Meat and Potatoes: 9Zero7

We all know where we were the day D2 dropped his half-witted ramblings on carbon fiber fat bike wheels on the interwebs.  Normally these types of days scar you for life, forever forcing you into therapy to deal with the consequences.  Luckily for me, the consequences were being able to test out the 9Zero7 fat bike, which I must admit is a better version of sitting on a therapist’s couch.

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In Part 1 of the 9Zero7 review I went over whether or not the 9Zero7 passed the “sniff test”.  There was snow on the ground, and without fail this bike let me go over and through the snow, all with a smile on my face.  At first I felt the geometry was a bit to relaxed for my tastes (I experienced something similar when I tested the Civilian Luddite back in late 2012), but once I started to pedal through the snow I realized trying to crack my throttle was a waste of time.  That is when I realized the beauty of the 9Zero7′s geometry.  When riding over/in/through the snow, going balls out fast is really fucking tough, therefore you may as well sit up, feel comfortable and ride a nice pace.

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The parts spec on the bike were great, and I say that without hesitation.  The SRAM 1×11 drivetrain is spot on, and if you have trouble pedaling up any climb you better blame your legs.  The 45NRTH Dillinger tires worked really well in all the snow/slush conditions I rode them through, although I think tire pressure will influence a fatbike ride experience more than tire choice will.  The aluminum frame and carbon fork worked well together, and I had no issues with the 9Zero7 hubs laced to the Surly Rolling Darryl rims.  I think the mechanical disc brakes were the smartest parts choice for this bike (even though they are Avids and therefore inherently suck).  When D2 and self were out riding in sub 20 degree weather, he had issues with his hydraulic discs keeping their stopping power, while the mechanicals on the 9Zero7 kept “working”.  Make no mistake these brakes will howl like a pack of wolves, but at least they wont crap out in cold weather.

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As fatbikes have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years, the hot topic has become how well the bike translates to riding on a proper ribbon of singletrack.  For the 9Zero7 the main modifications that I would prefer is a wider handlebar.  After years of singlespeeding I have a tendency to climb out of the saddle at a low cadence even if I have gears at my disposal.  When climbing out of the saddle on the 9Zero7, I felt the handlebars were a bit too narrow.  I don’t think that the relaxed geometry that made the bike great in the snow, lent itself well to riding on a trail.  If you are not a fan of an upright riding position, or prefer a “race” position, you may feel like the geometry is holding you back a little.  Additionally, I know folks in the southwest like Dirty will tell me about how great fatbikes are for riding through sandy washes.  I’m sure they are, but I didn’t get a chance to ride this in that type of environment, so I will refrain from commenting on how the 9Zero7 would perform in those conditions.

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Longer commuting is a task that I don’t feel this bike is great for.  Specifically commutes that are longer than 5 miles (unless you live on a groomed nordic track or in a city where plows and salt to do not exist).  I saw a few guys commuting through the western suburbs of Denver this winter on fat bikes, in an attempt to deal with the snow and ice on the bike paths that the cities of Denver and Lakewood never seem to clear.  Despite all the snow and ice, my Furley did just fine all winter long, and I never felt like pushing all that extra weight of a fatbike would be worth the added stability.

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For the asking price of $2999 (without the carbon fork, you can drop that by $200) I think this bike is great for someone who lives in any part of the world that gets 5-7 months of winter (MN, AK, VT, ND, MT, ID, WY, parts of CO, anywhere in Canada, etc).  Being able to get out and pedal a bike that is not on a trainer during the winter is awesome, and this bike will save you from the “trainer hell”.  I would not say that this bike is a dedicated “racer” bike due to its weight and relaxed geometry.  Of course you could race on this bike if you wanted to.

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.I dont think the 9Zero7 fatbike is a replacement for a mountain bike.  While this bike can extend a riding season, and facilitate 12 months of fun, I’ll still take a 29er hardtail for riding trail seven days a week.  Maybe I am resistant to change, and maybe I need to work on my willingness to slow down,  This is a great bike that has its place, unfortunately for me that place is not Denver.  Move my ass back to Montana, and this would be the only bike I pedal from November to April.

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About 40 Hands

A fan of riding bikes with one gear, malt liquor, riding without knowing how many miles I’ve covered, and strip clubs that let you bring your own keg. I typically have a stupid grin on my face, it is because deep down I know that no matter what, my mom thinks I’m cool. Denver, Colorado, USA

12 thoughts on “Meat and Potatoes: 9Zero7

  1. Good job giving the 907 it’s due. Up right riding position-check, slack geometry-check, not the all mountain bike of the year-double check. If you live where snow sticks around for a better part of the dark months you’ll appreciate how all those attributes come together into a great snow bike.
    As for racing, yes you can. Check it out, there are a few people laying down respectable any season race times riding fat bikes in snow state races.

    Not unlike many things DC and crew enjoy the 907 is best used for maximum fun in the proper settings or occasionally anywhere without moderation.

    just ride

  2. The author of this article obviously has no experience with fat tire bikes. First, a 70° headtube angle is NOT slack. I don’t know what he considers, “slack”.

    Second, he states, not good for long commutes.(5-miles) Really? Thousands of riders ride these bikes on 100+mile rides. My experience, since i owned four, is that the 9:ZERO:7 is the most comfortable fatbike i have ridden. My typical every other day ride is from 17-35 miles. I’m verrrrrrrrry comfy on mine. So comfy that i’m building one to commute in the summer on.
    Happy trails

  3. I run the Avid BB7 mechanical discs on my ‘cross/mud/townie and I’ve had excellent luck with them. They don’t have the raw stopping power of hydro for downhill MTB applications, nor even a double-pivot road bike rim brake, but on that bike, I love ‘em. I’ve never experienced the ‘howl’ others mention, either. Simple, reliable, effective.

  4. I love me some BB7s. I’d run them on everything. I’ve gotten squeal, but usually they’re fine.

  5. My guess is the writer hasnt been riding very long. Between being ‘resistant to change’ and preferring a 29er, to saying bb7s suck just because they are avid-branded. Oh yeah, and a 70 deg hta is way slack, huh? That’s hilarious. Let’s hear some more.

  6. bk . Have you ever ridden a 907? He’s spot on about the need to get another bike, especially at this price point, in somewhere like Denver. While it’s fun and useful and AWESOME on snow, if you’re going to spend that sort of money on a fatbike to ride in a place where it’s dry like 75% of the time, you may want to spend it on a different brand that is geared more toward a “regular” mtn bike feel or maybe something with full squish. You’re likely just trolling, but realistically, I would echo his comments. That said, if I were planning to ride in snowy places, they would be a strong consideration. And, the other comment is funny…. 1000′s have done 100+ rides on them.

  7. As usual. Whine whine bitch moan complain like all the gaytards you are.

    Anyone got the phone number of that girl ?? Not that she’ll respond to a 50 year old fattard like me but it doesn’t hurt trying.

    Cool looking bike btw.

  8. MBR, I totally agree with that part of the review. I don’t own, and don’t want to own a fatbike for the same reason. Sorry if I sounded shitty, I just get worked up when people spout trendy observations. And I was sitting in the DMV when I read the post, which didn’t help my mood any. BB7′s do not, and have never sucked, even if they are Avid. I realize it is now the ‘in’ thing to hate on Avid. Maybe that was sarcasm and I missed it.

    I feel like going out to my garage now and grinding all the brand names off my frames and components lest I be judged.

  9. @bk, I totally agree about Avid BB7s, but I agree with a lot of what 40 Hands said in the review, having ridden the bike myself here in Denver.

    And for the record, 40 Hands rides. A lot. And fucking fast at that. If you’re going to trust someone, trust him when it comes to bikes. Don’t trust him with your first born or anything, but trust him with bikes.

  10. bk, I’m with you on the BB7′s. I like them. Simple, relatively inexpensive and never had any noise. Maybe 40 Hands should be careful when he’s putting his lube of choice all over his hands.

  11. Overall I was surprised at the fair review, I was expecting a slam. This is a great winter bike and the dillengers rock, but I am biased because I own one and live in Alaska. If you haven’t bombed this bike down a steep snow covered mountain you don’t know what you are missing.