My Niner Maiden Voyage – by Diane Cutler, Bryson City Bicycles
After two years of me saying I didn’t need a 29er because I didn’t have confidence to ride the kind of trails that required one, and Andy retorting that if I rode a 29er, it would give me the confidence, I finally bit the bullet. As a brand new Niner dealer, I test rode a few options and decided on the gorgeous and responsive Jet9. I’m 5’4” and could probably have gone with either a small or a medium, but because of my long torso and gorilla arms, I felt more comfortable with the stretch on the medium.
So with a group of nine fun-loving MTBers (4 of us on Niners) we set out to Bent Creek on a beautiful, almost 60 degree November afternoon. First we climbed, and baby, can this bike climb; zippy and stiff, the pedals spun with more ease than my 26” full suspension ever did. Then we climbed steep, twisty, rooty, rocky singletrack. YIKES…this is where I usually bail. But the Jet9 ate the roots even at slow speeds and handled the climbing better than my lungs.
Resting at the top, I absorbed the pep talk from my reckless downhill junkie companions telling me “the bike will do all the work if you just hold on”. So down we all went. And they were right. The Jet9 was nimble and graceful, devouring the drops, rocks and roots like a monster truck. My job was to steer clear of trees which I did with aplomb and I arrived at the bottom in one piece with a huge smile on my face.
Please understand I have not a single bad word to say about my old 26” full suspension friend… I loved that old bike, but my new Niner is a game changer for me, opening trails that I would never have dared to try.