The story of Tom Ritchey – and his eponymous bicycle company, Ritchey – reads like a history of modern American cycling. As a road racer in the early ‘70s young Tom, the son of an engineer and avid tinkerer, was often found winning on bicycles that he himself had made. As he experimented with frame building and component fabrication he maintained a focus on making lighter weight parts both strong and reliable. As that decade faded into the 1980s he and his buddies were already spending considerable time riding dirt roads and mountain trails and making the tougher equipment needed for them – in turn inventing what we know as the mountain bike. His ideas were so good that many major bicycle brands sought to put his Ritchey Logic stems, bars, pedals and more to build their own complete bicycles with. Mr. Ritchey then steered away from frame building to concentrate on great quality components to be used at the highest levels of the sport.
While being deeply involved in the bike industry Tom still finds the time to logs thousands of miles and claims that many of his best ideas come to him while pedaling. When inspiration for a new product comes to mind he can be found back in the workshop making the initial prototypes come to life. Anything he creates is thoroughly tested by Ritchey team riders and independent facilities to ensure that hs new products exceed industry standards. He has since added the word Logic to the name of his company because he feels that anything that bares the Ritchey mark has been developed out of necessity and not just following current trends in the bike world.
Being a constant traveler he eventually put his design experience to use in developing the Ritchey Break-Away frame that quickly folds into a carry-on size bag. Its unique design is so simple and easy to use that only an engineer well versed in bicycle design and an avid cyclist could invent it. For many the Break-Away bicycle is their ticket to avoiding steep airline fees while offering the ability to bring their bike wherever they may travel. We have many Contender Bicycles customers happily riding their own Break-Away bikes the world over. Proving to be very popular the Break-Away is now available in road, cyclecross or tandem versions with titanium, steel and carbon construction.
Since developing that bike he has jumped back into offering frames made from titanium, steel and now the new Break-Away Carbon road frame. With a focus on speed and racing, Ritchey mountain bikes, the P-Team, P-29 and P-650b, are all hardtails and Ritchey even offers their WCS Carbon rigid fork to work with any XC race bike. A timeless looking cyclecross frame is also available in the form of the Ritchey Swiss Cross and newer Swiss Cross Disc that blend modern geometry with classic steel construction. Ritchey Logic components now range from the sturdy alloy versions found as original equipment on many new bikes to the high-end WCS carbon components used by World Champions in all cycling disciplines. One highlight is the return of the famous one-piece stem and bar from the early days of mountain biking – with this century’s WCS Bullmoose being made from lightweight carbon fiber. This type of thinking proves that Tom Ritchey and his Ritchey bicycles are firmly planted in history with eyes set on the future.