“Rondo is an exciting gravel bike brand out of Poland that presents its first model the Ruut, as ‘one bike to ride on and off-road.’ The bikes aren’t only visually appealing but also feature a unique adjustable geometry with the world’s first variable geometry fork” said Charles Keey, Director of Switchback Sports.
Rondo was started as a brand to create bikes for real cyclists- for those who love to beat their PR on a climb but also do a relaxed gravel ride with friends. The aim was to create bikes that are beautiful both technically and visually and to change the way drop-barred bikes are perceived by mountain bikers. What Rondo wanted from a drop bar bike was to be able to “go long, and go fast.” So, after over two years of development, they came up with a bike that they believe is the ultimate solution for real-world riders combining three distinctive technical features.
The TWINTIP fork is the world’s first variable geometry fork resulting in a Eurobike Jury’s Gold Award in 2017. By changing the axle positions you can adjust the character of the ride to suit your attitude. The HI position will lower the cockpit, steepen the head angle and result in shorter trail. This is perfect for out of the saddle sprints, steep climbs and general hammering. The alternative fork setting, LO position, gives the bike a higher front end, slacker head angle and longer trail which is ideal for comfortable long distance riding and touring.
The geometry is not the only customisable feature of the Ruut. In keeping with current gravel trends the Rondo Ruut is compatible with both 700c and 650b wheels. By dropping the drive side chain stay, Rondo has ensured maximum tyre clearance well over 40c and 2.1 inch respectively, while keeping the handling racey.
Lastly, the Rondo Ruut CF frame has been designed and layered to give an extra bit of flex in three points. The seat stays that extend past the rear axle, a flattened seat tube and the distinctive kink on the top tube all improve vertical compliance on rougher terrain allowing riders to go faster and further with more comfort.
Available from early July in South Africa, Switchback Sports will be ranging the Rondo Ruut CF (Carbon Fibre) and the Rondo Ruut ST (Steel) framesets in multiple colourways. These framesets both include the frame, TWINTIP carbon fork, Rondo stem and Easton seat post. Various build kit options will also be available using Easton’s new AX gravel range combined with Panaracer tyres and a choice of Sram or Shimano groupsets.
The framesets will be priced from R 17 900.00 for the RUUT ST and R 32 900.00 for the RUUT CF.
In line with Rondo’s international catalogue, complete bikes will be available locally in late 2018 including an exceptionally competitively priced Rondo Ruut AL (Aluminium) bike.
Keey believes that the gravel segment has come at an ideal time as the South African cycling market matures. He feels that the hype of mass participation events that don’t offer something special may be starting to lose their charm. Cyclists are looking for a more unique riding experience, whether it is a tailored event or just a riding tour with friends.