MTBR Exclusive look at New NINER FS proto- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    MTBR Exclusive look at New NINER FS proto

    We've been itching to let the veil off of her for about a week now to see what you think. This is a 6 inch travel AllMountain bike. We're not sure the market is ready yet for such a long travel bike, but we wanted to see what was possible. Because of the bent seat tube, we were able to keep the chainstays to 460mm. The ultimate angle of the seat tube above the pivot was determined by using a vitual placement of the seat (adjusted per size) and making the effective seat tube angle 73 degrees. Obviously, this angle will change slightly depending on the seat height. I've been prototyping this frame as a 26 inch wheel for about a year now, and refining it before converting it over to a 29er. As she sits (without pedals) she is 30.2 pounds. This includes some new heavy duty 29er rims from WTB. We would love to hear your comments and look forward to you posts.

    Steve
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  2. #2
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    One more shot

    The lower link is one piece.
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    Last edited by Niner Bikes; 09-14-2005 at 02:15 PM.
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  3. #3
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    ...Interesting..

    Price?


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  4. #4
    zon
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    Lot of pivot points.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ-ΛΑΒΕ


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  5. #5
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    Fork

    Is the rear 6" with a 5" fork or is this a new fork from WB?

  6. #6
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    Nice!!!


  7. #7
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    Steve, when I pray, is it you answering the call?

    That bike is pretty much exactly what I've been looking to get as an ideal FS.
    But, I'm afriad your largest size won't be compatible with my long legs.
    Will these frame have a taller seattube top to not have lots of slack-angled seatpost taking the increased load?

    Sure looks nice! Have you been riding it already?

  8. #8
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    that's really lovely, with some superb machine work.

    good stuff

  9. #9
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    Awesome. Please tell me this bike will be in my booth at Interbike!
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  10. #10
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    Well I must say very very nice. Look like a very sexy steed indeed. What may I ask is the fram weight???

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zon
    Lot of pivot points.
    This was my first thought. Would they get flexy with time. 30.2 sounds good if it's 5"+ of travel. Heavy if it's 4" or less.

  12. #12
    Witty McWitterson
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    Pretty nice looking. You guys are all over it! Interbike should be a good for ya.
    Just a regular guy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbell
    This was my first thought. Would they get flexy with time. 30.2 sounds good if it's 5"+ of travel. Heavy if it's 4" or less.
    four pivots is the same as any horst link bike. I used larger bearings and have been hammering some downhill courses on the 26" version without issue of play. I won't be able to ride this version until after Interbike.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    four pivots is the same as any horst link bike. I used larger bearings and have been hammering some downhill courses on the 26" version without issue of play. I won't be able to ride this version until after Interbike.
    I guess similar to the VPP (all pivots near the front and none in the back) which I felt was laterally stiffer than FSR. I'm not being critical, just giving constructive criticism. Hope it was received that way.

    I had the idea one time of a FS design which would be similar to the old ' 82 Suzuki RM-125s and 250s. They had a design back then called the Full Floater which worked great to combat squat when accelerating. Unfortunately, I think someone else alreday has a patent on such a design.

  15. #15

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    Holy s. Please stop making bikes. You're gonna make it hard to stick with my 12 step.

  16. #16
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    The suspension looks similar to the concept that Balfa used with their 2Step FR frame - is this somewhat of an accurate statement?

    I spent some time on a 2Step DH that I carried as a demo bike and for a 7" travel freeride bike it pedalled great and cornered like it was on rails. I never carried a 2Step FR as a demo, but other 2Step Riders really like the way the suspension worked on their 2Step frames - so perhaps you guys have taken that concept to the next level of refinement here with your 29er FS frame.

    That bike looks truly amazing - and I give you guys mad props for really putting out some amazing frames in what seems to be a relatively short period of time as a company.

    For comparison purposes:


    Please produce this frame - people will buy it!!!!
    Last edited by MMcG; 09-14-2005 at 03:11 PM.

  17. #17
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    Wow, looks good. Cant wait to hear some ride reports.
    blah blah blah

  18. #18
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    Oh man, I bet with a bit bigger disc brakes and even tougher rims, that bike could really put some DH race bikes to shame!

  19. #19
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    Oh yeah and if you need an East Coast Test pilot for this frame, please let me know as I'd be more than happy to oblige.

    I can't stop coming back to this thread and looking at the photos over and over again.

  20. #20
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    SWEET!

    Looks a bit like it might function similar to a DW-Link Ironhorse or even the DW ripoff Giant Maestro stuff. Very cool. Throw a Mav DUC32 on the front and LOOK OUT!

    Will you have a proto available to ride at Interbike? Not that I'll be there but it will be cool to hear how it rides.

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  21. #21
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    Good job! Outstanding!

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    We've been itching to let the veil off of her for about a week now to see what you think. This is a 6 inch travel AllMountain bike. We're not sure the market is ready yet for such a long travel bike, but we wanted to see what was possible. Because of the bent seat tube, we were able to keep the chainstays to 460mm. The ultimate angle of the seat tube above the pivot was determined by using a vitual placement of the seat (adjusted per size) and making the effective seat tube angle 73 degrees. Obviously, this angle will change slightly depending on the seat height. I've been prototyping this frame as a 26 inch wheel for about a year now, and refining it before converting it over to a 29er. As she sits (without pedals) she is 30.2 pounds. This includes some new heavy duty 29er rims from WTB. We would love to hear your comments and look forward to you posts.

    Steve
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    Please try other rear shocks ie Manitou Swinger 4 way

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Please try other rear shocks ie Manitou Swinger 4 way
    Or DHX 5.0 Air and Coil.
    blah blah blah

  23. #23
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    Sweet looking ride!

    My only worry is if my beloved Gravity Dropper Seatpost will work with such a steep ST angle. I may be in luck as I would need an XL sized frame and possibly it will not need to be so steep.

    29erchico

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Please try other rear shocks ie Manitou Swinger 4 way
    On the 26" version, I've tried every single shock availible with this design (that would fit). So far, the Fox is the only shock that will actually get the travel to the end of the shaft (the full 2.5" claim). I had trouble with both the Manitou and the 5th Element Air ramping up too quickly in the stroke, making the last 1/4" almost impossible to get.

    I will definitly ride all of the shocks I can. I've spent some time on the new Rock Shox Pearl with good results. They're still doing some refining, but the shock felt very nice and the spring rate did not ramp up too quickly. I do want to stick with air, however, to keep the weight down.

    Steve
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    Last edited by Niner Bikes; 09-14-2005 at 07:15 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Phenomenal

    If you put that bike into production, I will be forced to buy one. Nice suspension design- is it different enough from the DW link to escape patent issues? I imagine the under-BB link might actually allow you to make the link stiffer than the DW-Link/Maestro above-BB link. The VPP suspension on my 26er Uzzi VPX is great. Would love to have a 29er with something similar. I've never salivated over a FS 29er like I have over that one...

  26. #26
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    DW link..... I am not overly familiar with this suspension design. Does anyone with more experience with it care to elaborate on its characteristics. Accelerating, braking etc when compared to other designs.

    Cheers
    blah blah blah

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    DW link..... I am not overly familiar with this suspension design. Does anyone with more experience with it care to elaborate on its characteristics. Accelerating, braking etc when compared to other designs.

    Cheers

    pure sex. http://www.dw-link.com/

  28. #28
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    Hi Chris / Steve, how about some photos showing tire clearance. What sort of front derailer is that, BB mounted? Availability, sizing, pricing? This is the First FS 29er that I am excited about. 6" of travel has a lot to do with that.
    Last edited by ozlongboarder; 09-14-2005 at 06:47 PM.
    blah blah blah

  29. #29
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    NICE!! That thing looks killer. Now we need more fork choices.

    All thats missing is a 4" FS now! (please make one)

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    Hi Chris / Steve, how about some photos showing tire clearance. What sort of front derailer is that, BB mounted? Availability, sizing, pricing? This is the First FS 29er that I am excited about. 6" of travel has a lot to do with that.
    Here's some more info for everybody:

    Availibility is kind of depending on you. This can be availible as early as Dec/Jan, but we weren't sure what the reaction would be for a 6" travel bike, so we were planning on pushing it out a little further.

    Here's a pic of the chainstay clearance with a 2.3 Exi. There's plenty of room for even bigger tires (hopefully a few will come along).

    The derailleur right now is an E-Type derailleur. It's the best way I've found getting around the bent seat tube. Unfortunatly, because of the angle, a derailleur can not be mounted to the actual seat tube, so I designed the bike to use the e-type. Honestly, I think it works great. The only issue is they are harder to find. Not every bike store carries them.

    Sizing and pricing are still TBD. Since this frame has a bent top tube to add stand over, we can make the seat tube longer, so, as Cloxxki stated, there won't be a mile of seat post putting an undo amount of stress on the top tube/seat tube junction. This will also allow for more seat tube adjustment, since it will bottom out where the bend is.

    The frame weight, with rear shock is a little over 7 pounds for the medium. It has replaceable drop outs (both left and right, I'm still experimenting with a Rock Shox MAXLE rear system that they're offering for 06, replaceable left and right side drop outs allow me to offer an upgrade to this thru axle set up).

    It seems like there is some good excitement. If we find out that there's enough interest (and by interest we mean people willing to plunk down some cash), we can put the frame on the fast track for development. It still has to go through cycle testing and a full shakedown to make sure it's ready for prime time.

    Steve
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    Last edited by Niner Bikes; 09-14-2005 at 07:14 PM.
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  31. #31
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    Am I the only person who thinks 6" and 29er wheels would be overkill?

    I like the bike, but I won't order one unless its lighter and has less travel. All of my riding includes uphill.

  32. #32
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    Please...a 4-inch travel version

    How about something with about 4 inches travel? The only thing in that category is the Sugars.
    I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow. When I awoke, my pillow was gone.

  33. #33
    what a joke
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    How about a 6" and a 4" travel version. Keep everyone happy!!!
    blah blah blah

  34. #34
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    Nice design Chris!

    I especially love the tire clearance. A sure sign of intelligent design.

    The linkage is reminiscent of DW-Link. I assume a bit of computer modeling went into the design. Did you have any certain goals of the design since this linkage can be tuned for various characteristics?

    My main concern it the seat angle (a la Foes). It might be very difficult for folks with longer legs (like me) to get fit properly on this bike, as the saddle height goes up, the SA will get slack quite quickly, and saddle to bar reach will increase quickly as well. I think it's a great design, but fear it may not work for me.

  35. #35
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    Any chance?

    That a interupted ST design is possible w/o breaking the bank on mfg. costs? Really don't like the ST angle that I'm seeing. I have very long legs and need 33.75" center to top of the seat. Could put me way too far back. Plus my gravity dropper would not like the load that ST angle would apply to it. That angle is going to be hard on any post as well as the frame.

    Would love to have that bike. But not being able to run a Dropper on it would be a crime.

    29erchico

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    Please try other rear shocks ie Manitou Swinger 4 way
    Looks great. IMHO you have a niche right now in the 29er market for that kind of bike. I don't know when I will be able to afford it, but it looks like it would be great fun to ride on the roughest trails.

  37. #37
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    4" version please !!

    o.k. so I can appreciate the reason for making the (first?) 6" 29FS...but I too plead for a slightly lighter/shorter travel version. But kudos on coming up with what looks like a great design for the bigwheel set. Scandium, Cro-mo, Full Susp...can't wait to see what you guys come up with next.
    that rug really tied the room together.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    We've been itching to let the veil off of her for about a week now to see what you think. This is a 6 inch travel AllMountain bike. We're not sure the market is ready yet for such a long travel bike, but we wanted to see what was possible. Because of the bent seat tube, we were able to keep the chainstays to 460mm. The ultimate angle of the seat tube above the pivot was determined by using a vitual placement of the seat (adjusted per size) and making the effective seat tube angle 73 degrees. Obviously, this angle will change slightly depending on the seat height. I've been prototyping this frame as a 26 inch wheel for about a year now, and refining it before converting it over to a 29er. As she sits (without pedals) she is 30.2 pounds. This includes some new heavy duty 29er rims from WTB. We would love to hear your comments and look forward to you posts.

    Steve
    Niner Bikes

    First off, Thank you so much for getting out those new ti bolts to me. You guys are awesome.

    As far as the frame goes, I am pretty interested. I have designed full suspension bikes before for a little company that will remain nameless here in this forum. We did horst link stuff. Not that that is the only design that works or anything, that was just what we did. That is only to give my opinion a little more weight I guess.

    When I look at what I want in a 29er frame (and I do really want one, just the right one) I want something efficient, relatively lightweight and frankly somewhat inexpensive, or at least less than a Titus or the Asylum, like around $1200 to 1500 would be great. This frame of yours is pretty interesting, and I am sure lots of folks are wanting this but to me this needs to be a little lighter even if it meant less travel. One of the nice things about 29ers is I don't feel I need as much travel as I do on a 26er.

    The pivots are cool and all, but isn't there a way to clean up the lines a bit? It just seems like too much metal. Especially with the location of that pivot in from of the bb. Maybe that is the magic spot but seems a bit combersome. But I think the piece immediately in front of the wheel looks pretty sweet. I bet ithe suspensions system works pretty well, it is just more than I am looking for in a frame. I want to get just because it is a 29er and freaking cool looking, but overkill for me probably.

    build a multi pivot 29er with 4 or 5 inches 6lbs or less under $1500 and I will give you money now.

    Overall though it looks great.

  39. #39
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    That's a handsome bike. I'm all for 6" of travel. And I'm in the market for a 29" bike... hmmm. Price neighborhood would be good: $1200-$1400? $1400-$1600? $300-$350

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    My main concern it the seat angle (a la Foes). It might be very difficult for folks with longer legs (like me) to get fit properly on this bike, as the saddle height goes up, the SA will get slack quite quickly, and saddle to bar reach will increase quickly as well. I think it's a great design, but fear it may not work for me.
    Couldn't you just run an inline post, or even a post flipped around so that the offset is forward instead of backwards?

  41. #41
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    I really like the looks of the bike, but the seat angle is to steep. I have 02 Norco Fluid with a steep seat angle, and when you raise the seat up high enough for taller riders it puts you too far behind the bottom bracket and you tend to use more hamstrings then you do the rest of your legs. Also I have bent two Thompson seat post because of the steep angle. It ends up putting a lot of stress on the post that it normally would not do on a bike with a 70 degree seat tube angle or steeper. Just my two cents, but probably not worth that.
    Last edited by Oliver; 09-14-2005 at 11:20 PM.

  42. #42
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    I really like the bike.
    Good suspension design and the travel needed for real mountain ridding.

    Like others, i have long legs and i think that the seat-tube angle may be to step for me.

    Did you try the DT swiss shock ? It really is good.
    Frenchspeaking 29"ers community site http://VingtNeuf.org

  43. #43
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    shorter travel

    always nice to see a new 29" project. But I, like some others on this thread, feel the need for a short travel 29" FS. Still not a lot of choice in that segment...

    Nice looking proto though

  44. #44
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    Folks, with such a light frame, just stick in a shorter-stroke damper, or pump the damper up a bit more to only get your magic 4 inches. IMO, more is better, as long as you don't get serious bobbing from the first inch or two.

    Brant, with a flipped setback seatpost, I fear the seat can't be adjusted to the royughly level position. And even if it can, loads will be in a direction where it's not really supported.

    The disadvantage of interrupted seattubes might be that the big rear wheel seeping forward takes out prety much all of the seat tube, so the seatpost would only get a really high up, really short bit of seattube to be stuck into. Gravity droppers will be out of the question anyway.

  45. #45
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    31# too heavy? Nah!

    Heh, just made me think about my 27# rigid single speed. 4# for 6" f and r sounds like a good deal to me. Super nice bike, I'm sure a 6" bike will sell really well. Any MRSP yet?


    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding
    Am I the only person who thinks 6" and 29er wheels would be overkill?

    I like the bike, but I won't order one unless its lighter and has less travel. All of my riding includes uphill.

  46. #46
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    Wow, what a surprise.

    I have full intentions of buying a 29" FS bike next year and have been hoping for some alternatives to what is currently available. A 29" FS bike for me will be used primarily for long distance rides and races (I wouldn’t expect to take it out of the bike shed for less than a 5 hour ride). I’m not sure a 6" bike is going to meet that need, It would have to pedal preaty darn well.

    For me personally, 6" travel at 7 lbs is not going to work. The type of riding I will do on a 6" travel frame will destroy a bike that light. All the quality kiddy wheeled 6" frames on the market are more than a pound heavier and there is a good reason why. Suspension designs aside, some of the parts look scary spindly to me in particular the trusswork between the SS and CS pivots on the rear triangle.

    When I saw the One Nine I immediately felt it was worth the risk of buying without testing myself or depending on a good product history and I have been very happy with that decision. I don’t get the same warm feeling from these photos. If it where cleaned up, and beefed up a little I may be interested. I’m sure many will love it though. Thanks for supporting this board and pushing 29" development.

  47. #47
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    Looking good.

    I wanted to 2nd the question on front end travel and was wondering if you've had any trouble the bolt and bushings where the rear shock mounts to the pivot arm. I have a friend with a Kona that has large spacers between the arms and the shock and he has had issues with it. Other than that looks pretty sweet. I'll be looking for another fully in about a year and having another Niner would be sweet.

    By the way, the One nine has been an awesome bike. I'm looking forward to many more miles with her.
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  48. #48
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    I still think the design is much more mirrored after the Balfa 2Step design moreso than the dw-link - although they are both probably similar in concept - desired results etc. etc.

    Look at the photo I posted and then look at the Niner frame - many similarities exist - the Niner definitely looks more refined than the Balfa, but I think that has to do with some of the CNC work that was done on the linkages. Was there any thought to doing something similar to Balfa by using a cromoly rear triangle and an AL front end on this bike??

    I can see where the seat tube angle could be an issue of concern - The Balfas were similar and riders often had to do a lot of fine tuning to get a good cockpit length etc. etc.



    Here's a look again at a 2Step from the side.

    Perhaps there is a way to add some metal to provide a spot for a non-etype front derailleur on the Niner frame a la the 2Step. Although perhaps the E-type actually makes more sense since 2Step riders often commented that you had to be extremely precise with front derailleur set up on their rigs.

    Note where the front derailleur sits on this 2Step:



    But again - this frame is a prototype - and with good input from this board, maybe the Niner guys will get some good ideas on how to even further refine what looks to be a super well thought out and high quality manufactured frame.

    And around 30 pounds for 6" of travel - that's damned good in my book!
    Last edited by MMcG; 09-15-2005 at 11:51 AM.

  49. #49
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    Yes, the pivot placement is more Balfa, but the path of the pivots, and the fact that it's a solid rear triangle with pivots that move in the same direction (as opposed to the counter-rotating pivots of VPP) is what makes it functionally similar to the DW-Link and Maestro.

    I wouldn't put the Niner in the same class as a 6" travel 26" bike. From the looks of it, it's more like a 5" travel All-Mountain bike with an extra inch of travel (and at 30 lbs, it's not bad for a 5" travel bike). Kinda like the Maverick Duc 32- lightweight, XC and All-Mountain, but with a little extra travel for good measure.

    30 Lbs with Exiwolfs and heavy rims means you could get it down to 28 with some tweaking. At that weight, it's on par with the Sugars, but with extra travel and (arguably) better suspension. I'd race it in local sport-class races at that weight.

  50. #50
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    2-step ground clearance?

    Wow. Look at how much bike there is BELOW the BB. Is the BB height particularly high on that bike in order to make room for the suspension link?
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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appendage
    Wow. Look at how much bike there is BELOW the BB. Is the BB height particularly high on that bike in order to make room for the suspension link?
    I think the 2Step had a 14" bottom bracket height - that bottom linkage would take some hits from rocks, but it was built pretty burly in order to withstand those types of impact.

  52. #52
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    This very interesting thread was brought to my attention by ozlongboarder. Thanks!

    It's an interesting and advanced design; potentially much superior to the other fully designs available for 29ers.

    The rear braking linkage should allow very active and bump complementary traction without significantly increasing fork weighting and dive much more than a monopivot. It'll probably rear brake like a similar travel Horst link by Titus, excellent for trail bike use. Fork angle and rider position behind the front wheel has a lot to do with rear traction too of course.

    Active suspension while pedaling is mostly path dependant, with shock tuning for pedaling being dependent on the efficiency of the path to counteract squat and bob. This looks like a similar configuration of links somewhere between Karpiel and DW. DW's design is more dynamic in transition from counter squat to freely active. Karpiel design was predominantly counter squat and downhill rearward path oriented.

    This looks more DW-Link type and would be more all-mountain rather than downhill. Very efficient for climbing with 6 inch travel without requiring over damping of low speed compression "platform" as is required by low monopivots and Horst link variations for such travel.

    I think the 6-inch good climbing trail bike will be the maximum desired travel for all mountain trail biking for some time to come. At least until frame and wheel weights come down in weight quite a lot more.

    The difference in performance of the prototype 26er the designer has been testing and a 29er version is mainly lower rolling resistance over bumps that 29-inch wheels allow. Although lower gears are required for the same climbing final drive to the ground rate, so there will be increased counter-squat from chain tensioning on the 29er (potentially felt as suspension stiffening and pedal kickback). The rider weight is relatively lower to the rear axle on a 29er so less counter-squat effect is required than a 26-inch axle bike with the same chainstay distance. A slight lowering of the IC of the link alignment may be required to maintain same pedaling kickback and counter-squat stiffening effects. I like the upper link alignment for rear braking effects and would suggest the lower link be the one adjusted to a more level angle most to lower the IC mapping to compensate for the higher axle path. But the overall suspension effect difference between a 26 and 29 wheeled similar suspension is hard to predict without testing. An adjustable link postion prototype would be valuable to dial the effects in to be seamless. (Or hire DW! the most advanced bicycle suspension designer now.)

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  53. #53
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    L U S T

    that's all i have to say about that.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner
    Yes, the pivot placement is more Balfa, but the path of the pivots, and the fact that it's a solid rear triangle with pivots that move in the same direction (as opposed to the counter-rotating pivots of VPP) is what makes it functionally similar to the DW-Link and Maestro.
    Agreed - the Balfa uses a solid rear triangle as well. I guess I'd categorize the Niner frame, the dw-link, and the Maestro into a similar category, with each design having their own subtle or not so subtle differences. Seems like the general idea behind these linkages is very similar don't you think? Implementation of the idea differs however.

    It would seem to me that pedal feeback would be very minimal with this Niner design and for a 6" bike that is a great thing!

    I hear a lot of comments about riders wanting a 4" travel FS 29er option, and this prototype with 6" of travel.

    Perhaps a 5" All Mountain 29er is the happy medium??

    Although if the 6" works fine - why not right? Hopefully it will push the 29er envelope a bit enticing other manufacturers to produce forks and wheels of a similar caliber/travel range etc.

    This is all good stuff in my opinion. Niner bikes really impresses me with their thinking.

    I need to win the lottery or something.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    Couldn't you just run an inline post, or even a post flipped around so that the offset is forward instead of backwards?
    Like this (Nice bars by the way): If I need to do this on a "normal" bike, I wonder how it will work on this other, very slack seat-tube. Might work great, but who knows.
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  56. #56
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    OMG I think I just innoculated.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Like this (Nice bars by the way): If I need to do this on a "normal" bike, I wonder how it will work on this other, very slack seat-tube. Might work great, but who knows.
    Is that bike standing in front of a funhouse mirror?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    I've been prototyping this frame as a 26 inch wheel for about a year now, and refining it before converting it over to a 29er.
    you wanting to sell the 26" version at all. i'd love to have a more refined version of the balfa. the linkage never really worked right on that one.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHS
    you wanting to sell the 26" version at all. i'd love to have a more refined version of the balfa. the linkage never really worked right on that one.
    Was probably due to the shock that was on the one you rode.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Is that bike standing in front of a funhouse mirror?
    Tell me about it. Luckily, the new KM fits great and looks "normal", but the saddle height, bar height, and saddle-bars relationship is the same. El Capitan here I come.

    This is also why I didn't laugh at the post you had a while back with the bizaar Uzzi. Didn't look so bad to me.

  61. #61
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    Wow!

    Simply...WOW! First 29er frame that has made me start conspiring on how I'd come up with the funds to purchase.

    Since everyone else is making suggestions/complaints...could you make sure the seatpost diameter is 30.9? Sure would make it easier for me to swap parts off my current ride...

  62. #62
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    Shocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    On the 26" version, I've tried every single shock availible with this design (that would fit). So far, the Fox is the only shock that will actually get the travel to the end of the shaft (the full 2.5" claim). I had trouble with both the Manitou and the 5th Element Air ramping up too quickly in the stroke, making the last 1/4" almost impossible to get.

    I will definitly ride all of the shocks I can. I've spent some time on the new Rock Shox Pearl with good results. They're still doing some refining, but the shock felt very nice and the spring rate did not ramp up too quickly. I do want to stick with air, however, to keep the weight down.

    Steve
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    Steve,

    As you know the new shock technology is huge! When I had my Intense Tracer I hated the bobbing. When I put a stable platform shock on it WOW what a difference.

    I would like to see the Fox DHX Air (or some thing like it) on this frame. IMO the RP3 is not tunable enough for an All Mountain frame.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appendage
    How about something with about 4 inches travel? The only thing in that category is the Sugars.
    Only the Sugar? How 'bout the Van Dessel Buzz Bomb FS or the Asylum. Then there's the 3" Lenz Leviathan, the 5" Ventana El Capitan. I must be missing others. Gary Fisher isn't the only game in town close to 4".

    I gotta say, I really like what I see...looks like Niner is really onto something here. I'm also curious what the price is gonna be on this frame, how it pedals on hills, handles, etc. Could have the makings of a great all-day, all-around ride.
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  64. #64
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    Some thoughts:

    Looks very, very nice. There's a lot of work in that. When can we see some measurements?

    I agree with derby: tweaking the linkage for a lower IC/less chain pull at the beginning of the stroke could be in order. Right now, even with sag, it's at least as high as a Bullitt.

    I hope it's possible to get the seat angle slightly less laid back...Gravity Droppers are really nice, and a 6" trail bike really wants one. I think most people would be willing to take a slightly longer chainstay in exchange...if you really want your weight that far back over the rear, get a layback seatpost.

    7# for a 6" frame is pretty light. If you need a lighter frame, you don't need 6" of travel. If you want 4", you've got several choices already. And if you don't mind the extra pound, just pump the shock up hard and you've got your 4" or 5".

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo

    I agree with derby: tweaking the linkage for a lower IC/less chain pull at the beginning of the stroke could be in order. Right now, even with sag, it's at least as high as a Bullitt.

    I hope it's possible to get the seat angle slightly less laid back...Gravity Droppers are really nice, and a 6" trail bike really wants one. I think most people would be willing to take a slightly longer chainstay in exchange...if you really want your weight that far back over the rear, get a layback seatpost.
    Thanks everybody for your comments. They are welcome and all very good and helpful. As far as the seat angle is concerned, many people have expressed reservation about this, so I will take a hard look at it. I have to say, having gone over every single aspect of this frame as a 26er, it's a difficult task. As the seatpost sits right now, when the suspension nears bottom out position, the upper linkage where the chainstays meet the pivot location will swing through the seat tube and the upper chainstay yolk comes very close to hitting the seat tube. I have found that this angle has been no problem for me, but I must admit that my 5'11" height might proclude me from some of the problems addresses here. I would like to say that I've taken the 26er down some gnarly stuff and have done everything from brutal crashes to landing on the seat having accidently clipped out on a drop and the only damage done was bent rails on the saddle. No problem with the post or the seat tube/top tube junction. But also, as stated, this might not work with a gravity dropper (although I would like to try it. One nice thing about this angle is that when the seat is in the down position, it is more forward and out of the way for super steep descents. I actually prefer this type of seat tube angle for getting the seat out of the way, and adding top tube length and traction on the rear wheel for when it's up). Having said that, I will definitly take a hard look at possible alternatives. It's a good note and should take some looking at.

    Having designed this frame first as a 26er will give me the opportunity to ride the two bikes back to back and compare their riding quality. Before undergoing this project, I spent three hard months riding an Intense 5.5, as I wanted to use this as a base line for ride quality, pedal efficiancy, and active suspension. IMHO, I think the 5.5 is one of the best riding all mountain bikes on the market (for a 26er at least). I took it to Moab and hammered it for two weeks, then tested it in several other types of terrain. It's also important to note that when transfering the design over to a 29er, many things change (besides the chainstay length) and so needed a complete redesign of pivot locations, etc. I had to go back to the drawing board and tweak just about everything on the frame. The BB drops in relationship to the axles and the larger wheel were obviously the two largest chages on the frame, but these changes mean changing pivot locations and insuring that the two linkage pieces work together as they were designed to do.

    To address the IC that both Derby and El Caballo spoke of, I think it's important to understand more about the type of design here before addressing the Ellseworth theory of IC. One of the main components to the VPP design is the rearwards moving lower pivot. In theory, the lower pivot can not be forced to move rearwards from a chain pulling forwards. The rest of the VPP design works with the upper link rotating in the opposite direction of the lower link and the combination of the link size and location to each other is what gives the VPP their S rear wheel path. Both of the links are moving in the same direction on this bike (Yes, much like the DW-Link, Balfa, Schwinn Rocket 88, Giant Reign, Storck Organic (which I rode for over a year and loved), BMC fourstroke and others), and they both play a critical role in determining axle path (length of pivots and relationship to each other are crucial). In addition, the lower link has to have a rising rate to insure that the two links work together correctly. The Bullit is a single pivot design, and so only has one arc, this bike would qualify as a VPP (since the pivot point location is virtual and changes depending on where the wheel is in the travel, by definition, any horst link bike is also a vitual pivot bike). Check the lower pivot angle of all of the bikes mentioned above, and you'll see that this is fairly standard. What's different about the links on the Niner is their length. One of the design parameters for this frame was a low leverage ratio (it.s 2.4:1). I am a firm believer in lower leverage ratio's as it allows for better shock tuneability. I have never designed a full suspension bike with anything greater than 2.5:1.

    This is getting long winded. Sorry. As a final statement, after the show, I will have the bike in Colorado. After I put some time on it, I would like to extend an invitation to anybody in Colorado who would like to ride it (provided that you at least sort of fit on it, it's a medium) and give true, first hand feedback of the frame.

    Lastly, we are working on a 4" version, and many of the really good comments from this post will go into the design of the 4" version, but I wouldn't expect to see anything on that till early next year.

    Steve
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    more more

    Please, long winded is good. I love to hear from the real designers/builders, even if I don't understand it all. Great looking bike, thanks for the sneak peek and open discussion of design philosophy. Keep up the good work!

  67. #67
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    One idea might be to design the bike around a setback Thomson for "medium" inseam riders, so taller legged rider can just get a straight one and extend it further. I know, difference between both is minute, but still...please make sure you're designing it for one type of rider only, like almost happened with the One9, which would have been for super-short legged riders only.

    That said, I do see logic however in the slacker STA as the seat is raised. After all, 95% of the adult world shares 4 or 5 frame sizes from 15 tot 23, while they use cranks 170-180mm. To get a favorable knee-over-pedal fit, taller riders do in general use a slacker STA. S bikes : 74-75º, XXL : 72º.
    This means that tall dudes get relatively super-short rear ends on their bikes, their asses hang over the rear axle more or less, shorties sit straight above the BB almost.

  68. #68
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    knockin thomson?

    Maybe it would be even better to design it around an Easton post or something else with a little more significant setback than the Thomson? I think the Easton is almost double the setback, and others are too. I love the kinked look, but it seems like kind of a waste, design wise, to achieve so little effective setback

  69. #69
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    With that odd a seat tube angle, load support of the seatpost's head section is pretty vital IMO. Are there any seatposts specifically designed for such frame layouts and XC (level) seat adjustment?

  70. #70
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    Just a thought, seems to me you could take care of some of the worries about the seat tube angle if you offered an upgrade for custom sizes. I'm not especially worried about the angle, but I would want to have very specific geometry details and measurements, including standover and a simple way to calculate seat height and effective top tube measurement at various heights.

    Of course my hardtail has a Thudbuster on it now, which changes the effective top tube length with evey bump and it really isn't a problem.

    Did Niner mention the frame material? Is this frame Scandium like the One 9?
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  71. #71
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    SDG posts and saddles would work- I Beam

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    With that odd a seat tube angle, load support of the seatpost's head section is pretty vital IMO. Are there any seatposts specifically designed for such frame layouts and XC (level) seat adjustment?
    So would some others. Maverick has a very similar slack angled post saddle set-up. I have not read any horror stories on that...yet!

    This may be seen as a minor complaint by most, but what about that water bottle mount down between the two cable runs. Seems almost useless, as the bottle would force the two cable housings outwards, binding things up somewhat. Maybe you folks that ride bikes like this use water carrying backpacks, or you are camels! I know there is another mount underneath the downtube, but they don't count.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    So would some others. Maverick has a very similar slack angled post saddle set-up. I have not read any horror stories on that...yet!

    This may be seen as a minor complaint by most, but what about that water bottle mount down between the two cable runs. Seems almost useless, as the bottle would force the two cable housings outwards, binding things up somewhat. Maybe you folks that ride bikes like this use water carrying backpacks, or you are camels! I know there is another mount underneath the downtube, but they don't count.
    Actually, the cables are clocked around the downtube far enough on either side that the water bottle mount is totally functional and it doesn't alter the cable housing (having a usable water bottle mount is super important for me if for no other reason than to hold my light battery). On this prototype, however, the mounts were welded on too close to the bottom bracket area and they need to be moved up. Also, the rear brake line is 'almost' too short, so the cable could, if it were longer, do a slightly larger s from the down tube to the chainstay without any ill effect.

    We still have some tweaking to do, sometimes it's the little things like that that need to be worked out for production. Thanks, and good eye.
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  73. #73
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    Love it but my preference would be for 4-5" instead of 6".

    Now to convince the Mrs. that this is a worthy investment...
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver
    I really like the looks of the bike, but the seat angle is to steep. I have 02 Norco Fluid with a steep seat angle, and when you raise the seat up high enough for taller riders it puts you too far behind the bottom bracket and you tend to use more hamstrings then you do the rest of your legs. Also I have bent two Thompson seat post because of the steep angle. It ends up putting a lot of stress on the post that it normally would not do on a bike with a 70 degree seat tube angle or steeper. Just my two cents, but probably not worth that.
    Funny....this type of STA seems to work out just fine when factored into the design of the frame. Notice this ever?
    By the way, I've been riding a Thomson post at max extension on a hardtail and squishies for about 4 years at about 250lbs riding weight. If you are breaking those posts you have got problems!
    Note the STA on this design....
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  75. #75
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    Me likes e-type front ders.
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  76. #76
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    Why is it that I cant stop looking at this bike?.............. 32lbs of 6" travel all mountain performance, the future is looking good.
    blah blah blah

  77. #77
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    Slack on a Maverick

    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    If you are breaking those posts you have got problems!
    Note the STA on this design....
    I've got a Thomson Elite on my ML7, pretty sure it's 410mm - bent one - (free replacement from Thomson, They Rock!). Pretty much my fault, high speed G-out. I weigh 200 fully loaded if you know what I mean.

    The bigger issue with the slacker STA I believe is the need for a slightly shorter TT for easier fit reasons (think what happens as you raise the saddle).

    The shorter TT should'nt really be a problem with a 6in travel bike. As it should have slacker angles all around.

    Maybe Steve can address this.
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  78. #78
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    Steve:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Suspension design involves a lot of choices and tradeoffs: it's good to know what yours have been, because it clarifies the intended use of the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    One nice thing about this angle is that when the seat is in the down position, it is more forward and out of the way for super steep descents.
    I agree. If it works as is with a Gravity Dropper, great! You could probably just call them up and ask: plenty of FR bikes have slack seatposts, so I'm sure they have some data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    To address the IC that both Derby and El Caballo spoke of, I think it's important to understand more about the type of design here before addressing the Ellseworth theory of IC.
    Oh God, no. I do not subscribe to the Ellsworth theory (put the pivot on the chain line) of IC, because as far as I can tell, the physics is wrong. (A better approximation would be "chain line parallel to line through axle and IC"). I'm simply noting that, all other things being equal, a high IC will pedal stiffly (more feedback) and a low IC will pedal softly (less feedback). Based on the picture you posted, the IC starts out pretty high, though it descends through travel, which is good: less feedback. (Most 4-bar designs do this to some extent.)

    I know you're totally aware of the tradeoffs here...I'm just taking the position that a 6" trail bike shouldn't pedal too stiffly.

    One final question: the linkage appears to be strongly progressive. Do you think that adding an air shock to it might make it excessively progressive, and might that be the reason you don't get full travel out of some air shocks? (Maybe the Fox is more linear; I don't know.)

  79. #79
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    I am no way an engineer, but I used to be an electrician who worked alot of conduit with a pipe bender, for the taller folks( I like Chris am a perfect medium) could you not have an "s" bend in the seat tube? that way you could kick the seat tad forward?
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  80. #80
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    New question here. O.t.

    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico
    My only worry is if my beloved Gravity Dropper Seatpost will work with such a steep ST angle. I may be in luck as I would need an XL sized frame and possibly it will not need to be so steep.

    29erchico
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    How do you like that post? I have been thinking about one.
    Last edited by DeeZee; 10-03-2005 at 04:53 PM.

  81. #81
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    460mm=18.1 inches.

    And you should think seriously about using a one-piece lower link and some cross-bracing between the upper links to prevent lateral flex/play.

    And make sure there's tire clearance for thos big treads... that should be here by sometime in '08...

  82. #82
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    Real world testing

    Just so you know we do real world testing and have fun on our Niners. Here are some pictures of Steve eyeing and then launching a 6 ft drop flat to flat on the prototype full suspension.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes
    Just so you know we do real world testing and have fun on our Niners. Here are some pictures of Steve eyeing and then launching a 6 ft drop flat to flat on the prototype full suspension.
    I love these forums!

    Carry on.

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  84. #84
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    For me...so close

    Oh man. This bike is the closest thing to what Ive been looking for for the last few years. In my dream world I want a full suspension, 29 inched wheel bike with a vpp design, short chainstays, all sealed cartridge bearings...and what yours could be but isnt quite...light weight, and 4 inches of travel. Although youve mentioned an FSR suspension is techically a vpp Ive never really cared for the FSRs Ive ridden. I find FSRs need to be ridden with full damping otherwise I feel like Im riding a pogo stick. So I suppose I really wanted a non-FSR vpp.

    One of the few drawbacks I find in 29 inched bikes is the difficulty in manualing/bunny hopping/wheeling (compared to little wheels). I realize this is a tradeoff with the big wheels climbing prowess but I dont want to make it any more difficult to lift the front end by making longer chainstays compared to my hardtail (it climbs good enough).

    Sealed cartridge bearings because I like to ride my bike not work on it. And when I ride my bike I like for it not to make noise (see Gary Fisher).

    My favorite rides are long rides so light weight is nice. This may sound contradictory but you dont have to use scandium. It doesnt do anything for me. It is good for marketing, just not this market. Regular aluminum please.

    I have owned a Moots Mooto-X, a Fisher Paragon, have a Vicious Cycles Groover on order (judging by what Ive written here you can see the market doesnt provide what I want exactly), and have ridden everything else. The Moots is probably the best bike out there for my riding style (but there could be better). The Fisher is in some ways the funnest but a 3.75 to 4 inch full suspension bike would be best. Six is too much for me. I like the big bottom bracket drop of 29" bikes. It makes me feel like Ive inherited a ballance gene when riding steep technical climbs and it feels like Im on rails on the downhill (in a good way). So I dont want to loose that because the bottom bracket has to be jacked up on a 6" bike. I guess even a well built and designed 3" bike would be good. I looked long and hard at the Lenz but couldnt pull the trigger (on top of all of this, Im vain and I like my bikes to appeal to my eye).

    That is all of my long winded rant and backhanded plea for my perfect bike. Thanks for asking.

    JFJ
    --------- __o
    ------- _`\<,_
    ------ (*)/ (*)
    ******************
    Running is for prey.

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation: goneskiian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Chicken Bones
    The Fisher is in some ways the funnest but a 3.75 to 4 inch full suspension bike would be best. Six is too much for me.
    You're in luck! This will actually come to market as a 4.5" travel bike not the 6" you see here.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=134199

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=133899

    Cheers!
    -Ian
    Last edited by goneskiian; 10-04-2005 at 10:29 PM.

  86. #86
    what a joke
    Reputation: ozlongboarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    2,279
    Hey Niner guys!
    Any more info on when it will be available? Geometry, sizing, colors?
    I know you posted about letting people in CO ride the proto, has that happened yet?
    blah blah blah

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