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  1. #1
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    Is a Niner EMD9 too quick for a newbie

    I've been looking at the Airborne Goblins but I recently came across a used Niner EMD9 for under $1000. The bike is in a different state though so I can't drive it. I would have my inlaws pick it up and bring it to me at THanksgiving. So I would be purchasing it sight unseen. According to the shop owner, the bike is set up as a 1x10 with SRAM X9 rear derailer and a Mantou tower pro. Is this a common setup? Why the 1x10 and not just put on a 2x. Doesn't seem like that much cost savings.

    Anyway, from the cell phone photos it looks nice and the shop owner said it was only a couple years old. So at this point I'm not as worried about the condition of the bike as I am the bike itself.

    Reading the specs on Niners, it looks like they have very aggressive head tube angles. So I am concerned that this bike will be too quick and twitchy and I might get myself into trouble on high speed descents. Particularily since I tend to get caught up in speed and don't like to slow down. This will be my first 29er. I am 40 years old but just recently got into mountain biking a few years ago with a 26". Now I want a new bike with good components. The Airborne looks great for the price but I have heard good things about Niners. But since I can't ride it, I need some info on them. Are they scary quick? Do I need to ride it? Are they an acquired taste? Or are they newbie friendly enough that I will find it to be a good bike.

  2. #2
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    Got a EMD for myself, I built it and it is my first 29er bike too

    It's a pretty good hardtail, the drivetrain will be up to your riding styles and preferences, I chose 2x10 in mine.

    On the handling dept I haven't known a person who doesn't like the way a EMD moves, it makes the transition from 26 to 29 very easy, you're gonna love it

    On the other part you will be buying an used bike and that always has its flaws, I am gonna try to list the advantages of getting the Goblin

    - Brand new in box (warranty)
    - X7 2x10
    - Hydraulic brakes
    - Tapered headtube

    Specialy on early Niner models the paint gets scratched easily and I mean it, they got some serious issues so a crappy cellphone pic might hide the chips.

    If you really want the Niner just try to get better pics and the list of the build, also make sure the size is right

    Even when I love my Niner I think the Goblin would be a smart choice, if you were building your own that would be a different story, you wouldn't be spending $1000 though

    Hope it helps
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  3. #3
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    The bike dealer thought the bike was about a year old. But he didn't sell it new. But it is the old frame. I'll have to see if he can send me more pix. At this point I don't even know what to ask him. My biggest concern has been the ride and handling.

    Comparing to the Goblin.

    The Niner has Avid Elixer 3 brakes. So I think they are hydraulic. Or did they also have a cable Elixer3? So its really just a lower level of brakes.

    Of course the Goblin is 2x10 but for a couple hundred bucks I could add the 2nd derailer and shifter. Provided the crank will accept it. It looks like it just has a smooth chainguard where I would expect the bigger chain ring to be.

    So really the Goblin just has a better head tube and a warranty. The rest can be changed later if needed. How big of a difference does the tapered headtube make?


    As far as build. Here is what he told me on the phone:
    EMD 9
    Manitou Tower pro shock
    Stans ZTR Flow
    X9 Hubs
    Raceface crank
    X9 shifters and derailer
    Maxis tires

    Am I missing anything? I'm not familiar with alot of this stuff, but from my quick research it looks like pretty nice components. The pain looks ok in the pictures. My biggest concern again is just that steep fork angle. I don't know if its 80mm or 100mm fork. Does anyone know the geo specs on the older frames?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    The bike dealer thought the bike was about a year old. But he didn't sell it new. But it is the old frame. I'll have to see if he can send me more pix. At this point I don't even know what to ask him. My biggest concern has been the ride and handling.

    Comparing to the Goblin.

    The Niner has Avid Elixer 3 brakes. So I think they are hydraulic. Or did they also have a cable Elixer3? So its really just a lower level of brakes.

    Of course the Goblin is 2x10 but for a couple hundred bucks I could add the 2nd derailer and shifter. Provided the crank will accept it. It looks like it just has a smooth chainguard where I would expect the bigger chain ring to be.

    So really the Goblin just has a better head tube and a warranty. The rest can be changed later if needed. How big of a difference does the tapered headtube make?


    As far as build. Here is what he told me on the phone:
    EMD 9
    Manitou Tower pro shock
    Stans ZTR Flow
    X9 Hubs
    Raceface crank
    X9 shifters and derailer
    Maxis tires

    Am I missing anything? I'm not familiar with alot of this stuff, but from my quick research it looks like pretty nice components. The pain looks ok in the pictures. My biggest concern again is just that steep fork angle. I don't know if its 80mm or 100mm fork. Does anyone know the geo specs on the older frames?

    Don't get me wrong, the only reason I'd take the Goblin is because is new

    I guess the fork is 100mm and it is a great fork, Flows are pretty solid rims.

    Getting a 2nd plate and the shifter would be the way to go, Elixir 3 are hydraulic brakes as you typed.
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  5. #5
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    I hope you don't mind me chiming in, just to clarify a few things. Niner's are nice bikes so if you do buy it, I don't think you can go too wrong. But I wanted to address some of the component comparisons.

    A true comparison depends greatly on the true age/vintage of the bike and components.

    Older X9 stuff (like from 2 years back) isn't any nicer than the new X7 stuff, and if its worn-out it definitely isn't better.

    Spacing for 2x10 is different so just switching up the shifters and FD won't do it; you'd need cranks too, and if you are buying cranks I'd recommend the new lower gearing like is spec'd on the Goblin's X7 cranks. They make climbing much more enjoyable and allow you to stay in the big ring longer on rolling terrain.

    New Elixir 7's are much nicer than 3's in terms of lever feel and adjustment.

    The Tower Pro shock is a wash when compared to the Reba RL for most folks. More experienced riders may notice that the Tower Pro is a little more plush. My personal nod goes to the Reba for longevity and warranty/customer service (SRAM is very good IMHO).

    The Tapered HT does make a big difference in regards to steering and feel, especially on a 29er. It's something that's hard to quantify unless you have ridden both back to back on similar bikes, but you can feel it.

    The wheelset on the Niner is definitely nicer and lighter, so that's a nice upgrade to have provided the wheels are in good shape.

    Like I said, the Niner is going to be a nice bike and I don't think you can go wrong with it. Good luck either way!

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

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    Thanks Jeremy, I appreciate your input. Its good to know the X9s are similar to the X7s. I wondered about that. You have a good point about wear as well and I have thought about that too.

    Thanks for the heads up on the crank. I wondered if I would need to by a new crank as well. The one on there looked like a 2 speed with the big ring replaced by an untoothed plate. I didn't know if that is what was done or if they make a special crank for 1x10. Sounds like it might be different.

    I figured the Elixer 7s had better feel and adjustability. I saw this as a minor issue. Although the 7s would be nice.

    I have no real experience but I prefer the Reba as well. But from my research I also called it a wash.

    I had real questions on the tapered head tube. I had read that it was a big improvement, but as you said, its hard to imagine not driving the two.

    The wheelset - ahhh the wheelset. I think this is the biggest selling point for me. I like that it has a good quality wheelset. I've toyed with buying the Niner just for the wheelset. I figure if I don't like the way it handles or if the riding position is too low down I can buy that Goblin and swap wheelsets. But I don't know if this bike has a pass through axle or not. So that plan may not work either.

    When it comes down to it, I think my decision hinges on price and frame. The used Niner is cheaper, but I give up the 2x10 drivetrain and better brakes. On the other hand I gain a lighter wheelset that might offset the drivetrain during climbs and acceleration. So then it comes down to frame choices. The Goblin has external bearings on the BB, tapered head, more relaxed angle, and longer headtube. Which I like since I like a more upright seating position. Although stems and bars should be able to compensate for that. On the other hand the Niner has a shorter wheelbase and is renowned for being a lightweight frame with good geometry. My concern is if it will be too aggressive for my riding style.

    I missed out on a great deal on a Trek X-Calibre, so I hate wait too long now on anything. But I guess I still need to be sure the bike I get is the right one. So I guess I have some things to think about.

    Jeremy, you should be proud of your Goblin that I compare it to such well respected bikes. If it had a little better wheelset and possibly shorter chainstays I don't think it would be a question for me. But still, its my benchmark that I am comparing things to. I've even been talking to a couple of buddies about it and they are interested too. So your time spent with me is not wasted. How many guys do I need to get together for a group discount.

  7. #7
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    X9 hubs and Flows are pretty solid, they're not the lightest though

    What's your weight?

    Could you provide pics of the Niner offered?
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevocastro View Post
    X9 hubs and Flows are pretty solid, they're not the lightest though

    What's your weight?

    Could you provide pics of the Niner offered?
    Good to know. I was expecting them to be signifcantly lighter than the Goblins.

    I am about 5' 9 1/2" and weight around 155-160lbs

    Here is a link to a picture of it on the shops facebook page. I don't have a way to upload the 2 pictures he sent me. The pedals have been changed out since this picture. Everything else looks the same. I love the color.

  9. #9
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    I can spot a thompson seatpost and a WTB saddle... nice

    Handlebar looks like Easton, loving the way it looks

    Frame might be a Medium so it will fit right into you

    Damn that's a tough choice, now I'm leaning toward the EMD... I'm about to update my EMD build thread just to spread the Niner's love
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  10. #10
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    This arrived just yesterday

    A warranty replacement Schwalbe 2.4 Racing Ralph I NO longer need, would like a 2.1 or 2.25 instead.

    Renegade S works for the rear and Titanium Rails WTB saddle

    Also replaced the stem and flipped it down, I am gonna try it and see how it works for me



    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  11. #11
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    It might be under 25 lbs now because of the carbon goodies and the replacement of the saddle
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  12. #12
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    Nice bike.

    The Handlebars clearly say Kona on a different picture he sent me. I believe the seatpost says the same, but its not clear. I believe he did say it was a medium. I was actually wanting a small, but through several discussions with Jeremey, I'm starting to trend towards a medium frame.

    Can you tell anything on the crank. I believe he said it was Raceface but thats all I know. Does it look to you like I could just swap out that chainguard for a 2nd chainring to makeit a 2x10. Or is Jeremy correct that I would need new cranks?

  13. #13
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    Any ideas on how much that Niner might weigh with those ZTR rims and X9 hubs. Will this be a lighter bike than the Goblin? Or will they roll significantly better?

  14. #14
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    Just adding my 2 cents. I'm biased towards the EMD. I love mine geared or SS. Sure components mean a lot, but I'll admit that color and looks can mean a lot (to me) as well. Components can be upgraded over time (assuming funds are there), but frame color/style/geometry, etc. are much more difficult to change. I don't think I'd be completely happy on a bike with a horrid or even "just ok" frame color with all high end parts. As you say you love the color, then that should have a lot of weight in your decision. It does look like a medium to me as well, and at 5' 9" I think your in the perfect range for a medium. My brother in law is 5' 6.5" and rides a medium EMD and feels right to him. I'm 5'6" and comfortable on a small. Lastly, I do think the parts are plenty good enough for a "newbie", and for that price.

    However, I'm not in any way saying the Goblin is a bad bike. I actually would've considered that myself, but I prefer building/tinkering with my own bikes with my own hand chosen parts.

    Oh and one more thing...remember you're posting your question in the Niner forum. Might not necessarily get the most objective replies..hehe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Just adding my 2 cents. I'm biased towards the EMD. I love mine geared or SS. Sure components mean a lot, but I'll admit that color and looks can mean a lot (to me) as well. Components can be upgraded over time (assuming funds are there), but frame color/style/geometry, etc. are much more difficult to change. I don't think I'd be completely happy on a bike with a horrid or even "just ok" frame color with all high end parts. As you say you love the color, then that should have a lot of weight in your decision.
    Its sad but so true how much aesthetics play into our purchasing decisions.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    It does look like a medium to me as well, and at 5' 9" I think your in the perfect range for a medium. My brother in law is 5' 6.5" and rides a medium EMD and feels right to him. I'm 5'6" and comfortable on a small. Lastly, I do think the parts are plenty good enough for a "newbie", and for that price.
    I wasn't as worried about the parts as I was just the geometry. Most of the bikes with that much headtube angle are for racing. So I was wondering if the bike would be too sensitive for a newbie. My biggest concent regarding the components is if I can deal with a 1x10 or if that will be a hidden expense to change to a 2x10.

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    However, I'm not in any way saying the Goblin is a bad bike. I actually would've considered that myself, but I prefer building/tinkering with my own bikes with my own hand chosen parts.

    Oh and one more thing...remember you're posting your question in the Niner forum. Might not necessarily get the most objective replies..hehe.
    I wasn't necessarily looking for a direct comparison to the Goblin but wanted more info on the Niner. I think both bikes have their strong points. The Goblin is new and likeley more stable. The EMD I expect will be more nimble and I assume it is lighter due to the lighter wheelset. I also like the cartridge bearings in the wheels. Its my understanding the Goblin is cup and cone sealed bearings.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Its sad but so true how much aesthetics play into our purchasing decisions.

    I wasn't as worried about the parts as I was just the geometry. Most of the bikes with that much headtube angle are for racing. So I was wondering if the bike would be too sensitive for a newbie. My biggest concent regarding the components is if I can deal with a 1x10 or if that will be a hidden expense to change to a 2x10.

    I wasn't necessarily looking for a direct comparison to the Goblin but wanted more info on the Niner. I think both bikes have their strong points. The Goblin is new and likeley more stable. The EMD I expect will be more nimble and I assume it is lighter due to the lighter wheelset. I also like the cartridge bearings in the wheels. Its my understanding the Goblin is cup and cone sealed bearings.
    Apologize for the haste reply, and missed the core questions. Unfortunately, it's does come down to rider preference/ability/motivation/trails. I personally don't think the EMD is too racey that I regretted the purchase or made it any more "scary" or less fun. I've been on and love the Jabberwocky, known to be very stable, with its much longer TT and wheelbase. Both are fun in their own ways, but neither was too extreme in either direction. As far as drivetrain, I ride SS myself, so I'd be biased towards the 1x10. My EMD was set up as 1x9 for a very short time. However, again, the answer to that question is really based on your ability, motivation and goals, where you ride, etc. I think the safest reply really is to try to demo some bikes with similar geometry and drivetrains on the trails you typically ride....yeah i know not the best reply, but definitely the safest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Nice bike.

    The Handlebars clearly say Kona on a different picture he sent me. I believe the seatpost says the same, but its not clear. I believe he did say it was a medium. I was actually wanting a small, but through several discussions with Jeremey, I'm starting to trend towards a medium frame.

    Can you tell anything on the crank. I believe he said it was Raceface but thats all I know. Does it look to you like I could just swap out that chainguard for a 2nd chainring to makeit a 2x10. Or is Jeremy correct that I would need new cranks?
    Do you know the model of the Raceface cranks? I would think the LBS would be able to tell you if it was just a 2x or 3x crankset with the rings removed? Very hard to tell from the picture.

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    I don't know the model. He did make a comment about just adding a derailer to be 2x ready. But I got the feeling that was sales pitch and he didn't really examine the crank. I guess if its a real concern I need to call him and get that info. Thanks.

    Goldenaustin - I suppose you are right that I really wouldn't know until I drive both on the trails. In the end, I will likely be happy with either. Being a newbie, I probably couldn't even tell the difference between them.

  19. #19
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    It might be beneficial to ask the shop to email you a list of all the components on the bike....just to be sure you know what you are getting. That might also help in answering some questions on this thread.

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    I have sent them an email to ask them to confirm the specs. I haven't heard back yet.

    Right now my biggest concern is the 1x10 drivetrain. It seems that would have been setup for something specific. I don't want to mess around with changing setups I just want to ride.

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    I think the biggest issue is what Jeremy pointed outóworn out components. Unfortunately, you wonít be able to tell how bad (or good) the situation is unless you ride the bike. The fork could dive every time you brake or have almost no travel what so ever. Perhaps bleeding the brakes is necessary or issues with the rear derailleur and cable. As a newbie, it would likely be unpleasant to fix these types of issues upon arrival.

    Either buy a new bike or a used bike that you can try out first to make sure that it is not a complete mess. If you go used or Airborne, you will quickly need to learn about bike maintenance, but I donít think itís a big deal because if something breaks 10 miles into a 20 mile ride you have to fix it yourself anyways.

    I should say that I am a huge Niner fan having recently purchased a Jet 9 RDO.

    Best of luck on your decision!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I've been looking at the Airborne Goblins but I recently came across a used Niner EMD9 for under $1000. The bike is in a different state though so I can't drive it. I would have my inlaws pick it up and bring it to me at THanksgiving. So I would be purchasing it sight unseen. According to the shop owner, the bike is set up as a 1x10 with SRAM X9 rear derailer and a Mantou tower pro. Is this a common setup? Why the 1x10 and not just put on a 2x. Doesn't seem like that much cost savings.

    Anyway, from the cell phone photos it looks nice and the shop owner said it was only a couple years old. So at this point I'm not as worried about the condition of the bike as I am the bike itself.

    Reading the specs on Niners, it looks like they have very aggressive head tube angles. So I am concerned that this bike will be too quick and twitchy and I might get myself into trouble on high speed descents. Particularily since I tend to get caught up in speed and don't like to slow down. This will be my first 29er. I am 40 years old but just recently got into mountain biking a few years ago with a 26". Now I want a new bike with good components. The Airborne looks great for the price but I have heard good things about Niners. But since I can't ride it, I need some info on them. Are they scary quick? Do I need to ride it? Are they an acquired taste? Or are they newbie friendly enough that I will find it to be a good bike.
    Hi, I have owned 3 different models of Niner, SIR9, Air9, Jet9, all XC bikes and all with about the same steep head angle. However one of my favourite trail bikes at the moment is my Banshee Paradox with a 1x9 gears and a 120mm Manitou Tower fork.

    The Niner head angle is not too steep and it doesn't affect stability at speed. I recently rode some mates bikes a Giant Anthem and a Pivot 429, both felt too slow and ponderous in the steering. You get used to the Niner's responsiveness real quick. Also don't compare head angles between 26" and 29" as the trail measurement is different with the longer fork.

    The fork on the EMD is fine, I have had three Manitou forks and no reliability or performance issues.

    1x9 or 1x10 is simple and if you aren't doing long steep climbs is sufficient gear range for many riders. If the crankset was 2x10 then it is fairly simple to add another ring, FD and shifter. But try 1x you might like it.

    The hot tamale is an awesome colour, my SIR9 SS commuter is in that colour. The EMD looks like a good bike at that price if the running gear is in good condition.

    Good luck with your choice, I am sure you will like either bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wjabboud View Post
    I think the biggest issue is what Jeremy pointed outóworn out components. Unfortunately, you wonít be able to tell how bad (or good) the situation is unless you ride the bike. The fork could dive every time you brake or have almost no travel what so ever. Perhaps bleeding the brakes is necessary or issues with the rear derailleur and cable. As a newbie, it would likely be unpleasant to fix these types of issues upon arrival.

    Either buy a new bike or a used bike that you can try out first to make sure that it is not a complete mess. If you go used or Airborne, you will quickly need to learn about bike maintenance, but I donít think itís a big deal because if something breaks 10 miles into a 20 mile ride you have to fix it yourself anyways.

    I should say that I am a huge Niner fan having recently purchased a Jet 9 RDO.

    Best of luck on your decision!
    Yeah, I probably trust the bike store too much. I've been pretty willing to take him at his word that its very clean and only a year old. You point out some very important things. Any one of those items would be frustrating in itself. Let a lone a couple of them. And you are correct that it would suck to have to fix them all right off the start. I'm not apposed to assembling a bike though. I am mechanically inclined and have not fears about figuring it out. My biggest concern is getting the derailers adjusted just perfect. Which I'm sure I'll have to so as the cables stretch. But with a little help from you all and a little trail and error I'll get it all figured out. I also drive a Jeep Wranlger offroad, so I know the advantages of knowing how the mechanics of things work if you break down out in the middle of nowhere.

    I have a good friend that just ordered a Goblin today at my recommendation. He needed a small and we knew a good used bike would never show up in his size. So I'm looking forward to riding his bike. Once I know for sure what size I need I'll likely order a Goblin. Unless of course another deal comes up in the meantime. Or if winter gets here and I have no more interest after the snow hits this weekend. I was really hoping for a Goblin sale on Halloween but no such luck.

    Your post has just really confirmed some of my concerns. So I am loosing interest in the EMD quickly. Although it is a beautiful bike.

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    I've just came back (yes, at night) from a singletrack today, spent a couple of miles messing a round with some other guys on full suspension 26 a 29er bikes (Epic S Works), I now is not about the bike but loved the way my EMD handled in twisty and technical singletrack, gotta pull the trigger on the Niner until is too late...
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    I considered a new Goblin right after I bought a new 2011 EMD frame to build up when I realised the costs, but I'm glad I stuck with the EMD. I smile like a stupid kid when on the trails, and can easily keep up and overtake my more experienced friends on their 26ers.

    Pull the trigger man...you won't regret owning and riding a Niner!
    Current Stable: 2011 Niner EMD, 2011 Vassago Jabba

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner_Boy View Post
    ...you won't regret owning and riding a Niner!
    I've heard that more than once...which is why there is a new EMD 9 frame in my basement waiting to be built!!!

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    Here's a pic of my new build, to encourage you to get started, Curtisp


    Weighs in at just over 26lbs. Still goes like a rocket!
    Current Stable: 2011 Niner EMD, 2011 Vassago Jabba

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    Man about the time I decided its not worth the risk buying a used bike site unseen you guys start bragging up the Niner and showing me these beautiful bikes. Now it seems worth the chance again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Man about the time I decided its not worth the risk buying a used bike site unseen you guys start bragging up the Niner and showing me these beautiful bikes. Now it seems worth the chance again.
    Haha, hence my warning about posting your questions in a Niner forum. I'll agree with everyone in that you'll be happy with the EMD, but only if you're ok with potential upgrades in the future. There's a "risk" with the current state of that EMD that you'll need to dig into much deeper. If the thought of possible upgrades and spending scares you, then you probably would be better off with a brand new complete bike like the Airborne. It's really nothing new...there are some folks that get bit hard by the upgrade bug and love to tinker, and there are those that just like to ride with what they have for as long as they can until their parts go bad, and/or prefer the LBS to fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    Haha, hence my warning about posting your questions in a Niner forum. I'll agree with everyone in that you'll be happy with the EMD, but only if you're ok with potential upgrades in the future. There's a "risk" with the current state of that EMD that you'll need to dig into much deeper. If the thought of possible upgrades and spending scares you, then you probably would be better off with a brand new complete bike like the Airborne. It's really nothing new...there are some folks that get bit hard by the upgrade bug and love to tinker, and there are those that just like to ride with what they have for as long as they can until their parts go bad, and/or prefer the LBS to fix it.
    Its amazing how similar mountain biking is to Jeeping. There are those folks that love to build their Jeeps and upgrade and try different things all the time too. In both cases I prefer to ride/drive more than to work on the rig. Not that I'm against it or don't know how. I prefer to do the work myself as opposed to taking it to a shop. But I'd rather get it set up correctly the first time and then just enjoy it.

    Back to the Niner. How critical are component choices when building the Niner? For example, if you got a fork with the incorrect trailing edge (I hope thats the right terminology) could you end up with a bad handling EMD? Basically what I am wondering with this EMD is if the guy didn't choose the right components, or didn't get them setup properly, could that be another issue on top of the components being used and worn? Or could it cause premature wear if for example chainrings weren't setup properly? I'd love to get into this Niner, but without riding it and inspecting it, it just seems like too many unknowns.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Its amazing how similar mountain biking is to Jeeping. There are those folks that love to build their Jeeps and upgrade and try different things all the time too. In both cases I prefer to ride/drive more than to work on the rig. Not that I'm against it or don't know how. I prefer to do the work myself as opposed to taking it to a shop. But I'd rather get it set up correctly the first time and then just enjoy it.

    Back to the Niner. How critical are component choices when building the Niner? For example, if you got a fork with the incorrect trailing edge (I hope thats the right terminology) could you end up with a bad handling EMD? Basically what I am wondering with this EMD is if the guy didn't choose the right components, or didn't get them setup properly, could that be another issue on top of the components being used and worn? Or could it cause premature wear if for example chainrings weren't setup properly? I'd love to get into this Niner, but without riding it and inspecting it, it just seems like too many unknowns.

    Well that Manitou fork works flawless on the EMD frame so that's not gonna be an issue.

    Your best bet is asking for more detailed pics, we could help you out if you provide em
    Niner Jet 9
    Santa Cruz Highball Carbon

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner_Boy View Post
    Here's a pic of my new build, to encourage you to get started, Curtisp

    Weighs in at just over 26lbs. Still goes like a rocket!
    Nice bike!!

    My EMD is a Winter project...need mo' money for the rest of the parts...currently just have the frame (black)...the Niner carbon fork is next on my list!

  33. #33
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    If its in good shape, I say go ahead and buy it. Worst case scenario is you don't like it and turn around and sell if for most if not all of what you spent.
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  34. #34
    Sim
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    I have 2 Niners. Came from a Cannondale 29er 1 prior to that. The Cannondale was a 2009 model and I know they have changed their geometry. That said the Niners handle way better, thats why I have 2.

    I tend to believe the shop owner on how old the bike is. The Tower Pro has only been available for a couple of years, prior to that it was called a Minute. Check when the color became available on the EMD, I think it has been in the last couple of years.

    My opinion is buy the EMD, you will love it. If you are like most people on this site you are going to upgrade your bike as you go. I would rather have a frame that handles great to upgrade. Just my opinion!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyFlyer View Post
    If its in good shape, I say go ahead and buy it. Worst case scenario is you don't like it and turn around and sell if for most if not all of what you spent.
    I've thought about that too. But aren't you supposed to be selling me on the Airborne Your 1st class Jeremy. Thats why I had no problems recommending your Goblin to a friend. I'm anxious for him to get his.

    The Niner is nice, but the Goblin still has some advantages like a tapered head tube, better brakes, and an little more laid back geometry that I like. Not to mentioned being brand new. So I really see benefits to both bikes. I might call the bike shop today to see if he will verify some specs for me.

  36. #36
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    I didn't get to talk with the guy I was dealing with before but I spoke with another guy. The Crank on the EMD is a Raceface Ride. Is that a decent crank for a 2x10 setup if I don't like the 1x10?

    Otherwise he confirmed the bike was as I stated before;

    Manitou Tower PRO
    Stans ZTR Flow rims
    X9 hubs front and rear
    X9 derailer
    X9 shifter
    Raceface Ride crank
    Avid Elixer3 brakes

    Anything else I should as about. The bike sounds very clean from what they say.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I didn't get to talk with the guy I was dealing with before but I spoke with another guy. The Crank on the EMD is a Raceface Ride. Is that a decent crank for a 2x10 setup if I don't like the 1x10?

    Otherwise he confirmed the bike was as I stated before;

    Manitou Tower PRO
    Stans ZTR Flow rims
    X9 hubs front and rear
    X9 derailer
    X9 shifter
    Raceface Ride crank
    Avid Elixer3 brakes

    Anything else I should as about. The bike sounds very clean from what they say.
    So, if this was me, I'd start by googling "Raceface Ride crankset". You'll immediately see reviews online, as well as specs, etc. You're going to get a lot more detailed information by researching on your own, rather than asking in this single thread. I'm going to guess that most of us here that has replied, hasn't tried a Raceface Ride to give you any better information than you can find on your own.

    With that said, I did the google search and found its $50 with BB on Blueskycycling for a 3x setup. Since its that cheap, makes me wonder why, as my last crankset purchase (XT) was $175. Not the lightest out there but I suppose it'll get the job done. At least you know you can go 2x or 3x by with the one that comes with the bike. So, you can either look for a couple rings yourself, or replace it altogether with something more proven. You'll also need a front shifter and derailleur and cable, which is maybe around $75 or so, or maybe less used.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenaustin View Post
    So, if this was me, I'd start by googling "Raceface Ride crankset". You'll immediately see reviews online, as well as specs, etc. You're going to get a lot more detailed information by researching on your own, rather than asking in this single thread. I'm going to guess that most of us here that has replied, hasn't tried a Raceface Ride to give you any better information than you can find on your own.

    With that said, I did the google search and found its $50 with BB on Blueskycycling for a 3x setup. Since its that cheap, makes me wonder why, as my last crankset purchase (XT) was $175. Not the lightest out there but I suppose it'll get the job done. At least you know you can go 2x or 3x by with the one that comes with the bike. So, you can either look for a couple rings yourself, or replace it altogether with something more proven. You'll also need a front shifter and derailleur and cable, which is maybe around $75 or so, or maybe less used.
    Thanks, I did a little research as well and found it didn't get great reviews. So if I did go 2x I'd probably change this out. I wonder why it has such a cheap crank on it when everything else seems to be pretty decent components?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Thanks, I did a little research as well and found it didn't get great reviews. So if I did go 2x I'd probably change this out. I wonder why it has such a cheap crank on it when everything else seems to be pretty decent components?
    Maybe because if you are going 1x the crankset is not that important as there is no shifting between chainrings involved. There is not much point paying alot for a triple crankset if you only want to run a single ring. On my Paradox I used and SLX double with the granny ring removed to run 1x9.

    Photos here

    Parodox build tips please - Page 2 - Mtbr Forums

    Its a similar setup to the EMD you are looking at with Tower Pro fork, Flow rims, 1x cranks and Elixir brakes.

  40. #40
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    Having owned an air9 & one9 previously, I just picked up a new in box emd9 to build. Having had seven different 29er bikes over the past six years my personal experience is that the niners have the 29er handling nailed and my advice would be go with the niner.

    As far as older components go? Unless someone had just sacked the bike out, used components are not going to be a major factor. The frame I purchased is new in box with factory packing, but I can guarantee you that very few new parts will be going on the frame. I have been building bikes up for a long time and just because your bike doesn't come equipped with the latest fad of components doesn't mean it will perform noticeably worse. My opinion is that the soul of the bike is the frame so dont base your purchase solely on the vintage of components.

    Just my .02. Good luck with your choice.

  41. #41
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    Thanks guys. Oszyngma - good point on a 1x10 not necessarily needing a great crank.

    N10s - thanks for the thoughts on older equipment and the quality of Niner frame geometry. The boss was out yesterday so I couldn't deal on the bike at all. I did send him an offer via email that I hope he takes. But he has been poor at returning emails so I will likely give them a call on Monday morning. The more I think about it, the more I want this bike. I've been getting anxious over the weekend now that that bike may have sold while I was trying to make up my mind. I have a habit of doing that. I always tend to over analyze things. But provided the bike is still available on Monday and the shop takes my offer I will get it. Thanks guys.

  42. #42
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    Glad you finally made a decision, and hopefully it'll be there for you tomorrow. You're going to love it. Don't forget the obligatory pictures!

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    I called the shop today and made a deal on the EMD9. Now I just need to get a check in the mail and have my father-in-law pick it up for me. I never got any detailed pictures of it, but I talked to a couple different salesman over the phone and they all said it was super clean. So if this bike is as clean as it sounds I should be very happy with it. Now I can't wait to see my inlaws for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited.

    I want to extend my thanks to Jeremy at Airborne for all the help and advice he has given me, not just on the Airborne Goblin, but even with this Niner. Jeremy and Airborne have been first class in all of my dealings with them and I have the utmost respect for them. If I hadn't come across this Niner I was going to buy the Goblin. I did talk a friend into one though, so Jeremeys efforts weren't completely wasted. I am as excited to see my friends Goblin as I am to see my Niner. It will be fun to compare the two as they are the first 29ers for each of us.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I called the shop today and made a deal on the EMD9. Now I just need to get a check in the mail and have my father-in-law pick it up for me. I never got any detailed pictures of it, but I talked to a couple different salesman over the phone and they all said it was super clean. So if this bike is as clean as it sounds I should be very happy with it. Now I can't wait to see my inlaws for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited.

    I want to extend my thanks to Jeremy at Airborne for all the help and advice he has given me, not just on the Airborne Goblin, but even with this Niner. Jeremy and Airborne have been first class in all of my dealings with them and I have the utmost respect for them. If I hadn't come across this Niner I was going to buy the Goblin. I did talk a friend into one though, so Jeremeys efforts weren't completely wasted. I am as excited to see my friends Goblin as I am to see my Niner. It will be fun to compare the two as they are the first 29ers for each of us.
    Welcome to the club, Fargo! You're gonna shred those trails with new-found vigor that only a Niner can bring to the table!

    I was out on the trails myself yesterday and after messing with the Reba Dual Air fork pressures, I was able to dial in the correct set up. All afternoon I had that stupid village-idiot grin on my face. You're gonna have a blast!!!
    Current Stable: 2011 Niner EMD, 2011 Vassago Jabba

  45. #45
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    It'll be interesting to see how that Manitou fork on my Niner compares to the Reba dual air on my friends Goblin. The Reba fork was one of the BIG reasons I wanted the Goblin. Between the Reba fork and using all SRAM X7 components the Goblin was pretty much built exactly the way I would have speced my own bike. I hope they never change their specs, as I would still like to get my wife a Goblin if I can ever convince her she deserves a new bike. That and if for some reason I find my friends Goblin handles more to my liking than the Niner I would sell the Niner for one. But at this point I am anxious to see how the Niner handles. Really the only downside of the Niner is it doesn't have the new tapered headtube. But I am excited non the less.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I called the shop today and made a deal on the EMD9. Now I just need to get a check in the mail and have my father-in-law pick it up for me. I never got any detailed pictures of it, but I talked to a couple different salesman over the phone and they all said it was super clean. So if this bike is as clean as it sounds I should be very happy with it. Now I can't wait to see my inlaws for Thanksgiving. I'm so excited.

    I want to extend my thanks to Jeremy at Airborne for all the help and advice he has given me, not just on the Airborne Goblin, but even with this Niner. Jeremy and Airborne have been first class in all of my dealings with them and I have the utmost respect for them. If I hadn't come across this Niner I was going to buy the Goblin. I did talk a friend into one though, so Jeremeys efforts weren't completely wasted. I am as excited to see my friends Goblin as I am to see my Niner. It will be fun to compare the two as they are the first 29ers for each of us.
    Glad you made a decision! Thanks for the compliment. Can't wait to hear what you think about your bike and what your friend thinks about his Goblin!

    Have fun out there,

    Jeremy
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  47. #47
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    I just wanted to post back. I saw my friends Goblin last weekend and was very impressed. I loved the low bar on the 16" Goblin. It felt very out of the way. It really gave the bike a quick and nimble feel to it. All the components were also very top notch. There was a small part of me that was scared I would not like my Niner as much as I liked his Goblin.

    Yesterday, my in-laws delievered my EMD to me. I was very happy to see that it was every bit as clean as the bike shop said it was. Just a couple scratches back by the chain stay was all I saw. And I kind of think I put them there when I layed the bike over to put on some pedals. All the components were exactly as stated and appear to be in good shape. In fact, when I really started looking at the components and the graphics on them, I think the Manitou Tower Pro and the SRAM X-9 derailer are 2012 models. Also I believe the bike shop said the Avid 3 brakes were put on new at the store due to issues the owner was having with the avid1. So I think I have all 2012 components. So I am really happy about this deal. A short drive with the 1x10 drive train was kind of interesting. I can see where I might miss the ultra low granny gear, but I also think that with more riding my legs will develop and I will be able to over come not having that low gear. Without having another 29er to compare it too. I'd guess that my low gear is similar to 2nd or 3rd on a 2x10 setup. Which is about what I had expected. I'm actaully excited about the 1x10 setup though. I think if I can get over not having a low low gear, I will really like it. I like the simplicity of it. Less to go wrong and should be easier to keep the derailers tuned up by not having to deal with crossover between the two sprokets. So I hopefully optomistic about the 1x10 setup. All in all I'm pretty happy with the bike. Now its going to be hard to wait until spring. Pretty soon the snow will be too deep to ride and the temps too cold. Just how cold of temps can one ride in? I have concerns that temps in the 30s or colder would be too hard on components. I don't think anything plastic would stand up to the cold weather and I worry about lubrication in the shocks and anything else.

  48. #48
    PHS
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    Congrats! You will probably love the EMD. I wouldn't sweat the 1x 10 setup. Just ride the heck out of it and you will figure out what works for you. Like you said, it will make you stronger if you have to power up out of the saddle on climbs and you'll feel a sense of gratification when you get to the top.
    I ride in temps in the low 30's with the proper riding clothing on. Everyone is different so you will have to experiment with layering etc and what keeps you at the right temp while riding in the cold.
    I would not worry about damaging the bike in colder temps. I'm not aware of any issues with drivetrains etc from cold weather. I always make sure my drivetrain is cleaned immediately after each ride and lubed at that time. Have fun!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHS View Post
    I would not worry about damaging the bike in colder temps. I'm not aware of any issues with drivetrains etc from cold weather. I always make sure my drivetrain is cleaned immediately after each ride and lubed at that time. Have fun!
    Thanks. I can bundle myself up. Living in ND you figure that stuff out pretty quickly, I was more worried about components holding up in cold temps.

  50. #50
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    How was your EMD9? Do you still have it? Did you change any components?

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