Niner is the only 29er-Only bike company. They do this one thing, really well.
Learn More About Niner Technology
ABOUT WHEEL SIZE
The basic concept of the larger diameter is simple: it will keep your wheels on top of oncoming obstacles. Rather than riding IN the terrain, you’ll be riding ABOVE it, gaining more control and stability on even the roughest trails. Think of the difference between a skateboard wheel and monster truck tire. The skateboard wheel can come to a grinding halt on a pebble while the monster truck wheel can crush granny’s Oldsmobile. Yes, this example is a little extreme, but you get the idea.
The larger wheel offers increased rotational inertia, which in turn improves the bike’s stability. The extra three inches also increases the amount of tire contacting the ground at any one moment, meaning enhanced tire bite. Dump a Niner into a corner at full speeds and you’ll find that the unparalleled grip and stability will hold to lean angles you never thought possible.
What about speed? 29 is just plain faster. Validated in testing by magazines such as Bike Germany and Velo News, and by that guy who just got a lot faster in your riding group, the advantages of 29 in racing applications are easy to see.
With all the bikes now available, what makes our models best? Niner didn’t just stuff larger wheels on to an existing chassis. It required a lot of work and testing to dial in the geometry to feel right in all situations. Their design parameters from the beginning were to design a bike that didn’t require a learning curve. Expectations were understandably high. The result: Niner’s dedication to The Big Revolution has been critically acclaimed by some of the top bicycling magazines in the world.
CVA is the only suspension designed to take advantage of the increased bottom bracket drop of 29ers.
CVA OFFERS EFFICIENT PEDALING IN ALL CHAINRINGS
Because the lower swingarm linkage is located underneath the bottom bracket, chain torque in any chainring effectively neutralizes the unwanted forces that degrade power transfer to the rear wheel.
CVA IS POSITIVELY REVIEWED AROUND THE WORLD
CVA-equipped Niners have earned praise from riders in online forums and magazines all over the globe.
Although CVA resembles some of the other parallel link designs, CVA works very differently to isolate pedaling forces and remain fully active under all conditions. Many current suspension designs, especially some parallel link suspension designs, maximize efficiency by anticipating that most of your pedaling will be done in the middle chainring and are designed around this ‘virtual’ pivot location. This means that there is some compromise to the suspension’s pedalability when NOT in the middle chainring or when using a 2x10 set up. The better the design, the less noticeable this compromise is.
In order to isolate pedaling forces across a broader range of gearing, the CVA’s ‘instant center’ location is in front of the drivetrain. With the lower pivot under the bottom bracket, the force at the rear axle resulting from chain tension pulls the two linkages in opposite directions in all gear choices, effectively isolating the drivetrain from the rear triangle. In other words, when a rider cranks on the pedals, the chain is trying to pull the lower link down and away from the bottom bracket, and the upper link in its regular rotational path. Since the rear triangle is one piece, these opposing forces cancel each other out, leaving the only outlet for chain-induced torque being rotation of the rear wheel, where it’s most wanted.
Past the rearward-most position at sag, the axle path moves in towards the bike at a gradual, constantly varying arc, which insures that there is minimal chain growth throughout the length of travel. This also means minimal pedal feed back in the drivetrain while cycling the suspension, essentially isolating it from the fully active movement of the suspension design.
Think of bicycle geometry like you think of a cake. Cakes need flour, sugar, butter and eggs - if the chef alters the ratio, the taste and texture will vary. The same goes for bicycles - a frame designer that considers only one angle is creating a cake with only one ingredient in mind. It is essential that every tube length and every angle be evaluated in concert with the rest of the frame design and with the anticipated specifications of the complete bike in mind.
Now, there is room for variation in any recipe, and a good chef will know where they can have some fun with new ingredients. Perhaps one cake will contain chocolate, another might be made with carrots - everybody has a favorite. There is room for a lot of personalization in bike set up, too, but in the end, every bike still fits within a set of parameters that defines the geometry philosophies of the frame builder.
So, how does Niner geometry fit into this “cake” theory? Because They only build 29ers, Niner is able to make bikes in every flavor while everyone else is still learning how to turn on the oven. For every model, whether it is our lightest cross country hardtail or our burliest full suspension bike, we have considered how each angle or length will interact with big wheels to affect the finished build and in the end, how that finished build will affect the riding experience of every Niner owner.
The use of Carbon in bicycle frames and components has reached critical mass, but in the scurry to meet demand, much has been lost in the translation. Niner’s path to this element comes from a different direction. Rather than just offering carbon products, Niner makes sure they are maximizing the benefits of the material and that their carbon products are purpose-built from the ground up.
Niner starts with computer-based shaping. Drawing from FEA studies that they conduct on their current products and by buying and testing other offerings, Niner establish a solid framework of stiffness and strength numbers within which to work. Studying energy flow from trail input and chain torque, they then refine a fluid shape that disperses this energy throughout the structure and eliminates stress risers and hot spots. Niner’s objective is to use the natural damping of carbon to increase the fatigue life of the structure and decrease the vibrations translated to the rider.
The visible shape of Niner products directly correlates to the stiffness and strength number goals they have set for each product. With carbon, it’s very easy to get stuck in a game of just ‘layer it up’. The easiest path is to create a shape and then add carbon layers in any critical area until the structure is strong enough to pass testing. This approach is not good enough for Niner Bikes. Structural form and shaping are the key contributors establishing stiffness and strength in all critical areas. The final shape of Niner frames and forks reflect the intent to achieve optimal function without falling into the ‘layer it up’ quicksand.
Once shapes are finalized in the computer, Niner utilizes rapid prototyping to build full-scale SLA models to ensure fit with other components and to confirm tolerances. Next, they open a mold and build physical samples for testing. All Niner carbon products undergo exhaustive physical destructive and strength evaluation before being released for ride testing. Any revision during this process requires a new round of destructive stress testing to guarantee that refinements do not have a negative impact on overall strength and only serve to increase ride quality or decrease weight – a routine Niner is committed to in every new product design process.
The path to a final product is long and winding, but every step is critical when creating a Niner product. Carbon is an amazing material with a world of possibilities and their dedication to finding the best options for every frame and component is key to the Niner design process.
Niner believes that your alloy bike should incorporate all of the same high end features and technologies as any top of the line carbon bike. Where some companies have left their alloy bikes in the past, the Niner lineup reflects the most current alloy shaping technology and specifications.
1. Why shape alloy tubing?
The shape of a tube is as important now as the material it is made from. Shaping has a huge effect on the way stress is distributed across and around a bicycle frame. Controlling the stress distribution enables us to use less material while maintaining or even increasing the frame strength.
All of Niner's alloy frames incorporate shaped tubing. The effect of this upgrade goes much further than appearance. Forming allows us to optimize strength and stiffness in key areas - creating beautifully tuned frames with the precise ride characteristics we seek for every application. In testing, frames incorporating proprietary tube shaping put up stiffness numbers much higher than those with old-style round tubing. Shaped tubing also allows us to incorporate custom solutions not possible in old-style frames, such as integrating the bearings directly into the seat tube of our full suspension frames.
2. What is the difference between mechanical shaping, Airforming and Hydroforming?
The least expensive method for shaping a tube is via mechanical forming. In this process, tube shapes are achieved by manipulating a straight gauge tube using mandrels, dies and tube bending equipment. This approach has limits, particularly when it comes to tube bends and tube butting (wall thickness).
Hydroforming uses special molds and fluid pressure to form metal tubes into predetermined shapes. To do this, a hollow tube is placed into a negative mold of the desired result. Then, high pressure hydraulic fluid is pumped into the aluminum tube, causing it to expand until the tube conforms to the shape of the mold.
Taking things even further, Niner uses a multi stage hydroforming process - first, a straight gauge tube is butted and mechanically formed in preparation for the hydroforming process. Then, using "multi-stage hydroforming" (a series of molds used in sequence), complex shapes can be created. Multiple steps take longer but the weight and strength results are worth the extra work.
At the very pinnacle of alloy shaping is air forming. Airforming utilizes super heated air in place of hydraulic fluid to shape the tubing. Where hydroforming is instantaneous, air forming takes 3-5 minutes per tube. This slower process allows for tighter tolerances and even bigger changes from the original round shape of the tube than in hydroforming. This precision means that Niner can achieve some of the best weight and strength results available in alloy bikes today.
3. Why are some Niner alloy frames airformed and others hydroformed?
Frames with simpler shapes can be hydroformed and still achieve the tolerances needed to create a light, strong bike. Frames with very complex shaping or with tubes that need to interface with bearings or pivot hardware are typically airformed. Airforming allows for much more precise tolerances and more elaborate shapes that can include both bending and twisting. A great example of this level of complexity is the stay bridge on Niner alloy full suspension frames.
You will find air formed tubes on the Jet 9, RIP 9 and WFO 9 frames. Niner Air 9, RLT 9 and EMD 9 frames all utilize hydroformed tubes.
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.
Greater Range - The BioCentric II offsets the bottom bracket spindle 8.5mm from center, offering greater range of adjustment compared to a more 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 via BB position.
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 BB shells that clamp an EBB can stretch or ovalize. The BioCentric 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. Secure, quiet, easy to install and adjust, the BioCentric II will change your ideas about singlespeed drivetrain setup and maintenance.
The BioCentric 30 will have a similar design and function as its BioCentric II counterpart, but compact for use in most PF30 shells. The sealed bottom bracket will be integrated into the cups of the BioCentric 30 and will be capable of handling most 24mm spindle cranks.