IB13: Niner Bikes Downhill 29er Concept Rendering
All but hidden on the bottom of their component display at Interbike, Niner had this little foam core board with a rendering of their downhill 29er pasted to it.
Despite asking nicely (followed by pleading and begging), there really isn’t much to say about it yet. Assuming the 3D design is anywhere close to production, what we can tell is that the lower linkage mount drops down a bit more than normal, and that there’s a healthy bend in the downtube before it meets the BB.
The former would be done to provide more vertical travel for the bottom linkage while still allowing a reasonably short chainstay length. There’s surely an entire wheel path and engineering side to it, too. The current designs are fairly well sculpted around the BB spindle, In fact, you can see the evolution of the pivot and linkage placement from the 125mm travel RIP9 to the 150mm WFO9. But both of those still start the forward linkage pivot within a horizontal plane of the BB’s circumference. This one appears to drop the entire lower pivot well below the BB shell altogether.
The downtube bend is simply to make room for a bigger, coil-sprung shock with piggy back reservoir. Ultimately, it may well require a similarly aggressive bend in the top tube for proper wheel clearance. And the fork? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see…