For this upcoming year, the all new Niner WFO 9 for 2014 will change everything in your conscious thought process about a longer travel 29er, it’s a true enduro machine. They were able to slacken the head angle a bit to 67° when using a 160mm travel fork, they shortened the top tube length by 20mm on the full spectrum of frame sizes, and most importantly the chain stays have also been shortened by 11mm to measure in at 17.4″ (444mm). All with an increase of rear travel by 10mm, going from 140mm to 150mm.
It’s been said the original might have suffered from slight personality confusion, well Niner has dealt with that here, the new WFO 9 is now more purpose built for today’s style of riding.
To pull off having increased travel with shorter stays, Niner changed several things. For starters, they used a longer RockShox shock. Secondly, they designed the seatstay brace to be a bit thinner, while both reshaping the seat tube and making it a steeper angle to 75° (it was 74° before). And then they removed the front derailleur mounts, which all added up to plenty of room for the rear wheel to come up further and closer to the frame. The only trade off here is a bike built for 1x (X01 and XX1) drivetrains only.
The new WFO 9 design received their air formed tube shaping. Which not only made a gain of 11% on torsional stiffness from front to back, but it dropped nearly three quarters of a pound from the previous version. Weighing at 7.3 lbs with a Monarch Plus RT3 shock.
The other impressive news is lower standover heights, on average of an inch or more on the WFO 9, nicely done considering the bump in travel to boot.
This will be a first from Niner, with color-matched hardware provided with the stock setup. The other option shown here is the 2014 Red Frame, which comes with the red hardware.
You now have several options due to nicely tucked away ISCG05 tabs behind the cranks in case you choose not to run a wide/narrow chainring. A 12×142 rear thru axle, with a lower bottom bracket height, by 7mm over the original model. They also supplied dedicated cable guides for your dropper post setup.
You also get a standard style derailleur hanger, but they offer Shimano’s Direct-Mount hanger for purchase after. It appears Niner is revamping their very popular glow-in-the-dark Atomic Blue, which is also on the new ONE9 RDO. The new enduro ride also received a fresh matte black paint scheme. For added durability the atomic-blue is painted underneath, then masked and over sprayed with black.
Newly supplied with a 2.35 Nobby Nic, which is the maximum width they recommend for clearance. Similar to their other new rear suspension rides, the brace between seat- and chainstay yokes is twisted, and slightly offset to provide added tire clearance.
The build shown above the WFO 9 4-star XO 1 weighs in at a respectable 28.35 lbs, with Stan’s Flow EX wheels, Avid Elixir Trail disc brakes and a Pike fork. The pricing comes in at just $4,999.00 USD, which is pretty respectable all the way around.
possible DOWNHILL BIKEs?
As the enduro races heat up Niner has been testing the ride above at the events. While BMC, is another company having both 150mm bikes with 29 wheels. Along with the Enduro 29er from Specialized at 155mm. The big question is: As suspension and geometry continues to become highly refined, why aren’t more mtb manufactures jumping in the mix with longer travel 29ers and testing downhill rigs? Well, Niner’s now making it clear they are testing a downhill program that’ll see top-level support at the races. To support the concept, they tested the Niner WFO 9 X01 rides against five different bikes -two 650B- and found that in every instance the bigger wheels meant faster times: