Niner RIP 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Mountain Bike - 2017
NinerRIP 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Mountain Bike - 2017

Earn all the stars.

Niner's RIP 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Mountain Bike got quite the facelift for 2017. It now boasts a deeper suspension, slacker head tube, steeper seat tube, stubbier chainstays, and a longer top tube, helping it span the gap between its trail heritage and your enduro aspirations. Kitted out with Shimano's XT drivetrain, a dropper post, and Stan's NoTubes hoops, the RIP 9's newly found all-mountain versatility takes its much-loved predecessor's capabilities to an entirely new level.

In addition to the geometry tweaks, the new RIP 9 owes much of its versatility to the introduction of Boost axle spacing. By bumping the rear axle out to 148mm, Niner was able to buy enough clearance at the bottom bracket to shorten the chainstays and sharpen the seat tube angle by 11mm and two degrees, respectively. These subtle changes make the rear triangle that much more responsive to input while also pushing the rider's engine up over the pedals.

The stubby stays also keep the bike agile, but with a 67-degree head tube and 160mm of Lyrik forgiveness up front, it's just as happy to try flattening everything in its path—or at least bailing you out when your lines start to get a bit too ambitious. The RIP 9's longer top tube and short stem keep handling on-point, despite that low head tube angle, so you can always fall back on those stubby stays to navigate stretches of especially technical terrain.

There's clearly a lot of new radness with the RIP 9, but two things remain pleasantly unchanged: the Race Day Optimized (RDO) construction method and the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design. RDO involves a dual-compression process that eliminates resin pooling and allows precise control over wall-thickness. Reducing imperfections makes for a more structurally sound frame, and the targeted control over lay-up and wall thickness lets Niner buttress that structure where appropriate and reduce material where it'll save weight without sacrificing stiffness. The result marks the nexus of low weight and efficient durability for a frame that's equal to the abuse of the trail and the pedals.

The new RIP 9's CVA suspension design is also unchanged, but it allows that design to play with 25mm more travel. This brings it up to 150mm—which parallels the WFO—and optimizes it for descending fast in hairy terrain while keeping it surprisingly responsive when you get on the gas. Unlike other designs, CVA is optimized for the increased bottom bracket drop inherent in 29ers. It tends to ride high with a controlled mid-stroke that balances pedal input and suspension travel, keeping it stable through rock gardens and snappy when you stomp. It also jumps incredibly well; this is one wagon wheeler that’s very happy when it’s airborne.

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 unmatchable by today's composite technology. The threading means bearing cups install perfectly, reducing wear over time and eliminating the creaks and groans that so often accompany PressFit models. Vulnerable frame bits are girded with titanium protection plates, and the frame also includes integrated battery storage in case you get the urge for electro shifting. The revised axle spacing and geometry dimensions accommodate 29er tires up to 2.5in and, if you throw on some 27.5 rims, the frame will max-out at 3in tires.

  • The updated RIP 9 pushes firmly into all-mountain territory
  • Six inches of responsive CVA travel
  • Updated geometry climbs faster and drops-in with enduro style
  • RDO carbon construction reduces weight without sacrificing stiffness
  • Compatible with electronic drivetrain routing and battery storage
  • Shimano's XT drivetrain devours trail abuse
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

If I were an owl I would yell HOOT

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This bike is a ripper! I took this bike for a good loop in our beautiful backyard we like to call Park City, UT. I chose a large at 5'11- it fits like a glove. I was quite impressed with the handling- quick around the switchbacks. As one were to expect, this was a bomber pointed down.

This bike loves to go fast. I've ridden many a bike, and this can keep up with the best of them. Rolling through some techy terrain you bomb through it- the bike will feel balanced and planted- don't worry you can get jumpy if you want to.

Now besides this XT build, we also have options to do frame up custom builds. I'd be glad to assist in making your dream bike your reality bike.

150mm of squish, 67degreet HT.... Available in ORANGE! What's not to love?

If you have any questions on this or comparable bikes, please don't hesitate to reach out to my direct phone number: 801-204-4588 -Scott Gartman

If I were an owl I would yell HOOT