Niner Bikes was founded by Chris Sugai and Steve Domahidy. They met on a local Wednesday night ride that they still partake in every week. Chris Sugai has been an avid bike rider since childhood. Steve Domahidy’s passion for bicycles started at a young age, where typical adolescent life revolved around fun on two wheels. “Niner” is a term used to describe the 29-inch wheels Chris and Steve use on their bikes. Ever since Chris discovered 29-inch-wheel bikes after many years of racing and riding, it is the only size wheel he will ride on now. In 2004, he encouraged Steve to try a 29-inch wheel bike, and Steve was hooked. This is the passion that fuelled the beginning of Niner Bikes.
Both Steve and Chris agree that 29-inch wheels are not only “exquisite” to ride, but also far superior to any smaller wheel size. The basic concept of a larger diameter is straightforward: it keeps the wheels on top of oncoming obstacles. Instead of riding IN the terrain, the cyclist rides ABOVE it, gaining more control and stability even on the most uneven of trails. The larger wheel offers amplified rotational inertia, which in turn improves the bike’s stability. The extra three inches also increases the amount of tire contacting with the ground at any one moment.
Niner Bikes offers eleven models in three categories of mountain bikes. The first category is full suspension. The Niner Bikes full suspension line hosts the W.F.O. 9, the R.I.P. 9, and the JET 9. All three full suspension models boast award-winning CVA (Constantly Varying Arc) suspension systems. Full suspension bikes are most commonly used for XC (cross-country) and 4X (“4-cross” or mountain) racing.
The geared hardtails line is home to five models of Niner Bikes: the AIR 9, AIR 9 CARBON, M.C.R. 9, S.I.R. 9, and the E.M.D. 9. These bikes are generally smaller and more maneuverable so that tricks e.g. backflips, are easier to complete. The bikes are simpler so that when a crash occurs there are fewer components to break or cause the rider injury. The geared hardtails range in price considerably depending on the exact specifications that you choose. You will be able to find some of the models for half the price that some of the professional mountain bikes sell for.
The single speed hardtails yield the last three models of Niner Bikes: the AIR 9 CARBON, the ONE 9, and the S.I.R. 9. Notably, the difference between the two models of AIR 9 CARBON and S.I.R. 9 bikes, is that one is single-geared, while the other is multi-geared, giving the cyclist the option to shift gears if necessary.
In addition to selling their staple product, Niner Bikes also sells parts, accessories, clothing, gear, and even stickers and promotional items. A separate site from the main website is dedicated entirely to “The Niner Store.” Niner-Ergon Racing Team apparel is also available through the store, for those Niner enthusiasts eager to show pride in their bike brand of choice.