In Gear Reviews

Updated May, 2024.

As of this writing, my Ritchey Breakaway Ti/carbon has over 21,000 miles on it, according to Strava. This is my forever bike.

My first Ritchey was the Break-Away Cross version.

I loved the versatility of that original bike but had two complaints: cantilever-brake are finicky and underwhelming when trying to slow down a steep mountain, and the cyclocross geometry was imperfect for high-speed road riding.

Enter the Ritchey Ti/Carbon Break-Away. It has full road race geometry, normal brakes, that magical Ti ride but with a little carbon out back to make it even lighter than an all-titanium bike.

The Kit

For wheels, I’ currently rolling on Campagnolo Shamal Ultra 2-way fit, set up tubeless. For travel, however, I’ve used both Hed Ardennes+ in tubeless mode or Flo Aluminum (30mm deep, 24mm wide) in tubeless mode. The reason I travel with these wheels is they have “normal” spokes and can be fixed at any bike shop, compared to the weird proprietary spokes on the Campy wheels. It can accommodate a 28mm rear tire if you use a Sram Apex rear brake, which I do and the braking is no different than using a Campy brake. The ratio must be the same. Up front, it can handle 25-26mm tires, depending on the tire brand.

I long ago fell in love with Campagnolo, and this bike is kitted with Chorus/record 11 speed. Using a “medium” rear derailleur it can run a 32 tooth cassette, which is very nice, thank you, when grinding up steep mountains all day every day for a couple of weeks straight.

The only other bike parts worth noting are the awesome comfortable 3T Aeronova and the awesome comfortable Ergon CF3 leaf-sping seatpost, which you may know by sight as it comes on the Canyon Endurace. When doing these really big cycling trips the little comfort things add up. These aero handlebars are the most compliant I’ve ever used and have put them on other bikes, despite the high price tag. That seatpost flexes when you hit something that would otherwise bang your ass and spine. The 32-tooth cassette keeps the leg fresher when on multi-day big mountain adventures, or even when doing the Flanders sportif, pictured below.

They don’t make the ti/carbon version anymore, they are rare on ebay, and I’ve never even seen another ti/carbon in the wild. Ritchey now have a steel version, there was an all-carbon version, and a gravel version, the last two of which I have not ridden but venture to guess are great. I have two friends who own the all-steel versions and they love the bikes, ride them a lot, and travel to awesome places too. Long live the Ritchey!

Pro tip for traveling with a Ritchey: bring single point of failure parts. I travel with an extra compression coupler for the down tube and an extra deraileur hanger. Some people suggest that I should switch to Sram electronic to make the rebuild easier. First, it’s not difficult to rebuild and dial in the cable actuated shifting, so it’s not fixing a problem I have. Second, if you break any part of that electronic group while traveling you are screwed. No matter where I am in the US or Europe, I can always fix/replace a mechanical part at any bike shop.

The Ritchey looking north from top of Giau

The Ritchey looking north from top of Giau


The ritchey on flanders cobbles

The Ritchey was the perfect ride for Flanders. Tubeless set at 55/60 PSI and with the Ergon seatpost, I was beat up a lot less than my fellow riders.

 

Zuffnuff and the RItchey at the top of Passo Mortirolo

The Zuffnuff and the Ritchey at the top of Passo Mortirolo

 

The Ritchey looking north from top of Giau

The Ritchey looking north from the top of Giau.

 

Ritchey breakaway on Tremola pass switchbacks on background

Ritchey breakaway on the cobbled Tremola pass in Switzerland.

 

cyclists with vista in Andorra

Andorra is AMAZING great. Go there.

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