Niner Bikes has been steadily rolling out new models over the summer season, having already shown off their redesigned JET9 RDO and the RIP9 RDO. The American brand is taking a new approach to their latest full suspension bikes, with modernised geometry that is seeing slacker head tube angles and longer reach measurements.
The bikes are still based around Niner’s patented CVA suspension platform, but advancements such as BOOST hub and chainring spacing has allowed Niner to shorten chainstay lengths and increase tyre clearance. The result is that the new frames are not only compatible with wide 29in tyres, but perhaps controversially for the otherwise 29in-dedicated brand, also 27.5+ tyres up to 3.0in wide.
The result has been bikes that are more capable, more versatile, and more targeted towards trail riders over marathon XC racers. The JET9 included, which was bumped up to 120mm of travel out back and the ability to fit a 130mm fork on the front. While the JET9 was always in Niner’s range as the flagship XC race bike, having started out its life with just 80mm of suspension travel, Niner upped its game in that arena when it dropped the superlight RKT9 last year. That freed up some room to add longer legs to the JET9, and a little more versatility.
Up until now, the new JET9 had only been released in carbon. As Niner did with the RIP9 Alloy however, they’ve taken all the changes and improvements achieved with the carbon JET9 RDO, and put it into an alloy tubeset to deliver a value-packed mountain bike that shares the same geometry and suspension design as its more expensive brother. Introducing; the new Niner JET9 Alloy.
“The all new JET anchors the [R]evolution of our trail bikes. Knowing that technologies and rider expectations have changed over the years, we’ve put a lot of time, energy and research into creating the most versatile and fun full suspension mountain bike money can buy” – Niner Bikes
The Niner JET 9 Alloy features:
- Airformed alloy tube set
- Compatible with 29in or 27.5+ wheels
- 120mm rear travel
- CVA rear suspension design
- 67.5-degree head angle
- 434mm chainstay length
- Designed for a 130mm travel fork
- Boost 148x12mm rear spacing
- Max tyre clearance: 29×2.4in or 27.5×3.0in
- 73mm BSA threaded bb with ISCG 05 tabs
- Internal and external dropper post compatible
- All sizes have 1 bottle mount inside front triangle
- Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
The new JET9 Alloy frame bears a striking resemblance to the carbon model, with smooth flowing lines employed with the airformed alloy tubeset to deliver plenty of curves and swoopy lines. Albeit at a slight weight penalty over the pricier carbon model. How much weight difference? We don’t have a figure as of yet, but our guess based on other Niner carbon/alloy frames is that it’ll be around 300gm heavier overall.
While not as discreet as the JET9 RDO Carbon frame, the JET9 Alloy saves some machining dollars by keeping all the gear and brake cables external. That said, there’s only a rear brake line and a rear derailleur cable to worry about, as the JET9 Alloy frame is 1x only. The dropper post line can be routed internally or externally.
The rear triangle is a solid one-piece unit, with all the pivoting carried out by two machined alloy linkages on the JET9 Alloy frame. The rear dropout has been updated to Boost 148x12mm spacing, with a thru-axle keeping the dropouts locked down, and the 3mm offset drivetrain allowing for more tyre clearance, and shorter chainstays.
Niner tuck the lower CVA link underneath the bottom bracket to afford the necessary clearance around the chainstay yoke. It also allows for a more vertical wheel path, which Niner cites as one of the positive attributes of the CVA suspension design. Despite the alloy JET9 frame not having the same gucci appeal as the carbon models, it actually hides some impressive detailing. Note in the above photo the one–piece bottom bracket shell that incorporates both the mount for the lower link and the mount for the lower shock eyelet. Oh, and the BB is threaded too!
With the updated frame, Niner has added further versatility to the JET9 Alloy frame with the ability to fit 29in or 27.5+ wheels. Along with the added suspension travel and the updated geometry, it should add up to a more capable and more fun trail bike.
With an MSRP of $2600 USD for the complete bike pictured, the new JET9 Alloy certainly looks like an attractive proposition, though we’ll have to await further details on UK availability and pricing and the opportunity to ride one first before we can see if the ride quality matches the intent. In the meantime, you can get in touch with Jungle Products for more information about Niner Bikes in the UK.