When Niner released the RLT 9 last year, folks were skeptical. Could Niner really start making gravel bikes? Would they be any good? As it turns out, the RLT 9 is not just good — it’s award-winning, lights-out good.
The aluminum frame is built utilizing the years of expertise that Niner has with the material. Sleek, hydroformed tubes make for one nice-looking “do-it-all” road bike. Up front, the RLT 9 features a Niner carbon fork with standard QR’s. In fact, the rear also sports standard QR’s instead of the thru axles that some CX and gravel bikes are featuring.
Of the myriad of build kits, the 3-Star SRAM Rival kit is without-a-doubt the best value. The new Rival 22 groupset is no slouch — in fact, it features the same ergonomics and guts as SRAM Red, but at a fraction of the cost. Because it utilizes heavier aluminum instead of carbon and titanium, you get the same drivetrain and braking performance at a modest weight penalty. And, you get to save yourself about $1500 in the process.
With the 3-Star Rival kit hitting shops at a $2499 price point, it’s easily the one to beat.
Niner RLT 9 3-Star Rival Build Features:
- All-road geometry for road, gravel, dirt and CX duty
- Hydroformed aluminum frame
- Niner gravel-tuned carbon fork
- Frame and fork tested to MTB standards
- 2015 SRAM Rival 22 groups with hydraulic brakes
- 46/36T chainrings with 11-32 cassette
- 135mm rear axle spacing (mountain bike standard)
- Niner CX alloy whilst
- Available in three colors
- Price: $2499
The Bottom Line
The RLT 9 is built for all roads. Its long and slack geometry is built for stability and smoothness to make sure you stay upright — no matter where the road leads. It’s versatile enough to maintain clearance for modest mountain bike tires, but can also be raced competitively at your local cyclocross races. At only $2499, the 3-star kit is tough to beat.