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  1. #1
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    Niner One 9 or Access XCL

    So - new to MTB, and building up a 29er. I got a good deal off a buddies broken frame that I am swapping the parts off of. I still haven't pulled the trigger on a frame yet, and keep going back and forth. Budget isn't everything, but its important. I don't care about the "name brand" as much, but want something that I will be happy with for 5+ years.


    Access XCL 29er: $179
    I like this bike as it seems to get good reviews for the price, and since this will be my first full build, I still have the flexibility and great return policy from performance if there is something wrong. I also have a PB about 2 miles away from my house.



    Niner One 9 $499.
    C.C. has a no questions asked warranty now, which is nice. I think I want to be convinced that I should go for the niner, but I am a pretty analytical guy and can't figure out why I need to spend the extra $220? However, this frame is on sale down from $850. ARGHHH...

    Any and all input requested.

  2. #2
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    Are you building it as a single speed?

    That's a great price on the Niner frame! I'm planning on building a Niner EMD 9...I'm going with the EMD because I am not building a SS.

    I've talked to a few guys on the trails that have Niners and always hear good things about them.

  3. #3
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    You're in a pretty good spot for choosing something. There are geo, weight and compliance differences between frames. A carbon HongFu FM056 with geo like a Scott Scale 29 is 475 shipped and weighs 2.65lbs.. The EMD has a steeper HT angle-- 72 to get quick steering.

  4. #4
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    Niner. for the simple request of 5 year return. will also be far more a relaxing ride due to the steel frame. understand though, its not designed for a front derailleur. so you are limited to 1x9 or single speed.

    but, you should continue shopping around. see what else you can come up with.
    2012 Airborne Guardian.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukrider View Post
    Niner. for the simple request of 5 year return. will also be far more a relaxing ride due to the steel frame. understand though, its not designed for a front derailleur. so you are limited to 1x9 or single speed.

    but, you should continue shopping around. see what else you can come up with.
    You're getting the ONE 9 and SIR 9 mixed up.

  6. #6
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    The 2011 Niner One9 is singlespeed only. I would go with the Niner if I was shopping. I have a 2012 One9 and it is amazing. I demoed over 10 bikes but not an Access. The Niners were easily the best balance of quick handling, stabilty, and comfort. It seems like a smoking deal on the Niner. In five years, you will likely get much more for the Niner if you decide to sell it compared to the Access. Of course, you might not want to give it up in 5 years because it's so sweet.

  7. #7
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    Since the ONE 9 is a singlespeed only frame, the closest thing in the Niner lineup to compare to compare to an Access XCL 9r would be the EMD, or the more expensive AIR 9. The MSRP on the EMD is only $50 more than the price you (the OP) have for the ONE 9.

    My $0.02: I have owned an Access XCL 9r for almost 3 years. And, I have spent the past several weeks riding around on a new AIR 9. It looks like the EMD and AIR 9 share the same geometry and the new EMD has hydroformed top tube and down tube similar to those on the AIR 9 as well as a tapered head tube. I would venture to guess they have similar handling characteristics in most respects.

    The XCL is a tad more stable at the highest speeds (and almost not worth mentioning), but the Niner will carve up the turns noticeably better, while giving up almost nothing. The XCL 9r is a heck of a frame for the price and nothing to throw rocks at (especially FOR THE PRICE), but if you can swing some extra dough, and want a great handling bike for the long haul, I'd find the extra scratch for the Niner.

    Also, the Access XCL 9r comes with a very inexpensive semi-integrated headset (at least mine did). I have seen many disparaging comments about them here on MTBR, but mine has been solid for almost three years not. You'll likely need to buy a headset for the Niner EMD (I believe it also uses a semi-integrated a.k.a. 'zero-stack' type headset), so that will add a bit more to the cost.

    The XCL 9r will make you smile the most the day you pay for it, and will be good and serviceable after that. OTOH, the Niner will hurt more on the day you pay for it, but it will make you sport a much larger grin every day after that.

  8. #8
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    The EMD has threaded English bottom brackets, the AIR has a huge BB30 bottom bracket set up. Both are aluminum frames.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukrider View Post
    Niner. for the simple request of 5 year return. will also be far more a relaxing ride due to the steel frame. understand though, its not designed for a front derailleur. so you are limited to 1x9 or single speed.

    but, you should continue shopping around. see what else you can come up with.
    The one9 is Scandium not steel. Also only single speed.

    I have a 2010 one9 and I love it. Haven't ridden the Access so can't give you a side by side comparison. But at $500 for the one9 is a great price. I paid $800 on sale for mine. Remember its made Scandium not Aluminum so there is a price difference there.

  10. #10
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    I have not beem thrilled with the ebb on my One9.

    Not sure how the other frame handles chain tensioning...

    SPP
    Rigid.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Since the ONE 9 is a singlespeed only frame, the closest thing in the Niner lineup to compare to compare to an Access XCL 9r would be the EMD, or the more expensive AIR 9. The MSRP on the EMD is only $50 more than the price you (the OP) have for the ONE 9.

    My $0.02: I have owned an Access XCL 9r for almost 3 years. And, I have spent the past several weeks riding around on a new AIR 9. It looks like the EMD and AIR 9 share the same geometry and the new EMD has hydroformed top tube and down tube similar to those on the AIR 9 as well as a tapered head tube. I would venture to guess they have similar handling characteristics in most respects.

    The XCL is a tad more stable at the highest speeds (and almost not worth mentioning), but the Niner will carve up the turns noticeably better, while giving up almost nothing. The XCL 9r is a heck of a frame for the price and nothing to throw rocks at (especially FOR THE PRICE), but if you can swing some extra dough, and want a great handling bike for the long haul, I'd find the extra scratch for the Niner.

    Also, the Access XCL 9r comes with a very inexpensive semi-integrated headset (at least mine did). I have seen many disparaging comments about them here on MTBR, but mine has been solid for almost three years not. You'll likely need to buy a headset for the Niner EMD (I believe it also uses a semi-integrated a.k.a. 'zero-stack' type headset), so that will add a bit more to the cost.

    The XCL 9r will make you smile the most the day you pay for it, and will be good and serviceable after that. OTOH, the Niner will hurt more on the day you pay for it, but it will make you sport a much larger grin every day after that.
    Wow. This was very helpful. My oversight on the SS niner.

    I don't think the potential benefits of the niner will outweigh the cost difference between the two bikes. Maybe I will upgrade in a few years when I understand more of my preferences.

  12. #12
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    So how will you tension the chain on the XCL? I'm assuming you are building a singlespeed. Derailleur style tensioners suck. You can do an ENO rear hub, but it may interfere with rear disc alignment. If the XCL had BB/PF30, you could do an EBB, but that's not the case here. Either way, that just closes the price gap to the Niner frame.

    In my opinion, you need a singlespeed-specific frame. I currently have three tensioning styles in my garage (track ends, sliders and EBB). I much prefer the EBB over other designs.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    So how will you tension the chain on the XCL?
    Not building a SS. In my haste at the sight of the great price, I didn't notice the Niner was a SS.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kestreljr View Post
    Not building a SS. In my haste at the sight of the great price, I didn't notice the Niner was a SS.
    Ya if your not building a SS go with the access. I paid extra for the one9 becuase I wanted a SS only bike. I think you will like the Access.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent878 View Post
    Ya if your not building a SS go with the access. I paid extra for the one9 becuase I wanted a SS only bike. I think you will like the Access.
    I've been loving my Access for a couple years now....sold the Tora fork, swapped my Reba and dropped big chainring for a bashguard. You'll like it...ride is good geo and the price is great. However my favorite riding bike geo so far was my Haro Mary SS that I sold to help fund another bike lol. I've never ridden a Niner brand, but considered them when I bought my Mary....shop didn't have one to ride.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

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