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2015 Buyer’s Guide: Mountain bike hardtails

Kick it old school with these three modern versions of the trusty off-road hardtail

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$4,800, IbisCycles.com
The Tranny 29 can easily be converted to a singlespeed, with chain tension provided by a unique structure behind the bottom bracket called the Slot Machine, which is lighter and quieter than eccentric bottom brackets and considerably stiffer than sliding dropouts. It’s also a lot more elegant. The clever seat stay attachment allows for the option of a Gates Carbon Drive belt for a super smooth, quiet, and maintenance-free singlespeed drivetrain.

Frame: Carbon fiber; adjustable chainstays; 142×12 Maxle; BB92 bottom bracket; 160mm post-mount disc brakes
Fork: Fox Float 32 CTD; 100mm or 120mm travel available
Component Highlights: SRAM X01; Shimano XT brakes; Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Arch 29er wheelset; Ibis stem; Ibis 740mm Hi-Fi or Lo-Fi carbon fiber bar; Ibis forged seatpost; Ibis custom saddle with chromoly rails
Weight: 1,398 grams (frame)


$10,000, NinerBikes.com
The Air 9 RDO is the latest incarnation of Niner’s flagship hardtail. The frame is beautiful inside and out thanks to Niner’s RDO Carbon Compaction, a process that results in increased precision in wall thickness and significantly reduced
 resin pooling in the final product, allowing for predictable ride
 tuning, increased strength, and significant weight reduction.
 The new frame is over 100 grams lighter than the previous 
edition, and now uses a 142×12 Maxle in the rear.

Frame: Carbon fiber; PF30 bottom bracket; titanium 
frame guards
Fork: RockShox SID XX World Cup; 100mm travel;
 remote lockout; 15mm Maxle Lite
Component Highlights: Shimano XTR Di2;
 Shimano XTR Trail brakes; Niner XC Carbon wheels; 
710mm Niner RDO Flattop Carbon handlebar; Niner RDO
 Stem; Niner RDO Carbon seatpost; WTB Volt Team saddle
Weight: 20.7 lbs


$3,900 (frame, $10,100 as pictured), MootsCycles.com
Designed as a quick, race-bred hardtail, the handcrafted Mooto X RSL 29 is capable of podium appearances and fulfilling singletrack adventures
 for years to come. Oversized Moots Ti tubing combined with 
a 44mm head tube and PF30 bottom bracket provide unparalleled stiffness, durability, and life-long ride quality.

Frame: Titanium; 44mm head tube; PF30 bottom bracket; 30.9 seatpost; 135×10 rear axle; 160mm post-mount disc brakes
Fork: Fox Float 32 CTD; 100mm of travel
Component Highlights: Shimano XTR Di2; DT Swiss XR 1501 Spline One 29 wheelset; Moots Ti Stem; Moots 30.9 Ti Post; Fizik Gobi XM saddle (custom builds also available)
Weight: 1,590 grams (frame); 23.0 lbs as pictured