Demo'd: 2010 Niner Jet 9

The rented Jet 9

Rented as a demo from the Golden Bike Shop. I knew of the Jet 9 for some years now. 1st hearing of the recall in 2009 and later hearing about the "rise of the Phoenix in 2010. Niner claims the 2010 model is 30 % stiffer then its predecessor and though I never got a chance to throw my leg over the earlier model, I'd say they hit the mark with this bikes rocket ship, sling shot, point it and it'll take you there as fast as your willing to push it attitude.

Golden Bike Shop
recommends running a 120 mm fork to the 90 mm rear end. I was a little hesitant at 1st and on my 1st test ride, Chimney Gulch to Enchanted Forest to Apex, I thought they may be off the mark. The bike handled twitchy and nervous on the climbs and while I felt fast on the descents, I really didn't feel in control. I attribute this to the fact that the bike had a 0 degree rise stem and a flat bar along with skinny Maxxis Ignitor 2.1 Tires on the front and rear.

I got home that night and switched out the front tire for a Panaracer Rampage 2.3 and switched the stem to a 6 degree rise with a riser bar on top of that. That weekend we did my Great Big, Damn'd Vail ride and the resulting ride was astounding. The bike felt overall more comfortable under me and performed to every command I could give as long as my legs and lungs could continue producing the momentum. The result was a bike that climbed and tracked well, though new to me compared to my hardtail was a slightly longer wheel base that made switchbacks a little trickier. The descents is where this setup really shined and I had to reel myself in a few times when it felt that I was going a little to fast for my own comfort.

While I know the Jet 9 was optimized for cross country racing, I see the potential for this machine to be a epic cruiser that could handle a variety of diverse terrain while keeping a rider happy for many miles in the saddle. This can be accomplished through using a 120mm fork, 2.3 or larger front tire and 2.2 or larger rear tires along with a cockpit setup optimized for the individual rider. For this reason, I have Golden Bike Shop holding a frame for me until I can gather enough funds to make it mine.