Bontrager Write-a-Review Contest Winners – Week 1!

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Congrats to “csledd281″ and “nicco2go”, the Week 1 winners of Bontrager’s Write-a-Review Contest!

Bontrager Write-a-Review Contest - Weekly Prizes!

“csledd281″ winner of a Bontrager Saddle and “nicco2go” winner of a Set of Bontrager Tires were chosen at random for their reviews of the Niner Jet 9 and the Trek Sawyer 29er!

User Review: Niner Jet 9 29er Full Suspension
by csledd281

Price: $N/A from Wood-N-Wave
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Bottom Line:
My previous back was a Trek 4300 Disc, obviously 26inch wheels, hard tail, and 3×8 gearing. I purchased the Niner Jet 9 x7 Complete bike. I wanted to go to 29er and FS and this bike was highly recommended. I am 5’2″ and a female and I have read a lot of posts saying short people can’t ride 29ers and a lot saying we can. Let me tell you.. it fits PERFECT. I feel absolutely great on this bike. I purchased the small and my old Trek was actually a medium. The big wheels did not throw me off my game at all. The x7 complete bike comes with 2×10 which has really been the hardest thing to get used to. The granny gear is a bit harder and the shifters are completely different than my old bike, nothing bad though just takes time to get used to. I barely notice the extra power needed to get the big wheels going, the thing I really do notice is how powerful they are, once I get going they fly. I found myself going up hill riding over a group of roots that would have normally slowed me down to a crawl not even effecting the 29er wheels. I rode over a bundle of tree logs and it was as smooth as could be. I love everything about this bike and I already feel that it is making me a better and faster rider. I think the Jet9 X7 Complete is a great option if you are looking to get into a 29er FS bike, it may be a little more expensive than other brands that offer similar components, but the CVA really does feel great.


Strengths:
29er wheels roll over everything, FS doesn’t slow you down and feels very comfortable, fitment is amazing

Weaknesses:
NONE!


User Review: Trek Sawyer 29er Hardtail
by nicco2go

Overall Rating: 4 of 5
Value Rating: 4 of 5

Bottom Line:
The first time I saw this bike, I just had to have it. I was concerned about the weight initially and I was very apprehensive about ordering it since most bike shops don’t stock it; even Trek Stores don’t keep any on-hand sot test driving one is not even an option. Once you order it, it’s yours. What I did to help in the decision making process is finding a Trek hardtail that had similar dimmensions and test riding them.

Trek retailers, for some odd reason, want to push you into the ‘size’ based on your height. Every place I went told me to go with the 19″. Longer top tubes are unique to Trek and despite ‘expert’ advice, I went with the 17.5″ (I am 5’10″) Best decision ever! Bike weighs just slightly less (less metal) and it didn’t feel ‘too big’.

On the trail, as a singlespeed, the bike soaks up bumps reasonably well for a steel frame. As far as flex, sure it does quite a bit of that but I’m glad it does and it doesn’t flex so much that you lose power in your pedal stroke, not that I can feel anyway. I upgraded the crankset to Shimano Saint and that gave it a stiffer feel under effort. CF handlebars and a Thompson stem gave the handling a bit more responsiveness more so than the stock Crivitz handlebar (mustache bars) Bontrager 90mm stem / 6 degree rise.

Bottom line, between my Sawyer and my Specialized Stumpjumper, if it’s less than a 2.5 hour ride, I often grab my Sawyer unless of course there’s a lot of climbing involved. I like that it’s unique and I often tout it as my converted beach cruiser. Only true SS / MTB riders can size up the geometry and the parts on it and know that it’s a full on cross county machine.

My favorite part is riding up hills with buddies on full suspension bikes and beating most of them to the top. They beat me downhill of course but I don’t mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have a full suspension Stumpjumper with a 2×10 drivetrain so technology comes in handy when I’m on long half day / all day jaunts.

Most of the time though, I like the purity of an uncomplicated, really quiet bike. Being rigid, riding the Sawyer helps me spot better lines and being singlespeed, it helps me with big effort gnashing of teeth and legs climbing and helps develop a really efficient spin on flats and rollers. All skills that benefit me when riding my full suspension bike.

Ultimately, I didn’t get this bike to be a weight weanie. I bought this bike so that it will be my go-to bike as long as it holds up. Eventually, the shocks on my FS bike will leak, the derailleurs will need replacing and long after I retire it or sell it on craigslist, I will still have this trusty steed to tool around on with my family or tearing up local singletrack trails with my buddies. It’s functional in all arenas of riding and boy is it simple to maintain and operate. Should you get one? If you like bucking the norm and like an uncomplicated bike, perhaps you should. It does come stock with 2×10 drivetrain (2012). It’s been a great ride and I probably put more miles on it than my Stumpy. At least that’s what my GPS says. Of course, when I like to just go and ride, no computers, GPS, phone or music, this is the bike I grab.

Nothing beats the sound of breaking dirt beneath your tires!!! Happy trails y’all!!!

Strengths:
2012 model has a great paint job, durable and a nice shade of bronze. Good departure from the battleship gray. Because of the split chain/seat stay, I converted it to a belt-drive by Gates (32×20) The frame is steel so it flexes like steel. Old school design is eye catching and people don’t realize that its a true mountain bike, rigid and singlespeed until they stop and take a good hard look.

Since Trek runs longer on the top tube, I opted for a 17.5″ frame and a 100mm / 0 rize stem by Thomson and a CF handlebar with a 3/4 inch rise. I stand 5′ 10″ and the bike feels nimble in both standing and seated efforts. The stock 2.25 tires provide some relief on rocky trails.

The 51mm offset fork puts the weight of the rider slightly behind center of the front tire giving the bike a very stable feel at any speed. I can often ride no hands on fire roads at slow speed (less than 10mph) just to illustrate the stability.

Weaknesses:
Even with the carbon drive system by gates, CF handlebar, Thomson stem, this bike is heavy and is a beast to climb with as a singlespeed. Having said that though, I am still running the stock wheelset and stock tires. Stock wheels and tires are a pain and despite their ‘tubeless ready’ status, the tire is not tubeless specific and you the rim strip it came with was so poorly installed that I kept getting flats because the rim tape kept folding over and exposing the spoke holes. Using Velox cloth rim tape now and that works really well.

Once I change wheels and tires, I have no doubt it will be a bit more fun to point it uphill.

Last I checked the weight is right around 25lbs. Not bad for all that steel.

Reviews by community members are the foundation of Mtbr.com. Share your experience with other cyclists by writing reviews for your bikes, gear, and other related accessories. You don’t have to be an expert – everyone’s opinion counts.

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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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