The Ritte Van Vlaanderen Bosberg
Team LionOfFlanders.com is honored to have partnered up with Ritte Van Vlaanderen as our bike sponsor as they exemplify many of the same ideals which we do (impecable style, focus on drinking, proper perspective on not taking things too seriously), and we were even more excited to receive our Bosberg frames.
The Bosberg, named for the final climb in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, is a new kid on the block of carbon super bikes but don’t let the company’s infancy fool you; Ritte Van Vlaanderen came out swinging on the playground. The Bosberg is that scrappy kid that transfered in from the other side of town and is not only determined to keep his lunch money, but takes yours too.
Built up from strategic layering of high-modulus carbon, the Bosberg combines all of the features of high-end racing frames into one slick package: an integrated seat mast, BB30, tapered head tube, and carbon dropouts. You can find all of these features in a competitor’s frame, but you’d be hard-pressed to come anywhere close to the price point of the Bosberg frame.
And then there’s the aesthetics; the Bosberg is dead sexy. Team LOF chose the “Euro” paint scheme, a brilliant white frame with subtle powder blue interior accents as homage to the land of cobbles and frites. Finishing touches and attention to detail include small tricolor stripes of the Belgian flag on the fork legs as well as window-paned graphics for the Ritte logo on the downtube, the latter lending a peek at the high quality carbon which the frame is composed of.
There’s no arguing that the appearance of the Bosberg is striking. Right out of the box the frame oozes respect and the sexy, a combination of the aforementioned immaculate paint and aggressive tube shapes. The bottom bracket junction is beefy; it’s an NFL linebacker staring you down, tempting you to just go ahead and give it a try if you think you’re stones are big enough. The head tube is massive, the chainstays could be used as self defence weapons, and the wishbone seatstays are trick. Let us not forget the daunting seatmast; in its uncut state is enough to make any guy self-conscious. All these looks are great, but how do they perform?
I built my Bosberg up with a SRAM Force group, Rotor 3D cranks, Ritchey bars/stem, and a Fizik Arione saddle. I’d be remiss if I did not note that I am running the SRAM BB30 adaptor sleeve, thus not fully taking advantage of the BB30. Some say I’m missing out, and to that I say bullocks. That BB juncture is so beefy that you could put a crankset sculpted out of Play-Doh in there and it would still be stiff.
The Bosberg is amazing to ride. The combination of the integrated seat mast and ginormous BB juncture make it incredibly vertically compliant. This thing literally feels like it has a backbone running from the saddle to the cranks; mash the pedals and you had better be pointing in the direction you want to go because it’s going to launch you forward with authority. There is little to no flex in the drivetrain, undoubtedly as a result of the over-sized boxy chainstays which are tall and narrow coming out of the BB and then taper down to the dropouts. The split wishbone seatstays finish off the rear triangle and the combination of the entire package firmly keeps the rear wheel planted and glued to the asphalt. This thing’s got grips like what…what…what.
The massive head tube and tapered 1 1/8” to 1 1/2” bearings make the Bosberg handle like it was on rails. Point this thing into the apex of a turn and it will track like it’s on rails, carving the most gnar-gnar lines you can throw at it without soiling your chamois. At the same time the handling is not twitchy like some top end race frames can be; it is more forgiving for small movements and corrections. The head tube on my medium frame is 14cm, which is ½ cm shorter than my Ridley Excalibur and makes for a little more aggressive position which is nice as I always felt the Excalibur’s head tube was a little tall for a race frame.
Make no mistake; the Bosberg is a purebred race frame however it is by no means overly harsh or uncomfortable for long days in the saddle. The layup of the carbon manages to make it rigid without jarring your bones over some rough terrain. The longest ride I’ve logged on mine thus far is only 3 hours, but that included a hard group ride and showed no signs of being uncomfortable to continue on for another hour or two.
The Bosberg is an incredible frame and bang for your buck I doubt you’d be able to find a frame that offers as much or outperforms it for even a fraction of the cost. Ritte claims that a size medium frame with uncut seat mast weighs in at 1000g and the fork with uncut steerer tips the scales at 350g. I have a medium frame and have yet to weigh it but I’ll tell you this: my Bosberg with 32 spoke training wheels is lighter than my Ridley Excalibur with Ksyriums on it. I’ve got to estimate it in the 15.5 lbs range, even less with carbon tubies on it.
To sum things up, the Bosberg is one rad mutha fugga. If you want to get your very own Bosberg go check out the fine folks over at Ritte Van Vlaanderen.