Ritchey have been promising us a steel gravel bike for some time now, and at this year's Eurobike show we finally got to see it: the Ritchey Outback.
Not only did we get to see it, we got to ride it: Ritchey had organised a 35km mixed surface loop direct from the show, to give the bikes a go. And not only did we get to ride it, but we got to ride it in the company of none other than Tom Ritchey himself. CLANG!
Tom is a mountain bike legend, and has been part of the scene from the very beginning; he was one of the very first inductees into the MTB hall of fame when it started way back in 1988. Since then he's been a big player in the bike industry, with the Ritchey bike and component brands continuing to innovate, with Tom himself very much involved in the process. The Outback shares a lot of its DNA with the Swiss Cross Disc cyclocross bike, but geometry has been tweaked and clearances increased, for a less race-oriented position and the ability to fit wider gravel tyres. We had plenty of fun on it, as you can see.
We said that we'd try to get a bike in for a proper test here in the UK, and you'll be happy to know that one has just rolled through the doors of the road.cc office. And it's not just any Ritchey Outback: it's the one that our new best friend Tom is riding in the video. Once again: CLANG!
The spec is the same as the bike that we rode at Eurobike, save for the tyres which have been swapped out for some wider and slightly more off-road-oriented Ritchey WCS Speedmax rubber. The bike will be available in the UK as a frame and fork only, so you can build it up with whatever you fancy. Look out for a full review on the bike soon.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.