Baggins Hobo Bag - Ritchey Aero Road
Wheelset - Ritchey Cross Cranks
Baggins Hobo Bag (2005):
been running a Hobo in drops on my Dawes fixed commuter since receiving
it in December. (I guess they are about 42's). Really like it, but
from the get-go, I had mounted it low enough so I could put my fingers
between it and the bars. My wrists lean against it when I'm in the
drops, and I actually like that. It swings a bit if I'm rocking
the bike side to side, but not enough to be a bother. I experimented
with varying degrees tension when lashing it to the brake hoods.
was also going to try bending a piece of welding rod so it went
under the stem and over the bars very close to the stem, then splayed
and parralleled the rear outside pockets. My idea was that it would
reduce the side to side motion and help hold it out a bit. It also
seems that if I had two non-aero brake housings rather than one
(running front brake only on this fixed), they would help positon
the bag. The single housing runs just inside the rear outside pocket.
If I bend up the hobo holder, I'll post a photo.
running this bag for most of the summer commute season, there's
a definite bit of discoloration where the brake cable and brake
was rubbing on the backside. Other than that, it's good. It actually
performs better when there's more stuff in it - otherwise it does
sag in the middle just a bit. If I could add a bit to the design
of the bag itself, I'd put a single compression strap on it, dead
center front. That way, when it didn't have as much stuff in it,
I could "suck up" the excess. I've also seen a few designs
of front bag braces which make sense - one looks like a rod brazed
to a spacer which would fit into the the headset. Very simple and
it looks like it would work.
to put a hole in the bad from contact with the front brake nut.
I think the core issue was that it was moving on the handlebars,
due to me packing a lot of gear and the occassional light battery
in it. Combine that with a bit of benign neglect due to a longer
than normal rainy spring and there you have it... While getting
that fixed, I had the shoe repair place add a bit of leather so
that it could go only my Nitto front rack that I bought for the
Quickbeam. More of a complete story here.
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Aero Road Wheelset (2001)
been running a set on my cross bike since the bike was built up
back in November (2000). It's the set with the aero/flattened spokes:
"Z-Pro" with 28 spoke front, radially laced, 32 spoke rear, 3X.
Been riding mostly medium to rough singletrack, with descents, plus
road work & light commuting. I'm about 175-80 pounds.
are my experiences:
Quick check for true/relative spoke tension, otherwise no adjustment
before 1st ride.
- out of the box rubbery-squeal-squeak from rear hub, especially
at slow speeds. Disassembly of rear hub (easy - two small hex bolts)
and reassembly made it disappear.
2 - significant lateral flex in rear wheel. Tire rubbing chainstay
during hard climbing. Increased tension in rear wheel/stress-relieved/retrued.
- rear wheel popped out of dropouts under load on a steep hill.
See "Bad thoughts" below.
- significant detensioning of spokes in rear wheel. Increased tension
- Detensioning continued over the next 2 - 3 rides. Reread FAQ about
spoke tension/stress-relieved, visited Sheldon's site re: same.
Finally, pulled out the truing stand with a free evening, wore gloves
to be able to grab and squeeze the spokes (those aero spokes'll
hurt...) and brought the tension up again. This seemed to have reduced
the problem significantly. There's still some retruing necessary
after running them over the rocks for a couple hours, but now it's
mostly minor adjustments.
- Lateral flex occurs periodically to the point where the tire rubs
on the chainstay. This happens while riding up steep hills/trails
out of the saddle, especially when one of my feet is at the bottom
of the pedal stroke. Increasing tension reduces/eliminates this.
I am not positive that the tires are rubbing the chainstays, but
that is what seems to be happening. It seems to happen if the wheels
get out of true from impact or if they detension slightly.
- The welds are not finished, and the rear wheel seam is uneven
on one side, causing a little hop when truing. I don't notice it
when I ride.
I do feel that they were not sufficiently tensioned or stress-relieved
during the manufacturing process, despite the snazzy "Master Built"
don't think I should've had to disassemble the hub to fix that noise.
It was very noticeable out of the box.
don't care for the QR's. I _know_ how to use them, but for some
reason this (sorry Tom) Salsa-like design goes from too-light to
too-tight very quickly. I am very careful while I use these. I will
be replacing them.
Light and smooth. OCR design makes it easy to hand-test tension.
Front wheel has had only minor true tune-up and holds well.
These really _aren't_ daily-use, hammer on 'em CX wheels. I think
once the tension/stress-relief step was past, they've been good,
but probably a little light for what I'm using 'em for. Maybe a
bit too much lateral flex in the flat spokes for off-road use, leading
to minor retrues. I've used the bike to commute on, and they've
been good over rough, paved surfaces. I'll probably get a wild hair
and try them on my road bike for a long ride, but so far have not.
And to be fair the them, that's really what this set seems designed
Well, finally broke a spoke on these wheels. Drive-side at the hub
bend. I've been feeling as if the tension was probably too high
for its own good the last time I trued them, but it was the only
way I knew of to eliminate the tendency of these wheels to rub the
chainstay while flexing laterally. I keep thinking of the example
which John Castellano gave at one of the early Ibis BowTi demos,
when he showed the "X" hinge that helped inspire the idea
of a pivotless system. Those nice flat pieces of material just loved
to flex.... And so I think that has been a large part of my frustration
with these wheels. So, I'm going to rebuild them with traditional
round, butted spokes and see what happens. Hopefully, i will be
able to appreciate the benefits of the Ritchey OCR rim design mated
with his rear hub.
Built up the wheel with DT 14/15 spokes. First off, it was difficult
to find any shop in my area who stocked black spokes in the size
I sought, so I ended up ordering them through Excel of Boulder -
in stock, order confirmed via email and sitting on my front doorstep
within 3 days. Nice. Of course, then the spokes and nipples sat
around and mocked me for a month and a half, until I finally decided
that it was time to build up the wheelset. Removed the old bladed
spokes and cleaned things up, checking that the rim was still reasonably
true with nothing attached (except for the lousy seam, as noted
above). The wheel built up nicely, and it was actually the first
wheel I've built from "scratch". They trued up with significantly
less tension than was used with the bladed spokes. No other problems
After running them easy the first ride, I decided to bring up the
tension a quarter turn for each nipple. There is still noticeably
less tension than the aero spokes required to prevent sideways flex.
They have held true remarkably well through several rides/week,
with a little bit of tweaking, but no major problems such as I encountered
during the "aero" phase.
- I've ridden these wheels pretty heavily now for a few weeks. Very
minor retruing after a particularly nasty rear tire pinch-flat blowout
coming down Eldridge Grade from the top of Mt Tam. Otherwise, combining
the standard spokes with the OCR and hub has been really nice. I
particularly like the even tension, and the fact that the tire no
longer rubs against the chainstays under hard climbing. The front
wheel has been holding up well, and despite my inherent lack of
fondness for a radially spoked wheel, has given no problems.
This wheelset was finally retired after a session of deep gouging
from the Radius Brakes during a rainy ride. They were worn, tired
and the rims were pretty beaten up. The freehub was shot, and given
the proprietary design, I no longer wanted to mess with it. They
have been replaced by the a DuraAce hubset laced with black spokes
to a CXP33 (rear) and CXP22 (front).
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Cross Crank Saga (2005/2006)
have to understand that I'm not mad about this. The end result is
that Ritchey followed through and replaced what I'm assuming was
either a bad run or a problem with manufacturing standards. I'm
using the cranks now (8/06) and they work, aren't slipping and the
bolts are staying tight. But, here's how I got here...
wanted to replace the cranks on my cross bike. I'd been running
a set of Profile Carbon cranks (shown in the photos on this
page), but had two issues with them - (1) the crankarm length
was 175 mm, which was leading to some pedal strike on trails, and
may have been contributing to some fit issues, and (2) the second
set of these cranks had cracked. (Digressing quickly - the cracking
occurred in a slow delamination around the pedal hole - they literally
felt "squishy" when I pedaled, and I could see the gaps
in the fiber extending away from the threaded insert. Nothing snapped
or failed catastrophically. Both pair were replaced without question
purchased these cranks through Colorado Cyclist in early 2005. They
required a Shimano Octalink bottom bracket. This was ok, as I had
been using one for the previous crankset. I didn't really get them
on the bike too quickly, but around mid-year, had taken them out
on a ride or two. The crankarm bolts didn't really like to stay
stuck - they kept looseing slightly during the rides, so I had taken
to bringing my long 10mm hex wrench with me. Then on one ride, the
non-drive arm loosened noticeably, and upon being tightened, was
loose again with a few hundred yards. Luckily, I was on some trails
near home, so I tightened and limped, tightened and limped until
making it back.
Upon removal of the crank arm, it had clearly stripped - with obvious
widening of the spline pattern on the inside - lots of freshly worn,
bright aluminum showed.
felt a little bad, as I guess I should've paid more attention to
the tightness of the bolt. On the other hand, I had torqued the
bolts pretty heavily - probably in excess of spec - and also tightened
the "one-key" removal caps down as hard as the pin tool
would allow. Unless there was something really off in the bb or
perhaps a bent pedal axle, it didn't seem reasonable for them to
email to Ritchey USA got a quick response, and soon my cranks were
down in Redwood City, getting microscopically evaluated in the hermetically
sealed clean rooms. Or, they got quickly looked at and casually
tossed into the "go-back" pile. Whatever the procedure,
I had new cranks within a couple weeks, package out to package received.
carefully lined up the splines and mounted the new cranks. Again
torquing and fixing the bolts to the best of my ability. I rode
the bicycle a few times and things seemed to work OK. I had been
getting a pain in my low left back during the latter half of rides,
which I thought might be related to not having ridden the cross
bike on trails too recently. Then, when cleaning the bike, something
cranks did not line up. In fact, I could get them to shift between
aligned and skewed by putting my weight on them while sitting on
the bike, and putting the opposite foot forward or back and forcing
just a bit. So, these went back to Ritchey.
set arrived, and this time I thought they set up correctly. However,
by the end of an hour's ride, they too were exhibiting the same
slippage. I finally determined that it was the non-drive crank arm.
Compressing time a bit, I removed variables by - (a) swapping over
a set of Shimano Octalink cranks from another bicycle which didn't
slip on the bb, (b) putting the Ritchey cranks onto the other bicycle
and finding that it still slipped and (c) getting a new bb for the
cross bike and still having the Ritchey cranks slip. I'm sure that
inwardly, the fellow in Ritchey Warranty was recognizing my voice
and dreading my calls, but he remained helpful. So, I shipped back
the second replacement set with notes and waited.
time not too much happened for a while. It wasn't noticeable, as
I had gotten my Quickbeam, and what time I wasn't spending riding
that was spent on too much work. Also, my hip still felt sore from
the nasty trail crash I'd had the previous fall.
finally realized that the cranks had been gone a couple months.
I was able to easily get ahold of the warranty guy, who explained
that they were waiting for a new forging, which should be in soon.
Another week or so passed, and then a set of cranks showed up at
the door. These definitley had a different shape to the spider,
and in fact, included a set of loose "road" size chainrings
(i.e. 53/39), in addition to the "cross" set (48/38) which
were on the crank arms. I'm guessing that they decided to use the
Pro Road forging and put the other chainrings on.
time, everything worked and (knock wood) has been holding nicely.
I did notice that the bolts came with a copious amount of blue loctite
on the threads, which seems to now (after about three strong torque
sessions) seem to be holding. I've had a couple of decently long
mixed terrain rides (documented here
and here) which
contained enough climbling to test the strength of the splines.
So, they seem to be working.
- I'm very positive about these cranks. They aren't the super-stiff
mono-block constructions which are all the rage right now, but they
are light and tight to the frame and work well.
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