Building The Ultimate 29er Race Mountain Bike – Part 1

So with the upcoming 2012 race season fast approaching, it is time to start looking at bicycle parts selection and building up a new race bike, as my current bike is several years old and is a 26er. I have been riding and have done a few races on a 29er now, and it now seems that the 29er has finally come of age in the serious mountain bike scene. We have seen sales of 29ers outpace 26ers two to one lately, and even Europe is finally starting to take notice of the 29er. We have seen a few big name cross country racers win world titles on 29ers now, and the momentum behind the 29er seems unstoppable. My requirements for a 29er were that it be lightweight, that it be carbon fiber, that it be full suspension and that it have a suspension system that is very performance oriented with short stays and isolated from pedaling induced bobbing. I had narrowed it down to two frame designs, the Scott Spark 29er and the Niner Jet 9 RDO. Scott Bikes has been plauged with a reputation of availability issues on their high end bikes and it looks like 2012 will not be any different. Last year Scott introduced a nice carbon hardtail 29er, unfortunately most folks that wanted one couldn’t get one because Scott didn’t have the foresight to import enough bikes to fulfill the demand. So, as we got into December of 2011, it was becoming apparent that Scott was going to be having trouble with availability again.

Niner Bikes, with their newly patented, CVA suspension system on their all new carbon Jet 9 RDO was looking better and better the closer I looked. Niner Bikes CVA™ IS NOW PATENTED (U.S. PATENT NO. 7,934,739) CVA is an award-winning suspension design and now it is recognized with a US Patent. THE ONLY 29ER SPECIFIC SUSPENSION DESIGN CVA is the only suspension designed with 29ers in mind. For those seeking big wheels and CVA performance, Niner is the way to go – you won’t find this design on other bikes.Jet9rdo

So, we received the new Niner Jet 9 RDO the other day. The first thing I noticed is that the frame is much more pleasing in person than the photos I saw online. This frame is a work of art! The attention to detail is quite nice. The internal cable routing, titanium plate behind the chainrings, the anodized pivots are all quite appealing to the eye. We will be building this bike up as our 2012 project bike for the race season. We will be selecting bicycle parts that are focused on performance and lightweight, so stay tuned.

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