Tom Ritchey rides about 10,000 miles (16,000 km) per year, and most of that is off-road. Combine that with his more than 40 years of designing and building bicycles, and it’s no wonder the Outback has become an icon in the gritty world of gravel and adventure bikes.
Updated for 2020, the new Outback now sports several practical and adaptable features that offer riders the ability to chase epic ride experiences beyond the end of the road and the end of the day. Rack and fender mounts help to keep things dry and expand the load-carrying capacity for longer bikepacking adventures, while clearance for 700c x 48mm or 650b x 2.0in tires opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The frame accepts flat-mount disc calipers, and the new all-carbon fiber Ritchey Adventure Fork with multi-purpose mounts on the legs gives you more places to stow the supplies you gather at the last cafe.
Painstakingly TIG-welded with proprietary triple-butted Ritchey Logic steel tubing, the Outback frame delivers the legendary Ritchey ride quality that’s resilient over the harshest terrain and delightfully responsive when you want to open it up.
Bikepacking, road, off-road, trail, expedition, you name it…the new Ritchey Outback is designed do it all.
Includes new Ritchey Adventure Fork with multipurpose mounts
A pure, traditional road bike built for long days in the mountains. Light weight and comfortable, build with reliability in mind.
Titanium frame, handmade in Colorado
Campagnolo record 11 speed
ENVE carbon handlebars and seatpost
Chris King headset
HED Ardennes+ wheels, 28mm tires
Bikes that always work, can be repaired at most bike shops, and at the same time are fun and high performance are the goal. When rides take you away from home (RAID Pyrénées, multi-day trips) reliability and smart component choices are favored. That philosophy plus a high quality frame deliver life-time bikes!
This is one of my road bikes. I did not need another road bike when I bought it, but sometimes (okay, often…) I buy bicycles I don’t technically need.
I did have the slightest tinge of buyer’s remorse, even though I was completely in love with it. A few rides and a couple adventures later, there was nothing but love left for the do-it-all item4. It’s fast. It’s comfortable. It has a ride quality that is equally suited to smooth road rides or poor pavement sorties.
Baltimore’s Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes hasn’t been to NAHBS since 2013 and this year, he brought what he’s known for and then some. You can always count on Chris for the finest fillet and lug construction, but I was completely surprised to see him soft-launch a production line called Item 4, named after the substrate specification used in gravel roads in the North East. Item 4 is a collaboration with Vicious Cycles, who is tig-welding the front triangle of these frames, with Chris fillet brazing the rear and all the accoutrement needed for a rim brake or disc brake road bike. Chris really wants to expand the Bishop Bikes lineup, to get more people out on bikes that he’s designed and to be honest, I can’t wait to see more of these roll out of his Baltimore workshop…
Pics by John Watson
This bike was a prototype, but in essence it is still an item4 – fully custom, tig welded main triangle, and the best tubeset Columbus makes- tuned tube by tube for you. Capra Vélo imports and custom builds item 4 bikes, inquire if you have questions.