I've got a steel singlespeed, and I've got a longer travel trail bike... decided I needed something in between, something that I could race a little, something a bit lighter and more responsive. Initially I wanted a Specialized Stumpjumper Evolution 29, but my shop couldn't get them. Then I started looking at the Cannondale Flash, but once again my shop couldn't get them. Now, I'm all for supporting a good LBS, but if they can't get any bikes... So after some looking, reading, talking and riding, I pulled the trigger on a Niner Air 9 alloy. Got the raw/white combo because it was the only frame they had in stock, and I didn't have time to wait for an order. RS SID fork, X9 drivetrain, XT hydros (for now... don't like em), Black Flag Pros with Knobby Nics, Thomson, FSA SLK, etc etc etc. Got in a short shakedown ride ride yesterday, not bad. Front end felt a little flexy at one point, brakes stink (swapping the XTs for my old Hopes this week), tires are pretty average, but the bike itself rides really well. There were a few times where I definitely noticed the advantages of the larger wheels, and there were a few times where I definitely noticed the aluminum hardtail. All in all I'm pretty happy with it.