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 Zipp Contour SL Carbon Short 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
- Zipp Contour SL Carbon Short 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