The full suspension twenty-niner market has quickly become saturated as manufacturers scramble for a piece of the pie, but the Niner Jet 9 isn’t another ‘me too’ addition to the wagon-wheel pill party. As hastily adapted FS 29ers rely on existing suspension and chassis designs for a quick fix, Niner started with a clean slate to develop a suspension system optimized solely for larger wheels—the CVA. And, far from being a reactive, over-the-winter design, it’s been more than half a decade in the making . Now in its second iteration, the Jet 9 sports features and improvements that enhance its celebrated efficiency, ride, and performance.
Strengths: Incredible suspension performs well in every gear and doesn't move when climbing off the saddle. Beautiful air formed frame with a rear thru axle and 100mm of rear travel. Incredible quality and attention to detail even though this is NIner's lower price point XC full-suspension.
Weaknesses: Heavier than the carbon model, though much cheaper.
My 40+ year old lower back was bothering me on long rides and I was long overdue for a tech update with my 10 year old 26 inch hardtail. I wanted an efficient XC full suspension with as many of the new industry tech improvements as possible, and I had a strict $3000 budget to work with. I'm also used to higher end components and performance and couldn't bring myself to dip below SLX level parts. After months of research and numerous test rides, I decided on the Niner. My arctic white 2014 Jet 9 started as a budget friendly 2 star build, but my LBS upgraded me to an XT rear derailleur and a 2x10 XT crankset. Everything else is SLX, which so far (odometer has 120 miles) have performed way beyond their price point - especially the brakes!
The frame itself is beautiful, and filled with artful air formed lines and intricate machined bits. The decals are tastefully understated, but there are some really nice details like a silver stripe of Niner logos under the top tube. Red annodization adorns the pivots and bottle bosses like little gems. It's a pretty bike, pure and simple.
This is my first 29er, and my first full suspension since the late 90s. Also my first bike with thru axles, a tapered head tube, tubeless tires and a 2x10 drivetrain, so I'm loving all the new (to me) technology. Even with the bike's conspicuous lack of carbon fiber, the ride is magic, and I never feel the bike's weight (around 29 lbs for my large with pedals). Instead, I blast across the roots and rocks which I used to have to pick my way through on my 26" hardtail. I easily climb the same roots hills which had me spinning out before. This bike is nothing short of a performance enhancing drug for me, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.
I demo'd this bike for a day and put in 16 miles on my local trails that I know well. Nobby Nic f / Ignitor r. Set with the 100mm Reba. Even with the larger front tire than I'm used to, I was lapping faster than my personal ride (BMC SF29).
I believe Niner did a great job with the design. It reminded me of my old XC 26" ht bike, in both the cockpit and maneuverability - which says a lot, with it being a 29er. The best way I can describe it - I would forget that I'm on a 29er, until I start rolling over objects or feeling the grip in lean during the corners.
With the tire combination, this bike really, really took the high speed corners well. It strayed a little on the slower corners, but not much. Very efficient, superb climber. I would say the rear is perfect for climbing, if you can't stand the rut bounce of a hard tail or lock out rear. Not necessary to engage the ProPedal.
As with any XC layout, I was a bit closer to the front axle than I wanted to be ( HA with 90mm stem) - which would bring the rear end up on the faster, more technical descents. I believe this also had something to do with its hardtail characteristics, as well as the geo. But from my little experience, you can't get a dh out of an xc bike. It's a badass XC bike. I could see myself riding this thing all day, might get beat up a little on the way down, but being able to climb like this is worth it. I didn't notice the weight, but my bicep scale thinks it was ~28 lbs.
If you are looking for an XC bike, it would be silly to not test ride the Jet 9.
Similar Products Used: Redline D440, Niner EMD, Fisher Big Sur, BMC SF29.
Bike Setup: x7
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012
Strengths: very nimble, fast, great climber, goes over anything
Weaknesses: a bit heavy compared to the 26" hard tail carbon bikes (duh!)
I demo'ed this bike at OTE in Sedona and fell immediately in love with it. It's fast, it climbs and of course rides over anything. I thought about getting a 1 X10 because I ride a SS often plus save on weight but in the end went with the 2 X 10 and am not regretting it. I am a female at 5'5" and I do not notice any slow starting or feel like the bike is too big. You can tell Niner put alot of effort into the geometry, some 29ers feel sluggish when turning, not this bike. I am definitely a 29er (and Niner) fan!
Strengths: 29er wheels roll over everything, FS doesn't slow you down and feels very comfortable, fitment is amazing
My previous back was a Trek 4300 Disc, obviously 26inch wheels, hard tail, and 3x8 gearing. I purchased the Niner Jet 9 x7 Complete bike. I wanted to go to 29er and FS and this bike was highly recommended. I am 5'2" and a female and I have read a lot of posts saying short people can't ride 29ers and a lot saying we can. Let me tell you.. it fits PERFECT. I feel absolutely great on this bike. I purchased the small and my old Trek was actually a medium. The big wheels did not throw me off my game at all. The x7 complete bike comes with 2x10 which has really been the hardest thing to get used to. The granny gear is a bit harder and the shifters are completely different than my old bike, nothing bad though just takes time to get used to. I barely notice the extra power needed to get the big wheels going, the thing I really do notice is how powerful they are, once I get going they fly. I found myself going up hill riding over a group of roots that would have normally slowed me down to a crawl not even effecting the 29er wheels. I rode over a bundle of tree logs and it was as smooth as could be. I love everything about this bike and I already feel that it is making me a better and faster rider. I think the Jet9 X7 Complete is a great option if you are looking to get into a 29er FS bike, it may be a little more expensive than other brands that offer similar components, but the CVA really does feel great.
a Weekend Warrior
from Winnipeg Mb Canada
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2012
Strengths: Fast Fast Fast! It is an absolute rocket ship. Nimble, tight, no flex, comfortable geometries, light, rolls over everything and corners like it's on rails!
Weaknesses: None. Well my tires, but they will be changed.
Having had a Giant Trance and loving the Maestro suspension I was inclined to try the Anthem and Anthem 29er. The Anthem is a very nice bike and you can get a lot of bike at an affordable price. However, I find the CVT as good as the Maestro for bump compliance, and it seems to track the ground better. As well I was determined to build a 1 X 10 set up and by the time the parts got swapped out to accommodate this I would be within a couple hundred dollars of the Jet9 build. I pulled the entire build off for $3400.00 with all new parts, and got a rig that is fast, plush, catered to exactly what I want, and a hell of a lot sexier than an Anthem. I couldn't be happier.
Bike Setup: 2011 raw frame, 1 X 10 drivetrain, Truvativ Stylo 32 tooth GPX hollow crank with DMG mag pedals, Sram X0 rear derailleur and shifter, Sram casette and chain, RP 23 and Reba XX, Magura Louise brakes 180 and 160 mm, Easton EC 70 seat post, EA 70 stem, Monkeylite bar, Specialized Avatar saddle, Cane Creek headset, Stan's Arch wheels with Hutchinson Pyhon Tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston TX
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2012
Strengths: I got the 18" (I'm 5'8"; 155; with a long inseam and it fits great). Rides very much like a 26" and you don't feel like you are sitting on a unicycle. It's much lighter than I thought it would be and I'm able to get up and down almost everything that I couldn't before. This is a great bike.
Weaknesses: None yet...
This bike had everything I was looking for and didn't break the bank. I got it from an LBS who picked it up from Niner after a demo exposition. Looks brand new.
Similar Products Used: Demo'd the Niner R.I.P. (also a great bike but I didn't need that much travel and didn't want the extra weight); also Demo'd Gary Fisher HiFi and newer Superfly; and 2011 Specialized Epic Comp....however for the money, I couldn't beat the JET. Old bike was a Gary Fisher Sugar 3 fs.
Bike Setup: Reba RLT Ti - XX; SRAM XO; Stan's ZTR flow Wheels; in Orange (great color)
a Weekend Warrior
from Alexandria, LA USA
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2011
Strengths: Very smooth ride right from the start! It has a ton of power during acceleration even with the full suspension. It's my first full suspension bike and I was blown away by how well it handled through tight turns and over downhills covered in roots. It weighed just over 27lbs, but I was riding a Trek 29er hardtail and it fells much lighter than it. I do not have as much experienec riding as most of the others on this website, but I do put in about 30-40 miles/week and I can't imagine needing or wanting anothe bike for a long time. This bike has lived up to all of my expectations and more, Niner is an AWESOME company and makes an even better product!!!!
Weaknesses: Can't find any yet!
I am a novice rider that is quickly becoming familiar with this sport. I can't imagine that I could find a bike better suited for me and the type of riding I'm doing, especilly for the money I spent. The big name companies will probably always dominate the market especially for beginner riders, but this comapny and this bike should be considered right up there with all the big names! NINER KICKS ASS!!!!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2011
Strengths: Fun to ride, Good handling, Kermit green is an eye catcher. Silky smooth over rocks and roots
Weaknesses: The low pivot point under the bottom bracket. This is a home built bike, don't know if i did something wrong but the chainstay is low near the bottom bracket and after the second ride I noticed chain slap close to the bottom bracket, scarring the frame. Lizard skin did not cover this so i had to put Gorrilla tape wrap to prevent frame damage
I saved money by buying closeout items, snipe biding, and building it myself. took three months to build but if bought complete this bike would be north of $4k. The frame and all components were bought new.
I love this bike and have tremendous pride when riding it. I was getting tired of Mountain biking and started road riding. This bike has renewed my fondness of mountain biking. Definitely recommend considering this bike if your in the market for a FS 29.
It is a great bike to ride. Cornering and going down hill is predictable and tight. very little flex in the front head tube. Little pedal bounce when going up hill. I road a hard tail 26inch for 15years and this bike handles the sharp turns and switchbacks just as confidant. the hard tail climbs better on flat hills but if your climbing a hill with rocks and roots a FS has the advantage because the wheel stays on the ground with no bounce. I like to bomb the down hills and flat sections and this bike tracks well. I have gotten used to the FS, meaning that I used to raise off the seat when hitting roots but with a FS you can stay seated and it asorbs the bumps keeping the wheels on the ground. I have had no problems with tight corning on a 29.
the only weekness is in the design of the pivot points. as mentioned above the Pivot point is below the bottom bracket. This causes the the chainstay to be a little lower. There was bad chain slap on the chain stay close to the bottom braket. my lizard skin would not fit between the tire and chainstay to stop this so i put Gorilla tape to protect the frame. This is a homebuilt bike so maybe i did something wrong. but the shifting is precise and the chain stays on. If anybody has any suggestions shoot me a message.
I did extensive research and test rode the Trek HiFI and the jet 9. The Hifi was a nicely built bike but I did not feel right on it. I then demoed the jet 9 and it felt like I been riding it all my life. I chose the Fox fork because of prior issues with rock shock but I heard that since Sram purchased Rock shock the quality control is better. The easton xc 1 wheels was not my first choice but I got a good deal on a set of closeouts. I wanted chris king with stans arch. I could cut weight in this area.
Similar Products Used: Rode TI hardtail for 10 years. Tested a Trek HIFI prior to purchasing jet 9
Bike Setup: XTR cranks,sram X.0 rear der & shifters. XT front der. Fox 100RLC front fork w/tapered 9mm qr, easton xc1 wheelset, with bontrager xdx ghetto tubeless, bb7 brakes, gore ride-on cables, time A.T.A.C pedals. weight is 28.9lbs/ 13.1/kg.
a Weekend Warrior
from Howard County, MD
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2011
Strengths: All-around solid bike with many attributes (FS, relatively light, fast, good climber). Stan's Arch Wheelset. CVA with no pedal bop. Pro Pedal not used.
Weaknesses: Downshifting (not very smooth), No other color choice (complete build X-7)
Good overall bike. I'm still getting accustomed to the larger tires (coming from a 26 HT). Nothing special about components but price was right and does everything well. I do seem to climb better than my prior biek. Started running tubeless to reduce air pressure on tires. Wasn't getting a lot of traction on roots and rocks at 40 psi. Now running at 25 psi now and having much more control. Going tubeless on the Arch rims with X-King was a snap. Just used 1.5 scoups of Stan's sealant and a hand pump. This is from a person with no prior experience. I was kinda bummed about getting the X-King and ordered Race King to run with X-King up front and Race King in back. The bike was 28.5 lbs our of the box with eggbeater pedals. I'm guessing I'm running at 28 lbs now without tubes.
Similar Products Used: None, first FS 29er. coming from 26 HT.
Bike Setup: Stock Complete X-7 Build but running Tubeless. Bike came with X-King tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lincoln, NE USA
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2011
Strengths: Quality built, lack of suspension bob, handling, tough paint job, acceptable weight for 29er full-sus race bike.
Weaknesses: Not much water bottle room (but not too many full-sus do). Not a sofa, descending takes thought.
I've put this bike through a full racing season before I decided to review it. That includes 8 local XC races and the Laramie Enduro, among many fun training rides. The bike is great and has lived up to my expectations after all the research. I was really reluctant to go full suspension and took a long look before purchasing and putting together this bike. Turns out it was just what I needed. I wouldn't change anything on the build I did either. Just enough suspension to cushion, yet not so much to bog you down. Lock out the the front shock and put the pro-pedal on the most firm setting and your close to a hard tail. Perfect for almost any XC application. Not enough travel for large drops, but I don't do that and Niner has other bikes made for that. The black anodized paint has been as tough as I'd hoped, even with multiple hard crashes. If your interested, the bike weighs a hair over 26 lbs as decorated in the set-up section. The Sram small chainring 2x10 X-9 is a great match and looks good on the bike. Perfect gearing for almost all XC applications once again. The bikes handling was a little shaky a first, but then I flipped the stem and dropped a couple spacers. Felt just as nimble as a 26er through the tight stuff after that, with the added ability to roll through/over stuff better. Climbs very well and with good traction/balance. Descending does take some thought though. It's not a sofa. Found this out the hard way a couple times. Now I hang my butt way back on the steep descents. There's been no issues mechanically with the bike or cable routing. Played around with the shock pressures a lot but came back to what Niner recommends on the rear.
Final word: Get the thing dialed in and hang on! This is a fast and comfortable bike that loves XC.
Bike Setup: Anodized black medium, Sram X-9 with X/0 rear der, Easton EA 90 XC wheelset, Maxxis Ignitors set-up tubless, Niner flat top bar, Salsa grips, Easton EA 70 stem & seatpost, Formula RX brakes, Rock Shox XX w/hydraulic lockout fork.
a Cross Country Rider
from NC, USA
Date Reviewed: August 28, 2011
Strengths: Very well built. I like the 1.5 tapered HT
Weaknesses: Not a lot of room for a water bottle (med)
My first ride was about an hour long where I played with the setup; air in the shock and fork, seat height, etc. I have to be honest the steering felt very twitchy and the front wheel would not stay on the ground. I took a few lbs out of the fork and moved the seat forward. 2nd ride was completely different and I was able to put the bike through it's paces for a full 2 hrs. this time the front wheel stayed planted and the bike railed turns. used all of the front and rear suspension, the x7 is fine. If you are a cross country rider that like to push the pace this is your bike. Forget it if you are into drops or jumps, not made for that.I was able to demo this bike as well as the RIP9 and other 29ers prior to purchase- reccommended. I really enjoy this bike. 4 chilis for each one- it is great
Similar Products Used: Ventana El Rey, RIP 9 (demoed),
Bike Setup: I bought the X7 build kit. riser bars, new tubeless wheels and DT Swiss ratchet in QR's
a Cross Country Rider
from Clarksville, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: July 25, 2011
Strengths: light, strong, manueverable, comfortable, and fast.
Weaknesses: I havent found one yet with 100 miles on the odometer with 7 different trails under its belt ranging from technical Raccoon Mountain, to fast singletracks of Tanasi, to flowing banked turns of Loch 4 and roots of Montgomery Bell. It handled it all!
I love this bike. The smoothness and agility is super surprising and its ability to be stable under high speeds is remarkable.
Bike Setup: Jet 9 in the "Tang" color with a color matched Rockshox fork, RP23 Fox shock, Mavic wheels and Maxxis Ignitor tires. SRAM X9 2x10 throughout to include crank with FSA Bottom bracket and BB7...yes mechanical...disc brakes (I like to be able to fix things on the trails...provided something breaks). Thompson carbon seat tube, Cane creek head set, FSA neck and carbon Niner custom handle bars.
a Cross Country Rider
from dawsonville ga usa
Date Reviewed: July 21, 2011
Strengths: Great full suspension 9er with rp23 and set up with rock shox reba rl. Pro pedal with right sag doesn't need to be touched.
Weaknesses: Can't get rid of seat noise and can be sluggish on long climbs. This is typical for 29er.
I got the bike because I could not ride longer than 2 hours on my last hardtail 29er. This has definately helped my back and rides as well as any bike I've owned. It handles rough terrain as well as rolling trails.
Similar Products Used: GT marathon pro 26" and Jamis d29 carbon
Bike Setup: Full XTR and Avid juicy brakes. DT 450 wheels, Michelin tires, Thomson post and stem, EC90 carbon bars.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bend, OR
Date Reviewed: June 29, 2011
Strengths: Good Value. I purchased the Jet 9 Complete (Medium) with SRAM X7 2X10 components for a price far lower then buying the frame then having LBS put it together. Plush very adjustable suspension with the Fox RP32 and RockShock Reba RL 29. Excellent climbing ability. Overall happy with the SRAM X7 grade components. I find the 2X10 setup fine for steep climbs.
Weaknesses: A bit on the heavy side, tipping the scales ready to ride at 29 pounds. Only available in the "Raw" color. Spec said it would come with Conti Race King tires, but it was delivered with the heavier X-King tires.
Highly recommend for cross county use. May upgrade to RDO frame down the line after a season of reviews come in.
Looking to build up a Jet 9 as my next bike. This will be my 2nd FS bike and 1st 29er FS. So I have a few questions:
On the newer AL frames anybody try 100mm and 120mm up front? I'm leaning towards 120 since my Misfit is set up w 100mm and I'm looking for a 2nd bike to handle beefier terrain.
... Read More »
I'm thinking about these two bikes for XC racing. Im leaning more towards the RDO but I've heard that it's "wobbly" on the tops after climbs , and hard to get up in high speed on flats.
For setup , both bikes will have the same setup; XX1 and Lefty 100mm. Also heard that the rear shock switch on RD ... Read More »
The new Jet 9 alloy has sweet externally routed cables, 100 mm of travel, and looks sweet. I am disappointed that Niner went with the bogus direct mount front derailleur that lacks adjustability; however, you cannot have it all. I would spec with a clamp on top pull old school front derailleur ins ... Read More »