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Niner RIP 9 RDO XT Complete Mountain Bike -2017

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5 Reviews



If you're coming from a less-aggressive machine, the Niner RIP 9 RDO XT Complete Mountain Bike is sure to blow away your expectations of just how fast you can ride down the steepest, rockiest zones of your local trail ecosystem. This big-wheeled brute resembles Niner's 2016 WFO more than the previous RIP 9, seeing it features 150 millimeters of plush, rock-swallowing travel on reserve with appropriately slack and long geometry figures to match. Niner cements the RIP 9 firmly into the all-mountain realm, seeing its aggressive demeanor and riding capabilities sit on the edge of what you'd sanely ride down without donning a full-face helmet and dual-crown fork.

For the 2017 model, the RIP 9 RDO retains its all-mountain geometry specs, stiff carbon fiber frame, CVA suspension with 150 millimeters of plush travel, ability to accept both 29-inch and 27.5+ wheels, and Boost rear axle for precise tracking over chunky, rock-strewn terrain. Boost allows the rear end to clear wider 3.0-inch tires in 27.5+ form, which affords gobs of traction and a smoother feel across especially rocky terrain. In 29er form seen here, you'll find it clears the 2.5-inch tires becoming increasing popular for their excellent grip and smoother feel over unruly trail sections.

Delving into its geometry, you'll find the RIP 9 RDO features a relatively slack 66.5-degree head tube angle that keeps you composed and confident at high speeds and on steep descents, but without pushing things into overly slack realms like many long-travel 29ers on the market. Niner retains the longer top tube of the previous version as well, which pairs well with wide bar/short stem combos for increased stability and better handling at high speeds. 17.3-inch chainstays strike a nice balance between agile cornering and straight line dominance on the trail. Additionally, the steeper 75-degree seat tube angle places you in an optimal position to lay down power on climbs, meaning this bike is actually much better at pedaling uphill than its long-travel figures would suggest.

There's oodles of radness with this 2017 RIP 9 RDO, but two things remain pleasantly unchanged over the previous version: The Race Day Optimized (RDO) frame construction method and the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspension design. RDO involves a dual-compression process that eliminates resin pooling and imperfections by allowing 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 reinforce the structure where it's needed and reduce material where it'll save weight without sacrificing stiffness. The result marks the nexus of low weight and efficient durability that's equal to trail abuse.

The RIP 9 RDO's CVA suspension design is also unchanged, but it allows that design to play with more travel. This brings it up to 150mm—which parallels the older WFO—and optimizes it for descending fast in hairy terrain while keeping it surprisingly responsive when you punch 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 designers 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 helping to silence 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.

  • Big-wheeled brute for conquering steep, rock-infested trails
  • 6in of CVA travel smooths out rocky terrain and bigger hits
  • RDO carbon lay up saves weight and provides optimal stiffness
  • Accepts both 29 in and 27.5+ wheels for greater versatility
  • Boost rear spacing clears 29 x 2.5in and 27.5 x 3in tires
  • Shimano XT 1x11 drivetrain provides a wide range of gears
  • RockShox Yari RC DebonAir 160mm fork for big-hit composure
  • Race Face Aeffect R wheels withstand all-mountain thrashings
  • Item #NNR009J

Tech Specs

Frame Material
RDO carbon
Rear Shock
Rear Travel
150 mm
RockShox Yari RC DebonAir
Front Travel
160 mm
Shimano XT SL-M8000 I-Spec II Trigger Shifter, 11-speed
Front Derailleur
Rear Derailleur
Shimano XT RD-M8000, 11-speed
yes, ISCG-05
Shimano XT FC-M8000 Boost
Crank Arm Length
175 mm
Bottom Bracket
Shimano XT BB-MT800 Bottom Bracket BSA Threaded
Shimano XT CS-M8000, medium cage
Shimano XT/Ultegra CN-HG701, 11-speed
Shimano XT BL-M8000
Brake Type
hydraulic disc
Shimano SLX RT66, 180 mm
Race Face Aeffect R, 35 mm
Handlebar Width
780 mm
Lizard Skins Moab lock-on
Race Face Aeffect R, 35 mm clamp
Stem Length
50 mm
WTB Volt Comp with steel rails, 142 mm
Race Face Turbine Dropper, 125 mm
Race Face Aeffect R, Boost
Front Axle
15 x 110 mm Boost
Rear Axle
12 x 148 mm Boost
Vittoria Morsa G Plus TNT (Anthracite, TNT, G+)
Tire Size
29 x 2.3 in
Recommended Use
enduro, trail
Manufacturer Warranty
5 years

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

What a Ripper!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This bike really took me by surprise. I had some pretttyyy bad experiences on the previous generation Rip9 so was hesitant riding this. I rode a Medium frame which didn't feel too small given that I should be on a large. So take my review with the perspective that this was all on a smaller bike than I'm used to.

The thing cornered SO well and stayed planted in turns. Part of that was due to the awesome Vittoria tires, but the bike itself felt quick from edge to edge. It felt very intuitive pointing the bike where I wanted it to go, and at high speeds it complied.

Climbing was great! Very comfortable pedaling position on top of the BB and for a 66* HA angle the front end didn't flop around on low speed technical climbs.

While the front end of the bike felt good, I couldn't really figure out the back end. It may have been my suspension setup but the rear of the bike felt clunky and dead, there wasn't a lot of liveliness to it. I also didn't like the pedals I was using, which makes it hard to confidently pressure the bike. So that very well could have been the back felt like a mystery to me.

Overall this bike, *especially* as built and priced, is a great trail/all mountain bike. The thing will handle pretty much everything, and feels like a really good balance between pedaling and downhill riding. If you're looking for one bike to be a balance between riding and pedaling, this will be a great option. Maybe not the best for chunky gnarly downhill, but a very comfortable bike that will handle a vast majority of the trails out ther.e

Was Very Impressed

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

As a rider of shorter stature, I've stayed away from 29 inch wheels the last few seasons, but I had a chance to ride this bike recently and it actually blew me away. I was a bit intimidated with how big the bike seemed but as soon as we hit tight singletrack it was impressively nimble and easy to throw around. It climbed far better than I would have imagined as well.

Don't look over it

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

This bike was a ton of fun in Moab on some pretty gnarly terrain. Coming from an XC background, I had some pretty high expectations demoing a significantly bigger bike. I was impressed with the stability while descending rocky terrain. The big wheels rolled over rough sections well and was pretty quick on last second descents. It handled drops on slickrock well and climbed steep pitches just fine for a slack bike. I wouldnt use this bike as an everyday trail bike but would be happy throwing a leg over it when I am looking to have a fun timeon more technical terrain. For the price, its a great value bike and would recommend. I did damage the rim which caused a flat, but the rest of the bike got the job done.

Underrated LT 29er

    There's been a lot of (deserved) hype the new gen of long travel 29ers like the Ibis Ripmo, Santa Cruz Hightower LT, and Yeti SB 5.5, and as a result the Niner RIP-9 often gets overlooked. This bike is a ton of fun and value rolled all into one pretty sweet ready to go package. You get a tried and true Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain, Fox DPX2 shock in the back and Rockshox Yari fork in the front. In the event that you'd prefer a GX-Eagle 12 speed drivetrain, these bikes are custom built from frame up so the sales team can get you set up for likely a pretty similar price.