• This topic has 32 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by ed-.
Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • Should I bother swopping Bird Aether9 for Am9??
  • Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Ok I’m new to mountain biking. I’ve not been riding as much as I’d like due to family circumstances. However I got a Bird Aether9 at the beginning of this year. I’m very happy with the bike and it feels very capable.
    I’ve started to ride the small stuff at a bike park and enjoy it. I mainly ride the bull track (near Tunbridge Wells) plus ride Surrey hills. Haven’t got to rogate yet! My family life is busy at the moment.
    When choosing the aether9a I was thinking I was going to be riding more flatter trails but I’m riding more fun stuff now. The bike is still more than capable. Plus my skills aren’t amazing (not hitting anything big at all. Just small jumps) but I am improving and Ive been thinking maybe the am9 might suit me best in the future.

    On Birds Facebook page there’s a guy wanting to swap his am9 for a aether9. Both bikes about the same age and I’m thinking about swapping the frame and coil forks etc..

    Is it worth all the hassle? Should I bother as I’m happy with the aether9a. But just maybe the am9 might suit me better in a year .

    Any thoughts?
    Ben;-)

    Cheers

    Premier Icon bentudder
    Full Member

    Both of those are pretty big bikes for the Surrey Hills. Maybe not Bull track, mind. You don’t know what the other bike has been put through – yours is a known quantity – and you’ll be going a while before you bump up against the limitations of the bike you own.
    I’ve stick with what you have, and if you have some spare dosh, spend it on a bit of coaching. This is a bit of a kit-heavy sport, but a large number of us are nowhere near touching the limits of what our kit can do. Good coaching will help with that far better than the latest shock etc. Maybe also consider looking into how to improve the setup of the suspension you have; companies like Surrey Hills Suspension rent out Shockwiz devices, and these can get your to a great shock tune quite quickly.
    HTH.

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    I think you are right! But it’s tempting.
    At the moment I’m really riding 90% the bull track at the moment but that’s closing for winter very very soon. I’m definitely not at The limit of the bike,Yet. But I’m tempted. Don’t think the bike hasn’t been ridden very much. But I don’t know.
    Agreed regarding coaching!
    Thanks for your thoughts

    Premier Icon Mugboo
    Full Member

    Having moved from an Airdrop Edit to and Aether 7 in January, I think the biggest difference I noticed was how rough some sections of Red trails at BPW felt. That is the only possible negative I can think of.

    Over the year I have ridden Wharncliffe, Grenoside, Winn Hill, Wreckin, BPW, Dyfi and lots and lots of Calderdale, Bingley Tech plus Ard Moors. I’ve dropped bigger, jumped further and ridden steeper.

    My Aether is coil at the back and if you have a Rockshox air shock I recommend a Megneg or trying a coil. And I second the coaching, its certainly worked for me. I’ll never be amazing but I am still improving.

    That said, I still look at bigger travel/mullet/high pivot bikes and wonder 🙂

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Haha ha it seems like we’ll always wondered. Definitely agree on coaching.
    Might look at megneg or coil later on.
    I Wouldn’t consider the change but its only because I saw someone wanting to swap the other way.

    Premier Icon johnw1984
    Free Member

    I’ve had bigger bikes and smaller bikes than my current Aether 9 and it’s just as capable on anything I’ve ridden.

    If you’re just starting out, I’d honestly not bother swapping bikes. I went down the same rabbit hole years ago swapping all the time and I’ve regretted a few!

    The Aether 9 is incredibly capable and I’m not sure that the AM9 would make a massive difference to a beginner. Coaching on stuff you want to ride will be a lot more effective than changing bikes at this point.

    Premier Icon the00
    Free Member

    Swapping just the frame, or the whole bike? With the whole bike there are many, many things to consider that may be more worn compared to your bike.
    In reality a little more travel might be nice occasionally, but you don’t ride anywhere near chunky enough for it to make a big difference. The Aether is not stopping you from riding anything.

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    @the00

    I’d just swop the frame and shock maybe the fork. But it seems like it’s not the best move. The other bike don’t think been ridden much at all. But neither has mine.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Full Member

    I have an AM9 and to be honest for the first few rides I was thinking the Aether might have been a better choice – and that’s in the rock-strewn Peak District.
    But I think for me it mainly comes down to weight as the AM9 pedals so well.

    So just swapping the frame wouldn’t have done it for me, because the tyres/lyric/coil shock/wheels and even wheel size all make a difference as well. Basically I only weigh 60kg and have struggled to pop up the bike in all the places I would have done on familar trails (vs my 29lb Aeris mk1) making it feel less playful.

    But I am much quicker on the AM9 – lazily so – which is part of the problem. It needs really tough terrain to feel the penalty is worth it. I find myself reaching for the CX bike more often when riding solo local trails because of it.

    I’m getting more and more used to it though and will stick it out as in Tweed Valley on and off-piste it was perfect.

    I haven’t ridden the Aether, but it’s probably more similar to my Mk1 Aeris. It’s a tough choice, but I’d say stick as you are and accept that it’s probably worth the travel compromise for the benefits.

    Premier Icon oikeith
    Full Member

    The ceiling for progression of your riding skills and trails to ride is higher on the Aether then it would be on the AM9, the rear suspension will write cheques the hard tail might not on some trails

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    @AlexSimon

    That’s exactly why I bought the aether9a in the first place.
    Cheers buddy

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    From the level of riding you say you’re at and where you’re riding I’d keep the Aether.

    I’m just about average probably in fitness and mtb ability and I went from a Bird Aeris 145LT (170mm front / 160mm rear travel) to an Aether 7. I wouldn’t go back – for 90% of my riding the Aether is better for me.

    I’ve ridden BMCC / Antur Stiniog / BPW / Flyup 417 / Windhill etc on the Aether and it was brilliant. The only place I slightly hankered after bigger travel was Antur where I felt a bit battered by the end of the day. I was quicker on the easier blues and reds there on the Aether but a tiny bit slower on the rougher reds (my mate didn’t have a full face helmet so I only rode the twisty more natural black at the bottom and I was quicker on the Aether through that).

    For most other riding like the trail centre at Cwmcarn (including the DH runs), trail centre and various off piste at FOD (which I imagine is similar ish to the Surrey Hills maybe?), local riding round Bristol etc the Aether is perfect really.

    Mine’s running a 150mm Lyrik and has a Fox DHX2 Factory coil on the back, plus Code brakes and decent tyres. It comes in about 33lbs with Exo casing tyres on it broadly.

    In fact the only thing I’m wondering about is going from Aether 7 to Aether 9c next year.

    Premier Icon spannermonkey
    Full Member

    Mate was really happy with 1-2-1 coaching with Daryl Brown this summer at the Bull Track. Also like many MTB coaches, offers vouchers, so that’s xmas/birthday covered 🙂

    Premier Icon Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    I don’t think its worth the hassle of changing personally.

    My 9c has now seen Staunton steeps, Cwmcarn off-piste and some horrendous lakeland chunder, (Comb Crags and Grisdale beck) alongside standard stuff on the Quantocks, Afan and Cwmcarn, Mendips and Ashton court.

    It’s been up to the job of any of it.

    Premier Icon DickBarton
    Full Member

    Think Aether is a 130mm travel bike and AMP is 150mm – is that it? Personally, I’m not sure a swap is going to improve things, spend more time honing your skills and your current bike will become more capable as everything becomes better from a skills point of view (you may then decide you need more travel, but honing skills will get far more out your riding than adding more travel).

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    My 15 year old was faster down the Alps on an Aether7 than I was on an Aeris AM160 (both 27.5).

    It’s the rider not the bike a lot of the time. Coaching is probably a better investment.

    Premier Icon james1992
    Free Member

    Don’t think the debate is on coaching guy’s!
    Read the post

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    If I ride my son’s long travel enduro bike 170mm) , it feels like a slightly sucky and slow wagon that pitches and dives, while removing a lot of trail feedback. Heavy tyres dull the acceleration. It’s laughable hitting trails, but takes some effort to make use of and I just don’t feel I’m getting the best from it.

    He gets on it, rides at 50% faster and steeper and reckons its the best thing ever – and I mean top 10-20% in EWS100 fast….

    I’m genuinely happier on either my HT or even my other son’s 135mm FS, both of which accelerate slightly faster, feel slightly sprightlier, slightly lighter and generally better on average trails the majority of the time.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Full Member

    Just in a comment above the AM9 only has 20mm more rear travel but the v3 version of it can run a 170mm fork – and it has longer chainstays. The Aether has really short ones to keep it more nimble on trails that aren’t flat out fast rock fests etc. So I think the AM9 would feel more different than the travel suggests it would.

    For now with the stated experience of the rider and what’s being ridden I’d keep the Aether though.

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    i`d happily ride a 130mm bike at the bull track (and anywhere really) – just about perfect for all the jumps. you might need to add a bit of air to teh suspension to stiffen it up a bit though if doing the more full-on trails.

    Im not bazooka level at bull track but i like to think im not far off.

    i think most people are thoroughly over travelled and overbiked. My fave bike was a 100mm travel slack trail ripper.

    Premier Icon james1992
    Free Member

    If you are happy with it ride it for now. You can always get a new frame at a later date.

    Premier Icon bikesandboots
    Full Member

    @ed- IIRC you’re the chap who got your Aether 9 in “enduro AM9 spec” – coil, EX511s etc. about the same time as me. Glad you’re enjoying the bike. Top marks for that spec as someone new!

    I’ve not much idea about those southern places you mention, but I’m riding my Aether 9 “trail spec” in the north and Scotland, although not bike parks. After demoing an AM9 I kinda thought that lots of people with them as trail bikes, particularly in the south, would be better off on Aether 9s. The AM9 rides differently; more of a charge-though style (different type of fun) and less agile/playful, so do consider things about the Aether 9 you’d lose and not just what you gain in travel.

    Above all I’d suggest coaching. You could do that on an AM9 too of course, but I think you’d develop your skills quicker on the Aether 9. Get your suspension dialled too, and refine it as your skills improve so you don’t stick with a compromised setup to compensate for poorer technique.

    At the moment I’m really riding 90% the bull track

    Whatever that is, at 90% you might get tired of it pretty soon? Like listening on repeat does to a newly discovered favourite song. Maybe try some variety, you might discover the versatility of the bike you already have to be fun absolutely anywhere. It’s been a great bike for me branching out into trying different types of rides.

    I’d just swop the frame and shock maybe the fork.

    You know the shock is a different length? Although maybe something can be done about that.

    tl;dr: you already have the right bike for you in the present/near-future.

    Basically I only weigh 60kg and have struggled to pop up the bike in all the places


    @AlexSimon
    I weigh a little more, the AM9 felt much more (too much) planted down and at speed was quite difficult to make quick direction changes at short-notice.

    But I am much quicker on the AM9 – lazily so – which is part of the problem.

    Felt the same, so easy to cruise through stuff, and do serious speed. I wonder if at your weight some suspension tweaks could help with the poppiness. I guess both the bikes could be made somewhat more like the other one through suspension tuning.

    I find myself reaching for the CX bike more often when riding solo local trails because of it.

    Ha great. I feared that if I bought an AM9 then future-me could justify a hardtail or gravel bike.

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    @bikesandboots

    I got super deluxe not coil shock!
    Plus I’ve got pike not lyrik fork.
    The aether is so poppy. And that’s why I bought it. But it’s definitely very poppy. Maybe a bit too poppy 🤣.
    I definitely have played around with the settings so it feels great. Can still do some tweaks.

    Who said I wasn’t getting any coaching?

    The coaching wasn’t my question.

    Im very happy with the aether9a but maybe I should of gone with the am9 as my riding terrain and style is going more enduro than I originally thought.

    Let’s see but I’m loving my bike and biking in general and I’m progressing well.

    I might look for a frame at a later stage.

    Premier Icon bikesandboots
    Full Member

    That’s great, good that you’ve found what you like.

    Nobody has said you weren’t getting any coaching, and just a couple of days ago you were agreeing multiple times with suggestions of coaching. It’s relevant to the situation, given what you wrote about your skills and being new. People don’t just answer the exact question that opening posts ask.

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Lol it’s all good. Thanks for your time and advice much appreciated mate.

    I’m loving the bike. Plus am a big advocate for coaching in general. It just wasn’t really what I was asking about.

    I’m still tempted on swapping the frame. But it’s not the time , yet. I’ll see what next year brings. I think I’ve progressed a decent amount this year and reckon I’m going to improve a lot more next year. I’m feeling much more smooth on the bike now and am popping off the jumps smoothly. Still nothing very big. But it’s about having fun that’s why we do it right 👍

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    Apologies. I was one of the folk that mentioned coaching.

    It wasn’t to say “your skills are poor, get some coaching”, more that the difference between an Aether and an Aeris in terms of what is enjoyable to ride as opposed to hanging on for grim death, is less than a couple of hours decent coaching – in my opinion.

    I wasn’t saying coaching is what you need, more don’t worry about the bike – it’s fine. Always.

    PS – don’t listen to me, I’m a terrible rider. No really.

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Lol coaching in general is the perfect way to improve. It is however very expensive. But it’s very helpful.
    I feel the pump track has really improved my riding too.

    My skills are still poor but improving. I’m a snowboarder at heart but because of covid and new family commitments mountain biking is my new go to. I’ve been looking it. I definitely enjoy the bike park and more adrenaline side of MTB. Pity I didn’t start it earlier. But the new breed of bikes are amazing and make you feel amazing 🤣🤣

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    ed-

    I’m still tempted on swapping the frame. But it’s not the time , yet. I’ll see what next year brings.

    Im very happy with the aether9a but maybe I should of gone with the am9 as my riding terrain and style is going more enduro than I originally thought.

    Enduro is a race format .. and basically that seems to be the question. Do you want a poppy park and trail riding bike or a race bike erm Or both.

    Its a bit personal, some people seem to enjoy being over biked – I find it pretty boring. I’ve no idea what you prefer .. but more important is do you?

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    @stevextc

    Yes good point and that’s the big question every one has to make that decision.

    I’m new to biking but when I first started out (last year) I didn’t know what was around to ride.
    So I thought a trail bike was pretty perfect for me.
    But as I’m riding more of the fun stuff my mind was thinking about the am9 and one just popped up for a swop. So hence this debate.
    Think it’s easier to stick with the aether9a as I’m very happy with it but it’s that niggling thought of that am9.

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    Think it’s easier to stick with the aether9a as I’m very happy with it but it’s that niggling thought of that am9.

    Seriously … don’t let it niggle you.
    Unless you either want to shave a few seconds off or you ride triple black more often than not the Aether is more than capable. The main thing that will make it less capable is YOU having a niggling doubt!!!

    If you wanted an AM9 then the only real reasons are it’s faster or you got an invite for Hardline or you enjoy being over biked. (Nothing wrong with that… but if it turns out you don’t you made an expensive mistake). What I found and seems pretty common is being over biked can be great as an occasional thing but the novelty wears off for many.

    I’d like to think I’m an average rider though I’m informed by my 12yr old I’m nowhere near but take your pick, I’m certainly no riding god.

    I’ve also demo’d pretty much every bike Bird do and it took me about 6′ to realise just how fast the AM9 was or would be if I didn’t have a close relationship with using brakes. In contrast the first 6′ on the Aether (albeit it was a 7) it just felt a lot more agile and fun.

    When you say you’re riding “more enduro” the thing is that’s not so much about what you ride but how quickly you want to ride it. An average rider can take an Aether down pretty much 99% of UK trails/bike parks they just won’t (might not) be quite as fast as on an AM9 basically because the AM9 is designed for raw speed over pop and whips.

    If you were to try an put a line where a pretty average rider would struggle on a Aether but the AM9 would make a difference other than a few seconds of time then it’s WAY above your average black/enduro stage.

    But as I’m riding more of the fun stuff my mind was thinking about the am9 and one just popped up for a swop. So hence this debate.

    A lot of that depends what you define as “fun stuff” and you still didn’t mention racing.
    “Fun stuff” is what the Aether is designed for … it doesn’t make it less capable of what it can do, it’s just not designed to do it as quickly.

    Trying to think of an example it would be the difference for example between say the old DH at Dyfi (2xblack) vs The Slab Run (3xblack). We did both on the old MK1.5’s which is about as capable as the Aether … the difference really was the Slab run felt proper scary for someone of my limited ability on the MK1.5. (Kids a far better rider and didn’t really bother him)

    If I’d had an AM9 as well then no question over what I’d ride on either… and I’m sure I’d be measurably faster down the old DH on the AM9 as well, despite it being in the comfort zone for me on a Aether it’s just in terms of “what I ride” vs “how quickly”
    If I had the Aether it would be the choice for the jump line though.

    The thing is I only get to N. Wales or Glencoe/Fort Bill a few times a year. In reality and locally, most of my local riding is in Surrey Hills with people approaching my age of similarly average capability riding what most of them class as “Enduro type stuff”. The bike(s) has/have sod all to do with what I/we ride. Most of the time I’m looking for something to pop off, jump off or drop off not set the fastest time.. I guess that’s my definition of “fun stuff”.

    Premier Icon chiefgrooveguru
    Free Member

    The other thing I’ll add is that if you’re getting more air, longer travel bikes are not as easy to get airborne or control when getting airborne, especially very progressive ones like the AM9 that can store a lot of energy in their shock. Yes, more travel usually helps when landings don’t go right but I don’t think that makes as much difference.

    Size for size the geometry is very similar – the AM9 is a bit higher off the ground static but the extra sag will almost cancel that out and the chainstays are longer. The other differences are minuscule.

    Premier Icon hooli
    Free Member

    I’d agree with most of the comments above, doesn’t sound like you need the extra travel…but…riding a MTB is supposed to be fun so if you feel like a swap and can afford it then then I say go for it.

    What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t like it and swap it out again?

    Premier Icon ed-
    Free Member

    Cheers chaps. A fun and helpful debate.

    I’m really having so much fun mountain biking at the moment. Doesn’t matter what bike I’m on. I’ve been snowboarding for Years and it’s the same buzz. Love it.
    An enjoying chatting with fellow people that enjoy the adrenaline and am striving to improve with a massive smile on my face!!

    Cheers guys 👊👊

Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.