It’s nice to see another company producing a long-distance gravel and bikepacking rig, and it’s great seeing them giving the nod to steel as the material of choice. I admit, as a recovering roadie, I went through an “it must be carbon” phase, but with my time on a steel frame for gravel roads and bikepacking, I do believe there is still a magical quality to that old material not found in others. I’ve ridden aluminum frames with vibration dampers and been on carbon with flexy junctions and optimized shaping, but neither compares with the comfort of a good ol’ steel frame. Niner seems to agree. The aluminum RLT9 has been well-received in the gravel community since its introduction last year. I have seen it represented at several of the races and rides I have done, and I have heard lots of praise for it. Niner has taken this proven design and made it a little more friendly for longer distances and heavier loads. With the RLT9 Steel, Niner has changed to Reynolds 853 steel, tweaked the geometry just a bit, and added third bottle mounts for big adventures, but that’s not to say it can’t handle a trip to the grocery store just as well. Here’s what Niner says about the new RLT Steel. Philosophy While other frame materials fall in and out of favor, steel stands the test of time. Finely constructed steel frames, crafted and welded by the best builders, have continued to be the benchmark other materials measure themselves against. The RLT9 Steel delivers a flawless synthesis of form and function into a frame that makes every ride open for adventure. From mounting panniers and racks for camping to traveling the gravel road that curves out of sight, the RLT9 is more than capable for the open road. You ride the road less traveled. Adventure calls for a well-engineered frame with technology capable of keeping you moving. The Niner RLT9 is where performance, durability, and ride quality meet. Adventure awaits.  
Niner RLT9 Steel
Click above to view the full product release PDF!
Key Features
  • Supple, Trustworthy Reynolds 853 Steel frame
  • Buttery-Smooth Custom Gravel-Tuned Niner Carbon Fork
  • All-Day Adventure Tuned Geometry
  • PF BB30 Can Go Single or Geared, Pick Your Pleasure
  • Three Bottle Cage Mounts, Sport-Beer Compatible
  • Comes in Forge Grey and Safety Orange or Dirty White with Red Ringers
  Design The RLT 9 Steel was purpose built for adventure. Every consideration was made with convenience and compatibility in mind. We’ve blended the historic Reynolds 853 tubing with modern design characteristics utilizing thru-axle technology and a tapered steel headtube. To conquer any and all terrain, the RLT9 can accommodate either a double or triple chainring. If simplicity is your thing, a single ring is an option. The collaboration of superior craftsmanship and the finest materials with contemporary design fine tunes the ride quality while producing a strong and resilient frame. Supple and trustworthy 853 tubing absorbs road chatter, yet still gives you feedback. There is no “dead” feeling or jarring bumps just a supple, comfortable ride that shifts your focus from tracking the miles to remembering the moments. Classic lines and modern functionality elegantly converge into a frame that is characteristically Niner. The eloquently TIG-welded Reynolds 853 tubing showcases precision, strength and durability. The gravel tuned carbon fork is designed for all day adventure and comfort on any road surface. Niner RLT9 Steel Geometry and details All-Day Adventure Tuned Geometry featuring a slightly longer chain stay, lower bottom bracket and slacker head tube angle makes the RLT ideal for extended hours in the saddle with uncompromising ride control and quality. Frame features include rear rack pannier braze-ons for when the adventure lasts longer than a few hours, and three sport-beer compatible water bottle mounts ensuring you have fuel in places that don’t. Multiple drivetrain configurations are available with the RLT. Geared-speaking, the frame is compatible with a double or triple chainring crankset to accommodate rides that point skyward for extended periods of time. Single speed options are taken care of with a PF BB30 bottom bracket which can be run single or geared, allowing you to pick your pleasure. Descending from such heights is kept in check with low-profile post-mount disc brakes for superior stopping power in any weather. With geometry tailored to all-day comfort and control, adventure awaits. All you have to do is ride there. _______________ For more information, check out Niner’s site and their spec sheets. We’ll definitely keep you updated as we learn more about the RLT9 Steel. I can’t wait to ride one!


  1. Pingback: The All New Niner RLT 9 Steel: Putting the Pedals on the Metal - Bikepackers Magazine

  2. What does sport-beer compatible mean?

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