Niner to introduce first dedicated 27.5 trail bike

Nimble 140mm ripper features slack geometry, low standover

27.5 All Mountain Trail Sea Otter Classic
Niner 27.5

Niner’s first dedicated 27.5 bike on display at the company’s Sea Otter booth.

Niner dropped its second big Sea Otter surprise in two days with a prototype 27.5 mid-range trail bike being put through the paces by company pro Kirt Voreis.

Coming a day after the newly energized Fort Collins, Colorado-based company unveiled a full-suspension gravel grinder, Niner gave Mtbr an exclusive preview of its initial entry into stock 27.5 territory. Previously Niner’s only 27.5 offerings were plus-compatible 29ers.

Full spec or pricing for the new rig aren’t available yet, but the bike will feature 140mm of rear travel with adjustable head angles of 65 and 66 degrees.

Niner 27.5

The bike’s low standover and stiff but supple rear triangle gets raves from pro Kirt Voreis.

“For slalom and playing around, this bike is unbelievable,” said Voreis. “The low standover lets you really get wrapped around the bike on tabletops and things like that.” The rear suspension is super responsive, Voreis added. And a reinforced shock cradle provides stiffness and protection from trail spray.

“I feel like it’s a little bit more supple than the rear end of my RIP, which on fire roads and tiny bumps would get a little chattery,” Voreis added. “This bike got rid of that. It has a really light feel on top but you can still go deep into the travel and get that progressive feeling.”

Reinforced shock cage has plenty of room for coil version.

The reinforced shock cage has plenty of room for coil version.

Voreis said the roomy pivot box will easily accommodate coil shocks. He also praised the internal cable routing for its “super stealth” look and easy manageability.

Asked if the bike has a name yet, Voreis laughed and said, “In-house, yes, but not for public consumption yet.” Like its grinder cousin, it’s slated for release in 2019. A matching 29er version is also in development.

Rowdy-ready 65 or 66 degree head angles juice the fun factor. Note Voreis' custom front brake cable routing through a drilled headset cap for bar spins.

Rowdy-ready 65- or 66-degree head angles juice the fun factor. Note Voreis’ custom front brake cable routing through a drilled headset cap for bar spins.

Niner, which gained a cult following for its early adoption of the 29er platform, got a much-needed cash infusion after being purchased last month. The deal enabled fruition of several models well under development before the company encountered financial straits last fall. Niner fans who have pressed the company to produce a 27.5 model will have their prayers answered next year.

For more information, visit www.ninerbikes.com. This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Paul Andrews

Dividing his time between Seattle and Santa Cruz, career journalist Paul Andrews has more than a quarter century of mountain biking under his belt, which he wishes had a few less notches.


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