Niner Jet 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Bike - 2017

The 29er way.

It's not a far stretch to say that the Niner engineers went back to the drawing board and rebuilt the Jet 9 from the ground up. Similar in name but drastically different in geometry, the 2017 Niner Jet 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Bike goes much further than merely adding travel. It's longer across the top, steeper out back, slacker up front, and better at just about everything that made the original Jet 9 such a standout. Whether you're grinding climbs, bombing descents, or reveling in fast, flowy singletrack, the Jet 9 RDO lives up to its versatile reputation. This particular build gets kitted up in Shimano's lauded XT componentry, a dropper post, and Stan's NoTubes Arch MK3 hoops.

As with most bikes in the current trail generation, the key element underwriting the new Jet 9's versatile geometry is its Boost rear axle. Bumping the spacing up to 148mm lets Niner chop 21mm off of chainstays by slamming the rear wheel up into the seat tube. The seat tube contributes to that versatility, too. Despite the fact that the 2017 Jet 9 comes with 130mm of front travel, it's got the same seat tube angle as the 2016 Jet 9 with a 100mm fork. Adding 30mm up front would typically force you out of the bike's center; however, the new Jet 9's geometry keeps you on top of the pedals while the included dropper post allows you to clear out some cockpit space so you can throw the bike around on descents.

The bike's updates shine at the front end, too. In 2016, the Jet 9 was limited to a 71 or 70.5-degree head tube, depending on whether you were running a 100 or 110mm fork. For 2017 (as configured here), it drops to 67.5 degrees. This puts the Jet 9 right on the cusp of moderate stability and enduro abandon. When paired with the new iteration's longer reach and shorter stem, that angle means the bike can ride roughshod across all manner of trail furniture without sacrificing responsive steering. Slack head tubes are fun, but we're occasionally frustrated by their muddy responsiveness. The Jet 9 lives up to Niner's reputation of nimble wagon wheel machines by ensuring that enduro aggression doesn't come at the cost of control.

Despite the above changes, Niner's Race Day Optimized (RDO) construction process remains relatively unchanged. This is a good thing, as Niner's compaction method presses out any excess resin and compacts the carbon down to a uniform wall thickness. This gives Niner precise control over where material is and where it isn't, letting the engineers actually engineer the frame by reducing weight where it's not needed while ensuring stiffness and durability at key areas of power transfer and abuse.

The CVA suspension model is also virtually unchanged. CVA is designed specifically around 29in wheels to keep the big-rim platform balanced between taut and supple. Its low compression ratio means there's less need for suspension preload, so the mechanism can float more freely and react more readily to the terrain without being loose or sloppy. CVA's lower linkage placement beneath the bottom bracket isolates pedal input from suspension action to prevent the system from bobbing or back-kicking, resulting in a smooth but efficient bike that's responsive to both your power and the trail's trickery.

The frame's finishing details are everything you'd expect from the obsessive developers at Niner, and our favorite new addition is the inclusion of a BSA threaded bottom bracket. PressFit shells may be lighter and more convenient, but the exact tolerances of a CNC-machined thread are virtually unsurpassable by today's composite technology. The threading means bearing cups install perfectly, reducing wear over time and reducing the creaks, groans, and pops that so often accompany PressFit models. Vulnerable bits are girded with titanium protection plates. The frame also includes integrated battery storage in case you get the urge for electro shifting, and the revised axle spacing and geometry dimensions accommodate 29er tires up to 2.4in and 27.5 tires up to 3in.

  • A more versatile take on Niner's classic trail bike
  • Adds 20mm of CVA suspension compared to previous model
  • Updated geometry climbs faster and descends harder
  • RDO carbon construction drops grams to gain speed
  • Compatible with electronic drivetrain routing and battery storage
  • Shimano's XT componentry is precise and durable
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Winner

    I demoed the 2017 Jet 9 in Park City and the following week I bought one. I feel this bike is the best Trail/Cross-Country bikes on the market with the 130mm setup. This is nothing like the old Jet, so those that have one, this is a new animal. The chainstays were shortened, the headtube went from 70 degrees to 67.5, and the BB is now threaded. In addition, it's boosted and you can run 3.0 27+ tires and 2.4 29er tires.
    The Niner's CVA (Constantly Varying Arc) suspension design is what sold me on this bike. It felt great climbing and super playful on the descents with great mid stroke support. The longest ride I have on this so far is 3.5 hours, but I can't wait to get this out for a longer ride, I'm sure it will allow for all day comfort.
    Please reach out to me if you have any questions on this or are interested in a custom build.

    Saddle height is 71.5cm - Medium fits perfect. Weight on my custom build is 25.6lbs

    Bill Sherman
    Customer Account Manager-Bike
    Office: 801-204-4545
    bsherman@backcountry.com

    Winner