After our time on the Niner RKT 9 RDO last year, we’ve become fans of the Niner line, and the new RLT 9 with its steel Reynold 853 frame has caught our eye. As a rider looking to replace an aging road bike with rim brakes, there’s a lot going on here that deserves a closer look. All around adventure-slash-gravel geometry makes a lot of sense for riders looking for a multi-purpose machine primarily intended for pavement use. This is a frame that could be serviceable in daily use as a commuter and equally at home on an all day ride on pavement or gravel.
We’ve always been fans of steel frames and the forge grey/ blue frame is a looker.
Designed for use with disc brakes with 142 x 12 rear hub spacing and clearance for up to 1.75″ tires, the RLT features multiple water bottle cage mounts as well as rack and fender mounts for maximum versatility.
I’ve never been a fan of press-fit bottom brackets, but Niner’s biocentric bottom bracket allows lets you convert a geared bike to single speed, an option I’m rather intrigued with. The bulbous shape of the tapered headtube isn’t my cup of tea either (I’m more fond of the 44mm head tube aesthetic), but the increased surface area of the downtube headtube junction has obvious benefits in strength and durability.
Builds range from $2500- $4000, (frame set also available) for the RLT 9 Steel, with models and builds (our pick would be the 4 star Ultegra) also available in alloy and carbon. Check it out at NinerBikes.com