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Ruut CF2 "Cabon Fibaaa" Gravel Machine Shines On All Roads With Gusto and Glory

Every once in a while, I run across a two-wheeler that just makes my words flow. This was the case once my visual cortex began to process the Ruut CF2 gravel bike from Rondo. But, to call the Ruut just a gravel bike wouldn't be doing it justice. Grab a helmet because this one will be... how do I say this? Amazing? Yup, that's a good word for things.
Ruut CF2 10 photos
Photo: Rondo / Edited by autoevolution
Ruut CF2Ruut CF2 CockpitRuut CF2 ForkRuut CF2 Drivetrain and ChainstaysRuut CF2 BrakesRuut CF2 FrameRuut CF2 FrameRuut CF2Ruut CF2 Cockpit
Folks, you're not alone if the name Rondo sounds new to you. This Polish cycling manufacturer is the kind that likes to fly low on the cycling radar and has been doing so for over 15 years now. While they don't seem to build bikes for races like the Giro di Italia or Tour de France, there is enough race "heritage" in their machines to satisfy folks like you and me. But, until you ride one, let's drool over all that makes the Ruut what it is.

Whenever I look at a bike, the first thing I explore is the frame. After all, it stands as the base for absolutely everything you see. If you still need to check out the image in the gallery, I urge you to do so. Even if you're the sort of person that has nothing to do with cycling, use the Ruut as a fine example of a solid machine.

For starters, I bet you never noticed any welds on this thing. That's because nothing more than carbon fiber is used to craft every Ruut CF2, and it's not just the frame either. The fork follows a similar composition. The result? Nothing more than a 9.1 kg (20.1 lb) hunk of composite goodness designed to carve new roads wherever your travels take you.

Sure, it's not some full-suspension MTB designed to go just about anywhere you can think of, but Rondo designed the Ruut to be as versatile a machine as €3,700 ($4,050 at current exchange rates) can buy. This means that, as long as you use it within its designed limits, you should be set for a vibration-free experience propelled by some of the best gear the industry has to offer.

Ruut CF2 Cockpit
Photo: Rondo
But, before I start talking about components you'll find on this bugger, let me point out a few other features of the frame you need to be aware of. After all, they define the Ruut. One feature is the way the top tube dips tight before meeting the seat tube. This isn't something I've often noticed on many bikes, and the only purpose I could find was regarding frame stiffness. The way the seat stays wrapped around the seat tube further sustains this notion.

Now, take a look at the chain stay. What do you see? If you answered, "a dropped or asymmetric chain stay," you'd be right. Why integrate such a feature onto a gravel bike? Why the heck not? Aside from looking pretty cool, such a dropped design has plenty of function. It's meant to offer precious clearance to your drivetrain, and these days, manufacturers also tweak the rear triangle's dynamics with such an element.

Speaking of dynamics, one important aspect of any gravel bike is its tire size. As standard, the Ruut is rocking a set of WTB Nano with 700c x 40. However, and this is a big one, you can also rock up to 700c x 45 tires. Or for us North American riders, solid 27.5 in x 2.2 in tires. The kind you'd see on your average MTB. Starting to understand just what Rondo is offering the crowd?

Well, diving further into this dirt-riding rocket, let's see how you can take advantage of all the juice your little – or big – legs can kick out. Ensuring you can hit top speed on flats, aim for it on climbs, and break it on descents, nothing more than an SRAM Rival drivetrain with 1 X-Sync 42T crankset, Rival 1 derailleur, and an XG1150 with 10-42T will be what you call upon for the burn you want. All that's tuned to an easy-to-use 11 speeds. Stopping power? Yes, SRAM, yet again. Hydraulic brakes for the win. Just remember one thing about the drivetrain and brakes: if you're handy with a toolbox and prefer something else, make sure you abide by all the measurements the Ruut includes, and off you go.

Ruut CF2 Drivetrain and Chainstays
Photo: Rondo
Before you jump on this bike's growing bandwagon, there's something you need to consider. Gravel bikes like these are designed to have you huffing and puffing and flying as far as your legs can carry you. So, to help future owners to go the distance and have the necessary gear to do so, several cargo mounts are tattered all over the frame and even the fork.

All this means countless water bottles to help you stay hydrated. But it also means extended trips and ones that will have you camping out under the stars once you've run out of juice. Throw on a rear pannier rack. Add one to the front. Mount something to the top tube while you're at it. Why not take advantage of the countless gear manufacturers that specialize in transforming your bike into an outdoor exploration machine?

If you happen to end up on Rondo's website, under the Ruut CF2, the words "The Real Offroader" are seen at the top of the page, describing this beauty. Sure, that may be a subjective statement, but there's only one way to find out: get your hands on one.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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