2010 Ritchey Breakaway Cross Titanium
Just to be clear, nobody here at Classic Cycle would ever advocate having just one bike. That would be irresponsible.
But let’s just say that a zombie-style apocalypse does happen (or you move into a studio apartment). You have to get by with just one bike. How do you survive such a horror? You would need something that can handle different types of terrain (bombed-out city streets as well as zombie trails that cut through the woods). You would want something that continues to look good for years without access to touch-up paint. Certainly you would want something that packs down small and can go anywhere anytime. The only smart option would be a bike like this titanium Ritchey.
The folks at Ritchey produced these fabulous do-everything bikes for about ten years. The titanium frames were exactly twice the price of the steel versions, but they were feather light and you could be a little more careless while riding or packing them up, free from the horror of paint scratches.
The equipment on this particular bike shows extreme consideration for all possible contingencies (I happen to know this because it’s my bike).
The most notable choice is the 20 year old Spinergy Rev-X wheels. A bold pick for a travel bike? Not as extreme as you may think. The Spinergys pack together more tightly than wire-spoked wheels, saving room in the travel case. They’re tough and surprisingly comfortable to ride, so they work well off-road. By switching to a set of skinny road tires they instantly become blazing fast road bike wheels (always pack extra tires when traveling). The spoke blades are also surprisingly sharp so the wheels will work as zombie repellent should the need arise.
Ritchey Superlogic carbon cockpit components look great (the logos match!) and save a fair amount of weight. The Sram Red drivetrain equipment is very tolerant of abuse and maladjustment, so it’s another fine choice in our one-bike apocalypse scenario. Sram Red is also the lightest component group option, and is a big reason why this bike weighs just 15 pounds (the packed case with extra tools and clothes easily slides in under 40 pounds at the airport).
This bike is outfitted with secondary brake levers on the top of the handlebars and they’re a great way to make the bike behave when the going gets sketchy, off-road or on. The gearing is typical for a cyclocross bike, 11-28 teeth in the back and 34-46 teeth on the crankset. This combination works well for almost any riding. Sometimes the Ritchey is outfitted with a rack and panniers and is employed for touring duty. Sometimes the Time Atac pedals are replaced with sneaker-friendly platform pedals while the bike runs short errands. This bike can be configured to do it all.
Ritchey stopped production of the titanium frame in 2016, but they didn’t leave us totally vulnerable to a nightmarish single-bike future. You can still get the steel version, and rumor has it that a carbon version with disc brakes will be available in the fall of 2017.