Niner RDO Carbon Rigid Fork $549.00
Mountain bikers are quickly learning that traditional quick-release skewers are better suited for barbequing than holding your front wheel on the bike. The same can be said for 1-1/8in head tube standards; they’re great if you plan on riding rail trails, but if you’re a mountain ripper and seek ride-enhancing strength without a weight penalty, a tapered headtube is the way to go. Niner recognized this, so instead of sticking to industry norms, they only offer the no-compromise RDO Fork with a tapered steerer and a 15mm thru-axle.
If you’ve ridden carbon 29er forks, you know the massive torsional load disc brakes and large wheels place on them, along with their propensity to flex when you grab a handful front brake. This causes noticeable wheel deflection, which allows your line to aimlessly wander. It’s not exactly ideal when you’re threading the singletrack needle. Suspension forks have received the benefit of thru-axles, while their rigid siblings were neglected in the background. But not anymore, as Niner has stepped up the rigid game by adding a 15mm Rock Shox Maxle to their flagship rigid.
Up top, Niner developed a tapered carbon steerer tube. Using their monocoque design and lay-up expertise, the oversized steerer tube seamlessly integrates with the lowers. This creates a transition free of stress-prone bonds, as opposed to three-piece forks. Niner dedicated extensive resources to optimizing the fork legs’ weave to take full advantage of the damping characteristics of carbon. Impact energy is dispersed throughout the entire structure, suppressing trail vibrations without compromising steering precision.
The RDO has a 470mm axle to crown length. For comparison’s sake, an 80mm Reba has roughly a 490mm axle to crown length. Factor in 20 percent sag and the Axle to crown is about 474mm. The RDO keeps your geometry in nearly the same place as an 80mm suspension fork. A 45mm offset provides excellent tracking and responsive turn in. The RDO can fit up to a 180mm rotor, and does not have a rider weight limit – reflecting Niners confidence in their quality and design. The Niner RDO Carbon Fork comes in seven colors, and includes the thru-axle.
Reviews & Community
B00M, how you like that travel?
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Nothing makes me want to stand up and sprint on my hardtail like putting this fork on it. You'll be scared, at first, to ride your newly rigid bike as fast and rough as you did when it had a suspension fork on it, but you'll get over that. You'll flat or crash before anything happens to the fork, which seemed to by my first worry. I think we all forget how well these products are made and how hard you can ride modern equipment. The brake hose routing is nice, too.