niner

Niner offers new eccentric BB design and new carbon wheels

FT. COLLINS, Colo.

Niner co-founder Domahidy launches new company with Kickstarter campaign

DENVER (BRAIN) — Niner co-founder Steve Domahidy is launching his own company with the crowdfunding site Kickstarter . Domahidy Designs is offering two 29er hardtail models: an $899 Reynolds 853 frame and a $1,799 titanium version. If his Kickstarter launch is successful, Domahidy will ship those bikes in July and be off and running his own company

Niner Bikes sponsors Dirt Fest 2014

FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN)  — Niner Bikes will be the presenting sponsor of Dirt Fest 2014, a three-day mountain bike festival produced by Dirt Rag magazine in Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania. The event is May 16-18.  Our staff is already fighting over who gets to go and we are hoping to see a huge Niner rider turnout,” said Niner global marketing manager Carla Hukee, “We’d love it if this turned into an East Coast Niner-rider pilgrimage.” Maurice Tierney, Dirt Rag’s publisher, said, “I am super stoked to have Niner Bikes as presenting sponsor of Dirt Fest. They won’t just be a name on a banner, no, they are going to ‘Bring it’ to the best Dirt Fest ever! Our two companies both support and promote IMBA-built, new-school, sustainably built trail systems like Allegrippis

Niner sponsors Crusher in the Tusher race

FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN) — Niner Bikes, which introduced its first drop-bar bike this fall , will be the official bike sponsor of the 2014 Crusher in the Tusher, a tough dirt road endurance race in Utah. The July 12 race is promoted by former road racing pro  Burke Swindlehurst .

Niner sponsors Crusher in the Tushar race

FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN) — Niner Bikes, which introduced its first drop-bar bike this fall , will be the official bike sponsor of the 2014 Crusher in the Tushar, a tough dirt road endurance race in Utah. The July 12 race is promoted by former road racing pro  Burke Swindlehurst

Niner adds to sales and graphic design team

FORT COLLINS, CO (BRAIN) — Niner Bikes has hired Armando “Mondo” Aguilera as the brand’s new territory representative for Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Gravel Grinders are Niners, too

LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN) —  S ince the emergence of the 650b wheel size as The Next Big Thing, employees at Niner Bikes have been pestered by industry wags with queries and knowing looks. They’d ask: “What are you going to do

Niner RLT – first look

Niner’s product releases are nothing if not predictable, predictable in the sense that riders know it will be a mountain bike and that it will have 29in wheels. Until now, that is. This 29er-centric brand is venturing into new territory with the introduction of the RLT, a disc-equipped gravel race bike that’s longer, lower and slacker than typical cyclocross bikes.

Niner’s RLT will be available in early 2014. The RLT frame with matching carbon fork will retail for $1,049. Complete builds will range in price from $1,999 to $2,999.

Click through the gallery at right for detailed images of Niner’s new gravel grinder.

Niner is the latest in a small but growing number of companies to recognize a distinction between pure-bred cyclocross race bikes and something better suited to the emerging North American gravel race scene.

Niner's rlt is the company's first drop bar model. it features low and slack geometry ideally suited to gravel road racing: niner's rlt is the company's first drop bar model. it features low and slack geometry ideally suited to gravel road racing

The Niner RLT is designed with gravel racing in mind

“Gravel grinders are not ‘cross bikes and vice versa,” said Niner product manager Barrett James. “The geometry of the RLT was not designed with cyclocross in mind, but that’s not to say you can’t take that to your local ‘cross race and have a good time.”

The rlt is slightly lower, longer and slacker than many cyclocross bikes on the market:

The RLT’s low bottom bracket is in line with many other North American cyclocross bikes, but the longer chainstays and slack head angles make for a longer wheelbase and handling that favors stability over agility.

RLT stands for Road Less Traveled and, as one might expect, it’s designed with versatility in mind. The RLT can accommodate tires up to 700×45 and has fender mounts on the fork and rear dropouts.

Other frame features include internal cable routing for the front and rear derailleur cables through ports on either side of the downtube, while the rear brake line runs along the bottom of the downtube. The RLT also has a port on the seat tube for a Di2 battery, should owners want to ditch cables for wires.

The rlt uses a press fit 30 bottom bracket. niner has an eccentric version that will allow riders to run the bike as a singlespeed: the rlt uses a press fit 30 bottom bracket. niner has an eccentric version that will allow riders to run the bike as a singlespeed

The RLT frame uses a Press Fit 30 bottom bracket. Niner developed an eccentric version for singlespeed use as well

Niner has a great deal of expertise in designing carbon forks. The RLT’s full carbon fork shares many aesthetic and structural similarities to the company’s rigid mountain bike forks. The RLT fork shares the same 45mm of offset across the six-bike size range.

Niner's rlt has a slacker head tube angle than many cyclocross bikes on the market - as slack as 70 degrees on the smaller frame sizes: niner's rlt has a slacker head tube angle than many cyclocross bikes on the market - as slack as 70 degrees on the smaller frame sizesThe RLT’s fork has fender mounts and dropouts for a standard 9mm quick-release

One might expect a company firmly rooted in mountain bike technology to lead the charge for thru-axles on bikes with skinny tires. According to Niner’s marketing manager, Carla Huckee, the company chose to stick with front and rear quick-releases because it expects that many customers will build up RLT framesets with existing mountain bike wheels.

Despite the fact that the RLT is more road bike than mountain bike, both the frame and fork are tested to the more rigorous mountain bike CEN standard. Claimed weight for a 53cm RLT frame is 1,395g.

Niner will offer the RLT in two color options, two complete builds, and as a frame with matching fork.

What’s next?

Judging from the progression of Niner’s past projects it’s safe to assume that there will be a carbon version of the RLT down the road. The fact that RLT is not intended specifically for cyclocross leaves the door open for the development of a ‘cross-specific Niner down the road.

For more information visit www.ninerbikes.com.


    

Niner RLT 9 – first look

Niner’s product releases are nothing if not predictable, predictable in the sense that riders know it will be a mountain bike and that it will have 29in wheels. Until now, that is. This 29er-centric brand is venturing into new territory with the introduction of the RLT 9, a disc-equipped gravel race bike that’s longer, lower and slacker than typical cyclocross bikes.

Niner’s RLT 9 will be available in early 2014. The RLT 9 frame with matching carbon fork will retail for $1,049. Complete builds will range in price from $1,999 to $2,999.

Click through the gallery at right for detailed images of Niner’s new gravel grinder.

Niner is the latest in a small but growing number of companies to recognize a distinction between pure-bred cyclocross race bikes and something better suited to the emerging North American gravel race scene.

Niner's rlt is the company's first drop bar model. it features low and slack geometry ideally suited to gravel road racing: niner's rlt is the company's first drop bar model. it features low and slack geometry ideally suited to gravel road racing

The RLT 9 is designed for gravel racing

“Gravel grinders are not ‘cross bikes and vice versa,” said Niner product manager Barrett James. “The geometry of the RLT 9 was not designed with cyclocross in mind, but that’s not to say you can’t take that to your local ‘cross race and have a good time.”

The rlt is slightly lower, longer and slacker than many cyclocross bikes on the market:

The RLT 9’s low bottom bracket is in line with many other North American cyclocross bikes, but the longer chainstays and slack head angles make for a longer wheelbase and handling that favors stability over agility.

RLT stands for Road Less Traveled and, as one might expect, it’s designed with versatility in mind. The RLT 9 can accommodate tires up to 700×45 and has fender mounts on the fork and rear dropouts.

Other frame features include internal cable routing for the front and rear derailleur cables through ports on either side of the downtube, while the rear brake line runs along the bottom of the downtube. The RLT 9 also has a port on the seat tube for a Di2 battery, should owners want to ditch cables for wires.

The rlt uses a press fit 30 bottom bracket. niner has an eccentric version that will allow riders to run the bike as a singlespeed: the rlt uses a press fit 30 bottom bracket. niner has an eccentric version that will allow riders to run the bike as a singlespeed

The RLT 9? frame uses a Press Fit 30 bottom bracket. Niner developed an eccentric version for singlespeed use as well

Niner has a great deal of expertise in designing carbon forks. The RLT’s full carbon fork shares many aesthetic and structural similarities to the company’s rigid mountain bike forks. The same 45mm offset fork is used on all six frame sizes.?

Niner's rlt has a slacker head tube angle than many cyclocross bikes on the market - as slack as 70 degrees on the smaller frame sizes: niner's rlt has a slacker head tube angle than many cyclocross bikes on the market - as slack as 70 degrees on the smaller frame sizesThe RLT 9’s fork has fender mounts and dropouts for a standard 9mm quick-release

One might expect a company firmly rooted in mountain bike technology to lead the charge for thru-axles on bikes with skinny tires. According to Niner’s marketing manager, Carla Huckee, the company chose to stick with front and rear quick-releases because it expects that many customers will build up RLT 9 framesets with existing mountain bike wheels.

Despite the fact that the RLT 9 is more road bike than mountain bike, both the frame and fork are tested to the more rigorous mountain bike CEN standard. Claimed weight for a 53cm RLT 9 frame is 1,395g.

Niner will offer the RLT 9 in two color options, two complete builds, and as a frame with matching fork.

What’s next?

Judging from the progression of Niner’s past projects, it’s safe to assume that there will be a carbon version of the RLT 9 down the road. The fact that RLT 9 is not intended specifically for cyclocross leaves the door open for the development of a ‘cross-specific Niner at some point.

For more information visit www.ninerbikes.com.


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Niner Jet 9 Carbon XT XC Fox – first ride review review

Having nailed their eponymous colours very firmly to the 29er flagpole early on, Niner can justifiably feel smug – big wheels are the way to go for increased cross-country speed, distance and control, as everything from racing to the hordes of new bikes have shown. But can the latest carbon incarnation of their long running, short-travel bike compete now the bigger brands are well in on the action? ?

Niner have built their business on being different, and the Jet 9 Carbon stands out in a 29er-packed landscape – it’s a natural climber, and a quick-witted singletracker with tons of boutique identity. It’s more at home cruising rolling hills than carving berms and blasting over boulders though, so look elsewhere in the range if that’s what you’re after.

Ride & handling:?Sharp, super-old-school XC climber

Niner put a lot of emphasis on the claim that their Continually Variable Arc (CVA, initialism fans) suspension is designed to pedal really well with any size chainring. We’ve tried the system with both triple and double chainrings, and can confirm that it’s much more stable and less stabby in smaller rings than competing twin-link setups, such as Santa Cruz’s VPP. That means you can leave the Jet 9’s Fox CTD shock in the smoothest (Descend) setting more often than normal, only flicking over to the extra low-speed compression of Trail when really punching power through the pedals.

Your feet sit very high compared to most 29ers we’ve ridden (the bottom bracket is a full 20mm higher than a Santa Cruz Tallboy’s, for example), which means no worries at all about crank contact on rough ground and constant, uninterrupted power even when lurching up over logs and boulders.

A steep seat angle with minimal layback on the two-bolt carbon post, plus an equally steep head angle, puts rider weight forward into an ideally poised climbing position. The quick and responsive steering – matched to long chainstays – keeps it accurately on track even up the narrowest, sketchiest lines, and the Jet 9 nonchalantly cleaned several technical test climbs we haven’t managed in ages. The low-curved top tube means we never got neutered when we did screw up and stall either.

The tall bottom bracket can feel precarious when you’re scuf?ng around on loose surfaces:

The tall bottom bracket gives plenty of crank clearance but can feel precarious when you’re scuffing around on loose surfaces

The same fast-steering, high-clearance character works well on slow singletrack, where it nips round tight turns with noticeably less bus-like manners than most 29ers. The neutral CVA design tracks the ground well for traction, proving it’s not just about pedalling efficiency, although it slaps into bigger blocks and drops rather than soaking them up smoothly.

The Jet 9 Carbon geometry flies in the face of the current trend for low, slack-angled frames, even for this short-travel category. The tall bottom bracket can feel precarious when you’re scuffing around on loose surfaces, and having the front wheel tucked in underneath you can make the Niner shake and shimmy when you’re hard? on the brakes or getting bullied by big rocks. The frame is cleared for a 120mm fork, which slackens the angles by a degree, but raises the bottom bracket even higher – we’d stick at 100mm, enjoy the clear climbing advantages and avoid a high-heeled compromise.

The stiffness of the large main tubes is undermined by the down tube and seat tube both shrinking (for linkage and front mech clearance, respectively) before they get to the bottom bracket. This leaves power response adequate rather than amazing, and the heavy, fully-tubeless tyres of this build kit dull the dynamics. Open dropouts for a quick-release axle undermine those big rear stays and the voluptuous post-mount section of the asymmetric rear end. The Jet 9 misses the 142×12mm screw-through setup of its RDO (Race Day Only) sibling.

There are other niggles. Climb-honed calves are likely to rub on the outside edge-routed rear brake hose, which is an irritating practical oversight considering how refined the cosmetics are. The internally routed gear cables really slap and rattle inside the flat-faced down tube too, although that’s hopefully solvable with a liner sheath. It’s also undeniably expensive, although the price of frame kits and complete bike options are comparable with other boutique carbon machines.

Internally routed cables are a letdown as they rattle inside the flat-faced down tube:

Internally routed cables are a letdown as they rattle inside the flat-faced down tube

Frame & equipment:?Good-looking build that stands out from the 29er crowd

Niner have an edge when it comes to distinctive identity. Whether it’s their impressive collection of logos, the swagger of their ‘Pedal, damn it’ slogan, their vibrant online community or the way their seductive machines look particularly gorgeous in promo pics, they teach the rest of the industry how it’s done.

Despite being ?600 cheaper than the flagship Jet 9 RDO (which gets two-tone paint, carbon linkages, Enduro bearings and a 142×12mm rear axle) the detailing of the Jet 9 Carbon is still impressive. This includes red-anodised pivot caps, a headbadge with internal cable inserts, forged linkages with logos machined into them and a nice bolted seatclamp.?

The colour-coded Niner RDO carbon finishing kit is top quality gear (the bars are ?179 separately, the post ?190) and the top cap is even designed so you can re-crimp your favourite beer bottle cap onto it. Perfect. None of these cosmetic details affects the way the bike rides but, as with the finest Swiss watches, when things are done this well it creates a truly aspirational appeal – and helps justify? the premium cost. Happily for both us and the Jet 9, those bejewelled and flowing lines conspire to create a sparkling, flowing ride as well.?

Niner also buck the big-wheels-aren’t-for-little-riders trend by producing the Jet 9 in an extra small frame with an impressively low 672mm (26.4in) standover. If you like the sound of the high-riding, climb-friendly geometry but your budget is lower, the 80mm travel alloy Jet 9 is ?600 cheaper at ?1699 for the frame only.

Great looks won’t make you ride any faster, but help ease the pain of the pricetag:

Great looks won’t make you ride any faster, but they do help ease the pain of the pricetag

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.


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