The 2014 RIP 9 is here and it is lighter, stiffer and more capable than its predecessor. Travel has been increased to 125mm in the rear. Up front, 120mm or 140mm are the fork options and they deliver a head angle of 70.5 and 69.5 degrees, respectively. Our test bike split the difference with a 130mm fork, thus delivering a 70 degree head angle. Chainstay length is maintained at 17.9 inches and BB height is the same as well, at a 1 inch drop from the axle height.
Weight is 6.85 lbs for a medium and that is about .5 lighter than the last version. Stiffness has been improved with a better process for shaping the tubes. The rear dropouts take a 142×12 maxle to further improve rear stiffness. An ISCG mount is included and the dual-link CVA has been moved to accommodate it with the correct chain line.
Cable Routing remains external, as the cables run on the sides of the down tube and articulate with an s-bend as it meets up with the rear triangle. The dropper post cable routing is external as well, as it runs along the right side of the top tube. This external routing is easier to install and maintain, but nowhere near as clean as the new internal cable routing in some bikes today. It works well enough for the derailleur and brakes. The dropper post though should have an internal routing option, as the external cable is unwieldy as it bows to the side when the saddle is dropped, or it goes in between the linkage and the frame which causes some rubbing.
The frame is much more attractive than the previous generation, as all the tubes flow together much better. Red bearing caps adorn the frame throughout and every bolt seems to be red anodized for this green frame. Our small frame unfortunately could not accommodate a water bottle in the front triangle, so a consolation mount is available at the bottom of the down tube. Just for the record, we will never use a bottle mount down there.
Continue reading for ride impressions and full photo gallery.