From early trips to Whistler and passionate lift-line discussions about wheel size to numerous Burro-Down laps at truly negligent speeds, the WFO 9 has always been a curiosity. A bike without an easy niche except for those riders who are quite certain it’s the best bike on the planet – those converts who choose the WFO 9 to confidently dissect bike parks and black diamonds every weekend. This bike has changed how a lot of riders view long-travel 29ers, evoling from an outlier in the Niner lineup to a bike whose time has come. With trail bikes becoming more and more capable, we’ve shoved the new WFO 9 off the “all mountain” fence firmly into gravity territory. Lower. Slacker. More Travel. So, grab your music, Leatt and full-face before you roll out the door.
While the WFO 9 is an efficient pedaler and will do AM magic under those who have the legs for the climbs, it’s when you adjust your goggles and drop in that it truly shines. You might imagine that the bike’s 150MM of travel puts it into a familiar category of bikes, but it doesn’t ride that way. Coming from a trail bike, the WFO 9 will feel big and capable. If you spend time on DH bikes you will instantly feel at home, except the WFO 9 is likely several pounds lighter than your DH setup. That’s a few extra laps and a few spots higher on any leader board. The long wheelbase puts you in charge of where the bike goes and if you’ve ever had trouble carrying enough speed into that set of 30’ tables, prepare yourself for some hair-raising-shit-eating-grin-overshooting-to- HYFR.
The big wheels bring the kind of speed through the chop and stability in the air that any rider will benefit from. Whips? Snap hard and get sideways. Scrubs? Push a bit earlier to break the increased traction and get the bike down. The wheels stay out of the holes on techy lines, allowing you to get away with 6” of travel in serious clenching moments that just wouldn’t be fun on a trail bike. Float down your favorite trail and wonder when they made it easier. They didn’t.
Bottom line is, all those guys who said 29 will never be fun on big terrain were just plain wrong. That’s okay though, we weren’t sure ourselves when we made the first WFO 9 in 2009. But we’ve done our homework and the new WFO 9 redefines what a Niner can do.
The WFO 9 features Niner’s patented CVA™ suspension (U.S. Patent No. 7,934,739) and delivers 150mm of fully active travel with superb compliance and damping via a tuned for CVA™ RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 shock. The three modes of the RC3 offer a bit more pedaling efficiency when you need to stomp up to the next stage and the increased shock length and stroke maintain a low leverage ratio for best performance. For those seeking the technical advantages of 29” wheels combined with pedaling efficiency and remarkable sensitivity, CVA™ is the front-runner. The result? A faster, smoother ride up and down the trail.
The WFO 9 geometry has been totally revised. Shorter chain stays, slacker head tube angle, shorter head tube, shorter top tube, lower BB height and a lower stand over announce that this bike is ready to get it on.
The next installment of Niner’s airformed trilogy is complete. Shaping the WFO 9 frame tubes with compressed air in a heated mold gives us greater control over wall thickness and material uniformity, allowing the use of less metal. The new WFO 9 is over 300g lighter than its predecessor – total Medium frame weight is 7.3lbs (no Maxle or seat collar) compared to 8lbs (no Maxle or seat collar) for the old model.
The increased surface area of a tapered headtube allows for a larger downtube, increasing strength and rigidity at this critical intersection. Tapered fork steerer tubes measurably reduce fork deflection, which means your WFO 9 tracks straight and true. The full spectrum of riders from XC racers to those who “only ride park” benefit from these features which is why we incorporate the technology in all our frames.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Dedicated 142 x 12mm drops are custom-forged for a sleek look that flows seamlessly to the stays
New post-mount rear brake mount is hollow to reduce weight
Custom forged seat stay and chain stay yokes reduce weight and maintain the lines of the airformed tubes
Bigger Enduro MAX bearings increase durability by distributing suspension load over a larger bearing race and allow the use of new larger-diameter alloy hardware
Chainstay/Seatstay tree replaced by massive asymmetrical brace, increasing rigidity and incorporating the look and feel of its shorter travel brethren
Seat Tube Main Pivot is integrated directly into the tube rather than welded to the front of the seat tube
Custom Forged BB incorporates the lower forward pivot, ISCG 05 mounts, lower shock mount and BSA BB shell in one beautifully shaped (hollow) work of art. The keyed lower forward alloy pivot bolt does double duty as the third ISCG 05 tab.
Full housing from shifter to derailleur with dropper routing along the top tube
Zero Stack/Inset head tube is Angleset compatible