Review: Niner RIP 9 RDO 29 - Pinkbike
|If you've watched any Kirt Voreis videos lately, you'd probably want to experience their take on the ultimate all-mountain 29er. I did.—RC|
Meet the New RIP RDO 29What about that carbon chassis? Two ribs surround the Fox DPX2 shock - the frame's standout design element, used to directly reinforce the bottom bracket area against lateral forces. In fact, almost all of the improvements that Niner built into the new RIP RDO chassis were targeted to improve lateral rigidity, while maintaining a little flex in the linear plane to mute G-outs and larger impact events. More on that later. Look beyond its steep seat-tube angle, extended reach, and slack front end, and you'll notice an equally worthy component pick. In Niner fashion, four builds are available, ours being the second tier, four-star kit that features a SRAM Eagle XO1 transmission including the carbon crankset. Wheels roll on Stan's NoTubes Flow S1 rims and a capable Maxxis 2.5 WT Aggressor rear/ DHF front tire combination, and a Race Face cockpit. Suspension is all Fox, with a 150mm 36 FIT4 fork and DPX2 shock that cranks out 140 millimeters of travel from its CVA rear suspension. The four-star build leaves nothing to want for with an MSRP of $6950 USD.
The most noticeable aspect of the suspension is a noticeable increase in mid-stroke support and that the starting leverage has been increased to overcome the shock's seal friction and provide more grip. Niner's literature also states that the ending stroke leverage curve falls off slightly to compensate for the natural ramp-up of the Fox DPX2's air spring. Speaking of air springs, Niner's frame development sort of collided with changes with the Fox DPX2 damper, which created a post-production clearance issue with some shock-pumps and the location of the shock's air valve The frame rib on the air valve side is a tight fit, so the solution was the "crack pipe" - an angled adapter that comes clipped to the RIP 9 RDO's frame and allows easy access to the filler valve. Niner chose Fox's 36 Float Factory fork with the FIT4 damper and a 150-millimeter stroke. Paired with the bike's 140-millimeter-travel tail end, that seems to be the sweet spot for all but the most aggressive gravity riders riding 29ers these days. I like the 36 because I can set it and forget it, almost from the first ride. The offset is reduced to the now popular 44 millimeters, which works fine for me with a light, but consistent feel at the handlebar.
|I didn't have to shift my weight far to make something happen. It's a very intuitive handing bike.|
How does it compare? Let's compare Niner's RIP 9 RDO 29 with another famous Colorado brand: Yeti's 29-inch-wheel SB 130. The Yeti and Niner both share 150-millimeter forks, but the Niner sports 140 millimeters of rear wheel travel, while the Yeti has ten millimeter less. Not a big difference, but there are times when a little more can be a game saver. Both bikes have similar head angles, with the SB 130 at 65.5 and the RIP 9 at 66 degrees. not much difference there, especially considering you can run the Niner at 65 with the chip.
SDG Tellis Dropper: Stiff action and a wobbly thumb lever were not a good first impression for this new entry.
Eagle XO1: Hard to justify the expense to step up to XX1 when SRAM's second tier 12 speed performs so well.
New frame design: You may balk at the cross-stays that Niner designed into the new RIP's chassis but this thing rails turns and eats up the chop, just like its creators promised it would.
SRAM Ultimate brakes: No issues, Good stoppers, but after riding Codes for a season, I think their power and modulation would be a better fit.