Niner Bikes AIR 9 29er Hardtail

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DESCRIPTION

World Cup tested geometry meets high end alloy reliability. The new AIR 9 in hydroformed alloy benefits from the same decade of refinement and testing as does the entire Air 9 Family, while representing NIner’s most economical racing option. Riders benefit from years of hardtail experience with the unique ride quality of a high end alloy frame.

This version of our alloy hardtail integrates hydroformed tubing throughout. More than a cosmetic feature, hydroforming allows us to shape tubes, control wall thickness and optimize strength and stiffness in key areas. This customization creates perfectly tuned frames with precise ride characteristics – in other words, ideal ride feel. You will find hydroforming in the toptube, downtube, headtube, chainstays and seatstays. Bottom line? A light, stiff frame with better ride feel and improved steering results in better power transfer and an overall efficiency improvement. In other words, the updated Air 9 will win more races.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 48  
[Mar 02, 2019]
MDXC


OVERALL
RATING
5
Strength:

I recently bought an air 9 aluminum. It was a 1 star build only with 11speed nx. Rides way better than my 27.5 hardtail. Rides plush. Rockshox Judy is pretty smooth. Overall very happy with this purchase.

Weakness:

none so far

Price Paid:
1700
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2018
[May 11, 2016]
Jeffro
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Quick, nimble, super responsive, light!

Weakness:

I'll let you know when I find one....

Point and shoot.... That's all that needs to be done with this bike. I bought this bike complete not long after buying a 2015 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt as I felt I wanted a hardtail for my quick hour long rides after work of an evening before the sun goes down. It's fair to say that the RM hasn't been getting as much love as it should since I bought this thing!! It is so fun to ride!! What impresses me the most is how quick off the mark it is and how responsive the frame is to anything you ask of it.

Similar Products Used:

Specialized Stumpjumper, Giant Talon

[Dec 24, 2015]
Ee
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Fast, first 29er, about 3000kms on it, coming off 7 yrs of blur xc, hard to describe, need to try one but its really something. Completed 8 hr 120km race on it and felt good after. Had offer to change up frame for jet 9 and after a lot of diliberation (wasnt able to try) still kept the air 9 al. Wouldnt think about anything but a 29er, hard to look beyond niner....attention to detail is great. It flys down hill too...got some of my fastest times even in technical.

Weakness:

Not the top line if u need that

Fast, fun, simple, flowy

Similar Products Used:

Blur xc, rocky etsx

[May 27, 2015]
James Bean

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Strength:

Strong bike, climbs like a champ, very solid DH. Really fast bike. I have had so much fun with this bike!

Weakness:

It's vital - true with all bikes - to get the geometry dialed in. The stock gooseneck is a tad long for some. The 2.1 rims are not ideal for wet/muddy conditions, i.e. limit your tyre options.

Totally sold on 29ers because of this bike.

[May 08, 2014]
Jeff Babbidge
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, responsive, very low center of gravity, Fast, climbs great, downhill is very smooth.

Weakness:

None at this point, though the glow in the dark clear coat is a bit funny on night rides

This is my first big wheel build of my self, and it is spectacular. Went from a Specialized 26r Epic to this and I'm really happy. This rolls faster, climbs better, goes up and sown switchbacks so much easier, feels more plush in the rear than the Epic ever did. All my lower back pain has gone away, and my hands are not falling asleep which is an issue I've been dealing with for a long time. I built on a 2011 Air 9 frame (medium), the last year they made the scandium frames. CK head set, 2013 Sid Fork, 2011 X9 group, 2012 Hope EVO Brakes & hubs, stan's: Arch rims, Geax: Goto's.

In short there is very little I would change about how I built this. I did custom build this, and if you have the capital I would recommend this bike. From a racing point of view this has been a huge step up. One of the challenges, although not a bad point is that it rolls a lot faster than I'm use too, so I've been going downhill faster than normal, which is great for raising the bar on my comfort zone.

Similar Products Used:

2009 Redline Conquest Team (converted to single speed)

[Nov 13, 2013]
rbikes
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Lightweight, great at climbing, great top speed, less jarring than a 26" bike, reasonably priced, easy to customize

Weakness:

None that I've found so far

This is my first 29er mountain bike, which I've had since mid-summer, and I'm very impressed. I would recommend any rider who wants a comfortable hardtail to upgrade to a 29er. The guys over at www.rbikes.com also did an amazing job helping me customize this bike to fit my needs. I'd recommend them for anyone looking to customize a Niner. Overall, I'm very happy and I'll be buying again!

[Oct 13, 2013]
Pike14
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Handling, stiffness, climbing, descending, geometry, overall value.

Weakness:

None

Let me begin this by saying that before I purchased this bike, I wanted NOTHING to do with riding big wheels. I had experience riding them in the past while competing in endurance xc races, but since making a switch over to downhill two years ago, I swore by 26 inch wheels for everything.
All this changed when my wife started racing endurance xc. Long story short, I decided to give that format another go, and got a good deal on an Air 9 frame from my local shop. Getting back on the bigger wheels was tricky at first, but for long distance racing, I wouldn't dream of riding anything else. It keeps it's momentum, moves well, and handles just about as good as any 26 inch wheeled bike I've ridden.
When I chose the bike, I didn't necessarily have the Niner brand in mind, but I'm amazingly happy that it was this bike and not another. The stiffness, geometry, and just overall build of the bike is amazing. I have a matte black frame with black writing. I love the look of the bike and the understated graphics. No non sense, just great bike at a great value.
Mine is built up with a full XT gruppo, Fulcrum wheels, Easton Cockpit, and Schwalbe tires.
Overall, this bike is a dream to ride. Fun, fast, and comfy while being amazingly efficient.

Similar Products Used:

Gary Fischer 2011 Superfly HT

[May 28, 2013]
Josh

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Lightweight, stiff, great for XC racing

Weakness:

None

I run the Air9 with a rigid Niner RDO fork, XT components, ZTR Crest wheels, and Racing Ralph tubeless. Absolutely solid cornering; I have tons of confidence on this bike zipping through corners. The thing climbs like no other and is no slouch on the downhills either. The big wheels and carbon fork really help soak up the bumps and chatter. Once those wheels get rolling, watch out! I don't miss my suspension fork at all. I will not go back to 26 inch wheels! I highly recommend the Air9.

[Sep 12, 2012]
ajradman
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Lightweight, stiff, good looks, nice geometry even for a short rider like me

Weakness:

None identified after first 4 months

This is my first 29er. I have a Klein hardtail that I've been riding for about 8 years. I was turned on to the 29er after demo-ing some bikes at the local park this spring. I am a short rider 5'6" but I found the geometry of the smaller 29er frames like Salsa Mamasita and Niner to work out reasonably well, particularly with the standover height and top tube length. I couldn't get my hands on the less expensive stock Salsa so I decided to go with the Niner and took it a step further, having it custom built.

I loved the bike from the time I first rode it. I am able to roll over obstacles that I previously had difficulty on my 26er. I am considerably faster on the rocky, rooty terrain and flat sections than on the 26er. I also had an easier time rolling over obstacles on technical climbs. For sustained climbs, I think my 19lb Klein was better than the 22 lb Niner, but that might have something to do with the 2x10 crank I am using rather than the weight difference. In general, I am about 10% faster with the new bike.

I had a chance to take this bike up to Durango and Moab this summer. It was a blast. The bike is amazingly light, as I needed all the help I could get to deal with the extreme elevation change. The bike held up great. I would definitely recommend this frame to those looking for a reasonably priced, well designed, sturdy, and good looking bike.

[May 08, 2012]
Trail Rider
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Frame geomertry is dialed. Climbs like a billy goat and it decends even better. 22.98 weight weenie lbs, as-built.

Weakness:

None, other than my choice of tires.

This review is for the 2012 hydroformed aluminum alloy frame. Before I bought this bike, I demo'd a Specialized Comp 29, a Scott Scale Pro Carbon, a Niner S.I.R and a Santa Cruz Highball Carbon . Of these bikes, the Highball was very very nice, but significantly more expensive. The SIR was a single speed and I was really impressed with how well the bike climbed given the weight of a steel frame. And, the decent with steel was super plush. I felt that the Niner’s geometry was killer, regardless of a little more weight. Then I tried a 2011 Niner Air 9 Scandium build from a local shop and was again overly impressed with the feel of the bike, not to mention some overall weight savings.
Game on. After narrowing down my choices to the Air 9, I decided to go with the 2011 Scandium frame to save a little coin, because it was being discontinued. I went to the shop to start the build process and the new 2012 frame had just arrived. After seeing it person, I switched plans yet again and mainly because it looked so bada$$. I figured I was taking some chance because I hadn't ridden the new frame, but I loved the other Niner’s I test rode.
I have owned the bike now for over 3-months and just can’t get over how much of a game changer this bike really is for me. It’s a billy goat on roids on the climb and a blazing race machine on the decent. As far as aluminum vs. carbon, I can’t really say, but I do know that the frame is supposed to feel very close to the carbon, because of the hydroforming. It works exceptionally for me and has exceeded all my expectations.

Similar Products Used:

Specialized Comp 29, Scott Scale Pro Carbon, Santa Cruz Highball Carbon, Niner S.I.R and Niner Air 9 Scandium.

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