We got a very early sneak peek at the all-new Rondo Ruut 2nd-generation carbon gravel bike back in February when it leaked out of a dealer-only preview event with its unique interrupted seattube design. But now at Eurobike, the new Ruut CF carbon bike has been brought out from under cover for a closer look. And its more conventional aluminum Ruut AL sibling has been unveiled too, with its own bit of unique design features…
The unmistakable novelty of the new second-generation Rondo Ruut is that interrupted seat tube design, which replaces the conventional and traditionally-structural two-triangle design that we all know and love for its simplicity. Rondo had already put a couple kinks in those triangles since the first iteration of their carbon gravel bike, but in more recent years they’ve gotten even more adventurous with angular, unconventional shapes.
Rondo Ruut CF 2nd-gen carbon gravel bike
While this broken seat tube promises to “tremendously” boost rider comfort thanks to controlled vertical flex – the same basic premise we saw in a Specialized patent the day before our Ruut 2.0 sneak peek, and then their Sirrus commuter bike – Rondo also has used the unconventional design as a springboard for even more wild shaping throughout the front half of their new carbon gravel bike. As their product designer explained it to me… “it also looks cool”.
We already knew plenty of details this year about the more integrated carbon bike with its carry-over adjustable geometry thanks to the fork axle flip-chips and five frame sizes (XS-XL), fully internal cables, nowhere to mount a front derailleur, a deeply aero fork that shields the front disc caliper, an asymmetric T47 BB & round 27.2mm seatpost. We also now know that at least three builds will be made available later this year, all with SRAM AXS wireless gravel drivetrains & Hunt wheels.
The top Rondo Ruut CF0 (green above) will get a Force XPLR group & special Rondo crossover branded Hunt Limitless aero carbon gravel wheels. Then, a Ruut CF1 will get Rival XPLR with Rondo+Hunt X-Wide alloy gravel wheels. While tire clearance for the bike is set at a max 45mm for 700c or 50mm for 650b, both of these get 700c wheels wrapped in racy 40mm gravel tires.
Again, Rondo will make another cyclocross race spec of their gravel bike. This time the Ruut X will get the latest affordable SRAM Apex XPLR AXS groupset but with tighter 10-36T gear spacing and Rondo+Hunt Aero Wide Alloy wheels covered with 33mm cross tires.
Rondo Ruut AL 2nd-gen alloy gravel bike
Not quite as dramatic-looking as the carbon bike, the new aluminum Ruut AL also has a few tricks up its sleeve. Geometry and TwinTip fork flip-chip adjustability are the same. And Rondo also made a few odd design decisions, just to make it “look cool”.
The alloy gravel bike sticks with more conventional modern frame tube shaping, slightly dropping its seatstays for comfort, hydroforming top & down tubes for stiffness & aero gains, and dropping both chainstays for big tire clearance.
The Ruut AL also gets fully internal cables routed through the headset, but this bike retains front derailleur compatibility (especially important for lower-cost GRX builds). It also gets more mounts all around – 2 standard cages in the front triangle, toptube bag & under downtube mounts, plus rear rack mounts, fender mounts, and anything cage mounts on each leg of the fork.
That new Ruut G3 carbon fork is also quite interesting. From the side, it looks to share the narrower taper, swept forward profile of current Ruut forks, but is curiously asymmetric from the front.
Rondo’s designer said that’s ‘just because’. The asymmetry at the crown made it a little simpler and cleaner to locate a grommet for internal dynamo wiring routing to exit heading to a headlight either high up under the bar or lower over the front tire. But really, it was just a fun design choice to make it look different.
Looking down lower on the frame – under a PF86 bottom bracket – we noticed some clean semi-internal cable routing for the rear derailleur through a machined chainstay yoke, but also something else poking out below…
Rondo has given the Ruut AL a little integrated toolbox under the bottom bracket.
A plastic insert that bolts onto the open bottom of the aluminum downtube & bottom bracket houses a good-sized multi-tool and a separate chain breaker that both come with the bike you buy. Heavy-duty magnets hold the tools securely in place, and a fitted rubber door securely closes the lower opening to keep dirt, mud & water out.
Plus, with the tools out and toolbox removed, internal routing is much easier to get to when you need to replace that mechanical rear derailleur cable & housing.
2024 gravel bike pricing & availability is still TBD
OK, so we know just a bit more about what really makes these new 2nd generation Rondo Ruut gravel bikes different than the first generation that introduced us to the brand all the way back in 2017. But we’re still waiting for word on official pricing and model availability timing. The bike rumor has it that they are realistically more of a model year 2024 bike, rather than MY23 as we originally thought. But with that said, we are still expecting them to be available sometime this autumn, and hopefully will get on one for some test rides soon.