Chris Wolff rides the Niner Bikes RLT9 in Colorado

Admittedly, when I think of Niner, I’m still thinking mountain bikes instead of their new RLT 9 gravel road bike, which is probably exactly the reason they have partnered up with Crusher in the Tushar to be the official bike sponsor. Known as one of America’s toughest races, the fourth running of the Tushar aims to crush riders’ spirits with over 10,400 feet of climbing (but only 6,000 feet of descent) over a variety of road surfaces that tests both mettle and bike choice. Still not hard enough? How about a finish line sprint up a 12% grade at 10,344 feet above sea level? Split almost 50/50 between pavement and dirt, Niner’s RLT 9 with its lower bottom bracket and slacker geo is a great blend of mountain and gravel/cross bike to tackle the nearly 70 mile course according to Niner Global Marketing Manager Carla Hukee.

The race will be held on July 12, 2014, with registration opening on January 8, 2014 which will likely sell out quick.

Click through for the brutal elevation profile, and course map.




  1. If you register and ride this event – it is the single best day you will have on a bike in 2014 (scenery). Or it will be the single worst (elevation), but at the end you will be smiling. Not only is the race very well coordinated, the towns of Beaver, Junction and Circleville have the best support volunteers you could ever ask for.

  2. niner locked themselves out of 27.5 wheels (whether or not if this wheel size is effective) so they decided to jump on the gravel grinder bandwagon (popular category) – hey it’s a 29er right???

  3. I need a ride from SLC to this event. Levi, or anyone else, please post here if you have room in your car for me and my bike. Serious offers only. The Tushar is no joke!

  4. I am looking for a ride to this event from SLC. Levi, or anyone else, if you have room for me and my bike, please post below. Serious offers only. The Tushar is no joke!

  5. The only thing that would make this course truely “tough” would be trying to race it with only normal road-bike climbing gears available. 10,000 feet climbing over 70 miles means mountain-bike low gears would be a good idea. Other than that, 70 miles of gravel with lots of climbing looks like a typical Saturday training ride… I can think of lots of races that are tougher, for example some of the single-stage 500 mile road races (with brutal amounts of climbing) come to mind, or any 24-hour solo mtb race is more punishing to the body.

  6. Have to agree with Wheelz . Check out the route for the D2R2 in Massachusetts. 14k over 116 miles mostly dirt. 10k over 70 is tough but not the end all be all. And anything lower than 34/28 is for [deleted] 🙂 .

  7. Not tough enough because of the distance or the elevation gain? Consider that this all takes place above 6000 feet. Your 100 mile dirt ride at sea level is not a comparison.

  8. @gravity and @AlanM. Check out Bad Water 508 in Death Valley or Hoodoo 500 in Utah each year as examples of huge-ass races. @gravity, the 508 has been around forever so I assume your a fairly new cyclist. Perhaps you should some Google searches before you start hurling out insults?

  9. Hows about all you super-tough studs put up or shut up? Sign-up for the Crusher, race it, and then come back here and tell us all how you dominated the field.

  10. I can admire a company that is “rider driven” and makes products they want to ride, in the style they want to ride. Niner is doing this. They know damn well they’re not going to make a 27.5″ bike, they ride what they believe in. It happens to be big wheels on the MTB. If they make a road bike, so be it, likewise a 29+. They dig the 622, and there is plenty to work with. I personally am pumped to get an RLT, I have a Ultegra DI2 kit waiting for it…

  11. @ Wheelz: Some big names in sport have come to ride fully expecting to dominate based on the elevation map and and course distance, and have been DESTROYED. See what Ryan Trebon, Johnathan Page, and Tinker have to say about it. Classifying this race as just another weekend ride based on paper demonstrates your naïveté to the sport. Fact is if you haven’t tasted it you have no way of knowing just how bitter, and just sweet this race is. It is truly psychologically crushing.

  12. @wheelz – Both Hoodoo and Furnace Creek are multi-day races. You can call them “single stage,” if you like, but they bare no resemblance to a one-day event like the Crusher.

    Learn the difference between “your” and “you are,” when you’re attempting a witty rejoinder.

    Personally, I do rides like the Crusher after work, on a unicycle.

  13. Agree on the rider driven part SketchyD – Niner Bikes own Brad Cole dominated the SS category a couple years back and set a course record as I recall. There are some really fast dudes that work for Niner that are not slouches!

  14. Not saying it’s a walk in the park,just saying what looks like two 5k climbs back to back isn’t some holy grail of hard rides. Whether it starts at 6k or not.

  15. I think this bike looks awesome and was about to put down the money until I found out about Jan/Feb delivery date. That’s why they are sponsoring the gravel scene, because cross is dead by the time their bike is out.

  16. There is “riding” and there is “racing” Anything can be easy if you noodle along. Try pinning it for 5+ hours at altitude. Maybe wheelz or David could post a link to some of their results to show us how truly bad ass they are.

  17. You are all soft! I did this ride the other day on my penny farthing. I also did the bad water on my Bakfiet (google it) and the hoodoo on my stayer bike (again, google it). KOM on all of them! just another day on the saddle, no need to race because Im just that badass!

  18. A BB drop of 65 (in my size range) is seriously considered a “low bottom bracket.” “Riding in the bike”….with that bottom bracket drop, maybe I’m missing something here. Please advise.


What do you think?