Niner claims that the all new RKT 9 RDO 4 Star X01 Complete Mountain Bike offers true and undeniable performance gains over non 29er bikes. Having had the chance to throw a leg over this particular model, we're comfortable translating that claim as a bike that's as aggressive on undulating, rocky trails as it is on fast, steep hardpack. The re worked CVA suspension, a revised carbon layup, and a new, oversized axle standard conspire as the ideal platform for SRAM's X01 drivetrain for an overall package that's eager on climbs, surprisingly plush across terrain, and disarmingly playful to ride on everything from a weekday escape to a race day excursion. The RKT 9's magical ride begins with a few geometry tweaks aimed at bridging the divide between low weight XC race machines and high confidence, line holding trail sleds. Given that Ms. Rusch, the Queen of Pain herself, summarizes the RKT 9 RDO as the answer to her dreams, we'd say Niner hit the mark. Compared to Niner's previous XC racers, the RKT 9's longer top tube and shorter head tube make for a more aggressive rider position and a longer geometry with better line holding capabilities across terrain skewing into the five inch trail bike category. These adjustments are paired with Boost 110 and 148mm axles in the front and rear, respectively, for increased wheel stiffness and more rear end clearance, allowing Niner to slam the back wheel up and reduce the chainstays to just 440mm. Stubby stays make for more agility entering corners and stretches of trail furniture and more power transferring stiffness while accelerating out of the other side. 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. For the RKT 9 RDO frame, the CCS process has been refined even further, resultin...