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  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 3/4 Back
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
  • Niner Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 Detail
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NinerRLT 9
Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018
Sale 41% Off$2,199.00 $3,699.00

Item # NNR009L

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  • Forge/Teal/Orange, 53cm ($2,199.00)
  • Forge/Teal/Orange, 56cm ($2,199.00)
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Item # NNR009L
Description

For ramblers and roamers.

We've thrown a leg over many ultra-stiff, race-oriented road bikes designed to conserve every last watt with advanced aerodynamics and highly efficient carbon frames. These race-specific bikes have their place when you're looking to stand atop the podium at the local race series or earn coveted KOMs up steep alpine passes. However, these racy bikes aren't exactly confidence inspiring when the road transitions from smooth asphalt to bumpy gravel or veers onto dirt winding through the woods, due to minuscule clearance for wider tires and ultra-stiff designs making for an exceedingly jarring ride. This back road territory is where the Niner's RLT 9 Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike excels, providing loads of confidence and comfort when bumpy gravel and uneven trail surfaces pose a problem for racier bikes optimized for stiffness at the expense of comfort and compliance.

This particular RLT 9 benefits from the optimal strength-to-weight dialed in by its hydroformed alloy frame, but without emptying your wallet like its pricier steel and carbon brethren. It's light enough to be efficient over lengthy stretches of back roads, yet it efficiently transfers power and tracks confidently across rough gravel and light duty singletrack. Niner's gravel-tuned carbon lends precise handling characteristics and lightens the bike's front end while absorbing vibration from fatiguing your hands and wrists. The fork's equipped with rack mounts for carrying loads up to 45 pounds or even mounting an extra bottle cage if the two bottle cage locations in the front triangle aren't sufficient. When paired with rear rack mounts rated up to 55 pounds, you'll be equipped for long-distance bikepacking missions, adventures in the countryside, and everyday errands where you'll need extra carrying capacity.

The frame's geometry blends the numbers from Niner's mountain frames and that of its barrier hopping, mud bogging 'cross-specific BSB frameset. For better performance outside the tape, the RLT 9 features slightly longer chainstays, a lower bottom bracket, and a slacker head tube angle. This provides a lower center of gravity that yields more confident cornering and improved stability, both of which you can never have too much of while bombing down rut strewed, chunky gravel descents at speed. The longer wheelbase also affords improved tire clearance that lets you run rubber up to 1.75in (just over 44mm). This helps the bike float over washboards while still agile enough for quick line changes on mellow trails. This RLT is so versatile, you'll find yourself navigating the urban jungle on it as your commuter bike too.

This particular RLT 9 build uses a mixture of in-house parts that emphasize crisp shifting, powerful braking, and reliability for racking up thousands of miles across everything from rolling country roads to bumpy off-road terrain. The Ultegra R8020 2x11 drivetrain provides a wide range of usable gears and precise shifting, so you can navigate across expansive stretches of terrain with thousands of feet of climbing. Ultegra ST-R8020 STI Disc Brakes outfitted with 160-millimeter Ice Tech rotors better disperse built-up heat when you're descending thousands of feet. This means you'll be able to stop powerfully and reliably in a myriad of conditions, ranging from hot, dry, and dusty to soaking-wet and muddy.  Another stand-out part of this build is the 3T Ernova bar, which balances a shorter overall reach in the drops with just enough vibration absorption to reduce fatigue over bumpy terrain.

  • Niner's ultimate adventure machine for gravel and back roads
  • Hydroformed alloy frame balances weight, stiffness, efficiency
  • Endurance geometry for comfort over rough roads and gravel
  • Niner Carbon Fork tuned for a smoother feel over jarring roads
  • 3T Ernova bar absorbs fatiguing vibration
  • Shimano Ultegra R8020 2 x 11 drivetrain offers wide gear range
  • Shimano Ultegra ST-R8020 STI Disc Brakes for powerful stopping
  • Rack mounts at rear and mid-fork for bikepacking versatility
Tech SpecsGeometry
Tech Specs
Frame Material
hydroformed aluminum alloy
Fork
Niner Carbon Fork with rack mid mounts
Shifters
Shimano Ultegra ST-R8020 STI
Front Derailleur
Shimano Ultegra FD-R8000
Rear Derailleur
Shimano Ultegra RD-R8000
Crankset
Shimano Ultegra FC-R8000
Chainring Sizes
50/34t
Crank Arm Length
172.5 mm
Bottom Bracket
Wheels Mfg PF30 to Shimano Botton Bracket with ABEC-3 Bearings
Bottom Bracket Type
PF30
Cassette
Shimano Ultegra CS-R8000 Cassette
Cassette Range
11 - 30t
Chain
Shimano XT/Ultegra CN-HG701 11-Speed Chain Quick Link
Brakeset
Shimano Ultegra ST-R8020 STI Disc Brakes
Brake Type
hydraulic disc
Rotors
Shimano Ultegra SM-RT800 160 mm
Handlebar
3T Ernova
Handlebar Drop
128 mm
Handlebar Width
42 cm
Bar Tape
PRO Classic Bar Tape
Stem
Zipp Service Course Stem
Stem Length
90 mm
Saddle
Fi'zi:k Aliante R7
Seatpost
Zipp Service Course, 27.2 mm diameter
Wheelset
Easton EA70 SL Disc
Hubs
Easton X5 Centerlock
Front Axle
15 x 100 mm thru-axle
Rear Axle
12 x 142 mm thru-axle
Tires
Vittoria Terreno Dry G Plus
Tire Size
700 c x 33 mm
Recommended Use
gravel
Manufacturer Warranty
5 years on frame
Geometry
 
47cm50cm53cm56cm59cm62cm
a Seat Tube(c-c)
      
b Seat Tube(c-t)
47cm50cm53cm56cm59cm62cm
c Effective Top Tube
51cm52.5cm54.5cm56.5cm58.5cm60.5cm
d Stack
53.2cm55.3cm57.4cm58.9cm61cm63.1cm
e Reach
36.3cm36.7cm37.5cm38.5cm39.8cm40.6cm
f Stand Over
74cm76.4cm78.8cm81.5cm84.2cm86.7cm
g Head Tube
10.5cm12.5cm14.5cm16.5cm18.5cm20.5cm
h Head Tube Angle
7070.57171.57272.5
i Seat Tube Angle
74.57473.5737372.5
j Bottom Bracket Height
      
k Bottom Bracket Drop
7cm7cm7cm6.5cm6.5cm6.5cm
l Chainstay
43.5cm43.5cm43.5cm43.5cm43.5cm43.5cm
m Wheelbase
100.8cm101.5cm102.5cm103.8cm105.3cm106.2cm
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The Niner RLT 9 Ultegra R8020 Complete Bike - 2018 comes with 33 mm tires but what is the widest the bike accommodate?

The widest tire that this bike can accommodate is 41 mm

Great value

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

5' 10", purchased a 56

I had been looking for a multi-purpose, gravel, adventure, whatever you want to call it bike for a while. The geo is between a Santa Cruz Stigmata and Specialized Diverge, both of which I've tested and liked, so I pulled the trigger. The build on this is similar to Niner's 4-star, which they list at $3,400, which made the $2,200 price tag to hard to ignore. I added some Race Face Chester pedals and a Blackburn mud flap to round out the build for commuting which they shipped in the same box. I have a clipless set-up from my previous bike that I'll use for distance rides.

The Good:
Frame: Quality welds, great color scheme, and an industry-standard geo.
Fork: Absorbs lots of road buzz and feels very stable with the 15mm thru-axle.
Ultegra: Super smooth shifts and rock-solid brakes. I noticed in the review email from Backcountry that mine came with a short cage rear derailleur, which maxes out at 30t, so keep that in mind. It's weird they shipped a gravel bike with a short cage, but it works for me.
Wheel/tire: 19mm internal width is on the narrower side for true gravel, but works for the 28-35c I'm planning on using . The hubs are solid, and the rims are well finished. I wasn't expecting to like the tires, but they're very supple with the included tubeless set-up and have a great balance of rolling resistance and grip that work well for my mix of crappy Boston pavement, bike path, and hardpack.
Torque key: I have a bike torque wrench, but they included a 5nm Topeak torque key for attaching the bar and seatpost which was really nice.

The Bad:
I had three listing/quality control issues with my build. My gearhead helped order the replacement parts, but issue recognition and install is on you so be prepared.
Handlebar: They listed a 42 C-C bar, but mine came with a 40 C-C. I swapped it out with a Zipp Service Course SL Ergo Bend, which I love.
Stem: They list a 90mm length, but I got a 100mm.
Front-derailleur: Mine had a manufacturing defect which made it impossible to set the trim correctly without either rubbing the chain or contacting the crank arm in the highest 2-3 gears. The bike shipped with a build check-list, so I don't know how this was missed because it's very obvious.

You're saving a ton off the standard Niner build, but you lose that personal set-up that comes with buying from a local shop. I ended up getting a professional fitting, which made a world of difference and I highly recommend getting one even if you know exactly what you want. If you're in the Boston area, JRA Cycles in Medford is wonderful and specializes in mountain/gravel bikes.

I'll update this after a few hundred miles.

Funny now these type of reviews never get addressed... :/

Beaut

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Gah this thing is a beaut.