Review of the Niner WFO E9 eMTB
Niner WFO E9 eMTB Review - First Ride
With Niner being the most available emtb come Summer and with our shop having 50+ on the way for June, I was able to get on a first ride before their arrival. I was stoked about this as I was behind purchasing them and it is always great to get the experience (and love the ride) when I have bought so many. Here is my first ride take:
Suspension: Suspension is absolutely perfect. Most of our team have upgraded their bikes to longer travel and coil over shocks. Having it come stock saves you tons of research and headache. I’ve attempted, and gave up, plus I could get the shock, no coil, and hardware was delayed. Better to have it stock in my opinion. 180 Zeb; Monster. It is closely compared to the Fox 38 and I have to agree it rides similar. Slightly less tunability but a fantastic enduro fork. Ate up everything I threw at it (wouldn’t say I am a black diamond rider but can definitely hold my own).
Mullet set up: I haven’t ridden mullet in years and have gone from 29’ers back to 27.5s. Going mullet takes a few laps to get used to but it offers the best of both worlds. Roll over anything and then fish your tail out for better handling. I still think I am a 27.5” fan but the industry disagrees with me. More and more bikes are either full 29s or heading into the market trend of mullet set up. Plus it gives you a slightly more upright ride which is great for me and anyone who hates leaning too far forward on their bike.
Components: Brakes. I am a shimano fan through and through. My shop prefers modulated (like Maguras) but the Code R’s performed great. I have heard complaints of brakes “overheating” but in my opinion if you are riding the brakes that hard then you may not want to be on an enduro bike anyway. For someone who uses brakes as designed, touch and go (pump your brakes!), then the Codes hold up fantastic. If you want to spend your whole ride downhill holding your “coward levers” then maybe downgrade to something more casual. Drivetrain: I'm personally not a fan of the SX. My team tells me I am just being picky. I have the NX (only one step up) and I don’t drastically notice the difference to be honest. It may be mental for me. BUT it would be nice to see the NX come stock. It’s an $80 upgrade complaint so take it or leave it. I always say, with any part like this, ride it until you break it and then upgrade.
eBike System: We're stoked to see Niner going with the Bosch Gen4 CX for this build. With 85NM of torque and a 625 WH battery, this eMTB is ready for epic climbs and days in the saddle.
Lastly, to address the weight lambasting that seems to take place. I truly believe this to be an unfair criticism. When we look at full powered enduro style emtbs it fits right alongside the ebikes that have set the industry standard. Instead of making my normal joke of “just don’t hold it above your head” I will actually give insight into its weight. First, I applaud Niner for actually listing the weight. Look at any manufacturer and every one avoids this specification. Heck, go to see the new Orbea Rise, self proclaimed “super light” bike and they have a disclaimer saying they cannot state the actual weight. When manufacturers do add weight it is usually a small frame and from our in shop scale they are always heavier than actual listed weight. If I look at the most popular enduro emtbs you see the same weights:
- Specialized Kenevo Expert: 53lbs (size S3)
- Cube 160: 54 lbs (size medium)
- Niner WFO E9: 58lbs
- Bulls E Core EN: 59.5lbs (one of the best riding enduro’s available along with Niner)
- Turbo Levo Comp: 52lbs (non enduro)
Yes, it may be 1-2lbs heavier but it has a Fox coil over shock and a massive 180mm Rockshox Zeb. I have found over and over again that as an ebiker, weight feels good on the trail. Where my riding could get weak in loose terrain I gain confidence with less sliding and more ability to run through the loose parts of a trail. Don’t like weight? Go with a super light and sacrifice power and battery range. Don’t mind romping on the trail? Get a Niner.
Overall the ride was great. Gripped onto the terrain and allowed me to do the same jump lines I usually ride with just as much air and confidence. I am becoming more and more keen on the enduro/long travel set up on ebikes as it has little to no effect on climbing, so might as well have the suspension. I think if anyone is looking to get on a bike with a reliable motor, bigger battery, and the important components delivered in high quality then the Niner WFO E9 is the perfect bike for you. Plus it is readily available and we're now taking order!
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