Niner Air 9 RDO - $2,099.00

While this frame shares the Air 9 name with Niners versatile carbon hardtail, thats about all they share. The Air 9 RDO is an entirely different animal, and the RDO designation, an acronym for Race Day Optimized,' clearly states this 29ers purpose -- to place you on the podium. Niner eliminated all excess on this frame and focused solely on making it as light as possible. For example, the rear brake mounts are now cleanly located inside the stays, which reduces the amount of hydraulic line needed, while making the Air 9 RDO look lean and mean. Also, this frame does not use Niners CYA bottom bracket system. While the CYA is renowned for its versatility, it added complexity and heft to this purpose built race machine, so Niner went with the lighter PressFit30 interface instead. The RDO retains the clean internal cable routing and titanium chain-slap protectors found on the Air 9 Carbon.The Air 9 RDO isnt just cosmetically and physically different; its structurally different, too. At the core of every Niner frame is extensive computer-based finite element analysis, and here its used to develop a high modulus carbon fiber structure with optimized weaves, lay ups, and tube shapes to produce the lightest Niner to date. The RDOs fluid form is no accident, and is designed to dampen chatter and guide impact forces to the stronger parts of the frame. Chain torque goes directly to the rear wheel via the large bottom bracket shell and shapely chainstays, yet trail vibrations are quelled by the swooping seatstays. Niner ties the bottom bracket to the strength- and precision-enhancing tapered headtube via a large down tube to ensure the frame tracks true and responds to every input.Niner recommends an 80 to 100mm suspension fork, or a rigid unit with a 470mm axle to crown length and 45mm offset. Perhaps not coincidentally, their award-winning carbon fork shares those exact dimensions. - $2,099.00