Air 9 RDO build or buy-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Air 9 RDO build or buy

    So, Iíve been eyeing an Air 9 RDO for some time now. Iím torn between buying it on Bike Bling as they have some decent discounts on niners now, or buying the frame on sale at competitive cyclist and specing it out myself. Iíve never been a sram guy, which is what all the builds on BB come with. BB is offering complete bikes for about 20-25% off.

    Does anyone have any experience with niner carbon wheels? Are they worth the expense to upgrade to the 5-star build, or should I just buy the lower tier and upgrade the Stanís Alu wheels that come standard?

    Just thinking a bit out loud here...

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    I have the previous generation Air 9 RDO and thinking of picking up the new frame, so familiar with of the options you are discussing.

    Both my Air 9 RDO and my RKT 9 RDO came with the Niner carbon wheelset. The set is nice and has been trouble free but is heavy for a carbon set. I recently swapped on the set on my RKT and put on the ENVE M525 and the difference was immediately noticeable, especially on short punchy climbs. Despite ENVE marketing the M525 as having more compliance, they still felt very stiff. If you can get the Niner's for not much more, they are fine, but otherwise I'd look for deals on other lighter carbon wheelsets. ENVE also has their trade-in program going on now.

    I love SRAM drive trains and have XO1 or XX1 11 speed on all my bikes except AIR 9 RDO, which came with 2x XTR which is also great. However I really don't like SRAM brakes and have either XTR Trail or Race on all my bikes.

    I just took a quick look at Bikebling. It looks like on 2018 Air 9 RDO builds, the only difference between the 5 and 4-star are the wheels. If you are wanting a really light set of carbon wheels, I'd get the 4-star, sell the wheels it comes with, and then put the savings and funds towards a nice light wheelset such as DT SWISS XCR 1200 (some deals popping up on Ebay on these).
    Last edited by Kuttermax; 10-01-2018 at 02:07 PM.

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