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Given the significant changes Niner made to it between 2016 and 2017, we're actually surprised that the Jet 9 RDO 5-Star Eagle X01 Complete Mountain Bike wasn't given a whole new model name. It's now longer across the top, slacker up front, steeper out back, and has 20 more millimeters of Continuously Varying Arc (CVA) travel. The frame was completely redesigned in order to make it just a little bit better at everything that has made the Jet 9 such a success. Whether climbing, descending, or just exulting in pure, singletrack speed, Niner's latest Jet 9 RDO lives up to the brand's reputation as the go-to for wagon wheels.
Before we dive deeper into the frame, though, we'll linger briefly on the build kit, which centers on ENVE HV wheels and SRAM's shiny new Eagle X01 12-speed drivetrain. With the addition of a 50t granny cog, Eagle is like a gift from on high when you find yourself out of gas, out of mettle, but not yet out of the woods, climbing-wise. The X01 version may not have the glitzy sparkle of XX1, but Niner's new Jet 9 paint scheme more than makes up for any lost bling. And anyway, the absurd versatility of the frame underneath that paint is going to end up stealing the show as soon as rubber hits dirt.
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—far and away—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 eliminating the creaks, groans, and pops that so often accompany PressFit models. Vulnerable bits are girded with titanium protection plates. The frame also includes integrated batter 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
- Increased tire clearance for more traction and lower PSI
- RDO carbon construction drops grams to gain speed
- Compatible with electronic drivetrain routing and battery storage
- SRAM Eagle pushes mountain bikes into the world of 12-speed
- ENVE HV carbon wheels let big tires sit fat
- Item #NNR0057
- Q & A
A serious competitor!
I just got back from Moab and spent a extremely fun afternoon testing out the new Jet 9 RDO and I must say I am most impressed! I was always a fan of the previous gen as it was the fastest/stiffest XC race bike out there. A great bike in its own right but could beat the heck out of you over 2+ hr rides. I found the new model to have very similar qualities as far as stiffness and agility but the longer suspension really helped to soften the ride quality yet still be a very stiff bike for power transfers. I spent about 3.5 hrs on it over some moderately technical trails and found the bike to still have very impressive agility. The bike was very efficient at climbing even though its a lot slacker than the previous version. The handling of the bike downhill was impressive as well. A very fast descender that maintains control throughout the plunge. Over all this bike was very fun to ride and Niner did a great job of keeping that race ready 29r reputation in check while creating a sweet epic trail bike for the more technical trails.
Im 5'10 with a 33" inseam and the large fit great
If you have specific questions with this bike feel free to reach out to me direct.
Wes Branham- Account Manager Bike
Are you sure you need to be 13 feet tall for a size extra small, seems a little off..... :)
I do believe our sizing chart is a bit off as this isn't GiganticCyclist.com. The correct height range for an extra small would be more in the 5'0- 5'5" range. Please reach out if you have any questions on the new JET9!