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Niner RLT 9 RDO Reviewed by Gravel Cyclist

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Niner RLT 9 RDO Reviewed by Gravel Cyclist

Old 12-25-17, 10:48 PM
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Niner RLT 9 RDO Reviewed by Gravel Cyclist

Jason O'Malley at Gravel Cyclist has some kind words for the Niner RLT 9 RDO.

I cannot quite put a finger on it, but the RLT 9 RDO has an uncanny ability to mitigate some very harsh gravel road conditions. Without a doubt, this frame eats up bumps better than every other carbon gravel bike frame I have reviewed. Even on glarly washboard, the bike performs better than everything else I have ridden.
This is the $8800+ version which is no longer offered by Niner. Keep in mind that the Enve wheels are a $2700+ piece of gear in their own right.



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Old 12-26-17, 08:47 AM
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Yea, Niner's wheel choice on the 5-star builds always struck me as more of a "what can we do to increase the price" rather than a smart functional improvement choice.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:33 PM
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Wow thats a crazy amount of $ for what i see reviewed.
To each their own and all. Just not sure how this is 'better' than so many options 2-4x less.
Clearance for 40mm should mean actual legit clearance as in a stuck pebble wont scratch up the chainstay.

It does look neat though.
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Old 12-26-17, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Wow thats a crazy amount of $ for what i see reviewed.
To each their own and all. Just not sure how this is 'better' than so many options 2-4x less.
Clearance for 40mm should mean actual legit clearance as in a stuck pebble wont scratch up the chainstay.

It does look neat though.
Scratch the wheels with something more reasonable and it is quite price competitive. Getting a Di2 hydraulic bike is automatically a $5,000USD-ish proposition.

Sadly just about everyone states tire clearance in "you can run this but may gouge your stays" terms.
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Old 12-26-17, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Scratch the wheels with something more reasonable and it is quite price competitive. Getting a Di2 hydraulic bike is automatically a $5,000USD-ish proposition.

Sadly just about everyone states tire clearance in "you can run this but may gouge your stays" terms.
Interesting- i saw you mentioned the wheels as overkill earlier, ill have to read up on the model.
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Old 12-26-17, 05:07 PM
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Niner spec for max tire width is 40 mm but there is plenty of room to spare.
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Old 12-26-17, 08:43 PM
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people want tire clearance so they can run road plus. Road plus is pointless on a race bike, if the bike is by far one of the better crappy road absorption bikes on the market.
Now lets talk about price...... Niner can go join Specialized in the price gouging cess pool.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TruthBomb View Post
Why do you imagine that Niner is price gouging?
umm their prices?
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Old 12-26-17, 09:13 PM
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I didn't watch the video but 40mm is small now. More popular gravel means more riders of varying abilities as well as riders coming from other backgrounds that want a larger tire. 1x as well as better engineering for clearance for 2x is pushing acceptable sizes right up to 50mm/2.0 tires.

Also, the gravelcyclist guys ride in a ton of mud every year so I can understand why they mentioned it.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
umm their prices?
$8800 that gets you a full carbon fiber with all Ultegra Di2 hydraulic bike with $3,000 wheels isn't price gouging...although as stated twice now already, the wheels are just price-bumping for no benefit. $2,000 for entry level SRAM (like Salsa bikes), now that is gouging.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TruthBomb View Post
You don’t know what price gouging means.

Let me help you out:

“Price gouging refers to sellers trying to take unfair advantage of consumers during an emergency or disaster by greatly increasing prices for essential consumer goods and services.”
Obviously a consumer not having a Niner RLT 9 RDO counts as a disaster.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TruthBomb View Post
You don’t know what price gouging means.

Let me help you out:

“Price gouging refers to sellers trying to take unfair advantage of consumers during an emergency or disaster by greatly increasing prices for essential consumer goods and services.”
google is helpful also, and probably more trustworthy.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:26 PM
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I suppose Unethical and ethical is a matter of opinion apparently. Which is why companies like Niner/Specialized exist.
then again Niner is the company that is looking for a financial bailout. maybe you'll should bail them out by buying an over priced Niner bike? yeah?
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Old 12-26-17, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TruthBomb View Post
Laughing for the second time here.

The SES 4.5 ARs offer no benefit? Why?
If I was in the market for deepish section CF rims**...I'd buy Boyd wheels that are quite literally half the price, AKA far better $/performance. ENVE rims are nice, that doesn't mean they aren't overpriced compared to the competition.


**Of course, I'm not in the market, and would rather have great durability alloy rims/hubs at a minor weight penalty.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:43 PM
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I am thinking that if your Niner was so awesome you'd be riding it instead of starting who can urinate higher matches on a message forum. Maybe?
yes you bought an over priced Niner. we get it, you don't need to justify it to us, just go ride it and leave us to our opinions? Or don't ride it, It's (the Niner) probably just a status symbol anyways.
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Old 12-26-17, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TruthBomb View Post
You are even more confused than I thought.

I already rode today even though posting vs riding isn’t an either or proposition.

Leave you to your opinions? Why do simple questions like “why do you imagine they are overpriced?” or “overpriced compared to what?” threaten you to the point that you can’t answer and have to lash out instead?

Claiming that someone doesn’t ride/bought a bike as a status symbol is classic projection. And really sad in its own right.
Most people that ride return home happier. maybe you need a better bike?
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Old 12-26-17, 09:51 PM
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I'm thinking about a 4-star version, but need to try one out.
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Old 12-26-17, 10:19 PM
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@TruthBomb and @Metieval, as the one who started this thread, I respectfully ask that you both please stand down.

This thread was started to discuss the bike, not lob oblique insults at each other. Go somewhere else if needed, read a book or go clean your chain or something but please stop.

Several threads have already been shut down. Please don't do it to this one.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 12-26-17 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 12-26-17, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
I didn't watch the video but 40mm is small now. More popular gravel means more riders of varying abilities as well as riders coming from other backgrounds that want a larger tire. 1x as well as better engineering for clearance for 2x is pushing acceptable sizes right up to 50mm/2.0 tires.

Also, the gravelcyclist guys ride in a ton of mud every year so I can understand why they mentioned it.

Coming from a road background the narrow = light = fast mindset is difficult to overcome.

With about 1800 miles of seat time on real gravel, I'm just starting to become confident, able to think differently. The advantages of wider tires are clear. Weight is not that big of a concern.

The entire experience riding gravel for the past year has been an eye opener and your posts have been great. Christmas Eve I bombed the twisty descent on Gore Lakes road and practiced getting my weight over the tire.

I thought I was going to buy a Cervelo R5 but am so glad I got into gravel. The Niner has been so much fun. Would love for you try it some day, if you think we could adjust it to fit. Let me know.


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Old 12-27-17, 07:12 AM
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@TruthBomb please don't post any further in this thread. Thank you, much!
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Old 12-27-17, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
$8800 that gets you a full carbon fiber with all Ultegra Di2 hydraulic bike with $3,000 wheels isn't price gouging...although as stated twice now already, the wheels are just price-bumping for no benefit. $2,000 for entry level SRAM (like Salsa bikes), now that is gouging.
Are $2000 Salsa bikes crap? I am just looking into a gravel/bikepacking bike and Salsa is on my radar.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Sully151 View Post
Are $2000 Salsa bikes crap? I am just looking into a gravel/bikepacking bike and Salsa is on my radar.
They aren't "crap" at all. They're solid machines, but many of the builds at regular pricing are just WTFs for the money.
Take their Cutthroat lineup. An interesting frame set for MonsterCX, that could be a great build. But seriously, they want $4200 for middling tier 1X parts? $2,500 for entry level 1X parts?!! The same thing happens again and again in their drop bar bike lineup. Even their steel frames.

And given the high-entry level price you're stuck with mechanical brakes that IRL feel just plain spongy compared to nice hydraulics.



It would be one thing if Salsa were a tiny M-USA company struggling to make it...but Salsa is (one of many of) the house brandings for Quality Bicycle Products, probably the biggest bike part s distributor in the world. It ends up being exactly like a warehouse retailer wanting to charge boutique shop prices. IMHO.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:11 PM
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Clint Gibbs just got a 3 star build.

https://www.youtube.com/user/clintg37/videos

He's going to be comparing it to his CX bike.
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Old 12-27-17, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
$8800 that gets you a full carbon fiber with all Ultegra Di2 hydraulic bike with $3,000 wheels isn't price gouging...although as stated twice now already, the wheels are just price-bumping for no benefit. $2,000 for entry level SRAM (like Salsa bikes), now that is gouging.

For the record, my RLT 9 RDO cost about $6100 for what is essentially the same $8800 bike reviewed by Gravelcyclist. It has the same frame, bar, stem, seatpost, brakes and drivetrain.

Mine has American Classic 29" RACE wheels instead of ENVE, better saddle, better bottom bracket, better bar tape and bigger rotors. The $6100 price also includes Arundel Dave-O carbon cages, Barfly GPS mount, XT pedals and a pricey SRAM 11-36 cassette.


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Old 12-28-17, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
They aren't "crap" at all. They're solid machines, but many of the builds at regular pricing are just WTFs for the money.
Take their Cutthroat lineup. An interesting frame set for MonsterCX, that could be a great build. But seriously, they want $4200 for middling tier 1X parts? $2,500 for entry level 1X parts?!! The same thing happens again and again in their drop bar bike lineup. Even their steel frames.

And given the high-entry level price you're stuck with mechanical brakes that IRL feel just plain spongy compared to nice hydraulics.



It would be one thing if Salsa were a tiny M-USA company struggling to make it...but Salsa is (one of many of) the house brandings for Quality Bicycle Products, probably the biggest bike part s distributor in the world. It ends up being exactly like a warehouse retailer wanting to charge boutique shop prices. IMHO.
Isn’t that the case for all manufacturers? It seems to me that pretty mucheveryone has bikes set up about the same in similar price points.

I’d love to build something up on my own, but that usually costs a lot more.
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