Saturday, April 21, 2012

Air 9 RDO

Today I took my new Niner Air 9 RDO out for its first ride at Buffalo Creek.  The weather was perfect.  It was a little warm, which was actually ideal as I need to get used to riding in warmer weather.  I rode the normal loop since I know times and how my other bikes handle with a few additional trails.  I added 1/3 of Segment 2 and Green Mountain, which I've never ridden before. 

I figured that there would be some necessary trail side adjustments and a bit of a break in period.  I stopped a few times the in the first 1.5 hours to adjust the height of the seat.  The brakes took a bit of time to get used to as well.  My legs felt a bit sluggish too as I've been doing more speed work to get ready for the Whiskey 50.  My first impressions of the bike, wow, it climbs amazing.  Step on it, and it takes off like a rocket.  Even though I did not have a lot of speed today, I was still faster to the CT from 543 then I was on my previous ride, which I rode fairly hard and felt decent.  The XTR brakes are absolutely amazing.  I've heard people talk about 1 finger braking, but never really felt comfortable doing that with my old brakes.  The power and feel of the XTR brakes makes this possible.  I was also quite amazed that I was able to use the big chainring (38/26) the whole ride except one short stretch on Green Mountain, which is a pretty fair climb.  Ride data here.

My bike is full XTR except for the cassette, which is XT.  The matching Sid XX World Cup felt sweet and looks even sweeter.  Crests, 240s, and Schwalbe Racing Ralphs rolled really nicely.  With Crankbrother egg beater 11s it weighs 21.7lbs.  I currently have a borrowed seatpost, which is a fair bit heavier than what I will have shortly.

I would like to thank Golden Bikeshop and Adam Boe, who was great to work with.  Adam was able to get me the green matching fork and the frame before Niner promised it.  He even borrowed me one of his seatposts for the time being until the one I want comes in.  Now thats customer service!  Getting the bike is especially key as a week from today I will be racing it for the first time. 

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