After a few too many years of repeating road race courses and uncountable circles in boring business park criteriums, it's time to take a break from the pavement and tackle some finish lines on the road less traveled. But all that time on the road has set some pretty high standards for lightweight frame construction and instilled a no-compromise approach to what you need from a race bike. The good news is that Niner answers the call for top-tier gravel steeds with its 2017 RLT 9 RDO 5-Star Ultegra Di2 Complete Bike. It channels the lightweight carbon construction, precise Shimano Di2 drivetrain, and dreamy ENVE wheels we've come to expect in race-worthy road rides, but the whole thing is wrapped in a durable all-road package that's dead set on speed no matter what surfaces the event promoter sets in front of you.
As expected from an RLT, this bike is a bit slacker, longer, and lower than its race-bred cousin, Niner's BSB 9, but also sees a few tweaks compared to its aluminum and steel RLT siblings that boost its snappy profile. Shorter stays tighten up the rear triangle and work in tandem with a lower bottom bracket for a confidently responsive ride experience. This combination lends the RLT 9 more stability and comfort over rough roads while still maintaining the agility to rocket out of turns and kick up punchy climbs. The dropouts have integrated rack and fender mounts that offer a versatile array of setup options, and the replaceable hanger means that even if a catastrophic derailleur-related incident ends your ride, your RLT will live to roll another day.
Niner uses its Race Day Optimized Carbon Compaction System to mold this RLT's frame, fine tuning the placement of carbon and eliminating any material that doesn't contribute to the frame's structural soundness and ride quality. To further enhance the smooth ride, the RLT has a 27.2mm diameter seatpost, which adds an element of give to absorb bumps and chatter so you won’t be getting beat up as much as you’d expect, especially on washboard roads.
- A dreamy race bike designed for long miles and gravel speed
- Endurance geometry blends responsiveness and comfort
- RDO carbon construction balances stiffness and low weight
- Thru-axles boost stiffness for a snappy ride
- Electronic drivetrain delivers precise, confident gear shifts
- Wide carbon rims provide a plush yet responsive ride
- Rack mounts on stays and fork for bikepacking adventures
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RLT 9 size by rider height
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop