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  1. #1
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    My experiences demoing Trek & Niner Bikes Today

    I'm shopping for a FS 29er. This is going to be a big leap for me because I'm currently riding a 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara HT with 24" rims. I was able to demo a '12 Trek Superfly 100, '12 Rumblefish (although I wanted to demo a Hifi aka Superfly 100 AL) at the Local Trek Demo Days and a Niner Jet 9 later today. I've posted my impressions of each bike below and would welcome additional comments.

    Trek Superfly 100:
    This bike was awesome! I really enjoyed how snappy and responsive the bike was. It felt as if I was barreling down the trail just looking for huge roots, rocks, etc to catch air off of and roll over. I had a lot of fun on this thing! But, I don't think I can justifiy the price!

    2012 Trek Rumblefish:
    This bike didn't feel as responsive as the Superfly. It felt sluggish and almost like a tank. I was able to roll over obstacle like large roots, rocks, logs with little effort, but I just don't think this bike was for me. Way too much travel in the suspension for me.

    2011 Niner Jet 9
    I really had my mind set on this bike because I had heard so many good things about this bike from other riders and the reviews. I don't know if its because I had already rode about 12 miles earlier in the morning on the Trek bikes and I was tired. However, I didn't like this bike and even road another 10 miles on it. I'm going to give it another chance tomorrow morning when I'm relatively fresh. The suspension felt stiff and not as springy as the Treks. I still felt as if I needed to choose my line in the path rather than just barreling down the trail. I didn't feel as confident and comfortable riding over roots, rocks, etc. It felt pretty good on the rolling single track, but when it got technical I was a little disappointed. I felt as if it bucking me out of the seat on a few rollers in the path.




    Any thoughts on any of these comments would be greatly appreciated. I think I'm having a hard time interpreting what I experience on each bike today. I would still like to try the Trek Hifi aka Superfly 100 AL and the Niner RIP.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRILLINDK View Post
    I'm shopping for a FS 29er. This is going to be a big leap for me because I'm currently riding a 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara HT with 24" rims. I was able to demo a '12 Trek Superfly 100, '12 Rumblefish (although I wanted to demo a Hifi aka Superfly 100 AL) at the Local Trek Demo Days and a Niner Jet 9 later today. I've posted my impressions of each bike below and would welcome additional comments.

    Trek Superfly 100:
    This bike was awesome! I really enjoyed how snappy and responsive the bike was. It felt as if I was barreling down the trail just looking for huge roots, rocks, etc to catch air off of and roll over. I had a lot of fun on this thing! But, I don't think I can justifiy the price!

    2012 Trek Rumblefish:
    This bike didn't feel as responsive as the Superfly. It felt sluggish and almost like a tank. I was able to roll over obstacle like large roots, rocks, logs with little effort, but I just don't think this bike was for me. Way too much travel in the suspension for me.

    2011 Niner Jet 9
    I really had my mind set on this bike because I had heard so many good things about this bike from other riders and the reviews. I don't know if its because I had already rode about 12 miles earlier in the morning on the Trek bikes and I was tired. However, I didn't like this bike and even road another 10 miles on it. I'm going to give it another chance tomorrow morning when I'm relatively fresh. The suspension felt stiff and not as springy as the Treks. I still felt as if I needed to choose my line in the path rather than just barreling down the trail. I didn't feel as confident and comfortable riding over roots, rocks, etc. It felt pretty good on the rolling single track, but when it got technical I was a little disappointed. I felt as if it bucking me out of the seat on a few rollers in the path.




    Any thoughts on any of these comments would be greatly appreciated. I think I'm having a hard time interpreting what I experience on each bike today. I would still like to try the Trek Hifi aka Superfly 100 AL and the Niner RIP.
    I rode the Trek Superfly 100 at a demo, bike was fun light and responsive like you stated but it just didn't feel a 100% right.

    I have ridden my friends Jet 9 quite a few times and I really liked that bike, I just wanted something that wasn't a 100% racer.

    So I went with the Jet 9 RDO instead, never rode it but from the reviews I think I will be ok with it.

    I would give the Jet 9 another ride with fresh legs. I do enjoy riding my friends bike.

  3. #3
    Daniel the Dog
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    It could be fit. Did the Superfly fit better? By the way, the Superfly is a great bike...it has been used by many pro's on the race circuit. I really like my lowly Jet 9 .

  4. #4
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    The RF felt sluggish because it has a slacker HT angle. Point it downhill and it'll make sense.These are all great bikes. You should also check out the Giant Anthem.
    maladroitus extraordinairus

  5. #5
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    Didnt want 100% racer but went with the RDO, sounds like an oxymoron to me but it doesnt matter becasue Im guessing you will be happy ripping the trails on that thing. Post picsand review when you get it.

    Have you thought about Anthem 29er I went with that because it felt trail bike like but plemty capable as race bike as well.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  6. #6
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    2011 Niner Jet 9
    The suspension felt stiff and not as springy as the Treks. I still felt as if I needed to choose my line in the path rather than just barreling down the trail. I didn't feel as confident and comfortable riding over roots, rocks, etc. It felt pretty good on the rolling single track, but when it got technical I was a little disappointed. I felt as if it bucking me out of the seat on a few rollers in the path.

    Maybe you did this, but make sure the fork and shock are set up for your weight and how you want it to feel. My Trek X-cal felt completely different after I tuned the Reba some. Every bike I tested at the LBS felt overly stiff until I said something to the bike shop, then they adjusted the fork for my weight and it made a huge difference.

  7. #7
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    Ya, I'm going to make sure the FS wasn't locked out or something for today's ride. I'll keep you posted.



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRILLINDK View Post
    Trek Superfly 100:
    This bike was awesome! I really enjoyed how snappy and responsive the bike was. It felt as if I was barreling down the trail just looking for huge roots, rocks, etc to catch air off of and roll over. I had a lot of fun on this thing! But, I don't think I can justifiy the price! :
    You rode the carbon version? I recommend giving the lower-priced, aluminum versions a chance.From the sounds of it, you prefer a racier geometry. The aluminum Superfly (used to be called the Hifi) is worth a look. The Rumblefish is designed to provide a different experience than what it seems you're after.

  9. #9
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    The Niner dealer said that the shocks were dialed in for a much larger person. They let about 20psi out and they're going to let me keep it through the weekend. I'm interested to see how it rides now.



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  10. #10
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    In to see what you think of the Niner.

    I rode the Carbon SF 100 last fall after a long weekend of riding. It was f**king amazing! I was worn out but that bike made me just want to pedal my ass off. Unfortunately a $6000 bike is not in my budget. The Jet 9 and Rip 9 are on my short list.
    Indy, In.
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  11. #11
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    If you liked the SF100, don't buy until you try a Yeti SB-95. I own a '10 SF100 and the SB-95 is the only bike that has truly made me want to buy to replace it.

  12. #12
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    Trek Superfly 100:
    This bike was awesome! I really enjoyed how snappy and responsive the bike was. It felt as if I was barreling down the trail just looking for huge roots, rocks, etc to catch air off of and roll over. I had a lot of fun on this thing! But, I don't think I can justifiy the price!


    My SF 100 Elite carbon is still awesome after 5 months of ownership and (sadly) my SS rarely gets ridden anymore. I have not ridden the aluminum version, but if it's anything like the carbon, it's worth a demo.

  13. #13
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    I'd take a look at Santa Cruz. I am in the market too. Both the Superlight 29 and the Tallboy felt great to me. Much more comfortable in the cockpit than the Trek bikes I tried out.

  14. #14
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    Unfortunately, there's no Yeti dealer within about four hours of me. Although, the bike did look pretty sweet.

    I had yesterday chance to stop by lbs that's a Specialized dealer. However, the only Specialized Epic they had was a carbon framed one that had already been sold. Understandably, they would let me even touch it.

    I'm going out tonight after work to ride some rolling trails on the niner.

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  15. #15
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    From the descriptions of what you're looking for, I'd say ride them all again (or at least the SF and Jet9), then decide. I suspect you'll stick with the SF, and the aluminum version can save you some serious money, possibly better spent on some killer wheels.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  16. #16
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    Proper sag for the Jet 9 rear shock should be in the neighborhood of 25%, which would push the o-ring 9mm down the shock shaft. Let your personal preference dictate pressure after a few rides, add/subtract a few PSI but that will at least get you in the ballpark.

    You can't go wrong with any of your bike choices, but thanks for putting the Jet 9 on your list of potentials!

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    Passion. Commitment. 29ers only.

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  17. #17
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    FYI all ... I have a SF100, 19.5inch frame...NEW frame, doesnt fit me well, so its for sale...PM me for details....thx

  18. #18
    Trail Ninja
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    The SB-95 is great, but the SF100 has no complaints from me, other than the fact that I keep wanting to go bigger and I'm sure Mr. Fisher would look down on the riding that I subjected my SF100 to. The SB-95 made the same technical stuff I rode with the SF100 feel easier, and immediately gave me more confidence to go even bigger, but even the 5" of travel on SB-95 felt like a limit to what I wanted to do. The only reason I keep a 26" bike around is because it has so much travel, but it doesn't give the same confidence as the 29ers did, so I'm hesitant to go as big. The SB-95 would be the bike I'd bring to the lifts too (I took my SF100 to the lifts as well, over a Reign X0 and ASR7).

    The SB-95 just happens to be the bike that wiped everything else off my potential list to replace all my bikes. It's not a race bike, but it's just so f'ing fun. Hoping a rear shock tune would allow me to do some big hucks to flat. Feels plush like a Sultan, but feels more balanced with the front. In fact, the front end never felt so perfect as it did on the SB-95. The ASR5 impressed me as well.

    I think Huck n Roll, JensonUSA, and competitive cyclist offer no questions asked returns on complete bikes that you can sort of use to demo a SB-95 for a few weeks. Might sound shady, but if you can have them ship it to your home, they know you can at least put up the funds to buy it, since you basically paid for it. You're just getting your money back, since it didn't completely satisfy ya. Beware though, I bet the SB-95 will convince you to keep it.

  19. #19
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    See if you can find a Transition Bandit 29; its the sweetest ride I've ever had; I've had it 6 weeks now; have ridden everything I care to ride at SOMO;Gold Canyon; Millagrosa, and Sedona.
    I put the hammerschmidt and a Reverb on it as I like gnar (still have my 6/6 Covert but haven't found a trail that Bandit was timid on).
    Let me know.
    TS

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitionSenior View Post
    See if you can find a Transition Bandit 29; its the sweetest ride I've ever had; I've had it 6 weeks now; have ridden everything I care to ride at SOMO;Gold Canyon; Millagrosa, and Sedona.
    I put the hammerschmidt and a Reverb on it as I like gnar (still have my 6/6 Covert but haven't found a trail that Bandit was timid on).
    Let me know.
    TS
    A couple of points when considering a Transition Bandit Two9:

    If you ever want to run big meats, the Btwo9 will handle a Dissent on a MTX33 in the rear, I have verified it on my own bike. The Dissent is for sure the tallest tire out there and is very possibly the widest also. To those who will counter that the Dissent is discontinued: there is at least one more batch coming down the pipe...

    Go ahead and buy a Trek or Niner if you want, neither firm is exactly known for delivering a defect free product or one that will hold up well. Transition has it's act together on both counts. This is from my own experience mainly, but also backed up by several other riders that I trust perspective.

    The Btwo9 is by far and away the most fun bike that I have ever ridden. My biggest problem with it is my face hurting from grinning so much.
    Abandoned the 26" wheel in May '03

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRILLINDK View Post
    The Niner dealer said that the shocks were dialed in for a much larger person. They let about 20psi out and they're going to let me keep it through the weekend. I'm interested to see how it rides now.



    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2

    Rode the Jet 9 on two different trails. One is fast and rolling and the other is moderately technical with some fast singletrack mixed in with it. I was more impressed with the ride of the Niner both times around. The bike rode much better and fell smoother. Although, I still felt as if I had to pick my line on the more technical sections. I believe the Jet 9 is an overall solid bike, but it just didn't fit into my riding style. One of my friends just finished with his Jet 9 build, and it looks great!

    I come from a BMXing background, and I think I'm looking for something with more of a racier feel. The Jet 9 frame was just two upright for me. I going to plan on demoing a Specialized Epic and a Trek Superfly AL before making a decision.

  22. #22
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    I owned a '10 Rip9 for about a year and it is an incredibly capable bike. It can do pretty much everything, but it's heavy and not very "flickable" I ended up buying a '12 Superfly 100 Pro (carbon) and it's an amazing bike. I ride it pretty hard and it takes the abuse. I never rode a Jet9, but I bet it's a great bike as Niner has the geometry dialed. If you can afford it, go with the carbon Superfly. One thing to to note is that it has 110mm in the shock, more than most bikes in this category that have 100mm. I'm actually going to run a Talas 95-120 fork as the rear shock seems to have tons of travel. The SF really feels like an all mountain race bike. It's super versatile and a blast to ride.

  23. #23
    Daniel the Dog
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    I own a Jet 9 and it rides like a HT when pedaling but does soften the ride. I am drooling over a carbon Jet 9 RDO but have some house projects to do. By the way, the Jet 9 is really best for racing and rolling trails. It is not a good technical riding bike! If you like technical riding look at a RIP 9 (which I have also owned) and loved that bike in the rocks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    I'd take a look at Santa Cruz. I am in the market too. Both the Superlight 29 and the Tallboy felt great to me. Much more comfortable in the cockpit than the Trek bikes I tried out.
    What he said above...

    Your assessment of the Rumblefish is really spot on. The suspension is veeeeery plushy,squishy, and boby feel to it. I call it the monster truck of mountain bikes, like you said it's like a tank and nothing stands in its way, but it is a bit sluggish and not designed for what it is you seem to want, snappier, racier, crisper, and more responsive feel. I did like the superfly aluminum, didin't try the carbon but did demo the aluminum and I really loved it and the brakes were really impressive.

    You should try some of the offerings specialized has, camber and epic, see what you think.

    But lastly give the Santa Cruz tallboy a try. There is something about this bike that when you are on it, it just feels like it was made just for you. It's so comfortable in the cockpit. I would say it falls into the area of the superfly, very snappy, racier, crisper steering, and flickable. Suspension is just right in the rear. I think SC has nailed the FS 29er but that is my personal thought. Take into consideration I have not tried the Niner bikes, that may change when I get my shot at a Niner. I too have heard good things about it.

    ONe more thing, you haven't mentioned any prices. So let me throw this out at you. THe new Tallboy LT in aluminum. You want a truly sick 29er? This is the one. Right now as you can probably tell its all the talk and all the rage going around. See if you locate a dealer who has one incoming to let you demo.

    Keep looking, keep demo-ing, because its your investment and you want to be happy with the money you're spending. Spend sometime in this area of study.

  25. #25
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRILLINDK View Post
    Rode the Jet 9 on two different trails. One is fast and rolling and the other is moderately technical with some fast singletrack mixed in with it. I was more impressed with the ride of the Niner both times around. The bike rode much better and fell smoother. Although, I still felt as if I had to pick my line on the more technical sections. I believe the Jet 9 is an overall solid bike, but it just didn't fit into my riding style. One of my friends just finished with his Jet 9 build, and it looks great!

    I come from a BMXing background, and I think I'm looking for something with more of a racier feel. The Jet 9 frame was just two upright for me. I going to plan on demoing a Specialized Epic and a Trek Superfly AL before making a decision.
    The JET 9 is a short travel FS 29"er. And as many have mentioned, it's a great XC race bike with just enough cush to keep one fresh, but not so plush that it sucks energy out of your sprints and climbs. You're pretty much going to hit the same thing with the bikes you are looking to try. My suggestion? Get more travel unless XC racing and buffer singletrack is your usual fare.

    Having tried many FS bikes at demo tents and tests, the "new sweet spot" for 29" squish is centered around the 115-130mm travel range. More plush than the 3" and 4" travel bikes and fit the nomer of "all-arounders". You have to be careful with those "sweet spot travel bikes" to not load them down with heavy wheels and overkill tires - not to mention too much weight with component choices. If you keep them light and trim, you still have the plush point and shoot bike that has plenty of zip and get up and go. Now with the angleset headsets, you can dial in your front end as well as you can choose lower A/C forks (Fox) over the longer ones (RockShox) if you want a quicker front end.

    Sounds like carbon might be out for you due to the expense. See if you can demo a RIP 9, or the aluminum Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29"er, or the Salsa Horsethief, etc... .

    IMO, people tend to buy too little of travel (80 - 100mm) in the 29"er bikes for what they really want/need. XC racing - those are fine, but I'd advise going with more travel than you think you want/need on paper.

    Here are some thoughts on the "Everybike" category.

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