Member's Bikes: Walt's Niner Air 9 - Bike Magic

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Member’s Bikes: Walt’s Niner Air 9

Seems the Niner is a popular choice of 29er for many of the readers, as we’ve just had another one sent in for our regular Member’s Bikes feature.

Here is Walt Brydon’s Niner Air 9

No doubt some of you have seen some pictures online of my new bike? If not and for those that care, here’s the story of a new bike from a worn middle ring!

Think it was two months ago, I bought a couple of new chains for my Fisher 29er, checked the old one with the Park Tool chain checker tool and figured I best change the chain to save the cogs and rings. So bought two KMC X9 chains at a bargain price and stuck one on in place of the worn one.

Of course many of you will know what happens next as it is so common with bikers, everything feels rough and worn. Aaaaaargh! Well I best buy a new middle ring and cassette to cure the problem. Ebay here we come, and a new SLX front chainring purchased but no cassette yet.

By the time the chainring arrived I had convinced myself to buy some bargain forks from On One. I was debating the cost of cassette one minute, then next thing, .a nice shiny pair or Rockshox Reba RL’s were in the shopping basket and oops I clicked purchase! From needing a chainring and cassette to buying a chainring, checking prices of cassettes to finally buying some brand new forks.

The forks arrived and were oh so sexy in glossy white, and now came the next dilemma – will they fit my Fisher? Hmmm? The G2 geometry might be a problem, but after reading a few online articles about how it should be ok, I was not convinced… Well worst case scenario I might have to pick up a new or second hand frame if they really suck! Ok.

So at this point I had a nice shiny set of forks begging to be ridden. And a new set of Stan’s wheels just fitted to the Fisher. Now in my head this is almost a whole new bike. So all I need is a new frame, right? Well that’s what I told my self and started to look about at second hand frames and some new frames.

I had seen Niner bikes in the magazines and online and really liked the look and the reviews sound great. Then I set eyes on a beautiful blue Niner Air 9 frame advertised online and as it happened it was in size large. Perfect.

A week later it arrived.

Hanging there on the workstand it looks so good, so shiny and new, ready to be dressed with some serious biking bling. Ok at present it will not be dressed with biking bling, yet anyway.

The new forks in white really set the blue of the frame off perfect. The rest of the build kit is a mix of olds bits and a few new purchases. I built it up with the usual EA70 mid riser bars but it felt a little high, so of I went and bought some flat EA70 680mm wide bars to try. Yes they did make a difference. Feels so good.

So here you go, the full spec is below. Now as you know this will change and evolve not because it’s not a great build, no it’s the age old story of us mountain bikers being tart and we just cannot resist new bling!

Full specification

  • Frame – Niner Air 9 Scandium in Blue
  • Forks – RockShox Reba RL29 in Gloss White
  • Wheels – Stans Crest Rims on Superstar hubs.
  • Tyres – Continental Mountain King, Front 2.4, Rear 2.2
  • Bars – Easton EA70 Flat 680mm 9deg backsweep
  • Stem – Easton EA70 90mm
  • Seatpost – Easton EA70
  • Saddle – Bontrager Racelite (temporary)
  • Grips – Ritchey WCS Foam
  • Brakes – Shimano XT
  • Crankset – Shimano XT (22/36)
  • Rear Mech – Shimano XT
  • Front mech – Shimano Deore
  • Cassette – SRAM PG980 (11/34)
  • Chain – Shimano LX
  • Pedals – Shimano SPD

Full bike weight = 24.2lbs


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