Niner had this RIP 9 hardtail concept bike on display with the note to the right…basically saying “If you want this, let us know.”

Shown in a yet-to-be-named new blue color, the RIP 9 Hardtail is built with dirt jump and slopestyle in mind, and from the desert dust on the frame, it’s been tested very recently. Built with the RIP 9’s front triangle and rear stays, the rear wheel is tucked up pretty close since there’s no suspension linkage to get in the way. A bent seat tube gives the rear tire enough clearance for mud. It’s designed around a 1×10 drivetrain, we say if they build it, there should be a sliding dropout option or swappable rear axle mounts so you can run it singlespeed or geared, which could add “pump track” to its bag of tricks.

Check out another photo of it, plus all these goodies after the break…

  • Even more new colors for 2011
  • Totally trick custom color matched bits from other companies
  • Their new tapered headtube design on WFO and RIP
  • New head angle geometry for WFO and RIP
  • Carbon fork news

Come on in and drink the kool-aid…

We’re guessing you could very easily mount a standard front derailleur here and have gears, just watch the clearance of the bigger rings against the chainstay yoke. Niner already recommends the smallest ring combos on 2×10 drivetrains for clearance issues, and this bike’s tubes are tucked up even closer.

So, do you want one? Email Niner and let them know.

As if they haven’t already announced enough new colors, Niner had some more new hues on display, and you can tell from the color-matched goodies adorning them that the industry loves the brand.  The Jet 9 will now be offered in their Tang orange color, and if you ask really nicely, they may just offer a matching Rockshox Reba XX fork to go along with it. Rockshox has a pretty good custom OEM color system available to bike brands, but it’s nice to see they’ll match things up with smaller brands like Niner, too, that aren’t placing massive orders.

Note the new color matching for the Niner logo on their handlebar, too. It’s the little things…

The RIP 9 brings back the Hot Tamale red after a two-year hiatus for that color.  To celebrate, Formula Brakes did a custom piston cap on their brakes and Ergon’s German offices sent over some custom red grips that even Jeff and the rest of the U.S. Ergon folks hadn’t seen or knew existed!

Click to enlarge any image.

Not all of the changes were purely concept and cosmetic.  Both the WFO 9 and RIP 9 frames get a slacker 69º head angle and new InSet headset compatible headtubes. (Originally, the WFO was 70º and the RIP was 71.5º) This should make the big travel bikes a little more suitable for super aggressive (gravity oriented) riding. In our time on the RIP 9 it has done exceptionally well on some super steep stuff, so hopefully making the bike more capable on the descents won’t detract from it’s overall solid trail demeanor.

Tyler over at Twenty6 products had a lot of, um, product placement around the show floor, but Niner got the only super-special treatment we saw from the brand.  Carla, Niner’s media relations type person, said they couldn’t possibly put anything that said 26 in their booth, so Tyler custom printed these pedals…

…and the stem that’s on the WFO 9, which coincidentally is showing off the new Fridge Green color. You know, like the old retro green colored refrigerators.

So, about their carbon fork. If you want some photos and video, check out this post, which will give you the back story.

The news is that Niner has removed the rider weight limit on their carbon fork because after they hammered that fork, they ran it back through CEN testing, which it passed and then some. Then they took it to some stairs and jumped on it and still couldn’t totally break it. So, there’s no longer a weight limit and they’ve raised the rotor size limit to 185mm.


  1. The 29er HT seems kind of dumb to me too, if only used for SS and DJ, since the longer wheelbase, extra height and weight will make most tricks more difficult due to inertia. It’s a different story if you’re taking it on the trails as an AM HT though. I wonder how it would perform in 4X.

  2. I can see a place for the hardtail for am/trail riding. some people want a 29er, prefer a hardtail but arent looking to do “XC” style riding like most of the 29er bikes on the trail right now.

  3. I think the 29er dirt jumper is a great idea. i ride a Giant Talon 29er 1 (2011 Model) and its a great bike for the local dirt jump trail. im catching 7+ feet of air, a hell of a lot more than the normal 26″ DJ bikes.

What do you think?