James at Niner Bikes Knows What’s Up! Dec 3, 2014


When your job is to design bikes and graphics for a living, you tend to take your own bikes seriously. That’s what James at Niner did with his own BSB 9. Like most people these days, James got bit by the camo bug but didn’t want to just do a standard paint finish, so he found a local guy just getting into hydrographics and began to problem solve how to paint the fork, leaving the frame matte black with a blaze orange color accents.

The end result rules.

  • jeff beeston

    Cant we all just agree that disc brakes have no place on road or cross bikes. Please for the love of god

    • Keith Gibson

      I guess not since people keep putting them on bikes.

    • Masterchief

      And why is that?
      They offer superior braking performance, and far superior aesthetics.
      Just deal with it.

      • tertius_decimus

        > They offer superior braking performance


        > far superior aesthetics


      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        The superior braking performance is a farce and I think cantis look better personally. There are other benefits, but I don’t buy the whole “superior braking” thing…

        • mp

          The limiting factor with braking on a road/cross bike is always the ability of the tire to maintain grip while braking, not the ability of the brake to generate enough force… and thus the superior braking argument brakes down. ;)

        • Bill

          Everyone is missing the point- disc brakes are great cigar cutters.

        • boomforeal

          wow, just… wow

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            I call into consideration “feel” as a factor and you don’t feel anything on a drop bar disc bike. Just on and off, especially on Dura Ace hydro.

            My cantis are so dialed and I can feel them. They also stop with no issues. To me, that’s why I don’t buy into the whole “discs are superior” argument. There are tons of shitty cantis and equally as shitty disc brakes out there but if you know how to set up cantis, on a cross bike, they’ll actually perform just fine.

            I think defaulting on disc for drop bar bikes is a multi part argument. On a commuter, sure! On a race bike, not sold.

            This bike is more of an all-road bike and so I think discs make sense.

          • boomforeal

            i can’t comment on the “feel” factor because that’s inherently subjective, but in terms of “performance” – stopping power and control – i can’t see how you can make the claim that disks aren’t superior, especially in adverse conditions (wet, long, steep, etc.) where performance is that much more crucial. that’s coming from someone who (willfully, stubbornly) runs canti’s on his commuter

          • Thisisbenji

            If cantis were better than dics mtb riders would still be running them. I’m not sure they even sell high-end canti equiped mountain bikes anymore.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            Those are trigger-actuated, not drop bar / brake / shifter actuated…

        • btdubs

          Hydro discs, thru-axles and tubeless are RAD. It all came from MTB tech. Using outdated, obsolete technology, whether as a fashion statement or for the sake of traditionality, doesn’t make it any less outdated and obsolete.

          Blindly accepting new technology before it’s been proven to actually be an improvement is also pretty foolhardy; That said there is nothing wrong with being in either camp: Traditional aesthetic/performance vs technological progress. Discs and cantis are superior to each other in different regards, yes. Really it comes down to a matter of personal taste, because at the end of the day they both do the job and stop the bike.

          If improved technology gets more people into cycling because it gets out of the way and lets people have more fun on bikes, then what the hell are we arguing about?

      • Andy Brown

        The only thing they are far superior at is delivering sand to brake pads. One muddy race on disc brakes equals news pads. One muddy race on rim brakes, still have 3 more soild races left.

        • http://gatosbros.com Sean Estes

          Use metallic pads in the mud. Problem solved.

        • kimbo305

          And how many more races for the rims themselves?

    • http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/fuji-track-10-2011-15436 Jaap

      Look at those rims, they look so much better all black and without machined brake surfaces.. And you don’t need to replace your wheelset after a good 2 years of braking downhill, just the $30 rotors!

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        Weird, I’ve been using my wheels for three years and they’re still good. I just had to replace the $10 pads.

        • Kyle

          Ride a set of wheels in the Northwest year around for two years and you will see what the weather does to rim surfaces. I agree that disc brakes aren’t needed in all parts of the country but here in Seattle they are just smart.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            So all those old bikes. We should just trash them now, right?

          • Kyle

            Oh hell no, I’m not getting rid of my rim brake bikes! I take care of them by cleaning the braking surface and brake pads every 2 days which prolongs the life of my wheels. I’m just saying disc brake bikes make better sense in certain parts of the country.

        • http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/fuji-track-10-2011-15436 Jaap

          Like Kyle said, this depends on the user and location ofcourse… but discs would have kept your rims looking cool for 3 years ;)

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            You guys are braking too much! #rubbersideup bros!

          • Kyle

            I’m too slow to brake!

    • Tommaso Gomez

      Maybe if you live in Southern California. In Portland, where the best roads are almost always wet and covered it forest debris, disc brakes and wider tires are pretty standard. My road/gravel/commuter/light mtb/cross racer is a Niner RLT with TRP hydro/mech discs. I have a 23c road bike with rim brakes, but it mostly collects dust in my living room, waiting for roads to dry.

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        Weird. My road bike has 31mm tires and rim brakes. My cross bike has 42mm and rim brakes. I ride them all over, in various weather and it’s fine.

        • Tommaso Gomez

          Yeah, it’s “fine”, meaning you get on with your ride and you know how to adapt your braking style when your rims get wet or muddy. I’d still rather have the consistent feel of disc brakes in all conditions, especially on wet descents with traffic.

    • jeff beeston

      I live near the mountains in Canada, and ride in my share of rain and snow over the last 20+ years. I just view it as over-equipping bikes. Are you riding different roads because you have disc brakes? Nope. Ive never run into a problem with brake performance in wet crappy conditions – could be my incredible bike handling skiils (maybe not), or just having a proper set up…Does Sven use disc brakes? Nope. And they look terrible IMHO. There want a problem that needed fixing – kiding like putting your smartphone in case thats 3 time the size of the phone. It’s overkill. On another note – that bike looks cool, the brakes don’t serve to improve the look or otherwise.

    • adanpinto

      I agree. I have been using my wheels for 5 years in mud, snow, cross races, Paris-Roubaix…and they are still fine. I have found mini V-brakes the best solution for cross bikes and the new Shimano road brakes as the best choice for road-gravel bikes. I have even more braking performance than with most disc brake choices in the market and I can swap wheels between bikes easily without fighting with brake pad rubbing, noises, bleeding…

    • John Friedrich

      Nope. I’ve been wanting them on my road bike for ages, and now they’re finally here. The Ultegra discs on my Roubaix are the best brakes I’ve ever used on a road bike, giving more consistent performance than any other road brake I’ve used. Other than on some of my older steel bikes, there’s no way I’m going back.
      Honestly- If someone doesn’t like them on road/cross bikes for aesthetic reasons I accept that. But if someone wants better consistency from their brakes then discs are it.
      This discussion is no different than when discs showed up on mountain bikes in 1998.

      Also: James- that bike looks fantastic. Great job!

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        You’ve never ridden EE Cycleworks! ;-)

        I’ve ridden plenty of disc brakes on road bikes. They’re ok, but I like rim brakes just fine too. My point is, it’s not moving enough for me to want all my bikes to be disc.

        • John Friedrich

          I get it. I’m not about to get rid of my Bridgestone because it has canits. But I also don’t care for the fact that worn rims = new wheels. And I don’t like the sound of glazed pads. Or the maintenance. The fact that my road bike has no cables (Di2 and hydraulic) makes me giddy when I think about it.

          Nothing wrong with rim brakes. I just like discs better.

      • JScriv

        Amen! Thanks John!

  • Keith Gibson

    looks great

  • JScriv

    Isn’t the bendy seat post thingy a little more out of it’s element than said disc brakes?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Cobble Gobbler! Those things rule.

  • Dustin Barrientes

    Elastomer removed from CG-R. Interesting. Wonder how long he’s had that…only the 2nd I’ve seen besides Chris R at Specialized.

    • JScriv

      All details aside – this Eureka (original name!!!) then Cobble Gobbler, then CG-R is at least 3.5 years old.

  • Mister Internit

    thrilling and thought provoking discussions itt. jk lol just a bunch of canti vs. disc circle j

  • Sarah Loya

    Yeah Scriven! :)

  • Miklayn

    How are you running without a fork?

  • Jordan Slone

    Bike is hideous.

  • Ultra_Orange

    All this talk about disc brakes! You can’t convince me to change my ways. I just use a brick with a rope. Throw the brick through a car window and when the rope runs out, I stop.