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  1. #1
    mcd
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    one 9 vs sir 9...i made up my mind, sir 9 for me, thanks.

    AAArrrgggghhh, just can't decide. It will be used as a dedicated ss. i'm riding and loving a steel frame now, and even though i know scandium is different from aluminum my a$$ still hurts from the last time i rode aluminum. But the light weight is soooo seductive.... i'm 160+camelback, 90%of my rides are @2 hrs, i live in new england, super rocky, maybe even a little rockier than that, but no long ups or downs...advice please from anyone who has ridden both.
    Last edited by mcd; 02-17-2006 at 06:20 AM.
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  2. #2
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    sir...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcd
    AAArrrgggghhh, just can't decide. It will be used as a dedicated ss. i'm riding and loving a steel frame now, and even though i know scandium is different from aluminum my a$$ still hurts from the last time i rode aluminum. But the light weight is soooo seductive.... i'm 160+camelback, 90%of my rides are @2 hrs, i live in new england, super rocky, maybe even a little rockier than that, but no long ups or downs...advice please from anyone who has ridden both.
    Just like the name implies, Steel Is Real. I'm too old for a harsh ride off road. I like the ride qualities of steel. I rode an Alum. SS of my buddies and thought my fillings were going to fall out (read, HARSH). The big wheels take some of the edge off, and the Scandium is silly lighth, but for me Steel is the only way to go.

    Let us know which you end up with

  3. #3
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    I haven't ridden your specific choices, but whether road or mountain, steel is the way to go, (for me, anyway). Plus, you don't do short rides. With the rocks out there, I'd look no further than steel, unless you can afford Ti. You can get lighter steel bikes, you'd just have to go custom.

    Another thought might be to contact them and see if they can build you a lighter steel bike. But everything comes at a price.

    Best of luck!

  4. #4
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    If I were picking between the two, having ridden a bunch of both aluminum and steel frames, the choice for me would be easy (since Ti is not an option)...

    Steel.
    Steel.
    Steel.

    But that gives me an idea... a Ti Niner singlespeed frame!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJones
    If I were picking between the two, having ridden a bunch of both aluminum and steel frames, the choice for me would be easy (since Ti is not an option)...

    Steel.
    Steel.
    Steel.

    But that gives me an idea... a Ti Niner singlespeed frame!

    Steel.

    I did the One 9. liked it but I sold it because steel is just plain better than aluminum. Plan to buy a Niner steel offering soon maybe, or go back to good ol trusty Doug at curtlo if I can wait long enough. Right now all I have is a 26er Curtlo Single speed and I may need to swap it for a 29 inch version in the near future.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  6. #6
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    get the lighter frame and run big ass tubeless tires
    your taint will never know the difference
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  7. #7
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    i ride in New England often...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcd
    AAArrrgggghhh, just can't decide. It will be used as a dedicated ss. i'm riding and loving a steel frame now, and even though i know scandium is different from aluminum my a$$ still hurts from the last time i rode aluminum. But the light weight is soooo seductive.... i'm 160+camelback, 90%of my rides are @2 hrs, i live in new england, super rocky, maybe even a little rockier than that, but no long ups or downs...advice please from anyone who has ridden both.
    every other weekend in fact. i havent ridden the niners but just knowing the terrain you ride, you'd need an @ss of steel to do long rides on an aluminum bike. 29er or not, imho NE is too rocky for aluminum . especially if your not a younger guy. steel is your best choice. why not take a look at Ted Wojcik?, he builds frame specifically for the terrain you ride. i love the niner frames also, their definately great but a Wojcik is...
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  8. #8
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    my 2 cents....

    i dont buy the whole frame material argument. all things held equal, sure, why not get the steel, but they aint equal (eg, weight). it comes down to a cost:benefit analysis. I am sure people disagree and that is their right but in the grand scheme of things, I dont buy that you get some MAJOR difference "on the trail".

    Put some more psi on tires on either a steel or Ti bike, it will ride rougher so i guess that proves that Ti or steel is not compliant. My point (probably not being well made) is that I think other things should carry more weight (no pun intended) in your decision, or at least mine. Not to mention, with 29ers, any incremental benefit in compliancy, if any, is even more negligible. I say that because the bigger wheels ARE one thing that I think makes a "tangible" difference on the trail, with frame material for a 29er being especially incremental (versus on a 26" wheeled bike where I do buy more into the argument on frame material).

    Put a rigid fork on a bike, steel, Ti, or otherwise, and it still has no suspension. Put a suspension fork on a bike, and it rides like it has suspension on the front, regardless of frame material.

    All I am saying is that I am not sure (but could be convinced if somebody conducted a blinded head to head study) it is worth worrying about.

    Having said all of this that so many of you will ignore or rebut, I LOVE my One 9. I would not trade it for any frame for its intended purpose. I find it smooth as silk, especially with the Reba and nice Exiwolf tire up front with not too much psi....

    Cheers

  9. #9
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    Fo....you running a 80mm or 100mm reba?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    my 2 cents....

    i dont buy the whole frame material argument. all things held equal, sure, why not get the steel, but they aint equal (eg, weight). it comes down to a cost:benefit analysis. I am sure people disagree and that is their right but in the grand scheme of things, I dont buy that you get some MAJOR difference "on the trail".
    OK, the one niner is lighter, but the inbred is cheaper, which has the smoother ride ?
    You may not sense a major difference on western trails, but I bet you would on eastern trails.
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  11. #11
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    I went from a La Ruta Ti 4" full suspension to a One 9. First 29'er and first singlespeed. Reba 100 mm, Exi's @ 30 psi and Jones H-bar. I was expecting to get beat up a little. To my pleasant suprise it didn't happen. I think the ride is great and I don't miss the rear suspension at all. Maybe it's the big tires or perhaps because I spend so much time out of the saddle. Whatever, I don't care why it rides so sweet. All I know is that I love riding it and it's definitely a keeper! Quit thinking so much and just order one. The sooner you start riding, the faster you'll forget what your question was.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1-track-mind
    OK, the one niner is lighter, but the inbred is cheaper, which has the smoother ride ?
    You may not sense a major difference on western trails, but I bet you would on eastern trails.
    I have no idea what you mean by the west vs east coast trail difference.....there are some rocks laying around here with an occassional steep switchback littered with obstacles and drop-offs.

    in any event, i would be an even bigger embarassment to my work colleagues to try to compare the two to be honest. since they are not identically equipped i refuse to try to do a comparison and contrast....sorry, but there are just too many parameters going on with bikes to assign any difference purely to the frame in my case.

    now after wussing out on the question i can say that i would highly recommend either, period. I love both of the bikes.....a lot! The Inbred is fully rigid and the One 9 has the Reba so that alone makes it super tough. The eff top tubes are also almost an inch difference but both feel perfect......well, the edge goes to the One 9 in that regard but that has nothing to do with the frame per se.

    In terms of dollar for dollar for a complete bike, I would say the Inbred given the great prices right now on complete bikes. I only switched out 3 things and would not touch another component on it (till it breaks that is). But, the One 9 truly feels like the ULTIMATE XC weapon...I would have a hard time believing anything would feel more quicky on the trail than this bike. I absolutely love everything about it.

  13. #13
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    tried it first at 100mm and did not like how it worked, for my needs. Coming off the Karate Monkey, the change in axle to crown height and change in head angle made me feel too cramped when climbing in the sense that my arms felt too bent compared to when the front was "lower" and steeper. Having said that, it is purely based on what I seem to like. Downhill....in the 100mm setting it felt AWESOME in fact so much so that I was bummed to even consider the 80mm. However, now that it is in 80mm, it is spot-on for me and I absolutely love it. And it is still no slouch downhill....just not as plush as the 100mm of course.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgriesel
    I went from a La Ruta Ti 4" full suspension to a One 9. First 29'er and first singlespeed. Reba 100 mm, Exi's @ 30 psi and Jones H-bar. I was expecting to get beat up a little. To my pleasant suprise it didn't happen. I think the ride is great and I don't miss the rear suspension at all. Maybe it's the big tires or perhaps because I spend so much time out of the saddle. Whatever, I don't care why it rides so sweet. All I know is that I love riding it and it's definitely a keeper! Quit thinking so much and just order one. The sooner you start riding, the faster you'll forget what your question was.
    Again, I think there is a big difference in setups suitable for west coast terrain and east coast terrain. (Based on trail photos). The one 9 may be fine in CA, but i doubt it would work in PA.
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  15. #15
    mcd
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    thanks everyone, i finally got off the pot!

    Sir 9 it is! pics when it comes.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    The Inbred is fully rigid and the One 9 has the Reba
    No wonder the alu frame feels so smooth. You are right it is unfair to compare the two frames.
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  17. #17
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    if you dont mind, I will draw my own conclusion based on my own experience. people are free to obsess about whatever they want, whether it makes a difference or not, or whether it may make a difference but one rider may not care about it or be able to tell a difference at all. I guess out here in Calif we just dont have enough experience to tell things apart

  18. #18
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    east, west makes no difference...

    I've lived on both coasts, and while in a general sense, the riding is different, where I have ridden, the terrain can be as technical and challenging as either place.
    As an avid rider, I've sought out rides that suit my ability level. I have done many of the same rides on different bikes, and I have taken that for what it is. Different bikes are different. It's suitability is the personal variable, that only the rider can make that call.
    I ride my Karate Monkey SS on the same trails I ride my really expensive 5" full supsension bike on (although, I ride my fully less and less often now).
    I think you have to go with whatever sparks your interest. I'd love a Ti IF SS, a Niner One9, a Dos Niner, the new full squish Niner, because they are all different, and all behave as individual as the types of bikes they are. I ride my wife's '67 3spd Robin Hood (when she isnt around). Totally unsuitable for anything, TONS of fun.
    Dont close the door on a bike because of frame material.
    We all know it's tires that make the difference anyway!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monkey
    I've lived on both coasts, and while in a general sense, the riding is different, where I have ridden, the terrain can be as technical and challenging as either place.
    As an avid rider, I've sought out rides that suit my ability level. I have done many of the same rides on different bikes, and I have taken that for what it is. Different bikes are different. It's suitability is the personal variable, that only the rider can make that call.
    I ride my Karate Monkey SS on the same trails I ride my really expensive 5" full supsension bike on (although, I ride my fully less and less often now).
    I think you have to go with whatever sparks your interest. I'd love a Ti IF SS, a Niner One9, a Dos Niner, the new full squish Niner, because they are all different, and all behave as individual as the types of bikes they are. I ride my wife's '67 3spd Robin Hood (when she isnt around). Totally unsuitable for anything, TONS of fun.
    Dont close the door on a bike because of frame material.
    We all know it's tires that make the difference anyway!
    well said Monkey. we sound like we think alike (sorry, that is not a compliment )

    and i too would say i ride my expensive 5" FS bike on the same trails.....except I rarely ride it

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcd
    Sir 9 it is! pics when it comes.
    What color did you choose? And what size?

  21. #21
    mcd
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    What color did you choose? And what size?

    medium, tang...orange is just a fast color! Also, my first real mtb, a 1989 Giant Boulder was orange fade to black paint job. Wow, i'm old enough to be nostalgic about 1989!
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  22. #22
    mcd
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Monkey
    I've lived on both coasts, and while in a general sense, the riding is different, where I have ridden, the terrain can be as technical and challenging as either place.
    As an avid rider, I've sought out rides that suit my ability level. I have done many of the same rides on different bikes, and I have taken that for what it is. Different bikes are different. It's suitability is the personal variable, that only the rider can make that call.
    I ride my Karate Monkey SS on the same trails I ride my really expensive 5" full supsension bike on (although, I ride my fully less and less often now).
    I think you have to go with whatever sparks your interest. I'd love a Ti IF SS, a Niner One9, a Dos Niner, the new full squish Niner, because they are all different, and all behave as individual as the types of bikes they are. I ride my wife's '67 3spd Robin Hood (when she isnt around). Totally unsuitable for anything, TONS of fun.
    Dont close the door on a bike because of frame material.
    We all know it's tires that make the difference anyway!

    I agree with you. But that's why I was asking for specific advice, the bike I currently ride was optimized for ME for the trails that i rode 90% of the time, those trails are the polar opposite of the trails that I NOW ride 90% of the time(colorado vs. eastern mass). horses for courses...
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  23. #23
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    who ever believe's that...

    there's no difference in the ride fell of frame materials is either really young (so their bodies can take the pounding of alu) have a riding style where their out of the saddle all the time, have a tougher @ass than most (i know guys in New England that love their alu hardtails)or just plain dont know what their talking about. there is decades of proof to the contrary, riders from all over the globe making the same observations. my first mtbk's were alu hardtails, when i switched to steel i could not believe the difference. mind you back then i bought frames and switch parts from one to another, so all things were equal. HUGE DIFFERENCE in ride quality. huge difference in recovery time from long rides due to my body taking less of a beating. nowadays i have several different bikes, but their all steel. there's a very good reason for that.
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  24. #24
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    It's funny how flip-floppy the advice can be in here. No offense at all...it's just interesting.

    Last time this topic came up, the general concensus was that geometry had a much bigger effect on ride quality than did the material. Somebody even posted an article that chronicled a series of blind rides on bikes of different material but same geometry....turns out nobody could accurately tell a difference.

    In my humble opinion, the biggest factor lies in the seat stays. Curved seat stays make for a plush ride and straight ones will pound your ass like your prison bunk mate. I've experienced this myself (not the prison part), and can tell you first hand that it makes a HUGE difference....way more than any material comparisons I've ever ridden. When I switched from one to the other, it took me a year to stop thinking I had a flat; it made that much of a difference between two aluminum bikes.

    All things being equal, I think steel is slightly softer, BUT it think it's has much, much less of an effect than the general design of the frame does.

  25. #25
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    I'd have to agree. I'm a steel guy, hands down. I don't like aluminum for it's feel, very rigid with a funny lack of rider feedback. What I mean is, when steel flexes a little, it seems to have a snap and snap back, while aluminum and carbon fiber just don't have that same feeling.

    I do have to credit to newer aluminum frames. If designed properly, they are much nicer than the older ones. I remember taking a friends aluminum Calnago (dream or dream plus) for a short ride a couple years ago and was blown away with how good it felt compared to other aluminum frames. I think aluminum frame building has come a long way. But I'll stick with steel.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcd
    medium, tang...orange is just a fast color! Also, my first real mtb, a 1989 Giant Boulder was orange fade to black paint job. Wow, i'm old enough to be nostalgic about 1989!
    Nice!

    Mert - refresh my memory - how tall are you again?

    Are you going to keep or sell your WW frame?

  27. #27
    mcd
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    Quote Originally Posted by one1spede
    I'd have to agree. I'm a steel guy, hands down. I don't like aluminum for it's feel, very rigid with a funny lack of rider feedback. What I mean is, when steel flexes a little, it seems to have a snap and snap back, while aluminum and carbon fiber just don't have that same feeling.

    I do have to credit to newer aluminum frames. If designed properly, they are much nicer than the older ones. I remember taking a friends aluminum Calnago (dream or dream plus) for a short ride a couple years ago and was blown away with how good it felt compared to other aluminum frames. I think aluminum frame building has come a long way. But I'll stick with steel.
    I'm a steel guy too, but haven't ridden aluminum since 2000/2001. But this new scandium is supposed to have a very "lively" feel, much more steel like. I was hoping that someone like Madre who races the One 9 in long distance races would have an opinion on the scandium vs the steel...anyway, I emailed Niner with the same question as they probbly have the most time on each bike and they thought i would like the steel better for my background and riding style/location.
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  28. #28
    mcd
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Nice!

    Mert - refresh my memory - how tall are you again?

    Are you going to keep or sell your WW frame?

    i'm 5.10, so according to niner's geo, right in the middle for the medium frame. and i'll sell the waltworks.
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  29. #29
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    I have been on a One9 since July. It has been my primary ride since then. I have raced it in a couple of 65+ mile events and a couple of 40+ mile events. I have done several 8+ hour days on the bike in addition to those events. I mainly stick to events and rides that represent the most technicly challenging terrain in my area. I have to say the One9 is one of the smoothest, most comfortable hardtails I have ever ridden. It is every bit as compliant as my geared steel Wily. It is far more comfortable than the 26” TI Dean Colonel SS I came of. I would recommend to anyone that is looking at similar frames not to even consider compliance as in issue when looking at a One9.

  30. #30
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    Has anybody actually answered the question yet? We've heard plenty from people about other aluminum bikes and other steel bikes (no help whatsoever) and a bit from those who have the One9 and like it a lot (nice to know, but only half of the story.)

    Relative compliance is not a question of materials, it is a question of design. On the other side of my garage door there are 2 noodly hardtails (one aluminum, one steel), one stiff steel hardtail and one torsionally and laterally stiff aluminum FS. My favorite steel HT demobike so far was not as compliant as my aluminum 26er SS. (Intentionally misleading statement - it's a Fango.)

    So let's hear from those who have time on both. Steve, Chris, don't be afraid to pipe up here. We aren't asking you to play favorites, just to describe the high points of each. Throw in some impressions from the EMD as well if you like. We know that the One9 is lighter, so ignore that and just tell us how they feel. Swap wheelsets and match fork settings if you can. Be nice to get an impression with just the rigid forks if possible to minimize variables.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daner
    Has anybody actually answered the question yet? We've heard plenty from people about other aluminum bikes and other steel bikes (no help whatsoever) and a bit from those who have the One9 and like it a lot (nice to know, but only half of the story.)

    Relative compliance is not a question of materials, it is a question of design. On the other side of my garage door there are 2 noodly hardtails (one aluminum, one steel), one stiff steel hardtail and one torsionally and laterally stiff aluminum FS. My favorite steel HT demobike so far was not as compliant as my aluminum 26er SS. (Intentionally misleading statement - it's a Fango.)

    So let's hear from those who have time on both. Steve, Chris, don't be afraid to pipe up here. We aren't asking you to play favorites, just to describe the high points of each. Throw in some impressions from the EMD as well if you like. We know that the One9 is lighter, so ignore that and just tell us how they feel. Swap wheelsets and match fork settings if you can. Be nice to get an impression with just the rigid forks if possible to minimize variables.
    Okay, having spent time on both, here are my impressions:

    We built the Scandium One 9 to be light and fast but it was important for both Chris and I not to make a bike that felt like a 1991 Klien Attitude (maybe those of you who hate aluminum rode one of those bikes). I think people on this board have it dead right when they say ride quality has to do with geometry and build technique, BUT it's a combination of both materials and build technique that make the final equation. The One 9 is Scandium and the s-bend rear stays really help absorb rear wheel impact as well as the Scandium material, but side by side, the SIR 9 is more compliant (being steel with s-bend stays as well). To me, the One 9 feels very forgiving, but if you ride a One 9 and Sir 9 back to back, the Sir 9 actually feels like a softtail. On the Sir 9, I don't have to get out of the saddle or even lift up a little to alleviate pressure on the saddle when going over bumps. I can just ride over them. On the One 9, you can feel these same bumps a little more, and it helps to get over them by lifting off the saddle slightly.

    Now, since this post is just asking between the comparisons of the One 9 and the Sir 9, that's all I will give. It's a whole different story if you're asking about steel vs. aluminum vs. ti vs. Scandium, because there are so many other variables (wall thickness and build techniques being the main ones). If you called up Seven and asked them to build you a ti bike that felt like a 1991 Klien Attitude, I bet they could do it.

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    Thank you! I am pretty sure that that directly addresses the question at hand.

    A bit extreme of me to write that material does not matter. Of course it matters, but only as one part of the overall equation (material, tubing diameter, wall thickness, design and execution.)

    I've got a lot of respect for the approach that you guys have taken, but unfortunately it is all based on second-hand evidence so far from my perspective. Hoping to change that in a big way with saddle time on as many models as possible (you know, just pre-delivery testing) once the season gets going over here. Studded tires are still necessary here right now, but with Worlds coming up in August...

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    Okay, having spent time on both, here are my impressions:

    We built the Scandium One 9 to be light and fast but it was important for both Chris and I not to make a bike that felt like a 1991 Klien Attitude (maybe those of you who hate aluminum rode one of those bikes). I think people on this board have it dead right when they say ride quality has to do with geometry and build technique, BUT it's a combination of both materials and build technique that make the final equation. The One 9 is Scandium and the s-bend rear stays really help absorb rear wheel impact as well as the Scandium material, but side by side, the SIR 9 is more compliant (being steel with s-bend stays as well). To me, the One 9 feels very forgiving, but if you ride a One 9 and Sir 9 back to back, the Sir 9 actually feels like a softtail. On the Sir 9, I don't have to get out of the saddle or even lift up a little to alleviate pressure on the saddle when going over bumps. I can just ride over them. On the One 9, you can feel these same bumps a little more, and it helps to get over them by lifting off the saddle slightly.

    Now, since this post is just asking between the comparisons of the One 9 and the Sir 9, that's all I will give. It's a whole different story if you're asking about steel vs. aluminum vs. ti vs. Scandium, because there are so many other variables (wall thickness and build techniques being the main ones). If you called up Seven and asked them to build you a ti bike that felt like a 1991 Klien Attitude, I bet they could do it.

    Steve
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by edouble
    there's no difference in the ride fell of frame materials is either really young (so their bodies can take the pounding of alu) have a riding style where their out of the saddle all the time, have a tougher @ass than most (i know guys in New England that love their alu hardtails)or just plain dont know what their talking about. there is decades of proof to the contrary, riders from all over the globe making the same observations. my first mtbk's were alu hardtails, when i switched to steel i could not believe the difference. mind you back then i bought frames and switch parts from one to another, so all things were equal. HUGE DIFFERENCE in ride quality. huge difference in recovery time from long rides due to my body taking less of a beating. nowadays i have several different bikes, but their all steel. there's a very good reason for that.
    Nope, I can't believe people still buy this rubbish. Standard engineering practice dictates that tube shape, diameter and thickness is what gives a frame different riding characteristics. You just probably rode a large, thick tubed early aluminum bike. I suggest you try and find an old Vitus aluminum road bike if your not convinced. They had tube sizes identical to steel and were absolute noodles to ride. Considered one of the most "comfortable" road frames ever made.
    "Do not touch the trim"

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