R.I.P. 9 RDO
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Moving out: Niner’s bikes run big. In fact, our stock
large R.I.P. test bike only fit our tallest crewers. Finding
the correct size Niner might require a demo ride, but don’t
worry, because Niner offers numerous demo events around
the country, so check the schedule on their website and see
if you can attend one before picking your size.
Setup: Setting the suspension on the R.I.P. is a cakewalk.
The RockShox fork and Fox rear shock have a simple, single, air-valve pressure setting. We set our bike to 30 percent
sag, front and rear, and hit the trails.
Suspension feel: CVA stands for “Constantly Variable
Arc,” which is an apt description of the wheel path, as the
bike goes through its travel. Niner claims that it allows
the suspension to be fully active while avoiding the chain-growth issues that plague some dual-link designs (the sensation that the pedals are being tugged back when you pedal
over an obstacle). We won’t delve into the physics behind it,
but just know that the suspension design on the R.I.P. Nine
works very, very well. It’s active when you want it to be,
but provides an adequate pedaling platform for just about
Pedaling: With the CVA suspension controlling the
rear end, pedaling is efficient and confidence-inspiring. We
found ourselves using the “Descend” mode on our Fox CTD
shock in nearly every situation—partly because the lever
on the shock is difficult to reach on the fly, but also because
this bike simply doesn’t need the extra pedaling platform.
Climbing: The low weight of this particular test bike certainly helps it float up the climbs, but that’s not the whole
story. The large-diameter wheels and capable suspension
make it a blast to charge into technical climbs and let the
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The R.I.P. (“Ride In Peace”) 9 RDO will appeal to a lot of
riders. It’s lightweight and has enough travel to handle any
all-mountain or enduro ride. This is one of the longest-travel
models Niner currently offers. While the geometry looks
steep and twitchy on paper, it is geared to handle gnarly
trails. The RDO portion of the name stands for “Race Day
Optimized,” which means no expense was spared in the
construction of the frame. Don’t be misled, though; this is far
from a “race-day-only” bike.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The frame is carbon through and through and features
Niner’s patented CVA suspension. Niner claims its dual-link
design provides an excellent pedaling platform and a spring
curve that delivers plush and playful suspension performance. The R.I.P. frame features a press-fit bottom bracket
with ISCG-05 tabs that are integrated to work flawlessly
with the suspension pivots. The frame also features everything else prized by trail and all-mountain riders, including
a 12x142-millimeter rear axle, tapered head tube and direct-mount front derailleur.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
We’ve been spoiled by SRAM’s outstanding XX1 drivetrain, and it bolts up flawlessly to the R.I.P. chassis. The
shifting is smooth and lightning fast, and the chain management is nearly perfect. We’ve yet to drop a chain from an
XX1 system, even in the nastiest conditions. As an added
bonus, SRAM’s Type 2 clutch-style rear derailleur keeps the
drivetrain completely silent, which means all you hear is the
rubber of your tires thumping the ground. Nice.