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  1. #1
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    "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?

    I'm considering setting up a coupled break-away style road bike to travel with.

    The only off the shelf frameset I'm familiar with is the Ritchey Breakaway. Looking at Ritchey's website, they seem to be available in Carbon and Steel (didn't they used to have a Titanium option?). I don't see any mention of electronic shifting with these.

    I'd prefer not to go with a custom frame, just because it's a bike that will get ridden two or three times a year when I'm travelling, and I'd rather not spend custom money on the frameset, especially considering the likelihood of it being damaged by cargo handlers.

    Looking for a fairly standard road bike geometry.

    I have a full set of Ultegra Di2 6800 compact including drive train that I pulled off of another bike that I'd like to use on it.

    Another issue I may run in to is, I'm tall - I ride a 60cm and a 61cm in my other bikes. They work well for me, but I can't really go much smaller. Will this cause problems with finding a case big enough to check as baggage?

    Just wondering what my options are?

    Anyone have experience with break-away style bikes with Di2? Any concerns there?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    I have a coupled 7, it is about 60cm and fits in a luggage box.
    I would email richey and see if they can get in a 62" luggage box in a 60, then just put a big setback post and long stem on it.
    I have a ultegra mech on it, if I was doing it today I would go etap... no wires or cables.
    If your only riding it a little, just go steel. If it gets wet, just dry it before storage and touchup the dings.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    I'm considering setting up a coupled break-away style road bike to travel with.

    The only off the shelf frameset I'm familiar with is the Ritchey Breakaway. Looking at Ritchey's website, they seem to be available in Carbon and Steel (didn't they used to have a Titanium option?). I don't see any mention of electronic shifting with these.

    I'd prefer not to go with a custom frame, just because it's a bike that will get ridden two or three times a year when I'm travelling, and I'd rather not spend custom money on the frameset, especially considering the likelihood of it being damaged by cargo handlers.

    Looking for a fairly standard road bike geometry.

    I have a full set of Ultegra Di2 6800 compact including drive train that I pulled off of another bike that I'd like to use on it.

    Another issue I may run in to is, I'm tall - I ride a 60cm and a 61cm in my other bikes. They work well for me, but I can't really go much smaller. Will this cause problems with finding a case big enough to check as baggage?

    Just wondering what my options are?

    Anyone have experience with break-away style bikes with Di2? Any concerns there?
    Bilenky Bikes in Philly has a option to chop a Soma Smoothie and put S&S couplers on it for $1750 (include the case and S&S wrenches)

  5. #5
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    I have a buddy with a breakaway and it's a slick and I think superior system. My sister and husband also have coupled 7's, the S&S add a little more weight than the breakaway. I've done some Europe trips with my uncoupled bike in hardshell case. Here's my take on it all:

    If I had the budget, I'd go with a breakaway with wireless Sram Red. Having built up more than a few coupled and uncoupled bikes in Hotel parking garages, having less cables to untangle and deal with would be a plus. I'm an experienced home bike mechanic FWIW, it usually takes @ 30 minutes to assemble and @ an hour to pack it all back up safely. Someone will always forget their top cap, bring an extra, lol.

    If I didn't have the budget, I'd convert a steel bike.

    If I didn't go on more than 2-3 trips a year, I'd either rent or use my regular bike in a case. If I was going to a riding destination for a week or less, I'd just rent. You can often rent top shelf bikes for a few hundred bucks for a week.

    Just because you can fit your bike in a big suitcase doesn't mean it'll fly free in our airline reality, you'll get hit with a bag fee and possibly an overweight charge. A standard bike box almost always gets you nailed for @ $200 each way as well. If you fly enough to get points/upgrades, this can help out.

    Flying with a bike sucks, there's no way around it. Dealing with an empty case can be annoying as well. Not to mention possible damage and the airlines losing the bike for a day or so, which is fairly common.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info. Very helpful.

    I doubt I will go with a custom frame, but Etap is definitely tempting.

    One of the many downsides to bring tall is that it can be a challenge to find a rental that fits.

    I made this mistake on a weekend trip to San Diego last winter. I had reserved a bike at a local shop, but when I arrived to pick it up, it wasn't available due to logistical issues ( hadn't been returned by the previous customer). I spent several hours on the phone calling around to offer shops and none had anything in my size at any price point.

    The one specific idea I have is to head down to Australia for a mid Winter getaway, and so some warm weather riding and catch the tour down under.

    I suspect that availability will be scarce, even if I reserved a bike. I'd like to be as self sufficient as possible, so I can be flexible on where I go and when I ride.

    I will likely rent a van or SUV and do some adventuring and sure seeing as part of the trip.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Renting a bike for more than one day is a deal breaker, and most places you want to go, the rentals are in high demand and a lot more than $100/wk.
    It is really nice having your own bike to ride. The coupled bike in a within regulation luggage will save u $$$ on every flight, probably about $100 each way minimum.
    You don't need a custom bike, you can order a standard ti or steel bike and have S&S installed, just work with a shop that is a little more high end.
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  8. #8
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    Do you already have a metal bike?
    I can understand not wanting to chop up a nice steel or ti bike but really those things have no downside so that's an option.

    You may want to check on airline fees and compare shipping costs by size or whatever. Those couplers are expensive I'm not sure it's be worth it for a couple times a year vs taking a regular bike. I know people who fly all the time with a bike box that fits a non-coupled bike (taken apart of course) and they say it's no problem. I don't know how much they pay vs a smaller box for a coupled bike though.

  9. #9
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    I have Ti bike now, and I'd certainly consider letting a reputable builder put couplers on it, but it's a curvy tube Volagi, and I'm not sure it's a candidate.




    It's something to look into I suppose.

  10. #10
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    U have to have round tubes I think, to make coupled.
    Technically you could do it but the cost would be extra, I never really seen it done, but if we have went to the moon, I assume coupling a odd tube could be done, but it would be ugly. Yes, I did state 'if'.
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  11. #11
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    The tubes are certainly round'ish - probably started out that way - whether they still qualify as 'round' after being curved is another matter.

    I think at this point, my default option is the largest size Ritchey BreakAway. I'll send them an email and inquire about routing (and coupling) for Di2, and ask specifics about the container sizes for the bike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    The tubes are certainly round'ish - probably started out that way - whether they still qualify as 'round' after being curved is another matter.

    I think at this point, my default option is the largest size Ritchey BreakAway. I'll send them an email and inquire about routing (and coupling) for Di2, and ask specifics about the container sizes for the bike.
    I don't know much about Di2 but can the wires be disconnected?

  13. #13
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    The joints in a typical S&S bike are about 6" towards the headset in the down tube and the top tube. I guess it depends on how you wire your Di2, but like I said before, etap is the way to go.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I don't know much about Di2 but can the wires be disconnected?
    Yes, they are basically a can-bus system. There typically aren't mid-wire junctions, but there is no reason you couldn't fabricate something to unplug them. Of course this would involve somehow getting access to the ETube wires at the junction, which would also be problematic (they are typically inside the downtube). It's doable, but would probably add considerable expense to a cost of the frame modifications.

  15. #15
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    I have a Ritchey Breakaway Double Switchback tandem. My wife and I have ridden it as a fully loaded touring bike on steep Scottish hills. Between the two of us and our gear, the load on the bike was about 500 lbs. My solo bike is a 61 cm top tube bike and the 59 cm Ritchey with a long stem is fine.

    The only issue I have had with the frame was when we picked up some road oil here in North Dakota and the frame made a horrid racket until I cleaned the junction and re-assembled the frame.

    Assemble is simple, and the only tool I need to take the bike apart and put it together is one of those Stanley multiple size Allen wrench things. I have replaced all the Torx screws on the bike with Allen head screws to make my life easier.

    I have looked long and hard at replacing my derailleur with an e-Tap but I am using flat bars and Hope disc brakes, so until they add a unit that will work with a 42 tooth rear 1X11 cluster I will stick with the cable setup. The e-Tap is also not free: for the price of an e-Tap I can spend a week on tour.

    My cable setup is fairly touchy about the adjustment, but doesn't add any significant time to the assembly procedure. I can assemble and adjust the gears in under 20 minutes, and it stays in adjustment until the next time I break it down.

    So far, the bike has flown at no extra charge, except for the time I had a lot of stuff in the case and it weighed 60 lbs. I learned my lesson, and put some of the heavy stuff in the wheel case.

  16. #16
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    Little late responding (coincidentally I was out in California at the time with my Ritchey BreakAway). When I was doing research on how to best pack the BreakAway, I found this thread:

    Ritchey Road Breakaway 60CM S&S Case

    The owner has a 60cm ritchey and was able to pack it into the 62" S&S hard case.

    As for other manufacturers, Surly makes a Traveler-Check (CrossCheck with S&S couplers) for $1100 but this frame will be anything but light since it is a Surly. It also utilizes cantilever brakes, if that's [not] your cup of tea, may not be ideal.


    And to answer your question about the Ritchey BreakAway, they discontinued the Titanium one and replaced it with the carbon fiber one.
    Last edited by jason124; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:07 PM.

  17. #17
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    I've been using an old 531 Mercian touring bike retrofitted with S&S by Bilenky but recently bought a RItchey Steel Breakaway frame. In thinking about what sort of components to put on it, I looked at Etap but, in terms of simplicity of packing, I realized I was just getting rid of the 2 derailleur cables and brake cables would have to be split for the rear and the calliper pulled from the fork anyway. I'm sure that Etap is a wonderful system but the cost didn't solve much of the packing problem by just getting rid of the derailleur cables so I went with a mechanical system and booked a 10 day vacation in the Pyrenees instead of buying Etap.

  18. #18
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    Etap doesn't have brake by wire? Comeon, WIUWT?


    But brakes are much more tolerant of travel. If the shifting cable is off 2 mm, somethings not going to work very good.
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  19. #19
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    not sure how often you want to travel but if custom isn't a way you want to go try a BF
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-b-f-.jpg  

  20. #20
    mrwirey
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    My Ritcheys go everywhere I go

    "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg  
    Last edited by mrwirey; 1 Week Ago at 04:11 AM.
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  21. #21
    mrwirey
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    I'm having Bilenky Cycle Works turn this Lynskey into an S and S coupled bike right now. I will be building it back up as a 1x10 (Campy shifters, SRAM WiFli Force rear derailleur, 44t front, SRAM 11-36 cassette). I love my Ritchey Breakaways ... I just want to try the S and S system. "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg

    Another picture of my Campy equipped Ritchey Breakaway Road on top of Mt. Magazine Arkansas. (LOVE this bike.) If N+1 wasn't a 'thing'; this would be my 1. "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg

    P.S. I have eTap on two of my road bikes and thought about putting it on one of my travel bikes (N+1 remember?), but decided against it as it is really unnecessary (IMHO). The cable quick disconnects work flawlessly and I've never had an issue with cable adjustment after many assemblies/disassemblies. Don't fear the cables.

    P.S.S. LOVE!
    "Coupled" travel road bike frameset options?-image.jpg
    Last edited by mrwirey; 1 Week Ago at 09:12 PM.
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