June 22, 2012
* We’ve updated the story with some more photos, some more tech stuff and news of Niner’s new titanium cogs… *
At this year’s Press Camp, here in Park City, Utah, we were wondering what Niner might have in store for the world for 2013. Last year it unveiled the carbon JET9 RDO full suspension bike so there have been a few theories of what we might see this time round.
Could it be another carbon frame? With the advent of stiff, longer travel forks like the Fox 34, perhaps Niner has been working on a burly carbon long travel 29er version of its W.F.O. frame? Or perhaps we could be seeing an even lighter XC machine?
So… with much ado, here’s the new bike (for the moment) from Niner. It’s… a…
…29in steel hardtail.
Yep, that’s right. Rather than go all-out to wow the world with another carbon bike that only a few people could afford, Niner has instead redesigned one of its most popular and accessible models and so is updating a bike that more of us could see our way to affording. Since the S.I.R. (Steel Is Real) first came out in 2006, many things have changed and improved in bike frame and component technology, so this is Niner’s go and bringing it right back into line.
In the last six years, there have been many improvements and changes, so Niner has tried to incorporate as many as is sensible: up front is a 44mm head tube to run a tapered fork, then there’s the custom-bent Reynolds 853 downtube to give decent fork clearance.
As many riders appreciate the option to run singlespeed, perhaps in the winter, there’s Niner’s own EBB, which relies on bolts tightening the EBB onto the face of the BB shell, rather than on grub screws or wedges. The downtube gear bosses unbolt too if you need them gone.
Out back, past the neat chainstay and seat stay bridges, is a 142mm bolt-thru rear Maxle. This gives the frame as rigid a structure as possible with those big wheels.
Bare frame is sub-5lbs and the frame as sold, with EBB, Maxle and seat collar is 5.25lbs.
Retail price on the frame is £899 and available to shops through Jungle.
Expect to see the new S.I.R. in the UK late summer or so…
And now here’s the new stuff!
Niner will soon be doing some titanium single speed cogs, going from about 16T up to 23T
Incidentally, the EBB has now been upgraded to a double bolt system that should eliminate the creaks that a few riders have found with the original design…
Geometry – someone was asking…
71.3/73.3 (with 80mm fork) 70.3 /72.3 with 100mm fork for the M/L/XL – half a degree slacker for the Small.
Top tube is 592mm/609mm/628mm/647mm for the S/M/L/XL respectively. Any other requests?