The Ritchey Outback Bikepacker

Long time friend of the shop @citygent has been deep into road bikes and bike polo for a long time. He has never owned a MTB, and he doesn't really plan to, but he did come close with his resto-mod Specialized Hardrock a few years ago.

Now he is booked to head out into the wilderness (sort of) with the Brother In The Wild weekender in May 2024. And none of this bikes would carry him there, so it was deemed necessary (as all good bike builds require) to build a gravel type bike that will work as his play bike for the countryside and bikepacking rig for adventures.

It's still not what I would call a trail bike, but I'm sure you will agree that it is pretty much a rigid XC MTB, and thanks to the 27.5 x 2.1" tyres and wide carbon bars, it's not really a gravel bike anymore.

Having said that, the long wheelbase and long chain-stays makes this frame super planted. This Ritchey does not want to pop wheelies and bunnyhops, which might be part of the MTB denial, but it does behave the way would would expect a gravel bike to.

Ritchey Outback


  • Small Ritchey Outback frameset
  • Shimano 12 speed XT M8100 groupset with a 36t front ring and 10:50t cassette
  • Shimano XT brakes with MT800 160mm rotors (Flat mount on the rear, Post Mount on the front)
  • Hope Pro 5 hubs laced onto asymmetric Kinlin TL25RU rims with Pillar triple butted spokes
  • Whisky Scully Carbon 23 degree 720mm (when cut) handlebar
  • Ergon SF saddle
  • Ergon GA3 grips

When @citygent has loaded it up with bags, and gear, and made it through the BITW weekend we will update this blog with some photos of the bike being used as it was intended.

Stay tuned..




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