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Ready to take off.

When the JET 9 RDO Carbon Mountain Bike Frame first kicked dirt into the eyes of cynics, it broke every preconceived opinion of ultralight full-suspension 29ers. It also marked RDO as a true, no-holds-barred quality designation. And since the introduction of the Race Day Optimized JET 9, Niner's added components, a hardtail, and a mid-travel full-suspension to the lineup, placing Niner well ahead of the 29er-super-bike curve.

Where the hardtail AIR 9 RDO is going to be a sprinter's favorite, and the full-suspension RIP 9 RDO is an enduro and backcountry racer's dream, the JET 9 RDO is a cross-country marathon machine. 100mm of lauded CVA suspension combined with one of the most refined and technically advanced carbon chassis to date, has resulted in a package that possess a mountain of high-speed potential.

What you're looking at is not just a feathery, eye-pleasing frame, you're looking at hundreds of hours of 29er-specific research and development. Niner turned this R&D into an optimized carbon monocoque structure by using the latest in computer modeling to explore every conceivable option. Then, after accumulating hours and hours of prototype-fatigue testing at both in-house and independent testing facilities, Niner places the protos under highly skilled, enthusiastic, and abusive riders. The results are clear -- take a look at the bottom bracket area; massive and menacing. It houses the new BB30 PressFit standard, a direct-mount front derailleur interface, the shock mount, and mounts for the lower forged aluminum linkage. This packaging focuses dynamic forces into a central area where the carbon structure is tuned for heightened strength and efficiency. It also results in a lower center of gravity, where the 29er's advantage of a lower BB-height in relation to the axle center line is heightened for a truly lively handling on trails crowded with tractor-trailers.

Adding to the JET 9 RDO's pinpoint and enthusiastic handling are details like a tapered head tube, 12x142mm rear spacing, and angular contact bearings. The combination of stiff rear and front triangles connected with high tolerance, high-load bearings results in a flex-free chassis with excellent trail manners. Other bonuses are that it allows the CVA suspension to move freely through its travel, and it also prevents side loading on the Kashima coated Fox Float CTD. If you're unfamiliar with Niner's Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension system, it's not an existing 26 inch-wheeled platform adapted to 29ers. Instead, Niner started with a clean sheet, which meant it could tweak the links and pivots to enhance the ride for big wheels. They placed the extra stiff carbon upper and CNC'd alloy lower links in positions that isolate pedaling forces, while remaining fully active under every conditions.

Notice that the alloy lower link sits below the bottom bracket, this places the CVA's instant center in a virtual position located ahead of the drivetrain, causing chain tension at the rear axle to pull the two linkages in opposite directions. This effectively isolates the drivetrain from the rear triangle. So, when you press on the pedals, nothing's lost to compressing the suspension, and you won't suffer any kickback from chainstay growth when pedaling through rock gardens.

Another key feature of CVA is its low ratio of shock stroke to suspension movement. This decreases the amount of preload needed, which translates into smooth, effective damping and less drag on shock seals. Differing Niner's CVA design even further from its competitors are its super-short chainstays. This is possible because CVA doesn't inhibit front derailleur placement or operation, something that plagues full suspension 29ers by forcing excessively long chainstays. Short chainstays are vital to full-suspension 29ers, directly affecting their ability to easily negotiate tight switchbacks. Because the rear tire's tucked under the rider, the Jet 9 RDO remains planted when carving turns, and it's highly maneuverable in technical situations.

To complement the JET 9 RDO's impeccable proportions is internal cable routing, and to ensure that its carbon finish stays fresh is a molded chain-slap protector. It uses a post mount rear disc brake, and a 31.6mm seatpost. For those of you who intend on running a one-by drivetrain, such as SRAM’s XX1, the JET 9 RDO will clear up to a 38t ring, with a 168mm Q Factor crankset.

The Niner Jet 9 RDO Carbon Mountain Bike Frame is available in the color Niner Green and in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large.

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Niner JET 9 RDO Carbon Mountain Bike Frame - 2014

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

A great fit for smaller riders.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

As a small rider (5' 2") I've encountered difficulties in finding frames small enough to fit. With Niner's new XS frame option, it's no longer an issue as the frame fits beautifully. Also, the bike looks like it fits me. There's plenty of stand-over for shorter riders which means I'll actually have a seatpost . The CVA suspension design is the first I've ridden that truly isolates your pedaling from bumps in terrain which means it climbs extremely well while still remaining active. Plus, the larger wheels and quick handling mean you can really let it rip on the downhills. I've been riding and racing mountain bikes for years but the Jet 9 RDO will really enable me to make strides in my descending this year. Race build came to 21.6lbs.

A great fit for smaller riders.
5 5

the "send it" of xc bikes

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm a fan of party in the front, business in the back. The Jet 9 RDO with a 120mm fork is the perfect setup for this bike, especially when matched with a stiff set of wheels like the Enve XC rims. It rides like and XC bike uphill - meaning fast and without bobbing around, but where it really surprises me is going down - tight switch backs, root to rock double jump gaps, whoops, rock garden step downs, you name it - I'm having far too much fun for a bike this light. None of this would be possible if the linkage was flexing and putting the bike in two different ruts at once. Its the tightness of the bike, the overall zero-slop build quality that really impressed me on the first ride.

Responded on

Jason are you riding a Med or Lg frame? Whats the build weight?

"Race Day Optimized"

"Race Day Optimized"

Posted on

This frame is truly RDO. While its not the smoothest or most comfortable 29er I've owned, It's definitely the fastest. To me, The CYA suspension rides like a hardtail but takes the edge off the largest bumps. I found I needed about 10% sag to keep from harsh bottom outs but after some research the shock is set of lighter riders. If you're average to large, do yourself a favor and tune the rear shock with a volume reducer kit (cause air pressure to ramp up faster)

4 5


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wouldn't consider this a Race Day bike but it is amazing. The suspension works really well and is super smooth. My 2013 frame has the cable stop head badge (Dislike) but the new frame has fixed this problem. My only quam really is the weight. My bike with XX1 and SLR wheels is close to 24lbs.

Responded on

Curious what the difference is in the head badge/cable routing for 2014. It looks the same? if you have any experience with 27.5 setups, how would you compare the ride of this particular 29er to 27.5 or other 29ers for someone who wants maneuverability and more of an XC setup like this offers?

Responded on

Dang, I had a very long detailed response and the website blocked it.... Here's my short. I really like this frame. The routing for mid 2013 and 2014 should be the same (fully sealed housing). I personally wouldn?t call this a race bike but it is very capable. It isn't as maneuverable as my Cannondale (feels like the back end is a little longer)... I wouldn't ride/race anything but a 29er, unless I was paid to. The RDO is very plush and I really like the feel. Test one if you're under 5'-5", you may not like the wheel size. All in all, I really like it. It's a keeper for me, just not a pure race bike.