Travelling with a Ritchey BreakAway Cycloc...

GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010


Those travelling on overseas holidays with their bikes - it's a mission to pack the things right? So I thought I would try something different. If you are indeed a traveller, maybe there's something of interest here for you.

I got a Ritchey frame that uncouples in half, and pretty much packs into something only a bit bigger than a suitcase, no taller than a 700c wheel, about 10% longer, and about 30cm wide. These dimensions mean the packed product is a lot more manageable than a normal bike bag in crowded airports, on airport shuttles or even on public transport! The test of my new bike was a holiday in Mauritius - so much cycling opportunity, and perfect territory for a cyclocross bike - a bike good enough for road and mild offroad excursions.

To pack the Ritchey is a bit of a mission compared to a normal bike to be honest, with more to undo and unscrew. Also, best remember how everything packs together once you get it right, because the trial and error of trying to make everything fit does drive one to need a beer or two. The upside was the airport agility as expected, as the bag simply fits on the trolley without bits hanging out everywhere, and it easily fits into a normal sedan boot without too much huffing and puffing. To reassemble the bike is also lots of work, so you reward yourself with another beer for the effort. The beers themselves were awesome, all ice, ice cold and readily at hand. I'm not sure they made the packing easier though. But I digress.


As for the bike: Tom Ritchey has clearly been in this business a long time. The steel bike is simply awesome, stiff, without a rattle our groan anywhere, irrespective of puffing up 1:15 hills in places, or going down them too fast with the unsavoury smell of burning brake rubber. It's also a little conservative in its paintwork, which means you're not that conspicuous - good for when you're in strange places. I built it up with Ultegra 10s (a 53-39-30 triple leading an 11-25 - good for the Alpine stuff), with a Scandinavian Kore Gradient II SL wheelset, a company better known for hard-nosed MTB kit. The wheelset itself is stunning, weighing in at about 1600g, yet incredibly stiff and strong. After all those potholes slammed into over a week of cycling, the wheels are still true! I'm not convinced about the Ritchey carbon fork though, but maybe I'm a little old school in that I would have preferred a steel fork to complement the bike, specifically with durability in mind. It also has rack mounts and mudguard mounts for audax and touring purposes. The frame will accept tyres up to about 700x38 given the cantilever brake arrangement. While I also run it on 700x28 and 700x35, I have notes in riding that the latter is an amazing combination for touring - comfortable and still easy to accelerate - although I used the 700x28 to Mauritius given all the road hillclimbs I was hoping for, and got.

Verdict:
It's a mission to pack, and you need more beer as a result, which is probably not all bad. As for the bike itself. It's superlative. So much so that I'm going to be riding it much more often. Will I travel with it again, rather than any of my conventional bikes? Undoubtedly yes. And I guess that's all the answer I need

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Mellow's Photo Mellow 27 Oct 2010

i like! its a bike you can actually ride an train with.

what is the weight all packed ?
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

i like! its a bike you can actually ride an train with.

what is the weight all packed ?


15.5Kg bike and bag alone according to the bathroom scale (can't speak for its accuracy)

For the trip I packed all my cycling kit in there - clothes, shoes and helmet - and a mini track pump, bringing the weight to 18.6Kg according to the check-in scales. It is therefore entirely feasible to travel solo, between your cabin baggage and this, to fly without incurring excess baggage costs




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Mellow's Photo Mellow 27 Oct 2010

15.5Kg bike and bag alone according to the bathroom scale (can't speak for its accuracy)

For the trip I packed all my cycling kit in there - clothes, shoes and helmet - and a mini track pump, bringing the weight to 18.6Kg according to the check-in scales. It is therefore entirely feasible to travel solo, between your cabin baggage and this, to fly without incurring excess baggage costs


Very good report, thank you again!
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

Very good report, thank you again!


Thanks!

Do you often tour/travel with your bike?
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Mellow's Photo Mellow 27 Oct 2010

Thanks!

Do you often tour/travel with your bike?


yes quite a bit and the logistics of traveling with a bike becomes a nightmare - as you probably know. the problem is that if i dont cycle i become extremely moody ( or thats my excuse ) :)
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

yes quite a bit and the logistics of traveling with a bike becomes a nightmare - as you probably know. the problem is that if i dont cycle i become extremely moody ( or thats my excuse ) :)


I know exactly what you mean about the moods! Just gotta ride (dunno if it's just my excuse)!

Being frequently exposed to the nightmare of travelling with a bike as a result of the above moodiness, I recently bought a Dahon folding 26" bike to try on a different journey soon, where the roads are rougher needing 2" tyres. In theory it looks simple enough, but again, the proof is in the logistics!
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Mellow's Photo Mellow 27 Oct 2010

I know exactly what you mean about the moods! Just gotta ride (dunno if it's just my excuse)!

Being frequently exposed to the nightmare of travelling with a bike as a result of the above moodiness, I recently bought a Dahon folding 26" bike to try on a different journey soon, where the roads are rougher needing 2" tyres. In theory it looks simple enough, but again, the proof is in the logistics!


please report back after the trial run with the Dahon.

usually when arriving at a new place the most obvious places to ride is the roads with an odd gravel road some where - and i think the ritchey is perfect for it. im more of a mtb rider but its difficult to find routes when you dont know the area
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CAAD4's Photo CAAD4 27 Oct 2010

Nice bike. Do you need to take two days extra leave to assemble and disassemble though? :rolleyes:
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

please report back after the trial run with the Dahon.

usually when arriving at a new place the most obvious places to ride is the roads with an odd gravel road some where - and i think the ritchey is perfect for it. im more of a mtb rider but its difficult to find routes when you dont know the area


As for MTB travel - being a cyclocross frame, the options for speccing it more for MTB-type stuff are also considerable, with e.g. a shokpost suspension seatpost and even 700c front suspension forks. On 38 width tyres and with the above-mentioned suspension, there's good enough volume for somewhat rougher stuff than just trails ... and it's much lighter than a MTB! I have to try this one day - I've already bought the kit, so when I get to it, I'll give it a spin at Teak Place or similar, to test the efficacy of the rig offroad. If that works, then I will have discovered the perfect, do-most-things travelling bike!
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

Nice bike. Do you need to take two days extra leave to assemble and disassemble though? :rolleyes:


haha, almost! Once you get the hang of it, it takes about 30min either way! Until you get the hang of it, an hour!
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CAAD4's Photo CAAD4 27 Oct 2010

haha, almost! Once you get the hang of it, it takes about 30min either way! Until you get the hang of it, an hour!


OK so a 6 pack is required....
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

OK so a 6 pack is required....


lol, yep, but make sure its ice cold! Otherwise it will just make you miserable!
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javadude's Photo javadude 27 Oct 2010

Awesome post, awesome bike. Where did you buy this baby from?
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GuyP's Photo GuyP 27 Oct 2010

Awesome post, awesome bike. Where did you buy this baby from?


Thanks!

All CRC-sourced.


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Woofie's Photo Woofie 27 Oct 2010

Wow, That is far too much work for me.

But I suppose if you are desperate it is pretty cool!
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