Wide, Full Open. That’s what the name means. Let ‘er go, full throttle, don’t slow down for anything, that’s what the name implies. With 5.5” of plush CVA™ suspension technology underfoot, there’s nothing stopping those 29” wheels except the human instinct to live another day.
The W.F.O. 9 went through exhaustive testing and refining, including a first for a 29er frame: a tapered headtube for increased front end stiffness and strength. We thought about all of the ways people might take advantage of having 5.5” of travel coupled with a 29” wheel, and we designed the W.F.O. 9 to handle them all. A custom S-bend hydroformed downtube allows the use of both coil and piggyback shocks, offset bottom linkage makes room for an ISCG mount, making this frame the first 29er to be compatible with the all new SRAM Hammerschmidt system and other chain guide systems and an optional 150mm rear spacing increases rear wheel strength and stiffness. Best of all, build it how you want. Order the W.F.O. 9 with 135 or 150 rear spacing and then choose from our shock options or order without a shock.
Strengths: the frame is stiff as a 20-pound solid-steel tube frame, but without weighing 20 pounds.
a 29er with a 150mm rear spacing option. pfffft, how awesome is that?
slack front end.
certified beefcake suspension linkage.
Weaknesses: this bike should have wolves painted on it.
totally weird that it didn't come that way.
i bought the WFO in late 2011, no major breakages yet. i'm 6'4" 215 pounds -- this is the first bike in 20 years of riding mountain bikes that i haven't bought the largest frame size available. i got a large and i love the way it fits. big bike still, but feels pretty quick for such a big rid. to be sure, it's still a lot of bike to push around in tight trails, but that's the same for any 29er -- and at least this one is slack, and stiff.
The rear suspension is awesome. i had 2 vpp bikes before this one, and this suspension feels distinctly better. i've never felt pedal feedback in climbs and the progressiveness of the rear is great (i run a dhx air 5.0). i could say it climbs well (and i believe it may), but I always find that odd to say about a bike. Bikes don't climb, people do.
The WFO kicks ass. it's a bit spendy, but that just means you'll need to ride it more to get your money's worth.
Strengths: Geometry, Can go anywhere and can do anything!.....From uphill to extreme downhill.
Had the WFO9 for 2 months now. Amazing bike. It is my first 29er and from ride one the feeling was like riding it for months. Rear suspension Monarch Plus is amazing and CVA does the job. Be careful on downhill...it's too fast!!! If you are thinking of it...go for it!
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2012
Strengths: Burly and plush with the standard shock. Got mine (the old model frame+shock) from a discount for 1100$, so really worth the cash.
Weaknesses: -Steep head angle and can't fit an angleset (the old model).
-Lower linkage is really vulnerable to rocks. Not sure how many hits the linkage can take before there's any real damage.
-Routing is a bit weird for the der cables.
-Heavy.(not a big deal for me)
Awesome frame for the price I paid... Only real flaw for me is the steep head angle.
a All Mountain Rider
from Berkeley, CA USA
Date Reviewed: March 26, 2012
Strengths: Strong and burly. Great suspension design. Nearly zero pedal bob. Climbs well. Rolls over everything. Really fast going down. Depending on setup can be a great bike for different types of riding.
Weaknesses: If you're a weight weenie, not the bike for you. I don't care about weight though.
I'm a super clyde at 6'5" and 330lbs. This bike is amazing for a number of reasons. First, you can build it up to be a really rock solid bike so it's a great bike for larger riders. The XL frame is big and it feels like I'm in the bike, not on it. I built it to be a burly trail bike and it is a great bike for a lot of different styles of riding. Climbs well for how big it is. It's really fast going down the mountain and handles really well. I upgraded to the Fox DHX air and I although some people hate it, after I dialed it in I really like it. I can't bottom it out. Feels really buttery going down. And most importantly, there's almost no pedal bob whatsoever. It's pretty amazing as that was my biggest gripe with my old 29" GF and my 26" Stumpy fsr. The suspension design is so good for larger riders once you get the right shock and get that shock dialed in. If you want a really solid 29er trail bike that works for a lot of different conditions this bike is it.
Bike Setup: CK hubs laced to Stan's Flows, Fox 34 140 Talas, Fox DHX air, XO derailleurs, X9 shifters and crankset, 2x10 super granny 22/36 with 12-26 rear. 135 rear w/ 142 maxle kit. Avid CR w/ 203's front and back. Thomson stem and post.
a Weekend Warrior
from Monument, CO
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2012
Strengths: Travel, climbing, feels solid under my 250 lb clydeness Just all around fun bike.
Weaknesses: Definetly hit the crank arms more than a 26 but more a function of getting used to a new bike. Chain suck if you miss a shift, but more my fault than anything.
I got this bike as a replacement for my stolen Prophet and my first 29er, I was looking for a RIP 9 but found the WFO on CL for a very nice price, poor guy was buying a house and needed extra $ for closing (gotta love the banks last minute add ons).
Rode this bike for the first time on Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge for its real trail trial run and my first ride of the season ~30 miles. This bike climbed over wet off-camber roots like it was hard pack and flew down the rocky trail like it was on rails. The bike came with X.0 grip shifters, and that was the hardest thing for me to adjust to; I liked how fast you could shift, but it wasn't 2nd nature to me so I had some issues shifting the wrong way. Thus causing the chain suck. I changed over to triggers this winter but have yet to ride it far to see if it solved the problem, but I believe it will. I doubt I would have gotten the WFO if I hadn't gotten such a sweet deal, as it is more bike than I will use, but the weight is good for a clyde like me and the frame felt solid on the long downhills over Georgia pass into Breckenridge.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi 140mm fork, Stans wheels, X.0 3x9, Race Face cranks, Nevegal 2.2, Joplin R, CK hubs ~ 32lbs size L
a Cross Country Rider
from Worcester, MA
Date Reviewed: February 23, 2011
Strengths: Great climber, even better decender, very stiff frame, super plush, great in the rough technical terrain. This frame lasted a whole season and is still fine, a first for me.
Weaknesses: It is heavy but so am I
If you ride very technical terrain, up and down, and would rather go straight through than around stuff this bike is for you. It is also good if you are a larger rider looking for a AM 29er that won't flex.
a Cross Country Rider
from Nevada City, CA
Date Reviewed: December 15, 2010
Strengths: Well built, stiff, climbs great, 150mm rear, cable routing for dropper seat, Tapered HT
Weaknesses: Pro Pedal adjustments do not work.
This is the single most versatile bike I have ridden. It climbs very well, as good or better than any 5.5 bike I have ridden. Feels lighter than its 32lb weight. The geometry is spot on for trail riding with a 140mm Reba and short stem. I can spend all day on this bike (including epics) and love every minute of it. I may not get to the top first but I am by no means last and once at the top my friends let me go first so I don't have to pass them. I have no problems taking it to North star and keeping up with my friends on DH bikes, as long as I put on a bigger tires. I was going to get a RIP but glad I got the WFO. It is the best quiver of one bike for where I live (near Tahoe & Downieville, tons of variety). I am 6ft and 200lbs and the Lg fit me well
Bike Setup: 150mm rear, 140mm Reba, I9/Gordo up front, 36 hole Hope/Flow in back, WTB Stout tires, XT, Formula, ...
a Weekend Warrior
from Irvine, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2010
Strengths: Climbs great and descends better. Feels rock solid compared to similar bikes. Being 6'4" and 215lbs this bike fits me perfectly
Weaknesses: Color choices are pretty weak, Bike is not made in USA. Not a light bike and not a good choice for smaller/shorter riders
This is a great bike for tackling just about any kind of trail. It climbs and descends well and is a blast to ride. If your a taller rider I really recommend the 29ers. Overall A great bike, got a killer deal on my frame at speedgoat and if I had to do it again I would not change anything, I love this bike!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro, Stumpjumper FSR 29
Bike Setup: Size Large WFO 9 anodized brown, Rockshox Reba 140 Ti, Fox DHX air 5.0, 150mm rear, King hubs w/ Stans ZTR Flows, Panaracer Rampages, 10 speed XO short cage w/ 12-36 Cassette and XO shifter pods, Hammer Schmidt, XO Disc Brakes 203mm front 185mm rear, Thomson post and stem, Easton Monkeylite bars, ODI rogue grips, WTB lazer v slt saddle
Similar Products Used: Ellsworth Evolve 29r, Pivot 429, Intense Spider 29r, Santa Cruz Tall Boy!
Bike Setup: Marzocchi 44Ti 29r(white), Chris King Devolution Headset, Thomson stem/Crankbrothers Joplin seatpost w/remote, Race Face Carbon 28" w low rise bar, Shimano XTR gearing along with XT brakes 180/180, Push Tuned RP23 XV shock, Custom Wheelset includes (Sun Charger 29r rims, DT swiss double butted spokes, DT swiss-red nipples, Hope Pro 2-red hubs), XT crankset triple, Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25, Selle Italia Yutaak (ti)saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from Kirkland, WA USA
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2010
Strengths: Where to begin.. amazing climber; super-amazing descender; nimble performer in most areas compared to my 26'er. Three inches makes a HUGE difference(..that's what she said!).
HAMMER-SCHMIDT. WIDE BARS. COMMAND POST. 29" WHEELS. Oh yeah, ..and HAMMER-SCHMIDT.
Weaknesses: Aesthetically, it's not an ugly design - it's just not great-looking either. Only two colors: Vanna White or Milk Dud Brown, seriously.
Tight switchbacks can washout under bigger front wheels. Suspension setup sags under harsh V descents. Moderate chain slap.
Till now, I've never had a brand, new bike. Even as a child, I was given hand-me-downs or horse traded with kids on the block. So at nearly $100 per each year I've lived, I overreached in righting that wrong.
That said,at 6'2 and 240lbs my selection was a bit limited. I love the Ellsworth bikes; they're rolling art! Tried the Epiphany first, then the Evolve 29er. If I were 200-220lbs I'd be an Ellsworth owner today.
Either a very patient salesperson or a very slow sales day allowed me to roll multiple bikes on the streets and hills around my LBS. When I tried the WFO with the HammerSchmidt it was over. It's big and burly, not too heavy and can roll just about anything you're likely to find on the trail.
Favorite Trail: Duthie Hill, Tolt, St Edwards.. every trail
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Veloce Velo,
Similar Products Used: 29ers: I borrowed a Turner Sultan from LBS for weekend and was impressed but had basically decided on WFO by then. Also demo'd an Ellsworth Evolve around lot of my local REI store. BTW, both are lighter, moderately less expensive and infinitely better-looking bikes. Plus, both still made in USA!
26ers: Santa Cruz Nomad; Ellsworth Epiphany; Specialized SJ Expert
Bike Setup: Large Vanna White frame; 2.2 Kenda Nevegals on ZTR Flow 29ers; Marzocchi Bomber fork; 28" Salsa Pro Moto flatbar clad w/ Ergon GP1 Superlight grips; Avid Elixir R discs, Specialized Command Post hydraulic seatpost; SRAM X-0 rr dérailleur; SRAM 11-34 rr sprocket and the AM HammerSchmidt drivetrain.
a Weekend Warrior
from Central, PA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2010
Strengths: I bought a frameset including fork, shock, front derailleur and headset.
This is a super nice frame with room for any tire and a strong, thick design. The paint resists chips better than other bikes I've had. Can use tapered or straight steer tube forks. Options for rear axle (12mm or QR). Great, great fun.
Weaknesses: This bike flaunts 5.5" of travel. It is true for the Hammerschmidt crank.
When you use the front derailleur and a conventional crank the chain stay can hit the front derailleur cage before the shock bottoms. It may not be an issue as I have yet to bomb that hard to make them touch. I'm not really sure if the entire 5.5" travel can be used with the front derailleur installed. Travel may actually be more than 5.5 with no front derailleur and the hammerschmidt or a single ring crank.
The cable routing is a little strange. It has to do with the lower dual pivot. There's so much movement it requires a bit more slack than I'm used to on a single pivot chain stay. I can deal with it.
Consider the Hammerschmidt crank if you want full use of this bikes capability.
The fat treat this frame allows is fun. This is a downhill, knock around and all mountain bike. There are better options for cross country or racing.
I took one chili because I wrote to the company about my derailleur concerns and they never replied. I would feel better if they at least told me I was nuts. Minus one chili for poor customer service.
Aside from that you'll love this bike.
Bike Setup: sram xo stans and ck hubs avid ultimate white bros fluid and the schmitt awesome rp 23
a Cross Country Rider
from Golden, co
Date Reviewed: November 14, 2009
Strengths: Very stout frame, excellent climber, oh yeah it likes to go downhill.
Weaknesses: The Maxle has been a little bit of a pain but not the fault of the bike.
This bike climbs as well as much shorter travel 29ers. My bike weighs about 31lbs and I am usually a bit of a weight weeny. I definitely enjoy spending long days on this bike as well as the whole enchilada. I do not write very many reviews but this one is justified.
Similar Products Used: Almost every 29er full susser,
Bike Setup: XO with Grip shift (f'ya), I9 wheels, 150mm rear end, race face bits
a Cross Country Rider
from Evergreen, CO
Date Reviewed: August 31, 2009
Strengths: Climbs suprisingly well for a 29er with this much travel, plush travel, super stiff frame,
Weaknesses: none so far.
This 29er is my third and I can't believe how well it handles. I was absolutely shocked at how well it climbs and thrilled with how it rolled through the descents. I was certainly taking things a whole lot faster than I ever have before. I wasn't sure this was going to be the right bike for me as I was heavily leaning towards the RIP but after 4 solid rides I am sure that I made the right choice.
Similar Products Used: Intense Spider 29, Vassago Jabber, Ells Evolve, Salsa Big Mama, RIP9, Turner Sultan, Mach 429
Bike Setup: large frame with RP23 and 135mm rear spacing, SLX brakes, Stans hubs & rims, Stylo cranks, XO shifter and rear derail, Thomson stem & seatpost, Salsa low rise carbon bar, Rampage tires = 31.3 lbs
a Weekend Warrior
from Orange County, CA USA
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2009
Strengths: Strong frame, light weight (for a six inch bike), excellent fork (Marzocchi 44 Micro Ti 29"), Hammerschmidt ready.
Weaknesses: None so far...
My fourth 29er. Started with the Ellsworth Evolve, then the first generation Niner RIP to the Lenz Sport Lunch Box. This bike rocks. Climbs as well as any 4" bike but desends like a true 6" bike. Waited a long time for this bike to be produced. The Marzocchi fork is so plush. Worth the wait. Absolutely awesome.
I am looking to build a new ride. I am 5'7" ~150# w/30" inseam. I currently ride is a 2009 Stumpjumper FSR 29er medium (was my opportunity to dabble in big wheels without big commitment - love what the wheels do - not thilled with the lack of refinement in the suspension...). Wouldn't mind a litt ... Read More »
Picking up a WFO to use as a trail bike. I will mention I initially looked @ the RIP 9 but am a die hard coil shock fan so I went for the WFO. Looking @ the geometry spec's the WFO & RIP are identical depending on the fork travel. I already have a new Reba 120 . Seems from a lot of threads RIP owne ... Read More »
We are stoked to have this review get out there. Justin at Dirt Rag rode the heck out of this bike in order to really get a sense of what it is good at. Check it out, issue #147!Read More »