The 2014 Core Bike Show gave us the opportunity to take a closer look at a brand new to these shores – Ritte Bikes.
The US brand has picked up a UK distributor, Silverfish, whose brands include Spiuk, Evoc and Yeti, so expect Ritte’s presence to grow significantly.
Ritte may be based over the pond but it’s a brand heavily inspired by all things Belgian. Henri ‘Ritte’ Van Lerbergh was a Belgian rider who, having previous finished second in the 1914 Tour of Flanders, arrived at the start line for the 1919 edition straight from the front line and without a bike. He borrowed a bike, attacked almost from the gun and built up such a lead that he had time to stop at a pub for several pints before winning the race by 14 minutes.
It’s a unique tale and one, Ritte say, which embodies the brand’s spirit. “We make competition-focused bikes for unusual people,” they say. “And we like unusual people. They’re way more interesting than usual people. And so are the bikes they choose.” Ritte’s personality shines through in the colours chosen for their bikes and we love the Flemish Lion which sits proudly on the headtube.
Four bikes make up the Ritte range – two road, one cyclo-cross, and a stainless steel frame set to launch this spring – and the Vlaanderen and Bosberg 3.0 were on show at Core.
The Vlaanderen, inspired by the Ronde van Vlaanderen, is the more aggressive of the two bikes we saw. It’s a bike, Ritte say, for riding hard and fast. It’s made from a high-modulus carbon fibre, with an oversized BB30 bottom bracket, tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ headtube and integrated seatpost.
Claimed frame weight is 930g for a size medium, all cables are routed internally and it’s ready to accept either a mechanical or electronic groupset. It also has clearance for 25mm tyres – perfect for Belgium’s cobbled climbs.
The Vlaanderen is available in four colours – ‘gloss grey’, ‘glass Belgium’, ‘matte black and white’ and matte Belgium classic’ – and Ritte also offer custom paintjobs at an additional cost.
The Bosberg 3.0, meanwhile, places greater emphasis on comfort, with a standard seatpost (rather than the integrated seatpost used on the Vlaanderen) to offer more adjustability, and thin seatstays and a fork designed to take the edge off harsh roads.
Like the Vlaanderen, it’s Di2-compatible, has a BB30 bottom bracket, 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″ tapered headtube, internal cable routing and clearance for 25mm tyres. Claimed frame weight is 950g. The Bosberg is offered in the ‘gloss white’ finish pictured below, though, again, the world is your oyster thanks to Ritte’s custom paint program.
UK prices are yet to be confirmed but expect to hear more from Ritte in the future.