After 2 month's of waiting as patiently as it gets I built the Niner up last Thursday afternoon and then waited some more. As I drove home from the shop I thought hard about how I was going to get my first ride in that day. Normally my first ride on a new bike has me stopping to adjust something but normally I'm the mechanic not Alan. I decided not to try and squeeze in a shake down ride that afternoon and risk upsetting the karma at home and doing a hurry up ride which drives me crazy anyway. Instead I went home, ate dinner, took a few pics of the new steed for blogging purposes and did a couple of hot laps around the yard before going back in to finish the small details like installing a cycling computer. I would have to wait 2 more days to actually get in a real ride as I was working Friday & Saturday.
My folks were in town for the weekend and had plans to ride the Creeper on Sunday so I decided to burn a little vacation time and shake down the Niner there. Fortunately I was able to con Melinda into riding the 17+ miles to the top and meet up with my folks to ride down instead of taking the shuttle up. I did snap a few pics but I was unable to locate the camera this morning, it must be in Melinda's car on the way to work with her so sorry no pics. My first thoughts on the Niner, stiff and the saddle is not comfy, but I have been riding a steel singlespeed for the past 2 months so I expected the frame to be stiff and unforgiving but I guess I wasn't thinking about the saddle. Riding a singlespeed doesn't allow for much saddle time so after 34 miles on the Creeper my arse was a bit sore to say the least. One other slightly noticeable difference is the fork on the Niner has 100mm of travel vs. 80mm that I had on the Mamasita and the Monkey. 20mm difference really isn't that much but I could feel the difference. I'm gonna ride it some more before making my decision on what to go with. The Reba is designed to be adjusted for 80 or 100 and the Niner frame was designed to run either way. The only problem that i encountered was after a few miles up the trail my front brake started squealing and it got worse the farther we rode but i couldn't talk Melinda into stopping long enough to allow me to fix it. I had to wait until we reached the top before remedying the situation.
I'll have to admit it's a sweet looking bike, way better looking than the Mamasita in my opinion especially since I had those awful yellow bottle cages mounted on it. Today I plan on putting the Niner to the real test, singletrack! I just need to decide where, Bays Mtn or Warriors.
I was asked for a component breakdown of the Niner which I don't normally do but I always find it interesting to know what other are running so I will give it a go.
Niner Air9 frame - Lrg, scandium - new
bars - Easton Monkeylite carbon - off the Mama
stem - Race Face Evolution - off the Mama
brakes - Avid Juicy 5's - originally off the Mary then moved to the Mama (never been bled)
shifter - Sram X7 (I like the shifter window) - Mary then Mama
grips - ODI lock on - new
fork - Rock Shock Reba Race - new
wheelset - Bontrager Race Lite UST - off the Mama
tires - Bontrager Jones ACX 2.2 UST - off the Mama
skewers - Salsa - new
headset - FSA - originally off the Mary then moved to the Mama
seatpost - Thompson - new
saddle - WTB Silverado - new
seatpost clamp - Salsa liplock - new
crankset - Truvativ Stylo - off the Mama
pedals - Shimano 520s - I've had these things forever, they just won't die.
rear derailleur - Sram X9 - Mary then Mama
cassette & chain - Sram - off the Mama
bottle cages - Specialized - new
A few other noteworthy details, I am running it as a 1x9, I haven't used a front derailuer in years. I took the first one off before I built my first singlespeed and haven't looked back since, well I guess my road bike is the only exception. I also had a question about why I zip tied my rear derailuer cables instead of running them through the normal cable routing tabs. About a year and a half ago I was tooling around on Alan's bike and noticed how ridiculously smooth his shifter was and I asked him what his secret was. Other than his normal Shimano is better than Sram talk he told me he runs full housing all the way down his frame with no breaks to allow dirt, grime or water to get to the cables and corrode them which is what causes most shifting problems. After that ride I went the same route and will continue to do so. In fact my cables off the Mama were still in such good cond. that there was no need for new ones on the Niner.