Niner WFO is ready to the battle it out for 29er All Mountain Supremacy

29er News

WFO 9 Details – From the Manufacturer

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, evolving 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 ok thoughk we weren’t sure ourselves when when we made the first WFO 9 in 2009. But it’s 2013, we’ve done the homework. This is the new WFO 9 and it redefines what a Niner can do.

  • Airformed Alloy Full Suspension from the 29er-Only Mountain Bike Company
  • 150mm of Patented CVA Suspension is Controlled and Sensitive
  • Compatible with 150-170mm Forks
  • Tuned for CVA – RockShox Monarch Plus RC3
  • ISCG 05 Tabs and Offset Linkage Design for Chianguide Compatibility
  • Forged Suspension Linkage and Unique Niner Alloy Hardware
  • 142mm x 12mm Rear Spacing

CVA™ Suspension
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.

Versatile Geometry
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.

Airformed Tubing
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.

Tapered Headtube
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
  • Derailleur hanger mounted inside of drop out for better protection and to preserve the clean lines (optional hanger available for Shimano’s new DM standard)
  • 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
Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Mike says:

    I’m sure it’s a great bike but it seems overbiked for norcal – i’ll stick with the tallboy 2

  • Mike Curiak says:

    17.4″ chainstays are short…

    …if it’s still 2006.

    Swing and a miss.

  • Scott says:

    “The rider has to live with SRAM 1×11 drivetrains or custom 1-chainring system in the front with guide”

    I do not understand this, specifically the “with guide” part. There are plenty of narrow wide chainrings available that work flawlessly and do not drop chains with no guide of any sort.

    • Kurt says:

      Pretty sure it’s just to satisfy the NW holdouts and the people who would rather port over their existing 1x systems from old bikes. Also draws attention to the mounts, which, if you’re going to go as ball-out on this bike as it seems you could, is a necessary feature in the eyes of many.

  • g3rG says:

    Finally, a bit of improvement in the WFO!
    For a few years my WFO was my alpha bike. I disagree with Francis on the fork limitations. The Dorado has been just amazing.
    However, the WFO got kicked off its pedestal early this year when I built up a bike with 27.5 rear and 29 front. Much better cornering, although I gave up a bit of climbing ability. I gained more rear travel and better handling in loose chunk.
    I assume the new frame has iscg tabs? I ditched front derailleurs long ago, but I am not ready to give up my Hammerschmidts just yet.
    Also hoping for a 150mm rear hub option. Narrow hub (135 = 142) rear wheels are too flexy.


  • Nathan says:

    There Test is a complete joke the 29″ bikes have 150mm of travel and the 650b 125mm and 140mm! Not saying 29″ isn’t faster but that is by no means a comparison Test.

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