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#FanBuildFriday: New Month, New Winner .. Congratulations Keldy!

Posted in: Blog
By Zack Vestal
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#FanBuildFriday: New Month, New Winner .. Congratulations Keldy!

Every month (mostly on Fridays) we invite our fans to submit pictures and stories about their Niner bikes to us. And every month we pick a winner! We call it Fan Build Friday and this month the lucky winner is NICA student athlete Keldy Mason from Prescott, Arizona.

Here's what he sent to us:

"Many years ago my best friend convinced me to join our high school mountain bike team, but I had little to no off-road miles or experience to support me. My first season I got pretty trashed, but I was hooked and I trained feverishly to move up the rankings. I was given a loaner bike to use thanks to the race organizers and fell in love with the 29 inch format for XC racing. At the end of the season, I bought the loaner bike at a greatly reduced price, but was infatuated with Niner bikes and wanted my own version of Pedal, Damn it! So, I asked for a Niner EMD frame for my 17th birthday and thankfully my parents obliged.

I worked with a father of a friend to help me swap the components from my old bike to this new frame. The goal was to create an affordable, but wickedly fast and good looking bike. My first step was installing a Cane Creek 40 headset and replacing the 2x chainring system with a fresh Raceface 1x crank. I also overhauled the contact points with new flat Raceface Evol bars, Ergon grips, a 100 mm Niner alloy stem, a YAWYD headset cap, a Niner alloy seatpost, and a WTB Valcon saddle. This first iteration was fast and had that locked-in feel with a flipped and slammed stem up front. A few months in, I tacoed the front wheel  while preriding a race course and decided it was time for the next set up upgrades right before my second race season.

I replaced the Suntour fork with an Intense rigid carbon fork, and replaced the wheels with Stans NoTubes ZTR Arch EX rims laced up to the Stans 3.30 hub in front and Shimano XT hub in rear. This was also when I learned how to true my own wheels and set up wheels as tubeless.

I used this bike for a full race season and worked my way up to the middle of the race ranking. I also used my EMD to do some bikepacking and it's truly a do-it-all bike. I then used it to get through college with rides on the weekends and even took mountain biking for my PE credit. I'm now about to load my Niner EMD on top of my car as I head off to graduate school and a new chapter of mountain biking/ life.


  • Frame Size: Medium
  • Wheels: Stans ZTR Arch EX rims laced to Stans 3.30 hub in front and Shimano XT hub in rear.
  • Groupset: Shimano deore 10 sp
  • Tires: Maxxis ardent 2.25 in
  • Saddle: WTB Valcon 


Keldy, Thanks for sending in your story and we wish you many more miles on your trusty Niner EMD mountain bike. We love seeing young riders rise through the ranks from high school to college and beyond. Here's to many more adventures. Now get out there and Pedal, Damn It!