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  1. #1
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    XC racing: Jet 9 or Air 9?

    I'm sure this subject has been discussed but I can't find it in the search. I'm trying to decide on an Air 9 or Jet 9 for XC racing over rooty courses, hills but not a lot of sustained climbs (Florida). I also do endurance races like the ORAMM and 6-8 hour stuff.

    I'm curious if anyone has both of these bikes and have done time-trial testing.

    I'm a full suspension guy, but I don't know if the Jet-9 will be too heavy for full-on, expert level XC racing. Thoughts?

    BTW, if I got an Air 9 I'd most likely use a Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost. All my hard tails in the past have had suspension seatposts. It adds .75 lbs.

  2. #2
    Space Ghost
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    I do endurance events (50+ miles) on my RIP. It seems as though you value comfort. Go with a Jet. There is no reason you can't reasonably build it under 26 lbs. (or less). I live and ride in Fl. also. Comfort is king on endurance events.
    "No good deed goes unpunished"

  3. #3
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    I have owned both and just sold the air9. The jet is fast and comfortable. It descends better and it climbs like a monster. My vote is the Jet9 all the way. I am faster on the jet in everything but smooth flat terrain. The Air9 is loads of fun but you feel every bump and you are much more tired after a long ride.

  4. #4
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    I'm definitely leaning toward the Jet. I've been on full suspension for several years, so my riding style is adjusted to it.

    Several years ago I did time trail tests on a hard tail 26er and a heavier (by a couple of pounds) full suspension 26er, and I was faster on the full suspension. Maybe if I lived/raced in an area with lots of sustained climbs my results would be different.

  5. #5
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    I have both and my preference is to ride the Jet unless...
    - It's a smooth hard pack course
    -There are lots of out of the saddle climbs

    I haven't done any "time trial" testing and won't until the leaves drop on my local course. If the course isn't closed it is just too dangerous to fly around blind corners now.

    This has been posted many times but compares 26 HT vs 26 FS vs 29 HT.

    http://singletrack.competitor.com/20...l-is-dead_3050

    If you look at the 26 HT vs 26 FS numbers I'd pick less watts used with more speed anyday. Guessing the same would apply to 29 HT vs 29 FS. Note that these guys didn't test like they would race. Doesn't look like there was any out of the saddle climbing which would favor a HT.
    Last edited by riding29; 06-23-2010 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by riding29
    This has been posted many times but compares 26 HT vs 26 FS vs 29 HT.
    Did you mean to include a link to a specific test?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ride4burritos
    Did you mean to include a link to a specific test?
    Yeap - thanks. Added it above.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by riding29
    Yeap - thanks. Added it above.
    Good stuff! I'd love to see a Jet-9, Mach 429, or SC Tallboy thrown in that test. I'm sure it'll happen soon.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the link. Good info.
    Pedal Dammit!

  10. #10
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    Well, I weighed my Air9 Large 1620g.
    Just went to collect my new Jet 9: 2940g in large.
    Both without headset, bare frames with dera-hanger.
    Jet with Fox rp23 and links.
    Fastest will be the lighter bike, perhaps on longer time events the Jet might be better.
    Question is: after 4, 5, 6 or more hours???
    I'd still choose a wider tire for more comfort.
    Btw, racing isn't about comfort, it's about winning

  11. #11
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    I have both and think the Jet is very slow when climbing! So slow I think I will sell the bike. It kinda feels like you are dragging a weight behind you. I had to stop and make sure my brakes were not rubbing... and they were not.
    Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dikkie
    Fastest will be the lighter bike, perhaps on longer time events the Jet might be better.

    Btw, racing isn't about comfort, it's about winning
    No, fastest will be the bike you can go faster on. My FS weighs 3-4 more pounds than my HT. With the same tires I'm faster on the FS in all conditions except fireroads and completely buff trails. I pick up a ton of time being able to consistently put the power down over bumpy areas.

    Of course this is for my riding style; I almost never come out of the seat to climb. YMMV.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExigeS
    I have both and think the Jet is very slow when climbing! So slow I think I will sell the bike. It kinda feels like you are dragging a weight behind you. I had to stop and make sure my brakes were not rubbing... and they were not.
    Interesting, I find the jet climbs very well. What setting was the rear shock on? What pressure are you running for your weight?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightySchmoePong
    No, fastest will be the bike you can go faster on. My FS weighs 3-4 more pounds than my HT. With the same tires I'm faster on the FS in all conditions except fireroads and completely buff trails. I pick up a ton of time being able to consistently put the power down over bumpy areas.

    Of course this is for my riding style; I almost never come out of the seat to climb. YMMV.
    Perfect answer, I am the same way.

  15. #15
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExigeS
    I have both and think the Jet is very slow when climbing! So slow I think I will sell the bike. It kinda feels like you are dragging a weight behind you. I had to stop and make sure my brakes were not rubbing... and they were not.
    I don't find that at all,My Jet9 climbs great.

    I find that there are alot of people that keep saying that the HT just feels faster
    & yes it would, it is closer to its limit & will feel a bit more alive !! & that is great if your a slow rider because you get to feel a bit of what its like when you go fast on a FS bike.

    When racing the stop watch rules not what a bike feels like.

    Yes there are some very good riders that can win on a HT but the bulk of people would be faster on a FS.

    HT are like the ugle people at the pub There is alot more of them but that doesn't mean that that is what you should have

    If you are however that weak a rider that 3lb will make you think that the brakes are holding on ,It is fair to also assume that you won't have the power to get the FS bike fast enough to get the most out of it.

    I gave up on road bikes years ago.
    Last edited by muzzanic; 06-23-2010 at 11:14 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ev52
    Interesting, I find the jet climbs very well. What setting was the rear shock on? What pressure are you running for your weight?
    Ok, OK, I am not giving up yet. I had the rear shock at 100 and had pro pedal on. I weight 150lbs. I am going to crank it up and go for another ride to see how she performs. I have a AIR and RIP and am probably expecting the JET to climb the same way.
    Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

  17. #17
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    I have not compared a 29er HT and 29er FS, but I can say I am much faster on my 29er rigid than my 26er FS, including racing on it. The Niner rigid is so much more efficient climbing that any deficit on the downhill (if there even is one) would be completely offset on a course with decent amounts of up and down.

    Am I more beat up and tired on the rigid after a race, perhaps, but less so w/ the big wheels and tubeless. I don't mind being beat up as long as I am fresh enough during the race to give my all. I've never finished an MTB race and not been completely toasted afterward anyway.

  18. #18
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    I am doing a 12 hours race tomorrow (with one teammate) so I will take both bikes and see what times I can achieve on each. The course has lots of climbing. Stay tuned!
    Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExigeS
    I am doing a 12 hours race tomorrow (with one teammate) so I will take both bikes and see what times I can achieve on each. The course has lots of climbing. Stay tuned!
    Now THAT's what I'm talkin' about. Sweet!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExigeS
    I am doing a 12 hours race tomorrow (with one teammate) so I will take both bikes and see what times I can achieve on each. The course has lots of climbing. Stay tuned!
    So how'd it go?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExigeS
    I am doing a 12 hours race tomorrow (with one teammate) so I will take both bikes and see what times I can achieve on each. The course has lots of climbing. Stay tuned!
    And the results are...

  22. #22
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    Ok, sorry for the delay. TO recap it was a 12 hour race and I had 1 partner. We alternated laps. The course was about 10 miles with lots of hills (steep, long and technical) as well as roots and lots of loose sand. It was 95% singletrack with a few jeep trails mixed in. The temp was pushing 100 degrees all day! I rode 5 laps. The first 3 were on my AIR and the last 2 were on my JET. The only reason I didnít alternate/switch before lap 4 was I was sooo tired and needed to drink a ton between laps that I didnít have the strength or time to switch my number from one bike to another. The result times between the 2 bikes were relatively the same. The only difference to me was it was nice to switch to a full suspension bike after 30 miles on a hardtail. I didnít see any difference in time at all. Most laps were between one hour and one hour 11 min. To me the limiting factor was ME and how I felt on each lap. BOTTOM LINE Ė both bikes are a great choice and it all depends on what you like! Sorry I donít have any definitive results for you! If you have any questions let me know.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails XC racing: Jet 9 or Air 9?-cranky-monkey-2010.jpg  

    Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

  23. #23
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    Hope the race was fun Jason!?

    Glad to see you used both bikes. Does the Jet feel better with the rear shock at a much higher PSI then you would normaly run it at?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeatherMan
    Hope the race was fun Jason!?

    Glad to see you used both bikes. Does the Jet feel better with the rear shock at a much higher PSI then you would normaly run it at?
    The higher PSI does feel better but the JET still doesn't climb as good as the AIR - IMO.
    Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

  25. #25
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    Daully will never climb like a HT, imho. I will admitt that when I am technical climbing I do do better on the Fly 100. More compliance and less slip on rocks and logs.

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