VIDEO REVIEW: Niner RLT 9 RDO Carbon Gravel Bike – Long Term Review

The Niner RLT 9 RDO carbon gravel bike arrived on the doorstep of Gravel Cyclist HQ in September of 2017, shortly after JOM of the Gravel Cyclist crew raced aboard it at the 2017 Rebecca’s Private Idaho (Queen’s Stage Race). Since that race, the RLT 9 RDO has racked up a ton of training miles in the South Eastern United States. This comprehensive review also features a good amount of drone footage.

Thank you to Panaracer and Orange Seal Cycling for the tyres and sealant that were an integral part of this review. Thanks also to Ian Hylands, Adventure Scout Media and Linda Guerrette Photography for footage and photography used in this video review.

Thanks for watching!

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  1. Avatar Alex Curtis

    Thanks, JOM. Great review. I REALLY want to add one of these to my stable to compliment my RLT 9 Steel.

  2. Avatar Gabriel Byrne

    Such a shame that the tire clearance isn’t a bit bigger. I love niner bikes, but riding with the Nano 40c tires my BSB (with more clearance) rubs when really giving it some stick.

  3. Avatar Heffe

    These bike reviews are getting much more dialed in – good work!

    • JOM JOM

      Thanks! The third party footage I had at my disposal really helped with this one. If only I had my own personal camera person to run alongside and film for every review ride!

      • Avatar Steve f LAGG

        You just pay my airfare, permanent accommodation, living costs, a handsome salary and the use of these gorgeous gravel bikes and I’ll be there in a flash….. Oh, and you’ve gotta promise tolerate my slightly austic personality

  4. Avatar Greg

    In the review, you mention this is the best riding carbon gravel frame/fork you’ve ridden. So just curious why you chose the Raleigh over this? Also, have you ridden the Open UP to compare? Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    • JOM JOM

      The trade-off with Niner is its tyre clearance. If only the Raleigh had the Niner’s carbon layup… or the Niner the Raleigh’s tyre clearance. I’ll take tyre clearance every time over a more comfy ride over gnarly stuff. You see, with more tyre clearance, I could ride a wider tyre at lower pressure and mitigate some of the buzz that way. Tyre pressure is the number one contributing factor to how a bike rides…

      The other point with the Raleigh is its a very underrated bike. I wanted to build a project machine with a Roker as the basis for some time. Thanks for the question!

      Sadly, no time on the Open UP… or it’s sister 3T Exploro. But, I should have the new Ibis rig coming in 2018… very similar to the Open UP.

      • Avatar Mark Newton

        I’m curious as to how you’d compare this niner to the orbea Terra that you also reviewed and also the Pivot vault if you have ridden it. I’m looking for a back up road bike that I can also use for gravel races in CA-lost and found and Quincy grinduro and a cx Ross here and there. Lmk your thoughts as well in wheelsets as I saw you like the American classic 29.


        • JOM JOM

          Mark, I really don’t like to do comparisons between bikes. I prefer the folks who see the reviews try and figure that out for themselves… nothing personal. All I will say is, the Terra has better tyre clearance over the Niner. Sorry, no time on any Pivot bikes.

          AMClassic Race 29’er is a killer wheelset. I reviewed it here on the site. CA – Lost and Found is on my to-do list of events.

          • Avatar Kevin Collings

            The Race29 is definitely a sweet wheelset on gravel, I’ve been on them since April this year and wish I’d pulled the trigger sooner.
            Niner’s RLT is on my short list of next frames, being one of a small handful that call be set up ss without getting weird with parts. As much as I like the rdo the Al version will probably be my pick, a carbon frame I plan to beat the crap out of on KS gravel every week still trips me up but that might be in my head.

      • Avatar Mark Newton

        When do you expect to review the new Ibis hakka? I’m considering it vs the niner, orbea and pivot. Unfortunately ibis is only offering 1x build kits so I’m not sure what Scott was thinking and it sounds like you will still prefer your Raleigh for tire clearance. Maybe in 2019 manufacturers will offer more clearance but that’s a big investment to change carbon molds when they arent selling many of these framesets. Cheers.

        • JOM JOM

          Mark, don’t hold your breath… nothing available in my size was the last I heard. Sorry! I’ll definitely post something to the GC FB page if a sample shows up.

  5. Avatar TimH

    DIY builders can delete the Enve 4.5’s in favor of the American Classic 29″ RACE wheels for a $6k build with no weight penalty. The AC wheels don’t support Centerlock rotors so 6-bolt will have to do. 160mm rotors fit fine with the appropriate rear adapter and longer caliper mounting bolts.


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