Niner is updating their popular RLT 9 line of gravel bikes, adding features like wider tire clearance and routing for a dropper post, and in the process, is narrowing the gap between gravel and full-on mountain bikes.
The new RLT 9 frames, available in carbon, steel, or aluminum, can fit tires up to 50c which is roughly a 2.0-inch tire, in MTB-speak. The frame will work with either 650b (27.5-inch) or 700c (29er) wheel diameters.
With internal routing for just about any type of hose or cable imaginable, the Niner RLT seems to be ready for whatever. Mountain bikers who dabble in gravel will be relieved to know the new frames have routing for a dropper post, and the updated RDO carbon fork (included on all models) has internal routing for a front brake hose and dynamo hub wiring. That last bit will be welcome news for bikepackers especially.
Speaking of bikepacking, the updated RLT 9 frame and RDO fork — with a 12x100mm thru axle — feature even more mounting points than before (26 total), for bottles, bags, racks, and fenders. The carbon frame in particular has been tuned for a comfortable ride, while still offering plenty of torsional stiffness for maximum power transfer.
Unlike the latest mountain bike frames, the RLT 9 is compatible with a front derailleur for those who choose to run one. Niner says the frame is also singlespeed-ready.
Pricing information is not yet published, but look for bikes to be available this month.