Niner RLT 9 Steel

Niner RLT 9 Steel

 

Niner RLT 9 Steel

 

Mark Tearle

 

Niner ‘Road Less Traveled’ all adventure, do anything, drop bar steel bike, the Niner RLT 9 Steel Preview

 

Niner are a company that firmly committed themselves to the 29″ MTB concept – a while back Niner introduced the new drop bar RLT 9, a bike designed for the all day adventure enthusiast and made from proprietary hydrofoil aluminium alloy. Niner since added the RDO carbon framed BSB 9 (Blood Sweat and Beers), a full on thoroughbred cyclocross racer, and new for the 2016 line up is the RLT 9 in steel.

 

 RLT 9 Reynolds 853 TIG welded tubing.  Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock
RLT 9 Reynolds 853 TIG welded tubing. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock

 

Courtesy of Harrogate based Jungle Products Ltd I have a steel Dirty White/Red Ringers RLT 9 in for test and review, and more specifically to get me through the Dirty Reiver; the 200km off-road gravel event in Kielder forest that takes place in less than two weeks.

 

Tapered head tube and carbon tapered forks. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock
Tapered head tube and carbon tapered forks. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock

 

The frame has a classic steel look with a modern twist that incorporates a tapered head tube and thru-axle technology borrowed from the MTB world. The steel is TIG welded Reynolds 853 to offer a supple and comfortable ride and a frame that is both strong and durable. The geometry is tuned to all-day adventure which features a slightly longer chain stay, lower bottom bracket and slacker head tube angle. The gravel tuned carbon fork is designed for comfort on any road surface.

 

It’s a versatile design that includes the addition of braze on rack and pannier mounts, 3 water bottle bosses and the ability to run single, double and even triple drive chain crankset options.

 

Curved seatstays for additional comfort and compliance. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock
Curved seatstays for additional comfort and compliance. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock

 

The RLT 9 currently propped up in my kitchen has been supplied as a complete build. Niner offer their bikes as frame and fork set only or a range of build options that gradually increase in price based on the quality level of components used, from the 2 star 105 build up to the 5 star Ultegra Di2 with hydraulic brakes. As the popular choice for buyers Jungle Products have sent me the 2 star 105 build.

 

Shimano 105 build:

Rear Derailleur – SHIMANO 105 GS 11SP

Front Derailleur – SHIMANO 105

Rear Shifter – SHIMANO 105 11SP

Front Shifter – SHIMANO 105 2SP

Brakes & Rotors – SRAM BB5 R WITH 160/140MM ROTORS

Crankset – FSA GOSSAMER 46X36T

Bottom Bracket – FSA PF30

Cassette – SHIMANO 105 11SP 11-32T

Chain – SHIMANO 105 11SP

Handlebar – NINER DROP TOP ALLOY, RED NINER GRAPHIC

Stem – NINER ALLOY STEM, RED NINER GRAPHIC

Grips – NINER BAR TAPE

Seatpost – NINER ALLOY SEAT POST, 400MM, RED NINER GRAPHIC

Saddle – NINER CUSTOM WITH CR-MO RAILS, NINER GRAPHIC

Wheels – NINER CX ALLOY, 15MM FRONT, Q/R 135MM REAR, NINER GRAPHIC

Tyres – SCHWALBE SAMMY SLICKS, 700 X 35

 

Motivation. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock
Motivation. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock

 

The frame and fork set is available for £1499 and comes in two colour options. The complete 2 star 105 build retails at £2299 all in which I think is quite reasonable, though I admit that I am eyeing those BB5’s with some suspicion.

 

Niner rear thu-axle detail. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock
Niner rear thu-axle detail. Photo courtesy of Gavin Peacock

 

The bike arrived yesterday, and since it is half term I seized the chance to set it up and get out on the trails in the afternoon – once out of town and after a few tweaks I had it dialed and, despite the 50mph winds at the top of the Downs, I had a real blast. I will disclaim at this point that I have immediately fallen in love with this bike, it is surprisingly light weight, controls beautifully and feels incredibly comfortable and these are just first impressions. I had a chance to do a longer ride today and felt completely at home in the saddle.

 

Niner RLT 9 in the perfect landscape
Niner RLT 9 in the perfect landscape

 

The Dirty Reiver is looming fast and I feel very confident that I will at least have a comfortable ride – the 200km and 3900 of climbing are making me fret a little bit though. And, beyond this I am already dreaming of bike-packing adventure possibilities on this bike and a South Downs Way attempt (Dear Jungle Products, do I really have to give it back).

 

My full thoughts and review on the bike and build will be forthcoming soon after the Dirty Reiver.

 

Niner RLT 9 Steel 2 star 105 build – £2299

 

Jungle Products Ltd

 

Photos provided by Gavin Peacock, check out his website.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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