The Niner JET 9 RDO is a full carbon fiber full suspension bike from a company dedicated to ONLY 29ers and with a long history of cutting edge ideas and innovation. Expect this bike to give other carbon fiber 29ers like the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Gary Fisher Superfly (and the forth coming Ibis 29er) a run for their money. Continue reading →
I test rode a number of bikes from Santa Cruz, Yeti, Giant and Niner and the Jet 9 RDO was definitely my favorite. Among other strengths was its responsiveness and low center of gravity.
I placed an order at my LBS in mid-March, and they were told it would arrive no later than mid-April, which seemed long but tolerable. Now it's early May and Niner hasn't even responded to calls from the shop. Sigh.
I think I will love it once it arrives, but my suggestion to others is to strongly consider other brands unless the model they want is in stock at their shop.
Strengths: Handling - it is like riding a long surfboard, that is still light and responsive enough to flick.
Stiffness - it goes where you put it and stays there.
Durability - took mine on six weeks of varied riding. I put it through the wringer. Doesn't gleam like it used to, but it performed flawlessly in a wide range of trails. The rockiness of Downieville, the steepness and speed of Mt. Seven, the endless climbs and tight, off-camber singletrack of Oakridge, the unrelenting sidehill of the North Umpqua, the beat-out trails of Santa Cruz, the flowy trails of Tahoe, Bend, and Revelstoke, (and the illegal ones in Santa Cruz), and the variety of Fernie. It's built tough.
Suspension is close to perfect. A little bit stiff, which is great for climbing, but it still opens up to handle the high speed hits you'll take on it.
And it is beautiful. Most high end mountain bikes are well designed tools. The Jet 9RDO is a blend of a perfectly crafted tool and functional art.
Weaknesses: Tight switchbacks - still can't get around them like I could on my first generation Trance 1, or Kona hardtail.
Price. Less expensive this year though if you look around.
And cable routing. Out of the box, the shifting wasn't perfect. Had to get it redone by my LBS. Good now.
I think it is a perfect machine. When I get a bike, I research it based on what I've had, what I've liked, what I want to do, and the fact that I ride it for at least five years. It came down to the Niner, or a Santa Cruz Tallboy LT in carbon, or the unattainable Specialized S-works 29'er. I have always liked DW-link based suspensions, and the Niner was the closest to that design.
It might be a bit stiffer than other bikes on the small hits and while pedaling, but it is built to go fast all day. With the two different wheelsets I can either race it, or go for a 50 mile backcountry ride. It works in both environments. I've been mountain biking for almost twenty years, drive a Tacoma that is that old, and don't own a couch. I invest in my mountain sports equipment, and the Niner is what I think of as perfection in a backcountry trail bike that can be enduro raced.
Duration Product Used: One glorious summer, so far
Purchased At: Bike Bling
Similar Products Used: the original Trance 1 - rode it for seven years
Specialized 29'er - nice rental bike to test ride the bigger wheels
A few different hardtails built to race/trail bike spec. The Kona Kula was the best one of the lot.
Bike Setup: XL in black
Fox Talus fork and shock - both with Kashima coating
Enve AM rims with Chris King Hubs/Easton EC90 wheels
Schwalbe Nobby Nics 2.35/Rocket Rons 2.25 - both tubeless
Sram XO shifters, derailleurs
Sram XX cranks in black - 2x10
Magura MT-8 brakes and rotors (180's on the front)
Thompson Elite Masterpiece Post
Niner carbon flat bar
Chris King headset
Fizik Gobi full carbon saddle - which is a little bit stiffer than the metal railed versions. May not be a good thing.
XTR trail pedals
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2013
Strengths: Nice Geometry, CVA platform works great and awesome looking bike. Very light, responsive and can handle all the trails I throw at it.
Weaknesses: Cable routing is a little complicated and if not done right, it can cause ghost shift when hitting bumps on the trail.
This bike is awesome, it has made me a much better rider. I had a Ibis Mojo SL which was a great bike as well but the Jet 9 RDO blows it out of the water. It climbs very efficient and descends even better by blasting thru rock gardens as if they were flat. Expensive? Yes and the "you get what you pay for cliche" does apply.
Similar Products Used: Ibis Mojo SL, Yeti 575 and Giant Anthem X29er
Bike Setup: 2012 Vana White Jet 9 RDO:
2013 Black Fox Talas F29 95-120mm:
Industry Nine 29er Wheelset with XX1 setup:
Schwalbe 29x2.25 Racing Ralph Tubeless setup:
2013 Kind Shock LEV 125mm remote seatpost:
Sram XX1 Drivetrain and Shifter system:
Niner Cabon Flat Top Bar 710mm:
Fizik Saddle, Easton Stem, ODI lock on grips and XTR pedals
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: January 28, 2013
Strengths: Frame weight and build materials
Weaknesses: Cable routing to hard
I have few other bikes ibis hd ,specialized stump sworks and yeti 575 and I think I understand 29 now, I just got this bike,this is how I define this bike compared to my all 26s
Ibis hd --Porche do it all fun and very sexy bike climbs ok , downhill perfection
Stumpy sworks--- Ferrari fast close to the ground brain susp has to be set up right to enjoy climb better than ibis, fast and light downhill ok need to get the right lane
Yeti 575-- Toyota Tacoma... Long lasting fun up and down my oldest bike bought it in 2007 still haveit fun fun
The jet nine rdo 29--Cadillac -- I haven't race in7 years and I finally did it this week, I got the bike 3 days before the race (20 miles) It was flat bumpy road with a 30 min climb with almost 98F and this bike surprise me a lot it can go just pedal smooth and I finish the race with my legs in perfect shape, passing 26 ers all the time so that said For me 29ers are for long rides and it climbs perfect coming down hard feels strange but it just go over things easier than 26, buy this bike if u do cross country race with lots of straight roads and lots of climbs never feel bob in rear susp, plus it's almost as sexy as ibis...... I think yeti has to go now jet 9 rdo is my new race bike ..... Come ride to Cabo all year long
Strengths: Stiff but plush. Efficient pedalling platform. Light for a full suspension 29er. Niner frames always look awesome and their new post/stem/bars really finish it off.
Weaknesses: The internal cable routing can be a pain but is worth it in my opinion. It looks great and keeps the cables clean.
I have had this bike for almost a year now and still enjoy it. I have several other bikes but this one will stay around for a while. I have it built up at 23.5lbs including pedals and it's a Large. SID WC Fork, Niner Cockpit, Enve Wheels, XX drivetrain and XTR brakes. I have done several long rides on some rocky trails in the range of 6-8 hrs and was thankful for the cush. I had always ridden hardtails due to weight and pedal efficiency but this bike has me rethinking that.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2012
Strengths: Climbing, descending, the fit, cable routing, design. HANDLING..
Weaknesses: Can't find one
Reviewing the 2013 Jet 9 RDO. Outstanding!! The bike climbs like a hard tail and descends even faster with the smoothness and comfort of a full suspension. The ergonomics and the handling is what sets this bike apart. I test rode the Specialized, the Trek Epic, the Santa Cruz Tall boy, (all great bikes) and I have owned the Ibis Mojo, Mojo SL, and Mojo HD; And I can honestly say for all trail riding and handling I feel this is the best bike I have ever been on. It is extremely fast! For straight up trail riding, cross country, and all mountain it is a nimble bike, you feel perfect in the cockpit and It is very responsive. The CTD shock is easy to access. This bike is perfect for someone who enjoys trail riding, racing, or just beating your friends to the top:)
Strengths: Excellent geometry, Great CVA Suspension, plush but with very little bob, laterally stiff, all the latest standards (HS, BB, etc.), great climber, excellent descender, good durability, excellent customer service, nice attention to details (Chain stay protector, 3M tape under downtube, etc)
Weaknesses: The black color shows the carbon fiber under the sun light, and this type of carbon layout is not uniform. Not a big deal for me, but I know some might be dissapointed.
I've had the bike for ~1 year and I still love it. I normally change bike every year, but this one I will keep longer. It just feels great. Built under 25lbs. Full XX + XTR brakes. I9 Wheels, Racing Ralph, WCS cockpit. I have had lots of bikes (Ibis, Stumpjumper FSR, Jet9 Alu, Gary Fisher SS, Niner Air Carbon SS, etc.), and and often demo other high end bikes when traveling on business (Epic, Epic 29er, Yeti, Trek, Pivot, Giant). Mostly XC riding. I even did some downhill stuff in Crested Butte. My Reba XX was under a lot of stress, but the RDO performed very nicely. Excellent pedaling efficiency, yet quite plush and comfy. I really feel like "one" with the bike.
Strengths: Light yet stiff, loads of traction, great climber, very comfortable, inspires confidence.
Weaknesses: Nothing so far
Ive had (have) bikes from Ellsworth (truth and moment and formerly an old ID), two 5 spots from Turner, a couple of Specialized (both stump jumpers), and a Santa Cruz Blur, and I have to say, this is by far my favorite bike. The suspension design (which worried me at first, having primarily ridden horst link type bikes) is excellent. It climbs like nobody's business. Its uncanny how much traction it has, over loose or rocky trails. It inspires confidence. I've been riding for many years, but I'm not one to go out and nail jumps or big drops etc...this bike makes me want to go out do those things, and worse, makes me believe I can nail those jumps without killing myself. I haven't had this much fun riding in long time...It feels like getting that first true BMX bike when you were a kid...it looks fast and even though I'm old and slow, it makes me feel fast...what more can someone ask for? Sure its expensive, but in my case, its worth it because it makes me look forward to riding and thats worth a lot more than what I paid for the bike.
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2012
Strengths: This is my first XCish bike. I have an all mtn turner, but mainly race road as a Cat 2. This is my first 29'r. I love it. It is a climbing machine, but doesnt suffer on the downhill either. There are several steep rocky rides around Bozeman and this thing handles them no problemo. Traction is awesome, build quality is great. XO build kit rocks. I really have no complaints! my XL bike came in at 24 lbs.
Weaknesses: Not as fast as a carbon hardtail for short xc racing, but we all know that already. It is a carbon, full suspension bike with awesome components so it is expensive, but we all knew that already too. This is not a huck machine, but you knew that as well.
This bike had been put through the test. I am 6-5 195lbs, have raced XC, ENDURO, and have done 50 mile singletrack days on this bike. I have a penchant for breaking wheels, deraileurs, chains, freehubs, axels, hangers, even a frame or two. etc. After 3 months, I have yet to true the wheel or do anything to the bike other than clean it. It corners better than my 26" turner, faster on the flats, climbs better, is way lighter, and way sexier. This could be the ultimate "quiver of one" bike.
Strengths: Solid, stiff where it matters. Good looking in person. Good fit and finish.
Weaknesses: High quality does not come cheap. Ended up a bit heavier then I would prefer. Niner has a hard time meeting demand. Internal run shifting cables while look nice are going to be harder to service.
I rode a Niner Jet 9 alum SRAM X7 last season. I was so happy with that bike, I decided to go all out on a Jet 9 RDO from Hammerhead Bikes. This bike is the alum version on steroids. It does a fantastic job of getting the pedal stroke to the rear wheel. The extra 20mm of travel all the way around is a significant improvement, but the tight turning handling does not suffer. I went with the Fox TALAS 120 fork. What a world of improvement that is over my former RockShox Reba RL. Rarely use the 95mm setting. At first, the Enve wheels felt way too harsh. I have since lowered the tire pressure to 24 psi and that has really helped make these strong light wheels more comfortable.
Strengths: supper stiff, very efficient under pedaling, zero peddle induced motion. Climbs really well and decends with excellent stability and smoothness. FIrst full suspension bike I have had that you can climb out of the saddle with good efficiency
Weaknesses: nearly as quick at turning on single track as best 26 XC rigs. Not cheap, essecially since really high end wheels are need to keep a 29er quick at accelerating
Its hard to justify $6700 on a bike, but this one is really nice for cross country and light to medium down hill riding. Excellent climber and 29er descends much more confidently then a 26 inch bike. Less twitchy, roles over almost anything, less likely to kick the back out. Only area a light 26 XC bike would have on this is supper quick tight single track, but not by much. Excellent all around XC rig with the most efficient pedaling full suspension I have ever tried.
Similar Products Used: 26 Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon with Mavic SLR wheels (hey this bike is fun to)
Bike Setup: Haven carbon rims, Fox Talas 120/98mm shock. XTR
a Cross Country Rider
from evergreen, co
Date Reviewed: February 14, 2012
Strengths: Great XC geometry-even with 120mm front fork. Have run both 100 & 120mm and works great in either w/o slowing down the steering. Really fun with 120mm though. so much more than just xc race, great trail bike also.
Carbon frame- light, stiff, great energy transfer from BB to forward momentum. low center of gravity. 5lbs frame
CVA- efficient when the trail turns upward w/o too much loss of energy for a 4" travel design. RP23 is great shock for frame
Can build up light,( I'm at 24 lbs), w/ high limits on your credit card.
Weaknesses: Tricky cable routing, until watching you tube video, then made sense. See video before attempting yourself.
Slight internal cable shifting noise when down shifting with size large frame and using XTR, working on issue, but minor deal
Price- Not the cheapest, but so far the best bike that I've own, and I've had my fair share over the past 20 years. Kudos to engineers at niner.
After almost 3 months on bike, pretty neat toy. Great acceleration, steering is quick and precise. Can build lightweight. Niner really got the geometry nailed on this model. I hope the durability is there, but with the 5 yr warranty, sounds like your covered.
Frame sizing has some crossover, so be careful and do your homework w/ geometry. I'm 5,11 and 34"inseam and could ride both Med and Large frame but went with Large and shorter stem and fits like a glove and you really feel in the bike, very neutral/natural fit.
CVA is tried and true and has a very efficient feel and BB doesn't feel too low.
Propedal is nice to have, open it up and this bike is so much more than a XC race bike and very trail worthy, especially w/ 120mm fork.
I was leery but glad shop talked me into longer travel to up the fun factor of this frame.
Give the guys a call at Golden Bikes, Golden, Co, they will do you right and have a lot of experience with these frames. Enjoy
Bike Setup: RDO-(large), Fox float 120, Full XTR 2x10, Easton EC90xc, Thomson cockpit-24lbs
a Cross Country Rider
from Pueblo, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: January 3, 2012
Strengths: Very stiff. Climbs and corners well. New Fox shock is really impressive.
Weaknesses: Internal cable routing is a bit tricky.
Having owned several suspension bikes, including the Al Jet-9 (which met an untimely demise), I can definitely notice a difference on this bike. First, it is noticeably lighter than the previous version. Mine comes in about 24 lbs.-probably could have been lighter with a different wheel spec. But about 3 lbs. lighter than the aluminum version-obviously not all frame weight-a combination of some lighter spec'd parts since I built the Al version 2 years ago. Needless to say the combination of a lighter frame and the new Fox shock makes a big difference in the climbing/accelerating department. My old bike was a little sluggish but had great traction. This thing is truly an upgrade. Standing, sitting it doesn't matter. Just crank away and you will be amazed. There is very little if any squishyness. I'm sure the shock moves, but I don't notice it like I do on the Yeti-which is a simple linkage design.
Second, the carbon frame soaks up a lot of trail vibration. I was amazed at how the little chatter just didn't get through like on my Al bike. A huge difference.
Third, because of the stiffness it corners like a beast. Almost as good as my Yeti 26er, not quite as flickable, but rock solid.
The frame has good mud clearance too. I haven't had the chance to take it out for more than a 20 mile ride so I'm not sure how it will work as a marathon type bike but I suspect it will shine on epic 50 milers. Also, I can't say enough about the new XT brakes-amazing power and modulation with the new ICE rotors. The XTR shifts amazingly crisp as always.
Lastly, I would like to thank the guys at Hammerhead Bikes. I'm really glad they recommended the SID XX fork. It is extremely light and I believe a shock with negative pressure can't be beat on a 29er for when you have to push the front wheel into a corner. These guys know their 29ers.