When does a road bike become a mountain bike? As we wandered around the Sea Otter Classic this year, it’s a question that kept popping up. On several occasions we saw sleek road steeds sporting WTBs new tubby rubber and/or short travel suspension forks.
But Niner took the concept one big step further with this full suspension drop bar project bike. Built around a 90mm travel RKT 9 RDO XC MTB frame, Niner added drop bars, a wide-range drivetrain, and CX rubber. The left hand shifter was also modified to work as a lockout remote for the shock. This was accomplished via a 3D printed reducer, which is stuffed inside the frame and changes the lever pull.
The project is a test platform that’s being used to gauge viability and rider interest. The bike probably won’t appeal to racers, but riders who don’t mind pedaling around an extra two pounds will feel a tremendous increase in stability and comfort.
For a more conventional take on the suspension road bike, Niner also had a RLT9 on display with a Fox Adventure fork. They don’t have any plans of offering this as an option next year, but might consider it based on consumer demand.
For more info, visit www.ninerbikes.com.
This article is part of RoadBikeReview’s coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.