BIKE TEST / NINER RKT 9 RDO
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Considering that the RK T was built with custom-tuned Fox suspension, we noticed the shock and fork right away. The Kashima-coated, Fox 32 Float fork and shock offered us all the adjustments
we needed on the trail and had a smooth feel once we dialed it in.
The SRAM X01 drivetrain worked flawlessly, as did the Guide RSC
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
We spent quite a bit of time on this bike, testing all the different
aspects of the suspension and the build kit. Though it has been a
while since we have tested a CVA-equipped bike, we were quickly
reminded that it is a fairly simple design when put to use.
Niner recommended setting the sag at 25 percent, which made
the shock feel rather firm. If you are looking for a plusher ride, you
might want to run a little less air than normal—or vice versa if you
want a stiffer ride. We left the bike completely stock for the first
ride but swapped out the tires to WTB Nine Lines for the rest of
Moving out: The 710-millimeter-wide bars felt right, although a
couple of our test riders would have preferred slightly wider bars,
especially given the trail potential of the RKT. Our first test ride
started out with a big climb, so to get a feel for just how well this
bike could climb, we set the suspension in the Climb setting and
hit the dirt.
Cornering: On paper there were some red flags that had us
concerned about how well this whip could take a corner or even
how well it could descend. The 71-degree head angle is fairly
steep, especially by modern standards, even for a cross-country race bike, but our doubts were put to rest pretty quickly.
While the head angle might be considered steep, making the
handling twitchy, the close wheelbase and low standover height
made it easy to sit up off the saddle and maneuver the bike