Niner RLT 9 Steel - first look

New ferrous-framed gravel bike

Niner Bikes has just unveiled its latest model, a steel version of the popular RLT 9 gravel bike. Called the RLT 9 Steel, this new addition to Niner’s line sports similar geometry and updated frame features.

The rlt9 steel builds on the success of the aluminum rlt 9 introduced in 2013:
The rlt9 steel builds on the success of the aluminum rlt 9 introduced in 2013:

The RLT 9 was the 29er-centric company’s first dropbar model and almost as soon as it was introduced people began asking for a steel version. It would appear that Niner was listening.

Constructed from Reynolds 853, the RLT 9 Steel comes with a tapered 1.125-1.5in carbon fork with quick-release dropouts. Niner states that the RLT 9 Steel can clear a 700x40mm tyre with mud clearance to spare.

Like its aluminium counterpart, the RLT 9 Steel sports water bottle mounts on the seat tube as well as the top and underside of the down tube. It also has rack fender mounts integrated into the frame.

The rlt9 steel has ample eyelets for racks, fenders and panniers:
The rlt9 steel has ample eyelets for racks, fenders and panniers:

The RLT 9 Steel has plenty of mounting options for racks, fenders and panniers

Niner opted to use a Press Fit 30 bottom bracket shell allowing the RLT 9 Steel to be run with a geared drivetrain or set up as a singlespeed using Niner’s BioCentric II PF30 eccentric bottom bracket.

The geometry of the rlt9 steel is nearly identical to that of the aluminum rlt 9:
The geometry of the rlt9 steel is nearly identical to that of the aluminum rlt 9:

The geometry of the ferrous-framed RLT 9 Steel is nearly identical to its aluminium cousin

One notable divergence between the two models is that use of a 142x12mm thru-axle rear end on the RLT 9 Steel. (The RLT 9 uses a 135mm rear and with a  quick-release.)

Pricing, specs and availability

Niner will offer the RLT 9 Steel as a frameset for US$1,499 and in five built kits ranging in price from US$5,999 to $2,499. (UK and Australian pricing has yet to be announced.) 

Niner will offer the rlt9 steel in five built kits as well as a frameset:
Niner will offer the rlt9 steel in five built kits as well as a frameset:

Niner expects to begin shipping the RLT 9 Steel in April.

The niner rlt 9 steel will be available in april:
The niner rlt 9 steel will be available in april:

Claimed weights

The rlt 9 steel comes in forge grey/hunter safety orange as well as 'dirty white'/red colourways: the rlt 9 steel comes in forge grey/hunter safety orange as well as 'dirty white'/red colourways
The rlt 9 steel comes in forge grey/hunter safety orange as well as 'dirty white'/red colourways: the rlt 9 steel comes in forge grey/hunter safety orange as well as 'dirty white'/red colourways

The RLT 9 Steel will come in dirty white and red as well as forge grey and safety orange 

Niner's claimed weight for the frame with derailleur hanger and 142x12mm rear Maxle is 2,386g. The claimed weight for matching full carbon fork is 628g, which brings the grand total for the RLT 9 Steel frameset to 3,014g. 

Visit www.ninerbikes.com for more information.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

Related Articles

Back to top