We’ve really enjoyed the Niner RLT 9 gravel bike, and now they’re making incremental improvements to keep it ripping down the road less traveled. The alloy version gets a revised top tube shape and placement to give it a lower standover height. Brakes switch to flat mount, keeping up with modern standards.
The bottom bracket drops 5mm across all frame sizes, making it very closely matches that of the carbon RLT RDO.
The new RLT 9 is available starting today as a complete bike with three build options…for now. Currently it’s offered with Apex, Rival or Ultegra, pricing is on their website. But coming soon should be additional builds ranging from Shimano Tiagra with Niner’s alloy wheels ($2,100) to SRAM Rival ($2,800) t0 Ultegra ($3,300) to Ultegra with Niner’s carbon wheels ($3,950). The two middle builds get Stan’s NoTubes wheels. The bike fits up to 1.75″ (44mm) wide tires.
A frameset comes in at $1,050, which works as a singlespeed with Niner’s Biocentric 30 eccentric BB. Thru axles front and rear and Niner’s new adventure-ready carbon RDO gravel fork, which was introduced on the revised carbon RLT RDO at the beginning of the year and is also on the steel RLT that debuted in February.
If you’re looking for something racier, their BSB 9 cyclocross bike got a few updates earlier this summer.
2018 NINER AIR 9 ALLOY
The Niner AIR 9 was one of their original models, and its recent absence was kinda weird. Now it’s back, and it mirrors the new trail-ready design philosophy that the steel SIR 9 received earlier this year. That means bigger tire clearance, longer travel fork and more capability on rough trails or long days. The only thing it doesn’t get from the SIR 9 are all of the extra mounts, meaning it’s a bit more performance oriented.
The frame is hydroformed alloy with a nearly one-piece chainstay yoke. This piece improves stiffness while still allowing for 29×2.4 or 27.5×3.0 tires to fit, and it makes the frame stronger by providing a larger weld contact surface area in key spots.
Other updates include Boost spacing, 120mm travel forks and internal dropper post routing with an access point on the bottom of the seat tube.
Complete bikes are available with both 29er and 27.5+ wheelsets and forks, but unlike their full suspension bikes that spec a slightly longer fork when going with 27.5+ tires, these stick to 120mm on both. Prices range from $1,700 to $3,300 depending on spec. Full pricing and options on their website.
NEW COLORS, BUILDS FOR RIP9, JET9 & AIR9 RDO
Niner’s carbon mountain bike fleet gets updates in the way of bright new colors and additional build options across the price spectrum. For a long time now, they’ve been heavy on Shimano builds for their complete bikes, but now you’ll find more SRAM 1x builds with a mix of Fox and Rockshox suspension. Above, the RIP 9 RDO gets an Aquamarine Mint/Red color scheme.
The JET 9 RDO now comes in Neon Green, and the AIR 9 RDO comes in Bright Orange.