What is the perfect gravel bike for the Sierra Nevada mountains?

We are excited to be back in Mammoth for the second week in a row, last week was the Mammoth Gran Fondo. If we are going to be honest, we never left. With such amazing road and gravel riding, this is a cyclist’s dream. The gravel riders are starting to roll into town and here are a few of the bikes that have caught our eye so far.

Niner Bikes is probably better known for their mountain bikes, but the RLT 9 RDO (carbon) has been a staple in the gravel scene for years. It has seen a handful of updates and improvements but what we find most impressive is the fact that Niner tests it to their MTB safety standards. This means the RLT 9 is durable, and if you ask Amanda Nauman (photo above) and Dave Sheek, it’s the perfect rig for Mammoth Tuff.

Brandon Baker (who will likely win) has also chosen the RLT 9 RDO so you know it’s a good choice. Looking at the bikes rolling in so far, it is a complete mix and awesome to see so many unique bikes and builds.


Tuff (tŭf) is a general term for all consolidated pyroclastic, volcanic rocks.

The name, Mammoth TUFF, is a nod to the Long Valley Caldera and the volcanic stone that defines ‘gravel’ in the area. The caldera was formed about 760,000 years ago in a volcanic eruption from which the magma still underlies it, heating underground water and fueling hot springs the event will ride by. The short course is around 45 miles with 2,000 feet of climbing and will circle the famous caldera. The long course is around 100 miles with 8,000 feet of elevation gain and travels through the Volcanic Tableland formed by the Long Valley Caldera. Prepare to be transported back in time on routes used by miners and even further back.

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