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  1. #1
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    air v air carbon

    hi, i asked niner this question this week but they chose not to answer. Im thinking of buying either the scandium or carbon air.....has any one riden them both? and is the extra cost of the carbon worth it? The bike will be for racing xc.
    cheers.

  2. #2
    PNW
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    THe carbon is stiffer, not harsh, just stiff, the Scandium is plusher.
    Weight difference; not much
    The carbon has the singlespeed versatility and a tapered steer.

  3. #3
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    Just had a nice reply from Niner bikes about the diferences. I think i'll save some money for upgrades and get the scandium.
    Thanks for your help PNW could you explain what "plusher" means?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbgage
    hi, i asked niner this question this week but they chose not to answer. Im thinking of buying either the scandium or carbon air.....has any one riden them both? and is the extra cost of the carbon worth it? The bike will be for racing xc.
    cheers.
    I have ridden both. I'd say the carbon is stiffer, yet softens up the ride a bit, so in my definition of plush, it is more plush. After 50 miles on the scandium, my lower back would feel it a bit, lower back felt fine after the same ride on the carbon. Other than that, I'd say they ride about the same. The carbon maybe tracks a bit better. It rails. That is probably more subjective though as I wasn't able to ride them back to back.

    I have the scandium size L in raw up for sale with reba XX fork, chris king headset, and Thompson post. PM me if you are interested. About 200 miles on it, then transferred everything over to the carbon frame when it arrived. So it is essentially new. Would save you even more money for extras

  5. #5
    PNW
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabbgage
    Just had a nice reply from Niner bikes about the diferences. I think i'll save some money for upgrades and get the scandium.
    Thanks for your help PNW could you explain what "plusher" means?
    Just seams to ride a bit softer all around

  6. #6
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    i need a small size frame, thanks for the offer

  7. #7
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    I've just gone from an A9 scandium to A9c. While I've only been for one ride so far, the differences between the two bikes are obvious. Main thing that struck me almost straight away was how stiff the carbon frame is - seriously stiff, amazingly responsive. The scandium frame is a seriously nice ride IMO, but my initial impression is the Carbon being a level above the scandium - but of course, it costs!

  8. #8
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    Now I am confused. I was planning to get an air 9 with reba forks and a 20mm maxle, do you think this will stiffen the scandium a bit on the decents? Where I ride we have a lot of fast loose rocky decents, and my current 26 is very twitchy down these and i lose a lot of time. The main purpose of getting a 29er was to enable me to decend a bit quicker. MY racing is normally 2- 21/2hrs so I'm not concerned with comfort.
    I dont want to get a air 9 and be thinking I should have got an air 9 carbon..This is the problem buying blind!!

  9. #9
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    you will be perfectly fine with the scandium. it is a very responsive bike, plenty stiff. the wheels will make much more of a difference than the frame in this regard. same true for the through axle for steering precision.

    the 29er will get you more stability, when getting my first 29er 2 years ago i shocked my biking friends when at once being so much faster. my first trip was actually an endurance race and my teammate kept crashing trying to keep up - before he has always been way faster than me on the downhills.

    a9c owners will likely try to justify there spending and make the differences to other frames larger than they are ...

    much more important is that you are sure of the frame size. if the niner sizing fits you well, you can't make much of a mistake - air9 or a9c doesn't matter. if you are limited on the budget, an air9 with better parts will be lighter and likely better performing than an a9c with budget parts. i would prefer an air 9 with edge / dt 240s wheels anytime over an a9c with hope / flows for example - it will be lighter, stiffer and less fuzz. a u-turn reba TA would be another huge improvements and the 120nn will give you MUCH more comfort on long downhills than the difference between the frames.

    unless of course i can afford the a9c with edge wheels

  10. #10
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    thanks hellocook, you have put my mind at rest again, please give me your second favorite wheels, as the edges for me are too expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hellocook
    you will be perfectly fine with the scandium. it is a very responsive bike, plenty stiff. the wheels will make much more of a difference than the frame in this regard. same true for the through axle for steering precision.

    the 29er will get you more stability, when getting my first 29er 2 years ago i shocked my biking friends when at once being so much faster. my first trip was actually an endurance race and my teammate kept crashing trying to keep up - before he has always been way faster than me on the downhills.

    a9c owners will likely try to justify there spending and make the differences to other frames larger than they are ...

    much more important is that you are sure of the frame size. if the niner sizing fits you well, you can't make much of a mistake - air9 or a9c doesn't matter. if you are limited on the budget, an air9 with better parts will be lighter and likely better performing than an a9c with budget parts. i would prefer an air 9 with edge / dt 240s wheels anytime over an a9c with hope / flows for example - it will be lighter, stiffer and less fuzz. a u-turn reba TA would be another huge improvements and the 120nn will give you MUCH more comfort on long downhills than the difference between the frames.

    unless of course i can afford the a9c with edge wheels
    So very true on all points, especially the parts about the spending justification and sizing. I have an A9C and will be the first to admit it.

    Seriously the A9C is .3 or .4 lbs lighter. I do think it rides on rails and climbs like a goat, noticed immediately after a year on the scandium. Is it worth an extra $1k, that is up to each individual. I need to sell my A9 scandium but before I do probably need to go ride them back to back.

    Will one descend better than the other, don't think so. As already said - fit, tires, fork will make the biggest difference. Not to confuse the issue but if you want to descend faster and ride through rocks better think Jet/Rip.

  12. #12
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    Important point if you chose air9c: Probably, you will not be able to substitute shifter cables by yourselves. To substitute cables you need to disassemble bottom bracket, a special tool from "niner" to disassemble CYA and headset press to reassemble CYA. Of course, everything done at home, not in the field.

  13. #13
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    Wow to put in a new twist, I quite like the look of the jet9 too. I confess I am a weight weenie, that has always put me off fsr.
    Please look On this bike configuerer:
    http://www.ninerconfigure.com/Bike.aspx

    I can build up an air9 for 9.261gms (20.41lbs)
    or a jet9 for 10.383gms(22.8lbs)
    Well these weights seem very low especially after reading other posts of bikes weighing 26-28lbs?

  14. #14
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    the weights are way off.

  15. #15
    LCW
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    I have an Air9 (Scandium) and love it! Recently rode some trails with some gnarlier descents than I'm used to... raising the stem (to raise the bars) helped tremedously... Bike felt very stable after that (I was running my stem inverted, racer like position).

    Although I have only a 9mm QR front, I run the Mavic Crossmax 29's - very stiff wheel and not super heavy (1790 for my set). A buddy that tried my bike out was impressed with how well it tracked and liked how stiff the wheels felt. I run tubeless Specialized S-works Captain in front and FastTrak in the rear. Amazing traction, though in loose soil, I'd go with another Captain in the rear.

    I haven't ridden an A9C, and would certainly like to, but the price I got my Air 9 frame for, I bet my whole bike (or a bike portion of it) costs about what a frame only A9C would cost...


    PS - as you can see in my sig, my Air 9 weighs 22.5 lbs. That's with the Crossmax's... a Deore LX crank converted to 2 ring (+ lightweight bash). Running some lightweight-ish parts (SL-K flat bar, WTB Rocket V Team seat w/ Ti rails, KMC X10SL chain, X0 twisties with X0 med cage rear der, Ritchey WCS 4-axis stem 100mm, ESI grips (chunky), Thomson seatpost (zero offset), eggbeater Ti pedals (not 2Ti or 4Ti) modded with ebay Ti spindles... Nothing really outrageous - nothing a true WW would be jealous of... but I chose wisely (price vs weight) and still ended up with a very respectable 22.5lbs build (my frame is a small). There isn't much I'd change on it. Really like it. Fits like a glove. Handles like it's on rails and VERY nimble.
    2011 Yeti 575 - Fox Float 36 RC2 160 - 31.5 lbs

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellocook
    a9c owners will likely try to justify there spending and make the differences to other frames larger than they are ...
    No justification here - I paid for my Scandium frame, before the local Niner flicked me a A9C frame to use for 12 months as sponsorship... and although I paid for the scandium and the carbon was free/sponsored, I definitely prefer the carbon - so much so that I've sold the scandium, and will likely purchase my own carbon when the time comes.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the input monolith. What makes the carbon so much better? Stiffness geometry? Are you riding the carbon with better components or the same?

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