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  1. #1
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    Feedback needed: Sir9 or One9?

    Hello fellow dirt-trail cyclists (3rd post in probably 3 years),

    I recently had my first real riding experience on a 29er last week (holy ****!), which immediately prompted a "must buy 29 soon" mindset ever since. I'll be spending around 3k building a fully rigid singlespeed, and Niner is my brand of choice. Stoked!

    My main priority in riding is simply experiencing the enjoyment of riding on a trail, which sways me towards the Sir9 (I love steel). However, I occasionally do Cat2 races and plan on attempting the Ledville100 next year, which sways me back towards the One9, since I would love for this bike to be 20.5lbs or less (easy to do with a One9 I think; not so much with the Sir9).


    Here are my questions and factors to be weighed:


    (1) If I could build a large frame Sir9 in the Sub 20lb range there would be no decision to make. So, I'm kind of wondering how possible that is with the following parts listed below? A lot of the light Sir9 frames I have seen on the interweb are small frames.

    (2) I am also curious how the hydroform aluminum rides? I'm not very knowledgeable on this topic, but I have read the hydroform aluminum rides much smoother than traditional aluminum frames? I even read one person said their One9 felt just as smooth as their Sir9. If this is the case, that would be a perk to the One9.

    Here are the parts I'm planning on building the bike with (hopefully, when I come up with the other 1.5k I will have made up my mind by then).

    Goal of 20lb sub build: (I am 5'11, 165lb)
    Large Sir9 / One9 frame.
    Niner Carbon RDO fork.
    Niner Carbon RDO bars.
    Niner Carbon RDO seat post.
    Thompson or Niner stem.
    Stans ZTR Crest tubeless wheels.
    E*thirteen singlespeed crankset, Renthal sprocket, surly rear cog.
    Light tires: probably race king in the back, X-king in the front.
    I haven't really decided on parts besides what is listed above.

  2. #2
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    Why not go with the Air9 carbon? I have never ridden any of the 3 but it seems like it would be the best of the bunch especially if your goal is 20.5 lbs. There is one in the classifieds (size large) right now and new ones have been on sale for awhile.

    That said, yeah I would imagine a frame made entirely of hydroformed tubes would be more comfortable than the straight tubes of old. The reason being, since the tubes under compression (top tube and seatstays) are hydroformed into "bowed" or "S" shapes the entire frame can be engineered to vertically flex without having the problem of stress risers. To put it another way, aluminum can't flex very much without fatiguing but when you spread the flex out over the length of the whole frame you avoid that problem while gaining the compliance you want.

    Add some XT or SLX brakes to your list and consider taking the Surly cog and Thomson stem off the list. The Race Face Turbine and Ritchey C260 stems are both available as gloss black and both a lot lighter. Thomson stems are way overbuilt for XC. The Surly cog might be very functional but it is also a very thick chunk of steel that if you are going to shell out for those RDO parts, you might as well get a nicer cog IMO.

  3. #3
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    I have a One9 and a SIR9. Let me qualify that my One9 is the new frame model, and my SIR9 is the older frame model. I have had the SIR9 for many years, and have ridden it rigid and with a fork but always single speed. I bought the One9 about a year ago, but have been riding it 2-3 times per week (it lives in Tempe, AZ where I work).

    My One9 has a Fox F29 fork on it. I was pretty hesitant on getting an aluminum hardtail frame, as I've done that before and they have always been very fast but very harsh. I like the soft ride of the SIR9. That being said I've been blown away with how well the new One9 rides. I set my bike up with a Niner carbon seatpost and some big tires, and I really like this bike a lot. I have yet to ride the new SIR9 frame, but between the old SIR9 and the new One9, its an easy choice for me....I'll take the One9.

    There was about 1.3 pounds difference in frames when I weighed. My One9 is a large, and I think with the Fox fork on it it weighs in the 22.5 range. My SIR9 is almost 25 pounds (about the same weight as my JET9 RDO shockingly enough). With weight being a key factor, I think its an easy choice to go One9 or the Air9 carbon like Mutantclover suggests.

  4. #4
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    Hey guys, thanks for the replies. The Air9 Carbon is off my list because carbon is over my budget. Plus, I want a bike that I can run SS and also throw some gears on back if I want to. Thanks for the explanation on how the new One9 has a softer ride. I never knew the technical aspects of it.

    Jdub, are you from Oklahoma? I noticed the OSU logo. I'm from Ada, Oklahoma. Anyways, your post makes me lean back towards the One9 (I've been going back and forth on these bikes for months now).

    I actually figured out a pretty accurate rough estimate on how much the bikes would weigh. I found thread where a fellow built up two One9s for him and his wife (one XL, one medium). I pretty much just added and subtracted the weight differences on parts I plan on using since his bikes were pretty similar to what I want to build. It would be a stretch to get a large Sir9 under 20lbs. It would require the ZTR Crest race golds (?) over just the ZTR Crest wheels I plan on buying. If I build up the One9, it would probably be below 19lbs. I might end up buying both frames in the long run lol. Once again, thanks for the info!
    Last edited by veloryan516; 06-08-2013 at 01:11 AM. Reason: to say thanks again.

  5. #5
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    Here's a picture of my SIR9.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    I just weighed it on the bathroom scales and got 23 lbs. Apart from the saddle, grips and XTR brakes this was not set up to be a super light build. It has Flow rims on White Industry hubs, 2.4" tyres and flat steel pedals.

    Could you build one to 20.5 lbs, well maybe but really why bother. Most people who pick this steel bike up are amazed at how light it is.

    If I was you I would go with the SIR9 as most of the time you will be riding it for fun. I wouldn't make my choice based on 100km a year of racing and a nominal weight target for the bike. Most of us can afford to lose more weight than our bikes, true for me anyway.

    I haven't owned a One9, but I do have an Air9 scandium currently set up 2x9 and rigid with both mtb and road wheel sets. For an aluminium bike the Niner's do ride relatively comfortably and are relatively light (but not lightest in the industry).

    Ultimately I would go with the SIR9 for durability. The steel frame will probably give you more happy years of service with a rigid setup than an aluminium frame designed for racing which is likely to get fatigue cracks in the future.

    If you are lucky you might still be able to get the older model SIR9 in the awesome kermit green for a bargain price. Personally I am not sold on the need to "upgrade" to 142mm rear axles and tapered steerers for bikes that end up set up rigid and single speed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloryan516 View Post
    Jdub, are you from Oklahoma? I noticed the OSU logo. I'm from Ada, Oklahoma.
    Born and raised in Oklahoma, but live in Boulder County, CO these days. I grew up near El Reno, OK, still get back every now and then. I was supposed to be flying into OKC last Friday, but the tornadoes changed my plans.

    I think both bikes could be viable for you, but if weight is a big driving decision there is a pound that you just won't ever be able to get back on the SIR9 vs the One9.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloryan516 View Post
    The Air9 Carbon is off my list because carbon is over my budget. Plus, I want a bike that I can run SS and also throw some gears on back if I want to.
    The one in the classifieds is $1000, as far as I know that's the same price (or within $100) as a new SIR9 or ONE9. AND it includes the biocentric BB for singlespeed as well as a hanger for geared. Just sayin... while it is up to you I know what decision I would make! I am a sucker for buying frames almost-new because it opens up so much space in the budget (And no, its not my ad).

    That green SIR9 above looks awfully nice though.

  8. #8
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    Probably my 3rd post in 3 years as well but feel I must as I was in the exact position as you and agree with several Jdub and ozynigma comments. I have the old sir 9 and the new 2012 One 9. I spent hours reading different opinions about steel vs alum, weight, et al before buying the One 9. I have ridden them both many times now on my home course as well as in 60 mile + endurance races. My old M sir 9, with niner carbon fork, ztr crest and race kings was 20.5 lbs. My one 9 (hydro Size S), with Fox F29 terralogic (heavy) and ztr crests is 22.4 lbs. Both of these are with pedals (speedplay titanium frog). Here are the facts for me (I weigh 158 lbs by the way):

    * The steel is definitely more supple, but the hydro alum is an excellent ride and not as harsh as I thought. You feel more of the "jarring" than steel on bigger hits or technical areas at speed, not so much on most of my trail, which is plentiful of rocks and roots (of course this assumes you are running tubeless).
    * The One 9 springs forward on climbs and responds/climbs faster than the Sir 9. This was my only complaint with the Steel - I don't race very often but like to get around the trail fast. I always felt like I had to stand and mash to get going on the sir - not so with the One 9.
    * Following up on that comment, the Sir 9 is just made to be a rigid bike (IMO), and is a fantastic one at that. A rigid fork up front offsets some of the lack of pedaling efficiency. I have used the niner carbon and the steel and love both. The additional 1.25 lbs savings from the carbon is noticeable up front.
    * I definitely notice the weight difference, much more than I thought. I have read dozens of times how 1.4 lbs of frame weight will not make a difference. From my experience it does. So combined with the quicker pedal response on the One 9 the less "supple" feel of the One is worth it.
    * For my riding, I prefer the One 9 now, but I usually only ride two hours max. The Sir 9 is an excellent bike, and it was very comfortable after 5 hours of riding rigid. The One 9 with an RDO fork is going to be a little less comfortable after 5 hours.
    * If just enjoying the trail and not worrying about max efficiency the Sir rigid is an excellent choice. If you want to sacrifice some softness for quicker climbing, more nimble turning and less weight the One 9 would make sense.

  9. #9
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    I'm curious did you make a decision yet? I enjoyed reading this thread. I would go with the One 9. I have the 2012 One 9 and I really like it. I've ridden my brother-in-laws scandium One 9 and I think the hydroformed tubes make a difference although fairly subtle. We both have reba forks and run low-mid 20s tire pressure (both of us weigh about 165). I switched from a steel SS frame before the One 9. I do think my steel frame was more comfortable on long rides especially if it were a rocky trail but my One 9 feels faster (well I know my lap times on local trails are faster on the One 9 but tough to determine if it is a result of fitness and/or tire setup). Anyway I recently rode a steel SS again for the first time since getting my One 9 and it did feel comfortable and had the great steel feel but I couldn't help but notice how heavy it felt. I don't know if I will go back to steel although I totally understand how some riders like it's feel and handling characteristics. Best of luck on your decision!

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