Niner Lowtop RDO Handlebar, Trail Stems Now Shipping, Deals on Both


Niner showed us their new Lowtop RDO reverse-rise carbon handlebar and the new Trail stem at Sea Otter, both just prior to having production items on hand (though we were still able to weigh a few, including the new RDO setback seatpost, too!).

Now, we’ve got a look at how that Lowtop handlebar positions the rider on the bike. Shown above on the trail under a 5’2″ rider on an extra small Jet9 Carbon, it just about looks like a riser bar flipflopped. The key differences in doing exactly that is in the angles. The Lowtop bar has juts forward first, then sweeps back at a 17º angle.

Drop in for diagrams and other goodies, plus a deal on a bar/stem combo…


Rise (or, drop, rather) is 25mm. Width is 720mm wide but can be cut down to 660mm. In the diagram above, the front of the bike would be to the right, putting the hands closer to the rider. Claimed weight is 258g and it’ll come in Niner Red, Orange, Green, Rally Blue and Moondust Grey. Retail is $199.


Here’s what it looks like on the bike from the side.

Niner Trail Stem

The new Trail stem will be offered in 50mm and 70mm (weights are claimed at 180g and 215g, respectively), both with 0º rise. Colors are Niner Red, Rally Blue and Moondust Gray only.


Until June 24th, 2013, buy one of these bars and stems (pictured) through Niner’s website and get a 20% discount on the combo. Use promo code “controlpromo3”.


Matt - 05/21/13 - 2:50pm

for when you just can’t SLAM THAT STEM enough. I dig it

Tiger - 05/21/13 - 2:52pm

…why is a 4ft tall girl riding a niner? The madness has to stop.

mirciu - 05/21/13 - 2:56pm

Imagine Jaro Kulhavy , who already runs a crazy low position ( for his height ) , using this handlebar.

Jak0zilla - 05/21/13 - 3:01pm

It is my considered opinion that we are in a process of de-evolution with the end result to be a neo-penny farthing. We’ve got forks long enough for them, and this bar is a dead ringer for the bars on a high wheeler.

Anyone got a spoon brake in their R&D skunk works?

pigface - 05/21/13 - 3:04pm

Pair that bar with a Syntace Flatforce stem and get hella slammed!

KJR - 05/21/13 - 3:10pm

I’m thinking that the original idea for this must have been a decal application mistake from the factory.

“Shit, someone applied all the decals to these rider handlebars upside down…” *ding*

chris - 05/21/13 - 3:11pm

hahahahahahahaha. Look Mommy! Look at the cyclist.

MLD - 05/21/13 - 3:23pm

Why not go all the way and figure out a fork crown that has a handlebar clamp?

DaleC - 05/21/13 - 3:30pm

Tiger FtW

I love my Sir9, but I’m 6’2″ about 240. If you are that small, do you really need a 29?

It seems like everything on the bike, not just frame and bars, should be sized to the rider, as best you can anyway

Caveman - 05/21/13 - 3:34pm

Everyone is an expert. . . so annoying

NCMTB - 05/21/13 - 3:38pm

I think the de-evolution process is with the commenters on this post. Have any of you every tried to fit a person 5’5″ or under on 29er. The side picture of the complete bike above shows a neutral saddle to handlebar drop, maybe a slight negative to the bars but overall this would be race oriented fit for most. This is a great option for fitting smaller females or young kids on the xsmall models that Niner just came out with. I give them kudos for bringing this stuff to market and giving me another option for getting my kids on hot bikes earlier.

And @BigBuckHunter really? You do see the picture has a young women in it don’t you?

dogboy - 05/21/13 - 3:38pm

Pssst, your handlebar is on upside down.

Ck - 05/21/13 - 3:44pm

A ridiculously simple idea that Niner is going to make a decent buck on while all the haters sit at their keyboards finding more snobish comments to throw at BikeRumor articles in order to make themselves feel adequate.

K M - 05/21/13 - 3:54pm

I like the option. I am thinking about a fat bike for my son who is 11 and these bars would be a good option.

Charlie - 05/21/13 - 3:55pm

Sounds like a good idea to me. The crease in the palm that holds onto a bar is angled around 15 degrees from the arm. So the best ergonomics would be a bar as wide as your shoulders with a 15 degree sweep. But most people want bars far wider than their shoulders so as to slow down steering. This means the bars should have more than 15 degree back sweep. Really wide bars swept back 15-20 degrees would put your hands a lot closer to your body than most people would want, hence the “alt bar” – a forward offset of the bar near the stem. Of course what drives most bike part design is not ergonomics but fashion and the fashionistas don’t cotton to alt bars. I must admit that this handlebar does look mighty odd. But would it look so funny if you just flipped it so it was a riser? This would turn any upsweep that the bar might have into a downsweep. And if you go for the ergonomics thing, a downsweep is more natural anyway.

vectorbug - 05/21/13 - 4:08pm

Well I guess we know the demographic of the commenters. Tall and myopic.

vectorbug - 05/21/13 - 4:12pm

I do have a serious question about the lowtop bar, is there any benefit to using it if I’m 6’1″ / tall?

David French - 05/21/13 - 4:24pm

Why does a child ride a bike with 20″ or 24″ wheels? Because they’re small. So really it does make sense that after a point smaller riders should be on 26″ or 650b wheels.

Running upside down stems isn’t new, XC pros I remember used to do it all the time. But of course these days more and more people are needing to go to quite extreme measures to get a slammed front end not only because of 29ers but because of shorter stems.

Heffe - 05/21/13 - 5:05pm

Goofy bars; just go 650b if you are tiny.

vectorbug - 05/21/13 - 5:12pm

How dare Niner make products to help more people use their products comfortably.

Out for a Ride - 05/21/13 - 5:17pm

Quick! Someone invent a stem that mounts below the head tube! And an airbag inside of the stem in the inevitable chance that you endo onto that horn!

MarkV - 05/21/13 - 5:41pm

Ummm! A little too odd. You could just get a bike that fits shorter riders better, like a 27.5″/650. There out there and at 5’7″, I am glad they are.

DeeEight - 05/21/13 - 5:51pm

Invented because just using a FSA Metropolis bar (which has the same up/down flip possibility) was tooo simple.

JJ - 05/21/13 - 5:57pm

True, but then they’d have to change their name to “seven-and-a-halfer”, which is a tougher marketing ploy than a flipped bar

Mindless - 05/21/13 - 6:45pm

@CK: a ridiculously simple idea is that Niner is in trouble once the fad is fading and they will have to compete only on price, performance and fit. And that rider would be better off on 650b – good enough for a world champion.

Recent Enduro race. First place 27.5, next two 26.. best 29 around 10th?

Gillis - 05/21/13 - 6:45pm

Cannondale used to use drop stems on their headshok bikes. Always thought it look odd. This looks odd too. But if it helps for a better fit, then more power to ’em.

beetard - 05/21/13 - 9:10pm

Tracey Mosley won on 29

Trey R - 05/21/13 - 10:19pm

Watch, next year they’ll come out with drop bars for mountain bikes and Farmer John will make a comeback. Wait, that sounds AWESOME!!!

Mark - 05/21/13 - 11:16pm

That’s why 650b is taking off. You don’t have to bastardize the entire bike setup and run crazy stuff like this to compensate for 29″ wheels.

Luke - 05/22/13 - 3:11am

I run my stem angled down on my race bike (I’m 5’10”). The only way for me to get my front low enough is to stick to good old 26″ wheels (which conveniently maintains all the ride qualities I like). Is that just too obvious a solution for whoever these bars are meant for?

Or shall all these Niner riders just go all Cadel Evans and start hacksawing holes into their headtubes?

thx - 05/22/13 - 6:09am

Im gonna vomit. Soon we will see 29ers for 4ft children…

EmilMP - 05/22/13 - 7:22am

@MLD, thank you for the inspiration:

RoDe - 05/22/13 - 7:40am

This is just stupid sorry. If your to small to ride a 29er then go 650B.

RoDe - 05/22/13 - 7:44am

Obviously to should be too. Obviously Niner want to sell bikes but, come some people just don’t fit on a 29er. I will never ride 29er. At 169 cm I’m just to small.

RoDe - 05/22/13 - 7:46am

Damnit did it again sorry.

Loki - 05/22/13 - 9:01am

Nitto did this when 25.4 was still the standard.

Eric - 05/22/13 - 9:26am

Maybe put pegs on the front axle and apply grips to them, that would be sick.

captain derp - 05/22/13 - 9:53am

John Tomac beat us all to the finish line… he had drop bars on his MTB back in the 90’s

beetard - 05/22/13 - 9:58am

you guys are all (deleted). seriously. the arbitrary hatred for anything 29 is crazy

Hater hater - 05/22/13 - 10:31am

Following the logic of ‘if you are short, then you shouldn’t ride a 29er’ then lets start harping on tall people still riding 26ers!! “Why is that 6′ tall idiot riding a 26er?”

Different strokes for different folks, regardless of how tall you are.

bin judgin - 05/22/13 - 11:19am

this is laughable at best.

i will continue on my carbon 26″ full sus and torch these nerds when I see them.

Matt - 05/22/13 - 11:34am

@beetard – We don’t hate 29ers we just think they suck. LONG LIVE THE 26. BRING ON THE 275.

Richard - 05/22/13 - 1:15pm

27.5 is just mm’s bigger than a 26″ and I couldn’t tell a difference enough to want to spend $3000 on a new bike. 29″ just rolls so much better (for me) and good on Niner for developing parts so shorter riders can ride 29ers with proper bar/stem/saddle drop. In the end as long as you are comfortable then rock it! But people who want the benefits the bigger hoops offers then let us ride it and don’t say we belong on a 26″ or 27.5″!

Jake - 05/22/13 - 1:22pm

I love 29ers, but that’s just silly looking. I think Yeti has it right by only offering it’s new ARC in 27.5 for the two smallest sizes.

Mindless - 05/22/13 - 2:36pm

@Richard: 29″ are just mm’s bigger than a 27.5. 29″ wheels are weak, flexible and they are for limp wristed weaklings.

MaLóL - 05/22/13 - 3:30pm

an inverted low rise bar… what an awesome discovery!!!! nino schurter used one when trying a 29er. he quited both, the 29er and the inverted low rise bar…

satisFACTORYrider - 05/22/13 - 4:42pm

as long as stack and reach can be optimized for the rider while off the saddle then it’s cool.

Ajax - 05/22/13 - 10:19pm

Big dudes like 650b too!

Zoot - 05/23/13 - 7:16am

Rossin had this figured out in the 80s on their pursuit bikes. Niner should follow their lead and make a 26″ front wheel and 29er rear.

captain derp - 05/23/13 - 8:34am

@zoot – let’s make drag / ultimate manual machine – 20″ front 29″ rear!

Ventruck - 05/23/13 - 7:15pm

“it just about looks like a riser bar flipflopped. The key differences in doing exactly that is in the angles. The Lowtop bar has juts forward first, then sweeps back at a 17º angle.”

I don’t get it, how is that actually different than producing a “regular” riser 17º bar that can be flipped?

Ian - 05/28/13 - 3:58am

As someone who searched long and hard to find a comfortable bar for my 29er (I’m 6″ tall by the way) its great to see more handlebar options.
I settled on a “On 1 Fleegle” ( flat with sweep forward then 15deg sweep back)
To get the fit I wanted I flipped stem and removed all spacers. For me 5deg sweep is excruciatingly painful, and conventional 10 sweep riser is both too high and also too far back without a very long stem.

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