Week in Tech: New MTBs from Niner and Diamondback, Enve handlebars, Ergon saddle
Here’s your Week in Tech — all the gear news you need, and none of the marketing gibberish you don’t want.
Niner RIP 9 RDO just nine no more!
Yep, it’s really happening: Niner’s new RIP 9 RDO is available in two different wheel sizes. The customary 29er wheels that put Niner on the map are now complemented by a 27.5-inch wheel option, opening Niner up to a wider swath of mountain bikers. The RIP 9 fits into the mid-travel trail category, with 140mm of travel in the rear and 150mm up front. Both versions have clearance for up to 2.6-inch tires, but more importantly, it’s lower, longer, and slacker than the previous version. It also features a flip chip geometry adjustment that lowers the bottom bracket and slackens the head tube to 65 degrees (from 66 degrees in the high setting) if you want to get really rowdy. Opt for the high chip setting if you’ll be hitting your usual trails that involve a bit of climbing. This is Niner’s play at making the do-everything bike. But more importantly, can I get a “hallelujah” for Niner expanding wheel sizes?
Diamondback is doing MTB the hard way
Hardtails are like Michael Mayer from “Halloween:” Just when you think they’re dead for good, they rise up (creepily) and strike again. So it goes with Diamondback’s new Sync’r Carbon, an aggressive hardtail that makes the case that sequels can be better than the original (get it? “Halloween” reference? No?). In other words, this isn’t your hardtail of yesteryear. It’s got a slack 66-degree head tube angle and a 74-degree seat angle, which strikes a balance between stable and rippable. It works with both 29- and 27.5-inch wheels and comes with 140mm of travel up front. It’s also got clearance for up to a 27.5×2.8-inch tire. It will be available in March for $3,000, and it ships direct to consumer.
Ergon has a seat for the gents
After introducing an entire line of women’s saddles last year, Ergon now has a new line of men’s saddles. There are lots of options to choose from, like the SR Pro Carbon Men’s saddle that offers a composite shell and carbon rails. Nothing new there, right? But check out the price: $190. That’s competitive, to say the least. Ergon has also added an e-MTB specific saddle to the lineup. They’re ergonomically designed to keep you comfortable, with a generous center channel and orthopedic AirCell foam to offer just the right amount of cushion. The SR Pro Carbon weighs 175 grams. You can opt for the SR Comp Men’s saddle if you don’t mind adding a bit of weight to save a bit of coin. It costs $100.
Enve’s Compact Road Bar gets an update for Di2
Enve’s Road Bar offers a lot of benefits already, like ergonomic shaping throughout the bar and full carbon construction throughout. It weighs just 216 grams (size 40cm) and features a short reach and shallow drop geometry. In other words, this is one aggressive bar. Now it’s compatible with Di2 wiring (Compact model only; Standard model is not compatible), and even Di2 bar end plug junction boxes. It’s offered in 40, 42, 44, 46, and 48-centimeter widths.