RONDO has unveiled its rather futuristic-looking RATT all-road bike in two spec options built around 650b wheels. Like previous RONDO bikes, this one features a variable TwinTip axle which can decrease the front wheel offset in order to better suit off-road riding. There’s also the option to use 700c wheels with up to 38mm tyres, and full front and rear mudguard mounts further add to the bike’s versatility.
The RATT will be available from summer 2022 in two spec options, with the top-of-the-range RATT CF1 costing £4,299.99, or the RATT CF2 priced at £3,399.99. RONDO says that in either case, the RATT combines the speed of a classic road bike with the all-road character of a modern gravel bike.
To achieve this, RONDO has once again used what many of us would call a 'flip chip' in the front fork to alter the front wheel's position relative to the rest of the bike. The tech appears very similar to what we saw in Rondo's HVRT bike that we reviewed last year. The position can be changed in roughly five minutes, so isn’t a huge job.
Switching to the LO position decreases the offset by 10mm, making the trail longer, the head tube angle flatter and the bike's geometry more like a traditional gravel bike. Meanwhile, the HI position reduces the already quite small trail figure and steepens the head tube angle which RONDO says compensates for the sluggishness of the wider tyres resulting in “the perfect mix of race-like high agility, a direct response.”
Like the fork, the frame is a fully carbon fibre affair; although RONDO has said that the RATT range will be expanded in 2023. We expect that to include a cheaper aluminium option.
The frame has a reported weight of 1,000g in a size medium, which is pretty competitive, and like many of the recent releases it features dropped chainstays and passive suspension.
RONDO says that the strategic positioning of various carbon fibre structures has created passive suspension zones at the dropout, the lower part of the seat tube and the rear part of the top tube, while the rest of the frame retains the required stiffness; of course, we'll have to review the bike in full to work out just how much comfort the passive suspension offers.
Although there hasn’t been much mention of wind-cheating characteristics, some of the tube shapes definitely appear to have been influenced by aerodynamics, in particular, the kammback design of the downtube which is reminiscent of the 3T Exploro.
The frame accommodates a standard 27.2mm seat post, and we’ve also noticed a little rubber grommet on the right of the head tube, which is apparently to run a front dynamo headlight cable.
To help the RATT be as versatile as possible the frame is equipped with a mount for a front mech, which isn’t always the case with gravel bikes these days. As a result, the bike can be fitted with a 2x groupset. In the case of the CF1 that groupset is Shimano GRX RX800, whereas the CF2 model caters to a lower price point with Shimano GRX RX400.
There’s also a difference in wheels, with the CF1 coming with RONDO X HUNT 650B wheels while the CF2 gets its own brand Rondo Lit wheels. Both bikes come as standard with 47mm Vittoria Terreno Zero tyres fitted to the 650b rims.
Gravel bikes have been no exception to manufacturers' vendetta against visible cables, so it’s little surprise that the RATT has a fully integrated cockpit for that oh so clean look.
The RATT gets the typical bottle cage bolts on the seat tube and downtube inside the main triangle but there’s no sign of any fork mounts, bento box mounts or downtube mounts for a third bottle. We have however been assured that the RATT gets the necessary mounts for full mudguards, which does make it more appealing for winter and commuting use.
The RATT gets an EVO 386 with HTII adapter which we’ve seen used plenty of times in the gravel sector before, for example, on the Specialized Diverge.
Models will be available from summer 2022, with the RONDO RATT CF1 costing £4,299.99 and the RONDO RATT CF setting you back £3,399.99.
The RATT certainly talks the talk, and we’ve requested one to review to see if it can walk the walk as well. Stay tuned.
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...