Ritchey Breakaway Road Bike

Available At:

The Break-Away® is a conventional size and style, steel road bike that disassembles in minutes and fits neatly inside a 23 x 66 x 73.5cm (9 x 26 x 29”), travel bag. Ritchey’s exclusive, investment cast lugs and patent-pending, cromoly compression coupling are the keys to this new design. The lugs securely grip the seatpost in two places and join the upper portion of main triangle to the rear. On the downtube, nearly at the bottom bracket shell, the compression coupling forms the lower connection for the front and rear triangles. The coupler clamps unobtrusively around small flanges on the downtube. This system adds less than 100 grams to the bike. Break-Away frames are built with custom heat treated Ritchey tubing. Complete bikes are being offered with a combination of Ritchey Pro / Shimano Ultegra® components.

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
Sandy   [Jun 16, 2013]
Strength:

My cyclocross version is wonderful. It is my dailey commuter, my niterider which allows me to jump up on curbs and sidewalks and of course a great travel bike. You only have to pay $50 dollars vs $150 to get it on a plane.

Weakness:

The case. I have had 2 cases and I can tell you the first thing you have to do after you have purchased the bike is to prepare the case. Remove the nylon outside of the case and place 2 lengths of Gorilla Tape around the entire outside of the plastic frame. One at the top and 1 at the bottom. Then wrap the tape around each corner continuously from inside to outside. If you follow these steps your case will last you a long time otherwise you will be replacing your case after 5 or 6 trips.
Other packing tips:
Buy a thin roll of bubble wrap and use it on the inside of your case. A thin layer does not take up much room and keeps you spokes from getting bent and your frame from getting banged up. I always travel with my Mavic Open Pro CDs which have 32 spokes (which are bomb proof) for 2 reasons. #1if you are in the middle of nowhere and you break a spoke you can make it to you destination and the wheels will survive the baggage handlers.

The bike has multiple personalities: it is a wonderful cyclocross bike, a good commuter, and a comfortable road bike. I always take both cyclocross and road tires and tubes with me when I travel. We just came back from a trip to Israel. In Tel Aviv I met up with a bunch of roadies and the Ritchey hung in with the group very nicely. Then we went up to Safed where there are many dirt and badly paved roads and the bike performed wonderfully with the cyclocross tires.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Pete   [Mar 02, 2013]
Strength:

Portability

Weakness:

None

This is my second Break Away. I've traveled maybe 20 times total with both bikes. For several years my Break Away was my only road bike. I feel there is a slight weight penalty of about 2 pounds vs a carbon frame and a slight stiffness penalty as well, which is only felt is an all-out sprint. I have to replace the frame coupler clamp about once a year to restore the original stiffness. The clamps are said to stretch over time, but what I think actually happens is a reshaping of the inside surfaces, allowing the flanges to move inside the clamp even when it is properly torqued.

What I found works great is to travel with TWO cases. I put all the bike bits except the wheels in a 26x26x10 S&S hard case. There is just enough room for my 58cm frame. I use lots of pipe insulating foam plus about 2.5 inches of foam top and bottom. I use the Ritchey case for the wheels and all the stuff I would normally put in a suitcase, like my clothes, shoes, and other personal effects. Packing goes very quickly and nothing gets scratched, even when TSA has had a look. The loosely-packed Ritchey case will probably last forever, while the S&S case protects all the valuable bits much better than a soft-sided case ever could.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jake T   [Dec 12, 2012]
Strength:

Absolute portability, ease of travel, simple enough to put together, fast enough to race. Case is lightweight and flexible enough to pack your clothes in, too.

Weakness:

Frame is a little too flexy for sprinting. Back when I was in fast race shape I could notice a definite level of flex when sprinting to the point that it slowed me down. Frame is also a little too lightweight. It does not absorb rough road conditions as well as a slightly heavier steel frame. The Ritchey instructions to pack are terrible and a good way to break your derailleur.

This bike has enabled me to do some amazing rides/races over the years. It gets packed about 4 times a year. I also used it for several months as my regular bike when my main racing bike was kaput. This bike has been to California, Texas, Kansas, Vermont, Florida... I built it up w SRAM Rival, Thompson stem/post and Chris Kind 32h wheels. Total weight is around 17.5lbs with pedals.

Renting a racing bike is extremely expensive ($75/day) and you have to be there when the store is open to rent and return. Traveling with a full size bike is also quite difficult if you every want to use public transit or rent a smaller car. I would sometimes take the bus to work with the bike and then take the train right to the airport. With a full size packed bike you would have to pay considerably more just to get to the airport on top of checked baggage fees.

You need a level of mechanical prowess to put this together. Things go wrong on this bike during packing and they take fixing such as untrue wheels, bent cables... There are a lot of opportunities to make small mistakes putting this together that take some real diagnosis to work out. I pack the bike like a wheel sandwich with the frame in between and the bars laced through the spokes. This has been much more effective than the Ritchey packing method which puts the wheels under terrible stress as well as leads to premature death of the carry case.

The paint will get scratched and it is easy to dent the bike with the crank arms. The white painted areas should have been a darker color to hide the scuffs.

I have only had one issue checking the bike. A Southwest agent told me that because it was a bike, you have to still pay $50 no matter what. I called her on it and brought up the Southwest baggage policy and managed to check it for free.

In the end, this bike has carried me through some of the best rides I have been on in the past few years. It us much easier and more convenient than a full size bike to fly with and generally easier than renting a bike. My rule is if I can get two rides in, I fly with it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
henrik   Road Racer [Sep 16, 2012]
Strength:

It travels! It's beautiful! It works!

Weakness:

Bag, cable splitters bang on frame on cobblestones, not ideal for (very) tall riders - 60" requires a *very* long seatpost for me (I'm 6"4.)

After five years of intensive riding I'm about to buy a second road bike. Need something stiffer, racier, but I still hesitate. I've never loved a bike this much. The Break-Away concept works, and I find myself taking in on most trips longer than two days. I've ridden several continents and been on planes maybe 100times without any trouble and saved LOADS of money. No, it's not a hyper-responsive carbon rig, and no, it's not ultra-light, but it does fine in races (in fact, surprisingly well) and perfectly for everything else. If you travel and love timeless, classic bikes, I cannot recommend the Break-Away enough. The bag could be better; I'm on my second now and will be more careful this time.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bret   [Mar 07, 2012]
Strength:

All - rides like a dream.

Weakness:

The Ritchey case isn't the best, broke down after about 8 flights.

Awesome bike, rides great and you can get on an airplane.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Recreational Rider [Sep 08, 2011]
Strength:

Makes check-in at airports and travel by train easy.

Weakness:

Cables need frequent adjustment

I travel a lot so this bike just made sense. Very happy with the ride. Comfortable on climbs and very stable on descents, even at high speed.

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
55x11   Road Racer [Aug 30, 2011]
Strength:

Full-sized bike that handles and rides great! Can be taken apart and packed in a bag in just 10-20 min. Cross frame allows for wide selection of tires. Soft-sided bag works fine. Smooth, stable ride, good enough for racing on!

Weakness:

steel frame is a bit heavier than aluminum/carbon. Bike not as "twitchy" due to cross geometry, longer wheelbase. I can imagine frame being scratched up after many trips in the bag.

this review is for Ritchey Breakaway Steel Cross (Cyclocross) 2011 model (White/Burgundy). I bought frame (58 cm) and built it up myself with older Ultegra/105 components.
The bike works really great! Disassembly and assembly is fairly straightforward, but takes some time to figure out the proper order of things, as does packing. I can pack/unpack the bike in about 10 minutes now, but more careful, slow assembly takes closer to 20 min.

I am not sure why so many people comment on the flex of the frame (I do not notice ANY - at all, I am 165 lbs), or problems with packing. I use soft sided Ritchey case that comes with a bike, and packing works just fine. One does NOT need to take remove brake calipers, cranks, or deflate tires. Wheels do NOT get out of true after each packing/unpacking, in my experience so far.

For packing, follow these simple steps:
1. Remove wheels and skewers
2. Remove pedals
3. Remove handlebar (at the stem faceplate)
4. disconnect cables at cable connecting points and disconnect cable from front brake.
5. "break" the frame into two pieces
6. Pack everything: take straps out, rear wheel first (cassette side down against steel plate, do not deflate), front wheel offset to the side, Ritchey provided cover in between and on top. Shoes and clothes go into corners. Rear triangle next, derailleur side towards the bottom of the case; front triangle with fork/stem/brake attached (turned 180 deg.), then handlebar, plus helmet and all tools, pedals, skewers etc. Relatively easy. Total weight of the bag is as low as 42 lbs, but I have gone as high as 49 lbs if you pack extra clothes, pump, tools etc. Don't pack water bottles in the bag as this gets the bag red-flagged by TSA for screening. Bring an extra few screws for handlebar and seatpost, don't pack CO2 cartridges - bring frame or mini pump instead.

Bike handles very nicely - it's more stable and not as twitchy due to cross geometry, and is 1-2 lbs heavier than similarly equipped crabon bike I own, but it doesn't make much difference. I have put 700x35 cyclocross tires that allow me to ride most trails - and I suspect one can go as high as 700x40 with no problems, plenty of clearance left.

Similar Products Used: n/a (folding bikes are not in the same league, ride-quality wise).
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Larry Holman   Recreational Rider [May 08, 2011]
Strength:

Easy to travel with. Easy to maintain. Easy to put together and take apart. A good quality bike that you can take anywhere.

Weakness:

The case, as others have elequently put it, sucks. I see that there is a new one you can purchase now that looks better. I modified my case. I put a thin piece of plywood on the bottom and installed 4 wheels so that I don't need to support it. It just rolls along all by itself. The handle recently pulled out and so I added large washers to support it. I may have to buy a new case soon but I won't like only having two back wheels like the new ones have cause you still have to support it with one hand like many hard case shells, which I didn't like on my full size travel box. Hopefully Richey has improved this aspect of a very well designed product overall.

I travel several times a year and prior to this bike was charged $50 per segment to take my bike along. I used a very ackward hard case in the past with my Lightspeed Classic, which I loved but it was a pain. It is set up with Ultegra triple and all Richy components. The bike is easy to pack if you are patient but the frame and components can be damaged if you are not diligent about protecting it with extra foam etc. You don't need to be a mechanic to put it together and I've never had to true my wheels as others have stated. Maybe just a little adjustment but nothing major. The coupling at the bottom braket is an excellent simple design and I see very little flex. I've had absolutely no problems with it. I'm intrigued with the description of a different packing style than Richey suggests. I might try it next trip. Great bike.

Similar Products Used: Lightspeed Titanium Classic.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jgollub   Road Racer [Mar 31, 2010]
Weakness:

My only complaint is the carrying bag. I've used the bag for several years and taken my bike to Italy and many places in the US. It slightly exceeds normal bag dimensions but I've never been charged by the airline. However, I have had to have philosophical discussion with baggage agents about whether the sum of the pieces of a bike is a 'bike' and therefore should be charged as sports equipment. After talking to the manager we agreed that only the dimensions should matter and when they measured it I guess it was close enough that they let it slide. Anyway, the lesson I've learned is to say it's a trade show display, or anything besides a bike, and you won't be bothered. Unfortunately, while it's done its job the bag is currently on it's death bed. The zipper has broken; the plastic structural elements have snapped; and the fabric has worn through in several areas partially due to the fact that with no more structural support it it can't be wheeled without sagging. The bag is good for a year at the most. Plus it doesn't really protect the bike. I have bent derailleur hangers and untrue wheels to prove. I'm currently looking to replace it with a hard case.

The bike has worked out well.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Dan Fitzpatrick   Recreational Rider [Jul 15, 2009]
Strength:

If you like to tour or do something other than sit in a hotel room on business trips.

Weakness:

They are rather pricy, hard to find... the steel model was back-ordered 3 months, so I bought Ti which was in stock. No regrets there.

I have the ti cross bike and it's the best bike I've ever owned. I've taken it on several trips and love the fact that there hasn't been an airline that has had any clue I was shipping a big. I'm a big guy, 230 lbs, but the frame feels as solid and responsive as any I've felt. I can tour quickly down a country road, and take an intense mountain bike trail through a national park.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 26