Niner has introduced two new bikes, one expected and one completely fresh.
Their recent fan-sourced bike naming contest clued everyone into the hardtail freeride bike they were working on, and now it has a name: ROS9, short for “Run Over Stuff” or some other noun that starts with “S”. The other one, shown above, clues us into what we can expect from future alloy full suspension models.
The all-new JET9 alloy jumps to 100mm rear travel, gains a 142×12 thru axle with hollowed out dropouts that use an integrated, post mount brake mount…much like the carbon versions. It also gets the same air formed process to shape the tubes as the recently introduced RIP9 alloy, something that’s becoming a trend in their alloy series that you’re likely to see come across other alloy full suspension models to come.
Their focus was simply to keep the handling just as good but drop weight and update the feature set. The airforming lets them maintain very precise tube wall thicknesses and butting profiles, much more so than hydroforming. This let them drop a quarter pound from the frame even with all the added features. It’s about the same stiffness as the outgoing model, which is fine, because it’s damn good.
It also gets the a direct mount front derailleur and full length cable housing (not shown on this preproduction sample). So it essentially has the same exact spec as the carbon frames…save for one new feature:
The top tube cable stops have dual channels, letting you run a dropper post remote line alongside the front derailleur cable.
Like the new RIP9 alloy, the dropouts are machined out from the inside to save weight.
Bearings are Enduro Max, which packs more balls in the same amount of space. This helps spread the load over more material, perfect for the low rotation, high impact application of a suspension rocker arm. The seat tube is no longer just round with a welded-on pivot axle. The entire tube is now airformed with an integrated axle mount for the rocker pivot, and it’s very sleek looking even with a fresh coating of Utah dust.
The airforming continues all the way through the rear triangle, with shaped stays top and bottom and a tapered, curved intermediary beam to hold it all together. The post mount brakes are a nice touch, designed for 160mm to 185mm rotors.
It’ll be offered in three build kits:
• X0 w/ SID XX and American Classic Race wheels for $4,899
• XT with SID RL and Stan’s Arch wheels for $4,199
• SLX with Fox Float EVO, American Classic Terrain wheels for $3,099.
Frame only is $1,849, same as before, and all bikes will have the Monarch RT3 with a three position external setting for compression. They worked with Rockshox to tune the second part of the stroke. The first part of the stroke is mainly affected by setting sag and air pressure, so they felt they could impact the ride more by controlling the mid- and end stroke. They set it up to control the progression so it has a bottomless feel without blowing through too much travel when you hit something big. Colors are Tamale Red and Arctic White.
The Large frame with shock came in at 6.57lbs (2,980g), and the Medium complete bike with X0 build was 24.07lbs (10.917kg).
Look for a ride review of both bikes soon, but brand manager Carla Hukee says the goal with this (and the new RIP9 alloy) was to let people get a top notch alloy frame and not feel like they had to compromise by not getting a carbon frame. Our first impressions suggest they’ve done just that, but we’ll be getting a bit more trail time on them this week and a full write up shortly thereafter.
The new ROS9 (Ride Over Stuff) is like a SIR9 on steroids. It’s a double butted 4130 chromoly tubeset, same as what high end BMX bikes are made of, and it’s made to take abuse. The lines and tube shapes are similar to the SIR, using the same seatstay bridge, but has a new asymmetrical forged chainstay yoke that provides a good bit of tire clearance.
It’s hollowed out to save a bit of weight, but the main goal was to get chainstays as short as possible. They ended up at 427mm, which makes it easy to manual and get the rear wheel up and over things. And that measurement is as the center of the BB, but they use their Biocentric II eccentric bottom bracket, so you could slam it back and have an effective chainstay length as short as 418mm. The benefit is that you can micro adjust the crankset position to raise or lower it and run the bike singlespeed.
The frame has an integrated bash guard mount, and they’ll offer a bashguard/mount package separately that was co-developed with MRP.
Stealth dropper routing comes up through the bottom of the seat tube, and the frame comes with two covers to hide that and the front derailleur mount if either aren’t being used. It also has dual channel, removable housing guides under the top tube to run external dropper post cables and a front shift cable.
Dropouts and brake mounts are the same custom machined parts from the SIR, and they’ll offer three different driveside dropout options: Singlespeed, standard or direct mount rear derailleur.
The headtube is a straight tube designed for external headset cups, and the geometry is based around a 120mm or 140mm fork. Head angles are 68º or 67º respectively, but they’re also running them with 130mm Revelations, which splits the difference.
Frame weight is 6.1lbs claimed, this size Medium came in at 6.68lbs with the EBB, collar, FD mount and all other hardware except Maxle.
Adequate tire clearance, particularly up top.
Dual channel, removable cable guides run under the top and downtubes, giving you maximum flexibility to run whatever you want wherever you need to.
It’ll come in Rally Blue and Forge Gray. Frame is $899, which includes the EBB, headset, Maxle and seat collar, plus the standard hanger and singlespeed nut. The bash guard kit will be $59.99. DM rear mech mount is available separately.
Both bikes should be available in late summer, around mid-September to be more precise.
Niner has also announced that they raised a little more than $29,000 in their IMBA bikes auction, the most ever for that program.