspension mountain bikes, hardtails, gravel bikes (with and without suspension), and a mix of eMTBs and E-gravel bikes. They are also responsible for the production of various bike parts which include headsets, cargo racks, bash guards, chain guides among other components.

Niner Bikes models are available on JensonUSA, Backcountry & Competitive Cyclist


 

Athletes and Ambassadors

  • Kirt Voreis
  • Syd Schultz
  • Macky Franklin
  • Amanda Nauman
  • Dylan Johnson
  • Kyle Warner
  • Yuri Hauswald
  • Damian Groves

 

Niner Mountain Bikes

Niner bikes have grown substantially out of the industries acceptance of 29ers and their capabilities on the trail. Their 2021 mountain bike lineup consists of the following bikes:

  • RIP 9 RDO 29″ – Carbon fiber, 150/140mm travel – Trail, All-Mountain
  • RIP 9 RDO 27.5″ – Carbon fiber, 150/140mm travel – Trail, All-Mountain
  • JET 9 RDO – Carbon fiber, 130/120mm travel – XC, Trail
  • RKT 9 RDO – Carbon fiber, 120/90mm travel – XC
  • RKT 9 RDO RS – Carbon fiber, 100/90mm travel – XC
    HARDTAILS
  • AIR 9 RDO – Carbon fiber, 100mm travel
  • AIR 9 – Aluminum, 120mm travel
  • SIR 9 – Steel, 120mm travel

 


 

Niner Air 9

The Air 9 is one of Niner’s most durable, affordable bikes. It is an aluminum hardtail with the spirit of a trail bike.

The Air 9 manages to blend the efficiency and agility of an XC bike with the toughness of a trail rig. The frame is composed of hydroformed aluminum giving it plenty of stiffness while bringing down its overall weight.

The Niner bikes designers created the bike with a balanced ride in mind, making the Air 9 comfortable enough for all-day riding while remaining snappy and agile enough for those shorter days at the trailhead.

There are two component options available, the 3-Star Shimano SLX Singlespeed build which has an MSRP of $2,090, and the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle, which has an MSRP of $1,800. Both come equipped with Marzocchi Bomber Z2 Rail forks and a Metallic Silver/Blue colourway.

Niner Air 9

Niner Air 9, MSRP $1,800 USD

 


 

Niner Air 9 RDO

The Air 9 RDO is Niner’s modern twist on their classic 29er hardtail.

Featuring a lightweight RDO carbon fiber construction, the overbuilt shapes of the front triangle keep the ride stiff and efficient, while the seat stays are kept slender for a smoother ride.

A race-ready machine, the Niner Air 9 RDO is packed full of subtle features to make the ride more enjoyable so you can focus on tackling the obstacles ahead and managing your effort.

It is available in several different builds, with the MSRP starting at $2,750 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle model, and increasing to $8,000 for their top-tier 5-Star SRAM X01 AXS LTD. There is a choice of two colourways for the bike, Satin Carbon/Silver, and Sand/Orange.

Niner Air 9 RDO

Niner Air 9 RDO SRAM X01 AXS LTD, MSRP $8,000 USD

 


 

Niner SIR 9

The Niner SIR 9 is the brand’s steel-framed hardtail mountain bike.

Featuring 120mm of FOX fork travel, Niner promise this bike is a capable, durable hardtail that will perform on any length of ride, and no matter the terrain.

They have used Reynolds 853 steel, a modern alloy known for its exclusive properties, allowing builders to use less material as it strengthens within the junctions of the tubes after it has been welded. This removes the requirements for extra gussets or tube reinforcements, creating a lightweight yet sturdy bike.

It’s available in several models, with the lowest MSRP starting at $2,550 for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle and rising to $6,290 for the 5-Star SRAM X01 EAGLE. It’s available in one colorway option; Cement Grey/Black.

 

Niner SIR 9

Niner SIR 9 5-Star SRAM X01 Eagle, MSRP $6,290

 


 

Niner RKT 9 RDO 29

The RKT 9 RD is a carbon full suspension XC race bike.

The RDO ups the ante of the RKT line and includes more versatility with a sturdy 120mm suspension fork and a tweaked geometry. The RDO has 90mm of efficient CVA rear suspension as well as Niner’s legendary lightweight frame composite.

The RDO also has some of the most impressive pivots and bearings in the market, lightweight but durable. Each bike can be trail tuned and adaptable to the rider, offering a durable and versatile bike that is easy to set up and customize.

There are several model options, with the MSRP ranging from $3,800 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle option, to $9,050 USD for the 5-Star SRAM X01 AXS LTD model. All feature 120mm and 90mm travel and is available in a choice of two colourways; Satin Carbon Black/Magnetic Grey or Grey/Orange.

 

Niner RKT 9 RDO Bike

Review: Niner AIR 9 & AIR 9 RDO

 


 

Niner RIP 9 RDO 27.5

The RIP 9 RDO 27.5 is one of Niner’s only 27.5 wheel sized bikes.

It is a 27.5″ wheel version of their flagship do-it-all trail bike. The RDO 27.5 offers a number of features, a CVA suspension system that’s supple yet stable and adjustable to each rider’s preferences; a lightweight carbon fiber composite that’s both strong and stiff, full sleeve cable guides for easy installation, and lightweight and nimble 27.5″ wheels.

But why manufacture a 27.5″ option? After a decade-long love affair with 29ers the brand decided to create a 27.5″ that has more standover, less rotating weight and handles faster and quicker than its bigger wheeled brother.

Available in four different setups, the MSRP begins at $4,400 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle option, and increases to $8,000 USD for the 5-Star SRAM X01 Eagle set up. The bikes are available in a choice of two colourways, Satin Carbon, or Santa Fe Sand.

 


 

Niner JET 29 RDO

The Niner JET 29 RDO is a carbon trail bike featuring 130mm of front travel and 120mm of rear travel, built using Niner’s patented CVA suspension.

The bike is built to accept both 29er and 27.5+ wheels and is promised to be confident on the descents while lightweight and stable enough to tackle climbs comfortably. The addition of the CVA powered suspension makes the bike adjustable for each rider’s personal preference of ride feel.

The frame is constructed using RDO carbon fiber, which results in reduced resin pooling and excess carbon on the inside of the frame. This waste-reducing process allows Niner to create more intricate structured carbon frames and increases the strength of the bike without increasing the weight.

The MSRP starts at $4,100 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle version, and increases to $9,550 USD for the 5-Star SRAM X01 AXS LTD version. The bike can be bought in either a Teal/Slate or Licorice colorway.

 

JET 9 RDO

JET 9 RDO 4-Star Shimano XT, MSRP $6,190 USD

 


 

Niner RIP 9 RDO 29″

With 150mm of front travel and 140mm rear, the RIP 9 RDO 29″ is a long-travel capable trail bike.

Just as at home on a black diamond trail as it is doing laps of the local bike park, Niner’s RIP 9 RDO 29″ is their reimagined flagship trail bike. Featuring their patented CVA suspension, the carbon fiber frame has increased stiffness and more progressive geometry than its predecessor.

This new version has enough room for 170mm dropper posts, a longer reach and a shorter head tube. All these things make it longer, slacker and more capable over the rough stuff. No matter the obstacle, with 29er wheels, this bike can handle it.

Available in several versions, the MSRP starts at $4,400 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle model, and increases to $10,050 USD for the 5-Star SRAM X01 AXS/FOX X2 LTD version. It’s also available in three colorways; Baja Blue/Silver, Santa Fe Sand, and Satin Carbon.

 

RIP 9 RDO 29

RIP 9 RDO 29 5-Star SRAM X01 Eagle, MSRP $8,000 USD

 


 

Niner RKT 9 RDO RS

The RKT 9 RDO RS is Niner’s racing XC bike.

A lightweight carbon beast, it features 100mm of front fork suspension and 90mm of rear CVA assisted suspension travel. They claim it’s suited best to racing and belongs on the podium due to its stiff and responsive RDO carbon fiber construction and agile geometry.

A 75.5-degree seat tube keeps you planted on those steep climbs by keeping your hips level over the bottom bracket. Remote fork lockouts give the rider complete control and allow you to turn the suspension on and off at your leisure.

It’s available in several builds, with the MSRP starting at $3,800 USD for the 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle build and rising to $9,050 USD for the 5-Star SRAM X01 AXS LTD version. There are two colorway choices for this bike, Satin Carbon Black/Magnetic Grey, and Grey/Orange.

 

RKT 9 RDO RS

RKT 9 RDO RS 2-Star SRAM SX Eagle, MSRP $3,800 USD


 

Niner Gravel Bikes

As the popularity of gravel bikes progresses, Niner has capitalized on this and now have a range of gravel bikes on offer, both with and without suspension. Here is their line-up for 2021:

  • MCR 9 RDO – 40/50mm travel
  • RLT 9 RDO – Carbon
  • RLT 9 Steel – Steel
  • RLT 9 – Aluminum

 

Niner MCR 9 RDO

The MCR 9 RDO is Niner’s first full-suspension gravel bicycle.

MCR stands for ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ and is named as such due to the supreme comfort the bike offers riders. This is in part due to the use of 50mm of CVA powered rear suspension and a 40mm travel front suspension fork.

The bike offers the control and confidence of  an XC mountain bike for the rough stuff combined with the fluidity and responsiveness of a drop bar gravel bicycle.  The bike can accept tires of up to 50mm wide on 700c wheels, and 2.0″ tires on 650b wheels making it incredibly capable off-road.

It is available in a number of specifications, with the MSRP starting at $4,650 USD for the 2-Star SRAM Apex 1 version, and increasing to $7,700 USD for the 5-Star SRAM Force AXS 1X LTD version. It can be bought in either Black/Magnetic Grey or Olive Green/Orange.

 

MCR 9 RDO gravel bike

Niner MCR 9 RDO – Full-suspension drop bar gravel bike

 


 

Niner RLT 9 RDO

Rather than building an incredibly stiff but uncomfortable carbon gravel bike, Niner has created the RLT 9 RDO for the ultimate in off-road riding. 

As useful as it is aesthetically pleasing, the RLT 9 RDO comes equipped with mounts for multiple attachments such as cargo racks, fenders and bottles. Using RDO carbon fiber, it’s incredibly strong yet lightweight due to its unique construction which allows Niner to use less material during manufacturing but for the same level of strength. 

It also offers extreme tire clearance for a drop-bar bicycle, with up to 50mm tires being able to fit on a 700c wheel without impacting the frame, and 2.0″ wide tires on 650b wheels. 

Prices start from $3,050 USD for the 2-Star SRAM Apex 1 build and increase to $6,100 USD for the 5-Star SRAM Force AXS 1X LTD version. It is available to buy in a choice of two colorways; Baja Blue/Sand and Olive Green/Orange. 

 

Niner RLT 9 RDO

RLT 9 RDO 4-Star Shimano GRX 800 1X, MSRP $4,000 USD

 


 

Niner RLT 9 Steel

Designed for the purists, the Niner RLT 9 Steel is the brand’s do-it-all durable and comfortable gravel bike.

Niner uses Reynolds 853 steel for its strength and adaptability during heat treatment – they claim that the frame tube junctions become stronger after TIG welding rather than weaker. This means that bike frames can be made using thinner steel without having to sacrifice any strength in the frame.

Tires with widths up to 50mm on 700c wheels or 2.0″ on 650b wheels can be used comfortably without overlapping with the frame or forks. Niner have also included a whopping 26 mounting points on the bike so you can pack anything on it, perfect for your next bikepacking trip!

It’s available in several builds, with the MSRP starting at $2,850 USD for the 2-Star SRAM Apex 1 version and increasing to $5,800 USD for the 5-Star SRAM Force AXS 1X LTD version. The bike only comes in one color; Forge Grey/Baja Blue.

 

Niner RLT 9 STEEL

RLT 9 Steel 3-Star SRAM Rival 1, MSRP $3,140 USD

 


 

Niner RLT 9

The RLT 9 is Niner’s budget-friendly aluminum gravel bike offering.

RLT stands for ‘Road Less Traveled’, which is where you’ll be able to ride with the Niner RLT 9. Welded using hydroformed 6061 aluminum tubing, this budget-friendly option is lightweight yet incredibly strong. In their latest version of the RLT 9, the brand has forged a chainstay yoke which increases tire clearance and improves frame stiffness with a simple design.

If you ride 700c wheels you can expect to comfortably use tires of up to 50mm widths. With 650b wheels, you can use tires up to 2.0″ widths. Multiple mounting points on the frame allow you to secure luggage across several areas of the bike.

It is available in several build specifications with the MSRP starting at $2,350 USD for the 2-Star SRAM Apex 1 build, and increasing to $4,700 USD for the 5-Star Shimano GRX 800 2X version. The bike is available in a Forge Grey/Skye Blue colorway.

 

Niner RLT 9

RLT 9 2-Star SRAM Apex 1, MSRP $2,350 USD

 


 

Niner Electric Bikes

  • RIP e9 – 29″ wheels, full-suspension with 160/150mm travel
  • WFO e9 – Mullet wheels (29″ front, 27.5+ rear) full suspension eMTB with 180/180mm travel
  • RLT e9 RDO – E-Gravel bike

 

Niner RIP e9

The RIP e9 is the brand’s electric 150mm travel trail bike.

Made with welded 6061-T6 aluminum, this bike is sturdy enough to tackle the descents with confidence while also being strong enough to withstand the extra torque and power generated through an electric bike.

Niner have chosen to use Bosch motors, specifically the Bosch Performance Line CX motor which the RIP e9. This gen four motor has been reduced in weight and size since the first inception to give the bike a cleaner and more stealthy appearance. It’s also extremely responsive to torque which means you’ll get up to speed much quicker than other branded motors. They have paired this with Bosch’s Power Tube 625Wh battery which is located on the downtube and can last for up to 50 miles/ 80km of range depending on your program usage.

It’s available in two builds, the EU version and the US version as the legislation around e-bikes differ between the two areas though both use SRAM SX Eagle groupsets. The MSRP for the RIP e9 is $6,295 USD and it comes in a Black colorway.

 

Niner RIP e9

RIP e9 3-Star SRAM SX Eagle, USA Spec, MSRP $6,295 USD

 


 

Niner WFO e9

With 180mm of travel and a coil spring, the WFO e9 is Niner’s downhill e-MTB offering built for the black diamond trails.

The frame is built using welded 6061 aluminum and is attached to a one-piece motor mount. The motor mount houses the lower shock mount and the upper and lower pivots, creating a stable foundation. Enduro Max Black Oxide bearings are used in the pivots to extend their life and create a smooth ride.

Niner uses the Bosch gen four Performance CX drive system, which is all powered by their 625Wh Power Bank battery which can access a range of up to 50 miles / 80km.

Mullet wheels are also a feature of this bike, with 29ers upfront and 27.5+ on the rear, which keeps the bike snappy and agile despite its massive amounts of suspension.

It’s available in one version, the 3-Star SRAM SX Eagle, but the full specification differs depending on where you live. The USA has different legislation around E-Bikes than the EU. The MSRP for the WFO e9 is $6,595 USD and comes in a Black colorway.

 

Niner WFO e9

WFO e9 3-Star SRAM SX Eagle, USA Spec, MSRP $6,595 USD

 


 

Niner RLT e9 RDO

The RLT e9 RDO is Niner’s first electric gravel bike.

Using RDO carbon fiber, Niner’s lead engineer George Parry designed a durable carbon frame to withstand incredibly rough roads – it has even passed ISO mountain bike standards tests. They have used aluminum to bond the frame to the motor mount, making the bike even more sturdy and able to withstand impacts.

You’ll find a Bosch Performance Line Speed motor which assists with speeds up to 28mph in the US. This is paired with a Bosch Power Tube 500 battery mounted in the down tube which offers a range of up to 30 miles/50km on average.

There is only one version available, the 4-Star Shimano GRX 600, which has an MSRP of $5,995 USD, although the specifications are different in the EU. The RLT e9 RDO comes in a striking Green colorway.

 

Niner RLT e9 RDO

RLT e9 RDO 4-Star Shimano GRX 600, USA Spec, MSRP $5,995 USD

 


 

Niner Bikes Size Chart

Niner bikes Mountain Bike Size recommendations

X-SM 5’0″ – 5’5″ (153-165cm)
SM 5’3 – 5’9″ (160-175cm)
MED 5’8″ – 6’0″ (173-183cm)
LG 5’11 – 6’3″ (180-191cm)
X-LG 6’3″ – 6’7″ (191-201cm)

Niner bikes Gravel Bike Size recommendations

47cm 4’11” – 5’3″ (150-160cm)
50cm 5’2″ – 5’6″ (157-168cm)
53cm 5’5 – 5’9″ (165-175cm)
56cm 5’8″ – 6′ (173-183cm)
59cm 5’11” – 6’3″ (180-191cm)
62cm 6’2″ – 6’6″ (188-198cm)


 

Assembly

Niner bikes can be bought directly from their website or JensonUSA.com. Before getting it ready for shipping, Niner’s experienced technicians ensure that the braking and shifting are set up correctly and that the headset and bottom bracket are torqued correctly. The handlebars, seats, and wheels are separated to facilitate easier packing. Upon receiving your new bike, you will simply need to cut through the zip ties and reassemble it using a torque wrench.

You will find a plastic folder containing the quality control checklist. Cross-check if the serial numbers match. You can also check out their Setup Instructions for more info. Remember, doing it yourself is cheaper but it’s not advisable if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If all these details seem like gibberish to you, look for an experienced mechanic at a nearby bike shop to do your assembly for you at a small fee.


 

Where Can You Buy Niner Bikes?


 

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