Niner AIR 9 vs Moto Fly 29er Ti...questions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Niner AIR 9 vs Moto Fly 29er Ti...questions

    I've finally decided to get a 29er hardtail. I tested a Cannondale Flash 3 and a Niner Air 9 last week. The cannondale was ok, but I really, really liked the Niner. The fit was perfect and I thought it was a great ride on some pretty challenging trails.

    I am also interested in the Moto Fly 29er Ti but of course I can't test it. I took an easy ride on one last summer (a friend had bought one and let me ride it) and from that little test I thought it was good. The geometry is a little different from the Niner. The Moto has a 70 deg HT angle and 72 deg ST angle. The niner has 72 deg HTA and 73 STA.

    I do a lot of climbing, fair amount of tech. Part of me thinks I should go with the Niner because I liked it so much on the test ride. But I'd really like to try Ti.
    So I'm wondering if anybody can give me some advice on how the two might differ. Thanks

  2. #2
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    i have a SF (Moto Fly geo) and used to have an air9.

    both very, very nice bikes. i doubt you can go wrong with either way. i would get the air9 if you have a LBS you want to support. Get the Moto in any other situation, so much better value for the money ...

  3. #3
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    I can't compare the two as I havent ridden a niner, but my fly ti has been a great bike. The value is hard to beat and I continue to be impressed by the bike. I thought I would swap out the wheels right away, as they are the most questionable part of the build, but they have been holding up really well.

    The main drawback is not being able to try the bike out. The Geo is the same as Gary fishers but the bikes fit slightly different. The fishers come with shorter stems and a shorter travel g2 offset fork. You also have to factor in bike shop support as well.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by llama
    I really, really liked the Niner. The fit was perfect
    Fit > anything else. End of story enough said.

    I really like Ti if you really liked the Niner and want Ti have a custom builder copy the geo out of Ti.

  5. #5
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    I have a few 29ers and my favorite is Ti (moots) because it is supple, smooth and light. It's an all day rider and with low pressure in the tires there's no better ride. My other is Steel (niner) and I love this machine as go to bike for long rides when I want gears. The Steel bike has more flex in the right places and is comfortable for endurance riding. The geometry on the niner gets a slight edge over the moots because of stand over height is better. If you are not racing, FORGET aluminum. May be light but no compliance and poor for long rides.
    Dogs are happiest on bike trails.

  6. #6
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    llama---Both bikes are awesome. I've a moto fly 29er ti (converted to SS) and love it. My brother have a air9, one nine, jet 9 and i've ridden all three many times. As you stated, the niner fit perfectly and i agreed. For me, niner fit 10/10 and it feel like riding a 26er bikes. Moto fit 8.5/10, you know you're riding a 29er when you throw your leg over the Moto. Anyway, too bad niner don't make Ti frame or you could have it custom build. good luck to you

  7. #7
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    Alum vs Ti?
    Great components vs Amazing components?

    The Moto is a better value for your cash. It'll be my next bike.

  8. #8
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    I have the Ti Fly 29er and the bike is outstanding. The geo is one of the reasons I bought it. The bike handles impeccably with 72 deg hta and 72 deg sta. Not twitchy and very poised. Its handling is only trumpted by its ride quality. There is NO comparison between the ride quality of Ti and Al for off road in particular. I mostly embrace the 29er platform btw due to ride quality and not handling. I can adjust to either but there is no comparison hardtail to hardtail for ride...the 29er is smoother with any frame material.
    Ti + 29er = Cadillac ride. To me the Ti Fly is the best hardtail value available and I built mine up from the frameset because I am fussy about components. My personal view is I prefer the 100mm travel of the Reba to the Fisher spec 80m Fox and also prefer the 46mm offset to G2 51mm offset. Not everybody likes the quicker twitch G2 Fisher handling.
    Have fun.

  9. #9
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    I rode a Niner Air9 across South Dakota last summer. I currently ride Lynskey.

    Scandium used in the Air9, I thought, was very spring-eee. I liked it better than any other aluminum alloy frame I have owned. When my seat-stays cracked, I got a new frame overnighted to me. It climbs fine, but it descened really well. Of course, 3.1lb for a frame is hard to beat.

    Fit is everything on a bike. If the bike fits well, you'll ride it more.

    Motobecane is what it is... a very good value. A friend of mine had a Ti Fly delivered last week. We put it together and it was a solid, quality bike. Great compnents for the money. I think comparing the Air9 to the Ti Fly is about right. The Ti Fly does seem to take an edge off the trail. However, I found it to have a lot of BB flex.

    Funny thing... I run the same, exact Vuetla SL wheelset on my Lynskey that came with his Ti Fly. After A/B - ing our Ti bikes, we both agreed that we do not think that the Ti Fly has a butted tubeset for the rear triangles. Front, yes... probably double-butted. Rear, it sure doesn't ride like it.

    It's a tough choice. For me, having had an Air9... I'd say try the Ti Fly, and if it doesn't work for you, strip the parts and sell the frame. I didn't expect much out of the Ti Fly, and it did suprise me a little. But, we both agreed that we have ridden better steel frames.

    I think the best frame value out there is either Waltworks or Lynskey Loft deals. both will run you $1000-$1200. Figure you put another $1000 into parts and you are in the same price range as the Ti Fly. For $3000 (top pf the line TiFly), there is no way in hell I would by a Motobecane.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    I rode a Niner Air9 across South Dakota last summer. I currently ride Lynskey.

    Scandium used in the Air9, I thought, was very spring-eee. I liked it better than any other aluminum alloy frame I have owned. When my seat-stays cracked, I got a new frame overnighted to me. It climbs fine, but it descened really well. Of course, 3.1lb for a frame is hard to beat.

    Fit is everything on a bike. If the bike fits well, you'll ride it more.

    Motobecane is what it is... a very good value. A friend of mine had a Ti Fly delivered last week. We put it together and it was a solid, quality bike. Great compnents for the money. I think comparing the Air9 to the Ti Fly is about right. The Ti Fly does seem to take an edge off the trail. However, I found it to have a lot of BB flex. Funny thing... I run the same, exact Vuetla SL wheelset on my Lynskey that came with his Ti Fly. After A/B - ing our Ti bikes, we both agreed that we do not think that the Ti Fly has a butted tubeset for the rear triangles. Front, yes... probably double-butted. Rear, it sure doesn't ride like it.

    It's a tough choice. For me, having had an Air9... I'd say try the Ti Fly, and if it doesn't work for you, strip the parts and sell the frame. I didn't expect much out of the Ti Fly, and it did suprise me a little. But, we both agreed that we have ridden better steel frames.

    I think the best frame value out there is either Waltworks or Lynskey Loft deals. both will run you $1000-$1200. Figure you put another $1000 into parts and you are in the same price range as the Ti Fly. For $3000 (top pf the line TiFly), there is no way in hell I would by a Motobecane.
    You are the only one. I am 6'1" and 200 lbs and strong. I know more than a handful of 250lbers that own the Fly Ti that agree with me. The BB on the Ti Fly is brick $h#t house stiff. Please define to me how you deduce that the Ti Fly does not have a butted tubeset for the rear triangle and what you perceive to be the con if it doesn't.

    Your surprise is laughable but then again you like gimmicky aka Lynskey frames who offers bikes with either a twisted top tube...a melted top tube like you have or the complete inverse Schwinn paperboy bike redundant convex top tube with horrible standover. Lynskey's may even make a functional bike but it is pure coincidence and subordinate to his priority of creating boutique bikes that appeal to those that want to be different. They are different alright. I am an engineer and my guess is you aren't.
    Better said, Lynskey bikes are what they are...different to carve out a marketing niche and what people will needlessly pay for exclusivity.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    You are the only one. I am 6'1" and 200 lbs and strong. I know more than a handful of 250lbers that own the Fly Ti that agree with me. The BB on the Ti Fly is brick $h#t house stiff. Please define to me how you deduce that the Ti Fly does not have a butted tubeset for the rear triangle and what you perceive to be the con if it doesn't.

    Your surprise is laughable but then again you like gimmicky aka Lynskey frames who offers bikes with either a twisted top tube...a melted top tube like you have or the complete inverse Schwinn paperboy bike redundant convex top tube with horrible standover. Lynskey's may even make a functional bike but it is pure coincidence and subordinate to his priority of creating boutique bikes that appeal to those that want to be different. They are different alright. I am an engineer and my guess is you aren't.
    Better said, Lynskey bikes are what they are...different to carve out a marketing niche and what people will needlessly pay for exclusivity.

    Sorry to upset you.... again... hahahaha.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie

    Funny thing... I run the same, exact Vuetla SL wheelset on my Lynskey that came with his Ti Fly. After A/B - ing our Ti bikes, we both agreed that we do not think that the Ti Fly has a butted tubeset for the rear triangles. Front, yes... probably double-butted. Rear, it sure doesn't ride like it.
    Are you also running the exact same tires, tubes (or not) and the exact same pressure ? Verified before the beginning of this comparison test ? I'll give you credit though... you almost had me with the line about running the same wheels.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocAltie
    Sorry to upset you.... again... hahahaha.
    Wrong again. Dam, you seem to be in a rut.
    I find your threads more entertaining for their fiction than upsetting.
    Just want to set the record straight for the OP.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    Wrong again. Dam, you seem to be in a rut.
    I find your threads more entertaining for their fiction than upsetting.
    Just want to set the record straight for the OP.
    Just out of curiosity, have you spent time on an Air9 or Lynskey?

  15. #15
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    I have ridden an air9 and several 29ers...mostly Fishers to get a sense of how Al rides compared to the Fly Ti. The air9 is nicely designed and finished and a good bike but...it always comes down to value or cost/benefit for me. There is no comparison between Ti and Al in my opinion and the frame sans fork for the Al air9 just like for a GF Al 29er frame is the same price as a Ti Moto so to me there is no comparison.
    As to Lynskey, I dismiss his bikes on principle mostly. If you have a design background and see the radically different shapes he puts out, the message is clear. Structure and flexure properties can't be the same and he panders to those who are more in the fashion camp. His paper boy bike in other words can't possibly have performance properties....similar to this saggy model or his twisted sister 29er. So you have to ask yourself, which is optimal and therefore why does he sell a bike model less than his interpretation of an ideal design? The answer is obvious. Fashion. So his bikes don't appeal to me. Do they resonate with guys without a tech background in an obtuse aesthetic sense who like to stand apart? Perhaps which is fine since he stays in business. I do not deny that any of the bikes he makes are functional. There is a wide envelope of functional acceptance.

  16. #16
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    I'm another fan of Niner Bikes geo they still are the smartest in the business at geometry design in my opinion.

    With other frame makers, for larger guys, defacto largest audience; the laid back head angle that is now the trend since the classical thinking of old days may make sense.

    imho, for some of us under 6 ft guys that love fast handling, fast climbing, front ends with the inherently stable 29" wheels, anything less than 72d ha kills the front end.
    I'm really surprised that more companies don't keep ha steeper in smaller sizes and progressively slacker as the frame sizes increase.

    Quote Originally Posted by customfab
    Fit > anything else. End of story enough said.

    I really like Ti if you really liked the Niner and want Ti have a custom builder copy the geo out of Ti.
    great idea. springy unique characteristics of ti, support a local frame builder; and get the great handling geo u like.

  17. #17
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    I get so jealous when I read some of these reviews of BD as i've never ridden a perfect bike
    wherever you go, there you are

  18. #18
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    My two favorite bikes thus far have been my Air9 and my Jet9, the geometry is so comfortable. The ride on the Air9 is "stiff" as best.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojogonzo
    I get so jealous when I read some of these reviews of BD as i've never ridden a perfect bike
    That's because you aren't the perfect rider. When I ride my Moto Ti 29er, I ride so fast, my feet fly straight off the pedals and I assume the superman position. Nothing compares to this. Not only do chicks dig it but it also helps keep the boys cool.
    You have to treat yourself to at least one BD bike and preferably in Ti. Warning...you will not be worthy but accept this and try to do better.

  20. #20
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    Check the Geometry. Lot's of people rave about the AIR9 and the MCR. I'm betting it's Niner's insistance on long Effective Top Tube (ETT) lengths coupled with short chain stays.

    The recommended size for me is a small in nearly all 29er frames but I have found that on 26er frames I'm best on at least a 23inch ETT which is at least a medium in most models. For me, on the terrain I ride, it doesn't take much to make difference. There is a noticable difference between 22.5 and 23 inches. I think the long ETT 9combined with a 20mm shorter stem is the difference between feeling like I'm part of the bike instead of on top of it.

    I looked at the Salsa Mamasita and the AIR 9. The .3 inch difference in ETT was the difference maker.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider7
    I have ridden an air9 and several 29ers...mostly Fishers to get a sense of how Al rides compared to the Fly Ti. The air9 is nicely designed and finished and a good bike but...it always comes down to value or cost/benefit for me. There is no comparison between Ti and Al in my opinion and the frame sans fork for the Al air9 just like for a GF Al 29er frame is the same price as a Ti Moto so to me there is no comparison.
    As to Lynskey, I dismiss his bikes on principle mostly. If you have a design background and see the radically different shapes he puts out, the message is clear. Structure and flexure properties can't be the same and he panders to those who are more in the fashion camp. His paper boy bike in other words can't possibly have performance properties....similar to this saggy model or his twisted sister 29er. So you have to ask yourself, which is optimal and therefore why does he sell a bike model less than his interpretation of an ideal design? The answer is obvious. Fashion. So his bikes don't appeal to me. Do they resonate with guys without a tech background in an obtuse aesthetic sense who like to stand apart? Perhaps which is fine since he stays in business. I do not deny that any of the bikes he makes are functional. There is a wide envelope of functional acceptance.
    i got a phd in engineering and just purchased a helix lynskey frame. do you think there is something wrong with me?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hellocook
    i got a phd in engineering and just purchased a helix lynskey frame. do you think there is something wrong with me?
    Only if you're a civil engineer.

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