Yes, 1 degree makes a difference

So my beloved Jet9 was recalled. Very sad as I liked that bike a lot. It fit my style of riding to a “T”. The first issue I had to deal with was what was I going to do? I had three options which were:
1. Buy a significantly discounted niner frame and wait 6 months to get a new 2010 Jet9
2. Straight swap to a RIP9. Even trade, no money being exchanged
3. Get $150 and wait 6 months to get a new 2010 Jet9

Since riding rigid, I’ve found that I don’t need a lot of suspension for most of my riding, hence the JET fit my riding style perfectly. I’m sure I could have adapted to the RIP and be happy with that bike, but in this case less is more. So, option 2 was out.

Now it was down to options 1 and 3. I knew which option my wife wanted me to go with and it definitely was not option 1 but, my wonderful wife was supportive when I did go with #1 in the form of an AIR9.

My JET9 replacement, Niner AIR9

I swapped out all the part from the Jet to the AIR. I bought some new cables as I was not crazy about the Alligator ilinks I had used. They were great, but a little finicky to set up. I also had to buy a new seatpost as the seatpost diameters were different.

I got in a short 3 mile “teaser” ride on Friday after everything was done. I immediately noticed that I felt a slightly forward bias as compared to the JET. This bias made me feel more susceptible to going over the bars. I only noticed this in some short downhill sections but since I was on a new bike high and I was only doing 3 miles, I decided to chalk this feeling up to the tackier trail which may have held my caused the front to grip better making me less balanced on the bike. It could also have been the fact that I haven’t ridden a mountain bike for about a month as I went through my busy season at work.

Scandium makes for a light frame that is still pleasing to ride

But today’s ride confirmed it: there is a slight forward bias to the bike as compared to the Jet. I got in a pre-work ride and I noticed I had to consciously push myself farther off the back of the bike on the downhills sections to feel as though I would not fly over the front of the bars. When I got to the office this morning I took a look at the geometry numbers for the first time and compared them with the Jet9.

So what caused this feeling of forward bias? A one-degree difference in Seat Tube Angle. All of the other “main” geometry figures were the same: head tube angle, effective top tube, head tube length. The difference of one degree in the Seat Tube Angle put the seat just a tad bit more forward and also a little higher since the seatpost height stayed the same.

After some consultation, I’ve decided to adjust to the difference rather than make changes to my cockpit setup, which is currently nearly identical to my previous setups.

6 Replies to “Yes, 1 degree makes a difference”

  1. The Razzo and the Air do look alike but the geometry is different. This makes it harder to compare geometry numbers because you can’t easily attribute the different feel to one geo change (like the difference between the AIR & JET).

    At this point, I don’t have enough time on the AIR to have formed any educated opinions on it. Soon, though.

  2. Sorry to hear about the Niner recall affecting you. Have been waiting for a write up from you since I heard the recall (and the fallout) on MTBR.

    Is it too late for Option #2? LOL

  3. The usual MTBR drama. Not really MTBR falling out with Niner; its the MTBR members (non-Niner owners) as usual calling out Brett and Chris as not really being bike engineers or Niner knowingly marketed and sold a poorly designed frame in the first place. The Jet did have a lot of issues prior to the recall.

  4. Yes, MTBR drama. There was lots of that. Thankfully I was holed up at work when most of it went down. And yes, the Jet did have issues. Prior to the rear triangle issue, Niner bikes replaced all their “chromed” rockers because they weren’t strong enough.

    However, Niner’s customer service has been great and I am impressed that they did a voluntary recall on all Jets. Not only did they recall all the Jets, they also gave three options so that Jet riders could still ride during the down time. This is far above and beyond what I would have expected and they deserve kudos for that.

    I’ve ridden other bikes with major flex issues or known breakage issues from big players in the bike industry and those guys never stepped up to recall all the bad frames they made. They will replace a frame if you break it but if its not broke, you’re out of luck.

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