RLT 9 RDO 4-Star GRX Gravel Bike
The adventure beyond the tarmac can be quite enticing, and while you might be able to make it a couple of miles on jarring off-road terrain on your skinny-tired aero machine, the progression of gravel steeds omits that need. Niner's RLT 9 RDO 4-Star GRX Gravel Bike has now held that place firmly for several years, providing the adventure you crave from your front door to well beyond the last cell tower, down dusty dirt roads, and the occasional ribbon of singletrack, thanks to its capable handling, and tire clearance. The RLT is dialed with all-road geometry, and durability that'll have you pushing the pace on that first gravel climb, either solo or in a group of 150. Further, it packs in Niner's Race Day Optimized carbon for keeping weight at a minimum and stiffness at the max, and Shimano's gravel-tuned drivetrain that offers more robust handling and improved chain retention for rowdy, poorly graded gravel.
The RLT, is a touch slacker, longer, and lower than the cyclocross-specific frameset from the same brand, the BSB 9. It even gets a few geo tweaks compared to the aluminum and steel RLT as well giving it a more responsive ride. Shorter chainstays trim up the rear triangle and work in unison with the shortened wheelbase for slightly quicker handling that is still plenty stable. Over rough, washboard roads the frame forges ahead and provides a great deal of comfort while still retaining the agility leap forward when climbing out of the saddle and handle with precision on high-speed descents. To boost its versatility and lend a hand when called upon for commuting and bikepacking duties, the dropouts and fork legs have integrated rack and fender mounts offering an array of setup options. Niner wisely builds the RLT RDO with a replaceable hanger so even if you take a low-side drive-side spill or your trusty steed falls over at a rest stop, you can replace the bent or broken hanger and ride on.
As with the rest of Niner's carbon frames, this RLT 9 uses its Race Day Optimized (RDO) Carbon Compaction System to mold this RLT's frame. This allows Niner the ability to fine tune the carbon layup and eliminates any material that doesn't contribute to the frame's structural soundness or ride quality. Helping enhance the ride further, the RLT uses a 27.2mm seatpost, which adds compliance to help absorb bumps along the ride so you won't face additional fatigue from a stiff ride.
This particular RLT is completed with Shimano's GRX groupset that's purely dedicated to the gravel ride. When Shimano built the GRX after two years of listening, and countless hours of speaking with gravel riders internationally to determine exactly what was needed for a successful groupset that didn't simply toss road components on a ride with different demands. GRX combines enhanced lever shapes for better braking feel and leverage in rough conditions, plus a crankset that can be customized as either one-by or two-by. This build comes ready to roll two-by for endless gearing on steel climbs, and power on the descents. GRX's derailleur are built to be burlier than the road, so they can handle the dirt, mud, and rocks that you encounter on the long gravel haul.
- Niners stiff, light, and ever capable gravel rig
- Allroad geometry blends responsiveness and stability
- RDO carbon construction balances stiffness and weight
- Thru-axles increase stiffness for a snappy ride
- Rack mounts on stays and fork for bikepacking adventures
- Stan's rims and Schwalbe tires offer tubeless perfection
- Shimano's GRX groupset is optimized for rough and rowdy gravel riding