Niner Bikes EMD9 XS extra small 29er mountain bike for shorter riders

Set to unveil officially tomorrow, our friends at Niner Bikes gave us the exclusive first look at something big. Err, small, actually.

The recently released new EMD9 hardtail is their first bike to come in an XS (Extra Small) size, something one of their shorter employees has been pushing for a while. By the numbers, it’s:

  • 22.5” toptube (over 1/2” shorter than the small)
  • 14” seattube length (1–1/2” shorter than the small)
  • 3.9” headtube (3/32” shorter than the small)
  • Recommended height range 5’0” to 5’5” (minimum height varies based on standover/rider inseam)
  • 27” standover, (1–1/4” lower than the small)

Like their other sizes and models, Niner kept the important bits of the geometry intact. They claim there’s no toe overlap, no seatstay bridge to hinder tire clearance and no limits on water bottle fit inside the front triangle. In fact, they even say the large 24oz Polar bottle will fit just fine!

Niner Bikes EMD9 XS extra small 29er mountain bike for shorter riders

The EMD9 is built around an 80mm to 100mm fork. They recommend running a short stem paired with a wide bar to give it the best handling. Conveniently, they also offer a wide, flat bar. (Bike shown here is not the XS, just shown as a full build example.)

If you’re looking for a 29er mountain bike for short riders, check out Niner’s website this Friday for the scoop.

Niner Bikes EMD9 XS extra small 29er mountain bike geometry for shorter riders


  1. I like the fact that this option is available. I think the cockpit might wind up a touch high for an XS, but there’s no getting around that with a 29’r. Hitting a 27″ standover is pretty impressive, in my opinion. If nothing else, good on Niner for experimenting with this size. Perhaps it’ll bring more business their way from previously marginalized customers; similar to Santa Cruz’s introduction of an XS V-10 back in the day.

    Any word on if they are planning a rigid fork with a lower A-C to help size XS riders get into a slightly racier position?

  2. Man, that BMX bike is going to look really odd with such big wheels. Seriously though, it’s nice to see them getting the small folks on big wheels.

  3. How many people out there wish that the dimensions of the chainstays would vary on different sized bikes? (Especially road bikes) WOuld it exponentiate price? Yes. Is there science showing that it would make for a better ride? Pretty sure there is!

  4. Erich: using a fork with less axle to crown would change the head tube and seat tube angles. It could also lead to clearance issues. Finally, you’d have to redesign every fork around a shorter axle to crown for only one bike…

  5. @WV Cycling
    I actually had a talk with Zinn about why chainstays don’t change based on size and there are two reasons:

    1. It’s cheaper to produce a single rear triangle.
    2. Most people look at wheelbase and think smaller always equals better.

    Zinn said he actually tried making some bikes with 460+mm chain stays for taller folks, but that they wouldn’t sell because folks that do crits complained too much about the wheelbase.

    That said, you’re definitely right, chainstays (and wheel sizes and crank sizes frankly) should vary with the height and proportions of the rider.

  6. Brandon: I hear ya for certain. I’m merely curious if the drop in A-C would be worth doing regardless of the geo changes. I know it’d probably kick the head angle back to a sketchy 72/72.5 degree-ish area. You could probably correct the seat angle issue a little with an offset post to bring the rider back into better alignment with the BB. On the plus side, you’d have a lower BB for railing turns a little better. As for changing forks, I was only suggesting a shorter A-C version of the Niner carbon (or steel, I guess) fork. The existing version with a 470 A-C seems to have plenty of clearance, so I think there’s room to move. No other companies need try this out. Niner’s got their asian manufacturing to do a run of these if they want, though the new mold cost for a carbon fork is probably pretty steep and likely not worth it.

    Also, yes @ Cinco, 650b for the smaller people who want bigger wheels is a great idea.

  7. I really think 650B is the answer for smaller riders who ride terrain where the 29er is without question the better bike. Here in Tucson, where the 29er is the bee’s knees – a 650b hardtail would be optimal for some of our ladies/men who hover under the 5’4″ range.

    Good to see Niner coming to market with this, but I’d like to see 650b offered by a major manufacturer in a serious way.

  8. either way i agree with matt because every ones body geometry is different so why shouldnt the bikes geometry change with it there are proven set in stone facts about the geometry of a bike that make it more stable or more responsive or more agressive or a better climber i think that depending on the bike youre after the geometry should change expecialy in the chainstay area for larger people with longer legs as to were some people have a longer torso it woldnt be as much of an issue but performance wise theres many facts to prove matts claim but its simply not cost affective for company to do so the profit margin would suffer and in coperate america we know thats the biggest isue of all screw the geometry were only making 800 dollars a bike in profit let the riders figure it out lol im working with a company out of taiwan as we speak on some custom frame designs i should have a few prototypes bye spring that address these issues obviously u cant build each bike according to each persons body but u could give two or even three versions of a large medium could be done in two and if ur smal ur small just make the bike a small 8) im doind a couple versions for road and 26” fs for now and see how the results turn out and go from there it sure sounds real easy but theres alot more to the dtnamics of a bike than most people realize and if it was simple and easy to do this artical wouldnt exist because they would allready be out but its tough once you go changing things around to get the right angles and all that good stuff ps—i apologize for my lack of typing skills and spelling as well luckily im mucg better bulding custom bikes than i am at typing or ide be screwed lol

  9. Bikerumor – how is this news? Many other companies have been quietly offering XS 29ers for some time, because it is the right thing to do. Trek, Salsa, they have had 14″ 29ers available

    Oh yes, I know how its news – Tyler has a hard on for Niner……

What do you think?