RONDO RUUT CF1 £3199
THREE THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT THE...
The Polish company’s CF1 carbon frame is designed with a flattened and kinked top-tube, which smooths out ruts and bumps. The ability to fit 650b wheels with 2in-plus tyres adds another dimension of comfort and off-road potential. That said, the wide 30mm tyres it comes with offer ample cushioning without ruining its on-road speed potential.
Rondo’s TwinTip fork design means that with a quick switch of the dropout insert and brake adaptor, you can change the bike’s handling character. In the higher position trail is decreased by 13mm, the head angle steepens by half a degree, the cockpit is lowered by 10mm, adding half a degree to the seat angle and around 6-7mm to the reach. This all creates a pretty aggressive position for a gravel bike. In the endurance setting it’s much more off-road friendly, being slacker angled and more stable to steer.
SRAM’s Force 1 is perfect for off-road adventures. The chain doesn’t bounce or slap and gear changes are slick and snappy. The Force brakes with big 160mm rotors offer oodles of control. Panaracer’s Gravel King tyres are brilliant; grippy on a multitude of offroad surfaces and quick enough on tarmac to keep up with road riding mates. Add in a brilliant saddle, carbon seatpost and lightweight wheels, and the CF1 is a very well-put together bike.
ONE THING WE’D CHANGE The seatpost
The Ruut is so capable off road, especially in its slacker geometry position, we’d have loved a mountain bike dropper seatpost for steep technical tracks, which would only add to the bike’s considerable charms.