I've loved the idea of a steel bike since the beginning. There are (literally) millions of threads and blog postings talking about why steel is still a relevant (and good) material to use for bike frames, so I won't delve into all of that. I came off a Pivot LES, and a Highball Carbon before that, so I've had my fair share of creme de la creme carbon hardtails. To feed my never-ending lust for steel, I decided to give the new SIR9 a try. The stereotypes are true - it's pretty heavy, it is really smooth (smoother in the rear than either of my previous carbon hardtails), and is relatively heavy (yep, it's like a pound or two heavier than my other frames were). But for me, especially this time of year, I don't really care all that much. I don't have to worry about damaging the frame (I suppose I need to be conscious of rusting, but FrameSaver should take care of that), and it's pretty inexpensive. And it's fun, and different. And it's easy to make it single speed or geared. I dig it - when spring rolls around and I go back to slogging up thousands of feet of vertical, my tune my change a bit, but as a cool all-around hardtail (especially for midwest riding), this thing is rad.