Niner Bikes-How It All Began

 

 

we were the only company solely dedicated to 29ers. Early on we created and patented an eccentric bottom bracket for singlespeed use called the BioCentric. Our other notable innovations include:

• First patented 29er-specific suspension system: CVA

1st long travel 29er: the WFO 9 in 2015

• Integrated bag mounts on front triangles

• First full-suspension gravel bike: the MCR 9 RDO

• First patented rear suspension for gravel use.

MBA: What were the first few years like?

CS: Like any new business, you wear a lot of hats. You work day and night. It is a long but enjoyable journey. We were a passionate group of believers, and we were basically disrupting the industry.

It was very tough in the beginning. The majority of riders and the industry were very unaccepting of the 29er wheel-size concept. And being early into an emerging category is always challenging.

We did a lot of creative marketing and, in many cases, our products spoke for themselves. By being different enough, it was easy to stand out. And as people would ride our bikes, they became believers. We’ve had a very loyal fan base.

MBA: How did your bikes get introduced to other countries?

CS: We were fortunate that we generated international interest early. We started distribution outside the U.S. in 2006. I remember that in particular since I was on the phone with a new distributor from New Zealand while my wife was in labor!

MBA: Are there any key principles that the company has always emphasized?

CS: • Hire awesome people

• Be authentic

• Give back. We support IMBA, PeopleForBikes, NICA, plus local organizations in Colorado.

MBA: What were the most popular products in the early years of the company?

CS: Single-speeds and carbon forks. We had a fun, funky culture, and we really exploited a market segment that set us apart while we were growing and gaining expertise in the 29er category.

Back in 2009, Niner’s R.I.P. 9 RDO was one of the most impressive bikes on the market. Photo: MBA archives

MBA: What are a few of your most popular products now?

CS: Full-suspension 29er mountain bikes and gravel bikes. Obviously, 29er mountain bikes are our specialty, and we’ve continued to refine and evolve our purpose-built 29er CVA suspension system.

And a decade ago we were quick to recognize how fun gravel riding could be. Our RLT 9 series remains super popular.

MBA: What’s the best way for people to check out your products now?

CS: Obviously, our website tells the story of our brand and our product range, but definitely seek out a demo or visit one of our dealers to see and ride the bikes in person.

 

ninerbikes.com


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