Trail Testing: Niner ROS 9
We recently received a Niner ROS 9 on our doorstep, ready to be put through an onslaught of Mountain Bike Action testing. The all-mountain hardtail is an intriguing concept that leaves some shaking their heads and others drooling. We’re certainly on the drooling side of the bunch. Add the slick purple/green paint job and we need a mop to clean up the mess.
So far, it’s been a handful of a bike. Hard tail efficiency to leave us pedaling around with ease, but enough fork travel and slacked-out geometry to leave us confident on high-speed descents and bermed-out corners. It hasn’t been the bike we’d take out to rip cross-country loops, nor has it been the bike you’d find us shuttling our local downhills on. It’s the bike you’ll find us taking our time to pedal to the top in a casual manner, only to turn around and descend in a way that leaves us popping from one trail obstacle to the next. Trailside jump…no problem. It’s been the get-all-kinds-of-rowdy-but-with-the-simplicity-of-a-hardtail kind of bike.
Dropper post action on a hardtail, a SRAM X1 1-by-11 drivetrain, the reasonably priced quality of Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes and a BioCentric II bottom bracket to tweak on? There’s no doubt this is going to be a stellar testing period. So far, it’s been game for everything we’ve thrown at it!
The Wrecking Crew strives to put as many miles on each test bike before we write a full review. Watch for the full write-up on this bike in the coming pages of Mountain Bike Action. To check out other bike tests, click here.
See more spec and geometry info below, from Niner, about the ROS 9 all-mountain hardtail.
WHAT MAKES THE ROS 9 TICK?
Keep It Steel, Stud. The 4130 Cro-Mo tube set of the ROS 9 is the trusted standard for durability and ride quality. Following the lines and design language of the SIR 9, these tubes have been beefed up to handle the abuse the ROS 9 is designed to shrug off. The super-short chainstays provide a lofty front end feel while the slack HT angle keeps the front end composed at Mach Loony speeds. A neutral BB height can be made low or high to slay YOUR trails by positioning the BioCentric 2 where it will do the most good.
CONSTRUCTION DETAILS ABOUND
We borrowed the unique dropout design we developed for the SIR 9 to allow 142×12 Maxle use and house the stout alloy derailleur hanger. The dropout designs allow the chain stays and seat stays to be welded at any angle and provide far more surface area for a full weld around the tube’s end. The front derailleur hanger is removable with an alloy cover. Internal dropper post routing is optional, another alloy cover closes the port if you choose not to use it. Externally routed dropper posts utilize mounts under the top tube. Tabs under the bottom bracket shell accept a proprietary MRP XCG bash guard for optional extra protection. Full-housing cable routing for front and rear derailleurs using Niner’s bolt-on double housing clamps along top and down tubes complete the versatility. If you don’t need the guides, take them off and enjoy the clean look of the frame in singlespeed mode.
BIO-CENTRIC II BOTTOM BRACKET SYSTEM
The Niner BioCentric II makes adjustments easy across a wide range of gears and eliminates the need for adjustable dropouts, giving the cleanest possible solution for singlespeed use. No bolt on hubs, no chain tensioners cluttering your ride, no brake adjustments with gear changes. Additionally, BB positioning allows finetuning of geometry. Want shorter chainstays? A lower BB? Steeper or slacker seat angle? It’s all achievable with the BioCentric II.
Greater Range – The BioCentric II offsets the bottom bracket spindle 8.5mm from center, offering greater range of adjustment compared to a traditional EBB setup. More offset is a boon when changing gears without having to change chain length and it allows riders to make more noticeable changes to frame geometry. Reliable Function – Traditional EBB units are held in place with set screws that can become difficult to finely adjust over time, or expansion wedges that can deform the bottom bracket shell of the frame. Split bottom bracket shells that clamp an EBB can stretch or ovalize. The Bio-Centric II avoids these troubles by using two bolts to apply a clamping force on the outside edges of the BB shell, eliminating the possibility of ovalizing or indexing the shell itself.
- FRAME: ROS 9 – PURPLE/NINER GREEN or FORGE GREY
- FORK: RockShox PIKE RCT3 Solo Air 140mm, 15MM
- WHEELS: NOTUBES 3.30/ZTR FLOW EX, 15MM FRONT, 142 X 12MM REAR
- TIRES: SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN TL, 2.35
- BRAKES & ROTORS: Shimano Deore M615 with 180/160MM Rotors
- BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Deore M615
- R/ SHIFTER: SRAM X1 11sp
- F/ SHIFTER: N/A
- R/ DERAILLEUR: SRAM X1 11sp
- F/ DERAILLUER: N/A
- CASSETTE: SRAM XG 1180 11sp 10-42T
- CHAIN: SRAM PC 1130
- CRANK SET: SRAM X1 GXP 32T
- BOTTOM BRACKET: SRAM GXP
- SADDLE: Niner Custom with Cr-Mo Rails, Niner Graphic
- SEAT POST: RockShox Reverb
- HANDLEBAR: NINER Flat Top RDO, 780MM, Red Niner Graphic
- STEM: NINER Trail Stem, Red Niner Graphic
- GRIPS: NINER Grrrips
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