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When Niner set out to design an aluminum version of their highly praised and World Cup tested Air 9, they didn’t settle for mediocrity when it came to the quality of alloy. Knowing that any sort of compromise in frame material would do injustice to the proven geometry, Niner shaped the Air 9 using high end hydroformed alloy that benefits from the same decade of refinement and testing as its carbon fiber siblings.
To make Niner’s most economical race-machine both lighter and faster, this upgraded version integrates Niner's hydroformed tubing throughout. More than just a sophisticated technology marketing term, hydroforming allows Niner to shape the tubes for optimized strength and stiffness in key areas, giving the ability to create beautifully tuned frames with precise ride characteristics. You’ll find hydroforming in the top tube, downtube, headtube, chainstays and seatstays, equating to an overall much lighter and stiffer ride feel that promotes more precise steering and snappier power transfer. The rigid sides of the signature downtube and top tube shapes maximize torsional stiffness, with buttery smooth ride quality achieved through the flat sections on each tube, which act like leaf springs.
The Air 9 features a tapered headtube with an integrated headset. By allowing for the use of the newest generation of 1.5” tapered steerer suspension forks and integrated headset, Niner create the stiffest front end possible – leading to amazing steering precision as you carve a corner and descend toward the finish line. If you find yourself mashing the “I wish I had a little bit more travel” button, like a genie in a lamp, Niner designed the new Air 9 to accommodate forks with up to 120mm of travel. Wish granted.
Employing a Pressfit 30 standard bottom bracket, the Air 9 perfectly mates its larger aluminum down tube with the larger BB shell to further optimize power efficiency, while allowing lighter, stiffer cranksets to be used. The new version of the Air 9 features a 12 x 142 rear drop out spacing with Maxle to maximize rear triangle stiffness, and allow easier maintenance.
The Niner Air 9 SLX Bike features an impressive component spec that is ideal for those looking to inject more mountain biking into their lives. RockShox is well known within the industry for producing high-end suspension components that are easy to setup and use. Therefore, it was only logical that Niner chose to incorporate the RockShox Recon Gold Solo Air fork with one of their leading cross-country race frames. The RockShox Recon Gold fork features 100mm of smooth suspension travel for eating up the trail. The 15mm axle and tapered head tube ensure the front end is stiff, helping maintain excellent steering on technical single track or tight switchbacks.
The Air 9 2 Star’s drivetrain is dominated by Shimano SLX components. Shimano SLX components are built to be absorb the abuse of the trail, while remaining cost effective. The Shimano SLX 10 speed drivetrain provides smooth and accurate every time, ensuring no sloppy shifts occur during the heat of a race. Niner’s own alloy wheelset are hard-wearing yet lightweight, providing a set of legs that will take a beating without anchoring you down. A Niner signature cockpit rounds out this build, making it the perfect blend of quality, weight, strength, and speed.
|Fork||RockShox Recon Gold Solo Air, 100mm travel, 15mm thru-axle|
|Wheelset||Niner XC Alloy, 15mm front / 142mm x 12mm rear|
|Tires||Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance, 29 x 2.25"|
|Brakes||Shimano Deore M615 hydraulic disc brakes, 180/160mm rotors|
|Shifters||Shimano SLX M670, I-Spec compatible|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Deore M610 10sp|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano XT M786 GS Med Cage 10sp Shadow Plus|
|Crankset||Shimano SLX M675 38x24T|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano BB70|
|Cassette||Shimano HG50 10sp 11-36T|
|Chain||Shimano HG54 10sp|
|Handlebar||NINER Flat Top Alloy, 710MM, Red Niner Graphic|
|Stem||NINER Alloy Stem, Red Niner Graphic|
|Saddle||Niner Custom with Cr-Mo Rails, Niner Graphic|
|Seatpost||NINER Alloy Seat Post, 400MM, Red Niner Graphic|
|Effective Top Tube Length||590mm||607mm||626mm||645mm|
|Seat Tube Length||394mm||419mm||483mm||533mm|
|Head Tube Length||105mm||110mm||125mm||145mm|
|Chain Stay Length||439mm||439mm||439mm||439mm|