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Why We Like The RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame
With trail bikes seeing longer and slacker geometry, even XC bikes are feeling the repercussions of these changes, with head tube angles and reach measurements approaching what was considered the all-mountain realm only a few years ago. We get it, it helps improve stability on the descents, but some of us still want a purebred race steed. Something focused on speed, able to sprint up climbs like a hardtail with geometry focused on precision. Thankfully Niner's RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame caters to the cross country purists among us with true XC geometry and a suspension platform that focuses on efficiency while still maintaining composure on rough trails.
The RKT 9 RDO delivers 3.5in of travel through Niner's proven CVA suspension platform. The dual links work together to provide a firm platform that allows pedal forces to operate independently of rear wheel travel, limiting the amount of energy the suspension robs from your pedaling efforts. The engineers at Niner optimized the linkage to produce the lightest, stiffest version of CVA to date, with high-quality Enduro Max bearings delivering low-friction and outstanding longevity. The result is a bike that rockets up rocky, root-infested climbs with ease, yet employs just enough travel to soften the blows from square-edged hits and harder impacts on the descents.
The frame is built using Niner's RDO Carbon Compaction System. CCS uses internal molds during curing that allow exact control over wall thickness and material distribution, shedding excess weight while eliminating structural imperfections like resin pooling. The frame is light, but resilient enough to withstand the punishment of all-day epic rides on rough terrain. The geometry is XC-race focused, employing a steeper 70-degree head tube angle and a shorter head tube to create an aggressive position ready to cover ground as quickly as possible. The reach and wheelbase are long enough for stability at speed, but not uber-long like some of the other "XC" bikes out there, allowing the bike to pair with longer stems for more precise steering and the ability to pick your way through technical lines with maximum control.
Boost hub spacing is now ubiquitous in the mountain bike world, but it's worth mentioning in regards to this bike because it improves the overall stiffness of the wheels, going a long way to reduce lateral flex that used to be a problem with 29ers in the past. Boost spacing is also the reason Niner claims this bike can clear up to 2.3in tires (varies by brand), letting you choose wider trail rubber for extra traction if desired. It's worth noting that the RKT 9 fits a water bottle in the front triangle on all frame sizes, with the medium through x-large sizes able to mount an additional bottle under the down tube, a nice feature for endurance events when hydration is critical. The frame works well with modern 1x drivetrains, clearing up to a 38t chainring, but it's compatible with 2x and 3x systems as well should you feel obliged to throw on a front derailleur.
- Speedy 29er XC rocket from Niner
- 3.5in CVA travel is responsive and covers ground efficiently
- XC geometry delivers snappy acceleration & precise handling
- RDO Carbon frame optimizes stiffness & strength, reduces weight
- Boost spacing improves reduces lateral flex, adds tire clearance
- Clearance for up to a 2.3in tire depending on the brand
- Medium through x-large sizes fit two water bottles on frame
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