Niner Bikes Jet 9 Carbon
Weight: 26.5 pounds
By Vernon Felton
Excerpted from the 2013 Bike Magazine Bible of Bike Tests, available in print now and digitally on Apple Newsstand)
Go ahead, hate us for saying Niner Bikes’ Jet 9 Carbon is a good value. We understand. After all, $3,900 is a hell of a lot of money no matter how you slice it. Then again, carbon full-suspension bikes of this quality routinely sell for a thousand bucks more than that, if not higher, so the Jet 9 Carbon truly is an eye-opener.
Kudos to the employee at Niner who equips the bikes, because it is smart component choices that lower the Jet 9 Carbon price tag from the, Crap, I'll never be able to afford that bike! level to the mere, Crap, I'll have to save up for a couple years to buy that bike.
Shimano's SLX drivetrain, Deore crankset and disc brakes pinch pennies while performing surprisingly well out on the trail. Having saved money on those bits, Niner splurged elsewhere, as evidenced by the Fox CTD rear shock and American Classic Terrain wheelset.
The streamlined, carbon chassis is configured around Niner's CVA suspension system, a floating pivot-point design. Testers noted that, while the Jet 9 Carbon didn't boast the effortless acceleration of the best bikes in the bunch, it did pedal efficiently. Tester feedback kept returning to the bike's very neutral—some called it "middle of the road"—manner.
Sure, it'd make a competent race bike, but with a 120-millimeter fork and some 2.4-inch tires thrown in the mix—the frame is designed to accommodate both of these things—Niner Bike’s Jet 9 Carbon could also prove a capable trail bike.
Finish quality on the frame is impressive and a few key component upgrades could easily bring this bike down to the 23 or 24-pound range. Our only gripe was the lack of a 142×12 rear through-axle. The solid rear triangle is plenty stiff and Niner saved money by going with a traditional quick release system, but we'd pony up another couple hundred bucks in exchange for a through-axle—it's simply a better way to secure a wheel.
Want more information on Niner’s Jet 9 Carbon? Go to www.ninerbikes.com