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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am just done with my Niner RIP 9 built, here it is.

I had built a One 9 this fall (see photos here) and after a few rides I realized that hardtails weren't for me anymore, so I got a RIP 9 frame and moved most of the stuff from the One 9 to the RIP 9 (save for the Lefty fork I used on the One 9, I switched to a Maverick DUC32 because I like the plushess of the DC32 better).

The usual thanks to the people who helped me make it happen: Mike at Universal Cycles who keep answering my silly questions and rush order stuff to that I can spend my week-ends building stuff, to Chris and Ethan at Maverick for all their advice on the DUC32 fork, Brian and Niners Bike for getting back to me within hours (my kind of bike company!) and all the folks on MTBR.com forums who answer my posts.

Here are a few pictures.

Merry Christmas to everyone.





















 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ride report

So, went riding today.



I forgot, here is a quick summary of the build:

'08 Niner RIP 9 Medium Frame with RP23 shock
Crank Brothers Cobaclt SL headset
Maverick DUC32 front fork with 29er spacer kit (anodized stripped, polished and hard anodized)
Maverick front hub, Weelsmith double butted spokes, Stans No Tube Arch wheel with Stan tubeless kit (yellow tape, olympic valves)
Rohloff rear hub, Weelsmith double butted spokes, Stans No Tube Arch wheel with Stan tubeless kit (yellow tape, olympic valves)
Bontrager Jones ACX TLR tires with home made sealant
SRAM PC991 hollow pins chain
Shimano XTR M970 crankset + bottom bracket
Blackspire single speed ring
Formula Oro K24 front and rear brakes
Alligator Serration 203mm front disc with Magura adapter
Rohloff 160mm rear disc with Magura adapter
Cheapo alloy flat boar
ESI Chunky grips (the best in the business)
Fizik Gobi seat with custom deer skin cover
Thomson Elite seatpost (will probably switch to setback)
Crank Brother Egg Beater MXR pedals

Weight wise, it's a hair above 30 Lbs, not bad. The overall Rohloff weight penalty setup is 2.6 Lbs (that's compared to a high end XTR setup which I assume someone ready to shell the $ for a Rohloff would be using). With a 3x9 setup I think it should be relatively easy to get the weight at or below 27 Lbs (carbon seat post, carbon bars, lightweight pedals, maybe lighter brakes). As a comparison, my medium size Maverick ML8 (6" front / rear travel) is at 26 Lbs (depending on the tires!). Finally, if I were to go back to a traditional setup, I'd probably ride a 2x9 setup considering the extra gear-inches you get from the 29" wheel.

Back to the ride report.

Today was actually my second ride on the bike. My first ride was before the photos were taken when I had a rider and a taller crown setup with was really too high (felt like a cruiser!). That first ride was in absolutely atrocious conditions (right after a heavy rain fall, on clay trails!) and it took me close to 2 hours to remove all the mud that had packed on the bike. That's one of my first complaints about the RIP 9: it packs mud like crazy: too many nooks and crannies (especially around the rear suspensions) for the mud to accumulate and the finish (media blasted + anodized on mine) is hard to clean when muddy!

Today ride was in much better conditions: still wet, but the trails were mostly sandstone and crushed gravel. A few root and deep underbrush with little mud.

First impression is that the bike doesn't feel tall like the Niner One 9 felt. The RIP 9 feels like you are "in" the bike, whereas on the One 9 I felt like I was riding tall up "on" the bike. Much better.

Front suspension action is what I expected from the DUC32 (a familiar fork for me). It just needs a little bit of tuning to adapt to the reduced travel. I played with the pressure in the rear suspension and I got it to be really supple, but it did bottomed out a couple of time, so I might need to play more with the settings on the RP23 shock (a new shock to me, so I need to learn about adjustability) to get a better compromise between supple and bottoming.

The frame felt solid and I didn't feel any of the flex that some people complained about on the RIP 9 (but I am not a big pedal masher).

Climbing, in the really steep stuff, it doesn't require to be sitting on the seat nose as much as my 26" bike (I suspect longer wheelbase, but I need to check). It also doesn't "wander" as much when climbing over rocky / steep stuff. All good stuff! The rear suspension doesn't pump much when climbing.

Descending / technical / jumping: I am not a big jumper / drop rider, but I enjoy the occasional steps, rock gardens and jumping water bars. Overall, the first impression is of very good stability in all these conditions. Landing is nice and even, but the weight concentration of the Rohloff at the rear hub makes for some interesting takes-off and landings.

Brake wise, I am happy I went to a 200mm front setup as it provides equivalent braking power to a 185mm setup on a 26" bike (lever ratios 200/29 <-> 185/26), and the Formula brakes are as good as ever (I have to start saving for the new R1 coming out).

Rohloff: I am still getting used to it. The biggest downsides are absolutely no gear change under load (you get used to it tho, just need to plan your gear changes) and the twist grip shifter (which requires that you loosen your grip on the bars to change gears&#8230; not good in some conditions!). Otherwise, it's easy to use, easy to clean and maintain and gets the job done. But&#8230; I am finding that I usually skip gears instead of going up / down the gears one by one, which makes me wonder if all 14 gears are really needed or if one of the cheaper 7 / 8 / 9 gear hub (Shimano Alfine, SRAM) wouldn't be a good, and cheaper, alternative. Something to explore!

That's it for today.

Happy Trails.
 

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Rohloff
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Denis said:
Rohloff: I am still getting used to it. The biggest downsides are absolutely no gear change under load (you get used to it tho, just need to plan your gear changes) and the twist grip shifter (which requires that you loosen your grip on the bars to change gears&#8230; not good in some conditions!). Otherwise, it's easy to use, easy to clean and maintain and gets the job done. But&#8230; I am finding that I usually skip gears instead of going up / down the gears one by one, which makes me wonder if all 14 gears are really needed or if one of the cheaper 7 / 8 / 9 gear hub (Shimano Alfine, SRAM) wouldn't be a good, and cheaper, alternative. Something to explore!
A Rohloff does take getting use to. While you can't shift under load, you can learn to briefly hesitate your stroke, shift in an instant, and continue on. Once you get this down, I think you'll find it's actually faster shifting than a traditional drivetrain. I'm not saying it's better or worse. It's just different.

I agree with you on the the gear spacing on the Rohloff. I think a Rohloff has 500+% gear range with 14 evenly spaced gears at 13%. This might be a nice range for a loaded touring road bike but I don't think it is ideal for mountain biking. I would think that a 350-400% gear range with 8-10 evenly spaced gears at 15-20% would be ideal for a mountain bike. While I understand the cheaper internal hubs have their own shortcomings, I too would like to check them out.
 
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