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2010 Dirt 100 K–9 DH001–S

11:44 27th November 2009 by Billy Thackray
37 Comments
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The sheer amount of research and development that Luis Arraiz and his team have put into this bike has meant that no stone has been left unturned. What you are looking at here is a full factory set-up at a price that will normally buy you a production frame. When you invest in the K–9 you are buying into a whole lot of knowledge and expertise that will no doubt make you a faster rider as Luis sets the bike up for you perfectly.

With a CDV6 steel mainframe and a 7005 Ali super stiff rear end the DH001–S blends materials together perfectly, and with the patented LA Link, which Luis and his team have been developing and refining for five years, you get superbly efficient and balanced suspension performance.

It’s a no brainer that a well designed bike with the set–up and suspension tailored to you the customer, is going to ride better than an off–the–peg machine with stock shocks. The K–9 has the choice of all three of our favourite rear shocks and whatever you go for you know it will ride like a dream.

£2,500 (Vivid) £2,700 (Stoy) £2,900 (Cane Creek)

K–9 Industries 01865 349 013
www.k9industries.com

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  1. Samuel J Morris

    mmmm, nice

  2. MaC

    Very nice looking bike, but…
    It hasn´t been proven anywhere yet, except in their own tests and that vid. Still waiting for some real life results from non-biased testers. Will we see it in World Cups? Any top boys gonna race it?
    Any top racer interested in it? Or is just Dirt guys that give it lots of free space on mag and website? After all, does that bike even make a difference, or is it just another marketing blahblah? Time might tell..

  3. Craig Quik

    Looks like it was designed about 10 years ago! Horrible! Now the Last Herb, that’s a good looking bike!

  4. jimmyb

    Not sure whether it is potential marketing blah blah as suggested by MaC as never ridden one but to rule out a race bike on looks is surely crazy. Craig Quick Is the aim of DH racing not to be the quickest on the hill even if your bike is arguably the ugliest?

  5. George

    This bike is 10 years behind the times. Looks so bad.

  6. Craig Quik

    Jimmy, I’m just talking about looks alone, as that’s all I can do from…well, looking at it!

  7. Midge

    It may be a really good bike, but as others have said, it looks a bit crap and even though looks shouldn’t be any means of judging a great bike, it’ll put off a lot of potential customers…

  8. sid

    WHAT! “ten years behind the times” goes to show what is most important to some these days, looks.
    this bike is designed around a total no compromise theory, based purley on performance. it WILL be proven that it is very fast.
    not only that, the qaulity of build is simply out of this world.
    just wait & see.
    if you want the latest/”greatest” buy a demoirondonky88. one day k9 may come flyin past ya.

  9. Mint

    Why go to looks or performance if i could get both?

  10. MaC

    That bike is NOT PROVEN yet, so it´s just marketing blahblah…
    Or are you sid suggesting that it´ll fly past Peat´n´Hill just by itself? Not raced by any top racer and based purely on THEORY.
    Also I hate how the chain and the roller are going to rub your leg/pants. Also 5 years in the making and no WC worth testing? Not really expecting that much out of it…

  11. sid

    Mac, i KNOW its not proven yet.. & WHAT marketing? they have only just started advertising! theres has only been the usual forum hype.
    K9 have designed a great bike, but it amazes me the amount of people who join in the gang to slam everything about it, in a huge waft of unbelivable ingnorance. THEORY-! if you had any idea.
    “chain roller thing rubbing your pants”? you twit.
    well, if your not really expecting much out of it, then i recommend you try to stave off the negative comments, (make an effort to be contructive)& if you ever see one out on the trail, DONT bother asking the guy for a try-out. (it will only let you down)
    when you buy your next bike, go for something everybody else has got, for whatever reason..

  12. MaC

    Hey sid, no need to go to a personal level (you TWIT!).
    Is this some kind of holy crusade to you?
    You´re doing everything to prove that the bike, that HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN on any level except the manufacturers tests, is somehow the ultimate DH bike. That roller looks like it is on your way, when you are moving on the bike.. Anything that is on your bike that ruins your race is useless. It comes like an inch out of the seat tube! WTF, would you just put something on your seat tube like that? Hey, why not put it also on the other side? Also the marketing part, it´s been hyped to the max in the DIRT without even doing the test. Also designer of the bike is writing to the magazine, so if you know anything about marketing you know that it´s all that.

  13. JH

    Just to clear a few things up for anyone who isn’t completely up to speed with how this bike has been developed:

    Firstly, the roller doesn’t rub on your leg at any point of riding the bike (yes i’m qualified to vouch for that). The bike has been through a massive amount of testing, and it’s not hype. The bike in the pic was raced all season in the UK for 2009 and scored many podium results in the Senior cat with James Mcknight at NPS (not World Cup, but it’s been out in the real world).

    As has been said looks are looks, and an opinion of the beholder, so it’s up to you whether you like it or not.

    This is an incredible bike, with a serious amount of development behind it, and you’re very unlikely to find another company out there that will offer it’s customers the level of support K9 will.

  14. JDM

    Just a few point about the K9 that i have noticed and this may help answer many of the criticisms from the non engineers point of view.

    Some people seem to be hung up on the styling of this bike, and I think that there may be a few questions that I can help answer. From an engineer’s point of view the bike as a first class lesson of form following function in the art of building a lightweight tubular structure. Not only that but very sensible choices have been made for the materials of this frame. Let’s start with the front end. Most modern bike have hydro formed aluminium tubes that look all swoopy and nice, and are designed to put more material where it is needed in the high stress area (such as the junction between the bottom part of the down tube and the head tube). But do you really think that for a very small bike company like K9 it is worth investing in a custom formed tube set and tooling in Taiwan, it doesn’t make sense with regards to the economy of scale for the amount of bike they are likely to sell, this is no Bighit!

    Also on the looks front, if you squint your eyes it looks a little like a Sunday, and when they are being ridden, the rider legs covers up most of the linkage/shock area, and no one complains that there ugly.

    Making the front end from 15CDV6 is a very smart choice, infact it is almost an injustice to call this material steel as its properties are vastly superior to standard steels. For example, the yield point (the point where the material has gone past the point of no return and has bent, but not snaped thats the UTS) of standard steel is about 400mpa, for 4130 its about 500mpa, but for 15CDV6 its 790mpa! Its up there with titanium! Aluminium 6061 heat treated to a T6 condition yield is 240mpa.
    Therefore I bet the front frames weight is very comparable to that of a top spec aluminium bike. But there is one major advantage, FATIGUE! Engineers use SN curves to predict how long a material will last for before it fails due to fatigue. Fatigue is where a material fails due to cycling loads variations…think the opening tab on a can of coke and how many wiggles it takes to break off. Now think of you boxxers or fox 40 levering against the head tube, every time you land a jump or hit the brakes hard. Most materials have curve that show continuous degradation of material properties until failure, meaning that its not a question of if it will fail, but when. Steels have an odd property of the degradation of material property levels off, so in theory if designed correctly a steel structure has an infinite life, thats why most springs are made from steel. And after seeing 2 bikes from big brands out in Morzine this summer with there head tubes clean ripped off, a steel front end is very desirable.

    The reason for the rear end being made from aluminium is probably to reduce the unsprung weight in an area where there is less stress, therefore reducing the overall weight and increasing the suspension performance.

    Next thing, looking at that suspension arrangement i bet that roller is very significant to the way the bike pedals with regards to the virtual pivot. Not only that but it will minimise the amount of chain growth, therefore the back end is unlikely to stiffen up much under pedalling or braking, which can only be a good thing.

    Also the comment about catching you rubbing you leg against it is a bit silly, i mean it’s on the chain line so I doubt that your even notice that its there.

    What about this bike turning up at world cup races??? I doubt it! I mean come on these are recent university graduates that have started their own bike company and their bike is not on the market yet. Where are they going to get the money to sponsor a big name and fly him around the world? But then again maybe a private team might just end up using the bike if it is that good, or maybe big brands will buy the K9 bikes and stick their own brand sticker on it in the same fashion that happened to Intense with the original M1….never say never.

    So let’s look at the facts;
    • The K9 guys have set out to build a high performance downhill bike at an achievable price.
    • The bike is fabricated and parts are machined in and around Oxford in England, also known as motorsports valley so if these companies are good enough at machining and welding for F1 the quality is going to be excellent at the very least.
    • K9 are to help riders with on their bike/course set up.
    • The bike has gone through an extensive R & D process, by real riders in real world situation.

    So if this bike works it’s going to be a worthwhile investment as it will probably last a long time, and the customer service is set to be second to none….come on that’s a bit of a bargain.

    PS who cares if it’s not the prettiest bike, when was the last time you pulled on you downhill bike???

  15. James

    tl – dr.

  16. MaC

    Nice write up there…
    One more thing about that roller though.
    If the inside of my leg sometimes touches my bike when riding, doesn´t that roller possibly be there when I´m leaning on my bike?
    Get it? It´s also nice that the material is tough, but I´m not seeing too many broken demos or v-10´s for example..
    So, how about solutions for problems that don´t exist.

  17. MaC

    Hah, how do you know about the cs if the bikes just been introduced to market?
    What WC track the bike has been tested on?
    You guys know why Sram uses top WC-racers to test stuff on their BlackBox program right? It´s nice that senior NPS racer has podiumed this bike, but is he really able to give feedback about the bike worth being used for a bike that´s supposed to be the be-all end-all of DH-bikes? No offence.

    Just too much hype makes me sick. For gods sake PROVE the bike, hype later. Of course all the hype that is in todays MTB industry is f***ed up, but this is the first bike of these guys that they are releasing to the market, so take it easy…

  18. Slaz

    Mac i think you need to stop hating! on the K9. Supporting a world cup rider costs alot of money. Esspecaily with all the time and money, that’s gone into the development of this bike already.

  19. Mint

    Mac,go to pinkbike where People like you belong!
    Hahaha…just kiddin mate!

  20. roger frm HK

    I dont agree that stresses are low in rear triangle – rear takes a beating. I had two bikes break there an old Intense and more recently a Five. I don’t like the lower black aluminium(?) link – doesnt look robust enough. Top one is beefy but doesnt compensate for the lower though. Plus axle bolts/bearing may wear out quick.

    Love the idea of riding a bike that someone has spent 5 yrs sorting on computer or inaction, eitherway is good for me.

  21. Samuel J Morris

    that mac guy seems like a dick

  22. MaC

    Well, if criticism makes me a dick, then maybe I am a dick.
    Still I stand behind my words until proven wrong.
    And believe me, I´m waiting for it.
    Not hating the bike, hating the “ultimate DH bike evah!” marketing bull.

    See, everyother bike coming up seems to be the turning point in the business. Still, none of them are..

    Prove the bike.

  23. MINT

    yeah i think you`re somehow right…

  24. Ollie

    JDM “when was the last time you pulled on your downhill bike???”
    Haha – good one!

    IMHO the two most exciting bikes previewed in 2009 were “ugly” bikes, K-9′s DH001-S and Superco’s Silencer. Two small start up brands doing what they can with limited resources, to produce bikes of uncompromised performance, but perhaps of compromised beauty.

    Of course these small brands can’t “prove” their bikes with WC winning athletes riding them onto international podiums. None of the big players (Spesh’, Trek, SCruz etc.) started out with that kind of product endorsement, it’s something they earned after gaining financial success. As JDM suggests, with success comes hydro-formed tubing, high-profile sponsorship, pulling on your DH bike, etc!

    I wish K-9 the best of success in the future.

  25. amplus taren brasil

    JDM, you think just like me!
    hahahahaha!!!!!!!

  26. DH racer

    i’ve actually ridden one of these, and believe me, theyr insanely fast!

  27. Rob

    A not very well known physicist, Robert Matthews, recently stated; three things are important when academics, experts, and politicians make a claim – evidence, evidence, evidence. Interesting picture painted by this forum topic. Well done JDM for being the only person to comment with scientific facts to support his points. It seems those of you with nothing positive to say about this bike have never ridden it, or even seen it first hand for that matter. Therefore your opinions are meaningless and not worth saying or publishing. There appears to be two types of rider here. Those that ride for the experience and love of riding and those that care more for their image. When you go mountain biking do you really arrive at the trail, sit down, salivate over your bikes, aesthetics for an hour before going home, and hope other riders will see it and admire you and your bike eqaully? Perhaps I’m wrong but I thought MTB was about the sensation of riding. Mac; you seem obsessed with marketing but openly acknowledge the DH001 is not the most aesthetically pleasing MTB on the market. As JDM points out there are practical reasons for this. Form follows function. Might I suggest K9 are less interested in marketing hype than you might think and are prepared to let the bikes’ performance speak for itself with little regard for making it look pretty to please a vain image obsessed market. Ollie makes a very good point. DH001, Superco Silencer and I’ll add Empire AP1 – probalby the best berformance DH bikes of recent times. Small compnanies not hampered by marketing, finance and design depratments, allowing them to concentrate solely on function regardless of whether you; the market, think it looks nice. Oddly these bikes all do two things that few others do particularly well; pronounced rearward axle paths & idler systems to completely eliminate the effect of the chain on suspension action. Mojo 224 prototype with idler. Moderate rearward axle path. It took snapped chains at Fort William Enduro to work it out – go figure! Why are Lap Zestys and Spicys so good? A number of reasons, but they also have a pronounced rearward axle path in the first part of their travel. The chainstay pivot placement relative to the rear axle is no accident. Unfortunately the chain deliberately affects the suspension. They are compromised to aid pedalling up hills. Good compromises, but still compromised nonetheless. If opinion is required then you could do worse than paying attention to Steve Jones. He may not beat Hill and Peaty down the hill but he has vastly more experience testing bikes than perhaps all the WC racers combined and is not afraid to say it how it is whether his readers or the manufacturers like it or not. If Jonesy says there is something special about the Makalu that’s good enough for me even if I can’t figure out what it is from looking at it. I’ll remain open minded until I’ve ridden it. And yes; I’ve ridden all of the bikes above. As for the bike not been proven; it doesn’t have to podium at WC’s to be proven. If you think James MacKnight isn’t qaulified to test this bike try following him down the Sierra Nevada mountians where he worked for Switch-Backs. He’ll leave you on your V10 or similiar DH bike in a cloud of dust down some of the rockiest downhills I’ve seen. And that is on his Charge Blender with 100mm up front. It has to be seen to be believed. Give the DH001 to Hill and you could probably gaurantee visits to the podium. The only evidence that is required regarding this bike is personal first hand experience. Put a leg over it before criticising it. If you still require it to be proven the only scientific evidence you should need can be provided by data logging, a service provided by; – how about that – Luis @ K9. You can take your own swoopy tubed bike down, ride and log both, and then receive enough data and evidence to screw your brain up for the next year. 90% of it may be incomprehensible to you but it will prove without doubt the DH001 to be vastly superior to your current sled. Go-on, put your money where your negative criticism is. MAC – if you still have a “it’s not proven, marketing hype” crusade issue, god help the Transition TR450. Or does that one look aesthetically pleasing enough for you?

  28. James

    Ok, so I’m in the market for a downhill bike and would really like to find out more about this bike but there is still nothing on their website about it!

    Where can I find more info?

  29. intensedan

    It’s just taken me ages to read all the stupid comments people have written on here!! Did none of your mothers ever tell you comfort comes before fashion? what did the original v10 look like? A bag of s**t!! but people bought the hype and 10 years later it’s winning world cups! And even then, Santa Cruz did years of research before they hit the market. It’s all about refinement. Anyway who cares what it looks like when it’s a blur passing you at mach 10?
    You lot should maybe take a few mins away from your keyboards and grab some handlebars instead!! You may see then that riding is about riding, not waffling on about tech stuff you probably have an infantile understanding of and trying to outdo each other with bulls**t!! Go do that on the trails!!
    I used to think I knew loads about suspension and stuff, but after being a good friend of Luis for the best part of 10 years, I actually knew f/all. what you know mostly depends on what marketing crap you read.

  30. intensedan

    p.s. I have ridden on the K9 since the 1st prototype was built, and even at that stage they were very very good. Now however, they are nothing short of amazing giving grip where you really thought you were f**ked!! Anyone who is sceptical about how good they are, call Luis and book a data log session and see how your blinged up mass made in Taiwan crate compares with the K9! No contest every time! Unless of course he has already tweaked your ride for you, only then will your bike stand a chance! Luis really does know his onions! With his support and setup knowledge, you can’t go wrong!

    NOW GO RIDE!!!!!

  31. JDM

    Oh woow, i didn’t realise that I created quite a stir about this bike with my “lets look at the facts” approach. And i would like to thank you guys that took some time to read my long winded post, Cheers!

    @ Rob
    Good job at noticing the rearwards axel path trend, I missed that one.

    And it got me thinking…So what effect does a rearwards axle path have?

    So i pulled out the calculator and crunched some numbers and here are my thoughts on the subject.

    So iv assumed that the rear wheel is going to hit a kerb thats about 4in high (100mm) a square edged hit. Lets say the radius of the wheel is 350mm. Now a quick sketch on a napkin and bit of math tells me that when tyre is rolling on the floor and just about to start touching the curb, that distance is 245mm, lets call this measurement “X”, and the height of the curb (100mm) lets call that “Y”…ok

    Next step…we need some speed. For this let use 18km/h as it works out to 5 meter per second…11ish mph of the old school.
    Step 3 we need some bikes. For this i looked on the linkage bike program to get some data about rearwards axle paths, at 100mm if travel.

    http://www.bikechecker.com/

    So the bikes iv gone for are;

    2009 Specialized Bighit @ 4.75mm
    2008 Sunday @ 11.6mm
    Intense 951 @ 0.5mm
    Zumbi F44 @ 21.5mm
    And finally an imaginary datum bike that has a pure vertical wheel travel. @ 0mm

    So we’ll add these numbers to the original “X” distance of 245
    A simple bit of GCSE physics tells up that Time = Distance/Speed

    So we have Distance (245mm+the rearwards axle path) and speed (5 meters/second) so we can work out how long it takes the rear wheel to react to the curb, there results are as follows;

    2009 Specialized Bighit 0.04995 sec
    2008 Sunday 0.05132 sec
    Intense 951 0.0491 sec
    Zumbi F44 0.0533 sec
    Imaginary datum bike 0.049 sec

    So at this point I got a little ahead of myself and dismissed this rearwards axel path thing as rubbish marketing hype as there is not much difference in the amount of time in which the wheel react to the curb.

    Then I started thinking about how the rear wheel puts its energy into the shock, the slower the wheel moves the less energy it will put into the shock.

    Without going into the math, an example; a car going 30 km/h when you hit the brakes as hard as possible it takes 30 meters to stop. When you double the speed up to 60 km/h and hit the brakes as hard as possible it should take 60 meters to stop right? Buzzzzzz Wrong! It takes 120 meters to stop. An object travelling twice as fast will have 4 times the energy, therefore will take 4 times longer to stop using the same brakes.

    So then i decided to work out the differences in the energy put into the shock. The Basic formula for this is Energy = 1/2 x Mass x Velocity Squared.

    I assumed that we had a total rider and bike mass of 80kg. And worked out the vertical velocity of the wheel (“Y” distance/the individual reaction time of the rear wheel) then pluged all this into the equation above, with the results below;
    2009 Specialized Bighit 6412.819 J
    2008 Sunday 6075.006 J
    Intense 951 6636.774 J
    Zumbi F44 5632.038 J
    Imaginary datum bike 6663.89 J
    The difference between the Zumbi and the intense is just over 15% (bear in mind these are quick and fast calcs not taking into account the motion ratios of suspension rockers) which i think is quite significant.
    So thats is probably the trick how it works, by having a rearwards axel path reduces the amount of energy that the suspension put into the rear shock over a square edged bump. And as a Damper works by converting kinetic from the suspension into heat, the damper on a bike with a rearwards axle path will also be more consistent due to a more consistent level of heating. And as your bike takes many hit on a typical run the mean temperature of the damper may be reduced significantly therefore giving improved traction and grip.
    Word on the trails around Oxford (where im from) is that the K9 guys our going out to Spain soon for final testing with a few bikes, then they will be ready to be put on sale…at last.
    Also i noticed that they updated there website recently with some new info about the new bike.

  32. intensedan

    P.P.S. By the way Mac, if you haven’t been proven yet, did you know Tommi Misser was also involved in development? No? Thats because Luis does NOT believe in MARKETING HYPE

    Remember..

    All you heard was from other people, not K9 themselves.

  33. Angela Raymond

    Congratulations Luis! This bike looks magnificent!

  34. J

    Oooooo!

  35. Dan B

    haha mac find it kind of ironic you accuse sid of being on a crusade, you happen to be laying into everyone that supports this bike

    my view is yes its ugly, but I cant see it when Im racing so why does that matter? function over form

    the only thing I dont like about the bike is the steel front triangle, aluminium does have higher strength to weight ratios than steel, but as JDM said steel lasts much longer and this bike is designed to last you for years. Id want that if Id just paid £2700 for a frame (which is the same as my full build sunday cost)

  36. benschi

    diese bike ist das beste das ich je gsehen habe und da können noch viele leute sagen das ist scheisse den es ist wie sex auf zwei rädern

  37. Dave Gibson

    G’day – I’ve bought one of theses frames off my mate Luis in Oxford after having ridden one with Dan
    (frame #1) when I was in England a while back – just about to build it up cos I loved the ride so much – really surprised on the amount of comments re. looks – do you guys brush your hair when you’re out riding? I don’t race, but love to ride and I know the amount of passion and knowledge that went into Luis’ design and concept which goes back a good decade now – so I’m just trying to put haters in their place – don’t knock what you don’t know – Dave

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