Planet X RT-90 Chorus review

A loud Chorus of carbon and Campagnolo

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,667.00 RRP

Our review

The RT-90 puts on a phenomenal show but we want much more go
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There’s no two ways about it, this bike is bright. Planet X has taken the current trend for bold hues, and chanelled the early 90s to create this fluoro yellow machine that takes no prisoners in looks or specification.

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This frameset is made by Viner, another Planet X brand. It’s Viner’s entry-level chassis, on its Mitus bike – but in this case, as the RT-90, it’s Planet X’s range topper.

  • Highs: A full Chorus groupset alone almost sells this bike
  • Lows: Sadly the frameset and wheels mute Campagnolo’s Chorus
  • Buy If: You’re a Campagnolo fan who values mechanical brilliance above all else

The shouty frame is in almost total contrast to the sublime Campagnolo Chorus groupset. The original 11-speed manufacturer has refined and honed its shifting, and Chorus just exudes class.

With deeply polished alloy and a generous quantity of carbon used in its components, it looks glorious. For anyone who appreciates engineering excellence, a Campagnolo-equipped bike is hard to beat.

Those sculpted ergo lever hoods are testament to getting a design right from the outset, changing little since their launch, and are still a joy to hold. The carbon brake levers, crank spider and rear derailleur outer plate meld prettiness with functionality, and if your idea of added value is more of the black stuff, then Chorus should make you very happy.

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Campagnolo chorus carbon levers are pretty and functional:

Campagnolo Chorus carbon levers are pretty and functional

As if proving a cycling version of Newton’s third law, to have glorious components for a low price, you inevitably have compromise somewhere else. In this case, it’s the frame and wheelset that by comparison are a little short on class.

Both are competent, and look great – if fluoro’s your thing. But on the road, we wondered several times if something was dragging, as there was just no zip.

The sub-1000g monocoque frame is lively and keen, and we found little to fault with it when testing the impressive Viner Mitus 0.6 a couple of months back. As the core of the RT-90 though, it didn’t seem to have the finesse that a good frame should.

As a race-focused weapon it feels laterally rigid. But it’s also quite stiff vertically, delivering a hard ride.

The wheelset doesn’t help matters either. The 18mm wide alloy rims have a bonded carbon fairing that is easily compressible between the fingers, creating 52mm total depth, with wide bladed spokes producing a hugely rigid pair of hoops.

The wheels roll well on the flat, but aren’t really that urgent. They respond quite well to accelerations, and can hold speed a while, but it definitely takes more effort to sustain it.

Hills just compound the physical workload, and ascending certainly isn’t as lively as the frame’s paint finish. Downhills at least play to their aero shape, unless there’s a crosswind, when the narrow profile’s reduced stability comes into play.

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On hills, the sluggish-feeling wheelset can be frustrating:

On hills, the sluggish-feeling wheelset can be frustrating

The slight echoing noise from the hollow fairings may not be to everyone’s taste either, but we found it a bit of a positive spur as speed increased. Possibly the saving grace for the wheelset, Continental’s Grand Prix GT 25mm rubber is speedy and grips tenaciously when the going gets twisty – plus that little extra air volume is much appreciated.

The white alloy Selcof bar and stem look stylish, and give a good hand position, though the oversized central bulge means that out front GPS mounts won’t fit. When sprinting or climbing hard there was some flex from the front end, most likely from the spacer-extended steerer tube, which might be cured with a slammed stem. With a 155mm head tube though, things could get low.

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Having a complete Campagnolo Chorus groupset on a carbon bike at this price is truly extraordinary, and it lends great satisfaction to the riding experience. Unfortunately, the Chorus gloss is somewhat dulled by the lack of excitement from the frame and billiard table-friendly wheelset, as if Campagnolo’s mechanical efficiency is consumed and retained, with a regrettably limited proportion reaching the road.

Product Specifications

Product

Name RT-90 Chorus (15)
Brand Planet-X

Available Sizes 44cm 48cm 52cm 56cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1590
Wheelbase (cm) 100
Top Tube (cm) 55.5
Standover Height (cm) 79.5
Seat Tube (cm) 56.5
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Wheelset Planet X
Weight (kg) 7.53
Trail 4.9
Stem Selcof KA05 Aluminium, 110mm
Shifters Campagnolo Chorus 11
Seatpost Selcof MC03 Karbon Monocoque, 27.2mm
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Prologo Zero
Rear Tyre Continental Grand Prix GT, 25mm
Bottom Bracket Campagnolo BSA Power Torque
Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Chorus 11
Headset Type FSA Orbit C-40 No.42 ACB Tapered
Head Angle 73.5
Handlebar Selcof KP08 Aluminium 42cm
Front Wheel Weight 1200
Front Tyre Continental Grand Prix GT, 25mm
Front Derailleur Campagnolo Chorus 11
Frame Material Toray T800 HM carbon
Fork Offset 5
Fork Carbon
Cranks Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed, 50/34, 172.5mm
Chain Campagnolo Chorus 11
Cassette Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed 11-25
Brakes Campagnolo Chorus
Frame size tested 56cm