The first thing you’ll notice about the Bosberg is the bright paint job and the luxurious finish. This is a welcome change in a market still dominated by black – or at a push black and red – carbon.
But if you look at the story behind Ritte you’ll find its Californian founders do things their own way. Even going as far as naming their brand after the man who won the 1919 Tour of Flanders after stopping for a few beers en route. On a borrowed bike.
Highs: Speedy chassis, beautiful looks and great handling
Lows: Not the most comfortable bike around, and it’s pretty pricey too
Buy If: You want a Flandrian-flavoured racy package that’s also great fun to ride
But the paint’s deep lustre is only part of the Bosberg story. Nestling beneath the eye-catching exterior is a design that’s reassuringly simple. That said, it still has a full checklist of modern features, such as a tapered head tube, carbon dropouts and a BB30 bottom bracket, all adorning a sub-kilogram frame made from Toray’s carbon blend. At 7.52kg our Bosberg is no heavyweight, but you could buy the frameset alone and build this into a genuinely lightweight machine.
That stout 1 1/8–1 1/4in head tube houses a full carbon fork that has broad legs and a wide crown, but still only weighs 350g. The large down tube is round – for stiffness – while the flattened top tube tapers towards the junction with the seat tube. There is a large BB30 bottom bracket shell and deep chainstays, both of which are designed to make the most of your pedalwork The seatstays themselves are slim, though the large plate section above the brake bridge is likely to negate any potential comfort benefits.
The ritte comes with a complete ultegra groupset: Robert Smith
The Ritte comes with a complete Ultegra groupset
The unfussy design features geometry designed for efficiency. The frame angles are pretty steep by modern standards, which you would expect to translate into a bike with fast, twitchy handling. But Ritte has countered this by increasing the wheelbase to over 1m in length, which is more akin to that of an endurance bike than a racer.
By combining the two styles Ritte has come up with a bike that’s compelling to ride. On the flat the frame’s rigidity makes rapid progress easy, the Bosberg pulsing up to speed with brutal efficiency. The same is true on the climbs too, where it’s helped by Easton’s fine EA70SL wheels and quality Onza Preda rubber.
Point it downhill and that potentially sharp steering is countered by the longer wheelbase, making for a composed descender that revels in high-speed corners. Ritte tells us that it set out to make bikes that are fun to ride and this certainly has the grin factor in spades.
Although the ride is on the firm side and can’t match the plushness of a true endurance bike, we never found it wearing. Over poor surfaces it can jolt, and in spite of its Flandrian flavour it wouldn’t be our first choice for Belgian cobbles. That said, for 90 percent of the time the Bosberg is a superb machine. It inspires confidence on technical descents and has a wildly impressive turn of speed – and it has a chassis we’d recommend if you like to have fun while going fast.
Prices at time of writing for frameset only: US$2050 / €1950