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I am considering a hardtail 29er for my wife who is 5'6". It seems like from Niners website, she fits square in the middle of the small size for most if not all of their frames. Now the question is which one. Since just about any hardtail will climb better than her Stumpy FSR, I am mainly concerned with geometry that will make her more comfortable on the downhill sections. Weight is important, but I am more concerned with saving at the wheel than on the frame. Which Niner frame should I be looking at?
 

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Let's ride
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If you want gears, I'd get the Air9. I found my One9 nicely stiffer than the Sir9 in the BB area, yet it was just as comfy(to me). I ride a small. An Air9 is maybe 1.25lbs lighter than a Sir9. An MCR closes that gap by maybe 110g.
I think Chris, at Niner, is that same height. He rides a small. You might get some tips on bike setup and sizing of stem/cranks from him.
 

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I'd say small, my wife is 5'7" and would ride a small. She has test ridden some before. Most women have longer legs and shorter torse compared to men so i think the smaller size would fit a woman better. If it was a man, then MAYBE a medium.

I ride/race an air 9 and love it. The scandium is really nice. Reynolds steel might be a softer ride, just depends on what she wants to do, if weight matters etc..
 

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Bored Carp
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I am 5'6", and ride a size small in Niner's frames. Posted a few pics below so that you can see set-up. If downhill/technical comfort is key, consider getting a height changing seatpost, so that she can alternate between XC height and maneuvering height with ease. You can run a Joplin on any of Niner's scandium or aluminum bikes, I believe. It will make a pretty significant difference - I wouldn't have a trail bike without one, now.





 

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Carbon & Ti rule
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Well you could always do what a friend of mine did to sort this sort of problem :D

He brought the bike that he was missing from his want list in his size & then upgraded his wife to 1 that was the same height as him,Now he has less bikes but more for him to ride.

Even with upgrading to the larger model he dropped 30 lb:thumbsup:
 
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