New Release: Niner Bikes Reveals The New RIP9
The reputation of the RIP 9 is unassailable – in the six years since its introduction it has helped define the new-school genre of trail ripper both with riders and the cycling press.
So how can it be improved? Keep the attitude, boost performance, shed unwanted weight and build on the legend. The changes to this new beast can’t really be called “evolutionary,” because the word implies a slow process of incremental gains and small strides. That just doesn’t describe the changes to the new RIP 9 – there’s nothing incremental about a kick in the pants.
The Niner that is at home on just about any trail or any terrain – The RIP 9 incorporates global rider feedback as well as Niner’s rigorous progression of alloy design, engineering and testing standards. The RIP 9 has over 30 glowing media reviews for ride quality and handling – the new RIP 9 takes these characteristics and ups the ante with air formed aluminum alloy tubes that redefine performance, a lower weight, ISCG compatibility and additional travel.
- AIRFORMED ALLOY FULL SUSPENSION FROM NINER
- 125MM OF PATENTED CVA SUSPENSION IS EFFICIENT IN EVERY CHAINRING
- COMPATIBLE WITH 120-140MM FORKS
- TUNED FOR CVA – ROCK SHOX MONARCH RT3 HV
- ISCG 05 TABS AND OFFSET LINKAGE DESIGN FOR CHAINGUIDE COMPATIBILITY
- FORGED SUSPENSION LINKAGE AND UNIQUE NINER ALLOY HARDWARE
- 142MM X 12MM REAR SPACING
- 6.85 LBS / 3107 G W/ FRAME, SHOCK, HANGER
- 7 LBS / 3175 G W/ FRAME, SHOCK, MAXLE, HANGER & SEAT COLLAR
- LICORICE BLACK OR NINER GREEN
Niner RIP 9 in Niner Green
Airformed Alloy Frame – Shaping the frame tubes with compressed air in a heated mold gives us greater control over wall thickness and material uniformity, allowing the use of less metal. Tubes that are manipulated using this process can be up to 25% lighter than a similar hydroformed shape at the same strength.
Niner RIP9 in Action
To progress as a rider you need predictability, balance and nimble handling. We are proud to be the company that first made these attributes a reality in 29ers. Climbing or descending, the geometry of the RIP 9 is tuned to keep you in control and ready to conquer new terrain at every turn. The RIP 9 is intended for 120 to 140mm forks, allowing riders to further fine tune the ride.
Niner RIP9 CVA Suspension
The RIP 9 features Niner’s patented CVA™ suspension (U.S. Patent No. 7,934,739) and delivers 125mm of fully active travel with superb compliance and damping via a tuned for CVA™ RockShox Monarch RT3 HV shock. For those seeking the technical advantages of 29″ wheels combined with pedaling efficiency across all chainring combinations (not just the middle ring), CVA™ is the front-runner. The result? A faster, smoother ride up and down the trail.
Niner RIP9 CVA Suspension
The RIP9 in Black Licorice and Niner Green
The increased surface area of a tapered headtube allows for a larger downtube, increasing strength and rigidity at this critical intersection. Tapered fork steerer tubes measurably reduce fork deflection, which means your Niner tracks straight and true. The full spectrum of riders from XC racers to All Mountain shredders benefit from these features which is why we incorporate the technology in all our frames.
Forged Pieces New RIP 9
From the head tube to the rear axle, we looked at every single detail and asked “can it be done better?” We’ve revised the shapes of the forged yokes and attachments, subjecting them to mechanical and real world testing to ensure they’re as light and strong as possible.
The New Niner RIP9 Linkage
New linkage shapes increase strength and stiffness and shed a few more grams, the lower link has a pronounced asymetrical form to make room for ISCG tabs and increased chainstay clearance. Larger pivot hardware and a switch to 8mm alloy shock mounting bolts shave weight and increase the bling we love so much. Saving weight doesn’t mean skimping – pivots are still outfitted with Enduro Max full complement sealed cartridge bearings for smooth, friction-free suspension.
Niner RIP9 Rear Axle
This newest member of the RIP 9 line up will be available for demo across the country, beginning this Thursday at Sea Otter. It is available for order from Niner dealers now, with first frames shipping internationally May 7th. Pricing on this frame has not increased over the original RIP 9 – MSRP $1849 USD. It is also available as a complete bike – full details here.
For complete specs and geometry, see www.ninerbikes.com/rip9
First look, first ride and first race on SRAM XX1
We finally got our XX1 drivetrain in here at Bike198. I’ve been dying to try it out after hearing all the ravings about it, missing a couple of the recent bike Expos, and not being able to ride it until now. Also came right on time, as one of bigger races of the year, the 6 hours of Warrior Creek is this weekend. As soon as the kit got here, I pulled the XX 2×10 drivetrain off the Trek Superfly 100 and threw on the brand new, shiny, and lighter XX1. I didn’t weigh all the components before the install as there are plenty of places online that have detailed exact weights down to the gram.
Ever since I tried 1×10 on my Trek Remedy, I knew that XX1 was going to be the perfect drivetrain for me. The 1×10 was missing “just that little bit” of gearing and needed a chain guide to prevent drops, and the XX1 fixes both of those problems with seemingly no compromises. With a 32T front ring, 32×10 on the fast end and 32×42 on the granny side gives me pretty much the same gearing as my old 2×10 setup. The only thing I really give up is the 39×11 fastest gear and I’ve never used that during any races. If I’m ever going that fast down something I can go a bit faster by stopping pedaling and tucking. One of the great things about XX1 as well is the interchangeable front ring. If we are going somewhere super hilly I can put a 30T on the front and have a nice granny gear, but if I’m going to be riding a lot on Florida, I can throw the 34T or even 36T on the front and go fast.
XX1 shifter came with all the housing and ferrules necessary for install
The drivetrain came with absolutely everything needed to install including the cable housing, ferrules, and even had grease applied at all the right spots. Made for a very easy install. I went ahead and pulled off my old cable housings and used them as a guide to cut the brand new ones. Swapping out the freehub on my NoTubes Crest wheelset was also simple. The old freehub popped right off and on with the new one. Easy peasy. The setup of the rear derailleur was a touch different than the 10 speed stuff as the B screw adjuster distances are a little bigger, but the SRAM manual is pretty clear about it, and the install was straightforward. What surprised me was how effective the front ring really is at holding the chain on. If you get pull up on the chain while it’s directly over one of the “grabber” teeth, it’s hard to pull the chain of the ring by hand. No wonder this drivetrain doesn’t need to come with a chain retention device.
XX1 crank and interchangeable front ring
I got to take the drivetrain for it’s first shakedown on our local trail system at Blankets creek in Woodstock, GA. The trails are a mix of fun intermediate easy riding, with a nice technical rocky trail, along with some fast and swoopy bermed sections. The drivetrain passed with absolute flying colors. The whole system sort of makes itself “invisible” on the bike. It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s quiet, smooth, and just like the 1×10, just frees your mind from having to worry about front shifting. That in itself lets me enjoy the ride so much more. Just a couple of clicks with the my right thumb and I’m either flying or climbing with a high cadence.
Now that I’m truly in love with the drivetrain, I’ll be testing it further this weekend during the 6 hours of Warrior Creek. It’s looking to a beautiful weekend and the bike and myself will get a pretty good workout. It’s also crunch time for Cohutta 100 training and I’ll be getting a lot of seat time over the next 3 weeks in preparation, so the drivetrain is going to get put through it’s paces very quickly. I’ll report back on how it handled the races and how it’s doing with all the trail riding. After this first bit of racing, the drivetrain will move over to my Remedy to see how it handles Pisgah. Can’t wait!
XX1 rear derailleur and cassette. The giant 42T ring looks right at home on a 29er.
Bikepacking: Huracan 300 route in Central Florida
For the last year or so I’ve been interested in bikepacking and ever since I watched “Ride the Divide” it immediately went on my bucket list. Not that I love gravel grinders, but I have a big sense of adventure and that seems to be the most adventurous thing that I could actually accomplish in my life. Last year I researched, purchased all the gear, and attempted to ride the TNGA (Trans North Georgia) route. It’s a brutal 350 mile route with over 50,000 feet of climbing across the N GA mountains. It started out well and good, but a seatpost that slid down without me really noticing, led to some knee pain and put me out after only 120 miles. I’ll be back to try it again later this year, but for now I figured a flat(ish) adventure across warm and sunny Florida during the winter was the way to go. It was also perfect timing for a mid-winter mountain bike “training camp”.
Fast and flowy Florida singletrack
I heard about the Huracan 300 route from a friend, read some great write ups around the web, and after talking through Facebook to Karlos (who created the route and runs the race in March) I downloaded the GPX file on my Garmin 800 and started to get excited. The Revelate Designs bags (Pika seat bag, Jerry Can, and Sling) went onto the bike, I got all my gear together (http://goo.gl/LsLgo for a gear spreadsheet) and I took a couple of days off work (the best part!)
I spent some time in Google Maps checking out the route itself, as well as lining up plenty of places to stop along the way (http://goo.gl/maps/VBqcU). I planned on doing 3 100 mile days and staying in hotels overnight. It was a beautiful 70 degrees during the day, but with 40 degree overnight temperatures, I didn’t feel like camping this time around. Technology is very cool, as I was not only able to look up places to stop, I was able to check out Street View and verify that they even existed.
Good morning Florida!
I took off on the route on a beautiful Friday morning and got a cold start as it was in the high 30s. It warmed up fast as the sun started to come up all the way. I got treated to some very cool swampy paths and some fun twisty single track through the palm trees as I headed for Ocala National Forest. The forest itself is a network of sandy gravel roads and has a Naval bombing range right in the middle. I got my timing right, as I rolled up just as some fighters were performing a bombing run. Too cool!
Naval Bombing Range
After 50 miles, I stopped by a very lonely convenience store to refuel, and kept on riding. I heard/read about the crazy deep sand and wanted to hit it while I had plenty of energy. It ended up being pretty brutal, but not as bad as I was fearing. Between keeping a very smooth pedaling stroke (Thanks Eddie!) and spending some time riding on the side of the road, I was able to get through the deep sand pretty quickly and headed to some fun single track in Wekiwa Springs.
I made it across the “creek” crossing!
There is a small “river crossing” in Wekiwa Springs, and considering it’s Florida and that the water was “chest high in some spots”, I was pretty worried about getting eaten by a gator. The nice “yup, there’s gators in those waters” from the Park Ranger didn’t make me feel any better. I got to the crossing, did some yelling to scare the gators away (ha!), picked up the bike, and waded through quickly. No big deal! I made my first 100 miles, was back to civilization, was feeling great, but decided to go ahead and call it a night vs continuing on. I wanted to save any energy that I had for the next couple of days.
After some good Italian food and some easy sleep I headed out for Day 2. I didn’t realize that the route today has a good bit of pavement so the first 50 miles flew right by. I saw an unexpected grocery store (Public) right off the route and treated myself to an awesome deli sandwich (and a ton of peanut M&Ms, I was craving those the whole time) The next 40 was a mixture of forest service roads, more sand, even more sand, some more sand, and finally some pavement (never thought I’d be GLAD to ride pavement on my mountain bike). There is a super long “rails to trail” section and I got to ride quite a few miles through it. When I got to where I planned on spending the night, Ridge Manor, it was 4:30, I still had 1.5 hours of daylight left, and I knew I’d hate myself if I stopped now. The longest mountain bike ride I’ve done in my life was the day before at 100 miles, so why not try for 140 to get to the next town. After all, I had lights, and it was still nice outside.
Did I mention there was some sand?
I hit a gas station for some dinner, pushed through and hit the Croom singletrack north of town. There is about 10 miles of pretty technically challenging singletrack, especially with a 40lb loaded bike, and I had to walk a few sections but it was still really fun. It shot me out on some country back roads, and I just spun along and enjoyed the stars. Spent some time with my lights off riding to the moonlight. I was a bit worried about some back country rednecks, but didn’t encounter anyone at all. I was feeling really good considering the mileage, and I knew I hit what I read about earlier: Diesel Mode. It’s basically when your legs and heart are too tired to go hard, but they feel just fine going a certain speed, and for some reason you feel like you can just go forever at that pace. At around 10pm I rolled into Inverness after 142 miles and 13 hours on the bike. Long day and I was ready for a burger! I ate, turned on the TV in the hotel room and instantly fell asleep.
Dieseling along some forest service roads
With such a long Day 2, Day 3 turned into a super fun “short jaunt” through the Santos Mountain Biking trail. Combined with the Ross Praire forest, it’s nearly 40 miles of great dirt and singletrack. Santos is very fast, flowy, and a blast to ride. It was awesome to finish with this trail as it gave me a “singletrack high” and I finished up the route feeling really good and in great spirits.
Riding this route renewed my appetite for bikepacking, and I’m really looking forward to attempting TNGA again this summer. I also got to see some great sights, as Florida is full of nature. (My full gallery of pics here: http://smu.gs/15tRFHA) From the National Forests, to the Wildlife Management Areas, to the all the back country roads, it was all awesome! And let’s not forget about the unlimited “all the peanut M&Ms you can eat” diet you can have during one of these adventures. Heading into a gas station and needing 1000 calories of junk food is so great. I can go through my full gear setup if there is any interest and I’ll also post my ride report from the TNGA in July. Also, here are the Strava links for each of the days: Day 1 - http://app.strava.com/activities/39705204 Day 2 - http://app.strava.com/activities/39705219 and Day 3 - http://app.strava.com/activities/39705186
Niner Jet 9 RDO Carbon: Sexiest 29er To Date?
Hot on the heals of the new licorice black color scheme of the carbon Air 9, Niner Bikes releases the much anticipated Jet 9 RDO carbon full suspension 29er. When Niner released the Air 9 carbon, we knew the Jet 9 would eventually get the carbon treatment. It only seemed logical to bring the same technology to the 100mm full suspension platform. With bikes like the Santa Cruz Tallboy selling faster than demand, the market for lightweight, carbon 29er race bikes is one of the fastest growing in the industry.
From the looks of it, Niner Bikes really took their time with the Jet 9 carbon and released a bike that should keep the trademark Niner ride while providing a lighter platform for racers and XC enthusiasts. It is also arguably the best looking 29er full suspension bike released to date…especially in the black licorice color scheme.
Some specs on the new Niner Bikes Jet 9 RDO carbon 29er:
- Carbon full suspension from the only 29er only mountain bike company
- Patented CVA suspension is efficient in every chainring. You won’t find this design on other bikes.
- 100mm of race-ready rear suspension
- Compatible with 100 – 120mm tapered forks
- Custom valved Fox Float RP23 with Kashima coating
- Custom forged suspension linkage and unique Niner suspension hardware
- Next generation internal cable routing
- Precise alloy hardware interfaces for brakes and derailleurs (direct mount front der)
The Niner Jet 9 RDO uses the same, newly patented CVA suspension (U.S. Patent No. 7,934,739) that can be found on the rest of the full suspension lineup from Niner Bikes. The frame also comes with Niner’s C5 warranty giving the carbon a full 5 years of warranty from the factory.
With custom forged linkage and proven design, the carbon frame of the Niner Jet 9 RDO also promises to be a very stiff setup for serious speed on the trail. At a retail of $2,599, the Jet 9 RDO is not going to be in everyone’s budget, but it will certainly be grabbing the eyes of everyone at the trailhead when one pulls through. It will be interesting to see how this bike rides in comparison to the regular aluminum Jet 9 that is still one of the fastest 29ers Bike198 has tested to date.
For more info, check out NinerBikes.com.
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Seatstay
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Vana White Frame
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Headtube
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Vana White
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Rocker
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Rear Triangle
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Black Licorice Frame
Orange Jet 9 Carbon Frame Detail
Orange Jet 9 Carbon CVA Linkage
Tango Jet 9 Carbon CVA Suspension
White Jet 9 Carbon Racked
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Tango
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Black Licorice
Niner Jet 9 Carbon Tango Frame
Vana White Jet 9 Carbon CVA Linkage
29ers Win Big at Sea Otter – Two New, Exciting Fork Options
2012 is going to mark a year for 29er expansion thanks to two new fork offerings out of both RockShox and Fox Racing Shox. Two distinctly different products released by both companies answer long standing wishes of 29er owners everywhere…at very different ends of the spectrum.
Fox Racing Shox 34 29er Fork
The Fox Racing Shox 29er fork is a 140mm travel suspension fork that is almost exactly what I requested over a year ago. This new 34mm platform rests directly in between the current 32mm 29er forks and Fox’s bigger 36mm platform for 160mm and up travels. The increased thickness of the fork stanchions will aid in front end stiffness given the larger distance from axle to crown and larger wheel radius of the 29er. For bikes like the Niner W.F.O, this is the perfect option and there is finally a fork that will be able to withstand the abuse the larger travel big wheeled bikes can dish out.
The Fox Racing Shox 34 29er fork will be available in both fixed travel and Talas versions with 1.5 tapered steerer tubes and 15mm TA’s. According to SickLines.com, the weight range for the Float is 4.32 to 4.56lb and the Talas is 4.54 to 4.78lb.
RockShox SID 29er Suspension Fork
On the other end of the spectrum, racers that favor the bigger wheel size will be drooling over this claimed 3.48 pound (1,578g) 29er fork with 15mm Maxle Lite TA. Shaving 211g off the current top of the line Reba XX, this proves to be the weight weenies answer for lightweight 29er suspension forks. If you are willing to compromise some stiffness, RockShox will be releasing a QR version with their new Keronite Grey finish (released on the new ultralight Boxxer DH fork) that has the potential to shave an additional 100 grams.
With all of the features of the current SID lineup built in, we are sure to see a lot of Specialized S-Works Epics and Superfly 100′s built up with this fork on race courses in the near future. Pricing should start around $1,190.
Ending The Debate: 29er vs. 26" Mountain Bike
With the widespread adoption of the 29er mountain bike in manufacturing and the mountain bike community, the growing debate of 29er vs. traditional 26″ mountain bikes is getting hot amongst riding groups. If you are in the market to upgrade your current mountain bike or get into the sport, your options are wider than ever which is a good thing for the sport but can be debilitating when looking to purchase a new rig.
There is no “right answer” for every mountain biker, so let’s take a look at the 26″ vs. 29er mountain bike debate and see where it shakes out in my opinion. This topic is probably the most debated in the industry, so you will find that every rider has what they think is the right answer for you (typically what they bought).
The 29er Mountain Bike: What is the big deal?
Before we get into what will work best for you, let’s take a look at this larger wheel size and see how it affects the mountain bike in a general way.
What does a 29er do well?
- Rolls over rocks and roots easier due to the wider circumference.
- More distance covered per pedal revolution.
- Higher air volume in tires smooth out ride.
The larger diameter wheels of the 29er mountain bike can create the sensation of having an 1″ more travel than the bike is spec’ed due to the larger air volume and larger contact patch with the ground. For this reason, it has become the go to size for much of the hard tail and shorter travel mountain bikes in the industry. The racing world has really embraced the larger wheels size for these benefits it brings to the trail.
What are the drawbacks of a 29er?
- Large size equals larger weight.
- Harder to maneuver in tight, twisty single track.
- Longer travel (5.5″ and higher) 29ers feel REALLY big.
- Sizing and geometry issues with smaller riders.
- Larger radius needs stiff wheel build and fork to prevent deflection.
Just as with any big change, it is not all good news. While the true 29er zealots will probably tell you these things are not true, the reality is that you are adding bigger wheels to the mountain bike than traditional 26″, so there are going to be negative side affects that go along with the positive changes.
26″ vs. 29″ Wheels: Which is right for me?
When you are taking a look at the 26″ vs. 29er mountain bike, there are several personal questions you need to ask yourself as you make your decision. As with all things, there is no right answer that fits all people. How you ride your bike and how you want it to react is the most important factor when making this decision…not what your friend bought and says is the best.
So here is how I see it shake out…
How tall are you?
As the distance from your head to the ground increases, the 29er wheel size actually becomes more proportional to your size. Riders in the 6 foot and up crowd that are looking for a XC to light AM mountain bike should test ride a 29er just to see how they like it. You might find that it fits perfectly and you have finally found a bike that feels like it actually fits. Shorter riders in the 5’6″ range and lower will need to take a serious look at geometry and test ride different frames as they might find the bike feels too big or isn’t able to maneuver as well. I have known shorter riders that have loved the bigger wheel size, but that is typically in hard tail applications.
- Taller Riders: Yes
- Shorter Riders: Maybe
How much travel are you looking for?
While the argument that a 29er “adds an inch” of travel is almost true in theory, there is a big difference in 140mm forks and 160mm forks in mountain biking. The thicker stanchions and construction make a huge difference for riders looking to get into the more technical side of riding. If you are in the market for a 140mm or 160mm travel mountain bike, a 120″ travel 29er is not going to give you that same stiffness and confidence from a bike build and component standpoint. Also, as you move up in travel the bike feels bigger and when you add in the larger wheel diameter, that gets multiplied and can hold you back in slow tech and DH situations.
However, if you are looking at lighter 130mm to 140mm travel 26″ mountain bikes and you are taller, the 120mm travel 29er might be a great option. It will roll over technical rocks and roots on most single track easier and you will still be able to keep the overall bike weight under 30 pounds in most cases.
In the short travel and hard tail mountain bike market, the 29er mountain bike has almost completely taken over.
- HT and 100mm travel and under: Yes
- 120mm to 130mm: Yes
- 140mm: Maybe
- 160mm and up: No
What type of trails do you ride?
As mentioned before, 29er mountain bikes do take more to maneuver through tight single track. If all of your riding is filled with tight turns in trees, you will want to try out a 29er on your own local trails before making a decision. On the other side of the spectrum, if your trails are more open and rocky, the 29er wheel size can really excel and bring more speed as you can hit sections faster.
Do a lot of racing and forest service road riding? A 29er is almost a no brainer in those situations. If you don’t believe me…just try to keep up with a 29er rider on a FSR. This adds up with the shorter travel and hard tail mountain bike market.
- Tight and twisty: Maybe
- Open and rocky: Yes
- Racing and FSR: Yes
What do I personally use? 29er or 26″?
When I spec out my personal mountain bikes given trail conditions, this is how everything lays out for me personally given my specs. I would describe my riding style as technical. I like to find the nasty lines possible and make them ridable at speed. For this reason, I typically like to ride mountain bikes with big forks and more travel, but I also like to dip into the XC and race side every now and then as I have a background in those applications. At 6’1″ tall, I fall into the taller side of the sizing spectrum in between large and x-large. To fit my need to find all tech riding, I am on large size mountain bikes to keep the bike easier to move in slow tech.
- Singlespeed and Hard Tails: 29er
- Short Travel Race Bikes (100mm and under): 29er
- Trail bike (140mm and higher): 26 inch
As of right now, I have not found a 29er mountain bike that has been able to handle what I want to throw at a 140mm travel or higher mountain bike. It has not been agile enough and the 32mm stanchion forks mated with higher radius wheels are not built to withstand the abuse. Given the specs of 29ers, I do not see this changing for me as a rider.
On the shorter travel end, there are a lot of advantages of the larger wheel size that have made a couple of 29ers the fastest bikes I have ever ridden for those applications. I doubt if I will ever go back to 26″ wheels for anything under 100mm worth of travel.
What is the right bike for you?
As you take a look at all of these specs, you have to look inward at your body type and riding style to see which wheel size will be the best option for you. There is no right option for everyone and the 29er wheel size is not going to take over the mountain biking industry like a lot of the Kool-Aid drinkers are trying to say. The larger wheel diameter does have some serious advantages in certain situations, but it also does not work for others.
The best option…test ride your top 26″ candidate on your local trail and the top 29er candidate if they are available. If they aren’t, find the closest substitute. At the end of the day, you are the one making the investment in your mountain bike and you will be the one riding it…not everyone else that is trying to inject their opinion in your buying decision.
Does Wheel Size Really Matter?
The constant debate over 26 vs 29 inch wheels is going to be the argument of the decade. Those that have jumped on the 29er bandwagon are converts and believe the wheel size brings more benefits to the trail than negatives. Those are those that still prefer the 26 inch variety to roll them around their favorite trails with no want or need to look at anything else. Personally, I reside in both camps as I prefer the larger wheel diameter for hard tails and short travel suspension mountain bikes but leave the larger travel (5.5″ and up) duties to conventional 26″ machines. Judging by the mountain bikes on the UCI race circuit, the mountain bike racers out there at least agree with the larger wheel size for HT’s and short travel FS’s for race duty as almost the entire field is on 29ers these days.
Regardless, there is one thing that rings true in the larger wheel crowd…they love their 29ers.
Two weeks ago we held a pre-sale on Bike198 showcasing the first t-shirt out of our lineup…”29ers – Size Does Matter”…and now I am happy to say that the shirts are in stock and ready to ship! Thanks to Adam Allen (adam-allen.com) for the design and Scrappy Music (scrappymusic.com) for the incredible print work. These army green, 4.3oz ringspun tees feature the design on the front and a small Bike198 logo on the upper back in premium discharge printing so you do not get that “ink feel” (design feels like a part of the shirt).
We are completely stoked about this new addition to Bike198 and look for more designs in the future. Sizes are in stock now and now shipping!!
Get your 29er Size Does Matter Tee Here.
New Apparel Release: 29ers – Size Does Matter
For awhile now, the crew here at Bike198.com has wanted to start up a t-shirt lineup to express our obsession with all things mountain biking. The sport and the lifestyle extends past our dirt encounters and spreads into our lives outside of cycling. In an effort to keep the stoke rolling on and off the bike, we are proud to announce the first t-shirt in the line, “29ers – Size Does Matter”
29ers – Size Does Matter
Those that are obsessed with the larger wheel diameter already know…in certain situations where tire tread meets dirt, size really does matter. With an incredible design done by Adam Allan (adam-allen.com), this 29er theme t-shirt captures the retro style that bred the 29er movement from custom steel hard tails to the full out aluminum full suspensions we see on the market today.
The t-shirts are a really high quality, 4.3 oz ringspun 100% cotton with a hybrid screen print that makes the illustration feel like it is a part of the fabric (no ink feel). This was done to bring the highest quality shirt we possibly could to the market.
For a limited time only, we are offering this t-shirt for $19.95 as part of a pre-order for this week only (ending 11/13). After that, the price is going to head up to $24.95. T-shirts require a large quantity initial order so we want to thank you guys for the initial quantity by offering a one time only discount to get the ball rolling. We are looking to start shipping orders the week of November 30th, so your wait will not be long to be able to show off your love for all things 29er.
The pre-sale discount has ended but you can still order a shirt online by clicking the link below.
Order your 29er – Size Does Matter t-shirt by clicking here.
29er or 26" Mountain Bike? Decisions…
Can you remember a time when 29ers weren’t prevalent at your local trail head? Maybe they still aren’t, but at this point in time…29ers are gracing the covers of magazines and even seeing downhill runs with longer travel options from companies like Niner and Lenz Sport. However, it wasn’t that long ago that 29ers didn’t really exist at all for the regular mountain biker. For awhile, they only graced the custom hardtail market as parts were hard to come by and mainstream mountain biking hadn’t caught up to the trend. Now, for many mountain bikers, the 29 inch wheel size graces their everyday ride as that portion of the industry continues to grow and expand.
I personally own one 29er and see the advantages of the bigger wheel size in a lot of mountain biking situations. My primary bike is a 26″ mountain bike that completely fits my riding style.
The big question…how many of you use the 29er as your primary mountain bike. If you want to chime in why…hit up the contact form at the bottom of this article and hit us up with your reasons why (or why not) the 29er is your primary mountain bike.
Image by placid casual
Here Is Your 29er Mr. President – Niner Bikes Goes Presidential
I just received a pretty cool email from the crew over at Niner Bikes. The attached press release (below) and picture (credit: C.A. Smith | casmithphotography.com) you see above is Chris Cugai and Steve Domahidy of Niner Bikes delivering a Niner Jet 9 to former President George W. Bush. President Bush has been known for his 26″ obsession, but this is his first jump into the big wheeled category and he picked a great bike to start on.
This story actually brings up a pretty important issue that needs to be addressed in the mountain biking community. One of the great aspects of riding is that I get to hang out with people from varying races, backgrounds, political views and religious beliefs…but we all hold a common ground when it comes to putting down the power with pedals. On a recent trip to the mountains, I was able to talk to a friend of mine on certain issues…some we agree on and some we don’t…but at the end of the day, we are just two unique individuals that like to hang out on bikes.
Mountain biking is a common ground that has the ability to bring people together. There are very few sports in this world that have such a diverse group of obsessed loyalists that are able to set aside their differences for the love of the bike. This press release from Niner has no political affiliation. At the end of the day, it is just a couple of guys talking about the sport they love…mountain biking.
You can read our review of the Niner Jet 9 by clicking here.
Official Press Release from Niner Bikes
8/19/10 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Niner Bikes Go Presidential
Former President George W. Bush checks out 29ers with Niner Bikes
Niner Bikes co-founders Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy spent Thursday morning of this week delivering and fitting a Niner Jet 9 full suspension bike for Former President George W. Bush, with assistance from local Niner dealer Kennebunkport Bicycle Company.
“Most of Peloton 1, Mr. Bush?s regular mountain bike crew, is on 29 inch wheels and he wanted to check them out. He asked Brandon Gillard, owner of the Kennebunkport Bicycle Company and Peloton 1 rider, if he could try a Niner. Brandon called us and of course we were stoked for the opportunity” said Sugai “ It is really hard to believe that just a few years ago we were showing our first frame at Sea Otter and now we are riding with a former President of the United States”
Bush, Sugai, Domahidy and the rest of the Peloton 1 crew (as well as a full complement of Secret Service people) went for a ride on the crew?s usual morning loop. “Mr. Bush is really fast” said Domahidy, ”and a very good technical rider, too. He was flying on the Jet 9 and at the end of the ride said he dropped 3 minutes off of his fastest time!”
Post ride, there was ample opportunity to chat, and the group?s conversation covered everything from trails, trail access and trail building to entrepreneurship in the USA. Said Sugai, “I found that he was very interested in the challenges of being a small business in the current economic atmosphere. This has been an amazing opportunity and we really have Niner owners to thank – their support over the years has gotten our little company to this point”.
Niner?s Jet 9 is their race-ready full suspension mountain bike. Light and fast, the frame features Niner?s proprietary CVATM full suspension system, and 3” of travel. It is available in three color options and retails at local Niner dealers for $1749.
Additional information can be found here: Niner Jet 9
Niner Bikes was founded 2004 in Southern California by Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy. The company is dedicated to the ideals of passion, commitment and 29ers only.
www.ninerbikes.com | Niner Bikes on Facebook
Can 29ers Handle North Shore Style Riding?
Wade Simmons has apparently been ripping up North Shore on 29ers with the argument that the newest geometry releases are much more conducive to more aggressive styled riding.
For a niche market in mountain biking that has been pretty much segregated to the XC and Light AM side of mountain biking, this is an interesting take on how bigger hoops handle the rougher terrain.
His argument, as illustrated in a recent Bike Mag release, is that “if you know how to maneuver a bike, if you can jack the brake and swing the rear end around, a 29er can be a weapon on these trails.”
With more manufacturers jumping on the 29er platform with increased travel, it really begs the question…are we going to start seeing more 29ers in DH and FR segments of mountain biking?
Here are my thoughts.
The Positive Side Of Big Hoops In Aggressive Terrain
- Roll Over – The larger wheel diameter allows you to roll over rocks and roots easier than the 26 inch counterpart. This has been one of the huge selling points for XC racers as the larger hoops, once you get the momentum up, really smoothen out the trail. When you are dealing with rooty and rocky terrain, the 29 inch wheels just seem to plow through with ease. This is something that more aggressive riders will really come to love.
- Increased Grip – The increased tire volume allows for more grip at lower pressures. In fast moving downhill and freeride mountain biking, grip is a luxury that you seek through suspension setup and rubber. The more the better in most situations.
- Extremely Stable Platform – The 29er mountain bike is a very stable platform. With the increased wheel size, the bike actually becomes a little bit more predictable in the air and on the trail because the bike literally feels more secure.
The Negative Side Of Big Hoops In Aggressive Terrain
- It’s A Big Bike – As we saw with the Niner W.F.O. 9 that was reviewed previously, when you add that kind of travel to a 29 inch platform, you end up with a big bike. For a rider like myself that likes to keep bikes feeling smaller for more maneuverability, this is an adjustment in riding style to accommodate the larger platform.
- Forks Are The Issue – I have had talks with Niner Bikes about the ceiling of the 29 inch wheel suspension platform. They actually have designs that can range up to 10 inches of rear wheel travel with zero issue, but the problem becomes the front fork and geometry. Even now…the options for 29er riders looking for more travel out of the front end are limited to 140mm and that selection is small. The fork manufacturers are going to have to figure out how to shove more travel into a smaller space and still keep the stiffness necessary to ride rougher terrain at speed. Niner has gotten around this with Manitou with a modified version of the Dorado inverted DH fork.
- Bigger Wheels Rely On Stiffer Wheel Builds – When you increase the distance between the axle and rim, you are creating more leverage and wheel flex. In an area where the wheels are depended upon heavily to keep a straight line and be dependable, there can be an issue with this increased stress.
- Modified Riding – The 29 inch wheel platform does not carve as quickly as a 26 inch sled. As Wade Simmons points out in his quote above, you are going to have to dramatically adjust how you attack corners and technical obstacles to overcome the larger mass and size of the wheels. In some situations, that might not be possible.
So What Do I Really Think About Larger Hoops And DH/FR?
I think we are going to see more people gravitate towards 29ers for more aggressive riding styles, especially the taller riders. Do I think it is going to overtake 26″ bikes…absolutely not. I like bikes to feel smaller and more maneuverable in rough, fast, technical riding, and I can not get that feeling out of a 29er. I can make the 29er feel fast, but for this rider it will not be my sled of choice for DH runs. For others…it might be…but for me…the positives do not outweigh what I get out of a longer travel 26 inch mountain bike.
What do you think?
Hit up the comments section below and let us know what you think about 29ers and Shore style riding.
Silence Is Golden – SS Rigid Singlespeed Ride
The past week or so has contained some stressful events both personally and professionally. As any seasoned mountain biker knows, the best way to shrug off the stress and get your head straight is to get out and ride…so that’s what I did. This past Saturday, I grabbed my rigid, SS, 29er and hit the trail with a friend. No cameras, no review product…nothing but the bike, the trail and my brain ready to explode if I didn’t get some quality spin time in quickly.
There are two things I know when I grab my SS.
- It is going to be painful – When you ride as many longer travel bikes as I do…grabbing the rigid, singlespeed insures that I am signing up for pain.
- It is going to be nice and quiet – A rigid, ss makes zero noise.
We loaded up the truck and hit the road ready to conquer the dirt without gears. For those of you that haven’t ridden a singlespeed or are wondering why you can’t just ride your geared back without shifting…the singlespeed experience is a different form of mountain biking all together. Prior to riding a dedicated SS sled, there is a misconception among many that just riding your geared bike without shifting is comparable…but in reality…it is not even close.
Wolfhound Rigid SS 29er
When I get out on my SS, there is a different aura surrounding the ride. There is a calmness before the ride that is unlike any other geared mountain bike excursion. It is almost as if I am preparing my body for the increased power requirement but with a solitude of quiet calmness. The ride I am about to complete is going to require a much different approach. The rigid platform is going to be unforgiving to my mistakes…the steep pitches and climbs are going to have to be attacked without the aid of an increased gear range…the downhills are going to have to be navigated with a precise line…and all of this is going to be done with only hearing the rubber of my tires gripping the dirt and the wind on the leaves.
When you ride a dedicated SS, the entire ride is different and one of my favorite aspects is that you have to think…but in a different way. I am no longer worrying about gear selection as that is replaced by getting creative with ways to keep momentum. I am not looking for the nastiest line to plow through…I need the fastest, smoothest line from point a to point b (which is just as challenging in technical terrain).
By the end of the ride on Saturday…my ass was officially kicked. I really need to get out on that bike more often as it completely exposes how lazy and sloppy I have let suspension let me get. Every single one of my mistakes comes glaring in the face as the rigid bike takes no prisoners. You either ride the section right…or get a sharp reminder of what you are doing wrong. Riding my rigid, singlespeed keeps me honest.