Friday, August 21

Weird (un)Science from the folks at Niner

We all know that I've been coveting the Niner Carbon fork that recently became a consumer ready commodity for quite some time now. Ever since my first romantic post that marveled at it's wonder I've been secretly plotting to somehow procure one for my mighty marvelous MOOTS. Although I am very aware of the fact that the Niner Carbon fork failed the virtual pea fork test, I have no intentions to use the Niner fork as cutlery especially when it comes to the mass consumption of peas.

Niner fork virtual pea test: FAIL

They did test the fork in a more appropriate manner, and as impressive as the testing machinery appears to be I still wonder how the carbon would hold up in real world conditions.

You know, real world conditions... like someone jumping out of the woods and attacking you with a 16oz hammer. Well leave it to Chris from Niner bikes to think of such a horrific incident actually occurring. I'm sure he wondered for at least two to three minutes just how he would be able to guaranty the safety of the riders who were already out there on Niner carbon fork equipped bikes.

Wow. I'm currently riding that very same steel fork (well not the same fork, but the same model... I'd be very upset if Chris did that to my fork) on my MOOTS on a regular basis not knowing how susceptible it is to damage from a hammer wielding assailant. I now have more reason than ever to get this carbon wonder on my bike as soon as possible. I was originally interested in the fork for its light weight (550 grams? Really??) and increased comfort factor, but now I am quite aware of the fact that my steel fork is a serious safety issue... or at least that's what I'll tell The Pie when the credit card bills shows up.

photo cred: Big Worm

Dicky: "Dejay, aren't you worried about what would happen to you if some hammer wielding assailants jumped out of the woods and started beating on your fork?"

Dejay: "Geez, I've never thought about that. I'll twitter Chris on the next climb and see what he has to say."

Am I racing at the Cackalacky Cup tomorrow? Dunno... gotta figure it out before registration closes at 4:00pm this afternoon.


Luis G. said...

I'm so lusting for that fork...

CB2 said...

That's silly.

Cellarrat said...

You have to wonder what the marketing department was thinking?

Or smoking?

Anonymous said...

I think the geometry on your Moots would change quite a bit from the steel Niner fork. Me thinks it might be a little twitchy for you. I would want to try one first before buying.

dicky said...

I mounted a Salsa Cro Moto fork on my MOOTS some time ago (it's on the bike in that picture with Dejay and Tommawicki). It had a similar geometry to the new Niner fork (468A-C/43 rake VS 470A-C/45 rake). I didn't even give it any thought on a big mountain loop with plenty of steep descending.

I figure I'm looking at a .25-.5 degree increase in head angle, a small drop at the BB(which I had placed pretty high in case I decided to go this route), and a trail figure that would be really close to my Thylacine with custom 48mm rake fork.

In other words...

I think I'll be fine. I'm gonna have another go at the Salsa fork this weekend just to be sure though.

dicky said...

BTW: Dejay has been riding his Niner Sir Nine with the older geometry (the same geometry the front end of my MOOTS is based on)and the new fork since it was a prototype. Here's what Niner has to say about the new fork on the old geometry:

For those of you with model year frames 2008 or older, this new crown to axle offering will retrofit right on to your current rig without a problem. The steering precision will increase slightly, but your bike will still handle great at high speeds.

Yes, yes... that could be construed as marketing hype, but honestly I found the Salsa fork quite capable on my MOOTS.

Anonymous said...

These Niner guys crack me up. Even more so that they actually fall for their own marketing.

Pretty rare for a carbon component to show any delamination, shattering, etc... on the outside when the strike impacts the outside (obviously, unless Niner has mutant mini-men that end up inside their frames/forks intent on inflicting damage from the inside-out).
Hold that carbon fork up to an appropriate x-ray and the inside will probably tell a different story other than chipped paint.
I had a somewhat large rock flip up and strike my downtube near the BB. Besides a pencil eraser worth of paint gone everything looked fine. According to my friend who makes carbon components for airplanes he suggested I bring it in for an x-ray. In a lot of cases the rock will bounce off carbon with no damage-unlike aluminum that will usually dent. In my case everything looked fine on the outside but the x-ray showed that the inner layers had shattered inwards. Tapping it with a specially tuned tool, you could actually hear where the carbon was shattered. At least with aluminum/steel you can usually see the damage. Carbon fatigue is much more deceptive.

Here's a great, recent Blogulah from the lovely TiffP Pro roadie and a carbon fork:

Carbon is the new balsa.

dicky said...

Silence dissenter!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hate carbon.
My road bike is carbon. It just broke with just 16000 km on it!
(I put on about 18000km to 25000km a year on a bike...)

I busted a carbon crank as well. FSA would not cover it. Bastards...

I like Ti and steal.

Aluminum stinks. Fatigue limits is too low... esp for mtbing.

jkeiffer said...

Your skinny ti tubes will look silly with that massive carbon fork. It looks better on the larger tubed One9 model. Check for yourself. You should strive for more sex, not less sexy.

dicky said...


Whatchu talking about?
I got phat ti tubes yo. I assure you there will be more sex on the MOOTS than a frat house sees in a decade.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me you got attacked by a hammer wielding assailant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

WHere's my fricking update, beeaotch?
You need some Metamucial for these regularity issues?
If extenuating circumstances beyond your control cause the lapse, they'd better be real (then it's cool) and not caused by alien abduction, energy vortices, or any other bs...

dougyfresh said...

should have come up and done the darkhorse40 last week. Fastest singlespeed got a voucher for the niner fork.

then again, you knew that, but still chose not to grace us with your appearance.

While carbon is nice and all. Carbon fails whereas steel will give before total failure. That is the beauty of a ductile material like steel versus a polymer like carbon. Then again, what does the engineer know? hahaha

The niner fork has definitely been tested to its fullest. Look at all the abuse DeJay gives it.

Keep it up. Looking forward to reading about your escapades at SSWC09 while I hide out in the Poconos for a very good friend's wedding (yeah. not happy about that one).

Billy Fehr said...

Hell Yeah!!

Anonymous said...

I think you should actually push your competition towards a carbon fork-the lightest possible. Show them the Niner marketing video, play it up. Maybe put some carbon skin stickers on your existing fork to mask what lyes beneith.

Then just sit back and race in cruising mode as your competition falls by the wayside one by one as their components fail. Maybe get the family involved and follow behind as a broom wagon and sell aluminum or steel forks to distressed racers at a premium. You win the race with little to no effort and the wife and kids get to drive around in a spankin' new mini-van.

Door to Door replacement fork sales are the new lemonade stand.