EB13: All-New Niner WFO Enduro Monster – Plus Carbon One9 RDO & More!

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

They haven’t exactly kept it a secret, but now it’s official. The all new Niner WFO9 changes everything about the original to turn it into a true enduro machine. The head angle slackens out to 67° with a 160mm fork, the top tube gets snipped by 20mm on all frame sizes, and the chainstays cut off 11mm to come in at 444mm (17.4″). All that happened with a bump in travel from 140mm to 150mm in the rear.

Where the original suffered from a bit of personality confusion, the new is something that’s more purpose built for today’s riding.

To get the increased travel alongside shorter stays, they changed a number of things. First, it gets a longer shock and stroke length. Then they made the seatstay brace thinner and reshaped seat tube and steepened the seat angle to 75° (one degree steeper than before). But the biggest change was removing front derailleur mounts. This gave them room for the wheel to come up further toward the frame, but it means this bike is for 1x drivetrains only.

Check all the facts, pics and actual weights below, plus their gorgeous new ONE9 RDO carbon frame and more below…

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

The entire frame is new and gets their air formed tube shaping. Not only does that make it 11% stiffer torsionally from front to back, but it drops 0.7 pounds from the frame. It’s coming in at 7.3 lbs for frame and Monarch Plus RT3 shock. All head tubes get shortened to allow for lower cockpit heights. Small and medium are just 100mm tall, 110mm and 125mm on the Large and XL. The dual cable guides shown here will be replaced with single guides on production frames and are intended for standard dropper posts. Production frames will also have stealth dropper routing on the non drive side of the down tube, popping into the bottom of the seat tube like the ROS9.

Standover height drops an average of an inch or more, which is double impressive considering the bump in travel.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

The shock lengthens to a 216mm eye-to-eye can with 63mm stroke. This maintains the desired low leverage ratio with the increased travel.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

It’s the first Niner to get color-matched hardware as stock, which just happens to match the Monarch’s blue lever perfectly. The other option is a Niner Red frame, which will get the standard red hardware. It’s rocking a revamp of their glow-in-the-dark Atomic Blue, which is also on the new ONE9 RDO. The WFO also gets a new matte black paint scheme. The blue is painted underneath, then masked and over sprayed with black.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

ISCG05 tabs are tucked behind the crankset in case you’re not running a wide/narrow chainring or plan on getting really nasty. Bottom bracket drops 7mm from the original version.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

12×142 rear thru axle, natch. It comes with a standard derailleur hanger, but a Shimano Direct-Mount hanger is available aftermarket.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

It comes with a 2.35 Nobby Nic, which is the maximum recommended width. The brace between seat- and chainstay yokes is twisted, like the new JET9 and RIP9, and offset for better tire clearance.

2014 Niner WFO9 enduro 29er mountain bike

The build shown here with X01/X1, Stan’s Flow EX wheels, Nobby Nic tires, Avid Elixir 9 Trail brakes and dual position Pike fork comes in at just $4,999.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

One 9 RDO is born out of the Air9 RDO molds but adds the EBB bottom bracket shell, 12×142 rear axle and loses the front derailleur mount.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

It was designed to be a pure singlespeed race machine, but they figured out it would be killer as a 1×11 geared bike, too. So, you can swap in their derailleur hanger dropout and CYA BB inserts that allow you to run any major BB standard by simply pressing it in.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

Frame weight is 1235g, a bit more than the Air9 RDO because they had to add alloy shells for the BB and threads for the Maxle.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

$3499 for the singlespeed bike with their Biocentric II EBB, and $5,899 for an XX1 build.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

Thru-axles front and rear. The torsional stiffness on the new frame is improved by a whopping 26% thanks to all the changes, but the rigidity mainly comes from the addition of the Maxle and increased BB shell size. Their head badge doesn’t change, which means you can use the front derailleur port as internal routing for a stealth dropper post.

2014 Niner One9 RDO carbon singlespeed 29er mountain bike

Bike weight is 16.78lbs (7.6kg) for a size Medium with a rather custom build of Shimano XTR cranks with Niner chainring and cog, XTR carbon tubular wheels and a Niner RDO cockpit.

2014-Niner-Air9-carbon-29er-mountain-bike10

The Air 9 gets a new carbon model. It’s based off the latest Air 9 RDO, so it has smaller tube shapes, and replaces the old model entirely. Similar to how there’s the Jet 9 RDO and Jet 9 Carbon models, the latter gets a slightly lesser spec carbon to save a bit of coin, but uses the same molds. In this case, it’s $700 less to be exact, with frames going for $1,399 rather than the RDO’s $2,099. An X7 build goes for $2,699 and an XT build is $3,899. It’s about 200g heavier than the 1150g Air9 RDO, putting it at about 1350g for the frame.

2014-Niner-Jet9-Carbon-New-Orange-Color01

Lastly, the Jet 9 Carbon now comes in Niner Orange.

2014-Niner-saddle-and-grips

They also have a new saddle made for them by Fizik. This is the second sample, so details are still being finalized. The new grips are featured on all their complete bikes and is 100% silicone. It’s 126mm wide and feel pretty good – both grippy and squishy, with a decently thick diameter that should please most, particularly those who favor rigid forks.

Check out build specs at Ninerbikes.com.

A NINER DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKE?

As the enduro scene heats up, Niner’s been testing the WFO at the races. So has BMC, both with 150mm bikes and 29″ wheels. And Specialized’s Enduro 29er takes it to 155mm. Which begs the question: As suspension and geometry continues to be refined, why aren’t more companies jumping in with longer travel 29ers and testing downhill 29ers? We’ve asked it before and received a lot of answers from the industry, but that was four years ago. Now, Niner’s asking again and making it clear they’re testing a downhill program that’ll see top-level race support. To support the concept, they tested their bikes against five different bikes -two 650B- and found that in every instance the bigger wheels meant faster times:

Niner bikes developing a downhill 29er mountain bike and race program

They’re putting this out there:

A question to ponder: “Why aren’t pro DH racers on 29 if it’s so fast?” – When we first started building 29ers we were asked the same questions about the Pro XC field. It took YEARS before these same riders completely switched over, largely due to the lack of World Cup-quality equipment to race on. Even though a few innovative companies have dabbled with big wheels in downhill and 29ers are currently winning Enduro races, the same lack of equipment hinders 29er adoption in downhill racing. We plan to change this with our developing 29er downhill program.

This is just a starting point. Admittedly, the 650B bikes weren’t 150mm travel, and it’s an internal test. For us, the takeaway is two fold: First, if you have the chance to demo a long travel 29er back to back with other wheel sizes, go for it and form your own opinion. The truth is on the trail, and it’s up to you if beating the clock is more important than a slightly more flickable bike. Second, we’re just excited to see any company push the boundaries of what’s possible and carry component manufacturers with them. In the end, that means more choices for the rest of us and more R&D opportunities to lead to better products all around. And that’s a win for everyone. We’ll keep you posted.

Comments

50 thoughts on “EB13: All-New Niner WFO Enduro Monster – Plus Carbon One9 RDO & More!

  1. I call complete and utter bullshit on 29 being more than 10% faster than 650b. Enduro cup is the proof. So is XC world cup last year.

  2. That chart and quote wreaks of desperation from a company that sees a HUGE part of it’s market share rolling away on 650b sized wheels.

  3. “Jérôme Clémentz earned the No. 1 bib plate for the fourth round of the Enduro World Series, held in conjunction with the Colorado Freeride Festival July 26-28 in Winter Park. He’s achieved the series lead astride Cannondale’s carbon fiber Jekyll, a 150mm travel, 26-inch-wheeled bike. ”

    He rides 26″. Not 29″. Can’t you read? Maybe you had it upside down?

    29″ are NOT faster.

  4. @Mindless: And Gared Graves. 26. lol.

    The WFO looks like a real MTB, with great weight, and some real geometry. But 2.35 max in the rear! A potentially kick@ss bike limited to a not so kick@ss tire size… yikes!

    That said, I don’t want to go faster down the trail. That is how I have racked up my broken bones and hospital visits. I want to have more FUN going down the trail.
    P

  5. Hey Guys, What will you ca the new company when your Kool Aid runs out on the 29″ for everyone and everything parade? 659’er? With 27.5″ coming into the MTB World at a rapid rate, to fit an appeal to a wider variety of people…..I would say the game has changed and you are running out of steam. Say uncle and show us some real innovation. The 29’er thing is not for all, trust me.

  6. @sillybike: Yes, we can all get along. It is the Niner who are bent on posting some silly made up marketing drivel numbers that most apparently do not stand a real life validation.

  7. Niner deserves some backlash since they were silly enough to pigeon-hole themselves with their name, though Specialized really seems wed to 29ers while killing their 26ers but not embracing 27.5ers. FWIW there seems to be quite a bit of backlash towards 27.5ers from the PB crowd.

  8. Do the people at niner really believe me to so gullible, to believe that changing wheel diameter by ~1 inch will make me 12% faster?

    Seriously.

    Do they?

    By this logic we should all ride 36 inch wheels. They would make us 40% faster, or thereabouts.

    Anyhow. Their bikes are nice, but the marketing BS they spew is top notch. ATM only FSA comes close.

  9. Laughed hard at the percentage board…also gave up on Niner after seeing that single speed bike weighting more than my XC bike…

  10. Sweet! A new One-9er with all the good parts of the RDO. I’m still not sold on Ecentric BB’s in general, but if I had the coin for a new rig, this SS would be at the top of the list. Great looking in Blue also!

  11. i’ve traced a couple of enduros this year, and everyine except pro riders seem to be experessing that they will stick with 26″. at the ews level the top athletes are still running 26″.

  12. All in all it’s when the rubber hits the dirt the smiles start to show. Why not STFU and spend your collective energy pedaling somewhere. 26, 27.5 or 29 who cares as they are all good in some shape, form and matter. I’m with Sillybike…

  13. I recall that I recently read a shootout somewhere that included some diagrams stating the laptimes/time saved per wheelsize and per type of terrain. Does anyone have a link?

  14. that chart is laughable. it’s just like giant’s 2page ad in decline mag on 650b. mtn wheel size arguments only come into play when your skill level isn’t up to a task.

    the real important thing to remember is to get your kid to rock 20s/bmx early. if you have ANY skill from bmx you can make ANY wheel size work. my observation has been if your comin into mtb older without that background chances are you’ll argue a wheel size. it’s so easy to spot a rider who can only ride fast and a rider who can flow.

  15. Dorks babbling about wheel size. Again. Still. Good lord, I feel sorry for you barneys. I think these are some great efforts from Niner. The WFO geo has been corrected and the ONE RDO is beautiful. Kudos.

  16. I can ride anything, I’m a good rider. I choose to ride a 29er because, well, its just better. @ Mindless, when you get as fast as me open it, until then keep the damn thing shut. Ya, your mouth, like most others on here regurgitating what you here and not what you experience. The 650b thing will die as soon as the next big thing comes out to rant about. Just ride what you brung. SHEESH! Ya, I said it, get off the computer and ride your d*mn bikes. The proof is in the pudding.

  17. I think Chris Akrigg sums up wheel size debate the best:

    http://vimeo.com/65855392

    If you have skills it really doesn’t matter what wheel size your on, ride what you like.

    Bike companies always have and always will say their bike is designed to make hills flat and gives you the technical super powers.

    That said, I am digging the new WFO, the One 9 RDO and the new ROS. Niner may have pigeon holed itself in the wheel size war but they are making some cool bikes.

  18. niner has a very large following, they are getting “better”, but I would spend my money elsewhere regardless of wheel size.

  19. ugh! you all are so stupid because you think your opinions are right, and they aren’t. Mine are! Stop being so stupid with your own stupid opinions and have the same opinion I have!!!
    GEEZ!!

  20. hey mindless, i guess you didn’t watch the winners from the last UCI XC World Cup in Mont Ste Anne both the men’s and woman’s rode 29ers
    Julian Absalon and Katerina Nash……. This was Nash’s first victoria after many top 3 placings and this was her first race on a 29er.

  21. The new Niners look absolutely beautiful. Clean lines and the paint and subtle graphics make them all the more appealing.
    However, I wish Niner would set a trend and do away with the graphs and charts attempting to prove which wheel size is supposedly more superior. It’s all subjective and varies greatly based on rider, terrain and how much booze you drank the night before. IMO, that kind of marketing takes away from a brand and makes them look desperate, at the very least, regardless of wheel size.

  22. I’ve ridden 26″, 27.5″, and 29″ bikes. I’m 6’1″ and the 29er feels the most natural to me. It’s all personal preference. All the wheels sizes have their pros and cons. If I were Niner I would have no regrets. Their bikes are fuckin sweet! That new One9 is sexy as hell!

  23. Niner hosted a demo in my town a couple of weeks ago. I got some good ride time on the new air-formed RIP. It was sweet! The tech adjusted the sag and tire pressure for my weight and I was off. It was decked out in XX1 and had a Reverb Stealth. I left the fork and shock open and it climbed nicely while absorbing the bumps. Frame stiffness was great and I liked the geometry. Then I tested an AIR 9 RDO. It was a feather and was probably the best climbing bike I’ve been on. Then, before I left, I got a free t-shirt. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

  24. The problem with quoting Enduro results from someone like Jerome clitmitz or any of those other short guys is that they’re not full-size men so therefore they can’t ride a 29er and get the same results they would on a midget bike with smaller wheels that’s better suited for their small (deleted) size body

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