Dark Deal: Ritte 1919TT Frameset
Why this is discounted: These 1919s were designed just before the popularity of electronic shifting, and due to the difficulty wiring these for Di2, they were mainly limited to mechanical shifting. Now with the availability of SRAM e-Tap wireless shifting, these few remaining 1919s can have a new life.
Time trialing is a visceral experience and the sounds of your effort are what hit you first: the whoosh whoosh of the big carbon wheels, the drum of your heart, the metronomic inhales and exhales when you're pacing it just right. Then, of course, there's the pain: the position is less than relaxing, the vibration and bumps in the road hammering your forearms, on which rests the weight of your entire upper body. Straining your neck to see down the road past the stinging sweat in your eyes. Yet even with your senses totally bombarded, there are few feelings in competition road racing as truly great as pushing a time trial bike at tremendous speeds. And speed is the primary quality of the Ritte 1919 TT.
There are four primary things that make a TT bike fast:
- Rider Position: the human body is not exactly aerodynamic. We've got all sorts of spindly limbs, wide shoulders and a head that juts up like fat turtle. That's why the 1919TT is designed to adjust to lots of body types with a sliding saddle clamp that can adjust from 75-80 degree seat angle. Likewise, the front end of the bike is easily adjustable by providing a moderately low front end and utilizing a traditional, easily adjustable stem/spacer system.
- Power Transfer: Just a couple of watts over an hour can mean big chunks of time gained or lost. And many time trial bikes spend so much time trying to be as aero as possible that they overlook the frame's ability to transfer your power to the wheel. That's why the 1919 is designed with stiffness in mind. Using Japanese-made Toray T700 and T1000 carbon laid up in high-volume tubes and a rock-solid BB87 all carbon bottom bracket, the 1919TT puts your watts to the ground with as little loss as possible.
- Handling: If there are any corners, turnarounds, climbs and descents on the course, then a good TT bike needs to be both stable and agile because you'll need to be able to stand up and climb, accelerate from low speed corners and maintain your position on descents and in crosswinds. All it takes is one unstable moment to force you out of your tuck and erase miles of advantage. We took this into account with the 1919TT, and focused on a frame geometry that with a more road like geometry for maneuverability but a long enough wheelbase for stability at speed. This is where the 1919TT's stiffness also comes into play by not allowing frame flex to cause speed wobbles or deformation under hard braking. Speaking of braking, the 1919TT uses high-power direct mount style calipers for a decidedly un-TT-bike-like stopping experience .
- Frame Aerodynamics: In a real-world scenario, frame aerodynamics is actually one of the smallest factors in your final performance. The first three factors may take priority in the 1919TT's design, but we didn't exactly throw aerodynamics out the window. The frameset is as slippery as possible, using NACA spec aerodynamic tube forms while staying within the UCI shape restrictions.
Of course, there's also a 5th factor to an ultra fast TT bike: mind bending awesomeness. After all, unless you're a pro isn't half the fun just looking great? And the Psychological Watts™ gained by riding such a beautiful beast are literally immeasurable.