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  1. #1
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    Niner Air 9 vs Stumpjumper ht comp 29er

    Looking for a new bike and thinking bout goin the 29er route. I was wondering what everyone's opinion is on whether the niner or the stumpjumper? I'm looking to spend around $2000. Could i build a decent niner for that price? Thanks

  2. #2
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    I own an AIR 9. Very happy with it. Shop hard, buy used, and you could do it for under $2000, but all new at that price is going to be tough with a great wheel set, good components and a weight weenie build. A frame that light deserves high end components.

    I'm kind of anti Speshy, due to their business ethics and tactics to the little guys in the bike business, YMMV.

  3. #3
    no, I'm not riding SS
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    Go with the Niner and Ebay. Just built up an EMD 9 for ~$2400 (all SRAM X9 bits), including a wheelset from Mikesee. IMO, more bang for your buck with the Niner.

  4. #4
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    I have an '08 Stumpjumper and like it. Rear tire clearance for a Rampage on a Stan's Arch is minimal, although this may be different in current model year. That said, to do it again, I would probably get a Niner or Salsa frame and start from scratch.

  5. #5
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    I went with the EMD and got it for just under 2K. I did supply a crankset and BB that I had laying around and only went 1X9 for now. I went for the decent wheels, fork and frame first to save some money. Crossmax29ers, Reba fork. The other components you can upgrade later on. I currently have Juicy 3.5 brakes and this so far is the weakest link on the bike. I have already added a Thompson post and new Spec. Alias seat.
    The brakes will work for now but will be my next upgrade. I went from a full sus 26er to this and am extremely happy.

  6. #6
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    Go for the Air9. A lot of guys including myself picked one up during the Jet9 recall. There is good chance some will be letting their slightly used Air9s go when the redesigned Jet9 is out.
    C-DALE FLASH 29 Carbon 2 (19.6 lbs)
    C-DALE BB1

  7. #7
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    The Specialized would be a great bike and you could pocket a little money. I think the Niner would be a better ride with the steel frame, but I think for your budget you would get more bike with the Stumpy.

    Brian
    Ride it like you stole it!

  8. #8
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    so, on the one hand you have the company that do nothing but 29ers and has been at his since a couple years, and one the other you have the company that said they would never do a 29er...

  9. #9
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    I have neither...yet.

    Those are the two bikes I am looking at. I have no bad feelings against Spec. I have a 08 FSR 29er. Their are lots of feelings of Spec this Niner that regarding ethics and frame warranties and never build a 29er and only build 29ers...it is not noise but also is not the only issues to look at.

    The new Comp from Spec for 2010 is really a sweet looking bike and so is the Air in Raw and whatever that Green is...you can have that blue color. I have ridden both around the inside of the shop (big shop but not that big) and the Niner Air9 for a small ride outside the shop over a year ago. The Spec weigh's right at 25lbs right out of the box and if memory serves me right the Niner is a little heavier than that but the weight is uber build specific. $1799 is what it is selling for at the LBS. The Niner Air9 is with SLX stuff and a Fulcrum Red Wheelset for $2100 (I think that is what I remember).

    It is going to be a difficult decision but think that you will be really happy with either bike. I know that I would and hope that I am happy by next year's Leadville 100!

    massalsa

  10. #10
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    contradictory statements

    I am confused about the people that say that they don't like spec becasue of what they do to the "little guys" aka independent bike shops but then advocate buying used presumably from ebay. How does that help the shops? Specialized has been a great partner for our shop for years and their stumpy 29ers for 2010 seem like really nice specs (although there is some confusion about whether or not the wheels are actually tubeless compatible). In regards to their statements about never making a 29er, I think that was a foolish statement, but they are showing that they aren't too bull-headed and stuck to recognize that 29er is not going away and is a more than viable option, hence riders like Todd Wells riding their carbon 29ers.

    With Niner in mind I think that posting here you are posting to a overwhelmingly biased (not saying for lack of good reason) pro-niner board. I think the EMD may allow you to build a better bike now and then upgrade the frame in the future. The Air9 is nice too, but the small weight gain in the frame could be offset in the wheels by going with the EMD and spending the same if not less money. The only thing to potentially be skeptical on is that Niner has A LOT on its plate right now: recall and total redesign of a very popular frame, continual supply of their carbon fork, production of a new carbon frame... IF you need service, or IF something like the jet 9 situation happens again for them will you be able to get the customer service. Nothing bad has happened in regards to their basic hardtails and there is no reason to think that something will, but it is worth keeping in mind that they are a smaller company which is good and bad sometimes.

    Either will end up well and luckily you have a lot of options.

  11. #11
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    yeah ... I 2nd what amblake50 said so eloquently. My LBS is a big Specialized sealer and there is alot of value in their builds. My best option is to grab the Comp and go from there.

  12. #12
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    I got a Stumpjumper HT comp 29er a few months ago ('09) for $1300 on closeout. Maybe you can find such a deal.

    Of course, I've subsequently dumped about $2500 into it turning it into a full XTR/King/Stans ... carbon bars/Thomson rig.

    I only did that because I loved riding the bike so much.

    I've never ridden a Niner. But I can attest to the bike reigniting my love for mountain biking.

  13. #13
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    Niner. Not even a question. Niner has 29ers figured out, plus if you have a problem you can call them up and talk to a person (Frank or Brian).
    specialized said they would NEVER make a 29er. imho, specialized is the wally-world of cycling.

  14. #14
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    I am not a specialized hater. In fact i have owned 4 of them in the past 13 years. They range from a steel ht to an fsr all 26ers. And i am sure i would buy another one. The S-Works Stumpjumper Carbon HT SS 29er looks really sweet. But i have to say that their Aluminum hard tails for me ride harsh. So on to my point. Specialized had a demo at my local mtb trail last year(2009 model year bikes), and i test rode the fsr29er and the stumpjumper 29er hard tail. And like the Specialized aluminum hard tails from my past it was harsh. At the time of the demo, I was and still am riding a Salsa Mamasita, so that is what i was comparing it to . So out of the two bikes you are trying to decide between, I would probably have to say go with the Niner Air9. Someone above recommended the Niner EMD. It is $300.00 less than the Air9. But if you were to add the Mamasita in there i would say it would have to be the Mamasita. Like i said it was a 2009 that i rode not a 2010 if that makes any difference.
    Dropbar SS Mamasita
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  15. #15
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    While the two bikes may seem similar, there are some significant differences that should be considered. For me, the main consideration was how the two bikes handle. The Specialized has a fairly slack (for a 29er) head tube angle and handles a bit more 'slowly', for lack of a better word, than the Niner which has a fairly steep (again, for a 29er) head tube angle.

    If you want a bike that's quick steering to the point of being almost 26"-like, the Niner would be a better choice.

    Something to consider w/ the Niners... the older Air9s were built to have a 72 degree head tube angle when using a 100mm travel fork or 490mm rigid fork. If you were to put an 80mm travel fork on an older model, it would be too quick for most folks' taste. The newer ones (you can tell 'em apart because the new ones have a 73mm bottom bracket shell vs 68mm for the older ones) are built to have a 72 degree head tube angle when using an 80mm travel or 470mm rigid fork. You could put a 100mm fork on the newer frames and it would serve to slow the steering significantly, but also raise your BB a tad.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have one of the older Air9s that I recently bought "used" (never built up) and I've ridden it with both the 490mm rigid Niner steel fork and a 100mm travel Fox F32 fork. It rides great w/ either fork and I'd recommend the Air9 to anyone.

  16. #16
    livin' the dream......
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    I have a 2010 Stumpy Comp 29er and really like it so far. My friend (lives in a different state than me so I have not ridden it) got a Air9 as a result of the Jet9 recall and really likes his bike too.

    I initially started out wanting a SIR9, but it was beyond my budget. I have had good luck with some other Specilzed bikes in the past and was comfortable getting another one.

    I think Niner has done a nice job handling the recall from what I can tell, and I would strongly consider one of their bikes down the road. Your decison will come down to what you want to spend.

    No matter what you end up with, you will have a blast on your new 29er.
    I was too drunk and too much in pain to ride. Good times. - TacoBeer

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scooter2468

    If you want a bike that's quick steering to the point of being almost 26"-like, the Niner would be a better choice.
    Not sure if you have ridden both bikes, but numbers are not everything. The 2010 SJ is the most nimble 29er bike I have ever ridden. Including the air, first version mamsita and an Indy. This bike is the first 29er I have ridden that feels like a 26er in the handling department.

    As far as numbers, the SJ HTA is 71.5 and the Air is 72. The SJ uses a 90mm fork which will make up for the difference if a 100mm is used on the Air. Also the tapered steerer tube makes an amazing difference in the handling department, something I was not giving a lot of credence to until I witnessed it. I also think the shorter wheelbase helps too. The SJ is just a very racy feeling 29er. May not be what the OP is looking for.

  18. #18
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    I've not ridden a spec 29er but it seems like the value is there. I do have an AIR 9 and I LOVE it!! I was worried it would be too harsh, i'm coming off a JET 9, but it is not nearly as bad as i thought it would be. Maybe the scandium really does make that much a of difference. Only other hardtail 29er i've ridden was a cannondale F29 and it was more harsh in the rear then my air for sure.

  19. #19
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    confused:confused:

    Quote Originally Posted by heythorp
    This bike is the first 29er I have ridden that feels like a 26er in the handling department.
    If you want your 29er to handle like a 26er, why not just buy a 26er? I personally like for my 29er to ride like a 29er.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by heythorp
    Not sure if you have ridden both bikes, but numbers are not everything. The 2010 SJ is the most nimble 29er bike I have ever ridden. Including the air, first version mamsita and an Indy. This bike is the first 29er I have ridden that feels like a 26er in the handling department.

    As far as numbers, the SJ HTA is 71.5 and the Air is 72. The SJ uses a 90mm fork which will make up for the difference if a 100mm is used on the Air. Also the tapered steerer tube makes an amazing difference in the handling department, something I was not giving a lot of credence to until I witnessed it.
    I understand that numbers aren't everything, which also means that the length of the fork is irrelevant so long as it's the length the frame was designed around. A 90mm fork on the Specialized does not "make up for the difference" compared to a 100mm fork on a Niner designed for the 100mm.

    If the Specialized truly does turn as nimbly as the Air9, given the angles you referenced, then it is likely a function of the fork offset on the Specialized fork being slightly greater than whatever fork you're running on the Niner. Of course, it could be completely unrelated.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruso414
    If you want your 29er to handle like a 26er, why not just buy a 26er? I personally like for my 29er to ride like a 29er.

    There are some things that I like about 26ers more than 29ers and agility is high on the list. Every time I get back on a 26er I smile about the agility.

    Sorry I am not a 29er zealot but to me both wheel sizes are more than capable for me to have fun on.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruso414
    imho, specialized is the wally-world of cycling.
    seriously...? I don't know if I understand that comment.

  23. #23
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    wally-world=walmart.
    specialized=big box store business practices.
    imho= in my honest opinion.

    capiche?

  24. #24
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    nm .

  25. #25
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    yes I literally get it, but what big box store practices do they exhibit? I have been at a specialized shop (which also sells niner btw) for 3 years and they have been nothing but easy to work with, inside and outside reps keep me up to date, bicycles are available, and warranty is simple. I think there is some stigma attached to any company who becomes big.
    You are obviously entitled to your opinion, but IMHO (the h is for humble) I don't think that having 10 or less employees necessarily makes you a better company, I think in a lot of cases it makes it hard to provide exceptional customer service (not a jab at Niner)

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