I threw this together in less than an hour, not bad considering the kids were also outside with their regular needs for attention. Though I have to admit I had a head start, in that I already had the bar/stem setup loosely arranged, and the brake cables were already run from a previous build.
The only issue that took any time was getting the bottom bracket set up:
The eccentric bottom bracket itself was very easy to set up--I am very impressed with Niner's 2nd gen bio-centric design. One bolt tightens everything, which proved easy to use. The issue was trying to optimize my chain length to get the EBB set in my preferred position, low and rearwards. I got there with no half links, which was a nice bonus.
My drivetrain has a 32/36 up front, with a 16/20 in the back:
Tuesday after work I hit the trails. Two laps of P2 in unseasonably warm 93F heat (in September!) gave me an overview of the SIR9. Steel Is Real in a high end 853 variety:
Honestly, the ride feels like a pretty ordinary steel bike. Not as smooth as my Juice, not as springy as my green Gunnar, but certainly not stiff and harsh like aluminum, or stiff and dead like carbon. It's nice, but nothing special. Handling was also pretty typical 29er, not as sharp as my Blackbuck, but certainly not slow and lazy like the Nimble 9. All in all, the riding experience was pretty typical of my many steel 29ers. The frame was not noticeable lightened by the 853 tubing, clocking in right at 5.5 pounds with the EBB and a seat collar.
But... but... but... I like this bike. From the metallic bronze paint to the well proportioned lines, it all comes together in an attractive package of what I think a mountain bike should be. Will this be enough to let it stick around for a while? I've already stripped down the Blackbuck for sale, so the Niner has won one battle right off.