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Tom's Dad's Ritchey

These are pictures of an early road frame that Tom Ritchey built for his dad. These are an excellent example of the early work done by Tom.

Click on each picture for an enlarged view.

The stem on this bike is quite unusal for a bike from 1974. Tom used a "clamp on" stem that offered a lightweight alternative to the quill-type stem. While still using a standard threaded headset, an extension to the steerer is brazed into the fork steerer, and the stem clamps to it. This style of clamping bars is common on Tom's early mountain bikes (see pic). Unfortunately the idea for the stem was not patented, and nearly 20 years later this style of stem became the norm.

Tom later went on to design a true threadless headset for a time trail bike that he built for himself. The headset did not use a star-nut, but was a true threadless design and included sealed bearings, which was also highly unusal in the '70s. Several years later, when Dia-Compe patent the threadless design, Tom was unable to produce his original design, and therefore not able to show prior use.

Close-up of the head tube lug work which is representative of Tom's early work. The lugs are "true" lugs as opposed to some of the lugwork which appears on some of his higher-end mountain bikes in the '80s. Later Tom went on to perfect his skills in the use of lugless construction using fillet brazing.

Top view of the fork crown.

Better view of Tom's twin-plate crown. Tom's early mountain frames came with a similar crown.

Although a bit hard to see in the picture, the seatpost and saddle combo on this bike are quite unusual. The seatpost and seat undercarriage are welded together as an integrated one-peice system. Constructed of all aluminum, this set-up oftered an incredibly light set-up estimated at 12-13 ounces (based on Tom's memory). This particular set-up was non-adjustable, but later version did offer fore and aft adjustment. The adjustable model can be seen in a magazine test of an early Ritchey bike.

The seat tube extension on this bike is one of the longest that I've seen.

Close up of the seat cluster lug, with the smooth seat stay transition.

The rear end flex on this bike should be non-existent.

Close up of the bottom bracket shell. Note the additional lug work around the chain stay with it's cutout and shaping.

Clean drive-side rear drop out.

And a cleaner non-drive-side rear drop out.