The Air 9 is our fast, light, geared-only alloy racing hardtail. This upgraded version integrates hydroformed tubing throughout. More than a cosmetic feature, hydroforming allows us to shape tubes and optimize strength and stiffness in key areas, giving us the ability to create beautifully tuned frames with precise ride characteristics. You will find hydroforming in the toptube, downtube, headtube, chainstays and seatstays.
Because of the larger welding area created by the new tapered headtube, we are able to include a massive hydroformed downtube as well as a significantly larger diameter toptube, contributing to a much stronger frame. Chainstays, seat tube and seatstays also benefit from hydroforming via controlled wall thicknesses and enhanced butting profiles. This translates to a rear triangle that is tuned for stiffness, strength and vertical compliance – in other words, ideal ride feel.
The Air 9 features a tapered headtube with an integrated headset. By allowing for the use of the newest generation of 1.5” tapered steerer suspension forks and integrated headset, we create the stiffest front end possible – leading to amazing steering precision as you carve a corner and descend toward the finish line, with the same stack height as our original Air 9 model.
Additionally, the updated Air 9 now features anodizing friendly tubing, allowing folks to get a rugged and extra-light finish in a stealthy black with low profile logos.
Bottom line? A lighter, stiffer frame with better ride feel and improved steering results in better power transfer and an overall efficiency improvement. In other words, the updated Air 9 will win more races.