The Ritchey Swiss Cross is one of those framesets that is certain to get more than its fair share of compliments from the bike-savvy crowd. After all, this frameset is the virtual definition of a "modern classic". Back in the day, many Ritchey-sponsored mountain bike champions were also cyclocross champions - Thomas Frischknecht, Henrik Djernis and Ruthie Matthes, to name a few. They had Ritchey mountain bikes but wanted a cross bike to race in the winter. So the iconic Ritchey Swiss Cross was born.
Now the Swiss Cross is back and better than ever. Ritchey uses the same forged and machined 1 1/8" integrated head tube design as the one found on their P-29. It has the same strength as a standard 1 1/8" head tube but at an 80-gram weight savings. Tubing is an all-new triple-butted, heat treated steel designed by Tom Ritchey himself. As expected, the tubeset hits Ritchey's trademark balance of lightweight and responsive ride quality while being tough as nails all at the same time. Geometry is race ready but still versatile enough to serve as a bad road, mixed off-season road/trail ride.
One of the nicest features of the Swiss Cross frameset is the beautiful, painted to match 480-gram all carbon fork. This fork is a considerable performance upgrade over the original Swiss Cross in terms of reducing weight and increasing front-end stability while maintaining the comfy ride carbon forks are known for. Speaking of matching paint colors, there has been a lot of shop talk on build possibilities. Sure, there is nothing wrong with a basic black stem, bar and post, but Ritchey does offer those components in a matching red. Or maybe a white stem with a red post and bar - you get the idea. One of the only potential problems with using the Swiss Cross as a Winter season bike is that it might get more kudos than your ultra-expensive, high-end road machine.
Build information: requires BSC (English) threaded bottom bracket cups, 27.2 seat post and 28.6 clamp-on front derailleur