Ritchey Swiss Cross 59cm

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Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:12 pm
Location: NL


After asking for your help and suggestions in this topic, let me present my finished Ritchey Swiss Cross. It's not the first nor the lightest one on WW, but it is my first bike that I built up from scratch so to me it is special :D I really like the look of a single chainring setup, so I was pretty sure from the start that I was not going to transfer the lightly used 5600 groupset from my broken BMC CX02 onto this shiny new frameset. Between 1x10 or 1x11 I decided to go 1x10 because I have several 10-speed wheelsets, due to the fact that I have two other 10-sp road bikes (not including the BMC). The bike's intended usage is general winter road riding and gravel and forest rides, so no CX racing of any kind (hence the bottle cages). Here's a few more considerations for those who are interested.

Budget and weight
Using a steel frameset weighing 2kg (size 59) it's never going to be a light bike. My BMC weighed around 10kg, so I figured it would be a nice challenge to get the Ritchey under 9kg without breaking the bank. Because of the 1x10 setup I was going to save some weight there. I decided to go Sram and buy reasonable light components whenever I spend money on any parts. Estimated budget for frameset, drivetrain and small parts was € 1.200,-.

I didn't want to combine two levers with different optics and there is no left brake-only lever to match a 10sp shifter, so I decided to pick up a pair of lightly used Force or Red shifters and remove the front shifting paddle. Got a good deal on the Red ones and I managed to remove the paddle without dismantling the brake lever using this Youtube instruction video. This saved about 35g.

On my BMC I rode 46/36 but I rarely used the 46. So I picked up a Force 1 crankset with 52T ring and replaced 130mm spider + chainring (221g) with a Wolftooth Direct Mount 36T chainring (80g), which is enough for my type of (winter) usage. The long-cage Force 1 rear derailleur is very pricy but it gives me gearing options and matches the cranks nicely. Setting it up for 10-speed was easy, just the b-screw required more attention to set up. Initially the pulleys were too far away from the sprockets which made shifting unprecise in both directions, but this was solved after doing some re-adjustments. The cables are Dura Ace 9000 in white. I like the look of them, but the coating on the inners is too fragile (fraying easily).

The white Euro-X mags from my BMC are light but the gold accents don't match the Ritchey. I bought the black spare parts set to change the look but I didn't notice brake pad holders are not included so they're still gold. I might upgrade later to Shorty Ultimates or TRP CR950s.

Post, stem and bars
I looked at a lot of Swiss Cross images on the internet to see what color combinations suit my taste. The red Ritchey parts were tempting, but it would not make a difference performance wise and some reported a slight color difference with the frameset. So I decided to use the black Deda parts that I already had. White tape and saddle is always a favourite.

Bottle cages
I like the clean look of CX bikes but I need cages for my type of rides. Tried the Elite Tito and Cannondale GT40 in steel look, but I didn't quite like the classic shiny finish with all the modern black/white parts. Red or white cages would probably suffer from the same slight color mismatch issue so I ended up buying a set of black Mandibles, which are light, pretty and trouble free on my Isaac Sonic LTD too.

Old and heavy parts here, abundancy to give me tire and gearing options without having to swap anything:
- Ultegra 6600 on Mavic CXP-33 with Vittoria Cross XN
- Dura Ace 7700 on Open Pro CDs with Challenge Grifo
- Dura Ace 7700 on Open Pros with Challenge Limus

For road riding my tried and true DT Swiss RR1850 are a nice match colorwise. Also have a set of Record hubs on Open Pros that I might use at some point.


Will post some more pictures later :)

8,65 kg as pictured with DT Swiss wheels and Vittoria Evo CX road tires.
9,20 kg with Open Pros and Challenge Grifo tires, as in the build list.

I managed to stay within budget but the offroad wheels are too heavy to end up below 9kg. This could be easily solved with some cheap hoops like Racing 7 CX or the aforementioned handbuilts with Record hubs.

I feel the chain may still be a bit too long, what do you think?

Complete build list

Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:36 am
Location: Perth

by jemima

The frame size and pic almost makes the front wheel look like a 650b!

Nice build and write-up.

Thanks for mentioning that shifter-removal vid, along with the weight saved. Planning to do the same.

by Weenie

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Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:36 am

by glam2deaf

Nice to see another one of these Swiss Cross' in big dog sizing. Looks great, nice weight. Mine comes in over 10 w/ a powermeter.

Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:01 am
Location: France

by jeanjacques

On your left shifter, you keep the shaft ? Remove it on mine, difficult to see its real role with this tiny screw to keep it in place.

Posts: 216
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:12 pm
Location: NL


jeanjacques wrote:On your left shifter, you keep the shaft ? Remove it on mine, difficult to see its real role with this tiny screw to keep it in place.

I did reinstall the shaft, as in the Youtube video. Without the shifter paddle I don't see the function either but the weight is negligible so I just reinstalled it to avoid having too many spare parts that I can lose :mrgreen:

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