Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ritchey P-29er First Impressions

Normally I would put a few more miles under a bike before I give my two cents of useless and most of the time, worthless point of view on a particular ride. I am going to step out of my comfort zone and give it a shot.

You know that feeling of anticipation you get when you know something cool is coming your way and you cant wait any longer only to be let down or you let yourself down by getting too excited? This is one of those times that the build of the excitement did not disappoint. I have waited a long time for Ritchey to make the 29er version of the original steel beauty from the early 90's. I was not financially set to have one of my own back then, but working in a shop does have its perks.

The Parts:

So here is a quick run down on the important stuff. The frame is made from Ritcheys own Logic II tubing with sliding dropouts, which retail for 999.99. The website claims 4.74lbs. in a large frame and it weighed exactly that. Cant remember when a manufactures weight was spot on. The head tube is a thing of beauty in itself. It is machined and almost comes close to a 1" diameter, but flares out to accommodate drop in bearings. The welds are very nice and smooth. It can be run as geared (why) or ss thanks to the Tange stainless dropouts. Im a Bontrager harlot, so nothing but Keith's best was invited to this
monocog party: RXL stem, wheels (dt swiss made hubs), bar, XXXL post, saddle, Sram XO crank with MRP 32t bling ring, Niner carbon fork, Avid Elixir CR brakes and 18t niner cog to round out the package. All told, this beauty comes in at 18lbs. 13oz. in a large frame.

Now many things are going to affect the way a bike rides and handles, component selection (which Iwould highly recommend what I selected) is going to make a huge difference. I am old school so I like it low baby low. No spacers on the headset and a 110mm  -7° stem.

The Ride

I will start by saying I no longer own my Superfy SS. Gone (not forgotten). Honestly, I don't miss it. I finally had a chance to put some miles on it this last weekend at Bakers (58.1 to be exact). This is the perfect course to test your rigid Lots of roots and rocks and twisty, tight single track. I have never said this about a bike before, but this is THE best riding bike that I have had the pleasure to throw a leg over. Why? After 7 laps at Bakers, it is the first time doing that race that I have come away feeling good. No fatigue or saddle soreness. I didn't feel beat up afterwards. I would highly recommend the Niner carbon fork; it compliments the steel frame perfectly and keeps the front end tight and stiff. Man, good thing this is a clean blog. Compared to my Superfly; a fast bike in its own right, but stiff. This frame gives you the right stiffness but still feels very, very comfortable. It handled the tight, twisty turns just like a 26er and light enough to flick around yank it over obstacles. I felt very fast…seriously. This thing just went. I haven't noticed any unwanted flex in the bb area or the sliders. My only small complaints was that the seat post did slip a bit at times, but added some paste and all was well again. The other minor nit pick is the use of Campy bearing for the headset (which use a 41.8 bearing OD), not major, but if you need one in a pinch, not something shops have sitting around.

Final Thoughts:

So, I sold the Superfly hoping that I wouldn't regret doing so. I sold my favorite race bike with its own share of podium spots. I sold a bike that weighed 17lbs. I sold my Superfly for a bike that I wish I had before I bought my Superfly…thats all I have to say.