Jet 9 vs Hightower- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Jet 9 vs Hightower

    I have pretty much narrowed my search down to a Jet 9 RDO or a Hightower. There is much more info out about the Hightower and I own a SC bike already that I am happy with. I really want to like the Jet and my favorite bike shop carries Niner (but not SC). I have read a couple of reviews that claim that the Jet is a bit sluggish in the turns and for popping off bumps in the trail etc, lively turning is a big factor for me. Other reviews say the opposite. Has anybody had a chance to compare these two bikes?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    From what I've been able to gather, the Jet 9 should be a little more agile than the Hightower and a little more efficient on the climbs. Value wise they are pretty close, but I think the RDO 1star is a better value @$3750 than the Hightower C R build @3999.

    Fork
    Jet Fox 34
    HT RS Revelation - either fork is probably fine for me

    Dropper
    jet LEV si (win)
    HT Raceface Affect

    Wheels - hard to say both will probably get replaced down the line, I believe that the Niner brand wheels are wider and use Stan's BST. Not sure for 2018, but for 2017 the Jet got Stans + rims with Neo hubs for the 27.5+ build.

    Tires - HT minions vs Jet Ardent - I prefer meatier tires (win HT, but you can usually swap out tires when you buy and pay the difference)

    Brakes - HT has level T vs Level for Jet (nothing to write home about)

    Drivetrain - both are NX except the HT has RF Affect cranks and a GX 11speed XD cassette. (a win for HT)

    Spec wise I think the differences pretty much even out making the Jet a little better value given the lower starting price. Planning on riding the Jet soon, no availability to test a SC in my area.

  3. #3
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    I looked at both. Ended up going with the Jet 3 star. Should be here next week. I wanted a trail/ endurance race bike. I went plus from the factory for trail and will build a set of 29 wheels for XC riding

    Having said that. If I wanted a more trail/ enduro bike. I would have gone with the HT. And SC customer service and warranty blow away Niner. Life time warranty and free bearings replacement for life

    Look in the classified. There was a killer deal on a red HT. 27.5 carbon and 29 wheels. Two shocks. Upgraded cranks.

    Nod to the Jet going up. Nod to HT going down.

  4. #4
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    Got to demo the JET 9 RDO SLX build with 27.5+ on stans baron s1 wheels today. Really had a good time on this bike. It is a large and weight 30.75 with spd pedals.

    Pluses

    1. It is super fast and confidence inspiring going down hill. I was able to go full speed right away on the bike. It handles turns great too.

    2. The suspension climes great. Don even notice it is a FS bike going uphill accept that it is a smooth ride. (no bobbing or energy drain)

    3. I solves some of the issues that my 100mm/120 70 deg head angle bike has, where my bike feels like it is getting pulled back under me on a few obstacle's.

    4. at 6'1" the large fits like a glove.

    Negatives

    1. Pedal strikes in place where I never get pedal strikes. Probably not an issue in 29er mode. Also probably could mitigate with slightly bigger tires or going with 170 cranks.

    2. Wants to stay on the ground off bumps my 29er pops off of. Not necessarily a negative, and probably a function of the plus wheels and the extra 2+ lbs of weight.

    3. Riding a "Niner" bike with 27.5 wheels


    Probably going to demo a 2017 Fuel ex 9.7, because I can. I want to like Fuels, but Treks never feel quite right to me partially because I am between sizes I suppose. Still can find a Santa Cruz demo.

    I would be very happy with a Jet after that test ride.

  5. #5
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    What psi did you have in the tires?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_trail_biker View Post
    Got to demo the JET 9 RDO SLX build with 27.5+ on stans baron s1 wheels today. Really had a good time on this bike. It is a large and weight 30.75 with spd pedals.

    Pluses

    1. It is super fast and confidence inspiring going down hill. I was able to go full speed right away on the bike. It handles turns great too.

    2. The suspension climes great. Don even notice it is a FS bike going uphill accept that it is a smooth ride. (no bobbing or energy drain)

    3. I solves some of the issues that my 100mm/120 70 deg head angle bike has, where my bike feels like it is getting pulled back under me on a few obstacle's.

    4. at 6'1" the large fits like a glove.

    Negatives

    1. Pedal strikes in place where I never get pedal strikes. Probably not an issue in 29er mode. Also probably could mitigate with slightly bigger tires or going with 170 cranks.

    2. Wants to stay on the ground off bumps my 29er pops off of. Not necessarily a negative, and probably a function of the plus wheels and the extra 2+ lbs of weight.

    3. Riding a "Niner" bike with 27.5 wheels


    Probably going to demo a 2017 Fuel ex 9.7, because I can. I want to like Fuels, but Treks never feel quite right to me partially because I am between sizes I suppose. Still can find a Santa Cruz demo.

    I would be very happy with a Jet after that test ride.
    FWIW, on my RIP9 I found it to be more about suspension tune vs wheel size, have had both 27.5 & 29 setups working both ways (more poppy vs more ground hugging).

    I would suspect JET as tuneable.

    Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Tires are at 17 psi front and 18psi rear. I weigh about 190-195 with gear. I have it for one more day. I will try it with a little more air today.

  8. #8
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    Bear, the guy at the shop set the sag at 30% for the rear and I think 20 or 25 for the fork.

  9. #9
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    Firmer tires will definitely change the pop, as would playing around with the compression & rebound damping values.

    For comparison, 220# rider, I generally ran 20-25 psi in the 2.8 tires (Rekon 3c front, Rekon 2c rear) for the feel I wanted. This yielded the tire still conforming to trail enough that I never had a traction issue, rolled much better IMO than <20 psi. It's my understanding that plus/fat tire psi is very sensitive with a narrow range of "ideal" per rider preferences, so play around a *lot* with psi to find your happy place is my advice.

    Interesting choice on sag setup on the bike, it's not a big difference but on my bike I'm either riding it evenly sagged (30% both ends) or with a little more fork sag ... but then I have a 170mm fork with a 150mm rear travel, so the equation is not quite the same. I also probably run more fork sag 29er than 27er. It's a way of tuning steering response. :^)

    Hope you had a good time demoing.

    ps. I've run my RIP with as much as 40% sag just for the heck of it and while I definitely didn't like the lower BB the bike still dealt well with life, staying in the 25-35% as guided by Niner seems best though, which is why I target 30% (maybe a little more at start of long ride with heavy camelback, and little less after, I do not bother to tune during a ride unless something waaaay off).

  10. #10
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    Added 1psi front and rear on the same trail and the pedal strikes all but disappeared. Was able to get the bike to pop a bit too.

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