4/25/16

Tweaking Tara's Niner Air 9...

I did some tweaks to Tara's Kermit Green Air 9 which she has had for quite a few years.

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She likes the bike a lot, but my assessment while out riding with her and watching her on various sections of singletrack led me to believe that a bit more aggressive set up for switchbacks and cornering was due. Especially now that she is taking on some of Iowa's tighter singletrack. The bars have always been pretty dang high, so step one was to pull the cockpit down and in to get more weight on the front wheel and improve the turning with a bar that had more sweep, was a bit wider, and mate it with a 20mm shorter stem. All of this quickened things up quite a bit immediately.

A frame and fork clean up, a wheel swap from the 2002 DT Swiss/Hügi 240 hubs laced to Crest rims to the Light Bicycle carbon rims laced to American Classic disc hubs, a swap from Ikon 2.35's front and rear to 2.3 Renegades front and rear, a swap to a newer pair of Avid Ultimate Levers (from an older pair), some new cables & housing got the bike in better tip top shape and shed over a pound. I'll swap the pedals out later this week to the Xpedo Mforce 8 Ti's to shed another third of a pound.

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It sits at 20.83 pounds as outfitted in these pictures, and certainly has potential to drop down to 18 and change if I threw some money at it with 1 x 11, new cranks, new brakes, new saddle, new bars, new wheels, etc... . However, the goal was to use what I had laying around and on other bikes to get it set up to improve her performance and handling. It's hard for me to test a size small bike, but at least when I threw my tall drink of water body over it to do some test riding in the neighborhood, it felt much more nimble to me with quicker turning, and a better weighting over the front wheel.

A couple of test rides for her in the neighborhood, then steerer tube cut per Niner's instructions on no spacers above the stem with this fork.

She'll give it a test on dirt tomorrow...or maybe not thanks to rain.

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Steerer tube properly cut (removed 37mm) and expansion plug installed (cut 30g off with tube and spacers for a weight of 20.7 lbs as pictured)...

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