Cycle Life

The ROS9     Photo: Ian Hylands/Niner Bikes

Best in Show: Niner ROS 9

From roadies to 29ers, we pick five of the best new bikes from Bike PressCamp 2013.

That’s Roots of Steel. Or Ride Over Stuff. Or as the Niner folks have more colloquially started to call it, Ride over Sh*t. And the point, as you might guess, is a 4130 chromoly steel hard tail that handles more like a full-sus trail bike. It has a dropper post and longer-travel fork for hucking and flicking and, well… plowing over and through just about anything in the way.

In the same vein as last year’s Diamond Back Mason and Trek Stache, the ROS 9 is optimized for either a 120mm or 140mm fork, has extremely short chain stays for lightning quick handling and acceleration, and has been beefed up in the front end with 34.9mm tubing to take the abuse. Unlike those other bikes, though, this is a boutique ride, with all the beautiful touches you’d expect: routings for dropper posts (including Stealth Reverb), ISCG tabs, sculpted bash guard below the bottom bracket, and color-matched forks.

While we were getting the presentation, one tester, a died-in-the-wool 26er fan, rode in on the ROS 9 and exclaimed that it was so good, so jumpable, and so deft-handling that it had, in just an hour of riding, singlehandedly won him over to big wheels.

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