Up in the Air.
Hardtails are still a hoot and Niner's AIR 9 27.5+ 2-Star GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike brings big tires and progressive geometry to the party, proving that you don't have to have rear squish to have fun. Built up with a solid kit, this bike is packed full of value and would make an exceptional first bike or if you're looking to step up your mountain bike game.
Niner starts this build with a hydroformed aluminum frame for a lightweight ride with excellent trail feel. Using a multi stage hydroforming process, a straight gauge tube is butted and mechanically formed in preparation for the hydroforming process. Up next is multi-stage hydroforming, which is a series of molds used in sequence to creates complex shapes. Multiple steps might take longer but Niner is able to reduce weight and achieve higher strength. Hydroforming utilizes molds and fluid pressure to form metal tubes into the shapes best suited to the locations on the bike. These molds are created to the desired end shape, and tubes are placed in them while high pressure hydraulic fluid is pumped in causing the tube to expand until it conforms to the desired shape.
The 120mm FOX 34 Float Rhythm fork with Grip damper and EVOL air spring provide plush travel at the front and plenty of adjustment for dialing it in for your terrain and riding style. The tapered headtube sits at 68-degrees and lets you hang it out on the descents and still have the ability to pick just the right lines on uphill switchbacks. The stubby 17-inch chainstays let you slalom through the tight trees and makes manualing and wheelies a breeze. Built up in this configuration, this Air 9 features SRAM's GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain giving you the same wide range as SRAM's higher tier offerings. Should you feel the need to run additional gearing, the frame can accommodate a front sideswing derailleur if bikepacking is in your future. Adding to the versatility, the PF30 bottom bracket shell can house Niner's BioCentric 30 for singlespeed use. This clean solution eliminates the need for adjustable dropouts, bolt on hubs, and chain tensioners. Forget having to adjust for brakes every time you swap out cogs. The Boost 148 spacing lets the bike transform wheels and tires from the 27.5+ on this build to 29ers should you choose to do so. Have the maximum roll over and speed for racing with the 29's, or op for the traction, comfort, and flotation with the plus.
The Air 9's geometry is perfect for both hot laps after work or a multi-day bikepack. The fatter plus tires increase traction for more grip in the corners and floats over rocks and roots. The frame has plenty of get up and go and if you haven't been on a hardtail in a while, you'll quickly remember and appreciate the efficiency when climbing. A forged chainstay and bottom bracket junction increases drivetrain stiffness and offers ample tire clearance. The Maxxis Rekon tires are 2.8-inchs wide and the closely-spaced tread allow them to roll quickly while their girth and ability to run low pressure let them hookup. Oversized Race Face bar and stem keeps the handling responsive and are a perfect vantage point when blowing off some steam.
- A versatile aluminum hardtail from Niner
- Plus tires float over rough singletrack
- Modern geometry for agile and confident handling
- Boost axle spacing accepts 29 x 2.4 or 27.5 x 3.0 Tire
- SRAM GX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain provides massive gear range
- FOX 34 Float Rhythm fork with 120mm of bump gobbling travel