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  • Niner - RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame - 2016 - Green Greener
  • Niner - RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame - 2016 - Team Red

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  • Niner - RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame - 2016 - Green Greener
  • Niner - RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame - 2016 - Team Red

Niner RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame - 2016


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    9 Reviews



    Throwing a leg over Niner's all-new RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame is a bit like traveling back in time, revisiting the halcyon days of off-road cycling when geometry angles and rear travel weren't creeping continuously toward motocross measurements — and they didn't need to. Niner's paraphrased goal in developing the RKT 9 RDO was to build a 90mm (yes, 90mm) suspension chassis that handles terrain like a five-inch bike but climbs like an XC RKT — err, rocket, creating a 29in platform every bit as race-ready as any 27.5in trail machine. On moderate terrain, speed is definitely the RKT's friend. It's easy to choose a gear, choose a line, and — to quote the bike's top tube — "pedal, damn it," trusting that the suspension's surprisingly capable four inches will carry you across rock-strewn trails and through corners with a quickness that we've rarely — if ever — experienced on 29in wheels.

    Given that it's an XC race bike, Niner tweaked the RKT 9 RDO's CVA travel to hit the sweet spots of low-travel speed. In its initial stroke, the RKT's CVA focuses on maintaining a firm, responsive pedaling platform — a theory that translates well to the trail. Even while riding the shock open, CVA encourages speed on rocky, root-latticed climbs to the point that the RKT fires out of berms on the uphills with almost the same alacrity as it does on the downhills. Alacrity also describes the RKT's enthusiasm as roll overs and light rock gardens usher the travel into the mid stroke, which opens up a bit more to embrace trail furniture without sacrificing momentum or straying from its line. As it hits the end of its 90mm, the travel ramps up to avoid harsh bottom-outs, extending the margin of error just a bit further for when enduro ambitions start to get the better of XC restraint.

    The frame is built according to the specifics of Niner's RDO Carbon Compaction System (CCS). CCS uses internal molds during the curing process to ensure precise control over wall thickness and material distribution, eliminating excess grams and structural imperfections like resin pooling. For the RKT 9 RDO frame, the CCS process has been refined even further, resulting in a frame that Niner claims is almost 1/2lb lighter than the current Jet 9 RDO — all without exhibiting any weakness or flex while being thrown around on the trail.

    The geometry also presents a few notable departures from Niner's typical recipe, including a longer effective top tube and a lower head tube. These adjustments net a lower, more aggressive rider position that also incorporates some stabilizing elements of long, enduro geometries for an XC race machine that holds lines with no extra weight or sluggish bulk. While we haven't gotten it on a scale yet, the RKT 9 RDO complete builds we've been able to pedal in anger feel under 24lb, and we think there's room for even more weight loss based on component choices. This combination of low weight and line-sticking confidence has already earned high praise of Ms. Rusch, the Queen of Pain herself: "It seems my dreams have been answered," she says of the RKT 9, "Thank you, Niner!"

    Of all the geometry, suspension, and material changes Niner built into the RKT, the single most influential change may be the introduction of a Boost rear axle. By bumping the axle length from the recently introduced 142 to an even newer 148mm, Niner effectively addresses two key issues that have plagued 29in wheels since their inception. First, the wider hub decreases the angle of the spokes, which reinforces the hell out of the hoops for a wheel/chassis platform that Niner claims is 30% stiffer and feels every bit as efficient as 26in bikes. The hub's wider bearings also experience less torsional force, bringing improved lifespan to what may admittedly be the most under-serviced element of a mountain bike.

    Second, the Boost 148 rear hub allows for more rear clearance with a wider crankset and stays, letting Niner shove the wheel up and reduce the chainstays to 440mm — that's a full 15mm shorter than the Jet 9 RDO. The stubby stays add yet more stiffness to an already brutal rear triangle and make for more agility while navigating switchbacks and picking through terrain most 29in steeds would shy away from. The one negative for the RKT 9's increased clearance is any build requires a Boost-specific crank, which — given the system's newness — is even rarer than wheels with a 12 x 148mm axle. We think the inconvenience is worth it, though, not least of all because more and more options are appearing on the market every month as the new standard proves its off-road qualities.

    • Item #NNR003R

    Tech Specs

    Frame Material
    CCS carbon fiber
    Wheel Size
    29 in
    Rear Shock
    FOX Float DPSFactory
    Rear Travel
    90 mm
    Fork Travel
    [recommended] 100 mm
    Head Tube Diameter
    1.25 x 1.5 in
    Headset Included
    yes, Cane Creek
    Bottom Bracket Type
    Cable Routing
    Front Derailleur Mount
    S3 low direct mount (e-type)
    Brake Type
    Seatpost Diameter
    30.9 mm
    Seat Collar
    34.9 mm
    Rear Axle
    12 x 148mm
    Claimed Weight
    2,041 g
    Recommended Use
    cross country
    Manufacturer Warranty
    5 years

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    XC crusher

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    As a cyclist that leans toward climbing/XC/hard tail bikes I always ride bikes with rear suspension with a bit of apprehension. I am an owner of two Niner bikes that are build up to be light and fast. After an hour of climbing on the RKT the notions I had of inefficiency were gone. After 4 hours of riding up, down, flat, everything, half in the light, half in the dark I was completely sold on the RKT. Coming back down after our accent I felt completely at ease flying through the dark, it was easy to handle and inspired confidence. It felt good in every direction and I wouldn't be afraid to race it XC any day. If you have questions about this frame or builds to put on it email me directly

    Rides bigger than it looks

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    I was initially pretty surprised and disappointed that Niner had released a new bike with only 90mm of rear travel, as it seems like everyone is edging closer to 120mm/5 inch bikes as more XC bikes these days. That being said, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the bike with its redesigned CVA linkage rode a lot nicer than previous Niners, and felt bigger than 90mm. Niners have always traditionally climbed very well but have struggled when the trail turned down hill. Personally I'd say the 71 degree HT angle on this bike is still a bit steep, but it descends surprisingly well in spite of. This would make a great bike for anyone who mainly rides XC, but it won't be afraid to get rowdy in some bigger spots where traditional XC bikes would stumble.

    5 star XC race missle

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    This isn't a trail bike. Even with some reviews saying how capable it is for a 90mm bike- it still is a full on race... um what's a good word to use... Rocket. Yes, it will descend with amazing precision and would be perfect for any xc/ endurance race course.

    Where does this bike shine? Pointed up. Imagine a goat who just took some First Endurance Pre-Race Caps and downed an energy drink. Then imagine this goat racing up to the top of the mountain with some Drum N Bass music on his walkman. This bike is that goat. Razor sharp handling. This would be my choice for a XC/Endurance Race bike.

    Feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions.


    5 star XC race missle

    XC Race Bike of the Year!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Niner is way ahead of the curve with the new RKT; especially being the only XC race bike for 2016 that has incoporated Boost spacing for shorter chainstays and gobs of lateral stiffness all around! This makes for an incredibly snappy bike out of the saddle, as well as impecable handling manners at speeds you know you shouldn't be going.

    I was sold after about 10 minutes on the new RKT last fall, and I am sure I will still be grinning like a fool come fall 2016, and hopefully atop a few podiums!

    The pedalling efficiency is astounding for such an active suspension; it is almost good enough to pedal with the rear shock fully open all of the time, and is particularly impressive as such on rocky ascents.

    With a relatively slack headtube angle for such a bike, handling and capability is equally impressive.

    New bike technology is supposed to make you a better rider; the RKT accomplishes that mission with heaps of speed to go along with it!

    For more information, please feel free to contact me directly.

    Bradley Gehrig
    Customer Account Manager
    Office: 801–204-4541


    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

    We all chipped in to get this for my brother-in-law, who is a major bike enthusiast. I could try to paraphrase his review, but he knows more about bikes than I ever will. Here's what he said:

    Niner has finally done it. A true dedicated race bike, the RKT. This bike fits and feels like a race ready bike. I love the shorter head tube which allows for a more aggressive position. The internal cable routing allows for a clean build and keeps the cables from making noise. Fox nailed it with the kashima coated and specifically tuned rear shock. Its true what they say that for a race bike, you don’t need more than 90mm when its set up properly. I think the secret also lies in the patented CVA linkage. I’ve only got 1 ride on this bike but plan on making 2016 a year of PR’s with my new RKT RDO. Thanks Niner for continuing to innovate.

    Amazing ride!

      I recently had the opportunity to demo this amazing bike and I must say I was most impressed. Ive owned a Jet 9 RDO before so Im very familiar with the brand and the feel of their XC race type bikes. They are designed to be very fast and efficient on the trail. Although the Jet 9 is an amazing race bike it can be somewhat stiff and will beat you up on longer type rides. Not the RKT. Don't let the 90mm of rear suspension fool you as a stiff ride. This bike is a dynamic performer not only as a lethal race bike but also as a weekend epic trail blaster. I found it to be very agile on the trail with very playful qualities. It climbed as well and was super fast on decents without feeling squirly. Although I only rode the bike for a couple of hours it definitely left me wanting to explore more. This will definitely be my next bike and if you have the means I highly recommend picking one up.

      Feel free to contact me direct with questions or comments. We can also custom build this bike the way you want it.

      801-736-6396 x 4074

      Amazing ride!


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      Coming from a 22lb Yeti ASR 29er, I was eager to check out Niner's new race offering. Thankfully they obliged, and I was able to throw a leg over the RKT 9 during a pre-release visit. The RKT 9 lives up to the name with the same responsive, power to the pedals, acceleration found int he Jet 9 RDO and credited to the CVA suspension design. Riding in the "medium" setting of the DPS rear shock was more than firm enough, and no bob under hard efforts could be detected. I flipped it to the open for the remainded of the climb, and couldn't feel any loss of efficiency, and was able to claw up loose, scree sections with ease. Pointed down, the RKT 9 was stable, responsive, and felt longer than the available 90mm of travel. As much as new wheel/axle standards can be a pain point, the Boost 110 front and 148 rear spacing were noticeably stiffer, even to a smaller 140lb rider like myself. The bike carved corners with ease and tracked through rough segments as well. I'm 5'7" and rode a small frame with a 90mm stem and felt comfortable and well balanced. I came away from the ride impressed, and would have only preferred slightly wider bars, and would probably throw a 120mm fork on the front. If you have any questions about the RKT 9, don't hesitate to call or e-mail. I can be reached directly at 801-736-6396 x4378, or

      Best XC bike out there

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I'm old school sometimes. I miss my 26" steel hardtail with a Judy SL fork. It was light, climbed like a goat and handled like a dream. When 29" bikes came out I found them sluggish, heavy and couldn't climb in full suspension guise.

      Enter the RKT9. I was simply blown away by this bike. This is the best XC bike out there. Climb, descend, rail.

      Don't let the 100mm of front travel and 90 out back fool you. The RKT is dialed and I never once felt there wasn't enough travel. No, you can't huck your meat on this thing and you'll need to be choosy with your lines on rowdy trails but I think most people are riding bikes with too much travel for their needs anyway.

      Single track, XC race and epics, the RKT9 is my new favorite bike.

      Shoot me an email if you want to know more.