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Turnkey single speeds are plentiful, but most are only around to catch a ride on another mountain bandwagon. So, they're typically just heavy steel frames that're spec'd with budget build kits. But, the Niner Air 9 Carbon with the 2-Star Complete Bike kit is the complete opposite of that. Niner's been in the SS game since the beginning, and its high-tech chassis and choice parts are ready for SSWC shenanigans. Most importantly, though, it revels in the true, lightweight, and simple pleasure that these bikes are intended to provide.

The curvy Air 9 Carbon's foundation is constructed from a high modulus carbon fiber structure with optimized weaves, layups, and tube shapes. The fluid form is no accident, either. In fact, it's been purposefully designed to dampen chatter and guide impact forces to stronger parts of the frame. Accordingly, chain torque goes directly to the rear wheel via the reinforced bottom bracket shell and sturdy chainstays, yet trail vibrations are quelled by the swooping seatstays. From the strength- and precision-enhancing tapered head tube, to the internal cable routing and titanium protectors, the Air 9 Carbon checks all the boxes on your wishlist.

The Air 9 Carbon features Niner's exclusive Bio-Centric EBB technology and CYA Bottom Bracket system. This frees the Air 9 Carbon from the plethora of new bottom bracket standards, and it means that you can easily switch from single speed to gears. Through the use of press-fit inserts, the Air 9 Carbon can be set up for either Shimano or SRAM BB30, Shimano or SRAM BB92, or standard external cups. But, most important to single speed frames is the chain tensioning device -- in this case an eccentric design. Eccentric bottom brackets often present finicky maintenance headaches like constant creaking, ovalized shells, and stripped bolts. However, an essential design element of Niner's Bio-Centric system is that the cups lock to the bottom bracket shell's flange. This provides 360 degrees of positioning, while eliminating any chance for creak-causing dirt or debris to contaminate the interface. Also, it won't round out or suffer from the over-tightening issues of traditional EBB designs.

The 2-Star Complete build includes Niner's coveted RDO carbon fork with 15mm Maxel. Its monocoque design allows the oversized steerer tube to seamlessly integrate with the lowers. This creates a transition free of stress-prone bonds, as opposed to three-piece forks. Niner also dedicated extensive resources to optimizing the fork legs' weave in order to take full advantage of the damping characteristics of carbon. Impact energy is dispersed throughout the entire structure, suppressing trail vibrations without compromising steering precision.

The Air 9 Carbon rides on Sun Ringle Black Flag SS wheels with custom Niner graphics. They're wrapped in Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.35in tires, and the rear is equipped with a 20T Niner Cogaliciuos. Spinning that cog is a KMC 710SL chain and a Truvativ Stylo crank with a 32T ring. At the other end of the force spectrum is a set of Avid Elixir 5's with a 180mm rotor up front and a 160mm rotor in back. Wrapping up the 2-Star build is a smattering of Niner alloy components, including the stem, handlebar, and seatpost that's been mated with a Niner-branded WTB Volt saddle.

The Air 9 Carbon 2-Star Complete Bike is available in the color White and four sizes from Small to X-Large.

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Niner AIR 9 Carbon 2-Star Complete Bike - 2013

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