Ritchey Design History
Over 40 Years Of Design Innovation
Tom Ritchey is one-of-a-kind. He continues to juggle his duties as president and lead designer of our company, which now has products distributed in over 40 countries – and he still logs at least 10,000 miles per year all over the world. Inspiration often comes to him while out on a ride, generating ideas that he then processes as three-dimensional design images – in his head. This is followed by the creation of initial concept models, many of which he creates by fillet brazing pieces or scraps of frame tubing. It all comes naturally to a guy who taught himself to build frames as a teenager, and who designed some of the burgeoning mountain bike industry’s first frames and components back in the 1970’s. Every year Tom guides our R&D efforts in pursuit of both subtle improvements to existing products or large-scale advances leading to new ones.
Over 40 Years Of Testing & Validation
Drawings and finite element analysis are great tools, but we are always eager to prove our new designs in the real world. Starting with fatigue cycle testing, we strive for at least 2x the standard mandated by CEN (the European Committee which determines minimum safety standards for bicycles and components sold in Europe). We apply the same stringent standards to impact testing, meaning that before a proposed design finds its way onto a tester’s bike, it has already been proven structurally – and then some. In 2006, we aligned ourselves with a respected German test lab in order to verify our own testing results. This outside authentication keeps us honest and ensures product releases meet the highest standards. Once a product clears machine testing, prototype samples endure rigorous use by amateur and professional riders alike, including our sponsored athletes around the world. By the time you put it on your bike, it has passed a global testing and approval process second to none.
Over 40 Years Of Sponsorship & Unrivaled Performance
If a bicycle or component can be successfully raced at the highest levels of the sport, there’s no doubt those bikes and parts will perform nobly during more mortal cycling pursuits.Thus, Ritchey has a rich heritage of supporting riders who have won world championships, Olympic medals, national championships, Tour de France stages, cyclocross championships and more. Since the beginning, Ritchey has supported these successful teams and riders with the understanding that the best racers deserve the best products, and such a relationship is a two-way street. Not only do these athletes benefit from the absolute best, but they also help develop and refine Ritchey products. Their insight, suggestions and feedback are invaluable for the bikes and components you ride every day. Ritchey continues to sponsor and support mountain bike, pro road and cyclocross men and women around the world, and at the highest levels. We’re also proud to support the adventurers out there – the people who ride purely for the experience of it all, without all of the fanfare. Their stories are just as important as world championship stripes.
About Ritchey Design
San Carlos, California is home to Ritchey Design, recognized around the world as one of the cycling industry’s premier innovators of high-quality bicycle components. Formed in the early 1970s by Tom Ritchey, the company actively designs a steady stream of new products, while constantly improving upon existing components, refining their lightness and durability with untiring drive, we call it; ‘relentless innovation.’ Modern day enthusiasts are very knowledgeable about their choices in the parts upgrade quest, and Ritchey strives to be their very first choice.
The company is well-known for its technical merits through attention to detail during the product design phase, combined with rigorous fatigue testing, resulting in high-quality, road and mountain bike components. Under its Fit Logic philosophy, Ritchey Design offers a wide range of “cockpit” components (handlebars, stems seatposts, and headsets) that help riders custom fit their bikes for a more efficient and comfortable ride. Ritchey Design also offers complete bikes, framesets and a complete line of innovative products including: pedals, carbon wheels, carbon forks, saddles, and tires suitable for professional racers to the serious weekend rider. Additionally it designs, markets and sells a line of “Break-Away” travel bicycles for cyclists on the go.
RITCHEY INNOVATIONS OVER THE YEARS
Tom was the first frame builder to custom-design superlight steel tubesets to meet his needs for a new paradigm in mountain bike frame-building. Logic Tubing was designed for non-lugged, fillet brazed joinery and had elongated, thin walled center sections to reduce weight. Additionally, he refashioned the single bend chain stay combined with an ovalized seat tube at the bottom bracket to stiffen this region for better power transference.
Other Ritchey Innovations:
- Modernized mountain bike geometry by departing from slack angles of balloon tire bikes to steeper seat angles for more efficient pedaling position.
- Butted and tapered Unicrown forks.
- Bullmoose bars – first integrated bar stem combo, a drastic improvement in steering control.
- Pressed seal bearing and Cartridge-style bottom brackets – to allow for proper bearing loads while reducing weight.
- Vector Force Analysis Tire designs – parabolic curve to achieve highest traction moments.
- Front / Rear specific tire tread patterns.
- Compact Rescue Tool for minimalists.
- Break-Away travel bikes.
- Dual Spring release tension system for pedals.
- 2x9 drive-train.
- 3-D and 4-D net shape forging for superior alloy and carbon parts.
- Logic Butted spokes with elongated center sections to reduce weight.
- Logic Headset with differential bearing sizes upper/lower.
- Bias cut steer clamps for stems with opposing bolts for clamping delicate carbon and lightweight alloys.
- Biomax Ergonomic handlebars.
TOM RITCHEY – FOUNDER / OWNER / DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
PHIL ELLINWOOD – CFO / DIRECTOR OF SOURCING / GENERAL MANAGER OF RITCHEY DESIGN, INC.
CLAUDIO BIANCHI – CEO / GENERAL MANAGER OF RITCHEY INTERNATIONAL SAGL
KEVIN PUTZKE – GENERAL MANAGER OF RITCHEY ASIA / PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT SUPERVISOR
RICCARDO DELIZIOSI – GLOBAL DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING
Partners & Community
All positions with Ritchey are currently full. Check back here often, or keep an eye on our social media channels, for jobs and internships we may post.