since the Ritchey Ascent model 2015 break-away frames have finally appeared here in Germany in February 2016, I thought it would be a good time to start a "build" thread similar to the Salsa Vaya over at Vaya Builds.
Also by now, I built one up:
I had no real prior experience with bike assembly but in the end, through alot of reading and watching Youtube it all worked out nicely. The bike was assembled from all parts except for the wheels, which were built by somebody else (didn't want to invest in even more tools and time).
My requirements were:
- Do-it-all gravel/road steel hardtail bike
- Loading capability for multi-day tours
- Fatbike-like big+fast rolling tires
- Easy car/airline travel (S&S couplers, Ritchey break away or similar)
- Road shifters, disc brakes
- No hydraulics, only cable for easy maintenance
- Avoid carbon and going with aluminum where reasonable
- Suitable for road/gravel with heavy rider (120kg, descending)
Anyway here is the final component and tools list:
- Ritchey Ascent Break Away frame; includes frame, fork, travel suitcase, velcro protectors for frame parts, quick disconnects for one brake and two gear cables, integrated threadless headset, hinge clamp and 4 nm torque tool for it; for sizing the frame I recommend Bike Fit Calculator | Find Your Bike Size | Competitive Cyclist
- Thomson Elite 27.2mm 330mm SB 16mm seatpost (backordered, that is why you see an old 2002 Airwings Tour seatpost in the picture instead)
- Thomson Elite X4 stem OS 1 1/8" black 10° 100mm
- SRAM Force 2-/10-speed brifters; adjusted one click closer to the bar, because I have somewhat shorter fingers
- Salsa Cowbell 3 OS cross bar 44cm with Salsa Gel Kork bar tape in black; I used a measuring stick to simulate my bar grip to estimate my ergonomic width
- Syntace Spacer Kit Universal 1 1/8" 4pcs set; bought 3 packs before deciding on ride height, haven't cut the fork yet
- Hope Head Doctor as top cap and tighener; careful with the screw, breaks easily (aluminum, replaced cap+screw with a Syntace Litecap for the time being)
- Tools: Gedore Carolus torque tool 20-200Nm (already had that for car tires), Shimano TL-FC16 (for crank), TL-FC33 (for BB, used with torque tool), TL-CT12 (to cleanly cut brake/gear cables+housing and squeeze tight cable end caps), TL-FC23 and TL-FC22 for crank set work (unused so far); Syntace torque tool 1-25 Nm (e.g. cable splitters need 1.4 Nm) not cheat but imho a worthy investment, Syntace speedcutter pipe cutter for cutting the fork; Topeak Freewheel Remover to be able to tighen and remove cassette, ParkTool pedal wrench PW-3 (could not use it for my pedals, to thick), ParkTool SR-2.2 cassette remover, ParkTool CC-2 chain checker; I already had a Topeak Alien II, for chain shortening something like this will be necessary. I already had the usual allen wrenches, Philips and flat screw drivers.
- Work stand and assorted: Feedback Sports Pro Elite (can really recommend this, awesome to work with), transport bag for Pro Elite, TT-15 B tool holder for Pro Elite, flop stop cross bar fixer for Pro Elite, also ordered a Feedback Sports Velo Wall 2D to store bike later on a wall.
- Shimano XT FC-M785 Hollowtech II 24-38 crankset; 24:36 is a really slow lowest gear, might have gone with one size up as well; why no GXP? Heard about durability problems and so I went with Shimano.
- SRAM X0 front derailleur 2-/10-speed 38/36 cogs, down-pull, clamp type; requires a Shimano reducer 34,9mm to 28,6mm (K-SMAD17S, remove factory plastic from FD first); I also installed Shimano SM-CA70 barrel adjusters in both gear cables. Otherwise at least the FD will drive you nuts. The Shimano adjuster is "stable" i.e. it will not untighten itself unlike other models.
- SRAM X0 Type 2.1 rear derailleur 10-speed black/long with an SRAM PG-1070 10-speed cassette 11-36 and SRAM PC 1091R 10-speed chain; I added 2 pcs. SRAM PowerLock 10-speed as spares for on-tour accidents.
- Jagwire Road Pro XL cable set; cabling on this frame is a bit tricky. The SRAM brifter set came with housing/cables, but the brake cable housing from that is too short. Also you need two cables each for the rear brake and both gear cables in order to install the quick disconnects; I chose Jagwire, very good kit and XL is long enough. The different types of ferrules can drive you nuts though (4mm/5mm, no nose, nose, sealed, pop cap...).
- Avid BB7 Road S disc brakes model 2016 black front/rear both 160mm. Very nice to align and work with, good dosing. They come with inline barrel adjusters but I left them out, because you can tune the brakes very well without them. On my bike there is no noise from the brakes at all, but once you touch the brake levers only the slightest, the brakes start to engage faintly.
- Tires are Ritchey Shield WCS 650BX2.1 tubeless on WTB Frequency Team i25 27.5" 32 hole 25-584 rims, using as front hub a SON Son 28 Disc 6-hole hub dynamo in black 32 hole as 5x100mm quick release, rear hub is a sturdy DT Swiss 350 with the 36 ratchet upgrade as quick release 5x135mm 32 hole. Spokes are a mix of DT SuperComp (front) and DT Comp/SuperComp (back) with DT aluminum nipples. Bought two sturdy/heat resistant DT Swiss RWS quick release levers for the hubs (HWQASM00S2932S+HWQASM00S2943S).
- Tubeless kit is Schwalbe tubeless rim tape 29mm, Schwalbe Doc Blue Professional sealant (by Notubes), Notubes tubeless valves. For the valve I burned the hole in the tape using a hot Philips screwdriver bit. At first I couldn't get the tires inflated without tube, so I ordered (also as a spare for tours) some light Continental MTB 27,5 tubes (0182341). After like ten Youtube videos I borrowed a floor pump and flattened+pulled out the tire sidewalls towards the rim wall in a circle, all while pumping hard. Plop, boink, PLOP, success. Haven't cursed that hard in a while.
- Bottle holders are Topeak, Modula Cage 2 and Modula Java Cage. I have an insulated Emsa TravelMug for ~300ml coffee that fits right in the last one.
- Shimano grease and anti-seize worked really well, so can recommend them. For the chain I chose Rohloff Oil of Rohloff.
- For security I am using an ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 u-lock with an ABUS Cobra 8 200cm cable for the front wheel.
- Lighting is a Busch and Mueller Lumotec IQ2 Luxos U (with USB charge port) as front light and a Busch and Mueller Secula Plus rear light connected to the Luxos. Both very bright and they will continue to emit light e.g. when you stop at an intersection. The Ritchey Ascent fork has no screw hole in the front above the tire, only on the back side (for a dirt fender I guess). I thought and looked really long and hard about how to elegantly and durably mount the quite heavy Luxos. From bar mount to ahead in-between-spacers clamps nothing did really appeal to me. Some now even abuse the lower two stem front screws. In the end I found a mounting bracket set by SKS (SKS 10436) for their dirt fender. I bent one of the L-shaped metal pieces into a U, used some large washers and a M5 hex screw et voila, bombensicher.
- Pedals are MKS Exim Ezy Superior, a specialty from Japan. You turn the screw close to the crank arm, push it towards the crank arm and off comes the pedal. Very nice for a break away bike. Were a bit hard to get. A word of warning here, you need a very narrow pedal wrench for these, like 2mm width only. ParkTool PW-3 did not work, so I had to use an allen wrench and the pedal wrench from my Topeak Alien II multi tool. As for the pedals I'll go as far as mount pedal reflectors, because driving in rush hour in a major city has taught me you simply can't have enough bling on you and the bike to get noticed easily by even the most asleep of car drivers.
- For training and home made movement analysis video I picked up an Elite Novo Force and a gel block for the front tire. Measuring screencaps from a mobile phone in 720p 60fps should be good enough to figure out if I am sitting and moving correctly on the bike.
Options I am thinking about:
- COBI plus with Universal Mount and Style Kit Urban black cockpit see COBI. The smartest upgrade to your bike. Now this is nice for many reasons: Backlight is wireless, which is nice for break-away type frames. Front light, battery and smartphone holder all in one device. Replaces odometer, also replaces clumsy lighting setups with dynamo powered light, for which I simply could not find an elegant enough mounting solution. Smartphone app will use Open Streetmap maps, available for offline browsing. Charging capability through hub to be added, package available Q1 2016. I will be touring through unknown cities, also at night, so I want very good lights to not get run over.
- Scosche Rhythm+ arm wrist HR monitor to attach to COBI; Sadly those in-ear phones/HR monitors e.g. Jabra Sport Pulse are not reliable yet; poor battery life as well so I give them another 2-3 years for refinement.
- Tour bag kit
- You may wonder where some of the manufacturer logos went. I removed/overpainted them for additional theft prevention, to make it look from afar more like any other stupid crap bike from a supermarket. The main Ritchey logo will also be covered by either 3M black or yellow reflex tape, haven't decided yet.
- Saddle is an SQLab 610 active. Not the best, but good enough for me at this point.
- The integrated headset that comes with the frame contains a bearing cap for cantilever breaks. In there is the top compression ring and a washer. This has to be transferred to the non-cantilever bearing cap. This did puzzle me for quite some time. In effect the setup is this: Crown race goes right side up on fork, then bearing, stearer tube, bearing, compression ring, washer, bearing cup, spacer, finally on top the ahead cap (Hope head doctor or similar).
- All cable quick disconnects will rub on the frame with the rubber ring and/or one metal edge. I used electrical tape and grease for now to prevent damage, might get some "Lizard Skin" later.
- Be careful with tightening the bottom bracket cable guide screw. Only a little too much and the crank will creak. This plastic and screw is some cheap Taiwanese p.o.s. I swapped the screw for a hex bolt that I cut in length and put a suitable washer in there. I ordered a Campagnolo cable guide with shorter hex bolt and an oval washer, that hopefully distributes pressure better.
- Total weight of the bike with everything as of now is 12,7 kg.
Okay enough for now. I am happy to answer any questions or hear from other Ascent builds.
Best regards from Southern Germany
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Thread: Ascent 2016 Builds