The gravel grinding and cyclocross market has been heating up of late. With a renewed energy around CX races and the onslaught of disc brakes, gravel grinders are gaining popularity by the day. What’s not to like? Spin up the canyon and when the pavement ends, keep riding and when that turns into singletrack, again, keep riding. With that “all-road” versatility, Niner Bikes announces their first entry into the market, the RLT 9. In this case, RLT stands for Road Less Traveled.

As the poet, Robert Frost famously said:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

That’s the soul behind the RLT 9 and should speak to all of us as we continue to explore mountains in all their varieties, be it pavement, asphalt, gravel, doubletrack or singletrack.

Niner Bikes RLT 9

Niner RLT 9 Highlights:

  • Niner’s first “All-Road Mountian Bike” for seamless transitions from road to gravel and back
  • Built as an all-rounder for CX, gravel grinding, commuting, etc.
  • Gravel-tuned Niner fork uses the same technology as the MTB
  • Fire road geometry: Longer chainstays, lower bottom bracket and slacker head tube angle
  • PF30 bottom bracket for geared or singlespeed setup
  • Low-profile post disc brake mounts (canti’s aren’t even an option)
  • Hydroformed aluminum frame
  • 135mm QR rear spacing
  • 27.2mm seatpost for improved vibration dampening
  • Internal cable routing built for full cable housing with Di2 capability
  • Compatible with both 29 and 700C wheels
  • Sizes: 47, 50, 53, 56, 59 and 62 cm
  • Pricing: $2999 (SRAM Rival) and $1999 (Shimano 105)
  • Available fall 2013

Looking at the specs, Niner has checked off nearly all the boxes. The only thing missing is a 15QR front axle and some will certainly want a full-carbon frame. I’m sure it won’t be long before Niner goes carbon and 15QR as a RLT 9 RDO. Until then, what a great addition to the Niner family and something I’ll be dying to swing a leg over in the near future.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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