Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE Review
Tires: 29″ Aluminum
What we like about it: The wide range of frame sizes offers riders more options.
What we don’t like about it: The absence of a dropper design means there is no convenient way to adjust the sitting position based on the terrain.
I wasn’t expecting much from the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE when I saw the price tag.
Not everyone can afford a top-of-the-line bike with a high price tag. However, This is such a value-for-money hardtail trail bike.
Below, we analyze the riding experience, key features, components and specifications of this bike, as well as other versions. We also provide a comparison of several top bike models. For more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
The Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE features an almost solid color paint on its NINER HYDROFORMED AND WELDED 6061-T6 aluminum frame, giving it a fresh and robust appearance.
I believe it will handle the hills near my house with ease.
Coincidentally, my good friend James has booked a flight to visit me, so I’ve decided to try out the bike together when he arrives.
Although it was not a lightweight carbon fiber body, the 6061-T6 aluminum frame was quite light and did not give me too much resistance.
Also, thanks to its hardtail nature, even on steeper climbs, the pedals provided good feedback when I swung my legs, with no sense of letdown.
In addition, the bike’s geometry provided good stability, and the moderate rear fork length allowed the bike to climb without lifting the front wheel off the ground.
The car did not have a dropper design, but the NINER GRRRIPS L/O NYLON SOFT COMPOUND grip and NINER CUSTOM WITH CR-MO RAILS saddle were still relatively comfortable. Even if I kept the same posture all the time, I did not have too much fatigue feeling.
I must also mention that the SRAM SX EAGLE 12-speed drivetrain has been a great asset. It swiftly and accurately shifted gears, preventing any unwanted stops on challenging ramps.
Although it was only a hardtail mountain bike, I was pleasantly surprised by its downhill performance.
As I sped down the gravel covered roads, I was able to dodge the large raised rocks thanks to the nimble head tube.
On the other hand, in some consecutive corners, my reactions were a bit out of step with the changing terrain, but the SRAM LEVEL Hydraulic Disc braking system allowed me to slow down or stop in time.
However, the external alignment produced a cable-to-body sound on some bumpy sections, but it was acceptable.
Speaking of road bumps, thanks to the 120mm travel MARZOCCHI BOMBER Z2 RAIL fork, my arms were barely sore, and the SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC EVO SUPER TRAIL TLE ADDIX SPEEDGRIP 2.6 tires absorbed some of the shock, providing a stable and comfortable ride.
All in all, the bike has good climbing performance and is stable enough for descending.
The Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE is available in 5 aluminum frame sizes from XS to XL, which greatly enriches the rider’s choice.
In addition, the bike has mounting holes at both the down tube and mid tube for adding practical equipment such as a water bottle holder.
Although there is no internal cable routing, the cable runs under the top tube and is easier to clean than some mountain bikes with cables running from the downtube.
Geometrically, the bike allows the rider to be in a more comfortable and balanced position, resulting in a better riding experience.
Finally, the bike is equipped with a 120mm travel fork and plenty of room for large tires. You can ride it on all kinds of off-road terrain.
The Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE is a pretty cost-effective hardtail trail bike. But if you want a better riding experience, we’ve made recommendations for other models as well.
Niner AIR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE
First and foremost, the Niner AIR 9 RDO 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE stands out with its remarkable feature of utilizing the Niner RDO carbon fiber frame, resulting in a reduced overall weight of the bike.
It is also equipped with a 120mm MARZOCCHI BOMBER Z2 RAIL fork, offering extended damping travel.
On the other hand, the bike features a 100mm FOX 32 FLOAT RHYTHM GRIP EVOL fork, which is better suited for handling significant drop-offs during downhill sections.
Ultimately, both bikes excel as hardtail mountain bikes, and your choice should depend on factors such as the frame material and the type of terrain you intend to conquer.
What do we like about it?
Frame sizes are plentiful and can cater to all riders’ needs.
NINER HYDROFORMED AND WELDED 6061-T6 aluminum frame is rugged and durable.
The carefully designed geometry provides a comfortable riding experience.
The lifetime warranty gives riders less psychological burden when going off-road.
Sufficient tire clearance allows you to choose the right wheels for the terrain.
What don’t we like about it?
There is no dropper that can adjust the sitting position in time.
What kind of tires does the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE use and what is the tire size?
The tires used are SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC EVO SUPER TRAIL TLE ADDIX SPEEDGRIP 29×2.6″.
How about the fork of Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE?
The 120mm travel MARZOCCHI BOMBER Z2 RAIL fork provides a good damping effect.
How do I choose the size of this car?
It is rider-friendly for all heights, with 5 sizes to choose from. Here we provide you with a size chart, but of course you do not necessarily have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable size is to test ride.
156cm – 166cm|
163cm – 174cm|
171cm – 182cm|
179cm – 189cm|
185cm – 195cm|
NINER HYDROFORMED AND WELDED 6061-T6 ALUMINUMBB Standard: PF30, Press FitColor: Slate Blue / Cement Grey|
MARZOCCHI BOMBER Z2 RAIL, 120MM, 110X15MM, 44MM OFFSET|
SRAM DUB PF30|
NINER INTEGRATED SHIS DESCRIPTION IS42/28.6|IS52/40|
RACE FACE AEFFECT R 40MM, 35MM CLAMP|
RACE FACE AEFFECT R 780MM WIDE, 20MM RISE, 35MM CLAMP|
NINER CUSTOM WITH CR-MO RAILS, EMBOSSED NINER GRAPHIC|
NINER ALLOY SEAT POST, 370MM, NINER GRAPHIC|
NINER GRRRIPS L/O NYLON SOFT COMPOUND|
Niner Alloy, aluminum clincher, 25mm internal width|
Niner Boost, 6-bolt|
Niner Boost, 6-bolt|
SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC EVO SUPER TRAIL TLE ADDIX SPEEDGRIP 2.6|
180/160MM SRAM G2CS ROTORS|
SRAM SX EAGLE 12SP|
SRAM X1 1K EAGLE DUB, 32T (XS/S – 170MM, M/L/XL – 175MM)|
SRAM SX EAGLE 12SP|
SRAM PG1210 11-50T|
SRAM SX EAGLE 12SP|
Click to view|
Giant Stance 29 1|
Maxxis Forekaster 29×2.35|
1 × 12|
SRAM SX Eagle|
Canyon Stoic 4|
Schwalbe Hans Dampf 29×2.35″|
1 × 12|
Kona Big Honzo|
WTB Ranger 27.5×2.8″|
1 × 11|
Cannondale Habit HT 2|
(F) WTB Vigilante, 29×2.5″ (R) WTB Vigilante, 29×2.4″|
1 × 10|
microSHIFT Advent X|
Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE VS Giant Stance 29 1
What first attracts me to the Giant Stance 29 1 is the curved top tube at the end and the smooth downtube, which I think is distinctive and breathe life into the vehicle.
Although the Giant Stance 29 1 Crest 34 SL RCL has 130mm of damping travel, I prefer the other one in terms of riding experience.
The fork absorbs violent shocks during big drops and doesn’t make a harsh sound even when bottoming out.
However, it is worth noting that the Giant Stance 29 1 is also equipped with a RockShox Monarch R rear shock, which allows it to handle steeper terrain.
Pedaling relief may occur on some uphill sections. So for the more climbing-oriented riders I would recommend this bicycle.
Learn More: Is Giant Stance 29 2 Worth Buying? [ Review]
Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE VS Canyon Stoic 4
Thanks to the Stoic 4 is a robust frame made of 6061-T6 aluminum, the Canyon Stoic 4 even has the same level of toughness and durability as an enduro bike.
In terms of kits, the two use SRAM and Shimano’s entry-level kits SRAM SX EAGLE and Shimano Deore, respectively. So it’s hard to tell which one is better.
But the former also comes with a higher-level SRAM X1 1K EAGLE DUB Crank. You can choose the product you like more according to your riding experience.
One more thing is that the Canyon Stoic 4 weighs 15.0 kg, which is 3.7 kg heavier than the AIR 9.
Therefore, if you are looking for a lighter body, you may want to choose the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE at the same price.
Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE VS Kona Big Honzo
Comparing the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE with the Kona Big Honzo, I think the former is more suitable for experienced trail riders, while the latter is more suitable for entry-level riders.
First, the Kona Big Honzo’s Stack is taller for the same size, providing the rider with a more upright riding position. For beginners, this helps relieve back fatigue.
Secondly, the Kona Big Honzo uses WTB Ranger 27.5×2.8″ tires, which are wider and thicker than the the other bike’s tires, providing a lower center of gravity and better stability.
Finally, if you’re a beginner on a budget, the Kona Big Honzo offers a stable and comfortable ride. But if you want more potential in a mountain bike that can better handle more complex terrain, the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE will not disappoint you.
Learn More: Is Kona Coco Worth Buying? – [Kona Coco Review]
Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE VS Cannondale Habit HT 2
The lightweight and durable SmartForm C2 alloy frame gives the Cannondale Habit HT 2 a clean and crisp look, and the RockShox Judy TK airsprung fork provides 130mm of damping travel to soften the bumps from the road when you’re riding over rough and steep terrain.
What also surprises me was that the Cannondale Habit HT 2 features dropper tubes.
The flat handlebar construction makes for very limited grip points on a mountain bike. So for riders looking for a comfortable riding experience, a dropper design that allows for timely adjustment of riding position is very suitable.
However, if you’re looking to tackle some more challenging trails, the Niner AIR 9 2-STAR SRAM SX EAGLE with its 1×12 drivetrain is more suitable than the Cannondale Habit HT 2 with microSHIFT Advent 1×10 drivetrain only.
Above is our test of this bicycle, which has a lightweight body and good performance.
In our opinion, this is a bike worth buying. That’s why we give it a high score of 4.7.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other hardtail trail bikes, we have reviewed a variety of bikes at different price points that you might find interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.
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