Updated Niner AIR9 RDO, Carbon and Alloy Hardtails Get Lighter & Racier

2015 Niner AIR9 RDO carbon fiber 29er hardtail race mountain bike

Having introduced their new carbon compaction molding process with the BSB cyclocross bike and quickly putting the technology to use on the latest JET9 full suspension racer, Niner turned their attention to their quickest race bikes, the AIR9 series.

All three models -RDO, Carbon and Alloy- get revamped to work with modern standards, including Shimano’s new Sideswing front derailleurs and XTR Di2, as well as 12×142 rear thru axles. The carbon frames move away from the integrated cable ports in the head badge, too, which will make cable routing much simpler since the fork won’t need to be removed to replace housing.

At the top of the podium is the AIR9 RDO, which sees the biggest improvements from the new molding. It drops 100 grams from the frame while adding the thru axle. The additional compaction also reduces or eliminates any resin pooling and lets them further tune the ride characteristics of the frame. It even gets size specific layups, with smaller frames getting lighter layups.

2015 Niner AIR9 RDO carbon fiber 29er hardtail race mountain bike

The carbon frames are Di2 compatible thanks to swappable frame plugs. They’re designed for full length housing if you run mechanical, and the rear brake hose runs externally. Note the custom matching matte black carbon crown on the Rockshox forks.

2015 Niner AIR9 RDO carbon fiber 29er hardtail race mountain bike

The AIR9′s tube shapes make for a very stiff bike. Some compliance is built into the seatstays, but this is a race bike with an emphasis on performance over comfort. A new cable exit port on the downtube allows for the new XTR Side Swing from derailleur (better view of it on the Carbon model further down), and there’s a Di2 port just below the water bottle bolt on the seat tube.

2015 Niner AIR9 RDO carbon fiber 29er hardtail race mountain bike

The AIR9 series gets thru axles on all versions. All in all, it should put the frame weight right around 1,025g for a medium.

2015 Niner AIR9 RDO carbon fiber 29er hardtail race mountain bike

All models will be offered as a frameset and complete bikes. Prices at bottom of post.

2015 Niner AIR9 Carbon 29er hardtail race mountain bike

Next down the line is the AIR9 Carbon, which uses the same molds as the RDO, but uses a less complex layup and lower grade carbon. It still drops about 50g off the prior version, coming in at a claimed 1,300g for medium.

2015 Niner AIR9 Carbon 29er hardtail race mountain bike

All of the technical features carry over from the RDO, including Di2 and Sideswing ports.

2015 Niner AIR9 Carbon 29er hardtail race mountain bike

They use a Pressfit BB30 bottom bracket.

2015 Niner AIR9 Carbon 29er hardtail race mountain bike

Low profile rear brake mounts sit inside the rear triangle on the carbon frames.

2015 Niner AIR9 Carbon 29er hardtail race mountain bike

AIR9 Carbon frames come in $500 less than the RDO.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

The new AIR9 alloy frames continue with hydroformed tubes, not the air-formed tubes that the new RIP9 alloy uses. These frames come in at a claimed 1,590g for medium.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

It also gets the new, lighter head badge.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

A stealth dropper post port and external cable mounts on the downtube provide more options. The AIR9 frames are designed to run up to a 120mm fork, so you could get a little rowdy if you aren’t quite ready for the ROS9.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

Rear brake mounts stay on the outside of the rear triangle on the alloy models.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

It also gets the upgrade to rear thru axle.

2015 Niner AIR9 alloy 29er hardtail race mountain bike

2015-niner-air9-frame-and-bike-pricing

For full build specs and details on each model, head on over to NinerBikes.com.

Comments

Michael - 09/04/14 - 8:31am

Can those frame only prices be correct? The RDO went up $200, the Carbon went up $100, and the standard Air 9 went DOWN $150???

Offrhodes - 09/04/14 - 8:42am

I hope those new frame prices are correct.

Adam - 09/04/14 - 9:44am

Now if they only changed up the geometry a bit…

wheelz - 09/04/14 - 10:06am

Looking good. Would love to build up that RDO. Now that Niner’s hard tails have gone to thru axle, they look perfect. Also, please leave your geometry just the way it is!

Luis - 09/04/14 - 10:23am

Those prices are correct, what really happened is RDO went down from $2099 to $1999, Carbon went up $100 and Air 9 went down $150.

The $1799 they had was a blowout price they introduced to move the frames faster to make way for the new ones.

Frames look great, prices are very competitive too

wall - 09/04/14 - 10:40am

About time they added thru axles

James - 09/04/14 - 11:07am

Do we know when these will be available?

FoolCyclist - 09/04/14 - 1:28pm

Now if only they would get rid of the PFBB. Love my Air9 but am shopping for a frame that has threaded BB. Way, way easier to service myself and it doesn’t squeak like a rat on fire.

pfs - 09/04/14 - 4:01pm

Im glad it has a pf30 BB. Way more choices with cranksets, and can still use 24mm cranks. Also, I have found that since ditching the cheap plastic BBs and BB reducers that I have not had any issues with noise or durability. And dont forget that threaded BBs wear out and make noises too, I’m looking at you GXP!!!

Chris - 09/04/14 - 6:29pm

Air 9 Carbon – 3 Star – XT is showing up at $3899 on Niner’s website. If it’s really $3499, I may have found my next bike. The 3 Star RDO is only $3999….Seriously?

Chris - 09/04/14 - 6:31pm

Actually, it seems that a number of prices on their website are considerably higher than listed here :/

BubbRubb - 09/04/14 - 11:15pm

Creak-creak-Creak-creak

Magnus - 09/05/14 - 2:06am

I haven’t found any info regarding maximum xx1 cog with the new frames?

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