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  1. #1
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    Niner on the Road?!?!

    I've been thinking lately about how much I really ride my Road Bike.. which is very little at this point. I also collect old 80's BMX/Freestyle bikes, and enjoy the simplicity of single speed.

    I've been looking through all the threads here, and wondering if anyone has set up their Niner for the road. Either commuting, or simply for fitness?

    I'm sort of envisioning a rigid carbon 1x, or SS, with slick tires.

    In MN, especially last year, we had a decent amount of rain. The roads dry up fast, but the trails are closed, and they don't allow riding until things dry up.. so I bought a road bike, but just didn't enjoy, or use it.

    So.. I'm thinking of a fun little, slow build project of a Niner Road set-up.

    Anyone done it? Anyone done something similar?

    Thanks for any feedback!

  2. #2
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    Kind of

    I have set up my Air 9 with Niner carbon fork and Stan No Tube Raven tires and use it to commute to work periodically. It's a pretty long haul (36 miles) with a combination of crushed gravel rails to trails and pavement. I would say this set up is about perfect for that given the gravel part. I do find that the tires wear pretty quickly on the pavement.

  3. #3
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    That's why I'm building up my wife a Air9 RDO, Over kill I know but if I leave here Jet9 RDO set up for the Trail & Air9 for urban trips she can just grab the bike she wants.

    She does own a good carbon road bike but it would be a year since se rode it.
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  4. #4
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    If you didn't like riding on the road using a road bike, what makes you think that you'll like it on a mountain bike that will roll slower and have less optimal gearing for road speeds?

    If it was just a comfort issue, then find someone who can help you with bike fit. It could be as simple as matching your road bike to the exact fit of something that you're already comfortable riding.
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  5. #5
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    It's not about speed, not about comfort. I've been biking forever. I road raced for years. My bike is set up properly. I just don't like riding a road bike. I have kids to tow sometimes. I enjoy riding my MTB's around town.

    It's not about performance, I think it would be fun to do, if I don't like it, I slap some RaRa's on, and take it to the trail.

    Like I said, I've got BMX bikes from the 80's I still ride around.. It's clearly not about efficiency. I just enjoy riding bikes.

    I'm just seeing if anyone has done it, or tried it.

  6. #6
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    My wife stole my one9 (not a single speed, I have an Alfine 8 speed hub on it) she uses it for exercise on the road and asphalt trails around town. I stole the rockshox off it and gave her a niner carbon fork and it works great!

  7. #7
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    I have to agree with Andrea here. I had the same issue with my road bike until I got properly fitted.

    Stem was too long, a 10mm smaller stem did the trick..

    Also, I hated the narrow Q factor compared to my mtbs. So i have gotten used to it but have some specialized bg pedal extenders which will make my Q a bit wider for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    If you didn't like riding on the road using a road bike, what makes you think that you'll like it on a mountain bike that will roll slower and have less optimal gearing for road speeds?

    If it was just a comfort issue, then find someone who can help you with bike fit. It could be as simple as matching your road bike to the exact fit of something that you're already comfortable riding.

  8. #8
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    Again, that isn't the issue.

    I'm very comfortable on a road bike, everything is set up correctly.

  9. #9
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by five5 View Post
    Again, that isn't the issue.

    I'm very comfortable on a road bike, everything is set up correctly.
    Well I get it.

    It's about being able to buzz up kerbs & driveways, Having a play on some drops or just stuff if its there While doing your ride.
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  10. #10
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    I think the Op wants to just ride on the gravel, concrete, asphalt or whatever. Take the Niner up stairs, down curbs and just ride her on the streets and around town.
    I get it! Do it and smile all the time.
    Ride On.
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  11. #11
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    Yeah, sort of urban riding.. Get a workout up some hills.. Pull the kids.. Just something to have some fun when I can't hit the full blown trail. Also, so I don't have to put spandex on.. Haha!


  12. #12
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    so was the set-up done? curious to see a Niner built for the road. thinking of doing one too just for fun.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by five5 View Post
    Again, that isn't the issue.

    I'm very comfortable on a road bike, everything is set up correctly.
    I've been testing two pairs of tires that are BMX inspired for the 29"er. Currently have one pair on my wife's Air 9 that have been fun to experiment with out on the pavement and at the park.

    My wife used her Air 9 on pavement the past few years with "slick" tires. She got a road bike this year and is 1000% happier.

    I've ridden mountain bikes on the road for years with various tires. Fine for training, enjoying the ride, etc... . No complaints from me. Got a "comfort" road bike this year (Roubaix) and always look forward to riding it now when hitting pavement. It is much more fun on the pavement for me.

    Commuting and fitness you'll be fine. It's a bike and you're not racing - so have at it and enjoy. If you want to go faster more efficiently, you're all set with your road bike.

  14. #14
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    I don't want to see a Niner get hit by a car, that's what road bikes are for...lol...

    I pretty much dislike riding my Roubaix but consider it a necessary evil as the more I ride it, the more fun I have on my MTB since my fitness is so much better. My wife also likes riding Road more than MTB so it gives is more opportunity to ride together.

  15. #15
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    Niner on the Road?!?!

    No real update here.. I haven't started on this. Honestly, it's really not going to be anything but a rigid hardtail at this point. I'm just moving into a new house that has miles of X country ski trails behind it.. So I'll probably build something this winter that I can pull the kids, ride the trails, etc. I'm also looking into making it a single speed.

    Again this year, the trails have been closed constantly for rain.. Really wish I had something currently to ride besides my road bike.

    Ah, well.. I'll build something soon.

  16. #16
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    I haven't been able to hit the trails recently due to rain either so my Niner is slowly turning into a town exploration bike. I love riding my road bike, but only when it takes me away from the city and traffic. I feel a lot more comfortable exploring and checking out the parks and ravines in the city on the Niner than on the road bike (partially because I'm still riding with flat pedals on the Niner). I also find that when I'm on the road bike it's more about training and how far I go, while with the Niner it's more about what I see during the ride. Anyway, I think I can understand the urge for a commuter Niner.

    My main issue with my Niner right now is that since it's an SS I'm always wondering about having the right gear ratio. :P My next step is going to be to put on more pavement friendly tires, possibly get a smaller rear cog and see how it goes.

  17. #17
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    I agree with OP.
    I have a Salsa El Mariachi 29er set up for road/path/trail commuting.
    I also have a dedicated road bike which I enjoy riding but I don't enjoy commuting on it.
    The mtb is much more comfortable, and the upright posture is more conducive to reading traffic/pedestrians/dogs etc.
    I use Schwalbe Big Apple slicks and a top tube pouch for my phone.
    Carrying stuff on your back with a road bike sucks. I have a basket on my commuter. Not fashionable but very practical!

    Niner on the Road?!?!-photo.jpg

  18. #18
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    Whoops, I missed this thread first time around. I have a pair of Niner's set up for the paved road/gravel road (and another pair dedicated to the bush).

    First Niner Air 9 set up for the road.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Or with the 2.1" semi slicks for beach and fire road etc.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    And then the SIR9 singlespeed commuter.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Both bikes run Niner rigid carbon forks and 35mm tyres which I find to be a good compromise between speed and comfort. The SIR9 is running a 48 tooth downhill chainring on the front, 180mm crank arms and an 18 tooth CK rear sprocket.

    For comparison my bush SIR9 is running 32/20 with the same cranks.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Both the SIR9 and Air9 work well as flat bar hybrids running mtb running gear. They have the fast steering of a Niner and this is faster with the slick tyres.

  19. #19
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    This is what I have been looking for.. An Alloy Air 9, Rigid fork for the Road. Very very nice.. Now I can picture out what my dream will look like. Is that a Large frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozynigma View Post
    Whoops, I missed this thread first time around. I have a pair of Niner's set up for the paved road/gravel road (and another pair dedicated to the bush).

    First Niner Air 9 set up for the road.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Or with the 2.1" semi slicks for beach and fire road etc.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    And then the SIR9 singlespeed commuter.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Both bikes run Niner rigid carbon forks and 35mm tyres which I find to be a good compromise between speed and comfort. The SIR9 is running a 48 tooth downhill chainring on the front, 180mm crank arms and an 18 tooth CK rear sprocket.

    For comparison my bush SIR9 is running 32/20 with the same cranks.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Both the SIR9 and Air9 work well as flat bar hybrids running mtb running gear. They have the fast steering of a Niner and this is faster with the slick tyres.

  20. #20
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    Niner on the Road?!?!

    I built up a rigid steel SIR 9 single speed last year with (tubeless) Racing Ralph 2.4's. I ride it everywhere- commutes, dirt, urban assaults, races, etc. A couple of my riding cronies run on geared Niner's on pavement with Super Moto's and I haven't observed any huge advantage. Excessive tire wear hasn't been an issue for me- I've got over 1,000 miles on my tires and they still look new.
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  21. #21
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    I think all it's needed for a basic MTB to urban/road conversion is a pair of Schwalbe Supermotos or some fast shaven XC tyres and some bar ends mounted like in the picture. Drop bars would be even better, though.

    You really don't need a "proper" road bike to go fast on the road
    Niner on the Road?!?!-img_3710.jpg
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    fast 26" road bike, shaven Racing Ralphs as road tyres, homemade "Paul thumbies"...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostDog99 View Post
    This is what I have been looking for.. An Alloy Air 9, Rigid fork for the Road. Very very nice.. Now I can picture out what my dream will look like. Is that a Large frame?
    Yep all large frames.

  23. #23
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    Thats cool.. I used to have a road bike and a hardtail MTB. decided to go RIP9 and is still contemplating to have another hardtail MTB for the road and maybe less technical leisure rides.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LostDog99 View Post
    Thats cool.. I used to have a road bike and a hardtail MTB. decided to go RIP9 and is still contemplating to have another hardtail MTB for the road and maybe less technical leisure rides.
    Yeah mine only goes on easy rides. Here is the other half of the beach ride. There must of been 50 of these "puddles". I am taking the photo and the first rider is on another rigid 29'er.


    Untitled by ozynigma, on Flickr

    And here is a little cruise through the Australian bush.


    8042428174_4eda83fac1_b by ozynigma, on Flickr

    Running the Vulpine 2.1 semi slicks on both rides.

  25. #25
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    Just saw this thread....

    I built an Air9 for the road recently and I love it. It was meant for fun but I have been using it for fitness more and more. I also have a road bike and several mountain bikes. I prefer it over the road bike because it's just plain more fun to ride around town but I can also put miles on it to train.

    It's set up as a 1x9 with 700x35 cm tires and a carbon rigid fork. I'll post a pic in a few days as I get the time. It doesn't replace my road bike but it's as close to it but far more fun. It reminds me why I started riding again almost 30 years ago- to have fun and to get some serious fitness in.

  26. #26
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    Here she is. The ride is pretty compliant with the carbon bars and forks allowing me to take longer rides. The longest ride I've done on it was 55 miles and it felt great at the end. I'm still fine tuning it but it's pretty close to where I like it.

    Niner on the Road?!?!-niner-air9-bike-020.jpgNiner on the Road?!?!-niner-air9-bike-021.jpgNiner on the Road?!?!-niner-air9-bike-022.jpgNiner on the Road?!?!-niner-air9-bike-023.jpg
    Last edited by JoeHuffy; 09-16-2013 at 01:21 PM.

  27. #27
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    Niner on the Road?!?!

    That is killer! That's definitely going to have to be a project for me.. Might start with an EMD9, w/ Carbon Fork.. Are those standard road tires? What width are your rims? Lastly.. Tubes?

  28. #28
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    Thanks. The tires are Performance Metro Road (non-kevlar) 700 x 35c. I really like these tires. I have run them before in other bikes but in a 26 inch version, tubed, and they have performed well (over 500 miles). Firm, low-resistance and they last long.

    The rims are Stan's Crest, 21 mm internal width, and I am using tubes. I tried to mount them tubeless but only one tire could hold more than 85 psi so I I am running tubes in both to be safe. I never seriously thought that those tires could be run tubeless at that much pressure, I just wanted to see if it was possible. I ran them safely tubeless at 70 psi but I didn't feel confident in the long term.

    Definitely get a carbon fork. I ran a front shock, locked, and it was a little harsh. The carbon bars with ESI super chunky grips also make a difference. The bike is more compliant than my road bike but yet it doesn't fell noodly. It's very comfy.

  29. #29
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    As they usually say, it is the bike that does it all. LOL.. after selling my roadbike, I will have to settle to this for now until I buy myself a hardtail frame. Hopefully an Air9 or EMD perhaps..

    I got an extra wheelset and fitted it with a 700Cx32 slicks.. smooth on the road. I needed this for my weekday exercise.


  30. #30
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    This is very sweet. Just what envisioned, probably with a white fork instead of black.. A very nice bike.. Drooling....

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeHuffy View Post
    Here she is. The ride is pretty compliant with the carbon bars and forks allowing me to take longer rides. The longest ride I've done on it was 55 miles and it felt great at the end. I'm still fine tuning it but it's pretty close to where I like it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  31. #31
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    Nice bike LostDog99! Yeah having a rigid saves a bit of weight. It makes a big difference in speed and in trying to keep up with the roadies.

    I meant to put on a white fork but I got such a killer deal on the carbon-weave fork that I just couldn't pass it up. I may wrap it in white vinyl later if the urge gets too big but the ride has me happy for the moment.

    700 x 32c tires sounds like a good idea. I may have to try that size out later. Good luck with your future build.
    Last edited by JoeHuffy; 08-04-2013 at 09:33 AM.

  32. #32
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    I've done the MTB with slicks thing plenty before. It's not really bad, if all you're doing is just scootin around town. For any distance stuff, I hate it. Maybe a drop bar set up would make it more tolerable.

    Side note: Niner should get into the 700c business. If not road, at least CX? I'd love a CX version of the SIR9 that I could run SS.

  33. #33
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    Side note: Niner should get into the 700c business. If not road, at least CX? I'd love a CX version of the SIR9 that I could run SS.[/QUOTE]

    +1 I would be a buyer for sure.

  34. #34
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    The issue with drop bars on mtb's is that the top tubes are usually too long. CX and drop bar tourers all have shorter top tubes than mtb's to allow for the extra reach on the drop bars. However if Niner were to build a frame suitable for drop bars I am sure it would be awesome.

  35. #35
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    All good stuff.. Looking for an EMD now to put some carbon forks on, and build something up!

    The way I'm looking at this is.. I took my Jet9RDO out for a ride the other night on the road, and paved trails. I averaged about 16mph on it for 10 miles. This was with full on Nobby Nic 2.35 Tires at 18lbs.

    The Jet9RDO is probably about 26lbs, it's built as a trail bike, vs. a racer, though I have carbon wheels on it.

    I'm guessing I can get an EMD around 20lbs, even if I threw some 2.1's on there with light treat, I should be able to bring the MPH up, and go farther. Sounds like a hella fun time to me!

  36. #36
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    Looks interesting. The move makes sense, though I would've loved to have more clearance for larger tires to make the bike a bit more "unique".

    New pressfit BB30 eccentric? I guess you'll be able to run the new Air 9 Carbon (and other bikes in their line up with the standard) as a single speed afterall.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cools View Post
    Looks interesting. The move makes sense, though I would've loved to have more clearance for larger tires to make the bike a bit more "unique".

    New pressfit BB30 eccentric? I guess you'll be able to run the new Air 9 Carbon (and other bikes in their line up with the standard) as a single speed afterall.
    yeah i'd really like to find out about this some more. I've got an Air 9 and it just doesnt feel like a true single speed with the singulator

  39. #39
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    I guess I just found my next bike. Only wish it had a canti-brake option.

  40. #40
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    I just picked up an Air 9 frame w/ carbon fork that I plan to build up for road use. I'll occasionally use it on the trail as well. A couple times a year I have guests that ride, and having an additional mountain bike will be nice. I had been thinking of getting a cross bike, but I think I will ride this more.

  41. #41
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    Here is my Air9, set up for the road.


    Niner on the Road?!?!-air9-4.jpg

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