Help on buying Ritchey break-away cross
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Help on buying Ritchey break-away cross

    I would like to get peoples input on frame size and parts for Ritchey break-away cross. I am 6'1 but short in arms. Weigh 145 lbs
    Present road bike, an older Trek Madone 5.4 fits great. 58cm frame not the pro setup.
    Present set up
    -saddle height to bottom bracket = 784
    -saddle setback 66
    -reach from saddle to bars is 516
    -drop from saddle to bars is 65. Using a 90 stem with some up tilt.
    Shop recommends 56 cm frame to get the right reach, due to more stretched out frame vs trek, and then make up the drop with stem of 90 with 10 degree rise and 50mm spacer. Does this make sense or go with 58 frame and shorter stem (70) with less angle ?

    Parts
    Ultegra 6800 with GS rear to allow a large range to 32T in back
    Brakes TRP CX 9
    Stem Bontrager RL 4 bolt
    Bars bontrager race vr-s
    Seat post ritchey pro 2-bolt
    wheelset - HED ardennes+LT
    tires - clement LAS

    Comments please. Use is for road to fireroads in sierras and travel.
    Ease of use of parts in terms of travel setup and breakdown is also helpful.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    The 56cm frame does NOT make sense because typically, aluminum or carbon steerer forks are limited to 25-30mm of spacers under the stem. Your dealer is recommending 50mm of spacers, which would not only look ugly, but be outside the boundaries of safety for the fork. Also, the seat post extension on the 56cm frame, considering your seat height, would look wildly out of proportion.

    I do agree that your current 58cm Madone with a 90mm stem is an unusual fit but if it's necessary for you and you like the fit, I'm not going to criticize it.

    Personally, I think you're trying too hard to make the Ritchey fit, given your unusual proportions. If you're truly that tall with the spec'd seat height and short arms, I would suggest a custom frame. You could probably get a custom Gunnar for very close to the Ritchey (which is an still an excellent frame, by the way) for close to the Ritchey's price.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks for the input. What about going to 30cm spaces and a higher rise stem ? The downside on 58 frame was need for short 70cm stem and then worry about fore-aft weight balance and not good handling. The reason for Ritchey is the Ti frame option

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If you insist on the short, high rise stem, the get a custom stem. Steelman and Soulcraft are two builders that can do this.

  5. #5
    Cathedral City, CA
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    The CrossHair frame and fork is $900 + $300 from their site. No data on the S&S BTC's, but they are usually on the order of at least $500. A case is another $300 at least. So, that's $2000+ and it's still a steelframe. The list for the Ti BreakAway in $3000, including fork and case. There are some deals to be had that would be less than list. Check GVHBikes.com and bicycledoctorusa.com

    Regarding sizing, it does seem like the 58cm would work better. I'm almost 5'-10" with a 32" inseam and my BreakAway is a 56. A professional fitting showed that the guy at GVH who sized the bike based on my measurements was dead on...
    2016 Ritchey BreakAway (carbon)
    Full Campagnolo drivetrain - Chorus 11sp (50, 34 & 12-29)
    Zonda wheels
    Lezyne Super GPS w/Cateye speed/cadence & HR sensors
    Ritchey fork, stem, headset, bars and seatpost
    Fizik Arione VSX saddle
    Cinelli bar tape

    BeBop Pedals

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Ritchey's fit funny. I'm 5' 10" with a 31" inseam, and the 56 felt huge. Based on the top tube, I dropped to a 52. Fit better, but it was pretty funny looking. Ended up with a 54, which still doesn't fit great, but works for travel. I wish they made one with a more modern fit, instead of the old fashioned stretched out design. I probably would have been dollars ahead to have gone custom, and gotten something I enjoyed riding. It travels well though.
    Tis the season for all of us not hard enough to play to belittle those not hard enough to win. We are a funny lot. - dave @ November Bicycles

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If it's any help, I have a Breakaway Cross in size 58 and it fits me perfect. I am 5'11" with a saddle height of 75 cm from BB center to top of saddle. My handlebar is about the same height as my saddle, and I can use a Ritchey 10 or 11 cm stem with +10 rise.

    I bought the frame used and it did not include the matching Ritchey carbon fork. I opted to use a Soma steel CX fork, which suits my purposes better.

    I love this bike. I had searched for a used Swiss Cross for years but never found one in my size. The Breakaway Cross is actually better for my purposes because it has mounts for fenders and a rack, and I use the bike for commuting and riding on trails. However, I still have my eyes open for a Swiss Cross ...
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    Last edited by tarwheel2; 02-19-2015 at 11:32 AM.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I am surprised you are 6'1" and riding 58cm frame with only 90mm.
    Having said that, both setups (if possible in terms of spacer stack) should get you in pretty similar position. frame 2cm shorter, but stem 2cm longer, a few spacers here and there, adjust the seatpost and you can get basically identical positioning in terms of contact points.

    For packing purposes smaller frame is always better, so if I were you (assuming you are correct and your 6'1" frame really works fine with 58cm and 70cm stem) - I would go with 56cm and 90cm stem instead.

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