RIP 9 RDO 2-Star SLX Complete Mountain Bike - 2017 by Niner
For 2017, Niner's RIP 9 RDO 2-Star SLX Complete Mountain Bike resembles the previous iteration in name only. In fact, it almost resembles 2016's WFO more than the RIP that it's at least nominally replacing. The suspension is deeper, the head tube is slacker, the seat tube steeper, and chainstays stubbier, and the top tube longer--all of which puts it in a class capable of moving freely between trail and enduro. Some call this impossible; some call it versatile; we call it all-mountain; and Niner calls it the only possible way to improve on the previous RIP 9. Whatever you call it, the new RIP 9 owes much of its come-all-ye capabilities to the introduction of Boost axle spacing. By bumping the rear axle out to 148mm, Niner was able to buy enough clearance at the bottom bracket to shorten the chainstays and sharpen the seat tube angle by 11mm and two degrees, respectively. These subtle changes make the rear triangle that much more responsive to input while also pushing the rider's engine up over the pedals. The stubby stays also keep the bike agile, but with a 67-degree head tube and 160mm of Lyrik forgiveness up front, it's just as happy to try flattening everything in its path--or at least bailing you out when your lines start to get a bit too ambitious. In the event that discretion wins the day, the RIP 9's longer top tube and short stem keep handling on-point, despite that low head tube angle, so you can always fall back on those dicey stays to navigate stretches of especially techy terrain. Either way, take solace in knowing that most of the bike's angles are similar to the WFO even though it maintains the precise handling of its predecessor. Given that mixed pedigree, the new RIP 9 enjoys playing in rock gardens as much as barreling over horst and graben rootscapes. So there's obviously a lot of new radness with the RIP 9, but two things remain felicitously unchanged: the Race Day Optimized (RDO) construction method and the Constantly Varying Arc (CVA) suspe...
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