Ratio Rides: Anton’s Ritchey Swiss Cross
This week we’d like to introduce Anton with a super-stealth Ritchey Swiss Cross. Check out the incredible Alpine views from Anton’s local climb!
I’m Anton from Austria. I lived in Vienna for a long time, moved to cities including Amsterdam and Hamburg before finally finding a home in the Bavarian countryside. More or less that’s because, now, we’re near the Austrian border and in the middle of the German Alps. It’s a great location for training rides and, all in all, just the perfect surrounding. I’m the male half of youmecycling.com, Henri and Anton’s cycling blog.
I’m the proud owner of three different bikes – all of them built by myself from the ground up. I love building bikes almost as much as riding them and there should always be something special about them – something you can’t see on other bikes on the street. The three bikes are for three different kind of riding: bikepacking (a Bombtrack Arise steel frame), a cross / gravel bike (Ritchey Swiss Cross) and a road racing bike from the Berlin-based builder Standert. All of them are metal bikes and use threaded bottom brackets. I had a bad experience with pressfit BBs so now I only use BSA or T47.
I’ve been riding for around 5 years and at the start I concentrated 100% on road racing. Where we live, near the Dolomites, we have a big local tradition of road racing and I was totally hooked. The only exception was these vintage races called Eroica with old school steel racers. My approach to bikes totally change when I discovered that total freedom in cycling is being able to pack your bags and leave for big tours.
I built the Ritchey Swiss Cross from scratch – every single screw hand chosen. To be honest, the frame was not my first choice; I was looking for something lighter and somehow more exotic. However, I’d recommend this frame to anyone who is interested in an all-year, all-surface bike. It’s more than reliable and has some comfy flex on top. Almost a perfect piece of steel. Another favorite of mine are wheelsets from UK company HUNT. They’re technically on fleek; the guys there know what it means to give support. Highly recommended! One more thing: when it comes to mechanical shifting, there is nothing more important than cables. They are totally underrated! I only use the best cables I can get for my bikes – at the moment that means Jagwire ELITE Sets, for sure. The teflon liners protect the cable and let it run smoothly. Another piece of perfection. If I use cable actuated brakes (which I do, even with disc brakes) then the same goes for brake cables.
For upgrading to 12 speed shifting I used the 1×12 Wide Rear Cable Exit Upgrade Kit which was more convenient because of the rear exit. Installation went smoothly, even though the main bolt was a bit tricky to remove. I ended up with a cheap and rock solid solution for 12 speed shifting with a 10-48t Garbaruk cassette. Some of my friends here are already thinking of using the kit as well. My first ride went well, although not quite 100% perfect because I found the derailleur adjustment a bit harder than with just 11 gears.
After finding the perfect adjustment I went for the first real climbing ride. Due to Covid-19 restrictions it’s not possible to cross the border to Austria so we’re limited to the southern part of Germany, but there is one epic climb called Rossfeld Panorama Straße in the area of Berchtesgaden. It’s a 10 km climb with almost exactly 10% grade and there are views, views, views as the name suggests. The Ritchey Swiss Cross is by far not the best climbing bike as it weighs 9.5 kg but it could well be the most comfortable one. The shifting (using the upper 3 gears on this climb) was perfect.
I’m now prepared for long distance rides with one of the most capable bikes possible.
You can find more detail on Anton’s setup, including a really helpful comparison between different drivetrains, on his blog at youmecycling.com – we highly recommend taking a look. If you have a build and a story to share, just contact us.