• TR Does Aerospace!

    About halfway there! About halfway there!
    Sealing the Hull Sealing the Hull
    The business end of Tom's aircraft. The business end of Tom's aircraft.
    Building up the inside of the wing. Building up the inside of the wing.
  • Flashback Friday!

    Sterling Magnell at Mammoth National Championships 1996 on his way to a Jr National title at 13. Sterling Magnell at Mammoth National Championships 1996 on his way to a Jr National title at 13.
  • Ritchey junior team from the 90's

    Early Ritchey Junior Team

  • How to Change a Bicycle Flat Tire Without Hands


    Inspiring and amazing

  • Into The Heart of Rwanda

    Here is the wonderful video by a Spokane filmmaker, Rajah Bose, documenting the efforts of Healing Hearts NW in Rwanda. Please visit healingheartsnorthwest.com for more info.

     

  • TR & Martha at the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition fundraiser

    TR @ SBBC Fundraiser

  • Tandem Sidecar for Ritchey's Newest Team Member

    TR w Sidecar

    TR w Sidecar 2

  • TR Does Eroica California

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica CaliforniaIt is possible Tom’s Eroica ride started with the challenge that came about from contemplating the over exaggeration the market demands of the bicycle. Calls for stiffer bottom brackets, stiffer head tubes, stiffer front ends. The jargon of, aero wind tunnels, and carbon anything washes over the fundamental of whether or not the bike even rides well or if the rider fairs well after the ride. It’s easy to get caught up in the technological whirlwind of advancement for advancements sake when there are fundamentals deeply rooted in cycling history. At the end of the day, these desires produce a bike what rides like brick with cork tape wrapped around the ends. And that’s just it, right? What is it we ride for if not to enjoy the very element we’re immersing ourselves in when riding.

    For Tom, the value is if the bike can forgive the ground and terrain for fighting again the ride; it’s in the bikes compliance. If a bike can comply with the very elements it seeks to tackle. Thus, a challenge to test a new bike of his design that is firmly rooted in the history and ethos of his late friend Jobst Brandt.

    The torch was reignited.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica CaliforniaTom Ritchey Does Eroica CaliforniaTom Ritchey Does Eroica CaliforniaTom Ritchey Does Eroica CaliforniaTom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    It was around this time where the invitation to Eroica came about. Eroica harkens back to a time when technology wasn’t so much about money and time spent on CAD and simulators but the brazing skill of the builder and their steady hand. A bike was a bike for the sake of adventure to be had over the miles we traverse and the enjoyment that would follow. This would be the proving for a new design with historical roots. Tom knew a mixed terrain ride of this nature was exactly where the inception for his new bike occurred and where it would test its mettle.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    It had been since 1980, when Tom last built a bike of this nature, possibly for Eric Heiden. It seemed only fitting he bring Eric’s helmet with him for the ride.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Finally, Tom’s Helmet would be en vogue.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Most of the others on the ride came adored in classic wool above Italian frames, a few british, and almost no American frames.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Tom opted for the Coastal route, a 85mile journey with over 8500 feet of climbing, 12 miles of unpaved “roads” and some of the most scenic land in California. This route would feature some new roads to Tom- which is rare these days.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    What would be a somewhat of a ride ending sidewall cut about an hour and a half into second dirt section. Tom reaching into his bag of tricks, “ I had to get clever to make something work so I cut my number in half...... Interesting way that it somehow took a photograph of the inside casing........then ended up with an additional two more mystery flats around the same area.”

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    One of the few American builders represented at Eroica.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Some of the rest stops offered more emotional support than nutritional.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Tom wasn’t the only builder to have fabricated their own bike specifically for Eroica. This fellow in particular opted for a few more bells and whistles than Tom’s classic. Nevertheless, Tom was impressed.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

    Catching up with old friends, like Mark Pringle, shown here.

    Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California Tom Ritchey Does Eroica California

  • 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

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