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Not you're dad's alloy frame.
Niner's evolution of the gravel and all-road bike continues with the 2018 RLT 9 5-Star Ultegra Complete bike. This particular version takes its excellent alloy frame and specs Niner's highest end build helping you tackle that big gravel race you have on the calendar or a multi-day bikepacking trip you and your buddies keep talking about. The RLT 9's aluminum frame and carbon fork adhere to the Road Less Travelled ethos and if exploring gravel roads and getting far away from vehicles tickles your fancy, you've come to the right place. Lightweight, efficient, and durable, this bike is as eager to go reconnoitering as you are.
Starting with hydroformed aluminum tubing, this frame packs in a tremendous amount of performance at a wallet-friendly price that makes splurging for the 5-star build something to consider. Niner is able to draw walls thinner to save weight without compromising stiffness or impact resistance. Proprietary forged dropouts also shave weight and integrate with the low-profile flat mounts on the chainstay. Aluminum was once criticized as having a harsh ride but advances in materials and construction techniques dismay this myth and actually brings this material back into vogue as a high-performance, race-ready material. Niner has vast experience building mountain frames from alloy and the responsiveness, quick handling, and durability shine on this frame too. A 27.2mm carbon seatpost filters vibration over rough roads reducing fatigue that can accumulate after hours of riding over rougher terrain.
This frame gets the longer, lower, and slacker treatment getting lengthier chainstays, a bottom bracket that sits lower relative to the dropouts, and a kicked back head tube angle. This provides a lower center of gravity and a slightly stretched out wheelbase for stability. Tire clearance is healthy letting you clear 44mm rubber with ease adding cush to the ride. The bike has no issues conquering high-speed washboard descents and climbing up the next one, ready to do it all over again.
Niner constructs RLT frames in 3 different materials but all feature RDO carbon forks. Building it out of carbon simply helps drop heaps of weight and soaks up chatter. A beefy 15mm thru-axle anchors the front hub over rough roads and says goodbye to any rotor rub. Rack mounts easily let you carry loads while bikepacking or commuting getting it off your back on on the bike. This fork shares similar DNA and safety test standards with its legendary MTB version so we can attest to its durability. As a bonus, the frame is compatible with stealth-routed dropper seatpost if you are really stepping up your gravel gnar level.
The 5-Star build rolls on Niner CX Carbon rims and DT Swiss 350 hubs. The rims are lightweight and stiff and encourage a swift ride while being completely tubeless compatible. DT hubs rank high in our books for its durability and reliable engagement. The latest Shimano Ultegra redefines the workhorse drop bar group and the hydraulic braking is so powerful and offers tons of modulation that we wish you luck in ever getting us to go back on rim brakes.
- A light race bike for epic days and high speeds
- Endurance geometry is stable and comfortable
- Aluminum construction balances stiffness and weight
- Thru-axles improve rigidity for a snappy ride
- New Ultegra drivetrain is consistent and reliable
- Carbon rims lend a snappy and responsive ride
- Rack mounts on stays and fork for bikepacking adventures
- Item #NNR0088