The Niner RLT e9 RDO takes on the competition in our E-trekking bike group test as an E-gravel bike. Thanks to the versatile bag concept and powerful Bosch motor, it promises to perform equally well as a multi-purpose adventure bike as it does for relaxed trekking. We put it to the test to find out what it’s capable of.

Niner RLT e9 RDO | Bosch Performance Line CX/500 Wh | -/- mm (f/r)
17.55 kg (size 56) | € 6,299 | Manufacturer’s website

That eBike is part of our big trekking eBike group test. There you can find an overview of the test fleet and all information on the latest generation of trekking eBikes.

The Niner RLT e9 RDO on test – An E-gravel bike for trekking

Gravel riding and trekking aren’t all that different – long gravel roads, detours down off-road paths and loaded touring are terrain shared by both disciplines. They just approach the hobby differently. With trekking, the focus is usually on relaxation and comfort, while gravel riders take pleasure in physical exertion. The Niner RLT e9 RDO should cater to both thanks to the combination of a powerful Bosch Performance CX motor, drop bars and gravel geometry. We tested the € 6,299 and 17.55 kg E-gravel bike to find out where trekking ends and gravel starts. The riding position aboard the Niner is very aggressive. The combination of a high saddle, low front end, compact frame and long stem mean that you’re low and stretched out, putting a lot of weight on your hands. Repositioning your hands on the tops allows you to straighten your upper body and relax but it also puts the brakes out of reach. Additionally, handling in this position is even more challenging than on the hoods or in the drops. Compared to the other bikes on test, the steering of the Niner is extremely sensitive and has a very narrow margin for error, forgiving hardly any mistakes on the part of the rider. However, if you’re an experienced rider, the direct handling can be a lot of fun on paved roads, allowing the powerful Bosch motor to catapult you to the 25 km/h limit and letting you lean into corners at high speeds. However, beginners who are unfamiliar with drop bars are unlikely to enjoy the Niner, especially when heading off-road.

Thumb extension not included
The simple Purion display has no connectivity options and can only be operated from the tops. That means you’re forced to take your left hand off the brake to reach the controls.
The drop bars take some getting used to. You can alternate between three positions but the brakes are out of reach when you’re in the most comfortable position on the tops.
Too little attention has been paid to the cable routing, leaving the cables to rub the head tube and scuff the beautiful paintwork.
Filling every gap
The purpose made racks and bags make effective use of every nook on the frame. However, the small rear rack isn’t compatible with most standard pannier bags. You’ll have to get creative when transporting your luggage.
Luggage on a serving tray
The front rack is certified to carry up to 13 kg. However, it’s difficult to find a suitable bag. Like the rear rack, you’ll have to get creative and use bungee cords or Voile straps to fasten your luggage to the rack.
Racing slicks
The Schwalbe G-One Speed tires are semi-slick and roll particularly easily on paved bike paths and compacted roads. However, they offer little traction on unpaved surfaces.
Gravel components for trekking
The two-piston Shimano GRX 400 brakes offer reliable braking power despite the small 180 mm rotors. Unfortunately, the tires struggle to transfer this stopping power to gravel roads.

Niner RLT e9 RDO

€ 6,299


Motor Bosch Performance Line CX 85 Nm
Battery Bosch PowerTube 500 Wh
Display Bosch Purion
Fork Niner RDO Carbon mm
Rear Shock mm
Seatpost Niner Carbon mm
Brakes Shimano GRX400 180/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX 600/SLX 1x11
Stem Niner Alloy mm
Handlebar Easton EA50 AX 460 mm
Wheelset Stans Notubes Arch D 28"
Tires Schwalbe G-One Speed Performance 2"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 17.55 kg
Perm. total weight 125 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 107 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

not available
frame bags
no mudguards

High-speed trekking
The Niner is significantly faster than the other trekking ebikes on test. On flat terrain, you’ll often find yourself pedalling on your own above the 25 km/h threshold, if the road and your riding skills allow it.

The handling of Niner RLT e9 RDO while touring

The handling of the E-gravel bike demands all of your attention and you should never take your eyes off the road for too long on poorly maintained paths. Due to the stretched riding posture, the view of your surroundings is a lot more limited compared to the competition. If you’re not used to looking back under your arms like a road cyclist, you should be very careful when manoeuvring the Niner through traffic and give yourself enough time to look left and right at intersections. The long stopping distance due to the tires on the RLT e9 RDO is another factor to keep in mind. The semi-slick Schwalbe G-One Speed tires roll effortlessly and fast on paved bike paths and compacted forest roads but they’re ill-fitted for loose, wet or soft surfaces, which is the kind of terrain trekking riders regularly encounter. On loose surfaces, the tires offer little braking traction, are difficult to keep on line and generally struggle to stop on certain surfaces, which is a shame. The easy modulation of the Shimano GRX 400 brakes can’t compensate for this shortcoming. Speaking of which, the brakes remain reliable on long descents and when hauling a heavy load despite the two-piston design and small 180 mm rotors, thanks to Shimano’s ICE-TECH technology. The Niner is unfazed by luggage on the rear rack, even when perched precariously on top of it like our beer crate, thereby creating a high centre of gravity.

Helmet Bolle REACT MIPS | Glasses Polaroid PLD 2048/S | Shirt GORE C5 Trail 3/4 | Shoes Adidas Velosamba | Frame bags Niner Cargo Bags | Handlebar bag Restrap Canister Bag | Beer Rothaus Tannenzäpfle

Hardcore trekking – Riding comfort aboard the Niner RLT e9 RDO

The Niner RLT e9 RDO has little to offer for comfort-seeking riders. Just getting on the bike can be a challenge due to the ample standover height and rigid seat post. With its aggressive riding position, you will feel a lot of weight on your hands and your chest and shoulder muscles have to maintain tension to stabilise your upper body. While well-trained riders can comfortably hold this position for extended periods, it’s less suitable for tours if you’re inexperienced or unfamiliar with drop bars. The Niner doesn’t have a suspension fork or shock, relying purely on the tires and compliance offered by the combination of the components and carbon frame instead. That isn’t enough to keep up with the eMTBs and trekking ebikes on test. Even the smallest vibrations are passed on to the rider. We recommend dodging curbs and potholes or hopping over them if you’ve mastered the technique. If you don’t, you’ll get bumped around. Due to its light weight of 17.55 kg, the Niner RLT e9 RDO is easy to pick up, either to load, manoeuvre when parking or carry into the basement.

The Niner RLT e9 RDO takes the title of fastest E-trekking bike. However, it’s too aggressive and the handling is too sensitive for classic trekking.”

A minimalist’s trekking bike – The components of the Niner RLT e9 RDO

The Bosch Purion display can only provide basic data. If you want to record your route, navigate while riding or use other connectivity functions without using your smartphone, there’s no avoiding an external navigation device. Unfortunately, there’s no simple way to upgrade the Purion display to an onboard computer like the Nyon. Other accessories are just as minimalistic. The Niner RLT e9 RDO doesn’t have a bike stand or lighting system. There are mounting points for mudguards but they’re only available from third party brands. The best way to transport luggage on the Niner is via the classy-looking set of purpose-made and waterproof frame bags, which Niner offer for all frame sizes. If you want to carry luggage on the Niner, these bags are your best bet. Otherwise, you’ll have to get creative when loading the front and rear rack, which are certified to carry 13 kg and 18 kg respectively, since you won’t be able to fit traditional panniers without running into issues. The rear rack is very short and the bottom of standard panniers will rub against the seat stays. Indeed, most common panniers are far too big for the bike anyway and get in the way when pedalling. When fastening items to the racks, you’ll have to use bungee cords or Voile straps. For more packing tips and tricks, check out our bikepacking 101 article in our sister magazine GRAN FONDO.

Beer emergency
When you’re running out of beer, there is no faster E-trekking bike to fetch emergency supplies than the Niner. Unfortunately, the beer and the rider will get shaken up if the roads aren’t smooth.

Tuning tip: shorter stem for a more upright riding position

The Niner RLT e9 RDO in detail

The Niner is a real eye-catcher, featuring elegant lines, a striking look, green metallic paint job and numerous details, stealing the show from many of the other bikes on test. Unfortunately, the untidy cable routing up front tarnishes this impression and scuffs the paint on the head tube. If you want to carry two water bottles in the front triangle, we recommend using a side load bottle cage on the down tube to get the bottle past the frame bag. You can also resort to using the triple cage bosses on the carbon fork legs instead, giving you further storage options. Otherwise, the purpose-made bags match the look of the Niner perfectly and even conceal the disproportionately large down tube housing the 500 Wh battery. In Turbo mode, the Bosch motor propels the Niner with brute power but lacks the progressive eMTB mode that would give you more refined power delivery that is easier to control. Fortunately, you can have the software updated at a Bosch dealer.

Off to new shores! The Niner RLT e9 RDO has a thirst for adventure and action. It’s made for experienced globetrotters and long journeys instead of just riding the same weekend loop on repeat.”


Niner RLT e9 RDO conclusion

The Niner RLT e9 RDO lacks the comfort and stability to score as a trekking all-rounder. Beginners and those who aren’t used to drop bars are likely to get overwhelmed by the handling and the limited accessories make the Niner better suited for bikepacking adventures than trekking. For the purposes of our E-trekking bike group test, it can only cater to a small niche of experienced riders. However, these riders will enjoy the direct handling and high speeds possible on paved roads.


  • fast and sporty
  • numerous mounting options for frame bags, mudguards, racks and bottle cages


  • difficult handling
  • lack of comfort
  • no connectivity
  • limited everyday accessories

For more information head to the manufacturer website

The review of the Niner RLT e9 RDO is part of our big trekking eBike group test “The best trekking eBike of 2021 – 8 modern eBikes for touring in comparison”. We’ve tested four different concepts and eight bikes to tell you what modern trekking eBikes are capable of and which one is the best to buy.

Test bike overview

CENTURION Country R2600i | FLYER Goroc3 6.50 | Greyp T5.2 | Kalkhoff Entice 5.B Advanced + | MERIDA eONE-FORTY EQ | Niner RLT e9 RDO | Riese & Müller Homage GT Touring | Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped

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Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Valentin Rühl

About the author

Rudolf Fischer

In his previous life Rudolf was a dab hand at promoting innovation, putting his brain behind big-ticket patent assessments that easily ran into six-or-seven-plus figures. These days, the self-confessed data nerd’s role as editor at DOWNTOWN and E-MOUNTAINBIKE is no less exciting. Given his specialism in connectivity, Rudolf’s often placed on the front line of future mobility conversations, but he’s also big into testing new bikes–both on the daily as a committed commuter and intensively for our group tests. The business economist graduate is as versatile as a Swiss penknife, and that’s no hyperbole. Away from two wheels, his background in parkour means he’s a master of front, side and backflips, plus he speaks German, English, French, Russian and a touch of Esperanto. Japanese remains woefully unmastered, despite his best home-learning attempts. Good to know: Rudolf’s sharp tongue has made him a figure of fear in the office, where he’s got a reputation for flexing a dry wittiness à la Ricky Gervais... interestingly, he's usually the one laughing hardest.