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The Air 9 is one of the more significant bikes in the Niner line up. Not only because it's sporting the latest technology or long travel, multi-link suspension, but because the Air 9 signifies years of 29er development. In fact, the Air 9 was one of the first production models from this progressive company. Equipped with the 1-Star Complete Mountain Bike build, this alloy hardtail packs a competitive punch without subjecting you to a ramen and PB&J diet.

Niner is the undisputed leader in unleashing the full potential of 29ers, and just as importantly, in silencing the dying breed of nay-saying Luddites on 26in wheels. The Air 9 is one bike that has consistently changed minds and challenged preconceived notions, and it continues to sway riders with its lightweight, hydroformed alloy tube set, a tapered head tube, and the press-fit BB30 bottom bracket interface.

Based on finite element analysis and real world testing, Niner employed extensive hydroforming to perfect the tube shapes. These tubes, when combined with widespread forging and CNC machining throughout the crucial elements, ensure the optimum balance of strength to weight. The end result is a frame that's incredibly strong, lightweight, and accelerates on demand. However, the stiffness won't beat you up, or make you feel like a lame duck when you’re pushing the limits of your riding.

Packing seven dirty years under its belt, the agile Air 9 rolls with the kind of refinement that established riders cherish. With the Star-1 build, a 100mm travel RockShox Recon Gold fork leads the way. It features the proven dual air spring and Motion Control dampening, along with a 15mm Maxel for excellent trail characteristics. Driving the rear wheel is a SRAM S1000 crankset with 38/24 chainrings. It spins a 10-speed, PG1030 11-36t cassette with a KMC X10 chain. Gear selection is handled by SRAM X7 shifters, a X7 rear derailleur, and a X5 front derailleur. Keeping speed in check is a set of Avid Elixir 1 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors.

This Air 9 rides on American Classic's Terrain wheels cased in low rolling resistance, 2.25in-wide Schawlbe Racing Ralph tires. This pairing provides the traction and velvety ride quality that's expected of 29ers. Finishing off the Star-1 build is a handful of alloy Niner components, including the handlebar, stem, and a seatpost that's been mated with a Niner branded WTB Volt Sport saddle.

The Niner Air 9 Star-1 Complete Mountain Bike is available in the color White and in four sizes from Small to X-Large.

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