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RLT e9 RDO Review

robb dorr
By
Robb Dorr,
Co-founder
Kristy Snyder
By
Kristy Snyder,
Professional Editor
Images from manufacturer's website

30 mi

RANGE

28 mph

TOP SPEED

5 hrs

CHARGE TIME

39 lbs

WEIGHT

Mid-drive

MOTOR TYPE

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RLT e9 RDO Review: Takeaway

A no-holds-barred all-out gravel and road racer, the Niner RLT e9 RDO can be unforgiving when it comes to comfort. However, if you have the need for speed on all terrain, this is a beast that’ll deliver.

Ideal for...

Gravel racing
Road racing
Fast overlanding
All-terrain touring

E-Bike Overview

A road bike that’ll sprint to 28 mph in seconds and also chew up the gravel section of a race like it was born for it? Welcome to a new dimension of e-bikes: the Niner RLT e9 RDO.

It has a Race Day Optimized (RDO) carbon frame and fork, 700c wheels with 50c tires optimized for all-terrain use, an 11-speed drivetrain for climbing and descending like a boss, and high-quality hydraulic disc brakes.

Designed for hard riding on and off road, this bike will gobble up pavement and singletrack alike and weighs in at just under 40 lbs even with its 500 Wh Bosch PowerTube integrated battery. The fourth-generation Bosch PowerLine CX mid-drive motor is set for Class 3 riding (28 mph pedal assist only; no throttle) and delivers more than enough torque for uphill sections.

Reasons to Buy

Not a comfortable overlander, the RLT e9 RDO is a racing bike that’ll love the dirt. If you like high-speed chases over rough ground (and arms and backside can handle the feedback), you’ll absolutely fall in love with it.

Overall, this road and all-terrain e-bike is best suited to experienced riders — ones who know how to set up a bike and ride it skillfully. Lacking the bump-smoothing shock components you’ll find on an overlanding dual-suspension machine, it’s more of a thoroughbred gravel racing bike. If you can tame it, it’ll rocket you over a variety of terrain.

Things to Consider

If you’re after something more comfortable and steady on rough ground, there are some great e-MTBs with dual suspension that’ll suit you better at a similar price. This is a bike for high-powered sprints and hard riding. However, if you wanted to, you could buy a suspension fork and even mountain bike wheels for this bike, as it’s designed to accommodate them.

Specs & Components

Motor
Bosch Powerline CX mid-drive
Battery
Bosch PowerTube 500 Wh
Frame
Race Day Optimized carbon
Fork
Fixed, carbon
Drivetrain
11-speed, 11-42T cassette
Brakes
Shimano GRX 400 hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors
Wheels/tires
700 x 50c Schwalbe G One Bite Evo

The specs above come from the manufacturer and may vary from what you’ve experienced. Notice something that needs correcting? Let us know.

Ratings

Power
5/5
5

Thanks to the powerful Bosch PowerLine CX mid-drive motor offering support right up to 28 mph, there’s plenty of speed at the ready when you mash the pedals. It is great for uphills with the 42T bottom gear, but might be improved with a 10T turbo top gear for lower-cadence, high-speed cruising.

Range
4/5
4

Riding flat terrain, you can expect 50 miles per charge. There are better road bikes out there for big miles on smooth, flat runs, but that’s not the RLT e9’s intent. Rather, it’s for blasting up mountains on forestry roads and hammering back down. Could it have a bigger battery? That would impose a weight penalty and impact range and, perhaps more important, the bike’s handling.

Comfort
3.5/5
3.5

This is an e-bike designed with speed first in mind, so comfort is lower down the list. It has 700 x 50c tires that’ll absorb some of the rough stuff, but expect a full body workout when riding it off road. You can retrofit a suspension fork and even a dropper or suspension seatpost, but the bike’s design is race-day optimized through and through.

Durability
5/5
5

With a carbon fiber frame bonded to an alloy motor housing, this is a lightweight but very strong machine. It has been made to ISO mountain bike standards, so it’ll take serious abuse.

Other than the disc brakes and 11-speed drivetrain, there are relatively few things to service on this machine, unlike a more complicated e-MTB.

Niner offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and five years for all components. Further, in the event of crash damage, Niner promises replacement parts at minimal cost to repair the bike.

Style
5/5
5

An all-terrain sports bike — how much sexier can you get on an electric bike? We love the green color scheme and topographical map graphics, promising as much fun and adventure as possible on two wheels.

Our Research Methodology

We personally research and test every e-bike featured in our reviews and guides to provide accurate, data-driven recommendations. Learn how we review.

About Our Editorial Team

robb dorr
Written by Robb Dorr
Co-founder
Robb is a massive cycling enthusiast who has more than 20 years of non-motorized cycling experience. He started eBikes.org to lower the barrier of entry to cycling and reduce the intimidation people can experience when getting into the cycling world.
Kristy Snyder
Edited by Kristy Snyder
Professional Editor
Kristy Snyder is a professional writer and editor living in Pittsburgh with over 10 years of content creation experience. When she's not contributing to eBikes.org, Kristy enjoys reading, practicing yoga, drinking beer, and hitting up rail trails.
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