While we were racing around 2019 NAHBS, an unpainted, brazed frameset caught our eye.
It ended up being the craftsmanship by none other than the legend Tom Ritchey.
However, it wasn’t just a one-off show bike. The Ritchey Design founder brazed the frame to both celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ritchey Swiss Cross and offer one of the nicest gifts of gratitude to another legend and former sponsored racer, Thomas Frischknecht.
The frame we spotted was a Tom Ritchey-brazed version of the latest model coming out of the company, the steel Ritchey Swiss Cross 25th anniversary edition.
25th Anniversary Ritchey Swiss Cross Production Run
Ritchey unveiled a new, updated version of the steel Swiss Cross frame this week. The steel cyclocross frameset gets a slew of updates but keeps the look and history of the Swiss Cross Canti and Swiss Cross Disc framesets and pairs it with the modern trappings, clearance and fork of the adventure-oriented Outback frameset.
The 25th anniversary Swiss Cross now features thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes of course, but also gets increased mud and tire clearance (and slightly longer chainstays), accommodating 40mm tires.
While the frame shares some traits with the Outback, it’s still a race-oriented ride and leaves the bikepacking, racks and fenders to its more adventuresome sibling. The Swiss Cross also features a higher bottom bracket (average drop is 63mm), with the expectation that off-cambers and perhaps lower volume tires are in its future.
Describing the differences between the Outback and updated Swiss Cross, Ritchey’s Fergus Liam explains, "Sure there's still no fender or rack mounts, but you wouldn't put a ski rack on a 911 either. The Swiss Cross is a race bike at heart—whether cyclocross or gravel or what have you. It is performance through and through. Dirty Kanza? Lost and Found? Cyclocross Nationals? Yes, this is your ride. Bike packing with a waxed canvas pannier and twine bar wrap? Maybe not."
Already lining up behind Frischi to get yours? If you fancy the iconic red and white version, you better act fast, as Ritchey is only producing 100 of the limited edition anniversary color and just 30 are heading to the U.S.
There will be more, in the less-limited black and white color scheme.
The limited edition red and white frameset is offered at presale for $1,499, and comes complete with a pair of Megabite tubeless tires and a Frischi bobblehead, while the black frameset retails for $1,399 without the accessories.
Cyclocross Magazine got an exclusive first look, and fast-twitch fingers can take advantage of the pre-sale to lock up one of the limited edition red and white Swiss Cross framesets.
More info: ritcheylogic.com
Full details from Ritchey below the photo gallery.