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  1. #1
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    Air 9 RDO fork question

    After waffling for months on which new frame to get, Iíve decided on the Niner Air 9 RDO. Theyíre on sale in that retro CMYK color scheme that I actually like.

    Question is do I get a 100 or 120 fork? Their website has geos for both and I kinda like the slacker head angle, but worried I might compromise other aspects of the bike since it was probably designed around a 100 mm fork. Iíve already read the older threads on this very topic and wanted to see if anyone had any fresh takes or thoughts.

    Iím looking at a fox Stepcast 32 or 34. I live in Salt Lake City and ride all over both fronts of the wasatch with occasional trips to Moab, southern Utah and Jackson WY.

  2. #2
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    It has a 71 hta with a 100 fork and a 70 with a 120. You could get a angle set headset and get 69 with a 100 fork or 68 with 120 fork. I'm the biggest reason to go 120 is the added stiffness of the 34mm stanchion. If your taking hits big enough to want the stiffness it should help you.

  3. #3
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    It seems the geo wouldn't be my first choice for where you ride. At least the 34 SC Boost has been designed to allow wide tires and rims if you want some extra traction/cushion. Have you demoed this bike on trail?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    It seems the geo wouldn't be my first choice for where you ride. At least the 34 SC Boost has been designed to allow wide tires and rims if you want some extra traction/cushion. Have you demoed this bike on trail?
    Iíve not demoed this bike; I donít know of any local shops that carry niner except competitive cyclist, and they donít have complete builds you can just demo. What is it about the geo that you think doesnít suit where I ride? The HTA is 69 deg with a 120 fork per their website and 70 def with the 100. I hadnít thought about tire clearance, so thanks for pointing that out. Iíd plan on running a 2.4 up front, which I guess would rule out the 100.

  5. #5
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    Slacker head tube angles give you more 'cushion' when you hit rocks on fast steep descents. You're less likely to go over the bars or lose control if you aren't staying focused. SLC should have mountain trails. You can use a 35mm inner rim width wheel with a XR4 Team 2.4 Bontrager because it's high volume with a rounded tread profile. Same with an XR2 2.35. You can lower the pressure a lot for a big footprint.
    Maxxis tires were originally designed for 19-21mm rims and can go on a 25mm inner rim wheel. But you can't lower the pressure as much and you won't get as big a footprint.

    Go into the local shops a ask what bikes are best for your trails. No Niner shops says something about what local riders want. For a hardtail I'd look at a Stache. Their 30 off sale days come just before Labor Day. But only talk to a manager about prices.

  6. #6
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    I have both an Air 9 RDO (prior generation) and a RKT 9 RDO. I have a 100 mm SID (also prior gen) on the Air 9 RDO but am planning to switch it to a 100 mm Fox SC. On the RKT 9 RDO I recently switch it from 100mm Fox to a 120mm Fox 34 SC.

    The 34 SC 120mm is a pretty cool product. It is still quite light but very capable. I would think in the regions you ride, the 120 mm would really help a lot over the 100 mm. The reason I plan to leave my Air 9 RDO at 100mm is because I have the RKT spec'd with the 120mm. However if I only had an Air 9 RDO, I'd probably put the 34 SC 120 mm on it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    It has a 71 hta with a 100 fork and a 70 with a 120. You could get a angle set headset and get 69 with a 100 fork or 68 with 120 fork. I'm the biggest reason to go 120 is the added stiffness of the 34mm stanchion. If your taking hits big enough to want the stiffness it should help you.
    I don't think it's possible to do that with the air9 rdo.

  8. #8
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    What bike are you on right now? I used to have an Air 9 RDO and it was a great hardtail. Mine was a lot older with the quick releases on the rear which felt really fragile, the new one with boost rear spacing is much better.

    No question about it I would go with the 34 SC in 120mm. Around here in Utah the descents are steep and the rocks are big. I just put the 34 SC on my Niner RKT 9 RDO and it is an awesome fork (also a great frame). The Niner geometry is already pretty steep, even with the 120 it is still not as slack as most hardtails out there, so if you like this frame it is a no-brainer.

  9. #9
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    I ride the niner air 9 rdo with a 100 rockshox world cup sid (it helps that mine is blackbox team issued) and have no issues on any terrain from southern california to utah. I am selling last years air 9 rdo complete with sram blackbox components and xx1 on pinkbike in red and black color....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    What bike are you on right now? I used to have an Air 9 RDO and it was a great hardtail. Mine was a lot older with the quick releases on the rear which felt really fragile, the new one with boost rear spacing is much better.

    No question about it I would go with the 34 SC in 120mm. Around here in Utah the descents are steep and the rocks are big. I just put the 34 SC on my Niner RKT 9 RDO and it is an awesome fork (also a great frame). The Niner geometry is already pretty steep, even with the 120 it is still not as slack as most hardtails out there, so if you like this frame it is a no-brainer.
    I have a felt edict 1 that is 2 seasons old now. 120 Sid on the front.

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