Niner R.I.P. 9 RDO Mountain Bike Review

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AVERAGE RATING
*****
5.00 out of 5
WHERE TO BUY    MSRP: $6,500
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Weight: 11,340 grams
By Greg Heil    on Jun 11, 2014

0 SHARES | 7 COMMENTS
By Greg Heil    on Jul 16, 2014

0 SHARES | 5 COMMENTS
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Top Rated Gear From Niner
Niner RIP 9
Niner Jet 9
Niner Air 9
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Niner W.F.O. 9
Niner Carbon Seatpost
Niner LowTop RDO
Niner ROS 9 Plus
 


November 26, 2014
 
Model/Year: r.i.p. 9 RDO 2014

Pros: Bike impressions-100 mile review

Climbing is different than the r.i.p.9. The difference of the shorter seat stay is noticeable in that the rear wheel 'goes with you' as you follow the front wheel over low speed chunk versus front wheel, your body, then feel the wheel coming up and over behind you. The RDO demands that you actively ride it, be part of it, move your body about. With a slightly greater fork rake, leaning your body back and pushing the front wheel into the turn is a more effective cornering method than the r.i.p.9 'stay low, hold the front wheel down and carve'. The back end canbe whipped around! Coming down the hill, I'm guilty of two very intentional high-speed skid steers. Also, one spot on the fire road, I've been consistently doing the full 180 degree tail whip skid-to-stop, like a little kid thing, on each pass of that area. It leaves me giggling... The RDO is more lively in the response from the trail.

The brain had forgotten the level of vibration reduction there is in a good carbon bike. It takes me a little longer to ride through the initial pain because the bike hurts less...does that make sense? My normal length rides don't feel like they are much of an effort anymore. Long adventures on this bike are foreseeable. So far, it has only been on the 50. Until completely dialed and at ease, the bike has been kept on very familiar turf so any adjustments that have been done can be felt. Feeling familiar enough with the ride that rebound adjustment is the last thing and it will get started this week.

The bike is quiet. The slight little rumble you get from a carbon frame mated to the muted AC hub is quite the stealth machine. I like that.

The unease of change in gear ratios has abated and the intuitive nature of shifting has returned. Using a ratio calculator, it was determined that changing to a 30t with 10-42 on the RDO, in comparison to the r.i.p.'s 1x10 11-42, an easier climbing gear would be obtained while still increasing top end! First few rides 42 was used a lot, but it seems it was more of a adjustment than a need on the 50 Year. Now, 'saving' it for when the going truly gets tough. The degree of difference in pedal slop/pawl spacing in the AC hub was something that took a conscious adjustment over a few rides. Getting your body to re-adjust where the pedals/cranks need to be, the goal being subconsciously adjusting for pawl/hub engagement difference and then applying that to approaching rock gardens is ongoing. That same spacing encourages faster riding. It seems the bike responds better and the drivetrain is more alert when always ridden with more than 'cruising velocity' being applied to the cranks. It likes to push.

The fact that effective cockpit length increases with seatpost height is great. Keep the saddle at 'almost roadie height' for flats and it is still easy to quickly get behind it without using the dropper post!

My gal MaryEllen has one, too. ME's been taking instruction and giving feedback to me so we get her bike set. Saturday and Sunday we rode the 50 and I went at a pace through the harder lines so she could follow and she was right on my wheel! Huge grin! She is learning how to 'ride a Niner'. Showing and telling her the difference on body posture for climbing so the front end doesn't wag all over but you aren't contorted into some non-reactive body position and then her making it through a never ridden tech section was excellent. We cut her handlebar down a bit and she is riding it to see if she will adjust. So far, it seems she is settling right into it.

Cons: Tiny adjustment to pawl engagement

Recommendation: Incredibly fine ride, highly recommended!





August 6, 2014
 
Pros: Looks awesome, climbs great, descends confidently

Cons: Stock tires, but that's easy to fix

Recommendation: Check out my final review for more information!





December 12, 2013
 
Model/Year: 2013

Pros: I have ridden this bike now for a few hundred miles now since April and can honestly say it is the best bike I have ever ridden. I demo'ed about 20 bikes last year, including the venerable Bronson, but I felt this was a great fit for me. With the sag dialed in (20-25% depending on your preference) it climbs really well. Downhill, it floats over everything, and I have yet to push this bike to it's limits before it scared me and I backed off. Recenlty I was racing friends who normally drop me down Porcupine Rim in Moab, and I had to stop several times and wait on them. I honestly thought one of them had a mechanical. No, this bike just eats chunder like I eat ice cream. Compared to the the Jet 9 RDO and even the 2012 RIP 9...it is night and day. Super stiff. Takes hits very well. Nimble in the air. Plush over bumps. Good mid-stroke compliance. Surprisingly maneuverable through the techy bits (for any wheel size). The XX1 is awesome. There are a few drawbacks: it still has a longish wheelbase, which requires me to use more body english in tight switchbacks. And, it takes a little getting used to because it sits high if you have a longer fork. I recommend upgrading to the Fox 34 140mm fork...it is SO much better than the RS 32 130mm fork. I also recommend the KS LEV seatpost, which you can now internally route with the XX1. I opted for a shorter 50mm stem...and this bike is good to go. One more suggestion: lose the Nobby Nics. The front has poor traction (I recommend a Hans Dampf), and although it is perfect on the rear, it will wear out in 12-15 rides. Not cool. I would go with a Conti Mountain King or Maxxis High Roller II if you don't mind the weight. I would STRONGLY recommend this bike

Cons: See above

Recommendation: One of the best all mountain 29ers out there