Bike Review: Niner Air 9 RDO vs. Air 9 Carbon

Today let’s do a head to head review of the Niner Air 9 Carbon vs the new Air 9 RDO.

They are both carbon hardtails. They are both designed to go really, really fast.

The RDO stands for “race day optimized.” So this one is even fancier than the already amazing Air 9.

Not keen on carbon hardtails? Think the trail feel is too muted? Well, that is not the case on these bikes! It’s time to leave aluminum hardtails in the past thanks to these wonderful creations.

The rear end of these bikes allow you to deliver power, while still being compliant.

Comparing the bikes:

The new RDO is significantly lighter. The frame is probably a half pound lighter.

The RDO is super fast, but it also is plush, providing comfort in the saddle for hours. It’s ready to go for marathon races.

If you’re doing six hour races, some type of endurance series, perhaps the Leadville 100. Those are races where you’d definitely want to upgrade to the Air 9 RDO.

Here’s the thing though. It’s lighter and plusher, but it’s still FAST!

What is the RDO not for? It’s not for you if you do short track XC races that are 60 minutes or less.

Niner’s press fit 30 bottom bracket is nice.

Overall, these are both great bikes!

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