Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)
  • Bird Aether 9 or Intense Primer 29 (frame)
  • Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Come on, help me decide!

    I like how my Phantom rides, but I should have gone for more travel. I’m also open to other suggestions if there’s anything I’ve not thought of.

    Looking at frame sets that are in stock for £2000 or less. I’ve had previous with both brands over the years and liked them both. One of my first self-builds was an Aeris mk1.5 and I reckon that thing really progressed me as a rider.

    I also had an Intense Spider 275c which was a lovely bike with small wheels and a massive seat mast!

    Going to sell the Phantom V3 frame and swap for something different and these are the two I’ve narrowed it down to so far.

    Intense pros:
    XL frame size
    Lovely carbon frame and titanium hardware
    Light for travel size
    Things I didn’t like on the Spider aren’t a thing on the Primer

    Aether 9 pros:
    L frame size
    Cheaper
    Can spec a coil shock from point of purchase
    Can include a headset
    Apparently, they ride really well

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Thread fell off the edge of the world…

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Sorry, not to bump my own thread, but a Privateer 141 has just entered the running too. I’d totally forgotten about those.

    Very reasonable price for frame only too.

    Premier Icon bikesandboots
    Full Member

    Geometry comparison: https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/intense-primer-29-2021-x-large,bird-aether-9-al-2021-large,privateer-141-2020-p4/

    Seat angle is pretty slack on the Primer compared to the others.

    Chainstays are short on the Aether compared to the others, may be a consideration at the size you’re looking at. Front-rear centre ratios are 1.87, 1.94, 1.87 for the Primer, Aether, and 141 respectively.

    I don’t know anything about the Primer, but I spent some time considering the other two. My amateur conclusion was that the 141 is closer in character to the Bird AM9 than the Aether 9.

    All three feature in MBUK/Bikeradar’s trail bike of the year; the consistent judgement of the three may be useful in addition to the various other individual reviews out there.

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    Isn’t an Intense frame about twice the price of a Bird?

    And where do you ride that your Phantom has too little travel?

    Premier Icon Mugboo
    Full Member

    Is the 141 a chunk heavier than the other two?

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Can’t comment on the Intense. I did look at the 141 but I got the Aether9 in the end because of the fantastic customer service and I’ve been very happy with it.
    The 141 does look good, think the frame is a fair bit heavier and probably rides a bit more like the am9. Between the two if want something more agressive get the 141 or something more fun and playful get the Aether9.
    Happy Searching

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I don’t know much about the intense but I have looked at the Bird a few times and have had an Aeris 145LT and currently own an Aether 7.

    I’d say the Aether 9 is going to be more playful than the 141 – mainly because of the short chainstays and the way the suspension has been tuned to be poppy / climb well. As sizes get bigger the chainstay length doesn’t change on the Aether.

    The 141 is more enduro in its intentions – even though it’s the lower travel bike Privateer do. I’d think it’s going to be more stable at higher speeds over rough ground due to longer chainstays and the suspension probably have more of a plush tune.

    So it depends what you’re after really. More playful or more gnar.

    On the Aether 7 it climbs pretty well I’ve found and is a great do it all bike. I’ve uplifted on it at BMCC and did a full day pedalling up at BPW late last summer (blues and reds + red + trails). I’m not great at steep tech but I’ve progressed on the Aether to gradually doing steeper stuff and being more comfortable on it.

    If your focus is massively on steep tech stuff and high speed rocky stuff I reckon the 141 might be more your thing.

    Just a thought but is that Pace 29er full suss bike worth adding to your list?

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Aether 9c user here. Only about 4 weeks and I’m not done tweaking.

    It’s a trail bike that is up to fairly aggressive riding. Climbs well. Its stable and composed, but not boring like bigger LLS bikes can be.

    In lairy chunder at speed its obvious its ‘only’ 130mm on the back end but it doesn’t get bent out of shape about it.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    I did consider the Pace last time I looked, but I read somewhere that there’s a pretty low weight limit for the frame (16 stone + kit was pushing it close).

    As for the riding I do, it’s pretty much a bit of everything from fast rocky stuff, some steep, flowy trails, roots etc.

    To be fair to the Phantom, it’s got a lump on top and 115mm of travel below so there’s going to be some compromise. It’s not held me back from riding anything yet, you just really feel it at speed through rocks! It isn’t a light bike either, I’d say close to 14.5kg at the moment.

    I’ll have a proper think as I don’t want to rush into it. The Phantom was a lockdown build so I haven’t even had a chance to take it many places yet.


    @intheborders
    the 2020 Primer frames are about £150 more (without a headset) than the Aether 9.

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member

    Similar requirements to me when I bought my (Alloy) Hightower as it just launched in Autumn 2019 – annoyingly, the Pace RC295 was launched the week after I bought the SC, as I may have been tempted by that instead.

    The Alloy Hightower came in at £1849 then, it may have gone up a bit but I suspect the main issue would be you just wont be able to find one. If you can find one, have a go though. I love it.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Full Member

    At risk of conforming to the STW stereotype of recommending what you own…

    Assuming you’re happy in general with the Phantom, surely you want a Prime or a Titan?

    I have a Prime, it’s rather ace.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    I should have bought the Prime instead to be honest.

    If I change, I’d want to try something more different if that makes sense?


    @snotrag

    I did think about an alloy Hightower (I had a mk1), but it looks like they’ve discontinued most alloy models now?

    Premier Icon snotrag
    Full Member

    @johnw1984 I think its less that they are discontinued, more that they simply dont have any available/arent able to have any made. They wont be the ‘big seller’ for SC so no doubt back of the queue given the global supply situation currently.

    However when they were available, the framesets were curiously quite good value (in relation to some of the other brands mentioned above etc). Both Stif and those guys in Peaslake who are the ‘big’ SC retailers have both said basically no chance of any alloy frame stock for months and months.

    I actually set out wanting a Stage 6 (And I currently have an inlking for a Stage EVO) but they are quite a lot more expensive!

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Ah right, that makes sense then.

    I actually was looking at a Stage Evo before the Phantom as I’ve been Orange curious for a while.

    Always seem to swerve at the last minute though! I think I’ve been spoiled by my previous Trek Slash. That was an ace bike, it did everything well but just didn’t get along with the seat tube height.

    First time I’ve ever ripped a pair of shorts on my saddle!

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Just had a look at the primer – it looks a bit retro to me – don’t think I’d want to ride that. The Aether 9 (alloy), privateer 142 and Primer are reviewed in MBUK trail bike of the year if you haven’t seen it yet. Aether wins, intense did ok but they’d have liked a steeper seat angle and for the bike to sit higher in its rear travel more of the time. I read it a while ago but I’ve got a feeling they had a specific issue with the 141 but I can’t remember what it was.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Cheers Joe, I did have a read of that.

    It’s funny how looks are so subjective. I love the look of the Primer and don’t mind the look of the Bird or 141, but my missus really doesn’t like the looks of the Bird, but loves the Primer!

    I try to read between the lines when it comes to reviews as they seem to completely differ depending on the tester. The issue with the Privateer was something to do with braking on a corner or something? Seemed quite petty in the grand scheme.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I’ll have to revisit it – but I think the tester was Tom Marvin and he’s usually pretty good. Likes a steep tech section I believe and tests a huge amount of bikes.

    I would imagine testing that volume of bikes can make you a bit picky on details though.

    Looks are totally subjective – I don’t think Bird are the best looking bikes out there, but I like them enough to buy one. Always think a nice smooth frame with internal routing looks really good – preferably not too busy with graphics.

    I really like the look of Evil frames at the moment but they’re £££££ and the seat tubes are too long for me vs reach. My aether is a medium with 457mm reach and a 395mm seat tube. So at 5’9 I’ve been able to squeeze a oneup 210mm dropper in just spaced down to 200mm. Couldn’t quite get enough of it in the frame to run the full 200mm.

    Just because it would be rude not to here’s my Aether 7. Looks pretty similar to the Aether 9 really:

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    I’m in the same camp as you regarding the Bird, I don’t find it offensive and it seems to ride really well and could be ideal for me. at 6’2″ I think I’d be firmly on the large frame.

    I’d be tempted by the cane creek coil option too, but need to figure out the spring weight.

    Missus just likes showing off because she’s got a blinged up Joplin/Tallboy!

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Always think a nice smooth frame with internal routing looks really good – preferably not too busy with graphics.

    I think Bird’s reasoning that in UK year round weather internal routing, however good it looks, is a faff to maintain and fully housed makes everything easy is spot on.

    Speaking of which that Prime pictured looks like it has a mud cradle round the shock.  That’s a no round here for 10 months of the year.

    Aether 7 https://flic.kr/p/2kV7sGW

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    For once the cable routing makes little difference to me as I’ll only have a rear brake hose (AXS dropper and gears).

    If anything, externally routed would have less holes in the frame 🙂

    I’ve messaged Bird asking for spring rate advice as they only go up to 500lbs on the options.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Full Member

    but my missus really doesn’t like the looks of the Bird, but loves the Primer!

    Has she seen the Deviate Highlander? That’s top of my “if I fancy splurging” wish-list at the moment.

    Premier Icon Yetiman
    Free Member

    @johnw1984 there’s a spring calculator on the Bird website if you haven’t seen it already. The chart for the AM9 is spot on for me (running a Bomber coil with 325 spring) so it might actually be reasonably accurate.

    https://www.bird.bike/coil-spring-rates/

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    She like the Highlander nearly as much as me haha.

    Oh @Yetiman I didn’t see that, really handy cheers!

    Looks like the 500lbs would be perfect (between 28-30% sag).

    Premier Icon mudeverywhere
    Free Member

    I’ve got the older Primer and it’s a great bike. Seat tube angle on that is fine but I’m slightly concerned the new one has a similar effective angle but slacker actual angle. Might be a problem at higher saddle heights. Wouldn’t want it slacker. But the long-ish chainstays help keep the front end down climbing. Otherwise I’d be tempted to pick the Primer, knowing how well it pedals, will be a good bit lighter, less common and lovely paint jobs.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    Just because it would be rude not to here’s my Aether 7. Looks pretty similar to the Aether 9 really:

    That Aether 7 looks like a wicked bike for just rallying around looking for jumps! I kind of fancy some kind of FS jumpy/hooligan bike but I’m surrounded by a million miles of boring bridleways and considering my first 29er.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Right!

    Gone for the Aether 9 in Ron Burgundy. Yellow fork might suit it, although it’ll be a bit loud haha.

    Bike (frame) number 15 off to the classifieds soon 🙂

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Ron Burgundy seems to look better in people’s pictures online than the actual website pictures do – looks nice. Will be interesting with yellow forks!

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Might have to rename it Ron MacDonald at this rate.

    Just hope I like it 🙂

    Premier Icon intheborders
    Free Member

    I’m in the same camp as you regarding the Bird, I don’t find it offensive and it seems to ride really well and could be ideal for me. at 6’2″ I think I’d be firmly on the large frame.

    Not XL?

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Nah, not for me. The XL is massive to be fair!

    The L is still bigger than my XL Phantom and that’s not a small bike either.

    Premier Icon sharkattack
    Free Member

    I’m also 6’2″ and the large 9C is 8mm shorter reach than my current bike but the XL is 21mm longer. I’d definitely go down rather than up.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Nah, not for me. The XL is massive to be fair!

    The L is still bigger than my XL Phantom and that’s not a small bike either.

    Posted 53 minutes ago

    Yeah the reach on Bird bikes isn’t shy. Large looks like 507mm / 512mm depending on Aether 9 A/C. That’s pretty long – the XL is massive!

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    I found my Aeris AM160 rode shorter than I expected.

    Their size guide was spot on even though I had trouble believing it to begin with.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    I found my Aeris AM160 rode shorter than I expected

    When sat down yes – because of steeper seat tubes than older geometry bikes. The old 18” Kona Caldera I had was massively shorter reach then my Aeris 145 but sat down it felt more stretched. Due to slack seat tube angle and longer stem.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Again though, even the top tube is a little longer on the Bird compared to my current frame.

    I’ll see how it feels, but I may swap to a shorter stem yet when I build it up. I’m just patiently waiting for that dispatch email 🙂

    Premier Icon hooli
    Free Member

    Bird do demo’s if you are nearby? Should help your decision and sizing.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    This is my 9C. If you’ve researched you’ll find this picture on another thread.

    bird is the word

    I’m 182cm on an ML, which is 484mm reach. It’s 9mm shorter than my hardtail and I run a 50mm stem instead of 40mm to correct.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    Yeah @Scienceofficer I did see it, very nice!

    I would have gone for the carbon, but it was a little over budget. I really like the green/teal colour one.

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    Funny, that green reminds me of a colour I last recall on a Ford Sierra!

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