Niner’s MCR 9 RDO magic carpet gravel bike is almost here

The new full-sus gravel bike is close to production and here's what it's going to look like

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike

We had a good look at a pre-production 3D printed version of the MCR 9 RDO (which stands for Magic Carpet Ride) at Sea Otter 2018.

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The unrideable 3D printed bike became the basis for this rather logical approach to gravel riding. Fast forward to this year’s event and it looks like Niner is close to pushing the button on launching the full-sus production bike.

We speculated last year that the bike will have around 40mm of travel and will take up to 50mm wide tyres, but now Niner has officially announced some of the bike’s details.

Niner MCR 9 RDO geometry and details

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
The integrated fender, linkages and frame shape are sleek
Ben Duke

Zach Vestal, Niner’s marketing manager, told us that the bike will come in three sizes — 53, 56 and 59cm — with a target weight of around the 20lbs.

For the 56cm frame size, Niner told us we can expect the bike to have a 349mm reach, a 1,055cm wheelbase, a 71-degree head angle and a 73.5-degree seat tube angle.

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
Ultegra brakes and parts help to keep the weight down.
Ben Duke

The bike will have clearance for 50mm wide tyres on 700c wheels, while you’ll be able to slot in a 2-inch wide 650b tyre if you choose.

It’s also claimed to have 11 bottle cage mounting options — wow! Plus, it’s got a removable front mech mount if you’d like to fit a 1-x drivetrain.

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
The MCR 9 RDO uses Niner’s CVA suspension system to give 50mm of travel
Ben Duke

The production bike will have 50mm of suspension travel with a remote lockout that’s controlled by Niner’s CVA system, seen across its suspension bikes.

The suspension is tuned for high-frequency small bumps rather than hefty impacts and Niner was very quick to say that this isn’t a mountain bike and isn’t designed to be ridden as such.

Niner MCR 9 NDO full-suspension gravel bike
The bike is dropper ready and this pre-production was equipped with a KS Lev
Ben Duke

Don’t expect it to be hucking off walls and riding gnarly singletrack trails — it’s a gravel bike, for gravel, we’ve been told.

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
How much travel is enough for gravel?
Ben Duke

Niner MCR 9 RDO specs and prices

At the moment, Niner is still deciding how to spec the final versions, but it did say that we can expect the frameset to cost around $3,000.

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
This model of the MCR 9 RDO had the gravel-specific Fox 32 fork
Ben Duke
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Niner hopes to launch the bike late 2019, with more information on models and exact pricing expected at this year’s Eurobike show in September. As soon as we can get our hands on one we’ll have a review for you.

Niner MCR 9 RDO full-suspension gravel bike
This is likely to be the top-spec bike
Ben Duke