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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been riding a 2013 Niner Rip9 for a few years now. I'm your basic intermediate rider, that rides technical rocky trails, flow trails and takes 1 or 2 trips to Moab a year. I don't ride drops over 2 feet. Hope that is enough info on my ability. My question is are the new bikes really any different than my Rip9. I've been looking at some new bikes, some 29ers also 27.5. Pivot, intense and Ibis are some that I've looked at. But only on-line since I do not have any bike shops near me. So no chance to demo yet. If the consensus is that the new bikes are that much better than my Rip then I'll take a weekend and travel where I can demo some. Thanks
 

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Better? Depends on what you are looking to impove on your ride. Is your bike stiff, slack, light, flickable, plush, firm, and stable enough? Do you want a bike more capable in technical sections or more playful on flow trails? I don't think the new bikes are that much better, but I'm not a big fan of the new geometry and don't push my bikes to their limits that often. One thing worth considering is the plus tires. If that is something you might consider, then start shopping!
 

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Tough question. I had a 2011 Rip9, liked it for Colorado front range trails but didn't quite think it was enough bike so sold it pretty quick and bought a WFO9 (2012 model). Loved that bike and felt it about perfect for techy rock trails, then started riding Winter Park and Angel Fire, the romance ended. I felt the seat tube too tall and the head angle not slack enough. Now I have my favorite bike of all time (2015 Nomad V3) and I can ride absolutely whatever I want with it. I did a XC race on it last year (although I wasn't competitive), killer on my local techy trails and awesome at the bike park. Those Niner bikes are awesome and I'm sure the updated Rip9 continues that. Haven't ridden the plus tires so can't comment on those but. I'm betting your Rip9 will continue to be about the perfect rocky techy trail bike until you take it to the big mountain and begin doing lift assisted riding. Then again, a new bike is always fun. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My Rip9 is a great bike for me seems to do everything I need it to do. I'm sure I don't ride it anywhere close to its capabilities. But if the new bikes have improved enough to where I can ride at a higher level because of geometry changes etc. then why not get one. But if not then maybe I'll stay with the Rip. Just asking!!
 

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This is totally an opinion reply...

The old rip9 sucked. Dumb, lame bike. An example of how you can't fix goofy geometry with large wheels. It was outdated the day it was released. Also not the sturdiest design in my first hand experience. Ok, i said it.

Really, that bike suited a certain terrain and a certain riding style; someone who rides somewhat conservatively 'off the back', prefers slower hiking style trails and technical climbing, and runs a FD. The most progressive bikes today are just the opposite; you ride them 'over the front,' they need a bit of speed before they disappear under you, and they're designed to work best with a single ring and may not even have a provision for a small ring. ...i don't really like them much either, as a group, but just like the rip9 there's situations where they're untouchably amazing.

In between rip9 and 'nouveau aggro' you have a conundrum of variety as manufacturers have struggled to keep up with desirable handling traits and design features over the last few years. The shift to 1x necessitates a suspension designed for that, geo did not evolve uniformly, there's a new maze of wheel formats and assorted standards to navigate, and there's still the old personal preference suspension linkage/tune, reach/angles, sturdiness/weight. There's some incredible bikes available now, but it's a mess.


So i think yeah, you could probably gain a lot of confidence and have a lot more fun unloading the 9, but i wouldn't be in a huge hurry to do so. Demo some bikes and acquaint yourself with the new market; i bet if you do some homework and ride 3 popular bikes you're gonna find one that you fall in love with.



Go ride a transition scout with a pike. :thumbsup:
 

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I think you are thinking it wrong - its not the bike, the rider is what matters. Thats usually forgotten in todays over-advertised world of MTB :-= (any pro rider would probably go faster than most of forum members even with older non-fashion-enduro bike.
I would suggest you invest money in some skills clinic or quality instructor, that will be money well spent. After that if you will feel that you push over current bike limits, start thinking about new one.
Analogy - don't be one of those OVERweight guys in the store buying lightest 500$ carbon seatpost to save 100g on bike weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand that my skill level is probably a better place to spend money and effort towards, as opposed to buying new. But what the heck new bikes are always fun. So once again are the new bikes really any better????? Will I, at an intermediate level notice much difference? The $$ spent is less important to me than my fun level is. Just looking to maximize my enjoyment of this great sport. I so agree thou that I should always put more effort towards improving my skill level. Which BTW I try to do every time I ride.
 

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You already answered yourself, if "new bikes are always fun" and you are looking for greater fun level, then just get new bike, you are already decided :)
You skill level will improve much more under some quality instructor, also fun level will increase on the long run regardless of your bike.
Heck, why not buy new bike AND get instructions while you are at it (especially if $$$ is not big problem :)
 

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I'll add that the Niner FS bikes are a little wonky, there are better bikes available IMO, but that's not so much an evolutionary thing, it's just where Niner bikes have always been, so not saying that a new bike would be way better, but there are ways to make a new bike feel a lot different, drop a bunch of weight with carbon rims, cranks and 1x drivetrain, dropper post, wider carbon bars with a short stem, an efficient suspension design (Niner is particularily poor with some of their older FS bikes, hence why you can do better). More than likely though, unless you revamp and get a new bike that costs crazy thousands and thousands, you might see some benefits to a new bike, nothing revolutionary though IMO.
 

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I understand that my skill level is probably a better place to spend money and effort towards, as opposed to buying new. But what the heck new bikes are always fun. So once again are the new bikes really any better????? Will I, at an intermediate level notice much difference? The $$ spent is less important to me than my fun level is. Just looking to maximize my enjoyment of this great sport. I so agree thou that I should always put more effort towards improving my skill level. Which BTW I try to do every time I ride.
I personally wouldn't have looked at niner until this year. They allways felt bus like, and the front wanted to wash out.Their newest bikes finally have the geo that would be fun to ride.
Yes a new bike is fun, and the newer style trail bikes make testing your skills more fun. If you want a new bike it will probably be worth it, if you don't expect the bike to have the skill's you don't :)
 

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Heck, why not buy new bike AND get instructions while you are at it (especially if $$$ is not big problem :)
I agree with this. If you are inclined to get a new bike, you will reap some of the numerous, recent benefits in geo/tech...So why don't you prove it to yourself - go for some test rides @ the LBS or whatever. If your bike is dated techwise - about 2 minutes on a new, solid modern platform will force your into upgraditis: "I have to have this now".

Skills training always pay off but personally I think you are better off maximizing it with an appropriate bike. To use a skiing comparison, you will progress far faster and better by training with a current modern ski vs. old school straight ski - sure you can use the old stuff but the modern ski is far better and actually functions as intended whereas you'll be compensating for the limitations of the old gear.

Disclaimer: I have no idea if the RIP9 is a decent bike - it's not in my wheelhouse.
 

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Best thing you can do. Go demo the hell out of as many bikes you can that you have a eye on or see yourself owning. Go ride them like you own it on trails you know.
See if they are worth it.

If you are comfortable on the current bike on your current trails and may or not be limited to the bike and trying new things to increase your skill. No point to spend the money to get a new bike if you stay where you are at ability wise. Unless you have the money and just want something new and shinny.
 

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Best thing you can do. Go demo the hell out of as many bikes you can that you have a eye on or see yourself owning. Go ride them like you own it on trails you know.
See if they are worth it.
Sounds good on paper, but rarely achievable in real life IMO, having the exact model, spec and size, and those things can make or break a bike. Achieving this, even in an urban setting, is just not realistic IMO. You have to rely somewhat on reviews, other riders, guessing, etc. There are some things you can determine by comparing other bikes that have different features, even if you don't ride the bike you are considering, but some of it still a random draw.
 

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I have owned a dozen+ bikes over the years and as of late I have had to spend less effort making them do what I want. I can recall slapping a 5" fork, 2.35" tires, riser bars etc. on 3" travel XC bike trying make it more capable. Skills or not if you are not blending with your equipment you are not maximizing your ride time. I recently purchased a Kona Process 111 29er and I had previously been on bikes with much more travel. The long front to center transformed my descending - less fighting / effort.
 

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It is hard to say, but given the type of trails you ride it is more likely you notice some marginal benefit. However, on current bikes your centered position is usually farther forward than you be used to, so you may need time to adjust.

I was riding a 29er HT mostly for 2 years before I got a 27.5 Fs bike. The much slacker 27.5 was noticeable but took me a while to get used to riding it. Went from 69ha to 67.5 ha.

You are already on big wheels so depending on what you fancy you may have a negative reaction to 27.5.

One thing I notice more thane frame fro is wider profile for tires--wider rims. Given how you described yourself you might really enjoy a plus tire bike. Aren't there shops near Moab that rent bikes? Arrange in advance for some specific bikes stay longer and test them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Sounds good on paper, but rarely achievable in real life IMO, having the exact model, spec and size, and those things can make or break a bike. Achieving this, even in an urban setting, is just not realistic IMO. You have to rely somewhat on reviews, other riders, guessing, etc. There are some things you can determine by comparing other bikes that have different features, even if you don't ride the bike you are considering, but some of it still a random draw.
I guess this is true if you want to make a quick decision, in my case I spent a year demoing bikes before buying my first full suspension, and the next 2 years demoing bikes to make my first 650b full suspension choice.

At first while demoing I learned what component groupsets I liked and didn't so as I demoed more it wasn't about the exact model spec but only about the frame/geometry and it's riding characteristics. So for me I like anything Shimano SLX and above and SRAM X01 and up groupsets. Knowing that I can easily demo a lower spec kit, say SRAM GX, and just focus on the riding characteristics of the bike.

I found over the past 3 years it is completely realistic to demo as many bikes as you can and get a feel for what you want and like, I did it so I know it is possible. I demoed many bikes I hated, some I liked, and some I loved, and even though I have no want or need for another bike I still continue to demo bikes. The key though is to hit demo bike days when they are available and make a list of likes and dislikes.
 

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Sounds good on paper, but rarely achievable in real life IMO, having the exact model, spec and size, and those things can make or break a bike. Achieving this, even in an urban setting, is just not realistic IMO. You have to rely somewhat on reviews, other riders, guessing, etc. There are some things you can determine by comparing other bikes that have different features, even if you don't ride the bike you are considering, but some of it still a random draw.
Not sure how demo'ing bikes isn't realistic.

I have seen bikes that should fit me and my riding. Rode the bike and hated it.
I ride a bike now before I buy it.
 
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