The universal feedback on the Niner RIP e9 was how balanced and plush it was, despite the higher weight of 56lbs. Whether it was uphill or down, both Niner eMTBs exhibit supply and plush suspension feel, which make it them great option for riders who like to stay seated and comfortable for long days in the saddle. Combined that with the large battery and impressive torque delivered by the Bosch system, the Niner RIP e9 is a more than capable climber and all around explorer. The moderately raked out front end handled turns well without being too long and slack in most switchbacks. It’s certainly longer than the Fezzari Wire Peak, which means it takes more effort to maneuver on slower, tech where you need to thread the needle. However the upside to that length is stability and confidence at higher speeds.
Clicking the motor to eMTB or Tour gives just the right amount of torque for the way down without shooting the rider through corners. We had a pre-production model with a RockShox Yari and found it to be under gunned for the bike’s weight and are happy to see current models coming with a RockShox Zeb. The SRAM Guide brake is fine for trail bikes, but the added weight of the motor and battery overwhelm these brakes on eMTB applications, causing early fade on steep and sustained descents.
The balanced geometry and impressively good tune on the rear shock give the rider a very neutral feel when descending. Whether it was rolling singletrack or rough, off camber rocks, the Niner RIP e9 smooths out the trail. Even with the beastly weight, the RIP e9 is a fun bike to ride, but it’s not the easiest to pop off the ground on small little features. If you are regularly bunny hopping downed trees, looking to jib and jump off the smallest features on the side of the trail, it will require a bit more effort than some bikes in the Shootout, but it can be done. We would say this bike and its bigger brother, the WFO, excel on the ground and when riding over rough, bumpy terrain. If you are a longer distance rider who wants to sit down and grind miles comfortably and explore the wilderness, this is a great option. Likewise, if you live in an area with tons of roots or boulders and rock, the supple and plush suspension will have you cruising over the top.