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1032 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  XC23
Hello all,

I already have an 26 FS XC race bike, but am looking to build a 29er hardtail bike for XC racing and riding as well - main reason is because I am farily tall at 6'4 and would finally like a bike that will fit me.

I am deciding between the MCR 9 and the Air 9 and can't really decide. I like the weight of the Air 9 but I wonder how much more the MCR weighs and whether I am going to notice it.

I have never ridden steel, but here that it really smooths things out, and seeing as how I have not ridden a hardtail in 3 years, I feel making the transition from the 26 FS to the 29er hardtail will be easier with the MCR - since the big wheels and steel frame should smooth out some trail chatter.

So I guess my questions are:

1) How much more does the MCR frame weigh than the Air?
2) Is steel real? - ie. does steel actually ride softer and smooth out trail chatter?
3) IS there more flex in the MCR than in the Air when under hard pedaling and cornering?
4) Is there a noticeable handling difference between the Air and the MCR? From the geometry they look the same - so I would figure they handle the same - any experiences?

Finally if anyone has any pics of their MCR's built up I would love to see them so I can make a better decision on color.

Thanks in Advance
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no one riding an MCR that can comment on its handling and weight?
XC23 said:
no one riding an MCR that can comment on its handling and weight?
I have a medium SIR9 and it weights like 4.6 lbs as I recall. I really like the springyness of the 853 fram. I've run mine SS / 1x9 / 3x9 so I really like the versatility of this frame. I think the AIR9 is over a pound lighter.

If you do end up with the MCR make sure you use some sort of frame saver to keep it from rusting. I didn't and notice a little at the head tube gusset.

Hope this helps.

I had the same decision as far as MCR or AIR, but I can't comment much yet because my AIR is being delivered today. It basically came down to the lighter weight and increased stiffness. I'm running it full rigid at least to start. Since I'm coming from a 26" FSR, I wanted to go 29" rigid and as simple and light as I could reasonably do without spending weight weenie $. (in other words, as opposite to the FSR as I could do)
I can’t comment on the MCR as I have never ridden on but I have an AIR and choose it because of the weight difference. It you are worried about weight as well as trail chatter go AIR and get a carbon bar and carbon seatpost. Carbon should absorb some of the chatter yet you will have the weight savings of the AIR. My .02 cents.
I have an air9, i have not ridden a steel niner but my 29er inbred rides noticeably softer with the same parts on, i did not feel the need for sus forks very often on the inbred but did on the air, i now have manitous on the air. Having said all that the air is still quite a comfy bike to ride and does feel sharper handling wise. Not much help i know.
You don't say if you are going with a suspension fork but;

Air9 frame, 3.1 lbs + Reba fork, 3.5 lbs = 6.6 lbs

MCR frame, 4.6 lbs + Niner steel fork, 2.5 lbs = 7.1 lbs

I think you'll be much more comfortable with suspension than with any compliance the steel frame gives you. The new CF fork and steel frame will still ad up to about the same as the Air with suspension.

I have an EMD9 with a Reba fork and it rides like butter with a very rigid frame. Nice seat, big low pressure tires, nice suspension fork; I don't think I would notice any difference with a MCR frame
Thanks everyone, I will probably end up going with the air9 and a Reba up front.

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