Niner’s two most popular full suspension frames, the XC-oriented JET 9 and the do-it-all RIP 9, both get new base level carbon models that bring their price points down a bit while bringing the standards up to date. For hardtail fans, the EMD becomes a single-model entry level bike that gets anyone on a 29er for just $1,500.
For the new Carbon JET and RIP, the big story is that they combine an alloy rear triangle with a carbon front to create a new mid-tier offering. Now, you’ll be able to choose from Alloy, Carbon (with alloy rear) or full-carbon RDO bikes. For the RIP 9, this is an entirely new tier. For the JET 9, it may seem like a slight downgrade from the current carbon model, but what Niner’s not making a big deal of is that the front triangle is now RDO level. So, you’re getting the top-end carbon front triangle with their excellent alloy rear end. Ya give a little, ya get a little.
Both use an alloy rear end that’s functionally similar to the one found on the all-alloy models, tweaked only to accommodate the different linkage interface on the carbon front triangles. The alloy rear is about half a pound heavier than the carbon rear, keeping the RDO models well established as their top offerings with higher end complete bike specs, too.
The RIP 9 Carbon model keeps the full carbon rocker arms and oversized angular contact bearings of the RDO, and it sticks with the standard threaded BB shell!
The frame is built around a 125mm travel rear end and designed for forks from 120mm to 140mm, though we’ve been running our RIP with a 150mm fork and it’s a bomber. It has a removeable ISCG05 mounting tab and can run either a single or double crankset. Like the latest RIP 9 Alloy, it uses a 12×142 rear thru axle. Max tire clearance is 2.4.
This new mid-level model comes in at $2,199 for the frame, a healthy $700 drop from the RDO frameset. The alloy model is $350 less at $1,849. Complete bikes will run $3,299 (Deore), $3,699 (SLX), $4,799 (XT) and $5,399 (X01). All models get a Niner cockpit and use the Rockshox Monarch RT rear shock.
2015 NINER JET 9 CARBON
In 2012, Niner split the carbon fiber JET 9 models into a top-level RDO version a standard Carbon version. The carbon version was basically the prior RDO, and the new RDO got a lighter front triangle, carbon rocker arms and rear thru axle. Now, you get the lighter front end and an updated 12×142 rear axle, a nice upgrade since the prior “carbon” model was still using the original JET 9 carbon rear end with QR. Plus, the frameset comes in $100 less, and most build kits are $10o to $200 less.
As a brand, they’re moving more toward a complete bike company rather than just a frame company. While the margins at the lower end don’t offer quite as much wiggle room, it does make the higher end bikes more price competitive, helping riders bump up the amount of bike they’re getting at a given price point.
The JET 9 carbon keeps the PFBB30 bottom bracket shell and alloy rockers of the prior model. We rode the new alloy JET 9 when it was introduced and it’s an amazingly stiff bike, riding virtually identically to its carbon siblings, so our hunch is this new combo unit won’t sacrifice ride quality for the cost concessions.
The front triangle also adds external routing for a dropper post, a new feature for the JET 9.
Frame price is $2,199 and includes a Rockshox Monarch RT shock, seat collar, Maxle and headset. It’s available in orange/yellow or black/slate. Complete bikes are $3,299 (Deore), $3,599 (SLX), $3,999 (XT) and $4,699 (X01). All builds get Niner cockpits (carbon or alloy depending on model) and Niner’s alloy wheels.
Geometry on both the RIP and JET stays the same.
2015 NINER EMD 9 HARDTAIL 29er
For those just looking to get into mountain biking, or just wanting something inexpensive for cross training without sacrificing quality, the EMD 9 is now available as a $1,499 complete bike only. No more framesets, just this single complete bike (which happens to be $150 less now the prior Deore build).
While they’re positioning it as the bike for folks that dabble in all manner of sports throughout the year and want to add a mountain bike to the list, the frame’s very much worth updating as the passion grows. The frame is completely new, using a new alloy and new features.
Shop owners, get ready to geek out: The pricing on this one reflects the fact that they’ve changed the frame from 6000-series alloy to 7000-series alloy, which opened up manufacturing options for them. Now, they can have the complete “bike in a box” shipped to the store, where the mechanic can pull it out and have it showroom ready in about 20 minutes. So, not only is the customer getting a better deal, but your shop saves on labor costs. Everybody high five everybody.
It’s a hydroformed 7005 aluminum frame with tapered headtube and routing for a stealth dropper post. Where the “entry level” aspects come in are the standard threaded BB and QR rear dropouts, but there are still plenty of us that don’t mind (or even prefer) those classic standards. And the build spec is good enough to get anyone rolling: Shimano Deore drivetrain with M445 hydraulic brakes, full Niner alloy cockpit (bar, stem, post, saddle and grips) and wheels with WTB Nine Line tires. A Rockshox Recon Silver Solo Air suspension fork completes the package. Like most of their bikes, it’s available down to an XS size to fit very short riders.
All three new bikes should hit dealers in February.