Next up on the reviewing block is the Jet 9 from Niner. This all white, 80mm travel rocket is going to be put through some abuse over the coming weeks.
Niner Bikes is one of the few 29er specific bike brands out there. One look at their bikes fully built will show you that they really know how to build a ride with big hoops. A Niner build looks fluid and proportional. Niner is also known to build some of the best 29er rigs on the market.
What does Niner say about the Jet 9?
The JET 9 is our swift, light, race ready full suspension bike. Designed around the same award winning CVA™ suspension system found on the R.I.P. 9, the Jet 9 features 80mm of plush, fully active travel at nearly a pound lighter frame weight from it’s bigger brother.
Speed was the main concept for the JET 9, and the geometry is focused on a balance between stability and maneuverability. The 72° head tube angle is based on an 80mm travel fork and is designed to give the same precise steering as our hardtail frames. All linkage pivots are outfitted with full compliment sealed cartridge bearings for a smooth, friction free suspension and a custom valved FOX RP23 shock offers superb bump compliance and damping. As on the R.I.P. 9, the JET 9 features a low leverage ratio. Keeping pressures down in the air chamber improves tune ability and responsiveness in the rear shock while increasing the life span of the seals.
Carrying on the tradition of the critically acclaimed CVA™ suspension system, the 80mm’s of travel on the Jet 9 is fully active and neutral to pedaling input. By placing the “virtual pivot” location in front of the drivetrain, and in between the two links (which are on opposite sides of the bottom bracket) the CVA™ suspension effectively forces the chain to attempt to pull the linkage in opposite directions from each other (but since the rear triangle is one piece, this physically can’t happen). This torque neutralizes pedal induced suspension movement while keeping the system fully active to vertical forces coming from the wheel. CVA™ is reactive to everything from small chatter bumps to large boulder fields, and since there is no chain growth after sag, you will never feel any pedal feedback due to suspension movement. The system is also fully active under braking, so your rear wheel keeps you tracking through even the roughest rides whether you’re slowing down or speeding up.
80mm of travel combined with a 29” wheel creates an amazingly smooth ride at an incredibly respectable weight, making the JET 9 the perfect weapon for everything from your local race scene to the all day epic.
What are my initial thoughts on the Jet 9?
Overall built quality on the Jet 9 is excellent. All of the machining, welding and finishing touches make this frame look like a boutique ride. The American Classic/Stans Arch rim wheelset on 2.1 WTB rubber on this build is a little lighter than I am used to running, but I’ll run them for awhile and see how things go. The rest of the build is some of the industry’s best…Fox F29, SRAM X.0, Race Face, Truvativ…
I really intend to put this bike through some serious abuse by taking it to trails that I would normally prefer one of my 6″ travel rides. Really testing the limits of 29er full suspension rigs is a lot of fun because one of the 29er claims to fame is riding like it has more travel than it really does. I’ll see how this 80mm of travel feels on rocky, rooty, technical terrain.
The Niner Jet 9 is designed to be race ready but still be enjoyable for the weekend warrior who wants a fast bike. This will be my first CVA suspension experience and if word on the street is correct…it should be a great ride.