WHO RIDES A SHORTER TRAVEL TRAIL BIKE?
Before we define the shorter travel trail bike, let’s define the rider. When Niner sat down to redesign the JET 9, we defined the rider for this bike first.
That rider, in general, looks like this:
The do-it-all rider who wants one bike that can handle most trail scenarios. This is someone who may want to compete in cross country races as well as longer races once or twice a season. This person may also take a trip or two to a riding destination like Moab and wants a bike that can be pointed downhill and handle technical trails. This someone requires the bike to be light and efficient for climbing as well as have an efficient pedaling platform.
DEFINING THE SHORT TRAVEL TRAIL BIKE
Once upon a time, a mountain bike with 120 mm of travel out back wouldn’t have been considereed “short”. These days it is. Here’s a bit more detail about the intended uses of a shorter travel trail bike and how it may be configured. For Niner, the JET 9 family fits into this category.
• Designed to run 120 – 140 mm fork.
• Designed with 115-130 mm of rear travel.
• Designed to climb efficiently.
• Designed to run tires up to 2.4” in width and/or have boost spacing so the rider has the option to run 27.5 plus tires.
• Head tube angle is more slack than a cross country bike in order to keep handling more sharp but steeper than a longer travel trail bike
• Ability to run either a 1x or 2x drivetrain (1×11 or 12, 2×10 or 11)
• Shorter wheelbase gives it a playful feel. Bunny hop it, ride some wheelies and/or corner it around switchbacks without having to muscle it around.
• Designed more as the “daily driver” bike with the ability to hop into a cross country race or a longer endurance race.
• Can handle most technical trails – up or down – but the shorter suspension may get overwhelmed when the terrain becomes more aggressive.
Overall, a shorter travel trail bike is a great all arounder. It can handle just about everything and generally handle it well.