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my tweener

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
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.

 
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Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,680
1,403
01776
Are they the XT ice tech brakes? How much would you want for them? They're supposed to be the be all end all of brakes, so I'm surprised and disappointed to hear they suck.

I really liked my Scott Scale (similar geo), which I just sold. It really decreased the 29er-nish of the bike.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
I was running the XTs with a spare set of Avid rotors I had laying around. When I swapped them out for Hope rotors the brakes were much improved. Just picked up a set of Shimano rotors... hopefully those will be even better.

Shimano + Avid rotors = the suck
Shimano + Hope rotors = really nice

Didn't realize a rotor could make that big of a difference.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,680
1,403
01776
interesting. I had good luck with my saints on alligator rotors, but that's kind of a different story. Maybe the avids are just glazed?

Did you buy the icey-hot rotors, or just some standard ones?
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
XT IceTech rotors - 180 up front, 160 in the back. I think the avid rotors are fine, as they work well with my avid brakes.
 

amishmatt

Turbo Monkey
Sep 21, 2005
1,187
325
Lancaster, PA
I was running the XTs with a spare set of Avid rotors I had laying around. When I swapped them out for Hope rotors the brakes were much improved. Just picked up a set of Shimano rotors... hopefully those will be even better.

Shimano + Avid rotors = the suck
Shimano + Hope rotors = really nice

Didn't realize a rotor could make that big of a difference.
Just wanted to add that my experience has been the complete opposite. To be fair, I haven't tried the XT (or other brand) rotors, and I can't say they aren't better. But, my XT brakes work so well with my old Avid rotors, I see no need to spend the money. Fantastic brakes.

Of course, now you have me curious to buy the XT rotors and give them a try. Bastard.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
Had the bike now for a couple of months and have it sufficiently broken in.

I've got mixed feelings about the bike. As a race bike, it's great. Really fast! But as a trail bike the geometry is too aggressive for me. Which means it's probably not going to work if it's going to be my only bike. If I can get my Yeti fixed/replaced, then it's a great addition to the fleet. But I'm not sure it's versatile enough to be my only bike.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,680
1,403
01776
Too aggressive for trail? At 72* I'd believe it. I really liked my Scott's 69.5* HA. Can you get a reducer/angle cup? My canzo @ 72*/18.5" CS was a pig, it didn't handle well anywhere. Nervous going fast but too long to turn.