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Niner RLT 9 Steel Frameset - 2018
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$1,499.00

Item # NNR0066

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  • Grey/Blue, 50cm ($1,499.00)
  • Grey/Blue, 53cm ($1,499.00)
  • Grey/Blue, 56cm ($1,499.00)
  • Grey/Blue, 59cm ($1,499.00)
  • Grey/Blue, 62cm ($1,499.00)
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Item # NNR0066

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Description

Fetish.

While there's always been a certain contingency in the cycling world that's recognized the value of materials besides plastic—err, carbon fiber, the advent of extra-curricular disciplines like gravel grinding and bikepacking have given rise to a new generation of steel-is-real fetishists. The RLT 9 Steel Frameset is built for that Road Less Travelled ethos, and the roads Niner had in mind when they made it aren't the annually repaved surfaces of France's big race. Rather, they're the types of backwoods US "roads" that have never been properly paved and have only seen a grader once. Decades ago. As it passed in the distance on a nearby interstate. When the gravel's flying and the surface promises to betray us the first change it gets, the RLT 9's Reynolds 853 is the only material we want between our legs.

The Reynolds 853 tubing at the RLT 9 Steel's heart is one of the latest materials in the venerable manufacturer's catalog. 853's production process means that it can be drawn with thinner, lighter walls that don't compromise stiffness or impact resistance. It's also air-cooled during production, so when Niner later welds the tubes into a frame, the strength of the steel at the joints actually increases. Of course, the real benefit of steel only manifests when you throw a leg over it. Reynolds 853's immediate, springy responsiveness, lively handling, and unrivaled durability prove with each pedal stroke why steel's only real competition in frame building is from marketing handbooks, not the latest wonder materials.

The frame's geometry is a compromise between Niner's mountain frames and the aggressive disposition of the 'cross-specific BSB frameset. Compared to the latter, the RLT 9 features a longer chainstay, a lower bottom bracket, and a more relaxed head tube angle. This translates into a lower center of gravity that still affords clearance over obstacles and while cornering, a wider wheelbase for stability, and tire clearance that lets you plush-out to the tune of 1.75in (just over 44mm). In our own test rides of the geometry, we found that it eats up washboard and is nimble enough for mellow singletrack, so, if you're keen on making the RLT a durable singletrack speedster with zero suspension, then throw on some knobby tires and get to it. This bike's only limit is you.

Despite Niner's love of steel, the RLT 9 Steel does make one admirable concession to carbon by including Niner's Carbon off-road fork. The fork is no delicate road race specimen, though — as evidenced by its 15mm thru-axle anchor — and the inclusion of rack mounts mean it also doesn't shy away from carrying its own weight. Niner claims its rigid trail forks are the best in the world; after testing this claim across varied terrain on both the RLT 9 and its stablemate, the BSB, we're not prepared to second guess that claim. The frame is compatible with stealth-routed droppers, Di2 seat post battery mounting, and fenders and racks.

  • A disc brake gravel bike that cures the carbon craze
  • Reynolds 853 steel yields a springy, responsive ride
  • Endurance geometry eases the abuse of long gravel epics
  • Braking that modulates well and can stop a fully laden tour bike
  • Thru axles increase stiffness while mashing or braking
  • 44mm tire clearance adds cushion when needed
  • Compatible with the Biocentric 30 BB for singlespeed conversion
  • Fork and stay mounts with 45lb and 55lb weight limits, respectively

Tech Specs

Frame Material:
Reynolds 853 steel
Wheel Size:
700c
Fork:
Niner
Fork Material:
carbon fiber
Head Tube Diameter:
1-1/8 - 1-1/2in
Headset Included:
yes, Cane Creek
Bottom Bracket Type:
PF30
Cable Routing:
external
Front Derailleur Mount:
braze-on
Brake Type:
flat-mount disc, [max rotor size] 160mm
Seatpost Diameter:
27.2mm
Front Axle:
15mm thru-axle
Rear Axle:
12 x 142mm thru-axle
Recommended Use:
gravel
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

Geometry Chart

Niner

Geometry Chart

 

RLT 9
 

Seat Tube

(c-t)

Effective Top Tube

(eTT)

Stack

(S)

Reach

(R)

Stand Over

Head Tube

(HT)

Head Tube Angle

(HT°)

Seat Tube Angle

(ST°)

Bottom Bracket Drop

(BBD)

Chainstay

(CS)

Wheelbase
47cm 47cm 51cm 53.2cm 36.3cm 74cm 10.5cm 70° 74.5° 7cm 43.5cm 100.8cm
50cm 50cm 52.5cm 55.3cm 36.7cm 76.4cm 12.5cm 70.5° 74° 7cm 43.5cm 101.5cm
53cm 53cm 54.5cm 57.4cm 37.5cm 78.8cm 14.5cm 71° 73.5° 7cm 43.5cm 102.5cm
56cm 56cm 56.5cm 58.9cm 38.5cm 81.5cm 16.5cm 71.5° 73° 6.5cm 43.5cm 103.8cm
59cm 59cm 58.5cm 61cm 39.8cm 84.2cm 18.5cm 72° 73° 6.5cm 43.5cm 105.3cm
62cm 62cm 60.5cm 63.1cm 40.6cm 86.7cm 20.5cm 72.5° 72.5° 6.5cm 43.5cm 106.2cm

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