In the 6 months since I bought the Ribble CGR Ti it’s done 2400 miles (give or take). It’s been a reliable companion throughout and I’m still just as enamoured with it as I was the day it turned up.
It’s been my daily commuter during the summer, it’s taken me to Llandudno and back, and has been used every weekend I’ve been on the bike.
I love this bike.
I’ve never been one to get a bike and not make some changes, so here I’m going to talk you through what I’ve changed in the 6 months since first getting the CGR.
Bars and Stem
The Zipp stem and handlebars were the first to go. The handlebars were very stiff and the road buzz transferred by them was hurting my wrists, plus the Torx bolts on the stem meant having to carry an extra tool to adjust them.
Originally these were replaced with a no-brand 110mm stem and a set of Ritchey WCS Evo Curve handlebars. This made a huge difference to my ride comfort, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the bar and a bike such as this needed something higher class than a no-brand stem.
I’ve now got a set of Ritchey WCS Evo Max handlebars in a 44cm width fitted. The 12 degree flare gives just enough room in the drops to stop banging my forearms on the bar as well as added control.
When I first got the bike I replaced the Zipp Service Course SL with a Fizik seatpost (I really like the easily adjustable seat clamp on them), however this was too long and I was worried it was causing damage to the Di2 cables curled up in the seatpost so I switched it back.
I was never a fan of the rubber strap mount for the Di2 junction box so I managed to get my hands on a K-Edge Di2 junction box mount which goes in between your stem and first headset spacer (0.9mm thick). I think this looks a lot better and it’s very sturdy. It also means swapping out stems is easier as you don’t necessarily need to change the rubber strap for a longer or shorter one.
Finally, I fitted a Di2 e-Tube EW-WU111 wireless unit to let me hook up Di2 up to my Garmin. To be honest, I’m still unsure of the benefits. Sure, I get a nice battery level on my Garmin and Wahoo ELEMNT Bolt, and I can see what gear I’m in (who needs this?!) but it does seem to drastically reduce the battery life.
My friends can get 5-6 months of battery out of their Di2 bikes , but I’m lucky to get a couple months between charges. Whether this is down to me shifting more often, or the e-Tube unit I don’t know. I think if I was to take this bike long-term bikepacking I’d lose the unit but as it stands I’ll keep it.
The latest change to this bikes is a set of Shimano XTR M9100 pedals. The XT pedals I’d been using for many, many years on multiple bikes had their first mechanical issue. The tension mechanism on the right-hand pedals lost it’s ability to be adjusted and rather than fix it I used this as an excuse to buy some bling.
Unfortunately during the first real cold snap of 2019 I came off my bike on a patch of black ice.
This lead to the damage you can see below. Luckily the gear hanger did it’s job and I got off with just cosmetic damage to everything else.
Pictures below, sad face.
6 months on…
What’s it been like to live with this bike on a day-to-day basis?
The Ribble CGR Ti is a brilliant bike. I’ve not been able to ride it for the past few weeks due to the icy weather we’ve had and I miss it. The only real upgrade I think I could do to it as this point is to add a pair of carbon wheels to really liven it up on the road.
Any complaints? Only a few minor ones. The rear axle requires the use of a Hex key as it doesn’t have a built-in handle which is a pain, but you get used to it. I’m still on the look out for a replacement though.
Also, in the first week of using the bike I lost a bolt holding on the mudguards, one of the cable routing covers, and nearly lost my bottle cage due to bolts coming loose. After that I went over every bolt with either Loctite or decent grease and it hasn’t been a problem since.
I’m not sure if it’s my ignorance, having never owned a Ti frame before, or Ribble using the wrong grease but my advice would be to check every single bolt, and not just the important ones before you first take it out.
I’m also not a fan of the rear seat stay mudguard mount which has the mounting hole at the bottom rather than facing forward. To save me drilling a hole in my mudguard I instead fabricated my own bracket, this is another faff, but I only have to do this the once so it’s not too bad.
I came to this bike from a Pinnacle Dolomite, which is a cracking bike, but this is another level. I don’t think it’s going to necessarily compete with a high-end carbon bike for road use but it’s a huge step above any alloy frame I’ve ever ridden. The comfort derived from the titanium tubing and thin seatstays is remarkable. 7+ hour rides don’t end with you feeling fatigued due to road buzz and crashing in to an unseen pothole, while not pleasant, isn’t as jarring and potentially dangerous as I’ve felt on other alloy bikes.
In many way it’s like taking a top-end alloy frame, and smoothing the edges off.
Next 6 months…
The 6 months to date since I got the bike have been characterised by a lot of road riding. The next 6 months however should see me taking this off road. I’ve got a set of WTB Resolutes on order, and I’m eyeing up a SuperDura dynamo front wheel from Hunt. These should pair nicely for my bikepacking excursion planned for the end of May, in the mean time I’m looking for any ideas for bikepacking trips!