What I Ride Wednesday! (Its Thursday, I know)
What I ride, and why.
Starting today (yes, it's Thursday), every Wednesday for a few weeks, I will go through each part of my gear. Hopefully you can gain some insight into my choices in equipment and learn a bit more about the awesome companies that I work with. Context. That's what I hope to provide you with.
I am more than happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below. Obviously I will have some bias with the equipment, but I will be as honest as I can.
For the first installment I am going to talk about the amazing bikes that I ride. Ritchey Logic was one of the first companies to jump on the beyondCX train. I met Sean, pretty randomly, on a Rapha Lunch Ride when I was visiting Portland last March. Plain stoked about being on the west coast, riding some amazing roads, not freezing on the east coast, I was talking up everyone I could. Sean contacts me later, letting me know he worked with Ritchey and wanted to be a part of my project. After a long summer, we went from the possibility of a few handlebars to having Ritchey providing the awesome bikes, cockpits and wheels I currently ride.
Steel is Real.
I am on the Ritchey Swiss Cross. I ride the 55cm frame made from "an all-new triple-butted, heat treated steel designed to Tom’s specifications for a classically lightweight, compliant yet tough-as-nails frame". The striking red paint shows up great in pictures and I love the lines on the bike. Up front is a matching Ritchey Carbon fork that is tuned to match the qualities of the frame, but at a fraction of the weight of a steel fork.
I am a child of the Carbon generation, so I will admit to having some trepidation jumping on a steel bike and racing UCI races. But from the first ride, I could tell this was different. In the best way. Yes, its a bit heavier than a carbon frame. Yes, it has a bit more flex. But once you adapt to the way steel moves under you, you can really get all the benefits of the material without sacrifice. After a few weeks, I found out if I slowed down my power output and cadence, I wouldn't lose watts into the frame, but the frame would actually spring back. This past weekend at DCCX, I was able to get the holeshot both days, which is the epitome of acceleration. The bike can hang.
This frame has been great this season with the amount of dry, hard pack races we've had this year. The steel smooths out the bumps and I can stay in the saddle and pedal through sections where others have to coast. And when I am training, I feel perfectly comfortable jumping onto some single track and the frame handles big bumps and drops great.
The best part of the frame has to be its cool factor. The past few years, Ive been on the latest carbon rocketship. While those were awesome bikes, they didn't have the allure that my Swiss Cross does. At every single race, I have people shout, "go Ritchey!", "nice bike!", "steel is real!!". People come up after the races and talk about the bikes and its awesome. The artistry of the bikes and their heritage has given me awesome interactions with fans of the sport, and fans of the bikes.
I've done my best to represent the company, and also show that their bikes are not only rad, great lifestyle bikes, but they perform great. This past weekend saw a steel bike on a UCI podium for the first time this year and at 15th in the US, it is the highest ranked steel bike in the US. But beyond all that fun performance stuff, it is a piece of art, a fantastic ride, and makes me smile every time I swing a leg over.