16 May 2007 - 1:26Guest Blogger – EMD Review
Having been married to George for almost 9 years, I’ve seen a lot of bikes go in and out of our garage. A fair share of those have been my bikes. Actually, I tend to have more bikes hanging around than George because I form some pretty deep attachments to them and am less willing to upgrade to the next big thing.
Last summer George finally got me to liquidate my small army of Ellsworths and get on the next big thing — a 29er. I had my eye on a Niner AIR 9 or a Voodoo, something with skinny little tubes. But the only frame available in my size last June was the Niner EMD. At that point I had sold the other bikes and just needed to pull the trigger on something, so the EMD it was – fat aluminum tubes and all. My requirements for a bike are fairly simple – fairly lightweight and everything has to work without causing me too many headaches. I don’t like to fiddle with my bike, I just want it to work.
You can read more about the various components and details here. A lot of folks wonder if 29ers are just for the tall and lanky, but they’re not. I’m no midget at 5’7″, but for some reason my legs are freakishly short and my torso abnormally long. Always in-between frame sizes, I went for the small size in the Niner frame so that I could at least get a leg over.
This bike and I had a rough start. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit rusty. The past three seasons have not been great for me and bike riding. Too much time spent being pregnant, dislocating shoulders, training for long distance trail runs and working full time while starting a bike shop have left me with little time in the saddle. Regardless, at first I had a hard time getting in tune with the bike. Athough I was loving the big wheels, I had a found it challenging to adjust to the longer wheelbase. Time makes things better and this year I’ve already seen more days on the trail than all of last year. And so far this year things are going really well, I’m liking the bike alot.
Here are the five things that I love about this bike:
- 29″ wheels. If you haven’t yet ridden singletrack on a 29er, you need to. It rocks.
- My handmade Bike29 Royale wheels. These make the bike. They were my mother’s day present last year.
- It’s very stable, very dependable ride. Definitely nothing twitchy about it.
- the weight. or rather, lack of it. i can’t complain about how light this thing is.
- It’s a small thing, but I love this saddle. WTB Diva. Skinny and slim, it’s awesome.
Overall, I’m quite happy with this setup. The Niner EMD is their lowest priced offering, at $499 it’s significantly less expensive than their other hardtail frames such as the AIR9, the SIR9, the MCR. However, you’re still getting a lot for your money and a frame that will make a great base for custom build.