The bicycle can rightly be considered one of the best inventions of mankind. A simple and reliable design allows you to quickly and quite comfortably cover distances, carry small loads, as well as keep your body in good shape. Currently, there are more and more cyclists, which means that manufacturers of modern bikes have to constantly work to improve their products, offering new, more modernized and comfortable models with improved speed ratings.
In 2004, a new model was introduced to a wider audience of cyclists – the Niner. The bike quickly won the sympathy of a certain range of cyclists, and in 2010 it could be seen at the competitions on the cross-country. What is a niner? What are its main features? Let’s find out more about it.
What is a niner bicycle?
This is a type of mountain bike, the wheel size of which is 29 inches. It is clear that the wheels are the main, but not the only difference of the niner bicycle. What kind of model is this and who is sure to like it? What does the size of the wheels matter when choosing a bicycle? It’s worth noting one nuance: for 28″ and 29″ wheels use the same size rim. It’s just that size 29 is the total diameter along with the tire.
A great sympathy for nainers is shown by taller cyclists. For some reason there is a stereotype that nainers are designed exclusively for tall people. And indeed, these wheels are better to pass the bumps, develop a decent speed, etc. But here a quite reasonable question arises: will the niner suit ordinary bicyclists of average height? Let’s find out together.
Features of design
The first and main feature is the wheels. The increase in their diameter could not but affect the design of the bike: together with the wheels, the frame was proportionally increased, the feathers became longer, the carriage system was raised by several cm, the clearance increased and the center of gravity was shifted up by 1.5 cm. Accordingly, it affected the dynamics and controllability of the bike. Due to the increased size of the wheels, the bike is much softer to ride over the bumps in the road. It has been proven by experience that the niner is far superior to a conventional 26-inch MTB when riding on rough terrain.
Nevertheless, there were and, unfortunately, still are obvious handling problems. Engineers and developers were able to reduce this disadvantage somewhat by pressing the wheel firmly between the sides of the fork. A relatively new model arouses a certain interest. However, it is necessary to understand the features of the niner in more detail. We have already understood what kind of a bicycle it is. It’s just a matter of a few things.
Advantages and disadvantages
The big wheels noticeably improved speed, handling and comfort, namely:
- increased rolling time;
- improved speed performance;
- smoother and smoother over obstacles;
- better traction with the road surface.
The bike is suitable for riding on flat roads, rough terrain, mountain trails and slippery surfaces. Thanks to the wheels, the niner is superior to many mountain models.
And now about the disadvantages of the niner, which do not allow the model to gain universal popularity:
- increase in bike size and weight;
- sluggishness of the bike;
- difficulties in finding parts;
- decreased acceleration.
In addition, because of their sluggishness, nainers are considered dangerous bikes – it really is easier to fall off them than a conventional MTB. To control it you need to put a lot of effort, which is an eloquent evidence: nainers are not suitable for fragile women and cyclists with low muscle mass. And one more disadvantage: this model is not designed for jumps and other tricks.
Is it worth buying a niner?
To buy or not to buy – a personal decision for each cyclist. In any case, your decision should not be spontaneous: they say, a friend bought it, and I’ll buy myself. It is necessary to study in detail the features of the bike, its advantages and disadvantages, to think about where to store it (remember the increased size of the bike) and how to lift it (do not forget about the large mass of the model), where to look for the necessary spare parts and consumables. The last factor must be taken into account: think about where you will repair your bike and whether the nearest bike store has the necessary parts for niner.
The best option: arrange a test-drive of the model. It is good if someone you know has a similar bike – so you can feel for yourself all the nuances of riding it. And perhaps the determining factor that should influence your decision is the purpose of purchase. If you need a bike to ride around town from point A to point B, the Nainer is not a good option. But if you occasionally escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and head for the horizon off-road, this model has undeniable advantages over other bikes.
Niner and short stature of the rider
It is worth focusing on this point and to understand whether the stereotype is justified. The reason for it was the disharmonious geometry of such bicycles. Originally, these were primitive models with wider wheels. In the world of bicycles there is such a concept as “sloping”, which refers to the slope of the upper tube of the bicycle frame. If you look at older models (including mountain bikes), you will notice that they had a completely horizontal tube without the slightest slope.
The installation of shock-absorbing forks caused a slight elevation of the upper part of the tube. The most unpleasant thing about this story is that it was possible to hit the crotch when it jumped off. For this reason, engineers and designers began to think about improving the design: it was turned into a “sloping” one, that is, the upper tube was artificially lowered, thereby creating a free space.
Here we should give very important advice to short bicyclists who want to buy a niner: pay attention to such parameter as ETT, indicating the length of the frame. You should also pay attention to the degree of comfort in terms of height (this parameter applies to all models).
If you study the geometry table, you may come across such a parameter as “standover height”. It refers to the height of the bike from the surface to the middle of the top tube. Choosing a niner, you should measure the length of your leg from the inside to the crotch, and then compare the result to the data table. The optimal margin: 8-10 cm. But it is easier to “try on” the bike in person: to do this, you need to put it between your legs, standing over the middle of the upper tube. If there is a distance of about a palm in reserve, everything is all right.
Today’s niner models are noticeably different from those that appeared back in 2004. Geometry and steerability of the models have been noticeably improved, they became a little bit lighter and more maneuverable. Based on this we can conclude: the height of the rider for modern nainers is not fundamentally important.
There is one point that can confuse when buying: these models are not very harmonious appearance. Cyclists who previously rode on standard, and then moved to a 29-inch model, it may seem that the niner clumsy and poor acceleration. But here the reason is not in the height of the person, but in the habit. Fear not: this model allows you to noticeably improve the control skills of the bike.
Buy a niner or not – a purely individual decision. Summing up all of the above, we can only say that the model is really distinguished by high cross-country ability and specificity of the ride. If you need a bike for cross-country riding, you should pay attention to the stylish nainers, which are soft and smooth over rough terrain.