RLT 9 1-Star Complete Bike
Not all of us want or need drop bars on our gravel or bike packing rigs. Having a wide flatbar can be more comfortable and provide better control on looser, rougher terrain. That's why Niner builds up its version of a hybrid with the RLT 9 1-Star Complete Bike, a machine capable of tackling epic race courses or week-long bike tours all while coming in at a price that makes it quite feasible to add to the stable. It's also quite a capable commuter and one you can run errands on while still keeping the Road Less Traveled mantra exemplified in this build. Its drivetrain consists of SRAM's value-packed Apex 1x which eschews the front derailleur bringing simplicity to gear ratios and prevents any mechanical headaches that can often occur with front shifting. A 42-tooth front chainring and 11-42 tooth cassette offer plenty of range for getting up the longest summits or while loaded down with gear. The 37mm WTB All Terrain tires roll with a quickness on the pavement and are surprisingly capable on gravel and light singletrack as well. Should you gravitate more to off-road riding or if you need the extra flotation, the frame has clearance for up to 44mm tires.
The frame's geometry screams monster cross and blends Niner's mountain frame numbers with the quick and nimble attributes of its 'cross BSB frameset. Compared to the BSB, the RLT 9 features longer chainstays, more bottom bracket drop, and a slacker head tube angle. This lowers the center of gravity and provides a more stable ride at speed and over rough terrain. The longer wheelbase brings additional comfort and keeps the bike on track even when exhaustion has kicked in. Over washboard braking bumps, the frame doesn't get bucked off its line and even slicing through mellow singletrack, the RLT's handling traits will have you grinning from ear to ear. Settle into a climb and let the aluminum frame's efficiency get you over it knowing that you'll have the confidence and adept handling to maintain a high-speed descent once over its apex.
The RLT 9 does rock a Carbon RDO fork up front to mute vibrations and drop some weight. The fork is based on the famous Niner mountain bike rigid fork as evidence of its 15mm thru-axle, but the rake is set for the RLT and its intended use. The inclusion of rack mounts means adventures abound and you'll quickly add to your library of topo maps as you and your new RLT explore off the beaten path.
- Niner's 1x, aluminum, flatbar gravel machine
- Endurance geometry is designed for comfort over long, gravelly miles
- Hydroformed aluminum tubing balances weight, responsiveness, and durability
- 1x drivetrain provides chain retention and a wide gear range
- Hydraulic disc brakes deliver excellent modulation and power
- 37mm tires provide a smooth, cushioned ride