There are some bike manufacturers who design bikes according to how they think you should ride. Well, Niner designs their bikes according to how they know you want to ride, which makes a huge difference. The Niner AIR 9 RDO is the latest edition of their race-winning 29 inch hardtail design. It takes all their knowledge from years of designing 29ers and applies that to what they know riders are looking for in a modern hardtail.
Using their RDO Carbon Compaction System to make a super lightweight carbon frame that can take a beating if necessary, Niner has updated the geometry to cater to riders who like snappy handling. With that aim in mind, they have dropped the handlebar level to get you lower while slackening the head tube angle and increasing the length of the cockpit. This will give that responsive handling that will react to your every thought like an attentive best friend. The frame has been optimized for 100mm forks, though if you like that extra bit of shock for your courses, it can fit up to 120mm.
Boost rear wheel 148 X 12 spacing has been included on the AIR 9 since it is suited for more than just the hard core full suspension frames. By widening the spacing of the rear dropouts, they can build stronger wheels that sit in a stiff structure more resistant to torque. Taking that idea and running with it, Niner’s designers then tucked the rear wheel closer to the bottom bracket and increased tire clearance all while making it possible to run this rig with as much as a 36 tooth chainring. Of course, they realize some XC racers will want to have wide gear ratios and smaller steps between gears, so the AIR is compatible with 1X, 2X and even 3X.
Pedal power efficiency will be enhanced with the oversized PF30 bottom bracket area. It will also make just about any crankset compatible, including a single speed if you want to install the Niner BioCentric 30 bottom bracket cups to give you chain tension and geometry adjustability for your single speed setup. The frame will take up to 180mm rotors so stopping power need never be an issue. Internal cable routing allows for a clean setup that is Di2 ready, so when you buy just the frame, you can really shoot for the moon for the buildup.
Its sharp handling mixed with the 29 inch wheels will help the Niner AIR 9 RDO feel like a nimble racer that can conquer anything instead of a lumbering tank likely to be overtaken.
Frame: Niner RDO Carbon Compaction System
Rear Triangle: Carbon
Fork Travel Range: 100mm - 120mm
Headset Included: Yes, integrated Cane Creek IS42/28.6 IS52/40
Steerer Tube: 1 1/8” - 1 1/2”
Bottom Bracket Type: PF30 Press Fit
Cable Routing Brake: External
Cable Routing Shifter: Internal
Cable Routing Dropper Seatpost: Internal
Front Derailleur Mount: 34.9mm
Front Derailleur Pull Type: Front pull
Front Derailleur Swing Type: Side Swing
Wheel Size: 29er
Brake Mount Type: Post mount, 180mm maximum
Seatpost Diameter: 27.2mm
Seat Collar Included: Yes
Rear Axle: 12mm x 148mm Boost
Sizes: 14” XS | 15.5” SM | 16.5” MD | 19” LG | 21” XL
Colors: Sand Orange, Satin Carbon Blue