Borrowing the incredibly low-slung look and feel of the current RIP 9 RDO, the all-new Niner WFO 9 RDO brings back their longest travel 29er mountain bike with a completely modern refresh.
Niner broke ground with the original, offering a then-drastic 140mm of rear wheel travel. That’s tame by today’s standards, but it was a lot in 2009. It not only pushed the limits of what riders thought necessary, it pushed component manufacturers to create stronger, longer-travel suspension, parts, wheels, and tires.
In 2013, they unveiled the 2nd generation model, which ditched the front derailleur mount to tuck the rear wheel in tighter. Things got a bit slacker, and travel jumped to 150mm. Niner posted a full retrospective on the design that explains some of the challenges in building something for which few parts were actually available.
Fast forward to 2021 and they’ve slackened the angles, stretched the cockpit, and given it all the latest tech. The new WFO 9 gets a massive 170mm of rear wheel travel paired to a 180mm fork, and it looks ready for anything.
2021 Niner WFO 9 RDO details
The new WFO borrows more than Niner’s “Rib Cage” main frame, which tucks the rear shock inside two support beams connecting the downtube to the seat tube.
It also gets the Enduro Max Black Oxide bearings and the flip-chip adjustable geometry to raise the bottom bracket just a bit should the terrain get extra gnarly. You can’t see it in these photos, but the adjustment is made on the backside of the pivot at the rear of the upper linkage.
Tire clearance is rated for 29×2.6″ tires, plenty of rubber for getting rad. Niner says the CVA suspension offers supportive pedaling and bottomless descending, something we’ve noted on past Niner reviews. Both climbing and descending should be aided by the angles, too. Full geo chart is further down, but the key numbers are:
- 64º head angle
- 77º seat angle (effective)
- Flip Chip raises BB by 9mm and steepens angles by 0.7º
New to the WFO are cross members on the seatstays and rocker arm. This, and the fact that it’s a one-piece rear triangle, helps the frame and all those linkages stay stiff and moving in a straight line with all that travel.
The WFO is designed and sold with an air shock, with a mostly falling leverage ratio (3.0 to 2.4 to 2.6) to help support the bike in the middle of its travel while ramping back up slightly at the end to help it overcome the air shock’s natural ramp and use all the travel. Or you can throw a coil shock on it.
Hiding inside the frame are smoother, straighter full-sleeve internal cable routing which should help it shift crisply. Other little details include:
- Boost spacing
- 44mm fork offset
- 30.9mm seatpost diameter
- 36T max chainring size
- ISCG05 chainguide mount
- Threaded 73mm bottom bracket
- SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger (yes, it works with Shimano, too)
- Water bottle mount inside front triangle
- Downtube shuttle guard plus additional frame protection
- Oversized lower shock pocket for wider shock compatibility
- Lifetime warranty
WFO Pricing, Builds & Geometry
The new Niner WFO 9 RDO will come in Hot Tamale and Magnetic Gray/Black colorways. Five build levels will be offered:
Available now through Niner dealers and direct.