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New Carbon Ritte Esprit Aims to Epitomize the Modern Road Bike

ritte esprit carbon road bike shown in black on black
12 Comments

Light, fast, aero, comfortable, stable, quick. If the new Ritte Esprit delivers on its promises, you can pick six of those features and receive a reasonably solid representation of each, all in one bike.

Teased for months, the Esprit is open for orders with a bold list of performance characteristics. With a sub-800g frame (size medium, claimed), aero nods and fully integrated cockpit, size-specific layups and tube shapes, and modern geometry, it wants to the perfect road bike for any rider.

Esprit Features

closeup detail of ritte esprit carbon road bike headtube

Up front, it uses full internal cable routing with their own one-piece OTHR Integrale handlebar/stem cockpit unit, but is compatible with traditional stems and bars, too…brake hoses would just run into the headset cap. And only brake hoses, as it’s designed for the latest electronic drivetrains only, there are no shift cable ports up front.

closeup detail of ritte esprit carbon road bike rear wheel and seatpost

This, plus some generally aero shaping on the headtube and downtube give it a bit of aerodynamics, but as with all of the features, it’s about balance. It’s not an aero bike, and even though it’s light, it’s not just a climber’s bike. It’s simply a road bike, albeit one that looks like it’s a very good road bike.

closeup detail of ritte esprit carbon road bike fork and front wheel

Tire clearance is rated up to 700×35, and the fork’s dropouts have swappable thru-axle mounts so you can adjust the rake based on tire size.

It uses a T47 threaded bottom bracket and standard round 27.2 seatpost for maximum compatibility.

Esprit Geometry

ritte esprit geometry chart

Inspired by classic stage race bikes, which had to be good at everything, the Esprit’s geometry was designed by custom frame builder Tom Kellogg. BB height and angles and chainstay length are based on more modern cockpits, hand positions, and 28mm+ tires, and those numbers vary by frame size to fit each rider better.

The carbon layups and tube shapes are also size specific, and they offer three different fork rakes that combine with varied head angles across the size range.

Prices & Options

ritte esprit carbon road bike shown in red out in nature

Two complete bikes are available, both with their bar/stem, Fizik R3 saddle, and stainless headset and BB. The Level One with house brand OTHR carbon wheels and SRAM Force AXS or Shimano Ultegra Di2 runs $7,900.

The Level Two gets ENVE SES 3.4 or 4.5 wheels, and SRAM Red AXS or Shimano Dura-Ace R9200 Di2 for $11,900. Powermeter upgrades available on both builds for an additional $400-$495.

Framesets are $3,950 and include the frame, fork, headset, hardware, and thru axles. Add their bar/stem and seatpost for $350 more.

Ritte.cc

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12 Comments
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Andrew
Andrew
1 year ago

Beautiful and classic frames ? I’m all in for it ! But reviews about Ritte’s frames in the past haven’t been stellar IIRC.

Whyarebikesoverpriced
Whyarebikesoverpriced
1 year ago

2500$ seems to be the entry point for all framesets now days, this is coming in at price close to Enve Melee. Curious if it’s built in China? Are consumers basically paying for the name? Curious what features sets is apart from likes of Ventum, Vitus and Canyon (more affordable brands).

teddy
teddy
1 year ago

agreed. Time Alpe D’huez frame costs less and the uniqueness and quality with that option are off the charts. When I saw the ritte press release I was expecting sub $2500. Don’t get me wrong, i would love to ride this bike and it seems like a winner, but I feel like I’m being treated as a doofus by most of the bike industry.

Fake Namerton
Fake Namerton
1 year ago

That’s a lot of money for a frame that they’ve just ordered from a catalogue and painted. Better off buying a Winspace.

Dinger
Dinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Fake Namerton

Why do you believe they didn’t design it? This is an up to the minute modern feature set (internal routing, aero shaping, 6x sizes + 3 fork rakes, and especially the tire clearance) that isn’t likely a open-mold design, which are usually last-gen designs with fewer sizing options.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dinger
Greg
Greg
1 year ago

$4k for a Ritte frame? And they can’t even bother to place the hoods at equal heights on a press photo bike.

Ashok Captain
Ashok Captain
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg

Eagle eye catch.

Elijah @ Ritte
1 year ago

Hey all, a lot of assumptions being made about this bike.

I can understand some of the skepticism – for a small brand like us to take the financial risk to build bikes that are ground up engineered to our spec in our own molds is not the norm. It most definitely would have been faster, less costly, and lower risk to buy catalog frames – but it’s simply not our approach. These frames are as far from open mold as you can get – if you check out the geo chart it’s easy to pick up that there is no way to achieve these results without investing, heavily, into molds/tooling. Some pretty sizable brands aren’t even making the investments in size specific rear-ends or main tube shaping that we are, for example.

I would not expect that everyone is following along with our little brand, but for those who have, you’ll know we’ve taken quite a long time to release this frame. Developing the molds, refining the layup, and honing in the QC has been a journey – we started on these bikes almost 3 years ago and feel we’ve gotten it right. The bike is distinct in ride feel and geometry (which we worked with Tom Kellogg on as we have for all of our current model bikes) to suit what we wanted out of a modern, carbon road bike. If a catalog frame had done that, there would be no reason for us to have spent the considerable time, energy, and capital to get here.

Quality wise, we are confident in comparing these with anything else out there. We’ve been very stringent with the QC standards and tolerances – pushing for tighter tolerances than any others we’re aware of when it comes to bearing seats, brake mounts, BB cup alignment, weight variance / void tolerance, etc. We back the frames with a lifetime warranty against defects for that reason. We’ve also generally offered no hassle returns on bikes – we’ve not yet had any returned, which I take as a good sign.

At any rate, we’ve got a handful of bikes out for review and hopefully there will be some additional 3rd party thoughts on these in the near future. Tyler and crew at Bike Rumor haven’t had the chance to ride one of these yet, but we’d love to make it happen. We’d also welcome anyone in the SoCal area to ride one and see what you think (and some further afield demo opportunities soon as we work with our dealers to plan that).

If you’ve got specific question about the bike, the brand / brand history, etc feel free to reach out to us. I’m glad to chat and we are pretty transparent about what we’re doing and why.

-Elijah @ Ritte.

Speshy
Speshy
1 year ago
Reply to  Elijah @ Ritte

It’s always nice to see thorough responses to comments from the manufacturer of the product in question. Especially when an AYHSMB would suffice.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
1 year ago
Reply to  Elijah @ Ritte

Damn. Like Speshy said, that’s a surprisingly thorough response despite a somewhat negative (and typical for this group) reception. Can’t say I’d be brave enough to jump in with both feet like that.

That said, I’ve seen some of their new Ti frames around LA and was pretty impressed with how well they’re made. Definitely not the same stuff they were doing overseas a few years ago.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
1 year ago

Huh. Apparently they got new management, lol

I like that it’s clean and they didn’t just go with weird for weird’s sake like everybody seems to be doing (or give it a butthole like those new Treks). Headtube shape kinda reminds me of Ibis, but there’s worse comparisons to be had…

Andy
Andy
11 months ago

Seems to me like Ritte have hit a sweet spot in terms of differentiation, management commitment to product quality (kudos Elijah@ritte) and pricing. Elijah’s note alone (below) makes me want to get out and ride this beast with a nice polished credit card in my back pocket for that end of ride purchase. Seeing bike brand owners going public and beyond marketing cliches to support their products is a rare thing these days.

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