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We've been convinced by Niner's ability to dominate the market of 29er bikes for some time, and we'll admit we were a bit shocked by the sudden drift their designers took to adopt the 27.5+ wheel, but after one ride, we're convinced. The Niner Jet 9 RDO 27.5+ 3-Star GX Eagle complete mountain bike has managed to capture the trail-ready geometry of a Niner all-mountain bike, with the added plush squish of a plus sized tire. This extra plush-take on the Jet 9 lands you with a bike that soaks up extra blows, and grips corners like it's going out of style, while still riding with the squat-free pedal stroke of CVA suspension.
When things started out for Niner Bikes, it was apparent from the name alone that their founders had a strong belief that 29-inch wheels were the superior mode of transportation on a mountain bike, and their designers more or less defined the category of proper 29er geometry. This particular 3-Star GX Eagle build holds true to those roots, but allows for the flexibility to swap to a whole new tire size all together, the 27.5+. This model comes to you with 27.5+ wheels, ready to soak up the rocks and sink tread into loose banked turns for secure cornering and a plush ride. Since Boost spacing allowed engineers to widen the hub spacing to a lofty 148mm, the rear end can now charge down the mountain with up to a 27.5 x 3-inch tire with enough clearance for mud. It's easy to swap the bike back to a 29er, if you feel so inclined, by simply removing an air spring from the fork to drop it 10mm, or removing the 15mm bottom-headset cup.
The latest update to the Niner Jet 9 RDO frame moved the speedy XC race geometry, and gave it a bit of a makeover to make it a better all-around trail bike for sending it on the whole mountain. An additional 20mm of travel was added to the Continuously Varying Arc (CVA) rear suspension, which brings the total to 120mm, and added the ability to swap back and forth between 29er and 27.5+ wheels. The headtube moved a bit slacker, the seattube steeper, and the reach stretched out a bit longer, making the Jet 9 a much more trail-hungry beast than in previous years. For those worried about the loss of an XC bike, the RKT has stepped in to take the race-rocket place of the Jet as the new go-to for an XC race machine.
Climbing is efficient with Niner's Constant Varying Arc suspension, without compromising that smooth and bottomless feel we covet. CVA, along with FOX's Float DPS Performance Evol rear shock, manages to throw 4.7-inches of boulder-hungry travel into the rear end for gobbling up rock gardens and rooty tree lines. CVA works by pulling the bottom link down as you pedal, avoiding pedal bob, while the top linkage is free to move and respond to rocks and bumps on the way up.
Complimenting CVA and the Fox Float DPS Factory rear shock is a Fox 34 Float Factory Fit4 fork, equipped with 130mm of buttery-smooth Kashima-coated travel for soaking up rocks and blows on the trail. The 34mm stanchions offer supple support for tracking your line down the mountain with confidence. This particular build is designed around the 27.5+ wheel, making a 130mm fork appropriate for its geometry when paired with a lower headset cup, but Niner recommends either removing the bottom cup or a token to lower the fork, and compensate for the subtle changes in fit and geometry, along with bottom bracket height when you're feeling the need to run a bigger 29er wheel. The 3-star GX build sees SRAM's GX Eagle drivetrain, which offers a massive 10-50-tooth 12-speed cassette. With the plusses of Eagle, you'll find a gear for any climb or descent, with a huge bailout cog for those super steep and punchy moments when a 42 or 46-tooth won't do. SRAM's GX Eagle has the technology of their XX1 and X01, but with a bit more weight and huge price savings, making eagle attainable to those looking to keep a tighter budget. While the 3-star build does feature most of the same drivetrain components as the lesser 2-star build, the upgraded shock and fork elevate this build, along with the upgrade to Stan's NoTubes Baron 27.5+ wheels, which are lighter, stiffer, and more responsive than the more basic Niner alloy hoops on the 2-star option.
The lightweight RDO carbon that makes up the Jet 9 RDO is resilient, and designed to create a singletrack slayer. Niner's method for completing a carbon layup manages to squeeze out excess resin during the molding process, which reduces pooling, voids, and maintains precision when it comes to thickness and construction. The carbon fiber layup has ports for internal cable routing, so you can end with a clean finish. The frame is designed to capture long, low geometry that's popular in today's trail bikes. The longer reach allows you to run a shorter stem, which enables quick handling, while keeping your weight back, so long descents are a breeze. Shorter chainstays come in at just 434mm, tucking the rear wheel up underneath you, so you'll find better climbing traction, and agility for flicking the bike through tight switchbacks and trees. For the perfect balance between slack and steep, the head angle falls at 67.5-degrees, perfect for precise steering with both slow-speed encounters and high-speed stability.
- A plush and grippy 27.5+ trail bike with 29er capabilities
- 4.7in CVA suspension adds 20mm of travel over previous Jet 9
- Dialed geometry scales climbs and crushes descents
- SRAM GX Eagle elevates your gear range to the next level
- Kashima-coated Fox suspension is buttery smooth
- Lightweight and stiff RDO carbon fiber construction
- Can be swapped to a 29in wheelset for quick rolling wagon wheels
- Item #NNR006W