Feature: Niner Magic Carpet Ride Full Suspension Gravel Bike – Sea Otter 2018

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

Coming in 2019, meet the Niner MCR 9 RDO, aka the Magic Carpet Ride full suspension gravel bike! Inspired by the Niner RKT drop bar mountain bike from last year’s Sea Otter, Niner plans to bring MCR 9 RDO to production, but in carbon. The prototype pictured above is a 3D printed proof of concept, albeit with real components and wheels hanging off it.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

The details:

  • “Dual suspension aids in traction and comfort, giving you a Magic Carpet Ride feel on any surface”.
  • “Suspension allows for higher tire pressures, providing less rolling resistance / less pinch flats”.
  • “CVA (Constant Varying Arc) with modified leverage ratios for less travel and gravel riding”.
  • “Suspension lockout for pavement”.
  • “50mm tire and 650b compatible”.
  • Compatible with frame, seatpost and handlebar bags for your bikepacking adventures”.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

At this time, suspension travel is unknown, but the MCR 9 RDO will accept 29’er / 700c x 50mm tires. Note the integrated fender.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike
Photo by our friends at BikeRumor.com

Niner’s CVA suspension system has been optimized on the MCR 9 RDO for seated pedaling versus the varied nature of mountain bike riding. Niner have applied for a patent on this design, they mean business about bringing this bike to production.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike
Photo by our friends at BikeRumor.com

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

Projected weight is unavailable at this time, but expect at least three pounds of extra heft versus a similarly equipped, rigid gravel bike.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike
Photo by our friends at BikeRumor.com

Cable routing is clean and minimal, aided by the suspension’s short range of travel.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

Above, the theme of fully internalized cable routing continues.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

RockShox’s RS-1 inverted fork suspends the front end, albeit with some modifications to reduce travel. Internet reviews of this fork are a mixed bag; will this fork remain as a production item on complete MCR 9 RDO builds? All will be revealed sometime in 2019.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike
Photo by our friends at BikeRumor.com

Above, lockouts for the front and rear of the MCR 9 RDO.

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

niner magic carpet ride gravel bike

Follow https://ninerbikes.life/mcr/ to keep an eye on the development of the Niner MCR 9 RDO.

9 comments on “Feature: Niner Magic Carpet Ride Full Suspension Gravel Bike – Sea Otter 2018

  1. Kind of cool, Would be nice to have blasting down the fast forest roads but that extra weight would be negative on those uphills.
    I wonder how it will handle when it is fully loaded for a bike packing adventure?

  2. Unneeded complexity and weight for gravel riding. A solution in search of a problem. I’ll stick with the cushy fat slicks, personally.

  3. Normally the bottom rear suspension pivot is close to the height of the tops of the chainrings to avoid pedal bob (chain tension causing the suspension to deflect). This looks very low, so it appears that lockout will be needed.

    1. In a dual short link system like this (or VPP, DW Link, or Giant’s Maestro), the link position doesn’t work like a traditional swingarm. Here, the wheel pivots around an imaginary point, forward and above the bottom bracket. The position and size of the links varies the suspension characteristics, changing brake jack/squat characteristics, pedalling dynamics, travel, wheel path, etc.

  4. Problema peso eccessivo.Come si potrà montare un crack posteriore se non si blocca l’ammortizzatore?(davvero necessario?)
    Bene forcella anteriore con riduzione corsa a 60 mm

  5. A rigid gravel bike makes no more sense than a car with no suspension – and running underinflated tires to compensate. Full suspension gravel bikes will become the norm. I created one from a 29er to prove it. Compared to my Caadx, my modified Trek HiFi Pro is marginally slower on smooth climbs, equally fast on smooth flats, and substantially faster on rough terrain and downhills. Regardless of speed, my intention was to eliminate vibration induced fatigue and pain.

    1. Strongly disagree. Suspension certainly has its place in certain areas of the world – underinflated tyres? Running overinflated tyres is why most riders seem to demand suspension.

      With this said, I look forward to reviewing this bike in the future with an open mind. Like single /double chainring drivetrains, suspension or no suspension, it’s up a to the individual rider to decide what’s best for them.

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