Rondo’s new Ratt is the kind of all-road bike that really can be ridden on all surfaces. And while the original Rondo Ruut already did gravel and their Hvrt already covered road, both with unique adjustable geometry, now this new bike bridges the gap between the two for a fast fat-tire road bike that can transform for fast gravel, as well.
Rondo Ratt carbon all-road bike
The secret to much of Rondo’s gravel & road bike versatility is their 2-position TwinTip fork that lets riders pick the geometry that suits their style of road or gravel riding – raising or lowering the front end, slacking out or steepening the handling. And now in the middle, that same TwinTip fork tech gets an added twist on road, with more fork offset for less trail to maintain a quick feel with the added comfort, grip & control benefits of Road Plus.
Yes, this is a fast 650b road bike. We haven’t really seen a ton of high-performance development in the 650x47mm tire department since WTB created the modern Road Plus niche eight years ago. But this new Ratt looks set to use a simple geometry tweak to really bridge the gap between quick road and fast gravel.
Fast All-Road Geometry
The geometry of the Ratt is optimized for that cushy, low rolling-resistance Road Plus 650b x 47mm tire. You would get the same geometry out of a conventional 700c x 28mm road tire, just without the bonus comfort & grip.
Rondo focuses on a “Low Trail” adaptation of traditional road geometry for a “Go Anywhere Fast” feel. Rondo say that with decreased fork Trail vs. conventional road geo, the sluggishness from extra grip on the ground of the wider tire contact patch, the added weight, and the inertia of the Ratt’s smaller diameter wheels & wider tires is offset, bringing back a quick-handling road bike feel. So you still feel as fast, bit with improved traction, comfort, control, and reduced rolling resistance.
It all comes down to extra fork offset, 50 or 60mm, for reduced Trail still with a steep head angle. And the flip chip in at the axle still means you can tailor it to your ride. The Ratt’s slacker setting is close to the steep Ruut gravel setup – ideal for rough roads or off-road. And the Ratt’s steeper setup is close to the slack Hvrt setting – ideal for faster rides & smoother surfaces. It’s even easy enough to swap mid-ride in a minute or two. Thus, the Ratt bridges the gap while letting the bike either feel like a road or gravel bike depending on your mood.
The Rondo Ratt is designed for 650b x 47mm tires and that’s the most you have clearance for. If you want to push it a bit more for gravel, you can fit up to a 700x38mm tire which will also raise you up about 1cm and increase Trail a bit for a less quick0handling feel. Interestingly, Rondo’s racy aero road Hvrt also has room for 650×47, but just 700x30mm tires. And the gravel-specific Ruut is max 650×67 or 700x45mm.
The carbon frame itself is a blend of gravel style and a bit of angular aero looks, although the wide and almost flat headtube would never be described as aerodynamic. The Rondo Ratt carbon frame is claimed to weigh just 1000g (size M). Smoothing out the ride beyond the carbon layup (and those big cushy tires), Rondo gives the Ratt “passive suspension zones”, essentially extra bends and thinned areas like the fork crown, dropout, thinned seatstays, seattube cutout, and bend in the back of the toptube where vertical frame flex can add comfort.
The frame features just two standard bottle cage mounts inside the main triangle, but it does include mounts for full-coverage fenders front & rear, plus internal routing in the fork for a dynamo headlight.
The frame is compatible with 1x & 2x drivetrains, gets a 27.2mm round seatpost clamped from the back of the seattube, a full 1.5″ headset to route all cables completely internally through a Rondo-made alloy stem, 12mm thru-axles, flat mount disc brakes, plus a PressFit BB386 EVO bottom bracket.
Rondo Ratt – Pricing, options & availability
At first the new Ratt will be available only in one of two complete carbon bike builds, each which will arrive for the first buyers in shops sometime this summer – both with 650b wheels wrapped in versatile Vittoria Terreno Zero 47mm tires.
The Rondo Ratt CF1 sells for 4500€ complete with Shimano GRX 810 2×11 and Rondo x Hunt Gravel X-Wide alloy wheels.
And the Rondo Ratt CF2 is a bit cheaper at 3600€ with the same carbon frameset, combined with a Shimano GRX 400 2x10sp group and Rondo-branded 23mm internal alloy wheels
Beyond these two carbon bikes, alloy and steel versions of the new Ratt will join the Rondo all-road line-up in 2023.