Clipping into Niner's RKT 9 RDO Mountain Bike Frame brings back fond memories of a time when XC was king and frame geometry wasn't so heavily influenced by slacked out gravity sleds. Niner's paraphrased goal in creating the RKT 9 RDO was to build a 3. 5in chassis that handles terrain like a five-inch bike but still climbs like an XC rocket, resulting in 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 and choose a line, trusting that the suspension's capability will carry you across rock-strewn trails and through corners with a nimbleness that we've rarely 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 spot of low-travel speed. In its initial stroke, the RKT's CVA suspension focuses on maintaining a firm, responsive pedaling platform. Even while riding the shock open, CVA encourages speed on rocky, root-latticed climbs. As roll overs and light rock gardens usher the travel into the mid stroke, CVA also embraces 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. The geometry presents a few 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 incorporates some stabilizing elements of longer enduro geometries for an XC race machine that holds lines with no extra weight or sluggi...
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