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There was a flurry of excitement this week at Always Riding HQ as we got our first proper look at the Ritchey Outback frameset. Even nicer in the flesh than we had expected (and we had expected a lot), the frameset is a truly beautiful sight to behold. The Ritchey Outback was first debuted at the 2016 Eurobike show... a 12+ month wait then followed whilst tweaks were made to get the final details nailed down and now the Outback frameset is available! Having now seen one in real life, we think it has been totally worth the wait.

For riders who are not yet familiar with the Outback, it is Ritchey’s new adventure bike, designed to go just about anywhere. The frame is made from Ritchey’s legendary heat-treated, double-butted directional steel Logic tubing and the fork is carbon fibre. Designed to be built up with drop bars, the Outback's generous 40mm tyre clearance, disc brake mounts, sensible threaded bottom bracket and 12mm thru axles make it a capable, versatile option for mixed terrain adventuring. In fact many reviewers have suggested its potential as a one-bike-for-every-eventuality option.

The Ritchey Outback, kitted out with some sweet Ornot Code kit
Ritchey Outback - ready for anything with thru axles, generous tyre clearance and disc brake mounts

If I were to own only one bike, this would be on my short list of bikes to check out. If only it were fillet brazed by the man himself!

Clifford Lee, CX Magazine

As with all Ritchey bikes, ride quality is paramount. On paper, the Outback sounds very similar to other steel adventure/gravel bikes on the market. It is Ritchey's magic way with steel tubing that sets this beauty apart, something which becomes apparent once in the saddle.

Ritchey Outback frameset - beautiful!

The Ritchey Outback has a lively ride... On the road and smooth surfaces, it glides along and handles sweeping turns and tight chicanes with aplomb. Once the terrain gets bumpy, the forgiving Ritchey absorbs the chatter, but does not waver when leaned over hard in a turn.

Clifford Lee, CX Magazine

The ability to handle well on both tarmac and trail is one of the things which makes the Outback a really attractive option for many riders. Responsive, comfortable and confidence inspiring, it is ideal for seasoned gravel grinder and newbie alike.

The geometry of the bike proved stable and easy to manage for everything from asphalt to gravel to dirt singletrack. From the moment I jumped on the bike I was comfortable riding no-handed on or off-road. And when the track got wet & slippery the bike just was asking to ride faster.

Corey Benson, BikeRumor

I’ll be the first to admit that single track is not my specialty. I do however love it and wish one day to be able to shred it like I do in my dreams. Until then, I need a bike that inspires confidence and this Outback stepped up my game. Upon dropping in for the final segment of the race I felt light and confident as the bike had a nice flow in and out of the twisting maze. Big drops were handled with ease by shifting my weight back and applying minimal pressure to the brakes. The bike never felt out of control or sluggish through the turns as the long and low geo resulted in a smooth flow throughout.

A slim head tube and smooth welds - beautiful!
The go anywhere Ritchey Outback is an instant classic

The final thing all reviewers seem to agree on is that although the Outback isn’t the lightest bike ever, the handling and ride quality more than make up for any extra weight.

Ritchey describes itself as a company focused on ride quality, and the Outback is a perfect example of this philosophy. It's not the lightest or stiffest machine but offers a smooth ride that lets you focus on your adventure and scenery.

Clifford Lee, CX Magazine
The Ritchey Outback offers a smooth ride that allows you to focus on the scenery

I think sometimes riders get too caught up in overall weight and lose track of what is actually import – the way a bike rides and handles. This is especially important over rough terrain and can make or break the experience. This steel beast was silky.


This is a production steel bike that isn’t going to compete with carbon competition of weight or ultimate speed. But steel is still real. And a real good option for the rough-and-tumble life of a gravel bike.

Corey Benson, BikeRumor

If this has whetted your appetite and you want to find out more about the Ritchey Outback frameset, check out the video below and product page here. And if you have any more questions about the Outback please feel free to contact us here.

*Update 2018* The Ritchey Outback is now also available in a carbon break-away version: find out more here!

And a big thanks to our friends at Ritchey and Ornot for letting us use their gorgeous images in this blog - muchas gracias, amigos!



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About the Rider: Anne
Anne’s unique selling points are her super-strong thumbs (a hangover from her days fitting Marathon Plus tyres) and her enthusiasm for cake (both baking and eating). When not sorting out returns, writing for the website or delving into complex customer questions, you’ll find her fixing up friends’ bikes or enjoying the ride.
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