Kermit is not only for kids, my friends. It’s also for mountain bikers too. Meet my Kermit Green Niner Jet9.
I’m in New Bike Euphoria (NBE), so I can’t really give you any detailed comments on the Jet right now unless you want to hear me gush. Oh, you do? Well then… why didn’t you say so?
The Niner Jet 9 is the best pedaling FS 29er bike I have ridden and I have ridden quite a few. OK, a bit of an overstatement as some of those DW Link bikes I rode were really good, but they were not set up quite right or the trail I rode was just blah, so I can’t compare it. Not to take anything away from the rest of them… although I will take something away from the Gary Fisher HiFi (WAY TOO FLEXY)… but the Jet9, on my home course and nearly dialed in, was extremely efficient both in seated and standing climbs. The rear feels planted even when I’m out of the saddle. Very little wheel slippage on standing climbs which can be momentum killers.
To top it off, I never flicked the propedal on. I was extremely surprised by this. Wait, nix that. I doubled back to get to a steeper, short climb and had to ride uphill on the road a bit. I turned on the propedal for that road section. But other then that the propedal stayed off. This is a very nice change because in most other FS bikes if you don’t engage the propedal, you’re feeling Mr. Bob all the way up the climb.
The bike is nimble. You won’t see many Jet9’s built up with bigger tires (2.35″ front/2.2″ rear), like I did, because the Jet’s purpose is definitely: race/XC/trail in that order. I’m not a racer, although I will on occasion, so I built mine to be more trail and less race oriented. You won’t see any carbon bits, chopped flat bars or skinny tires on my Jet. But even with non-racy parts, the Jet is quite nimble. It handles well on the descents and carves up singletrack very well. It is definitely not G2 nervous, but it’s not slow handling as was the case with some previous 29ers.
OK, so all this was based on a first ride, and more of a shakedown (is everything working properly) type of ride. Also NBE was definitely at work here so please take everything written above with a huge grain of salt.
By the way, I’m still thinking of a name for the green machine.
And of course, every Niner comes with a subtle reminder:
In the meantime, my personal build, for those of you interested:
Large Niner Jet 9 in Kermit Green
Rock Shox Reba 29 Race with pushloc at 100mm
28 hole Bontrager Rhythm Elite wheels with DT Swiss 370 hubs
Shimano XT cranks
Shimano XT brakes
X9 r. derailleur
XT f. derailleur
Alligator ilink derailleur cables
F: Panaracer Rampage 2.35 setup tubeless (a non-tubeless tire)
R: Specialized Captain Control 2.2 2bliss
Chirs King headset
ODI lockon grips
Crank Brothers Candy SL
Lezyne L. Caddy (awesome bag, by the way)
Generic Black Cowbell