Niner RIP e9 and WFO e9 ebikes - Q&A July 7, 9-11 am pst- Mtbr.com
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    Niner RIP e9 and WFO e9 ebikes - Q&A July 7, 9-11 am pst



    RIP e9 Details:


    • • 150mm rear travel with air shock and lockout, 160mm fork travel, 29” wheels front, and rear.
      • Bosch Performance Line CX motor with Power Tube 625wh battery.
      • Niner tuned Horst-link suspension rides on Enduro Max Black Oxide pivot bearings.
      • Two shock mount locations for adjustable geometry with a flip-chip
      • 1 Bottle cage in the front triangle
      • 160mm max front suspension
      • Bosch GEN4 ISCG compatibility
      • 2.6 maximum rear tire size
      • Price: $5995



    WFO e9 Details:


    • • 180mm travel with a coil shock. 29” front, 27.5+” rear wheel.
      • Bosch Performance Line CX motor with Power Tube 625wh battery.
      • Niner tuned Horst-link suspension rides on Enduro Max Black Oxide pivot bearings.
      • Two shock mount locations for adjustable geometry with flip-chip
      • 180mm max front suspension
      • 180mm rear suspension travel
      • Mullet wheel combination – 27.5×2.8 rear / 29×2.6 front maximum rear tire size
      • Price: $6295




    Q&A with Niner Bikes:


    Mtbr: First off, how is Niner doing in light of the global pandemic? How are the supply chains and the demand for bikes? How are the employees doing as far as health and well-being?
    Niner:Thanks for asking that, for sure. We definitely saw some interruptions and delays with production and logistics when the pandemic was getting serious overseas. Then we saw a significant slowdown in March and April as it began to affect communities in the US. However as bike shops were being declared essential, and people started returning to cycling for recreation and transportation, we’ve seen a strong upswing. The most affordable bikes are in the highest demand as families turn to riding as a safe and healthy alternative to team sports and indoor activities. But we’re seeing a lot of inactive or dormant riders get back in the saddle either by repairing their existing bike or acquiring a new one. The bike business overall seems to be doing well and we’re appreciating that.

    Regarding things here in the office, our warehouse kept things moving through thick and thin. Our administrative staff worked remotely for about 6 weeks during a statewide stay at home order but we’re back to full strength and operating according to city and county guidelines. Fortunately, we have a lot of space and a lean staff so there’s plenty of distance between us. And even more, fortunately, we’ve all stayed healthy.

    We’ve had a long history with Niner bike starting with 29ers with no suspension and just one gear


    Mtbr: Why is Niner getting into ebikes after years of only pedal bikes?
    Niner:Our mission is to make riding on dirt, better, period. Whether it’s better bikes, better service, or advocating for better trails, we’re always pushing in this direction. As ebike technology has improved and the bikes achieved wider adoption among riders around the globe, we realized that these bikes offer another way to make riding on dirt better.

    They offer riders better access to a broader array of trails when challenging climbing can be prohibitive.
    They allow longer rides in shorter periods of time, opening up outdoor opportunities for busy riders.
    They let a rider carry more gear with less effort, for bigger adventures in more places.
    They’re fun, damn it!

    Finally, Niner is a global brand with fans around the world. Interest in ebikes is surging globally and we want to keep our fans having fun on our bikes, both e-powered and pedal-powered.



    Mtbr: How will adding ebikes to the mix evolve the brand and the dealers? How will it affect the brand loyal customers and will it attract new customers to the brand?
    Niner:Well we wouldn’t have jumped into the ebike game if we didn’t think it would be a benefit for our dealers and the brand. We’re not shy about getting into things that are maybe a little early for their time: 29ers in 2005, gravel bikes in 2012, full-suspension gravel in 2019. Ebikes are much farther along than those categories so in some ways we’re right on time.

    Our dealers around the world have been asking for ebikes for the last two years. So this evolution helps our dealers to have a full spectrum of Niner bikes – MTB, gravel, and now e-bikes. We hope that our full spectrum of bikes made for pedaling on the dirt gives our dealers an advantage, with a Niner for everyone who wants to Pedal, Damn it!
    Regarding our loyal #ninerd fan base, let’s be honest: there are definitely a few that won’t be supportive. And we get it. The brand has a strong history in a sort of funky, counterculture, singlespeed rigid hardtail community. An ebike in the range looks like selling out.
    Internally we had some really heated discussions. It wasn’t an easy decision and these ebikes were not an easy project. It would have been easy to just skip it and focus on pedal bikes.
    But the reality is (and I’m quoting directly from some marketing copy I wrote a few months ago, so forgive the canned tone here): There’s always been an “e” in Niner. There’s an “e” in everything we stand for: access, experience, exhilaration, and adventure, not to mention equality. So internally we came around to the ebikes as offering new ways to pedal, damn it! and maintaining our signature ride quality and Niner style. We’re bringing the Niner ethos to hopefully some new folks that just want to have fun riding outside, no matter their fitness level or whatever.



    Mtbr: Pound for pound, Niner has always been one of the most active and generous supporters of IMBA and trail advocacy. How does this Ebike program fit with Niner’s long-time advocacy for trails and support for IMBA?

    Niner:Fundamentally, we feel that all trail users (riders, runners, horseback riders, and more) should have access to shared spaces for outdoor recreation. And we feel that different user groups, including pedal-powered and e-powered riders, can all get along and be good stewards of public land. When we support each other as courteous and responsible trail users, we have a stronger voice when speaking in favor of new trails.

    We still stand by IMBA as a cornerstone of trail advocacy around the world. So nothing really changes there. Specifically, regarding e-bikes vs. pedal bikes, we know that e-bike trail access is regulated differently depending on land management agencies. We support sensible regulation along with open communication between the bike industry, user groups, and land managers, to fairly accommodate and extend access to riders of all types of bikes.



    Mtbr: Why did you do this in aluminum, not carbon?

    Niner:Multiple considerations guide Niner’s choice of materials and manufacturing. We’re always weighing material structural properties against external factors such as price, intended use, engineering complexity, and more.

    In the case of the e9 series, it’s all about access. These bikes offer access to Niner’s signature designs and ride quality in a pedal-assisted system. The chance to ride a little farther, complete a dawn-patrol lap in less time, get to a sweet drop-in without needing a shuttle truck, or just get to the corner store without using a car.
    Accordingly, the primary driver in choosing aluminum for the e9 mountain bikes was price. E-bikes are unavoidably more expensive than their battery-free brethren. But we want all riders to have a realistic chance to own one without busting their budgets. By building the RIP e9 and WFO e9 in aluminum, we can bring these sweet bikes to riders at more affordable prices.

    Our rider and ambassador Kyle Warner spoke in favor of the alloy frame. “Honestly, I think that this is one of the most overlooked aspects of an ebike. The alloy frame offers such a nice and compliant ride quality and also acts as a great heatsink for the motor and also doubles as a great acoustic damper. An alloy ebike will always be a little quieter, more compliant, and run cooler in the summer than a carbon ebike. If I had to spend my own money I would prefer an alloy ebike any day of the week.”



    Mtbr: Why not use CVA suspension? What qualities of the emtb are justify this change? Is this new suspension more active?

    Niner:Well this was a tough one for sure. CVA or Constantly Varying Arc is of course our patented suspension system that was originally designed specifically for 29ers. It’s a great system and we love it.

    For one thing, the engineering challenge to accommodate both the CVA system and an e-bike drive system is enormous. For another thing, the pedaling efficiency provided by CVA serves our acoustic bikes particularly well, but it’s not as critical on a pedal-assisted system.
    Simply put, maintaining hyper-efficient pedaling input is less of a factor when Bosch pedal assist power is supplementing the rider’s effort.
    Our engineers turned to (and significantly tuned up) a Horst-link 4-bar system. Turning over every rock in pursuit of performance, we adjusted the leverage ratio, shock length, stroke, orientation, and mounting location to elicit Niner’s signature kinematics.

    And by using a “right side up” trunnion shock mount, bearings in the rocker arm are friction-free to rotate smoothly through almost 40 degrees. The result is super supple, sensitive suspension which is critical to maintaining traction while climbing under the higher torque and power output of the pedal-assisted system.
    Mtbr: Why did you choose Bosch for the drive system? What qualities of this motor and the company behind it were most attractive to you?
    Niner:Bosch was an easy choice for Niner. There’s so much backing up their position as a global leader.
    Bosch’s latest Performance Line CX Gen 4 motor is smaller by 40% and reduced in weight by 700 grams (26%) while increasing efficiency (more range for the same battery) and keeping the torque performance, compared to the prior version.



    The recently released software update increases the available torque to 85Nm and adds a rollover feature to the eMTB mode. Bosch’s motor is the most efficient on the market today with the flattest torque curve. This means that at a cadence of 30-110rpm the torque is even and available to the rider.

    Bosch has the most responsive (fastest processing speed) torque sensor on the market. It’s 20x faster than the nearest competitor. This means the system adds assistance faster and also shuts off faster when the rider stops pedaling.
    Bosch’s battery is the only UL listed battery and charger on the market. Niner is using Bosch’s new PowerTube battery in both the 625 Wh size, nestled into the frame to optimize the low center of gravity. Bosch’s battery offers the most energy density on the market today (which translates to the most range per pound of battery, making bikes lighter).
    Bosch has the largest service network in North America with over 2500 certified techs. Frequent clinics around the world offer plenty of opportunity for Niner dealers and sales staff to be certified.

    An automotive-grade diagnostics system makes it easy for dealers to monitor Bosch drive systems.
    Bosch has a 2-year warranty on their systems and they are conservative in their estimate of system life. In fact, testers have run motors for longer than 5 years and 30,000 miles.



    Mtbr: Will we see other price points for Niner eMTBs?

    Niner:For now we’re offering this in a “3-star” SX Eagle build which hits a moderate price level for the rider. But we’re already looking at spec changes and maybe growing the range of specs for the future. It’s a case of “crawl, walk, run” and we want to make sure we’re getting things right, first, before expanding to more builds and prices.

    Mtbr: Will we see your other bikes with assist systems? Do you see a market for assisted hardtails and lighter bikes?
    Niner:We expect another e-bike in the coming year for sure. I can’t tell you anything about it for now, but we promise it will be cool.
    There’s a market for lighter bikes and hardtails for sure, but they often have some compromises. Our focus out of the gate for this project was durability, long-range, a best in class drive system, and really good suspension. With a really good drive system and long-range, there’s no reason to forego good suspension so you can take full advantage of getting to the tops of climbs faster.



    What are your other hopes and goals with your eMTB product line?

    Niner:The e9 series is somewhat of a starting point for us. As a small company, the effort to build ebikes was huge. There’s been a big learning curve and a lot of testing and refinement. It’s just a whole other thing compared to acoustic bikes. The goal right now is to expand our range of bikes to have acoustic MTB, e-mtb, acoustic gravel … and grow from there. This gets our foot in the door so to speak so we can offer more access to more Niner fans, more riders, more dealers.
    Last edited by fc; 07-07-2020 at 08:10 AM.
    IPA will save America

  2. #2
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    We can argue about eBikes, and we do. I own an e cargo bike, but I do not support e trail bikes for most users or as they are currently marketed.

    What I don't think anyone can get on board with is a (WFOS with) 27.5", horst link, eNiner that is as generic a catalog build as you can imagine, with SX. SX! An eWFO, but no regular WFO. This is about as mighty a slap in the face to what Niner was as I can imagine. I feel bad for the brand.

  3. #3
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    It's not even on the front page of their own website...even Niner is embarrassed by it. This is what happens when investment firms buy bike companies...just kill the Niner name now.

    (And no...not b/c it's an e-bike...but b/c they released this as their e-bike).

  4. #4
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    Sad and embarrassed for Niner.
    Death from Below.

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    First a 27.5 Rip, now Horst Link. Sad When the Rep at Sedona MTB festival hinted at a 180mm WFO coming out, I had no idea it would have a motor.

  6. #6
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    Not to bag, but if doing a Horst link, then besides price, what's the difference with a Specialized Turbo Levo?
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

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    Ok, FC here, your host. Let the questions commence. I'll be present for the next couple hours. Also Zack from Niner will be here as well.

    Keep it fun, keep it civil and informational!
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  8. #8
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    I’m getting happier and happier that I went with an Ibis bike a few weeks ago...

    Sorry to see Niner going this direction over the past year.

  9. #9
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    Hi everyone,
    Here to answer your questions and comments. I can see there are already a few.

    My 5am homepage website update was unfortunately erased by our developers and I had to re-do it in the last hour. It's live now and I'd invite you to at least check it out and give it a chance.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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  10. #10
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    Regarding your other comments,
    One- Niner HAD to get into the ebike game, at some level, ASAP, or risk losing any chance of doing anything, any wheel size, any travel. I'm not saying this project was rushed, I'm saying that the imperative was urgent. And concurrent with the urgency was a HUGE learning curve. Everything about ebikes is different and we had to learn our way through it. Now that we've done this work, we're that much farther along for any future efforts. And we're in better position overall to take on projects.

    Two - regular WFO. We're hearing from SO many fans that WFO 9 RDO is hot on their wish list. Trust me, you've been heard. We're closer than you think.

    I'll be online for the next couple of hours if I can offer any further comments.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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  11. #11
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    I think the bike looks dope personally. Question...how confident are you in this motor? I have been on a Levo for 2 years now and really love it but I have also been thru 6 motors. How can I be confident this bike won't have longevity issues and how will you handle a situation where motors fail regularly?
    I'm not sure how this works.

  12. #12
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    Hi,
    This is not a bad question and not taken as critical.

    The Bosch motor and 625 Wh battery will set this bike apart. We've heard that the Brose and Specialized systems are not as reliable as they could be. So by partnering with Bosch, we feel we're delivering a bike that will be ultra reliable and ultra durable over the long term. Not to mention the 2500 certified techs in the US who can service the system.

    This is probably the most significant difference, but the suspension curve is also our own. So we're delivering a super supple ride with particular attention paid to traction under power.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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  13. #13
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    Hi, good question.
    The Bosch system is widely regarded as the most reliable on the market and is supported the best support network around the world. There are 2500 certified techs in the USA and they've run motors in testing under load continuously for 3+ years.

    I'm digging up more evidence and support for you now!
    .........

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    Niner Bikes

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  14. #14
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    Ok here are some bullet points:

    Bosch’s battery is the only UL listed battery and charger on the market. Niner is using Bosch’s new PowerTube battery in both the 625 Wh size, nestled into the frame to optimize low center of gravity.

    Bosch’s battery offers the most energy density on the market today (which translates to the most range per pound of battery, making bikes lighter).

    Bosch has the largest service network in North America with over 2500 certified techs. Frequent clinics around the world offer plenty of opportunity for Niner dealers and sales staff to be certified.

    An automotive grade diagnostics system makes it easy for dealers to monitor Bosch drive systems.

    Bosch has a 2 year warranty on their systems and they are conservative in their estimate of system life. In fact, testers have run motors for longer than 5 years and 30,000 miles.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankS29 View Post
    I’m getting happier and happier that I went with an Ibis bike a few weeks ago...

    Sorry to see Niner going this direction over the past year.
    Hey Frank, will you be super sad when Ibis launches their ebike? Just half-kidding. They will launch one of many and you can take that to the bank. Bike companies cannot ignore 30-50% of the future mountain bike market. And that's not even counting the euros.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for all the input, Niner Bikes.

    Does the use of Horst Links on the new e9 models signal a shift away from CVA on future analog mountain bikes as well, or is it unique to this project?

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    Quote Originally Posted by this is the day View Post
    Hey Frank, will you be super sad when Ibis launches their ebike? Just half-kidding. They will launch one of many and you can take that to the bank. Bike companies cannot ignore 30-50% of the future mountain bike market. And that's not even counting the euros.

    Probably not. Because Ibis has been keeping up with many of their bikes.

    Basically the entire Niner mountain bike line needs serious updating, except the Rip. So to release these that will only cater to a VERY small portion of the market (someone that wants THIS much bike AND wants an E-Bike) while the rest of your mountain bike line is stagnant, makes no sense to me.

    I personally don’t care if a bike manufacturer make a business decision to go into E-Bikes, but I seriously question the choice when there are a lot of other parts of your business that need serious attention.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by this is the day View Post
    Hey Frank, will you be super sad when Ibis launches their ebike? Just half-kidding. They will launch one of many and you can take that to the bank. Bike companies cannot ignore 30-50% of the future mountain bike market. And that's not even counting the euros.
    Sure they can. Why is it everyone's mentality that every company must make as much $$$ as possible?

    Just like not every company makes a road bike...and not everyone makes an MTB...there is no reason that any company HAS to make one. Will they lost out on some $$$. Absolutely. But, maybe there are some companies that it is worth it to remain non-motorized.

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    Why is the 3-star build equipped with the entry level drivetrain and the base yari and super deluxe shock. With the analog bikes there are 4 star levels and the 3-star is the second from the top. It seems like your trying to trick your existing customers who don't pay close attention by leveling the entry level e-bike as a 3-star build.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankS29 View Post
    Probably not. Because Ibis has been keeping up with many of their bikes.

    Basically the entire Niner mountain bike line needs serious updating, except the Rip. So to release these that will only cater to a VERY small portion of the market (someone that wants THIS much bike AND wants an E-Bike) while the rest of your mountain bike line is stagnant, makes no sense to me.

    I personally don’t care if a bike manufacturer make a business decision to go into E-Bikes, but I seriously question the choice when there are a lot of other parts of your business that need serious attention.
    Good point, good point. And I agree Smartyjack, not every company needs to make ebikes. But man, they better be printing money somewhere else (and ignoring dealer demands).

    It's likely an issue of prioritization. Got to make money in the best opportunities to fund the rest of the operation.

    Specialized sucked me back in their umbrella because of that smooth Levo. But jeez, it's left me stranded and walking at the backside of mountain 3x already. Belt fail each time and they just replace the motor. Nice of them but what a lemon. I'm riding my old Focus Jam now. Crappy but dead reliable system.

  21. #21
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    Hi,
    This is not a bad question and not taken as critical.

    The Bosch motor and 625 Wh battery will set this bike apart. We've heard that the Brose and Specialized systems are not as reliable as they could be. So by partnering with Bosch, we feel we're delivering a bike that will be ultra reliable and ultra durable over the long term. Not to mention the 2500 certified techs in the US who can service the system.

    This is probably the most significant difference, but the suspension curve is also our own. So we're delivering a super supple ride with particular attention paid to traction under power.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

    Follow all things Niner Bikes on Facebook!www.ninerbikes.com

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    Just to be clear, I’m not some Niner hating troll.

    Over the last 4 years I’ve purchased 4 Niner bikes (Air 9 RDO, Jet 9 RDO, BSB 9 RDO, and RLT 9 RDO). I still own 3 of them ( traded in my Air 9).

    I got really excited when the Rip was updated last year for an update to the Jet. I just got sick of waiting and I started to look around...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by theboomboomcars View Post
    Why is the 3-star build equipped with the entry level drivetrain and the base yari and super deluxe shock. With the analog bikes there are 4 star levels and the 3-star is the second from the top. It seems like your trying to trick your existing customers who don't pay close attention by leveling the entry level e-bike as a 3-star build.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
    Hi,
    We're not trying to trick anyone. It's one of the rare cases of offering only a single star build level. We batted around the naming for a few weeks. 2-star or 3-star. Based on the specs of most of the pedal bikes and prior year pedal bikes, the 3-star SX Eagle level seemed to make the most sense. Our current 2-star pedal bikes are actually NX Eagle.

    There's always some spec discussion and it's a balancing act. We want to make the bike perform well but not cost too much. Access, and by access in this case, we mean attainable pricing, is important.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankS29 View Post
    Just to be clear, I’m not some Niner hating troll.

    Over the last 4 years I’ve purchased 4 Niner bikes (Air 9 RDO, Jet 9 RDO, BSB 9 RDO, and RLT 9 RDO). I still own 3 of them ( traded in my Air 9).

    I got really excited when the Rip was updated last year for an update to the Jet. I just got sick of waiting and I started to look around...
    Right on, much respect!!! I had several Niner hardtais. No gearzzzzzzzzz 4 ever. Until my knees and back hurt.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankS29 View Post
    Just to be clear, I’m not some Niner hating troll.

    Over the last 4 years I’ve purchased 4 Niner bikes (Air 9 RDO, Jet 9 RDO, BSB 9 RDO, and RLT 9 RDO). I still own 3 of them ( traded in my Air 9).

    I got really excited when the Rip was updated last year for an update to the Jet. I just got sick of waiting and I started to look around...
    Hey no worries,
    We don't expect everyone to love this direction for us.

    Be patient, regarding pedal bikes ... the drawing board is active, I can say that much. And folks internally are LOVING what is being worked on!
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Pattersnap View Post
    Thanks for all the input, Niner Bikes.

    Does the use of Horst Links on the new e9 models signal a shift away from CVA on future analog mountain bikes as well, or is it unique to this project?
    We're not getting away from CVA, not at all. It boils down to just this one project in which
    a) the priority is on traction and supple suspension to deliver all the power to the ground, and
    b) the engineering to get CVA worked into the design could have set the project back by years.

    CVA is still our go-to suspension system and it's real benefit is balancing pedal input vs. active suspension, a balance which is so important on pedal bikes.
    .........

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

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    Like this year close to a new peddle WFO? Id really like to stick with you guys, but don't want to wait till next year.

  28. #28
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    Meh.. should’ve released something more updated for your pedal (damn it) bikes. I think the brand has lost too much in recent years to rise from the ashes. Good luck
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    Glad to see the attempt to go after a pretty good chunk of the current market. Niner has lost a lot of traction over the last few years so this plus some updates to the CVA and the regular FS 29ers will hopefully bring some excitement and customers back to the brand.

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    Niner originally being 29 only should have stuck to their guns. They should have been one of the first to go longer, lower, slacker. They should have been first in the 29 DH arena. So far they just lag behind all the other manufacturers and this e-bike shows it. I think the main reason the e-bikes are using Horst suspension platform is that the motor prevents being able to have a mounting point for the lower link. I owned and really liked my 2012 RIP9 but moved on to a bike with more modern geo. When Niner released their fully redesigned Jet and RIP I was excited only to be disappointed by the fact that the geo numbers didn't appeal to me. It seems they have moved into the modern era as I recently went to the website out of curiosity and the RIP has been updated along the way to have reasonably nice geo. It's kinda sad that this company was a leader that pushed boundaries with their commitment to the 29 platform but has now fallen behind and become a follower much like Kona.
    2016 Evil Following V1
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  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: terrible's Avatar
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    You sold your soul when you licensed FSR. Worst pedaling suspension design there is. I hope the rest of the line doesn't go this way.
    "I'm the fastest of the slow guys"

  32. #32
    Chilling out
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrible View Post
    You sold your soul when you licensed FSR. Worst pedaling suspension design there is. I hope the rest of the line doesn't go this way.
    I don't think it requires a license any more.

  33. #33
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    I don't think it is the worst pedaling platform. It isn't the best but the small bump complain and active tractions is quite good...the traction in technical sections is really good due to the active nature of the design. You don't need the efficiency near as much since you have so much assist power too. With a good shock, I think it will work really well. The Levo does work well and they can't keep it in stock.

  34. #34
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    Reputation: CHROMAG19's Avatar
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    Im picking up the RIPe9 tomorrow as long its still in stock. A bit nervous going full eMTB.

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