Anyone ride a Niner Air 9 as a commuter?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride a Niner Air 9 as a commuter?

    Thinking about going *gasp!* 29er! I was wondering if the Niner Air 9 would make a nice commuter. I like the fact that it uses big wheels and is a MTB frame. I have no experience with road bikes and also no interest in getting one. I've always liked the versatility of a MTB frame, hence my interest in the Air 9. So what's the opinion?

  2. #2
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    it's just a bike, ultimately whether you dig the ride on the road is your call.
    my commuters this in this past year: steelwool touring bike, merlin mountain bike, surly steamroller, lemond buenos aires, 29er'd surly 1x1.
    pretty sure there were others, but can't remember right now.

    someone at just about every point in time has told me my bike has completely unsuitable for commuting (except the steelwool tourer)

    for what it's worth, the wife's riding a scandium kona, rigid fork, bullhorn bars and 35mm tires. stupidly light set-up, she loves it.
    (most recent build pic in the commutant mods thread)
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  3. #3
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    The Niner Air 9 would be a SWEET commuter. I'm putting the finishing touches on my hardtail 29er...I went the full mountain bike route, but I was highly tempted to throw on the drop bars and rigid fork and replace my cyclocross commuting machine.

    Do it!
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  4. #4
    jrm
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    I commuted on a El Mariachi

    Quote Originally Posted by djork
    Thinking about going *gasp!* 29er! I was wondering if the Niner Air 9 would make a nice commuter. I like the fact that it uses big wheels and is a MTB frame. I have no experience with road bikes and also no interest in getting one. I've always liked the versatility of a MTB frame, hence my interest in the Air 9. So what's the opinion?
    for a while. It just felt like overkill all the way around. it wound up slowy, climbed like a pig and felt cumbersome riding in traffic. If your not after a roadie or CX bike but what the versatility of a frame that allows use of a flat bar and a mix of road and MTB components id take a look at some of the hybrids out there.

  5. #5
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    I've never ridden one, but I can't imagine the Air 9 'climbing like a pig' or winding up slowly. That bike would be a rocket.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    JRM could be right, but it all depends on what tires/wheels he was running and his body position!

    rigid air9 with skinny slicks (or semi-slicks) will sprint like mad...
    wife has 35mm small block 8's on the misfit fork'd king kahuna, low bars, seat forward, climbs and sprints great.
    40mm schwalbe marathon xr's on kirs holm rims on my 1x1... now THAT took a while to wind up!
    the rims were killling me, at over 800grams per (and those tires aren't terribly light either), but a real runaway freight train feel once they got going
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  7. #7
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    Before I found a used Air 9 frame I considered a brand new GF Kaitai, which is a "dual sport" bike. Doesn't look at all like a hybrid but more like a commuter built around a MTB frame. I figured that I'd save a money by going with a quality used (LIGHT) frame and putting in parts from my current 26" MTB commuter. Did a quick calculation and my build might end up being between $525-$600 with quality parts (Pace RC31 fork, Thomson seat post/stem, BB7 brakes, etc), wheras a new low-end GF Kaitai bike would go over $600 after a labor cost of swapping out parts and possibly getting some new parts, such as a better seat post.

  8. #8
    jrm
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    "Ive never ridden one"

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I've never ridden one, but I can't imagine the Air 9 'climbing like a pig' or winding up slowly. That bike would be a rocket.
    I think that clarifies the statement that follows. I commuted on the el mariachi and a niner MCR mostly for shits and giggles. It was Ok but not even close as much fun as a hybrid, CX bike or roadie.

  9. #9
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    I am currently building a Niner Air9 to be my commuter/mtb. will be using Rigid niner Carbon fork. Mainly as a short hop commuter, from where I park my car to my office are small trails.

  10. #10
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    Wow this is an old thread. I've been commuting on a 29er since just after this thread was started in 2010
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
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    I know but its the first thing that comes up on google when you search "Air9 as commuter"
    Pics of your MTB/Commuters please.


    When I search for pics of Air9 rigid, most seem to be singlespeeds.

  12. #12
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    Here's my access twins when I was commuting on the access 29er:
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  13. #13
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    The bikes I've used. Listed most recent to least recent.

    -Scott Scale 29er carbon
    -Ridley X-Fire cross
    -Cannondale Flash 29er carbon
    -Cannondale CAAD 10 roadie
    -Giant TCX cross

    I'm lucky that I have a safe place inside at work to keep my bike, so riding a nice bike is a non-issue.

    My favorites have been the 29er's. I use full knobbies (Racing Ralphs) and I get about 2000 commuting miles out if them. I love being able to hit the trail on the way home, or leave early and get a mountain ride in on the way to work. My commute times on the 29ers and the 'cross bikes are the same. I give up nothing in speed on the road vs. the cross bikes. You just have to be careful about tire selection to keep them rolling fast.

    The cross bikes were fun too, but didn't have the same level of versatility.

    I hated commuting on the road bike. Limited to road and no good in snow.
    Last edited by brentos; 01-27-2013 at 08:44 PM.

  14. #14
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    It's not a Niner but I use a 29" Hardrock.


  15. #15
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    As much as I love commuting on a mountain bike, I should note that my mountain bike components haven't held up nearly as well as the cross bikes when it comes to corrosion induced by salt.

  16. #16
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    I remember this post! I ended up getting a Niner but not for commuting. I've ridden it to work a number of times before, but its main duty is trail riding I also can't afford to use it as a city runabout for fear of it being jacked.


  17. #17
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    Here's how my bike looks so far. Debating If I should put commuter tires on it. Will be putting in XT dual Control Shifters.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by milo8172 View Post
    Here's how my bike looks so far. Debating If I should put commuter tires on it. Will be putting in XT dual Control Shifters.


    Nice! Is that the 2012 Air 9? Love the matte black and hydroformed tubing. Very stealthy looking. Can you tell me if the fork you have is tapered to accomodate the 2012 tapered head tube?

  19. #19
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    Yes its Tapered. Had to sell my straight tube fork to get this.
    Tempted to put in commuter tires or CX.

  20. #20
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    Milo, if you plan to use your Niner for commuting yet still want the ability to hit the trails, I recommend WTB Vulpine 2.1x29 tires. Thread pattern looks somewhat like a hybrid with very low profile. They work great for general trails with pact dirt. Not great on big rocks though.

  21. #21
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    I bought the wheelset and the guy gave me the Maxxis Ignitor tires and a free set of commuting tires. Might just keep the tires on for now. Just finished building the bike officially with new Shifter/Brakes and rear Derailleur. Just need to take her now to the bike shop to shorten the hydraulic lines.

  22. #22
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    It looks like it would be a great build for commuting too bad where I live any bike that looks worth over $50 gets stolen or damaged while someone attempts to take. That would be an easy $2500+ build as well.

  23. #23
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    My insurance will cover up to $5000.

  24. #24
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    I believe my insurance covers about that but my deductable is $1000. So either way something like that gets stolen its still gonna cost me a grand to replace it.

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