Niner RLT 9 Steel
Niner RLT 9 Steel
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Photos provided by Gavin Peacock, check out his website.