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  1. #1
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    Air 9 rdo vs. 2011 Alma 29er carbon?

    Hi guys.Curious if anyone here has had the chance to ride both bikes? I'm looking to build up my first carbon hardtail 29er and have narrowed it down to these 2 frames. The reviews on here seem positive from both camps but would love to hear how they compare to each other. Unfortunately I am unable to test ride these two bikes so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    my vote is air9. I got to ride on a few weeks ago and good stuff .. But it has a different feel to the steering . I Loved it some don't . Hear is the build that i did . Week moment at bike store.
    Jet 9 RDO with Rock Shox SID XX fork to match, Tang and Black
    Full Shimano XT 2x10 group set
    Industry 9 Wheel set with Stans Arch rims, Black hubs, spokes and rims
    Ritchey WCS C260 stem, Ritchey WCS Superlogic riser carbon handlebar with SRAM Locking grips in black.
    Niner Carbon seat post, WTB Pure V saddle, Salsa seat collar in black
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires

  3. #3
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    I have one of each as the aluminum frame and am planning to build up one or the other with the carbon version. The carbon frames are the same geometry as I recall, so I'd suspect they handle the same as the AL frame. Both bikes are set up exactly the same, but the ride is very different. The Niner is very neutral handling, the Alma is very quick (it is quite a bit shorter than the Niner), like a 26er. The Niner is a little harsher ride (I have no experience with either as a carbon frame) . I finally have the Alma dialed in for fit and hope to get it out on a fast course this weekend. It's almost a little too quick right now, but is great in the tight stuff. If the Alma isn't nervous at speed, I'll probably go that way.

  4. #4
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    I demoed an Air 9 RDO on Tuesday over fast technical hardpack. I didn't get completely used to the steering. When the wheel leaves the ground it seems to lack a gyroscoping effect and immediately moves toward a side. I thought a steering dampener might help, but only when the wheel is in the air. On the ground it steered light and quick. It pedaled stiff but didn't beat me up. It's a sweet bike. I would need to learn the steering. A scott Scalle 29 Pro $1500 Frame has a slacker HT angle

  5. #5
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    Both of mine are set up with a RS SID XX @ 80mm. I tried 100mm at first on the Niner it seemed slow up front, 80mm works great. With the 80mm setup on the Alma, it seems a little nervous. The Alma Hydro is on sale right now at Speedgoat.

  6. #6
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    These guys have both in stock (And the Hard Eddie)
    29er Bikes/Frames - 29er Carbon HT - Hammerheadbikes.com
    I've purchased a few bikes from them, they really know their 29ers

  7. #7
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    Big Thanks for all the feedback. I think I may give the Niner a try. I'll be using this bike for mostly trail riding with an occasional race thrown in. It looks like the Niner may offer a little more forgiveness as an everyday ride.

  8. #8
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    Having ridden the Alma on a twisty high speed course I like it even better. Super accurate steering, goes exactly where I want it to. I'll look at a gap between a rock and a root and think I'd like the front wheel there and it is effortless.

  9. #9
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    If decide on the Alma you may want to keep an eye on backcounty.com. I picked up the 2011 XT Alma a couple of weeks ago for $2275 shipped from their department of goods site.

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