About Tom Ritchey
Tom Ritchey was born in the year 1956 in United States of America and went on to become an accomplished bicycle frame builder, fabricator, designer, category 1 racer and founder of the brand Ritchey design. He was the only one of his generation who pioneered the craft of modern day bicycle frame building. It was he who became the first-ever producer, manufacturer or builder of mountain bikes in the history of the sport of cycling.
Tom loves innovating new bicycle components and his inventions have been raced to victory positions in several big cycling competitions throughout the world including Tour de France, Olympics and UCI World Championships. Tom Ritchey was later inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1988 and then into the United States Bicycle Hall of Fame in 2012.
Tom Ritchey often credits his close friend late Jobst Brandt who he believes played a crucial role in not only his evolution as a cyclist and component designer, but also the deep passion he developed for the off-road riding. Brandt was a mechanical engineer by profession and always encouraged Tom to rise above his limits. While Tom was keen on designing and producing new lightning-fast components, Jobst would counter him by demanding components that were strong and durable for enduring epic rides. Tom Ritchey’s design principles mainly had foundations in these dueling philosophies.
Among first few of Tom Ritchey’s designs brought into practical use was his logic steel frame tubing. Keeping in mind the fillet brazing that Tom had pioneered, and the new wave of TIG welded frame production, Tom knew that it was force-direction butted and condensed tubing that would create steel frames stronger and lighter than the common butted tubes.
Tom Ritchey eventually went with a Japanese company for production of new butted tubing style. The success of his innovation led to the emergence of logic tubing. This kind of tubing revolutionized the way in which manufacturers perceived butting profiles, creating a new era of more lively, much lighter and yet highly durable steel tubing bikes of larger diameters. Later on, Tom took the same shortened butt concept and approached a reputed spoke manufacturer for production of spokes for stronger and lighter wheels.
Following are some important innovations Tom produced over his long spanning career:
- Creation of twin plated crown forks in 1974
- New mountain bike frame and first ever mountain bike producing company in 1979
- 130mm rear hub specifically built for mountain bikes in 1980
- Creation of 120mm bottom bracket spindle in 1980
- Logic butted tubing in 1984
- Vantage rims in 1985
- Logic condensed double butted spokes in 1989
- 2x9 speed drivetrain meant for mountain bikes in 1995 and more