The sculpted carbon tubing, the color-matched fork, and the blinged-out red hardware accents—every detail on this 5.1-inch trail bike screams quality. You feel it in the ride, too. The Fox CTD shock provides killer traction and a surprisingly firm platform when climbing and a totally secure feel bombing even the chunkiest rock gardens. Niner, as its name implies, is one of the longest-running purveyors of 29-inch wheels, and the Rip 9 RDO is extremely well balanced and stable but also nimble and quick. The new SRAM XX1 drivetrain, which eliminates the front derailleur by putting 11 cogs out back (including an über-easy 42-tooth ring), is a brilliant simplification. “Plush. Sweet. Awesome. Beauty. Ultimate heaven,” one tester gushed. And he wasn’t exaggerating. 26.4 lbs.