It's not a far stretch to say that the Niner engineers went back to the drawing board and rebuilt the Jet 9 from the ground up. Similar in name but drastically different in geometry, the 2017 Niner Jet 9 RDO 3-Star XT Complete Bike goes much further than merely adding travel. It's longer across the top, steeper out back, slacker up front, and better at just about everything that made the original Jet 9 such a standout. Whether you're grinding climbs, bombing descents, or reveling in fast, flowy singletrack, the Jet 9 RDO lives up to its versatile reputation. This particular build gets kitted up in Shimano's lauded XT componentry, a dropper post, and Stan's NoTubes Arch MK3 hoops. As with most bikes in the current trail generation, the key element underwriting the new Jet 9's versatile geometry is its Boost rear axle. Bumping the spacing up to 148mm lets Niner chop 21mm off of chainstays by slamming the rear wheel up into the seat tube. The seat tube contributes to that versatility, too. Despite the fact that the 2017 Jet 9 comes with 130mm of front travel, it's got the same seat tube angle as the 2016 Jet 9 with a 100mm fork. Adding 30mm up front would typically force you out of the bike's center; however, the new Jet 9's geometry keeps you on top of the pedals while the included dropper post allows you to clear out some cockpit space so you can throw the bike around on descents. The bike's updates shine at the front end, too. In 2016, the Jet 9 was limited to a 71 or 70. 5-degree head tube, depending on whether you were running a 100 or 110mm fork. For 2017 (as configured here), it drops to 67. 5 degrees. This puts the Jet 9 right on the cusp of moderate stability and enduro abandon. When paired with the new iteration's longer reach and shorter stem, that angle means the bike can ride roughshod across all manner of trail furniture without sacrificing responsive steering. Slack head tubes are fun, but we're occasionally frustrated by their muddy responsiveness....
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