Niner BSB9 RDO cyclocross bike review- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 60 of 60
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772

    Niner BSB9 RDO cyclocross bike review

    Not a mountain bike but I saw a thread about the RLT9 so I thought some might appreciate it. I posted it on a cyclocross forum and thought I'd share with MTBR. I'm coming off of a 2015 Felt F65X. I initially got a cheaper bike to make sure I liked that kind of bike before getting something nicer.

    It's better in every way. I really could leave it at that, but I won't. It's certainly more expensive so it SHOULD be better, but let's talk about why.

    BUILD - I built it up with Ultegra cassette/derailleur/chain, Shimano RS685/RS785 shifters/hydro brakes, Niner carbon seat post, Zipp bars, 3T stem, SRAM CX1 carbon crank with Race Face ring, and moved over my Light Bicycle wheelset I built for the other bike.

    FRAME STIFFNESS - More of my power reaches the tires instead of flexing the frame. On my Felt if I was in cogs 8, 9, 10, or 11 I flexed the frame enough to make the chain rub the derailleur when standing. In cogs 10 and 11 I could do it seated. The Felt's front derailleur was adjusted so perfectly that this truly was a frame flex issue, not a poor FD adjustment. The other frame was really just that much of a noodle. My other frame was BB386 and it's my understanding that long spindle BB30 (the format of a CX1 crank) is essentially the same dimensions as BB386 so it's really just the frame that is giving this stiffness (same wheels/tires). The Felt had a cheapo Gossamer crank so that could be part of it but the spindle is essentially the same.

    FRAME COMFORT - Even though the new bike is so much stiffer, it rides like a magic carpet. I did a 60 mile singletrack/gravel loop on Monday. Normally this type of riding on my other bike would have my lower back hurting by 10 miles and ACHING by 20 miles, forcing me to stop and stretch every 5-10 miles. The stack height on the new bike is ~10mm higher so I'm more upright and that's part of it but I really think Niner's carbon fiber is made of unicorn blood. The vibration reduction is nuts. I'm on the exact same wheelset/tires/tire pressure/bar tape (same brand anyway, it's new tape). All that has changed that would affect comfort is the frame and fork and seat post. These are big changes but they make a BIG difference.

    BRAKES - The brakes (TRP Spyre) on my Felt were hot garbage. My other two bikes have XTR hydros and Dura Ace rim brakes so I was certainly used to a higher tier of brake but they were nevertheless pretty bad. The new bike has the same wheeset/rotors (XTR rotors) so it's just the calipers/levers that are different, and again, unicorn blood. I've never had any gripes with the Dura Ace brakes on my road bike but they feel only "decent" rather than "great" after riding the hydros on the new bike. The modulation, power, everything is great on the new brakes. I used to get hand cramps it took so much to get the old bike to slow down. 3-4 fingers. New brakes = 1 finger braking. Somehow I got brake fluid on the rear pads and I didn't notice it until my first ride. It's pretty flat around here (where I was riding anyway) so I decided to just do a ride with my front brake. After I got back I baked the pads in the oven (20 mins @ 400 degrees) and cleaned the rotors with alcohol and they were great for the second ride. But on the first ride I went over the bars at the first corner. Part of this was that I was overcompensating for the lack of a rear brake but mostly because it's THAT much more powerful than the TRP Spyres. "Over the bars" is a little bit of an exaggeration... I started to endo and bailed. But still.

    DRIVETRAIN - As good as Shimano has done their entry level 11spd 105, the RS685 shifters are much better. Some people can't tell the difference but I can tell a distinct difference between 105, Ultegra, and Dura Ace. 105 feels kinda mushy and imprecise by comparison. The RS685, in a blind test, I don't think I could tell a difference between it and Dura Ace. Having the bike set up 1x11 with a 40T Race Face ring and 11-32 Ultegra cassette is great. I mostly ride this bike around the city on the singletrack and gravel so if I rode it where I ride my mountain bike I'd probably want a 2x11 crank or an 11-36 cassette. But if I'm going to drive to ride, I'm taking my mountain bike.

    That's about it

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    so bottom line - the BSB9 absolutely kicks ass. *nods head* good, good. Glad to hear it.
    just ride.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: toddre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,389
    Without a pic I don't believe you

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by toddre View Post
    Without a pic I don't believe you
    Niner BSB9 RDO cyclocross bike review-n44tlxd.jpg

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    The angle makes the saddle and bars not level, they are

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: toddre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,389
    That's a good looking bike!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Thanks! I'm enjoying it so far.

  8. #8
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    I just bought a Black / Red BSB9 as well. This is my 4th Niner, still have a JET9 RDO and a ONE9 as well. I had been using the ONE9 setup 1x11 with a rigid RDO fork as my gravel grinder / trail / commute type of option, but this bike fits the bill much better.

    I have a nice road bike, Specialized Tarmac, that I commute on quite a bit but last spring / summer was really wet for us and the paths and roads were a muddy mess for months. I wanted something with some more mud clearance and better braking, especially in wet conditions.

    I looked around and rode a bunch of different rigs including the Santa Cruz Stigmata, Salsa Warbird, Niner RLT, etc. All had some plus and minuses, but really felt at home and comfortable on the BSB9 which isn't surprising given how well the Large frame geometry fits me typically.

    I've gotten in a little over 100 miles on mine now with a mix of singletrack, dirt road, gravel path, and pavement. Mine is setup with SRAM Force 22, Zipp handlebars & stem and Niner seatpost. I put a set of the Stan's Holy Grail wheels (awesome so far) on it as well and I am currently running Clement USH 35 tires, which are great on both trail and pavement.

    When I did the 25 mile pavement commute on it, I noticed how much smoother the ride was compared to my Tarmac with 25 tires on it. Being able to run the 35s with 60psi versus the 25s with 85 - 90 made a huge difference. I honestly felt that even with the USH tires on it, it was nearly as fast as my Tarmac and the average speeds were right in line with my typical commute on the Tarmac.

    The disc brakes are an enormous upgrade for a guy my size. My Tarmac is terrible at stopping with my training wheelset, and even worse when I put the carbon Zipp wheels on. The BSB with discs stops as well as my mountain bikes.

    Rough singletrack still requires attention and slower speeds than the ONE9 and definitely slower the JET9, but its worlds faster on the paved stuff and quite a bit faster on the gravel stuff. I shattered my personal best time on a gravel path hill climb that I had done over 40 times, beating my old mark of 4:37 by a pretty massive 23 seconds.

    With bottles, pedals, Garmin mounts, etc all on the bike it weighed in a bit over 18 pounds. A couple pounds more than the road bike, a couple less than the One9 in its current form. I could certainly shave some weight and get to around 17 with some upgrades, but I don't really see any need at the moment.

    Bike has been super fun so far and I love the fact that I could go ride it straight to a cross race and race it in its current form without issue. I am really impressed how comfortable it is for longer rides, they've done a great job balancing the stiffness for efficiency and the forgiveness when you hit the rough stuff.

    And an obligatory pic from my commute down to catch my bus this morning:
    Niner BSB9 RDO cyclocross bike review-bsb9-commute.jpg

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    I'm sure you could go way, way lower on the pressure than that.

    At 235-240lbs, I'm running my front 40c Nano as low as 23psi but usually high 20's or 30 on the dot. My rear 38c is usually set to 35psi.

    When I had 35's front and rear I ran 38-40psi rear and 35psi front.

  10. #10
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    I'm sure you could go way, way lower on the pressure than that.

    At 235-240lbs, I'm running my front 40c Nano as low as 23psi but usually high 20's or 30 on the dot. My rear 38c is usually set to 35psi.

    When I had 35's front and rear I ran 38-40psi rear and 35psi front.
    Yeah I need to start experimenting with lower pressures, just took a stab at them and went. On today's commute, there were several pretty rough sections (normally never notice the bumps on my JET9) that I thought lower pressures would be good. I'm about 2 bills suited up, so 40 range is probably a good starting point.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    I tend to run lower pressures than most (maybe its my pump?) but I still think I'd rattle a filling loose if I ran 60psi! haha

    Due to the nature of exponentially increasing volume with width, a tire that less than twice as wide can be run at less than half the pressure. For example, if a 25mm wide tire needs 100psi, a 50mm tire is going to be able to be run a lot lower than 50psi (not that these are what you are using, just using round numbers).

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    does the BSB have fender mounts? It's thru-axle front, 135QR rear correct?

    also, how is the riding position? Is it a pure racing position or is it a bit more upright?
    just ride.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    does the BSB have fender mounts? It's thru-axle front, 135QR rear correct?

    also, how is the riding position? Is it a pure racing position or is it a bit more upright?
    BSB is "race oriented" so no fender mounts. I think the RLT might have mounts though as it is more "gravel grinder/adventure oriented".

    The 2015 BSB is thru axle front, QR rear. The 2016 BSB is TA front and rear.

    The riding position is very comfortable for me. My old bike (Felt F65) wreaked havoc on my lower back on longer rides. The BSB has slightly less reach (~1cm if I remember right) and I put a 1cm shorter stem on it so I'm naturally more upright. It seems pretty versatile, no gripes at all.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    ah, interesting, so the 2016 is front and rear TA, very interesting indeed.
    just ride.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    ah, interesting, so the 2016 is front and rear TA, very interesting indeed.
    Yes, finding a spare wheelset to road ride on this winter was quite the endeavor.

    Finding wheels that are thru axle front, QR rear, 11spd hub, disc... I almost resigned myself to a custom build, which I didn't want to do given how little I would use it as it would definitely be costly.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    yeah, that's one of the things i'm looking at. I have 'narrowed' (HA!!! YEAH RIGHT) my choices presently down to the Warbird, the RLT Steel, the Cutthroat, and the BSB. At least, those are the top contenders, for now (and the next day or 3). One of the biggest things I want to be able to do is do nice long off-road rides and fast road commutes during the summer so wheel compatibility is a major consideration (and it's why the CruX is not in consideration). I also want to be able to "race" CX with it (I use the term 'race' quite loosely, as I "race" on a 30+ lb steel 2012 Fargo now, haha)
    just ride.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    yeah, that's one of the things i'm looking at. I have 'narrowed' (HA!!! YEAH RIGHT) my choices presently down to the Warbird, the RLT Steel, the Cutthroat, and the BSB. At least, those are the top contenders, for now (and the next day or 3). One of the biggest things I want to be able to do is do nice long off-road rides and fast road commutes during the summer so wheel compatibility is a major consideration (and it's why the CruX is not in consideration). I also want to be able to "race" CX with it (I use the term 'race' quite loosely, as I "race" on a 30+ lb steel 2012 Fargo now, haha)
    I'd definitely go with carbon, whether its the BSB frame or something else. If it is the BSB, the frame is a featherweight ~950 grams (barely over 2lbs). I've done 60 mile singletrack/gravel loops on it so it certainly isn't just a race bike.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    yeah, the other 3 are all carbon rides. The RLT Steel happens to have a ton of utility so that's why I'm including it (plus it looks sweet as heck). Chances are pretty good I'll end up getting one of the 3 carbon rides though. Riding the steel fargo after riding my carbon Roubaix, the darn thing is just SO damn heavy
    just ride.

  19. #19
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    yeah, that's one of the things i'm looking at. I have 'narrowed' (HA!!! YEAH RIGHT) my choices presently down to the Warbird, the RLT Steel, the Cutthroat, and the BSB. At least, those are the top contenders, for now (and the next day or 3). One of the biggest things I want to be able to do is do nice long off-road rides and fast road commutes during the summer so wheel compatibility is a major consideration (and it's why the CruX is not in consideration). I also want to be able to "race" CX with it (I use the term 'race' quite loosely, as I "race" on a 30+ lb steel 2012 Fargo now, haha)
    I looked at a lot of those same bikes. The Warbird was one that I was really interested in, but the carbon version release date kept getting pushed back and I gave up. I rode the new aluminum version, but it wasn't for me. The rear chainstays are funky looking. SUPER wide on top, but then behind the bottom bracket they are thinner. Rode OK, but I love the ride of carbon and how well it soaks up the chatter.

    My route to work is 25 miles each way, and the BSB feels every bit as fast and efficient as my "real" road bike. I ran a gravel tire up front and a 28mm road tire the other day and averaged the same speed I had done the previous week on my Tarmac.

    I love the looks of the RLT Steel, but the heavier weight was a drawback. I had a SIR9 that was steel and it rode really well, but then I got a ONE9 and ended up riding the heck out of it and eventually selling the SIR9 as it was a couple pounds heavier.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    I threw road tires on my BSB the other day on a cheap/heavy wheelset I have and I averaged .5mph slower and felt like I was working harder in order to accomplish that.

    The BSB had Gatorskins and heavy wheels whereas my road bike has light wheels and GP4000SII's so I'm assuming it was just that... I know a few guys who sold their road bikes and just got a second wheelset for the BSB. If I could accomplish the same gear stepping/range with a 1x11 setup I'd do the same thing but that wouldn't be possible so I'm sticking with a separate road bike.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub View Post
    I looked at a lot of those same bikes. The Warbird was one that I was really interested in, but the carbon version release date kept getting pushed back and I gave up. I rode the new aluminum version, but it wasn't for me. The rear chainstays are funky looking. SUPER wide on top, but then behind the bottom bracket they are thinner. Rode OK, but I love the ride of carbon and how well it soaks up the chatter.

    My route to work is 25 miles each way, and the BSB feels every bit as fast and efficient as my "real" road bike. I ran a gravel tire up front and a 28mm road tire the other day and averaged the same speed I had done the previous week on my Tarmac.

    I love the looks of the RLT Steel, but the heavier weight was a drawback. I had a SIR9 that was steel and it rode really well, but then I got a ONE9 and ended up riding the heck out of it and eventually selling the SIR9 as it was a couple pounds heavier.
    good perspective. i'm not in the market for a bike just yet, this is me in my planning/daydreaming stage so i have awhile to go before i have to drop the $$$
    just ride.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    2,223
    The main issue I have with this bike, if used to race cx in muddy environments, is the shelf behind the BB where the chainstays meet the seat tube. I've seen a LOT of these bikes completely pack full back there and clog up terribly. I can't for the life of me understand whey they designed it that way... and why they didn't just fix it when reworking the bike for this season anyhow.

    Actually I know whey they didn't fix it this go around... simply changing the dropout to a 142 thru probably didn't mean they needed totally new molds

    But, they are light and ride great. Killer gravel and exploring bike. In a dryer environment I think it would be a great cx race bike.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    601
    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab View Post
    The main issue I have with this bike, if used to race cx in muddy environments, is the shelf behind the BB where the chainstays meet the seat tube. I've seen a LOT of these bikes completely pack full back there and clog up terribly. I can't for the life of me understand whey they designed it that way... and why they didn't just fix it when reworking the bike for this season anyhow.

    Actually I know whey they didn't fix it this go around... simply changing the dropout to a 142 thru probably didn't mean they needed totally new molds

    But, they are light and ride great. Killer gravel and exploring bike. In a dryer environment I think it would be a great cx race bike.
    Maybe so, but I've seen that problem on every CX bike that had chain stays. And its even worse on bikes that use front der pulleys. The pulleys really pack up bad.
    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If I told you I saw a unicorn ****ing a leprechaun trail side, you'd probably be suspicious. :D

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Niner Bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,182
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback! Here is another review done on the BSB 9 RDO by grit.cx
    Niner BSB 9 RDO Review | grit.cx Reviews

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the review. I'm building up my 2015 frame now with the same shifter/brake caliper combo as you. What size rotor did you use? If 160mm, what disc brake adapter?

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by tpgrole View Post
    Thanks for the review. I'm building up my 2015 frame now with the same shifter/brake caliper combo as you. What size rotor did you use? If 160mm, what disc brake adapter?
    160mm rotor

    I used the post mount 160 -> 180mm adapter. There isn't a 140 -> 160mm adapter but the other one provides 20mm rise just the same.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    160mm rotor

    I used the post mount 160 -> 180mm adapter. There isn't a 140 -> 160mm adapter but the other one provides 20mm rise just the same.
    Thanks! I assumed that was it, but started to second guess myself.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    178
    Nice bike alias. What size is it?

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    The biggest one, 62cm if I remember right

  30. #30
    bog
    bog is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,270
    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great feedback! Here is another review done on the BSB 9 RDO by grit.cx
    Niner BSB 9 RDO Review | grit.cx Reviews

    Peace,
    Niner Bikes
    Certainly wouldn't call that a review.
    Tallboy3c : Stigmata2 : Hightower LT

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    7
    anybody know where i can find a 56cm frame black/red?

    2015 version would be prefered

  32. #32
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by Tlong80 View Post
    anybody know where i can find a 56cm frame black/red?

    2015 version would be prefered
    Backcountry.com / CompetitiveCyclist.com have the 2016 version in 56cm. Can get 10% off by going through ActiveJunky.com. They appear to be sold out of the 2015 version in black / red. Makes me glad I jumped on the super sale they had a month or so ago, price is way higher now and my size (56 as well) is gone.

    Niner BSB 9 RDO Cyclocross Frameset - 2016 | Backcountry.com

    BikeBling.com has the 2015 in 56cm in the black / red combo, but the price is the same as the 2016.

    Niner BSB 9 RDO Frameset 2015 from Bike Bling

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    50
    Hello All,
    What size are you running and how tall? I an 5'7" and looking a the chart Niner has a 53 is for someone that is 5'5" to I believe 5'10". With a 53" seat tube my seat is pretty far down... yet the top tube and reach are good.

  34. #34
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by sandfrog View Post
    Hello All,
    What size are you running and how tall? I an 5'7" and looking a the chart Niner has a 53 is for someone that is 5'5" to I believe 5'10". With a 53" seat tube my seat is pretty far down... yet the top tube and reach are good.
    6ft, 32" inseam and running a 56cm frame.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Just an update, went on another adventure ride yesterday. 80 miles of at least 60% singletrack/gravel. There was a rain front coming in and I ran out of time so I had to take the road back to get home before the rain or that would have been more like 80-90% singletrack.

    The Niner was a magic carpet ride all over again. Some neck soreness by the end of the ride but that was about it. Not bad for a "race bike".

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Just an update, went on another adventure ride yesterday. 80 miles of at least 60% singletrack/gravel. There was a rain front coming in and I ran out of time so I had to take the road back to get home before the rain or that would have been more like 80-90% singletrack.

    The Niner was a magic carpet ride all over again. Some neck soreness by the end of the ride but that was about it. Not bad for a "race bike".

    everytime i think i've decided on the Stigmata, I come back to read something from you about the BSB, and it gets me to thinking once again
    just ride.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    everytime i think i've decided on the Stigmata, I come back to read something from you about the BSB, and it gets me to thinking once again
    I'm sure they're both great. I sometimes wonder if the Stigmata wouldn't have been even better than it is.

  38. #38
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    everytime i think i've decided on the Stigmata, I come back to read something from you about the BSB, and it gets me to thinking once again
    Niner BSB9 RDO cyclocross bike review-11425260_10153405817064723_2729086834444032030_n.jpg

    I got to ride a Stigmata on a SRAM 1x Open the Road event this year. It was decked out with a 1x drivetrain, Zipp tubular wheels, etc. We did a 40ish mile route of pavement, dirt, gravel and trails.

    I didn't like the Stigmata nearly as much. It didn't fit me nearly as well, and everyone will be different but definitely try to get a ride on one before you buy. Same with the Niner.

    I am not racing mine, but have been putting a lot of miles in on it (did 60+ commuting through snow packed bike trails, ice, etc one day last week.

    I definitely haven't had any "wish I would have bought that" thoughts about the Stigmata after getting the BSB9. The Focus Mares and the Trek Boone are really the only other two I tried that I still have 2nd thoughts about not buying. The price was so good on the BSB9 (got last years model with the QR rear) that those thoughts quickly dissipate.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Yeah I got the 2015 model with QR rear as well.

    The Boone was another option I would have liked to have work out (for that iso decoupler softtail thing) but they don't sell bare frames and didn't like how the complete bikes were equipped. $4,500 for Ultegra or $3,200 for 105, really? That's laughably expensive for how they're equipped.

    My road bike (also a Trek and a 2015 model) came with Dura Ace for less than their Ultegra Boone. I'm guessing a lot has to do with the Boone only coming in their higher level carbon layups. The Boone only comes in their 600 level carbon and anything above their 500 level carbon goes WAY up in price.

  40. #40
    Bad Case of the Mondays
    Reputation: Jdub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,009
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    The Boone was another option I would have liked to have work out (for that iso decoupler softtail thing) but they don't sell bare frames and didn't like how the complete bikes were equipped. $4,500 for Ultegra or $3,200 for 105, really? That's laughably expensive for how they're equipped.
    Yep, that is really what kept me off the Boone as well. I was able to find the frameset for sale, but couldn't get any discount off MSRP and it doesn't have a thru axle front or rear. I want all of my bikes to be thru axles both front and rear, but I can live with a QR in the rear.

    I really liked the ride of the Boone, but $2500 (plus tax) for the frameset compared to what I got the Niner frame for I just couldn't justify it at all. As I've put more and more time on the Niner and gotten my setup dialed-in a bit, its gotten more and more comfortable.

    My road bike is getting a lot less use these days. The disc brakes and versatility to hit up trails, gravel roads, etc make the BSB9 my go to for anything that isn't a 100% trail ride.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub View Post
    Yep, that is really what kept me off the Boone as well. I was able to find the frameset for sale, but couldn't get any discount off MSRP and it doesn't have a thru axle front or rear. I want all of my bikes to be thru axles both front and rear, but I can live with a QR in the rear.

    I really liked the ride of the Boone, but $2500 (plus tax) for the frameset compared to what I got the Niner frame for I just couldn't justify it at all. As I've put more and more time on the Niner and gotten my setup dialed-in a bit, its gotten more and more comfortable.

    My road bike is getting a lot less use these days. The disc brakes and versatility to hit up trails, gravel roads, etc make the BSB9 my go to for anything that isn't a 100% trail ride.
    Yeah, I'm debating getting just a CX bike and two sets of wheels next time it's time for new bikes. I'd do it now but the BSB doesn't fit me quite as well as my road bike so on long road rides I wouldn't be as comfortable.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    One final update and I'll stop posting

    The bike does not double as well as a road bike as I would have liked. I went on a 60 mile road ride on Thursday and felt pretty beat up by the time I got back and I was on really smooth roads. The frame is a lot less forgiving with tubed 25mm tires @ 100psi than tubeless 40mm tires @ 28 and 35psi. To be fair, it may have to do with the fact it does not fit me as well as my road bike does so being locked in a road riding position (or even a road riding position on a bike I'm not used to) wore me out quicker.

    However, I did another 60 mile gravel/singletrack/pavement loop today with my normal setup (the 40mm tubeless tires and carbon wheels) and came back feeling fresh just like the last time. I'll have to stick to shorter rides or get 28-32mm road tires if I want to use it as a backup road bike.

    Passing roadies when I'm on dirt/gravel adjacent to the pavement they're riding on is a good feeling it's a fast bike.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    601
    Sure, but that could be said about any bike. If you put big tires on it with lower psi it will be more comfortable.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by PeopleForScience View Post
    Sure, but that could be said about any bike. If you put big tires on it with lower psi it will be more comfortable.
    Yeah I just meant compared to a regular road bike. My primary road bike has 25mm tires @ 100psi and it's more comfortable than the BSB9. It's a testament to the stiffness of the BSB9 frame.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Yeah I just meant compared to a regular road bike. My primary road bike has 25mm tires @ 100psi and it's more comfortable than the BSB9. It's a testament to the stiffness of the BSB9 frame.

    yeah, just stick with the larger tires. That's part of the beauty of a bike like the BSB, that tire clearance.
    just ride.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Just wanted to update the thread now that I've crossed 3,000 miles on the bike.

    Besides a few parts that were destroyed from a stick getting caught in the drivetrain, all I have replaced is drivetrain items and tires. There are a few chips in the red paint on the frame (from riding gravel a lot) but the clear coat on the frame is still cosmetically perfect. Still riding it and loving it.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    1,025
    great stuff man
    just ride.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: titusquasi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,422
    Quote Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
    Just wanted to update the thread now that I've crossed 3,000 miles on the bike.

    Besides a few parts that were destroyed from a stick getting caught in the drivetrain, all I have replaced is drivetrain items and tires. There are a few chips in the red paint on the frame (from riding gravel a lot) but the clear coat on the frame is still cosmetically perfect. Still riding it and loving it.
    Alias,

    How tall are you on that size 62 frame?

    Thanks!

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    Alias,

    How tall are you on that size 62 frame?

    Thanks!
    6'6" and I'm using a 110mm stem. I'd say it's just a hair too small for me but slightly sizing down for CX is fine. If I throw road wheels on it and go for a ride, I'm not as comfortable as my road bike which is at least 1" higher stack, but for CX and riding singletrack you're moving around more often so the fit doesn't bother me.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    344
    Strengths: Light, stiff, precise handling, well-built, sharp looking

    Weaknesses: The front end is uncomfortably stiff on the 5-Star build, chainstay guard tends to come loose and rub the tire, rear hub on mine has a lot of bearing drag

    Bottom Line:
    This review is of the 2015 5-Star build (Ultegra Di2 with R785 hydro brakes, Niner carbon wheels, Thompson KFS bars).

    This a STIFF frameset, so if you're hoping for a cushy ride, look elsewhere (the RLT, perhaps). The only nod to comfort is the RDO seatpost, which does seem to take some of the sting out of the rear end and the rear end is reasonably comfortable. Between the rigid fork and the stock Thompson KFC carbon bars that are extremely stiff and do not accommodate double wrapping the bar tape above the brake levers, the front end is pretty harsh. My hands, neck and shoulders were sore after every ride, even when running 40mm tubeless tires at 32/34psi on Stan's Iron Cross wheels. I swapped the bars for 3T Ergosum alloys (with a little give to them) and double wrapped with Cannondale Synapse tape over generic cork tape - with a little Synapse tape under the top of the brake hoods, too. Now the bike feels dramatically more comfortable and the post-ride pain is gone.

    The upside to all of this stiffness is very precise steering and braking control, plus really efficient power transfer. I love the way the bike handles; it's quick in tight turns, responds instantly to pressure on the bars, yet feels stable on high-speed descents. I can't ask anything more than that.

    FWIW, I get more compliments on the looks of this bike than any other I've owned.

    The Di2 has been interesting to play with. In its stock configuration, it's easy to hit the wrong button when you're getting bounced around on rough terrain, since they're so close together. To remedy that, I've reprogrammed it for Synchro-Shift and set up both left buttons to downshift and both right buttons to upshift. Now all I have to do is remember left=lower gears, right=higher gears and hit one of the buttons on the appropriate side, and the front shifts automatically when necessary. No matter how oxygen-deprived I may be or how rough the terrain is, I can shift accurately. This setup will work well with heavy winter gloves on, or even mittens for that matter. I have Campy on all of my other bikes, so I needed to train my brain for the completely different feel of Di2 anyway. This setup was really easy to learn. Try it, you may like it.

    Regarding wheels, you can easily and inexpensively convert Stan's wheels from Q/R to thru axle (or vice-versa) by replacing the end caps (in some cases a new axle is needed as well. I believe the parts are available to do the same with Niner wheels.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    4,772
    Had this bike for two years now. Almost 4K miles on it and still going strong.

    Been through 6-7 chains, 3 cassettes, 2 chain rings (gritty riding environment), tons of tires, a derailleur from crashing, bar tape, but nothing else.

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    344
    It's certainly rugged, no doubt about that. Once I get it fully configured the way I want it with 46/30 chainrings, I expect to get many happy years and miles out of it.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jonmc1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    17
    I know this is an old thread but I need some sizing help. I want to order a 2019 BSB. I am 5'9.5" with 32 inseam. The niner and competitive cyclist charts put me at a 56. I fear that it may be too big. I do not have access to one to test drive. Advice would be appreciated.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    60
    Probably too late for a reply but I'm 5'9 w/31" inseam. I ride a 53 and there is plenty of seatpost left. In fact, I have just enough room on the seatpost for my workstand to clamp the seat post.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    344
    I'm 6' with a 35" inseam and the 56 fits me fine.

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    60
    Does anybody on here know the difference between a 2015 BSB and a 2018 BSB? The only thing I know for sure is that '18 has thru axle front and rear. I have a '15 and I have a line on a '18 frameset. Just don't know if I need it just for the rear thru axle. Thanks

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jonmc1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    17
    I ended up getting th 56 because of the lower bottom bracket and less toe overlap. It's was a little big stock but I swapped stems and got shorter reach bars. I really like it! It is a fun bike. I prob. could have fit both 56 and 53.

    I think the only difference with the new BSB is axle and color.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    344
    You're correct that it has a thru-axle, plus a derailleur hanger that won't damage the dropout if it breaks (the original design was a major screw-up). Unfortunately, Niner told me that there are no thru-axle conversion parts available for the rear Q/R hub. I haven't checked through the end caps I have around to see if anything will fit the Niner hub, but it's unlikely that they make it or that it's a proprietary size, so there are probably parts available somewhere.

    Keep in mind that if you buy the 56, you're not going to have much seatpost exposed, so you won't get much shock absorption from it. You'll also have limited options if you want a more compliant seatpost.

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jonmc1980's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    17
    Its true. My only complaint about the bike is how harsh it is. A carbon seatpost and 40c tires helped.

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    344
    The seatpost probably didn't help (there's nothing magic about carbon fiber), but 40c tires make a huge difference. Mine is a 5-Star build that came with Thomson carbon bars that were incredibly rigid and really beat up my hands and wrists. Switching to a slightly wider aluminum bar with a bit of "give" to it helped considerably. Still, the tires are really the key to making this bike comfortable.

Similar Threads

  1. Niner WFO Review
    By Pro Bike Supply in forum Niner Bikes
    Replies: 176
    Last Post: 06-13-2018, 04:32 AM
  2. Niner BSB9 ...
    By kfb66 in forum Niner Bikes
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-26-2015, 11:49 AM
  3. Niner BSB9 ...
    By kfb66 in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 01-18-2015, 09:04 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-30-2011, 08:01 PM
  5. Niner Cyclocross Bike?
    By quelocotony in forum Niner Bikes
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 12-17-2011, 07:19 AM

Members who have read this thread: 19

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.