Monday, September 24, 2012

First Impressions - Ritchey Swiss Cross

I have wanted a Swiss Cross for years.  Only thing was Tom Ritchey no longer produced them and finding an older model was hard.   Lucky me Mr. Ritchey and the fine folks at Ritchey Bicycle Components decided to start producing the Swiss Cross again.


A couple of months ago I picked up the new ride from The Wheel Cyclery  and have looked at it ever since.   The main problem was what to build her up with and I have had some nagging injuries the past couple of months.  One in particular is a hip injury.  Because of this the build process has been very very slow.   Finally the Poser could  not take it anymore and offered up a SRAM Red CX Groupo.  I could not say no and found a renewed motivation to complete my dream bike.


Christopher decided he might try a couple of cross races this year after the MTB season ends later in October.  I told him he could race the Ritchey if he helped build her.  Heck, he has a much better chance at doing well on her than I would anyways. I am trying to teach him how to build, maintain and repair his own equipment.  We worked together on the Swiss Cross and I do believe she is a thing of beauty.  I can honestly say this is one of my finest builds ever. 


First impressions:  I just got back from a 30 mile gravel/dirt road/cross course practice ride.  I can not wipe the smile off my face.  This is by far the finest cross bike I have ever ridden.  I have a nice route that included some levee, double track, farm land, old construction area and two cross courses that I hit.  The Swiss Cross shined on all of them.  I was very impressed with how smooth the bike was.  Nothing like the ride of a nice steel frame.  I hit the double track hard and just floated over the bumps.   The double track lead me to my secret cross course.  This bike is very fun to ride fast on a flowing cross course.  Very balanced and  responsive.  Everything worked great including the SRAM Red.  Looking forward to healing up and gaining some form.  I really only have one A event on my cross calendar.  That is the Missouri State Cyclocross Championship in December.  Might have to order up another Swiss Cross because I am sure Christopher is not going to give up this ride easily.  I told him we would race for it. He said o.k., but it has to be a race with pedal power. Go figure...

    

5 comments:

wdavebike said...

That ride is sweet! Can't wait to see her in person.

Dennis said...

Did you have any problems fitting the components on the frame? I just had to send a RSC frame back because one of the brake bosses was welded on about half a centimeter off. I couldn't get one brake arm to align with the rim.

Dennis said...
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Chris Locke said...

At one point during the build we thought the rear triangle was misaligned. It turned out that when my son installed the rear wheel the fit was very tight due to paint on the drop outs. Once the wheel was centered by myself everything was perfect.

The more I ride the Swiss Cross the more I love it. First race on it is this weekend. We will report up a review later.

Anonymous said...

Can you comment on the frame size and total weight of the build? I'm considering one but hesitant due to the heft. I will be using this for racing. Any input appreciated.