• N1NO - the Hunt for Glory - Chapter 4 - "There is no place like home"

    There is no place like home. Chapter 4 of Nino Schurter`s #HUNTFORGLORY shows the 3x World Champion in his familiar surroundings. Nino is known for being a professional mountain bike athlete, always on the run, and always busy. Yet Chapter 4 is all about Nino’s roots, where it all started, and what he is doing when not surrounded by cameras but rather by his family and friends. Check out where Nino takes you on a very private tour.

    Check out the youtube channel here.

  • N1NO - the Hunt for Glory - Chapter 3 - "The First Big Battle"

    At World Cup races it's all about the #huntforglory! These are the moments that motivate me to give my all so that I can achieve my goals. Nove Mesto, with its superb atmosphere and great riding is definitely one of my favorite races- I love to battle there.

    Check out the youtube channel here.

  • Mission Workshop and Bike Magazine Present Ask A Founder with Tom Ritchey

    Bike Magazine and Mission Workshop present a talk with Tom Ritchey in their "Ask a Founder" series, in which they put one of mountain biking's original characters in front of a crowd for a no-holds-barred Q & A session.

  • Tom Ritchey: A Tribute to Jobst

    1-tom-jobst-sonora-pass-snowJOBST BRANDT was 6’-5” with a voice like Darth Vader, and he was full of opinions.

    As a young bike racer I was at times very much influenced by the many aspects of Jobst’s personality, which was just as powerful as my own father’s influence in many ways. When you boil it down, Jobst was a tough guy. He wasn’t always an easy fellow to deal with, but he taught me some really valuable things, about cycling and about engineering…his influence on me was certainly positive.

    Jobst was a lifelong cyclist and a fixture in the Northern California cycling community in the transformative 1970's and 1980's. Jobst was a different sort of rider, through and through. He was the force behind these huge, unusual rides happening in Northern California. It was a small, brave and slightly crazy group of us riding road bikes up into the fire roads and cow trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains, long before mountain bikes.

    2-jobst-riders-houseMy dad started going on Jobst’s rides and when I was 14 or 15 years old, and he was introduced to his epic rides and rigid set of logic and principles as a German engineer. His rides went deep in the Santa Cruz Mountains on road bikes, and there were no cell phones of course. Self-reliance was key, in how you rode, and what you rode. If you broke down out there, nobody was going to wait…you really were on your own, so there was an unspoken pressure to not ride any questionable equipment. And Jobst would let you know if he thought your bike wasn’t up to snuff.

    We were all on tubular tires those days and bikes were not as durable or as capable as they later became. The bike industry hadn’t yet developed modern test standards to refine equipment, so from Jobst I learned the concept of ‘personal fatigue testing’. The world may never know how many cranks and BB axles that Jobst broke. He’d try to help, too. While riding in Europe he’d visit Cinelli, DT and Campagnolo and try to share his opinions on how to improve parts, but they weren’t ready to listen.

    3-peterjobstalpinerd1988800Jobst had an impact on the bike industry that not everyone is aware of. For Ritchey, he really helped shape my design and engineering principles. He had a tremendous respect for standards in design, and how standards evolve to be standards for very good reason. Jobst taught me the importance of simple structural and mechanical formulas of triangulation when it comes to frame and component design. He’d reference bridges and say, “See? That’s the strongest way to build a structure.” As an early framebuilder it was an honor for me that Jobst asked me to repair his (quite large) Cinelli frame when it cracked. In time I’d repaired his bike in so many spots that he said, “Well Ritchey, you might as well just build me a frame.”

    In those early years Jobst even redesigned the Ritchey logo. My first bikes had a simple “T.Ritchey” on the downtube, but Jobst crafted the more elegant ‘Ritchey’ that still adorns the downtube of Ritchey bikes to this day, with a bar connecting the “R” to the “Y”.Jobst also designed the shield head badge with the overlapping “TR”.

    butanoridge1981800Jobst also helped the Avocet brand take off. He even named the brand, and he was the first one taking tread off road tires to introduce the first slick road tires. People associate it with Avocet but really Jobst was behind it.

    Jobst was a fountain of new information to me, and not just engineering and cycling. He was a consummate birder. I knew nothing about birds, but Jobst would go on and on about bird sightings on rides. He was also the one to teach me how to find Chanterelle mushrooms. And he was big on cameras, and always had a Rollei 35 with him.

    gate101984800Most notably, Jobst knew rides that nobody else knew. If I found narrow tire tracks way off the paved roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains, I knew they were his. And it wasn’t’ just around here, either. For years, Jobst was taking these month-long mountain trips in the Swiss Alps along with Peter Johnson and Bill Robertson. I didn’t get there until ’87 or ’88. Jobst choreographed my route through the Alps, making sure I rode all these secret roads and old Roman pathways that didn’t exist on a map, so you’d see things that few people even knew existed.

    Amazingly, he was a proverbial camel and never carried water. His bike didn’t even have braze-on’s for water bottles. Despite the desolate routes Jobst would ride, he always knew where the drinking spots were in the mountains. There were North coast rides that he’d decline to do with me…I think it’s because he didn’t know where the water was along the route.

    silverfallsj1988800I’m lucky to have had Jobst in my life, he was a great man and his spirit lives on in the way I ride, and the bikes and components I design.

    -Tom Ritchey

    sierra_ride2_1979 peter_jobst_1982 sierra_ride_1982 longridge1987800 indiantrail1986800

     

    Photos: © Jobst Brandt and Ray Hosler

  • N1NO - the Hunt for Glory - Chapter 2 - "On the Go"

    Being on a professional MTB team, there is a lot of travelling involved- before and during race time. Nino Schurter and SCOTT-Odlo MTB Racing spent a decent amount of time in South Africa and California preparing for the upcoming World Cup season, which starts the coming weekend in Nove Mesto / CZ Republic.

    South Africa is where the team heads every year to start their season. Unlike recent years, Nino Schurter kicked-off the pre-olympic race season at the the Bonelli US CUP and the Sea Otter Classic in California. "At Sea Otter, my team mate Jenny Rissveds and I competed in four races, and it resulted in 4 podiums. It was a very cool experience to race in California and definitely felt good to bike where MTB was born," Nino says.

    Chapter 2 - "On the Go" gives an inside view into the team`s life and all the preparation professional racing requires. “Everything we do in 2015 has just one goal: to be the most fit possible for the Olympic Race in Rio in 2016.”

    Check out the youtube channel here.

  • N1NO - The Hunt for Glory - Chapter 1 - "Work Hard Play Hard"

    Nino Schurter belongs on the list of the most successful mountain bike athletes in history. The 3 time World Champion is the leader of SCOTT Odlo MTB Racing, the international XC team run by bike legend Thomas Frischknecht. “N1NO – The Hunt for Glory” is Nino Schurter`s first set of “webisodes.” The new video series features various chapters illustrating Nino`s colorful life as a professional mountain bike athlete during the pre-olympic year. It´s not only about how Nino prepares for the biggest goal of his career, the golden medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but it‘s also about shredding trails, travelling around the world, and all the fun that mountain biking brings.

    "I am stoked to release the first chapter of N1NO – The Hunt for Glory. My first webisode is all about the MTB racing lifestyle, cool trail riding, my training workouts plus a good amount of behind-the-scene footage of a mountain bike athlete`s life. Rio seems to be far away, but in fact the 2016 Olympic Games are just around the corner. Check out what my Hunt for Glory looks like”, Nino says.

    Check out the youtube channel here.

  • The Rider Side: No Extra Bar Tape – a quick Q&A with Martin Elmiger

    IAMcycling_Elmiger_full-440x440IAM Cycling’s Martin Elmiger rode to an impressive 5th place finish in his 10th time on the cobbles at this year’s Paris-Roubaix---his best placing to date. A pro for 15 years, the multi-time Swiss national champion sat down with us for a few questions the day after one of the most punishing races in the world.

    How are you after 254 kilometers and 57 kilometers of pave?
    Well, I'm already back at home in sunny Switzerland and I can relax and enjoy good success here.

    What do you feel the most?
    My hands certainly, in the end I had always cramping and one tries to somehow hold on the handlebars. My clothes I could hardly take off alone, because my hands would clench into fists again and again. The back you can feel naturally after so many punches, a bit more than usual.

    iam1How long have you been racing?
    I've been racing since 1991 in the Student class. For 15 years, I have been a professional, and at 37, now I’m one of the old rabbits. In the beginning, I was also active on a mountain bike and made it to the national team. I always enjoy the change to my mountain bike. The ideal terrain for freeriding is right outside the front door.

    How long have you ridden for IAM?
    For three years now, since the team started.

    How many times have you done Paris Roubaix?
    Ten times, and without any heavy falls or defects, everything has worked out this time. The bike worked perfectly and I was in the right group.

    iam2Have you experienced massive bike or component failure in the past?
    No, fortunately, I have never seen a frame, handlebars or stem broken.

    Have your bikes been specially prepared for the cobbles?
    We have Scott Addict frames for the harsh spring classics, which I'm riding, but also throughout the year. (Laughs) You will not get younger and it is very comfortable. For Roubaix we even get a special Addict with a slightly more comfortable rear end. The wheels are encased in 30mm tires. For saddle and handlebar geometry I go with what I always ride---no extra handlebar tape, no additional brake lever.

    No extra bar tape?
    No, I ride with 4.8 bar (70psi) front and 5.2 (75psi) rear. This is always a balancing act between comfort and rolling resistance. The first 100 kilometers of asphalt I ride at this pressure, then I'm just off the bike and I let out 0.2 bar front and rear. All tip-top. Some racers switch the whole machine, they start with 23mm tires and change to 30mm. To me, that is too stressful.

    iam3Is there a comfortable position on the handlebars for you?
    In this race, I constantly change the conductor positions. One position for the relief of the hands, the other positions depend on the racing situation and position in the field. Since I've joined the IAM team, I always get the same handlebar, Ritchey WCS EvoCurve, 44cm wide. It is comfortable and you have a good grip. I always find a comfortable and safe position. This is important to me.

    What was the key to success in your tenth Paris-Roubaix?
    Firstly the bike. Everything is kept together very well, I felt, despite the hardships on the wheels. In addition, despite my age and experience, I tried new forms of training with the IAM team coach. Doing more short interval blocks paid off for Roubaix. The new training with Marcello Albasini got me motivated again to race like a young fox.

  • The Ride with Tom Ritchey

    Take a spin with living legend Tom Ritchey on roads and trails which inspire him.

  • Tuesdays with Tom

  • #BeforeProject : Milan-San Remo

    Guillaume Prébois came to Ritchey with a plan: to ride the Spring Classics and key Pro Tour stages of 2015 prior to the actual race, give his insight on what the pro peloton would experience and where the crucial moves would happen. What unfolded is something Guillaume calls the #BeforeProject. So we put him on our Superlogic EvoCurve bar, Superlogic C260 stem, WCS Contrail and WCS Zeta II wheels- ensuring he would have the best, near-pro experience while over taking these courses. Below is his take on the historic classic Milan-San Remo.

    Milan-San Remo 2015 MapMilan-San Remo opens the spring classics season. The "Primavera" is the longest race of the professional calendar with a distance of 293km (which you must add a 10k transfer from the city-center to the real start at the exit of Milan). This year, the organizers have decided to get back to Via Roma, the old historical course where Eddy Merckx was winning back at the time. The climb of "Manie" has been cancelled (the descent was quite sketchy) and the weird idea to add the "Pompeiana" climb, a short "wall" between the Cipressa and Poggio has been dropped. Even better, the finish line will be downtown, only 2k from the end of Poggio's descent, which preserves the suspense. A better suited scenario than the marginal finish of these last years on the sea-side near the closed train station.

    Milan-San Remo profile1I started my recon at Alassio (km 235), at the foot of the first "capo", the "Capo Mele" (cape of apples), followed by "Capo Cervo" (cape of deers) and "Capo Berta". These climbs are small "bumps" of the coast, insignificant in themselves but the riders already have more than 5 hours in the legs when they tackle them. The hardest is "Capo Berta" where, usually, the riders of the early breakaway are swallowed by the bunch. The strongest riders climb it on the 53 gear but, at the peloton's tail, the selection has started and some riders get dropped. Then a fast descent leads to Imperia where they enter in a very narrow street. To discover these "capi" I offer you a different angle with a camera on the bar of my bike.

    Milan-San Remo grandeMilan-San Remo profile2After a short transition on slightly uphill roads at the exit of Imperia, the riders turn right in San Lorenzo a Mare to start the climb of Cipressa. The ascent is not too demanding (5,6k at 4,1%, max 9%) but the middle section, when you can spot the sea at your left, is often the place where attackers decide to move. The descent, sketchy and fast, is extremely risky (above all if it rains). In a well-known right bend crashes often happens. The famous left corner at the top of the Poggio before plunging into the descent, recognizable thanks to the red phone cabin in the background, behind the signs.

    Milan-San Remo grande2Another uphill road leads to the Poggio, the famous hill where flowers are cultivated, the specialty of San Remo. The climb is mostly easy, numerous curves give opportunities to keep the pace. The critical point where each year the strongest riders attack is roughly at 1k from the top and lasts 700 meters. After 280km of racing, that could be enough to make a break. Then you have to be skilled to negotiate the technical descent on San Remo especially on the oily asphalt because of the intense traffic there all year long.

    My opinion is that, for the first time in years, it's worth attacking on the Poggio. The organizers have understood the secret of this race lies in the suspense of the last kilometers and coming back to the old finish line in the center is a move which encourages the riders to make a decisive gap on the Poggio as now you only have to cover 2k after the descent. No time for hesitations. So, since a long time, we could see a lonely rider winning in San Remo.

    My picks for potential winners:

    Fabian Cancellara: always in the top 10, very often in the top 3. He knows the race well, can power over short climbs, descends like no one and sprints powerfully after 300k.

    Peter Sagan: He won this week for the first time in 8 months; he needs a big win on a classic. It should be rainy and he drives his bike like a god. He just has to be more tactical.

    Philippe Gilbert + Greg Van Avermaet: the fantastic duo of BMC, both are able to attack on the Poggio and make the break. Will they work together or will rivalry harm them?

    Cavendish: If it must be a sprint, then it's for Cav, already a multiple winner this season, and with the strongest team in the race.

    Follow more of the #BeforeProject here.

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