Santa Cruz finally makes a trail bike and it is a beauty! They tried to convince me that the now discontinued Tallboy LTC was a trail bike but it wasn’t. The head tube angle and other geometry was cross country / light trail bike.
I’ve liked Niners for years. As their name indicates, they only make 29ers. Their people at the MTB festivals are really nice and helpful and the frame designs are good. They ride well. However, they haven’t produced a real trail bike until now, and the WFO 9 is a great ride!
The model I rode had the 150mm Rockshox Pike, alloy metal frame, 1×11 XT setup, and the Reverb infinity dropper. The head tube angle is 67 degrees, nicely between XC and all mountain. It weighed in at 29.5 pounds, not bad for alloy and a large frame.
My wife Katya demoed this bike during the 2016 Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival. She felt it was not as agile as her Yeti SB95c or the Liv, see my blog post about the Liv. Still, it is a good ride and value and worth considering. She felt she had good control even though the head tube angle was at the cross-country level.
My wife Katya demoed the Liv Intrigue on the South Rim and Hidden Canyon trails on Gooseberry Mesa, Hurricane, Utah during the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival in March 2016. Those are upper intermediate to double black diamond trails and a serious test of a bike.
Her conclusion, the bike felt light and sporty and she had no problems with the less expensive components compared to XT level components on her Yeti. Katya is a slower cautious intermediate rider who rides the toughest trails but knows when to walk it.
I’ve rode a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 140mm fork for the past two and a half years since my Yeti was new. Nice, but I’ve been over the handlebars or crashed more than a few times on what I consider small rocks, maybe 6 – 10 inches high. After two nasty crashes recently, one that had me limping around Fruita, CO for a few days and unable to ride, I had enough.
Fox redesigned their 34 line in 2016 and I was noticing the smoother and more controlled rides over gnar at the Outerbike and Hurricane mountain bike festivals. After the Fruita incident on the Holy Cross Trail, which I blogged about recently, I was headed to the fall 2016 Outerbike in Moab.
I’m riding the trails here for another week and then home to Silicon Valley for the winter. I don’t have much left to shoot for my next Moab Mountain Biking Trail Analysis videos for this area.
The upper Whole Enchilada is open but very cold and muddy when not frozen. Not sure I want to ride it now.
Trying out my new Fox Factory Float 34 2017 fork. So far it is amazing!!! Blog post to come but so far it is far safer and more plush at low speeds than the Rockshox Pike or Revelation. My Revelation will be on eBay next week!
I added a short video of biking this amazing slick rock area north of Moab! Much more beautiful slick rock than usual, and mostly very smooth. It is like powder skiing 🙂 A real bonus is that the climb to the top is easy and scenic. Perfect beginner / intermediate terrain with some scary stuff for advanced riders.
I demoed the 5.5 on the gnarly intermediate Styles Ranch Trail in south San Jose, California and the EZ, Lazy, and Bar B Trails at the Moab Brand Trails near Moab, Utah, my favorite testing terrain.
I’ve had my wings clipped at bit. I drove 1,066 miles to crash on my first ride and damaged the climbing muscles in my left thigh. The Holy Cross Trail is double black diamond so not the best warmup trail. Me bad.