Niner has revolutionized the 29er mountain bike world as of late. With the introduction of the Jet 9 RDO, Race Day Optimized, Niner has taken the already proven Jet 9 to a completely different level.
Full carbon and stiff as can be, the RDO is comfortable in any conditions, perfect for the ultimate trail bike as well as the top of the line race machine. Niner has developed a platform that will let you use your imagination to build your perfect bike.
That is exactly what I tried to do during the previous off-season. I believe efforts were a success and I love this bike. It is super light, stiff and responsive. The 100mm of rear travel with the Kashima shock is perfect for everything from the local Charlotte trails to Pisgah and beyond.
In the past, I was a tried and true SRAM fan. After messing around with other drivetrain systems, I came back to SRAM and will not ride anything else. Therefore, I built this bike up with the SRAM XX drivetrain. It has perfect shifting, braking and power transfer.
On the front end I bounced around between the RockShox SID and the Lefty. After talking with everyone I could, I called Jake at Project 321 and he built me the best front end a bike could have: a carbon Cannondale Lefty, with 110mm of travel. It has proven to be a very compliant and stiff front end that puts the bike exactly where you want to go.
For the hoops I went with two sets of wheels, both from Stans. The first a training pair of Stans Crest, and the second were a pair of Stans Gold reserved only for race day situations. After only two rides, the Crest wheels taco’d on me and sent me sliding. This didn’t happen on a huge drop or bunch of roots. They simply folded over during a tight, high-speed turn. This was a huge disappointment and made me decide to unload the Gold’s (before I had even ridden them) due to the inability of the Crest wheels to hold up. In the past, I had heard of the flex associated with the Stans wheels but never before experienced such a thing, especially on a tame trail with nothing that would cause this to happen. I have ridden my American Classic wheels for a year now, taking them off everything from large drops to Farlow Gap with no structural issues.
Enter Project 321 Part two. I called Jake and spoke (maybe begged and pleaded) to him about the ENVE wheels that he builds. Needing a set in less than a week (for an upcoming race) he hand built me the best wheels I have ever been on and shipped the very next morning. These wheels are stiff and the input from the rider is amazing. I can not wait to put them to the full test shortly.
For those that might say 100mm is not enough travel, Niner makes you feel like you have way more under you than is there. Riding the original Jet 9 with only 80mm of travel through all the trails of Pisgah and Dupont with no issues, the RDO offers even more. The major upside is that their suspension is so good that you do not lose all the power you apply to the pedals (like other full suspension bikes). Their bikes respond perfect and do what they were intended to.
The Niner RDO is the perfect choice for any application. You can build it from the most basic of rides to the Cadillac of your dreams. Come down to Tailwinds and talk to Dave about getting on one of your own.