On Saturday morning I shortened the brake hoses and bled the brakes. I took a short walk to my local bike shop where I got a one foot strip of 3M frame-saver for free. Back home I cut a few small strips and placed them at the locations the brake lines where rubbing against the frame. After I was done with the job I waited for better weather. Sunday morning I woke up and saw an airliner through my roof window - a clear blue sky - yet last I had checked the weather forecast Sunday was supposed to be wet. Well, no better day than to go out for a spin in the Jura hills with the new carbon-cannon. Out the door, the bike felt a bit strange the first couple of minutes climbing out of town, but that was no surprise as the handlebar sits about 2 centimeters higher than on my One 9. The bar also grew by the same amount in width. Our human body is highly adaptable, though. By the end of my 3 hour and something bike ride, I felt like the bike and I had been hammering those trails for many years. When I built the bike I wasn’t so sure the higher handlebar position would be to my liking especially while climbing. Well, today’s short excursion revealed that the my new position is just as excellent for uphills and a huge amount better going downhill.
How’s the Air 9 Carbon riding? Fast, very fast! The bike is a rocket that wants to move fast. Whether out of the saddle going uphill, on camel-backed trails or rocky downhills, the bike feels at home at speed. The frame feels extremely stiff laterally and has a very lively steering. Despite the beefy tapered rigid fork the bike soaks up a lot of the trail and does not transfer bumps as much as my One 9 did. And the One 9 was a pretty comfortable bike itself. I don’t think the added comfort comes from the frame alone. The wide Edge all mountain rims increase the tire volumes and are a major contributor to the overall performance of the bike. While my Air 9 Carbon does by far not break any light-weight records, it feels extremely light and agile on the trails. Stability and stiffness just trump over weight when it comes to riding a bike. All that being said, I now need to consider bike insurance because I’ll be hitting my local trails faster than I already was on the One 9.★ collideous