AIR 9 27.5+ 2-Star Complete Mountain Bike
Who needs rear suspension when you have low pressure plus tires to smooth out the ride? Rolling on plush 2.8-inch tires, the Niner AIR 9 27.5+ 2-Star Complete Mountain Bike gives you boatloads of traction and bump compliance with the efficiency and simplicity that can only come from a hardtail. It's ideal if your riding typically consists of rocky terrain, root-latticed trails, or kitty litter over hardpack as its high-volume tires and 120-millimeter fork soaks up the hits and adds never before experienced grip. We feel that the Air 9 27.5+ is a solid upgrade if your bike is a few seasons old and you're looking for a more progressive geometry trail hardtail that isn't typically found on other cross-country bikes.
Niner starts this build with a hydroformed aluminum frame that creates a lightweight ride with excellent trail feel. Using a multi-staged hydroforming process, a straight tube is butted and mechanically formed in preparation of the hydroforming process. Up next is multi-stage hydroforming, which is a series of molds used in sequence to create complex shapes. Multiple steps might take Niner longer, but they're able to reduce weight and achieve higher strength. Hydroforming uses molds and fluid pressure to form metal tubes into shapes ideally suited for certain locations along the bike frame, meaning Niner can dial in the bike's riding characteristics exactly how they'd like.
Besides using a hydroforming process to create a remarkably strong and relatively lightweight aluminum frame, the AIR 9 27.5+ comes with more progressive trail geometry that's a sigh of relief if you're transitioning from an overly stiff and twitchy handling cross-country bike. Considering its head tube angle of 68 degrees, it'll handle the rough stuff with greater composure and descend confidently on steep chutes and high-speed sections. However, it's still highly efficient at pedaling back uphill and covering large swaths of terrain, seeing as it isn't as slack as many of the trail bikes on the market. Sub 17-inch chainstays (16.9 inches to be exact) breathe agility and cornering prowess into this trail bike, meaning you'll have a blast railing berms and finally clean those tricky uphill switchbacks.
This 2-Star NX build outfits the bike with 2.8-inch Maxxis Rekon+ tires that absolutely steamroll over anything in its path, allowing you to ride over loose rocks, bumpy roots, and other trail furniture that would normally leave your wrists feeling like you're operating a jackhammer. Besides smoothing out the ride, plus-sized tires grip a lot better over loose soil and wet roots, allowing you to drop the tire pressure and add a bigger footprint to the ground.
Another notable feature of this build includes a 120-millimeter RockShox Judy Gold Fork that offers more leeway for riding technical trails, especially if you're comparing it to hardtails with only 100-millimeters of front travel. Additionally, it sports a simplified SRAM NX 1x12 drivetrain, which provides plenty of usable gears with its larger cassette, without dealing with the complexities of a front derailleur and additional chainring.
- 27.5+ alloy hardtail confidently rolls over anything on the trail
- Plus-sized tires smooth out rocks and provide tons of traction
- Progressive trail geometry is more relaxed and confident on descents
- Geometry is nimble around corners and stable at speed
- Compatible with Niner Biocentric 30 for converting to singlespeed
- Internal dropper post routing for future upgrades
- RockShox Judy Gold 120mm fork provides ample travel for rough trails
- SRAM NX 1x12 drivetrain offer range without a front derailleur