RIP 9 RDO 27.5+ 5-Star Eagle X01 Complete Mountain Bike - 2017 by Niner
If the 2016 iteration of Niner's RIP 9 is the ultimate trail bike, then its completely reimagined successor expands that empire to also include the all-mountain realm--but it does so through a decidedly heretical act. The RIP 9 RDO 27. 5+ 5-Star Eagle X01 Complete Mountain Bike multiplies every aspect that made its predecessor so successful. Longer, slacker, and yet inexplicably more responsive on climbs, the RIP 9's confusingly versatile [R]Evolution geometry chews up rock gardens as eagerly as it cleans steep grades. And that's all well and good, but Niner has done the unthinkable by combining it with 27. 5+ wheels. The result of this unholy coupling is a delightfully playful bit of wagon-wheel heresy that we're happy to indulge. Before we dive deeper into the frame, though, we'll linger briefly on the build kit, which centers on 27. 5+ (Shock! Horror!) ENVE HV wheels and SRAM's shiny new Eagle X01 12-speed drivetrain. With the addition of a 50t granny cog, Eagle offsets the bike's 27. 5 heresy with a climbing benediction when you find yourself out of gas, out of mettle, but not yet out of the woods, climbing-wise. The X01 version may not have the glitzy qualities of XX1, but the frame's devilish versatility will steal the show as soon as rubber hits dirt, anyway. And this frame is versatile--a quality that it owes in large part 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 2. 5 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 170mm 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 t...
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