BIKE TEST / NINER RKT 9 RDO
RKT 9 RDO
Big wheels and big ambitions
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The RKT 9 RDO is designed to be a go-to cross-country
race bike that will also appeal to ambitious marathon riders.
Niner is only offering the RKT 9 in carbon, so all the models
are a little pricey. The RKT 9 RDO starts at $4500 for a
complete bike ($3000 for a frameset) and caps out at $9500
for the five-star XTR build. Our test bike is the four-star
SRAM build, which comes in at $6700.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
If there is a distinguishing factor about Niner full-suspension bikes, it’s the CVA platform. Niner claims that CVA is the
first linkage designed around a 29-inch wheel size, and the
company has stuck with it since the beginning. While CVA has
established itself on the bigger trail bikes, we were curious to
take an in depth look at this “pure cross-country” design that
the RKT is built on. The RKT is significant for Niner, as it is
the first bike in its line to use Boost spacing, which allows for
a more nimble ride and clearance to run tires up to 2. 4 inches
The CVA was built around 90 millimeters of rear travel and
100 millimeters in the front. Niner usually offers its riders flexibility when it comes to front travel, and in this case, the RKT
can be run with a 120-millimeter fork to give the bike a more
While Niner offers most of its bikes in aluminum and
carbon, the RKT comes with a full carbon frame and rear
triangle. The quality of the carbon is the finest Niner has to
offer, using their RDO layup that has been used on their race
bikes for the last several years. The RKT front triangle uses
internal cable routing and is compatible with mechanical and
Di2 drivetrain options.
Niner has created a community of cyclists who are fiercely loyal to its brand—and for good reason. They have grown from a niche company into a strong contender in the trail market, all on the platform of 29-inch only
bikes. Thus far, Niner has resisted the change to smaller
wheels and instead has adapted the standards that it sees
fit. While the Jet 9 RDO is a great trailbike, Niner has been
missing something for the cross-country purist, and thus the
company decided to create the RKT 9 RDO as a full-fledged