Canfield Brothers Nimble 9 29er Hardtail

The Nimble 9 was designed to be the most nimble 29er on the market, hence the name. At 5.5 lbs (Large), it’s light enough to be built as a cross country terrain eating monster. With horizontal rear dropouts and a derailleur hanger, you can build it up as a single speed or geared. The Nimble 9 is the right combination of light weight, nimble geometry and Canfield Brothers innovation.

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
Fleas   Cross Country Rider [Oct 22, 2012]
Strength:

It looks great!
But better than that is how it rides!

Weakness:

Creates jealous onlookers.

I wanted a bike that was "less XC".

This bike descends with much more confidence than previous XC 29ers I've ridden without giving up other XC strengths like climbing prowess or the flickability that seems to elude so many other 29ers.

The weight bias is slightly to the back which is a great position from which to descend and manual, but it still climbs as well as a low, long-stemmed XC bike.

It is no particular lightweight, but in the middle of sport class 2 or 3 times per year that's a trivial matter. Light wheels make it happy, though.

Note: I have found water inside of it on several occasions. Not sure where it gets in.

Similar Products Used: Coming from Niner MCR9.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Aaron Heirtzler   All Mountain Rider [Apr 25, 2012]
Strength:

Stiff, Nimble (for real, it's not just a name), Climbs Great, Descends Great, Finish and Colors

Weakness:

Not a whole heck of a lot.

I have two of these now and love them both. One is built up as a 1x9 with a 120mm Fox Talas fork. The other is built to be a do it all commuting/dirt touring/bikepacking 29er (think Fargo but better looking).

This frame is awesome. I absolutely love it. It handles both of the builds I put on it perfectly. On single track, the bike rips. It fells really comfortable climbing and performs really well on the ups. On the downs, it's typical Canfield Awesome. Really good through tight twisty sections (especially for a 29er) and even wants to get airborne a bit.

Overall, I would recommend this bike for anyone who wants to have fun on a bike :)

*A note on the Homebrew chainring, great product, but be prepared to wait like 6 months for it.

Similar Products Used: Orbea Alma 29er, Canfield Yelli Screamy, Cannondale Hardtail 29er
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
mtbnachos   Cross Country Rider [Apr 25, 2012]
Strength:

Unique, descents, value, short chainstays, vibration damping, simple and elegant.

Weakness:

Climbing, heel rub, bottom bracket limitations

Excellent bike. Riding for about 6 months and by far the quickest 29er I've ridden. This bike shines in the downhill and tight singletrack. Much quicker than the Jabberwocky and EMD 9 I used to own. It crosses XC/AM so this is a very unique 29er and it fits all my needs. Climbing feels a bit dull maybe geometry or just me (I find myself pulling the bike towards me on steep inclines)? I have it setup with short stem 80mm and rigid Vassago fork. Heel rub can be an issue so it'll scratch paint on chain/seat stays. It has a simple look and that's fine by me but wish there was a white. It's a great value for the fun factor hope these guys make a Reynolds 853 version and fix the heel rub issue in the future.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
dubthang   Cross Country Rider [Apr 24, 2012]
Strength:

Short chain stays, slack head tube angle, looks sweet

Weakness:

Low bb when used with a rigid fork (470mm a-c,) wide chain stays can catch heels and/or interfere with some cranks

I've had this frame for almost a year now. I picked it up when the first batch came out. The bike looks amazing. The green paint almost seems to glow. The bike is very flickable, and makes a great ss bike. Mine built up to about 24# with some not so light parts. The bb is low with a rigid fork. I use a carbon Niner fork, and sometimes get pedal strikes. It's not a deal breaker. Also, I feel this frame handles better with a short stem. Currently using a 75mm stem with great results. This bike rails single track, and is very stable when pointed downhill. The chain stays are quite wide. Some cranks may not work depending on their q factor and their length. Also, you may experience some heel rub if you ride with your heels pointed inwards.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
classrc   Weekend Warrior [Apr 23, 2012]
Strength:

Lateral Stiffness, Tire Clearance,

Weakness:

Heal Strikes are more of a possibility

I've been riding singlespeed for the past 4 years (the last 2 fully rigid) and have kinda been in a bike ADD mode. Buying a bike/frame and riding it for a year or two, them moving on; trying to find that one bike...

The Jabberwocky came close, but was just a tad sluggish feeling. The Rig, well, we won't go there...

I built the Nimble 9 with most of the parts from the Jabber and the build went very well. The frame was very well prepared and required minimal facing/chasing of the bottom bracket. The head tube, however, did need to be faced and slightly reamed (there was a small burr on the ID of the HT). Nothing beyond normal frame prep...

This is my 1st frame with sliding dropouts and I LOVE them! Much nicer than horizontal dropouts and EBB's.

I was a little concerned with the BB height running an 80mm corrected rigid fork, but I've yet had a pedal strike. I'm running 175mm cranks.

Now - The Ride: It's much more at home when things get steep (up or down) than my previous rides. It is noticeably stiffer than the Jabber (more laterally than vertically, but stiffer). For me, this is a good thing (I'm 230 lbs). Traction is great, the front end does not wander while climbing (I'm a stand and hammer SS'r), and steering is almost telepathic.

The front end is very easy to get up and over obstacles. I had to work to get the Jabber in the air. I find myself enjoying those steep, root infested fall line down hills and really pushing into the corners.

I have had a couple heal strikes, but I don't really notice them. I see the witness marks on the chainstays, but it doesn't bother me...

I find the riding position a little more upright compared to the Jabber, but very comfy. I also have a little less stand over clearance on the Nimble 9 but it's not really an issue (I went from an 18" Jabber to a Large Nimble 9).

I'd recommend the Nimble 9 to anyone who wants a bike that can be run rigid, squishy, SS, or geared. The possibilities are nearly endless... It builds up reasonably light and it nice and stiff without being harsh.

Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Rig, Vassago Jabberwocky
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sslos   Cross Country Rider [Feb 01, 2012]
Strength:

Versatility, great ride quality, fit and finish.
Short-stay/ slack HT geometry works well- for me.

Weakness:

Wide BB required, but that's niggling.

I wanted to follow up my initial review now that I have 6 months and some brutal miles on this frame.
This bike does a lot of things really well, and it's incredibly versatile in its possible configurations. It can be built as a single speed, like mine. Or with a full complement of gears using a direct-mount front derailleur. Or how about a 1x, with a chain guide mounted there? Sure, why not? XC, AM, enduro... you name it.
The frame is burly enough to handle some rough-and-tumble, but not so heavy it precludes it's use as a XC bike. Some riders, especially those who ride geared, and climb in a fairly low gear while seated might have some issues with the front lifting due to the short rear end. Those looking for a full-blown AM/ FR hardtail, be aware that the headtube is 1 1/8". A lot of longer travel forks, which are using a tapered steerer more and more, are out.
While I have it set up somewhere between XC and AM light- it's actually my endurance racing all-'rounder. This is my only "regular" mountain bike- I have a Pugsley, but they're completely different, and I don't ride the Pugsley much. I ride single speed, so I haven't tried this frame with gears, so please take that into consideration. The frame is designed to use forks with travel between 80-120mm, and I have mine set right in the middle at 100mm.
The Nimble 9 has therefore been seeing all of my off-road miles, and a lot of commuting/ ride-to-the-trail miles too.
I was a bit skeptical about the "AM" geometry- super short chainstays and slack headtube angle- for long distances, but I figured that I was willing to give it a shot, since I wasn't getting rid of my Kona right away.
As I alluded to in my initial review, I was impressed by the handling right away. However, I still had trepidation until I had an opportunity to really get some distance under the bike.
Two weeks ago, I competed in the El Paso Puzzler 50 ( 2012 Race Course ) a race known for tough climbs, technical trails, and unrelenting rocks. While the engine faltered at times, the Canfield never wavered. Steep, loose climbs tested the limits of traction, but the tire placement afforded by the short stays kept the knobs digging.
The descents on this course were no place to rest. One in particular went down the remnants of a rockslide; head- to basketball-sized rocks, rolling out from under your tires; steep pitches; exhaustion from just having climbed up the biggest climb of the day. The Canfield held a line so well that little effort was wasted on sheer terror.
Towards the end of the race, the organizers sent us through a technical granite rock garden. 3-4' drops and ups, with little rest in between. This frame gave confidence in spades! No question that the Nimble 9 lives up to its name.
The main concern I had when I bought the Nimble 9 was whether having the rear wheel so tucked in would be comfortable. While I can't say I've noticed an increase in shock transmitted up the seatstays, the ability to run a 2.4" tire for this race definitely helped!
I'll be honest- I'm really thrilled by this bike, and can say without hesitation that it's the best handling, most confidence-inspiring single speed I've ever ridden. When you add in the price tag, it's downright amazing.

Similar Products Used: 29" bikes owned: Kona Unit, Gary Fisher Rig, Wily custom, Raleigh XXIX, Surly Karate Monkey

Demoed: Pretty much everything Fisher/Trek has put out in the last 15 years, ditto Specialized, odds and ends at Dirt Demo, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Clink   Cross Country Rider [Jan 21, 2012]
Strength:

Climbs well, stable downhill, great in the twisties. Love it!

Weakness:

Slightly heavy - but don't notice when riding it. Heels hit chain/seatstays and occasional crank arm hitting chainstays. Consequence of those short chainstays. Running square taper so switched to a 122mm bb and all good!

I'm thinking of selling my ti 29er!

Similar Products Used: On-on ti 29er
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
WRX-Rob   Cross Country Rider [Sep 14, 2011]
Strength:

Geometry is spot on. Paint and finish was excellent. Bottom bracket spun right in.

Weakness:

Clearances get tight, but unless someone figures out a way to build unobtanium tubes that are super thin, there's no way around it. Heel strikes can be an issue too.

This is by far the best bike I have owned to date. As soon as I threw my leg over it I could tell something was different. It liked a little lower saddle height than I am accustomed to. The first time I pointed it downhill I could tell that it was meant to go fast. Very stable at fast speeds. Very nimble at slow speeds. It likes to jump. I can float the front end over obstacles with ease. I have yet to lose traction on standing climbs. I am typically a cross country rider that has done a couple races and finished very mid pack. I ride almost daily. I have been through my fair share of frames in the past two years, but this one is here to stay. I'm not sure how it will do set-up 1X9. I'm afraid I'll have to move the rear wheel back a little to keep the front end on the going during seated climbs. Time will tell. I'll keep the Kona Unit for the geared bike for a while until I know whether this can be my "everything" bike. Price is fair, considering the custom frame I was looking at building that is almost identical to this frame was 2100 with the Paragon sliders. Niner's steel frame are more than this and you don't get as much bike. 5 flaming hot chili's all the way around.

Similar Products Used: Almost any SS 29er steel frame on the market. Vassago Jabberwocky, Salsa El Mariachi, Niner, Kona Unit, Redline Monocog, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sslos   Cross Country Rider [Aug 22, 2011]
Strength:

Great frame prep, handles better than any 29" bike I've been on, tons of tire clearance with super short stays.

Weakness:

Requires a wide BB.

Amazing. I've ridden a lot of bikes in my life, and have owned, demoed, or borrowed at least 20 different 29" hardtails. This pwnd them all. Traction for days climbing out of the saddle, well-mannered on the downhills, confidence inspiring in the air.
The only caveat I have is that in order to leave room for a 2.4" tire with 16.25" chainstays and still have the beef necessary to handle punishment, I needed a 122mm bottom bracket to clear my crankarms. Not that big of a deal!

Similar Products Used: Kona Unit, Gary Fisher Rig, Wily custom, Raleigh XXIX, Surly Karate Monkey
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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