More by chance I was forced to use a Rondo Muut Al Tiagra for the larger portion of last Summer. Simply due to the fact that we had very little stock of bikes and I needed two fast wheels for my everyday commute.
The Rondo Muut comes with 650b wheels, which is for me a normal no go. Smaller wheels mean quicker acceleration but less momentum. Myself being and ex Roadie, it´s all about speed. I was to be learn more about this set up and it´s advantages soon.
Let´s get to the breakdown of the bike. The Muut is a Simple Alloy frame, comes with Rondos Vario Fork, which can be adjusted too offer a more upright geometry. If you ask me.. nice to have on the spec sheet, but I hardly notice the difference. The Tiagra Groupset is fine for a commuter 2 x 10 with a larger gear ratio makes sense for commuting on tarmac. The brakes are hydraulic and as we know from Shimano, always do the job. Althought the fenders are cool and painted in the frame colour, that was one of the first, well actually the only part that needed too say goodbye. What I really like about Rondo is the Geometry. It is not too agressive, not to comfortable, somewhere inbetween, Just where a gravel bike should be.
I used the Commuter for my everyday trip to work and back home, about 7 km in each direction. The commute takes me along a gravel river bike path up and down a couple of contrete slabs and through a inner city forrest. The 650b 47mm WTB tyres with 4 bar did the job. My ride was always comfortable, fast and secure, I never had to pick a line of preference, I could just nail it. Concrete, cobbles or gravel.. no worries.
Then on a Saturday, I was forced to use the Rondo instead of my road bike for a group ride of wanna be fast cyclists. Appearing at the meeting point caused for enough discussion, how long will I be able to keep up, when will I have to turn around. I remained silent, I knew that the pace would be well over 30Km/h and riding 47mm slicks on a heavy gravel bike was something I have never done before. Instead of laying down an answer that would have been a wild guess I just decided t hit the road as soon as possible and took the group towards the north of Hamburg. Once we hit the open rolling roads on the outskirts of Hamburg the pace picked up a notch or two. I had to ride a slightly higher gear and my pulse rate was a bit higher than normal, but I had no problems keeping up and did´nt have to hide from the wind. I was very surprised how fast the Muut performed on tarmac, that being said I also had a shorter stem and was not as aero as the others.
Since then the Rondo Muut Tiagra has become my daily gravel slave. I take it out for a my morning spin in the forrests of Hamburg before taking a shower and heading into the office. 650b slicks on a gravel bike full almost every purpose in our flat northern European terrain. If the gravel is wet, the slicks become a bit of an issue in the corners, but otherwise this bike ticks almost all of the boxes in the entry level catergory with hydraulic brakes.