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  1. #1
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    RIP 9 alloy review

    I thought I would post some of my thoughts about the RIP 9 alloy I just purchased. This was a replacement to a Trek Fuel EX8 29er.

    About myself: I have been riding off and on for about 20 years (since I was about 14) sometimes five years break before I returned to the sport. I Consider myself an aggressive XC rider but prefer to ride something more playful and capable that the typical XC race bike. I have ridden in the Midwest, Germany and German alps, and now in the southeast. I am now starting to travel out to other riding destinations within a few hours from here.

    I purchased the 2014 Rip 9 alloy just this past weekend after a demo event in March. I found the Rip to corner much more naturally and it seemed to be such a stout/solid feeling bike. My demo was somewhat hindered as the first time out the suspension was set up very poorly giving me pedal strikes way too much. Turns out there was mostly no air in the rear shock. Also the wooded section of trail was closed off leaving me a technical granite rock section to ride. I was not in the market to buy at this time but weeks later found myself drawn to the bike.

    Once I decided to purchase the Rip 9 I was torn between the 4 star build and 3 star build. I went for the 3 star because of the XT brakes and the 2x10 as I am not sure if I am strong enough rider for the north GA mountain riding. Then research led me to the rock shox pike. I was hesitant at first as I don't need 140mm travel but found out it can be reduced to 130mm for little cost. I then wanted a premium wheel. I was torn between the industry nine trails and was recommended the Roval Control Carbons. Both were the same price but the Rovals had a life time warranty vs 2yrs and the DT swiss simplicity won. Dealer gave me a great package taking the stock parts in trade.

    My first ride was great. I was actually trying lots of new products (fork, bike, carbon wheels, tires, shimano pedals). On this bike I was now running XT trail pedals vs my candy 2. It took some getting used to not having the float. The trails were easy single track with a few tech areas. a 3 mile flow trail. I put in a total of 20.35 miles that day. I found the Rip to easily pedal in the full open suspension setting only seeming to bob on fire roads. The pedal mode also works great but I think I need to soften the front fork PSI some. The wheels seem to disappear under the bike a worthy upgrade if you are into that kind of thing. The bike made the tech sections a breeze. The step downs were also ate up like they were not even there. As the trail gets tighter with switchbacks it handles them better than my fuel did. XT drive terrain was flawless and an upgrade for sure over my SLX. XT brakes awesome as well. The fork is awesome. It compresses like it should instead of flexing then compressing like my fox did. This is a very efficient fork I might add.

    The Rip came in on the scale at 28.7 lbs with XT trail pedals, Roval carbon wheels, RS pike. This was only .7 lbs more than my fuel. Actually the bike may weigh the same as the Fuel had lighter tires and I know the candy pedals are about 100 grams less than the shimano XT trails. I found this to be very pleasing.

    Gripes: I would preferred the clean look of internal cable routing. Some don't like it as cable replacement is a pain. The seat I received was a house brand Niner seat. While it looks fine it is uncomfortable and cheaply made. It belongs on a $1500-2000 bike and not a $4200 bike. The specs show a WTB volt and my demo bike had the WTB seat and I liked it. I wrote Niner about it and was told this is what now comes on all Niners and it has not been updated on the website. I politely replied asking for a favor to swap as usually if there is a part substitute it is an upgrade not a downgrade and the spec sheet says WTB Volt. It may sound petty but this is not the caliber seat that should be expected on a bike like this. Waiting for a reply from them.

    Set up: I weigh about 170 lbs. Tire pressure was set at 28r/26f. Rear shock 170psi (25% sag) with 2 clicks from fastest rebound. Fork 80 psi 8 clicks out on rebound and LSC. I may drop fork to 75psi.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  2. #2
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    I also should note I had the dealer install my race face turbine 60mm stem right away. I am using the stock 710mm carbon bars, thinking of getting the RDO bars and cutting down to 740. I was riding a 720 on the trek before.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  3. #3
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    You might want to relook at your tire pressures, I run 25r & 18 to 20 front with 2.35 tires.

    With 26 front it will bounce of everything at your weight. IMO

  4. #4
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    Usually I run a lower pressure. I will lower it about 2 psi at a time until It feels best. On the trail I was riding I didn't seem to get much bouncing. Although the trail I will ride tomorrow will be a different story. Lots of tree roots!
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  5. #5
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    Good review. What trails in GA are you riding?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton View Post
    Good review. What trails in GA are you riding?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

    LH Thompson, pig, arrowhead, daucet
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  7. #7
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    Yes that is the Thompson bike part manufacturer
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  8. #8
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    I heard back from Niner about the seat. They were not able to swap the seat. The seat I got is basically a house brand seat. After a few rides it has been fine and I think I will keep it. I talked to the dealer about the scratched crank arm and they are supposed to get me a replacement on the way.

    I have dropped the tire pressure to 24R/22F. The tires are holding up fine so far but may opt for a less aggressive tire next time such as a conti Xking or mountain king. I have been really impressed with the suspension. I don't feel the need to use the pedal mode at all. I am about to give the stock 90mm stem a try just to say I did. I would like to try a wider bar but the price of an RDO 780 is steep. I could try something else but like the bend. I will need to get some of the cables shortened to prevent rubbing on the fork crown. It has been a great bike so far.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  9. #9
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    I actually flipped my propedal or whatever you want to call it on the other day on the road coming back from the trail. It felt great, really solid pedalling, but like you, I really don't see the need to use it, as the bike pedals fine without it.

    I'm running a 90mm stem with 710 bars, and not sure if I want to go any shorter. Wider bars are probably out of the question, as there were a few places on the trail where I was surprised I made it through without clipping my bars. And the bike seemed to steer pretty quickly as is, not too fast, but certainly different from how my Stumpjumper handled the tight singletrack. Goes where I need it to go immediately, no lag or resistance. Not sure if I'd like it any quicker.

    Kinda steers a lot like I remember my Niner MCR hardtail handled. Doesn't feel like a long wheelbased, slack full suspension rig. Anyone who feels that 29ers aren't good in the tight twisty stuff should give this one a try.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Yes that is the Thompson bike part manufacturer
    You mean Thomson?

    Edit: Oh yeah Just Googled it. I never realized Thomson was a Georgia Company.

  11. #11
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    Yes
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    I heard back from Niner about the seat. They were not able to swap the seat. The seat I got is basically a house brand seat. After a few rides it has been fine and I think I will keep it. I talked to the dealer about the scratched crank arm and they are supposed to get me a replacement on the way.

    I have dropped the tire pressure to 24R/22F. The tires are holding up fine so far but may opt for a less aggressive tire next time such as a conti Xking or mountain king. I have been really impressed with the suspension. I don't feel the need to use the pedal mode at all. I am about to give the stock 90mm stem a try just to say I did. I would like to try a wider bar but the price of an RDO 780 is steep. I could try something else but like the bend. I will need to get some of the cables shortened to prevent rubbing on the fork crown. It has been a great bike so far.
    Good review on a great bike. You can always "experiment" with bar width by adding some plugs to the ends of your current bars under your grips to widen the bars.

    Deluxe Bar End Extenders | Evans Cycles

    I usually just build them myself with some plumbing stuff, or even a dowel stick and tape to add up to 20-25mm on either side. Slip the grip over it and - presto - you've got wider bars. If you really like the extra width, then you can purchase a bar with that width, or just ride with the extensions as they are - since they are so short most of the weight and grip is on the actual bar itself with only the pinky out on the extension.

    I have the older alloy RIP 9 frame with the 70.5 HT angle which is super fast in the tight and twisty singletrack. And I get plenty of traction with some big velcro Specialized Renegade 2.3's front and rear (23 psi front/25 rear).



    Super fun bike. And super fast. My bars are only 640mm so I can dive and twist through the tight trees.

  13. #13
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    I got some shuttle runs in today on my Rip9 RDO, I tried the 2.3 Minion DHF on the front of my bike at 20lb & that Tire has a heap of grip.

    It doesn't roll to bad either for what it is.

    I did enjoy the 780mm bars hitting all the tree roots at speed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post

    I have the older alloy RIP 9 frame with the 70.5 HT angle which is super fast in the tight and twisty singletrack. And I get plenty of traction with some big velcro Specialized Renegade 2.3's front and rear (23 psi front/25 rear).

    Super fun bike. And super fast. My bars are only 640mm so I can dive and twist through the tight trees.
    There's a lot to be said for a shorter, steeper 29er, even though that is not the fashion these days. My Intense Spider 29 (2008 version) has a 72 degree HA with 100 mm fork, and it is also super fast, fun and maneuverable.

  15. #15
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    Hey stygz, I'm curious, it looks like you had your Fuel about a year, and the Fuel seems like a great bike also, and similar in a lot of ways to the RIP, so, why did you switch? Can you give us a quick comparison of the two?

  16. #16
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    The fuel is a great bike. It had more of an Xc/trail feel to it. The rip set up like I have it is a more playful trail bike. I actually find the rip to climb better. I like how the rear suspension works better on the rip. I rode the fuel in the trail setting mostly but when in the decend I got a wollowly feeling. It was plush but not composed feeling like the rip. I find the rip to pedal just as well if not better in the full open vs the pedal mode on the fuel on the flats. I wish the rip had internal cable routing like the fuel. Also internal routing for a dropper. I went with a shorter stem and looking for a RDO bar probably cut to 740mm. I also found the rip to be a bit more lively jumping off trail features. Both bikes jump great but the rip set up like mine is certainatly set up better. I was torn on the 1x build but could not deal with the brakes on that build. The reason I switched was for a bike that pedals/climbs better and a more stout trail bike. I ride for fun not KOM, but I got faster on this bike. I come from a mx back ground and the green/black reminds me of my old Kwai KX.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    The Rip came in on the scale at 28.7 lbs with XT trail pedals, Roval carbon wheels, RS pike. This was only .7 lbs more than my fuel. Actually the bike may weigh the same as the Fuel had lighter tires and I know the candy pedals are about 100 grams less than the shimano XT trails. I found this to be very pleasing.
    Too be honest, I would've expected it to be a touch lighter.

    Do you have a dropper?

    Comparing your build to my theoretical build, I'd only be around 1/2-1 lbs lighter... I was hoping (dreaming?) that I could get an airformed RIP9 into the mid 27's.

    I need a longer ETT than my Medium Giant AX29, but can't seem to find a frame that suits my goals (and I can't get off the coin for the RIP9 RDO or Jet 9 RDO).

    I'd be building with a 32 120 fork, carbon bars & post, carbon wheels.
    '14 Remedy 9 - Pike, XT's, XO/X9, hookless carbon
    '14 Jet9 RDO - Reverb, XT's, XO/X9, hookless carbon

  18. #18
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    Well the xt pedals are about 100 grams more than the candy's on the fuel alone. I also think the bontrager xr3 tires are lighter than the nobby nics. The scale only tells part of the story. This was not a back to back weighing either.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  19. #19
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    No dropper on either bike. I would have guessed the rip to be lighter also. I would guess the pike weighs more also.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiebrett View Post
    Too be honest, I would've expected it to be a touch lighter.

    Do you have a dropper?

    Comparing your build to my theoretical build, I'd only be around 1/2-1 lbs lighter... I was hoping (dreaming?) that I could get an airformed RIP9 into the mid 27's.

    I need a longer ETT than my Medium Giant AX29, but can't seem to find a frame that suits my goals (and I can't get off the coin for the RIP9 RDO or Jet 9 RDO).

    I'd be building with a 32 120 fork, carbon bars & post, carbon wheels.
    Don't get to hung up on weight.

    The bike is so good that it more than makes up for any extra weight.

    I have both the Rip9 RDO & 2014 Alloy Rip9 & they are both very nice bikes.

    I like the Rip9 RDO a little bit more, But if buying the RDO meant trimming the build budget, I would go with the Alloy frame with higher spec build.

    My 2 c

  21. #21
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    I weighed my RIP a couple weeks ago on the Park scale, and it came in at 31 pounds, 10 ounces. My spreadsheet of parts weight had me a bit under 31 pounds. yeah, I was sorta stunned that it was that heavy, but it really doesn't ride like it. It feels lighter than my old Stumpy FSR, which was probably under 30 pounds, with pretty much the same parts, except for the dropper post.

  22. #22
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    Buying the rip is not about weight, it's about the ride.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  23. #23
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    Rufus, what is your build? As for my bike weight I am happy with it. I think my shop uses a park scale also. If I remember correctly my bathroom scale and the dealer scale showed the same.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
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    Rock Shox Pike 140
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    Buying the rip is not about weight, it's about the ride.
    I keep reading that. Everyone says it climbs significantly better than its weight would suggest.

    I found a good deal on a lightly used 2010 frame set, but am turned off by the 71.5* HA. (70.5* didn't come until 2011 the ZS headtube.)

    I really like the new airformed (LOVE that it has a BSA BB!!!), but this will be my aggressive XC bike... So I'm still a bit of a weight weenie.

    Great write up though!
    '14 Remedy 9 - Pike, XT's, XO/X9, hookless carbon
    '14 Jet9 RDO - Reverb, XT's, XO/X9, hookless carbon

  25. #25
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokiebrett View Post
    I keep reading that. Everyone says it climbs significantly better than its weight would suggest.

    I found a good deal on a lightly used 2010 frame set, but am turned off by the 71.5* HA. (70.5* didn't come until 2011 the ZS headtube.)

    I really like the new airformed (LOVE that it has a BSA BB!!!), but this will be my aggressive XC bike... So I'm still a bit of a weight weenie.

    Great write up though!
    I have owned a 09/10 Rip9 & sold the bike because it didn't feel alive on the easy XC trails.

    On the ruff & down hills the 09/10 was awesome & lifted my ridding so much over the time I owned it ( I have never owned a bike for as long as I did my 09?10 Tang Rip9 )

    The new Air formed Alloy Rip9 gives the same just push it harder & it will hold on feel as the old Rip9 did but just better.

    On the easy XC type trails the new Rip9 feels much more alive.

    IMO if you can afford to buy the New Rip9, It is a great upgrade over the older Rip9.

    09-12 Rip9's are very good bikes, The New Air formed Rip9 is just better in every way.

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