Help! Ritchey Breakaway Cross assembly
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  1. #1
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    Help! Ritchey Breakaway Cross assembly

    I recently bought a used Ritchey Breakaway Cross frame that arrived today, and it appears to be in great condition. Unfortunately, the previous owner did not include any assembly instructions or any of the connector fittings for brake and derailleur cables or other parts. The instructions appear to be posted on the Ritchey website as well as spare parts, but I don't know what to get. Can someone provide me a list of the extra parts I will need to order -- or show me where they are listed on the website?

    What I received from the previous owner was the frame (both parts), the downtube hinge clamp, the headset, the travel case, and a cheap seatpost. I need to buy a fork, and would like to replace the seatpost with a Thomson. Does the seatpost need to be a minimum length? My current posts are all 27.2 diameter and about 250 mm long, and the post that came with the frame is much longer. I will be having a bike shop assemble the frame, but just want to have an idea what will be needed.

    Packing the travel case is a whole other matter, but I'll worry about that later.

  2. #2
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    You will need cable splitters (3 of them, front brake doesn't need it). I would get an extra downtube clamp just in case. If you plan to use road components on CX frame, I would recommend mini-V brakes. Regular road brakes will not accept tires bigger than 25mm or so, and if you want to take full advantage of frame versatility (you can run 35mm or even up to 40mm tires!), mini-V linear pull brakes are the best for the job. Regular V-brakes or cantis require more pull than road brifters can provide.

    When you choose a fork, I would also advise to at least make sure there is sufficient clearance for larger tires (othewrwise, what's the point in having CX frame?) as well as perhaps mounts for fender and/or panniers if you want to do any touring. If not, it doesn't matter. Some people prefer steel forks for travel, but my carbon Ritchey CX fork that comes with the frame holds up just fine after 2 years and 16 trips, with plenty of rocky CX riding.

    The seatpost needs to be long enough to reach the lower screw area, since it holds the frame together. It depends on how high you set it up, but you can always cut the current post to appropriate length if it is too long. Your 250mm may be a bit short, but it depends on how much of a seatpost you expose. I would just try it. You can assemble the frame by yourself, by the way. Nothing more tricky than any regular frame.

    Packing it is easy, but most people run into problems on their first try. Both Ritchey methods and S&S methods work well.
    For packing you may find these posts useful:
    Oleg's Cycling Adventures - Packing Ritchey Breakaway S&S style
    and
    Oleg's Cycling Adventures - Suitcase of courage

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback, 55x11. The previous owner was able to locate the cable connectors and said he would send them to me along with a spare frame clamp. I contacted Ritchey about the seatpost, and they recommended using one at least 300 mm, so I picked up a Thomson 330 to be on the safe side. I plan to use canti brakes because I have some on hand and like how they perform, plus they will also handle larger tires. I have a spare wheelset, so I plan to keep some 28 mm road tires on the bike for street use and some 32 cross tires for trail use. I went ahead and ordered a Soma lugged cross fork because I prefer steel and that particular fork has mounts for a front rack, in the event that I use the bike for touring.

    I am psyched about having a cross bike because I sold my mountain bike about 2 years ago. I have been using my touring bike for occasional trail rides, but the cross bike should be more nimble and fun to ride. The Breakaway also adds to my options for commuting as well as travel. I usually ride a bike tour with my brother every summer and we have always stuck to tours within driving distance, so we will be able to branch out to places farther away in the future since he also has a travel bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarwheel2 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback, 55x11. The previous owner was able to locate the cable connectors and said he would send them to me along with a spare frame clamp. I contacted Ritchey about the seatpost, and they recommended using one at least 300 mm, so I picked up a Thomson 330 to be on the safe side. I plan to use canti brakes because I have some on hand and like how they perform, plus they will also handle larger tires. I have a spare wheelset, so I plan to keep some 28 mm road tires on the bike for street use and some 32 cross tires for trail use. I went ahead and ordered a Soma lugged cross fork because I prefer steel and that particular fork has mounts for a front rack, in the event that I use the bike for touring.

    I am psyched about having a cross bike because I sold my mountain bike about 2 years ago. I have been using my touring bike for occasional trail rides, but the cross bike should be more nimble and fun to ride. The Breakaway also adds to my options for commuting as well as travel. I usually ride a bike tour with my brother every summer and we have always stuck to tours within driving distance, so we will be able to branch out to places farther away in the future since he also has a travel bike.
    Nice! I am curious how cantis work out on travel bike. Some people find it a bit challenging to adjust after assembly/disassembly but I think once you dial it in it should be straightforward. On the plus side, getting really large tires (35-40 and above) should be easier.

    Hope you enjoy the cross bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55x11 View Post
    I am curious how cantis work out on travel bike.
    I put TRP EURO X's on my Breakaway cross. On these the cable hanger can be unhooked from both sides. I do that and take both brake arms completely off when packing it. No adjustment necessary when it's time to reassemble.

    As for packing it, I just got back from the Tour of California and used this method for the 1st time to pack up my Breakaway CX and my wife's Breakaway Road. I think it worked way better than the method depicted in the instructions that come with the bike: Oleg's Cycling Adventures - Packing Ritchey Breakaway S&S style

  6. #6
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    While on travel with my Ritchey Breakaway, I got into some discussions about how long it takes to pack the bike into suitcase - I said it can be done in 10 min, even though usually it takes me 15-20. Others said "No way, it's closer to an hour". So I made this youtube video. 12 minutes from fully assembled, functioning bike to the closed suitcase.

    Just wanted to share in case anyone needs it for reference in the future

    Ritchey Breakaway disassembly and packing - 12 minutes from full bike to suitcase - YouTube


  7. #7
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    Thanks for posting. I will definitely refer to this when I use the bike for traveling. It is so cool having a travel bike; it really opens up some options for riding in different areas.

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    Question for Breakaway owners: How do you keep the cable connectors from rattling against the frame when the bike hits bumps? Mine has the usual rubber "donuts" on the rear brake cable under the top tube, but the connector rattles against the tubing every time the bike hits a bump.

  9. #9
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    cut surgical tubing or take one of the small water balloons and cut off the tip, or use a small rubber o-ring, wrap around cable connector. Rubber donuts on the cable help too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55x11 View Post
    cut surgical tubing or take one of the small water balloons and cut off the tip, or use a small rubber o-ring, wrap around cable connector. Rubber donuts on the cable help too.
    Good suggestions. Thanks. I've wrapped the rattling connector with electrical tape for the time being.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the suggestions to eliminate rattles. I also built up a Ritchey Breakaway cross recently and thought I'd add a couple things to what I've found already. I read quite a few threads and also Oleg's (55x11) blog, which convinced me of the superiority of mini-V's over canti brakes. I went with the Tektro 90mm RX6 mini-v brakes. These appear to be the best choice for the cable pull of 5700/6700 levers. These brakes come with very basic 'noodles'. With a breakaway, you will need a barrel adjuster noodle to have any adjustability. Jagwire makes them for a few bucks each. The breakaway cross frame does not have threaded downtube cable bosses for barrel adjusters, so you will also probably want to install inline barrel adjusters for your shifters. This was really the only option for me because I chose to run a mountain bike rear derailleur and Shimano for some reason decided to omit a barrel adjuster on the SLX 9-speed RDs. I hope that they reconsider this decision in the future and also restore cable-pull compatibility between mountain and road parts.

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    Can you tell me which jagwire adjusters you used? The ones I see by jagwire on Amazon, say they are not to be used on brake systems, only gears. Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billrush View Post
    Can you tell me which jagwire adjusters you used? The ones I see by jagwire on Amazon, say they are not to be used on brake systems, only gears. Thanks.
    Are you running cantis or mini-V brakes? For mini-Vs, I used these barrel adjuster noodles:

    http://www.amazon.com/Jagwire-Degree.../dp/B002SR7LPK

    I also have inline barrel adjusters on the shift cables.

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