When we first pulled the Niner WFO e9 out of the box the weight put us off. Granted it is a coil-sprung 180mm beast, but we expected the 56 pound heft to affect our ride more than it did. Would we love it more if the bike dropped six or eight pounds? Hell yes, but we have yet to encounter an obstacle or instance where the weight prevented us from getting up and over something. We typically like a quick rebound and maybe the extra pop and springy nature the Horst Link suspension design help, but this bike certainly rides lighter than the scale would suggest.
These Dissected features are not full reviews, and as such we typically don’t get enough time in a variety of conditions and for long enough to feel comfortable giving our official word, but so far the suspension has been a standout feature of the Niner WFO e9. We spent time climbing fire roads to get to the top of World Cup DH level tracks, sat down and climbed techy, steep singletrack and rode some mellower, sweeping trails through the woods with lots of downed trees. The blend of seated comfort and the quick reaction to larger hits is impressive and worthy of noting.
Geometry is a personal preference and while so many brands are going longer and longer out front with slacker head tube angles, we’re finding ourselves resisting the trends as we prefer lively and playful bikes than can still offer confidence when we need it on the steeps, but don’t ride like stretch limousines everywhere else. The 64/63.5-degree head tube and 470mm reach was just enough for high speeds and steeps but kept the bike nimble enough to tackle tight switchbacks and backcountry trails.
One area that could still be up for debate is the perceived value. Admittedly, we’re a bit out of touch but we do think that some of the spec choices are a bit lower than we’d hope for the price point of the bike. Time, and comments will tell if the public agrees, but perceived value to spec selection is certainly an important factor to consumers. That being said, we’ve yet to have any troubles or reliability issues with the components spec’d on the bike and we look forward to aggressively thrashing on this bike for the next couple of months to report back in detail.
What we can say is this, Niner has certainly entered the eBIke market with a solid offering. Whether you’re a Niner fan, or have never owned one, the WFO e9 (and we can only assume the RIP e9) are two solid offerings that pack the class-leading Bosch system, impressive suspension tune and crowd-pleasing geometry in a fun and new package. We look forward to continuing to ride our test bikes and will get back to you soon with our official word.