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Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??(12 posts)

Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??ralbert
Jun 14, 2002 8:53 AM
Excel sports sells them and they look really nice--classic looking with the red with white panels. I know the history behind the bike and its maker, and read about the materials, but am just trying to get feedback from anyone who's actually RIDDEN one. i think i saw a photo of one in the "how strong are CX" thread below from the poster who showed pics (steveO, i believe).

re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??lvonmoss
Jun 14, 2002 9:07 AM
haven't tried it, but fyi i saw a red 58cm one for sale by excel on the mtbr classifieds, $1500/obo.
Jun 14, 2002 10:22 AM
The red bike is a Gunnar that a buddy of mine owns. Newer Swiss Crosses use the Plexus style seat stays (curved) so they rear end will probably have a nice cushion to it... It looks like a nice ride! Not too common either.
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??peter in NVA
Jun 14, 2002 2:10 PM
I have a 98 Swisscross(bright yellow with straight seatstays, 700x32 tires). I really like it. It rides as well as any of my older rigid mountain bikes on singletrack. Fits me fine=50cc with 71.5H, 74 S angle. I'm biased since I have 4 Ritcheys-Ultra,P-22,Road Classic and the Cross. Worst part is the squealing front brakes-front fork looks like a road fork and oscillates fore/aft under hard braking. Much slower turning on the road with slicks than the Classic, but then the Classic is a handfull offroad (with 700x23 tires)- too quick.
I put Frame Saver in when I got it and the tubes still shine like new. Here in humid Virginia, those thin tubes would have rusted out in a season.
I haven't ridden any of my other bikes since I got!
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??seamus
Jun 16, 2002 3:59 PM
Excellent frame. I've had mine for a year, and after goofing around with just about every cool cross frame there is (steelman, Independent Fab, Sycip...) before and since buying it, I still love it. Craftsmanship wise, it's one of the nicest frames I've seen, even the threads are cut better than most custom steel bikes. Mine's got the whole Ritchey parts kit and weighs round 19.25. The handling and geometry is on the traditional euro cross side, and it's stable enough that I ride it off road instead of my mtb all the time. The fork is a little heavy compared to some, but it rides and looks great and I have no trouble with brake squeal like the other poster down there.

Get one. You'll never look back. Just three things to keep in mind---it takes a 27.0 post which isn't so common (Ritchey and thomson make 'em), it has a high bb so a 56cm feels a little big, but that's typical cross geometry, and if you get it from a Ritchey dealer instead of Excel Sports, you can get custom paint.

See you at the races...

re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??peter in NVA
Jun 16, 2002 5:20 PM
What magical brakes do you have that don't squeal? I had it with the original Ritchey brakes (Diacomps) and with the Avid Shorty 4's. 19.25 lbs? I never weighed mine but I always thought it was lighter than my older Ritchey road bike. Did you weigh it with cross tires?
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??seamus
Jun 16, 2002 8:37 PM
Yep, the weight is with cross tires. I've never weighed it with road tires, and to be honest, I usually don't even bother switching to road tires when I ride it on the road.

The brakes I'm running are Paul Components Retro's in the front, and Neo Retro's in the back for a little extra calf clearance on dismounts. They're expensive, but light, super easy to adjust and way more powerful than the old XTR cantilevers I run on my Waterford X-22, and not a hint of squealing, ever.

You're not the only one addicted to Ritchey's around here...I also have a NiTi, and I'm just about to pick up a NOS P-21 team frame, fillet brazed by Tom, complete with the complete old school 2x9 group.
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??peter in NVA
Jun 17, 2002 12:48 PM
Thanks Seamus. Never thought of trying those brakes. My Road Classic is fillet brazed and its absolutely beautiful!
The welds are like *eye candy* (I'm getting retro here).
Unfortunately, when I moved to humid Virginia from LA the seat tube rusted out in 6 months, and I never rode in the rain. With the vent holes brazed shut,just the temperature cycles built up water. After my first six month here I removed the seat post for the first time, turned the bike over, and to my horror water poured out.
Never had that happen in LA since I lived in the dry valley.
I put Frame Saver in my Swisscross when I first got it and the inside tubes still shin metallic gray-no corrosion at all.
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??seamus
Jun 18, 2002 10:08 AM
I'm in the SF bay area and I've never had any rust problems with any of my steel frames over the years, but I'm also pretty anal about cleaning and drying my bikes and liberally coating their innards with framesaver.

I think where you live has a lot to do with it. I have a '98 steel hardtail (not a Ritchey) that's got zero rust, but I just saw an identical frame from Alabama or somewhere like that, and the seat tube was so rusted that flakes of rust would fall out in your hand if you flipped it over. The moral of the story is, if you live somewhere real humid, stock up on JP Weigle Framesaver and make sure to occasionally flip the bike upside down to let it drain and stuff.

re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??peter in NVA
Jun 19, 2002 3:11 AM
I agree. That little can of Framesaver is the best investment you could make. I don't know why the paint shops don't add it with the paint. I've had some great rides in Henry Coe State Park with my P-22 and rides up dirt Alpine(when it was in good shape) with my Classic and then over to the ocean. What a great place to ride. Have you ridded cross on any of the trails?
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??seamus
Jun 19, 2002 10:05 PM
Why yes I have. Up hwy9 on the road and along skyline on the dirt. The trails up there are reasonably smooth so you can run a cross bike with absolutely zero problems, and in many sections it's as fast or faster than a mtb. Occasionally I run into Tom Ritchey himself...he does lots of road/off road mix rides in the area, except he does everything on a road bike. The guy's amazing, too...most people on mtb's can't stay on his wheel off road, even when he's riding a road bike. Technical skills like you wouldn't believe. And it's funny, when he says a road part holds up well, he means it holds up well for mountain biking! Made me a big believer in Ritchey stuff.
re: Anyone ever tried a Ritchey Swisscross??peter in NVA
Jun 20, 2002 3:30 PM
An actual Tom sighting! I remember the smooth trails in Long Ridge Open Preserve (can you still ride there?). I bet you could fly on a road bike. We've had a drought (not by West coast standards) so I have been ridding my Classic on the trails lately. Can't really stay with anyone since the roots and rocks throw the bike at any speed and my Mich Axial Pro 700x23s go nowhere in Virginia mud!