Niner Jet 9 29er Quick Bike Review

November 20, 2008

It hasn't taken me long to realize that the crew at Niner Bikes is onto something. In only a little more than a year's time, I've gone from a 29er rookie to a 29er lover and mostly due to the crew at Niner. At Interbike 2007, Niner Bikes had a Kool-aid theme going on. Well, I drank the stuff and now I'm a true believer. It's hard not to be a believer when every Niner I've ridden has been absolutely phenomenal. The original Niner RIP 9 was a complete hoot and one of the most fun trailbikes I've ever ridden--regardless of hoop size. Then, not satisfied to sit on their laurels, Niner completely re-designed the already-awesome RIP 9 for 2009 to make it even mo' betta. Now, the RIP's little brother, the Niner Jet 9 has been in my hands for testing and I'm wondering if Niner can do no wrong. Of all the full-suspension 29ers I've ridden Niner bikes show the most refinement and consistency in ride quality across the board. Niner Jet 9 29er Quick Bike Review The Jet 9 is an XC machine at heart with just 3.1-inches of rear travel. But, because of the 29-inch wheels, that small amount of travel goes a long way. No, you're not going to soak up everything in sight, but with the larger wheels, you don't always have to because you can roll through stuff more efficiently. So far, I've found the Jet 9 to climb up anything and descend very capably. I just returned from a local time trail climb (Clark's Trail), and the Jet 9 propelled me to the top in my typical mid-season time. I'm guessing had I ridden this mid-season, I may have shaved some time off my personal best, but it's Fall and I'm not quite in my mid-season form. Like all 29er's, the middle ring is the sweet spot. Don't wallow in the granny or you won't take advantage of all the big hoops have to offer! I'm not one to use lockouts and, honestly, a good suspension design shouldn't need them. The Jet doesn't need the lockout as it powers you to the top of the climb with the rear wheel solidly planted in terra firma. The CVA Suspension is very efficient and smooth. On the downhills thus far, I've been more than pleased with its performance. Once again, the bigger hoops can do wonders for suspension designs when done right. The Jet is smooth, capable and comfortable on the downhill. At 3.1-inches of travel, you're not going to have a super-squish machine, but with the geometry and suspension setup on this bike, you can confidently power through the rough stuff without flinching. That's not the case with any other 3-inch travel bike I know of on the market today. Carving through tight, twisty singletrack, this thing just absolutely shines. I've been very impressed with its overall maneuverability--something not all 29ers share. The Good Very capable "no wander" climber (with 100mm Fox F29 even) Efficient suspension feels smooth on the downhills Arcs through twisty singletrack CVA Suspension is the real deal Kermit Green color is hot Reasonably-priced all things considered The Bad You likely won't find one at your LBS for a test ride Water bottle cage location makes for a tight fit Buy Now: has the Jet 9 on sale for a limited time (as of 11/19/08)

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