Dueling 29ers: Ellsworth Evolve & Niner RIP 9


It hasn’t taken long for me to recognize the beauty of bigger hoops. Up until a year ago, I hadn’t ever swung a leg over a 29-er, but now I’ve ridden a fair amount of them and am beginning to understand what all the hullaballoo is about. They roll fast, they climb exceptionally well and they smooth out the trail without relying on tons of suspension travel.

Good timing and a little luck has me with two top-notch 29-er trailbikes for the next month: The Niner RIP 9 and the Ellsworth Evolve. Both are top-shelf bikes available as a frame-only so you can customize the build from head-to-toe to your exact liking.

Ellsworth Evolve and Niner RIP 9 29er Bikes

Niner RIP 9 29-er Mountain Bike

Ellsworth Evolve 29-er Mountain Bike

I’ll be riding both bikes on the same trails back-to-back to get a good feel for how they compare. I’m looking forward to flogging them both and letting you know how they compare.  Look for quick updates along the way and full, in-depth reviews of both the Ellsworth Evolve and Niner RIP 9 in the coming weeks.

Just completed: Ellsworth Evolve Review and Niner RIP 9 Review

More Info: Visit Ellsworthbikes.com or Ninerbikes.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. I just rode the Ellsworth Evolve on Clark’s Trail here in Draper, UT. That bike is a super-efficient climber! I was able to shave nearly 30 seconds off my previous best time.

    Coming down, the Evolve was also a heck of a lot of fun as well! Not a super-squish machine, but really fun to whip around corners, hop off drops, etc. Definitely one of the most nimble 29-ers I’ve ridden.

  2. Another ride on the Evolve at Lambert Park this morning. At really slow speeds in super-tight, twisty, turny, tree-filled singletrack, I could finally feel a little bit of the 29-er steering flop, but that’s being pretty picky.

    Great ride once again. The Ellsworth Evolve is a great bike. Now it’s time to do the same rides again on the Niner RIP 9. More details coming soon.

  3. Since I’ve got the Minute 29er fork, I’m also planning to slap it onto the Evolve to see how it handles with a 120mm fork in place of the 100mm Fox F29 fork. Since you would custom build everything yourself with both bikes, I might as well check all options, right?

  4. I’m looking forward to seeing how these two compare. I recently bought the Evolve while my brother-in-law bought the RIP9. We’re both the same size, so we have plans to try both out, but haven’t been able to meet up for a ride yet. Since I bought the Evolve, I’m sure I’ll be somewhat swayed by that when trying his out.

  5. Nice bike quiver between the two of you! Honestly, both bikes are flat-out awesome. I really like them both. Look for more details in a few weeks after I get a few more rides on both.

  6. So far, I have found the Evolve to be a very capable cross country rig. It is a fast climber and the bigger wheels really help with smaller obstacles and on the flats. I would consider the Evolve to be on the cross country race side of 29er’s. I don’t think I would put a WB135 or Fox F29 120mm on this bike. It feels perfectly balanced at 100mm.

    I am looking forward to reading your feedback.

  7. Great reviews. I did try to post previously apologies if this duplicates. What did you think of 120 mm fork on the evolve? It’s what I ride. Any suggestions on stiffer forks? Imho nothing beats the duc32 29er version.

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