Wednesday, January 13

Not everything you wanna know about my new bike

It is true, I occasionally go for a bike ride. Last weekend Stabby called me and convinced me to join him and Eric Van Driver for a ride on the newly expanded trails at Lake Norman State Park. These trails are hardly known for their technicality, and are pretty much full throttle singletrack for 18 miles of tree dodging fun. I would not get much of a chance to put some air under my tires, but it would certainly be a test of my comfort level at speed on the new machine (for those that aren't paying attention I just finished building a One9 that I plan on racing on in 2010).

Like I've said before I've already logged plenty of hours on a One9 back in the summer of 2008. I rode the crap out of it over a very short period of time during the Month of Mayhem in August/Sept (three hundred milers and the SSWC08 over the course of four back to back to back to back weekends).

I really liked the bike back then, but as things turned out I ended up riding for MOOTS in 2009, so the Niner was passed on to Stabby and then found its way to Eric Van Driver.


Back then I decided to go with a medium frame based on how tall I thought I was and the fact that the medium frame had two bottle mounts VS the one on the small. Also the geometry on the small seemed a little off for the type of riding I like to do:

HTA: 71°
STA: 74.5°
ETT: 23.1"

Offset: 39mm

That right there was not my cup of tea. I like a slightly steeper head angle with that kinda fork offset or just a fork with a lot more offset. That seat tube angle was also a bit steep for me, and since riding my custom Thylacine I have been much happier with numbers in the 72°-73° range. My small Zion had similar numbers, and I tended to feel like I had too much weight forward on the bars and had trouble with the front end washing out. Back in 2008 I went with the medium One9 which had happier numbers:

HTA: 72°
STA: 73.5°
ETT: 23.75

Offset: 39mm

Niner has changed with the times, and the geometry has been altered for 2009 to reflect the changes in fork designs (more offset and lower A-C). I went back and forth between the medium and small this time in my decision process until I measured my height and found I was a bit shorter than I originally thought. I now stand at 5'6" which puts me right on the height recommendation for a small frame. The small now has another bottle mount (under the down tube), so if I need it I can always use it, and the numbers are MUCH more to my liking:

HTA: 71.5°
STA: 73°
ETT: 23.1"
Offset: 45mm

That's more like it. Everything I liked about the old 2008 frame would still be there (stiff, responsive, fast), and the geometry would be infinitely more suited to my small elf like skeletal structure.

As far as fit goes, here's something kinda new for me:

Spacers a'plenty.

I don't normally use so many spacers as I've gotten used to being an elitist, arrogant, cocky, conceited, pompous, egotistic, cheeky, haughty racer boy with a custom frame. This go around I needed every single spacer that came with my Cane Creek 110 headset (@17mm). At least they are Cane Creek's scalloped Interlok spacers that "provide a solid interface between the top cover and spacer stack while shaving 25% in weight off a standard alloy spacer stack". How could I expect any less from my spacers?

Booyadilly bitches!!!!

So I built the bike up with a fairly normal assortment of parts (in no particular order):

Thomson 410mm seatpost and 70mm stem
Cane Creek 110 headset

Industry Nine wheels

Hayes Stroker brakes

WTB Silverado saddle

Race Face Deus cranks w/Niner chainring

SRAM PC 1 chain
XTR pedals

Specialized Fuse grips
Halo bolt-on skewers

Total build weight was right around 21.5 pounds which is just about where I was with the MOOTS... of course this will go down a bit when I get the crabon frok.

How did it ride? Fast. I just haven't been able to pin it down, but I guess I would have to credit the shaped tubing or perhaps the use of Scanoodium. This thing just feels more responsive than anything I've ever ridden. I can loft it up over logs way easier than any other bike I've owned, and when I get on the gas this thing just goes. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that the ride quality is better than my MOOTS ti. It's just very different. Like comparing the smooth, quiet ride of a Cadillac to the stiff, responsive feel of driving a Porshe Cayman with a hot stranger in the passenger seat stroking your thigh and crying out "Faster!! Speed turns me on!" (I know very little about cars other than what I pick up from Car & Driver while I wait at the dentist office). I've talked to a few other One9 riders over the last few years, and they all have made similar observations (not exactly the hot stranger fantasy, but you know what I mean).

You may have noticed I added Niner Bikes to the sidebar under Dick Support. While I did come out of pocket to get the frame/fork I did get some help from the folks at Niner (in particular Mike Stanley), and George and Mandy from had their hands in there too. I wanted to be racing on this frame in 2010, and thanks to their help I saved a few tenges that I will now put towards making great bike race. Additionally the acquisition of a "race bike" has now made it possible for me to pursue another project (which is progressing quite nicely):

Death on a stick.


cornfed said...

Ah, you listed elitist first.


Nerd On A Bike said...

Jesus, 21.5 lbs? I don't think I've had a bike that weighed so little since I was sporting an annodized-every color under the rainbow-Punky Brewster early '90's aluminum death machine riddled with 'speed holes.'

From the looks of your new bike I'm thinking that the Punky Brewster color explosion scheme is the only way to get a bike that light.

I'm impressed and a bit jealous.

Except for your tiny brakes. That's like walking around on a choppy sidewalk with a faulty cane.

Andrew Brautigam said...

Is that thru axle going through a squishy fork?

Anonymous said...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I'm sorry, did you say something?

Mysty said...

Hmmm... Dicky, if you are a small frame on the Niner, me wonders what a girl my size would be? Last I was measured, they told me 5 foot 3.5 inches... Those wheels look sweet... especially the purple... well I guess that is pink...I'll just pretend it's purple... LOL.

dicky said...


According to the Niner website the small fits riders down to 5'3".

Mysty said...

Thanks for the info Dicky... was curious... Mike mentioned a small - but somehow Dicky, I thought you was taller :-P *not that being small doesn't have it's advantages...

I'm hoping to take a Niner for a spin when I meet up with Mike on one of my adventures in the USA... Long overdue that I kick some trail elsewhere and get away from here for a few weekends out of the year...