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  1. #1
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    Fly Team to Air 9

    Got off my Fly Team and jumped on my friends Air 9 with very similar build. The Air 9 was soo much more effecient. Each pedal stroke just spit the Air 9 forward compared to the Fly. The Fly is smooth and soft under my 200lbs. The Air is just fast and efficient. Is the Fly's ride quality indicative of most off the rack Ti frames?
    Last edited by bikenut316; 09-11-2010 at 06:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    It's not Ti, it's Scandium tubed front triangle. Yeah, it's explosive when you drop the hammer to go.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    It's not Ti, it's Scandium tubed front triangle. Yeah, it's explosive when you drop the hammer to go.
    I was referring to the Fly.

  4. #4
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    Were both bikes running the same tire/wheel/tube combo? It's pretty unlikely that you'd feel much difference in acceleration between those two frames.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut
    Were both bikes running the same tire/wheel/tube combo? It's pretty unlikely that you'd feel much difference in acceleration between those two frames.
    Same wheels. Air had Racing Ralphs. Fly had Crossmarks.

  6. #6
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    My Ralphs are quite a bit lighter than my Crossmarks. This may account for some of what you felt. Were they both tubed?

    I also recently put a new chain, chainring, and cassette on, and the bike felt snappier....

    Same fork? Air pressure? Lots of variables to rule out before making a conclusion on the frames ... although the Air9 is a race bike for sure.

  7. #7
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    I haven't ridden a Fly, but came within an inch of buying the Fly Ti....I ultimately went with the Air 9 so I could go completely custom. I don't regret my decision. I'm completely stoked with the Air. "Race" bike is for sure....the faster it goes, the better it handles. However, I would love to try the Ti frame just to see how different the scandium feels vs. the Ti.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan1819
    My Ralphs are quite a bit lighter than my Crossmarks. This may account for some of what you felt. Were they both tubed?

    I also recently put a new chain, chainring, and cassette on, and the bike felt snappier....

    Same fork? Air pressure? Lots of variables to rule out before making a conclusion on the frames ... although the Air9 is a race bike for sure.
    The Ralphs have Snake Bite which make them comparable in weight. Both setup tubeless.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicBay73
    I haven't ridden a Fly, but came within an inch of buying the Fly Ti....I ultimately went with the Air 9 so I could go completely custom. I don't regret my decision. I'm completely stoked with the Air. "Race" bike is for sure....the faster it goes, the better it handles. However, I would love to try the Ti frame just to see how different the scandium feels vs. the Ti.
    As I said, my riding weight exceeds 200lbs. A custom Ti frame could probably be built weight specific.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenut316
    As I said, my riding weight exceeds 200lbs. A custom Ti frame could probably be built weight specific.

    It can be done. I have a customer that went with a Moots. He is 5'10" with short legs, a long torso & arms, and weighs around the 330 lb mark. He showed me the bike after assembly, and no lie, the walls of the seat tube were around 2 mm thick. This Ti bike was made to handle this big guy.


    OP, the Scandium framed bikes are usually more repsonsive as the aluminum is a tad stiffer than Ti. I've ridden both and found the Ti is a little more compliant vs the Scandium. They both ride really nice, but I like the Scandium over the Ti due to responsiveness.

  11. #11
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    I have owned both the Niner Jet and Rip 9 which are obviously FS frames. They both felt much stiffer in the BB and more responsive than the Fly. I attribute this to the frame materials used.

  12. #12
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    I have a Ti Fly and not ridden the Air 9. I believe it really depends what you want. I am old and ride everyday and the Ti Fly has an outstanding ride...what matters to me. By contrast, Scandium frame bikes I have ridden feel harsh and I feel beat up riding them. They maybe quicker however or more efficient. I can keep up with most young guns on this bike and even if I am giving up 1% in stiffness and acceleration, I will gladly take the Cadillac ride. This bike is the most compliant hardtail I have ever ridden. I am 200# and it doesn't feel flexy to me but if others say the Air9 is stiffer, I believe them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    I have a Ti Fly and not ridden the Air 9. I believe it really depends what you want. I am old and ride everyday and the Ti Fly has an outstanding ride...what matters to me. By contrast, Scandium frame bikes I have ridden feel harsh and I feel beat up riding them. They maybe quicker however or more efficient. I can keep up with most young guns on this bike and even if I am giving up 1% in stiffness and acceleration, I will gladly take the Cadillac ride. This bike is the most compliant hardtail I have ever ridden. I am 200# and it doesn't feel flexy to me but if others say the Air9 is stiffer, I believe them.
    I don't know about stiffer, but the AIR 9 has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials, at it's price point.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    I don't know about stiffer, but the AIR 9 has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials, at it's price point.
    I am curious to know why.

  15. #15
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    The Air9 frame is just damn lively. I demo'd an Air9 and a El Mar Ti before I pulled the trigger on my Air9. The demo Air9 had a heavier build w/ a front suspension fork, while the El Mar Ti was built with XX and a Niner carbon fork. I just felt something in the Air9 frame that impressed the heck out of me... there was certainly nothing "wrong" with the El Mar Ti, but even if the price was equal, I would have still gone with the Air9 (despite the fact that I have a Ti road bike and love the idea of buying a "20-year" frame rather than a 2-5 year frame).

    I know the Air9 is just "fancy aluminum", but I've never ridden a hard-tail aluminum frame that I'd ride again (much less buy), until I rode the Air9. So I built the Air9 w/ a Niner carbon fork and a XX drive-train and it is just an amazing ride.... climbs like a homesick angel (stole that... LOL), accelerates on a rail and over the last month, I haven't found many situations where I'd prefer to be on my full-suspension bike (riding back from Kokomo Pass to Searle Pass on the CT was one of those rare times where I was dreaming of my full suspension rig, but once I started the descent from Searle Pass back down to Copper Mountain, it was all good again).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandyBoy
    I don't know about stiffer, but the AIR 9 has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials, at it's price point.
    This is just grade A boloney.

    Unless of course AIR 9 has a build in electric motor.

  17. #17
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    I previuosly owned and broke a GF Superfly. The power transfer at the pedals was instant and ultra effecient. The Fly is not the same. I miss that. IMO, Niner's steep HA also seems to work well with 100mm forks where the FLY just does'nt feel right at 100.
    Last edited by bikenut316; 09-15-2010 at 05:08 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    This is just grade A boloney.

    Unless of course AIR 9 has a build in electric motor.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenut316
    IMO, Niner's steep HA also seems to work well with 100mm forks where the FLY just does'nt feel right at 100.
    Fly new thinking on ha aka chopper head angle = more fun downhill, wandering sluggish uphill.
    Niner best geo in the business and has not gone with 29er fads. Probably the biggest difference. Not too many people have complained about a sluggish niner.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghawk
    Fly new thinking on ha aka chopper head angle = more fun downhill, wandering sluggish uphill.
    Niner best geo in the business and has not gone with 29er fads. Probably the biggest difference. Not too many people have complained about a sluggish niner.
    As mentioned, as a Fly owner, sluggish would not be the term I would use to describe the handling. The bike to me tracks like a laser either up or downhill. By comparison many of the 26ers I have ridden with upright head tube angle were nervous. Some like fast or nervous steering and some like slower steering. The Fly geometry is a clone of Gary Fisher G2 only with a 100mm fork versus 80mm and 5 more mm of fork offset. The Reba Race shock that comes on the Fly can be tweaked to 80mm of travel if desired. I don't find a need. To me, the Fly handles superbly.

    The issue of frame stiffness relative to ride quality maybe a good discussion. Stiff alumiunum bikes I have ridden just don't have the ride quality I prefer. Rough roads on long rides can be taxing on a hardtail. This is why I prefer carbon fiber or Ti.
    I would have to ride an Air9 to get a sense if the ride quality rivals a Ti Fly. I sincerely doubt it. I have no doubt it is a whale of a frame and is super quick as others described.
    To me the best of both worlds is the Superfly. Uber stiff yet great ride quality. You pay dearly for that frame and better have a good relationship with your local bike shop however as you will likely be paying a visit at some point.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghawk
    Fly new thinking on ha aka chopper head angle = more fun downhill, wandering sluggish uphill.
    That is just not the case IMO. I have no idea why people keep clinging to the notion that slacker front angle make climbing "sluggish" and wandering. Just move seat forward a bit.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    That is just not the case IMO. I have no idea why people keep clinging to the notion that slacker front angle make climbing "sluggish" and wandering. Just move seat forward a bit.
    In my experience, the HA only came into play when I tried to run a 100mm fork. The steeper HA worked better with the longer fork.

  23. #23
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    Bike cliches

    Each pedal stroke just spit the [ ] forward
    The [ ] is just fast and efficient
    it's explosive when you drop the hammer to go.
    .the faster it goes, the better it handles.
    [ ] has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials
    climbs like a homesick angel
    The power transfer at the pedals was instant and ultra effecient
    [ ] best geo in the business
    tracks like a laser
    Uber stiff yet great ride quality
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by prphoto
    Each pedal stroke just spit the [ ] forward
    The [ ] is just fast and efficient
    it's explosive when you drop the hammer to go.
    .the faster it goes, the better it handles.
    [ ] has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials
    climbs like a homesick angel
    The power transfer at the pedals was instant and ultra effecient
    [ ] best geo in the business
    tracks like a laser
    Uber stiff yet great ride quality
    Calling them cliches, leads someone to believe that they are untrue. Exagerations to make a point, yes but not cliches. Are you saying that there is no difference between frames in any way?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by prphoto
    Each pedal stroke just spit the [ ] forward
    The [ ] is just fast and efficient
    it's explosive when you drop the hammer to go.
    .the faster it goes, the better it handles.
    [ ] has acceleration qualities hard to match in most other frame materials
    climbs like a homesick angel
    The power transfer at the pedals was instant and ultra effecient
    [ ] best geo in the business
    tracks like a laser
    Uber stiff yet great ride quality
    You forgot one of the biggest - "flickable". I like "laterally stiff but vertically compliant". I have heard that said about full suspension frames.

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