The Bicycle Academy’s Old Skool New School Tom Ritchey 27.5+ Hardtail

Before we jump into the coverage from my visit to Somerset, England’s the Bicycle Academy, I thought I’d share a very special bike. You might recognize this hardtail from the video I shared a few months back. It made its debut in the Tom Ritchey Old Skool New School video. It was built by Tom, while he was at the Bicycle Academy and has been ridden by various guests of the school. This fillet brazed hardtail features some unique cable routing, clean fillet brazing, a clear coat over the raw frame, 27.5+ wheels and tires by Ritchey, Shimano XT components, RockShox Reverb, Pike and Ritchey Bullmoose bars.

If you’re thinking the frame looks a bit small, Tom purposely made it a size medium, hoping to allow a number of people the ability to ride it. The Old Skool New School program is a great idea and this particular project made for a great first round. Look forward to more coverage from the Bicycle Academy this week and even more Old Skool New School news in the coming months.

… and if you haven’t watched the Ritchey video, you really should!

20 responses to “The Bicycle Academy’s Old Skool New School Tom Ritchey 27.5+ Hardtail”

  1. Andrew Denham says:

    The routing from the bars to the DT cable guides is especially funky. From memory I think we cut at least one of the hydraulic hoses too short on the morning of the ride with Tom, there were about 5 of us mucking in to get the bike built up super quick so that we could head out to the trails… and well, you know, too many cooks….

  2. Camille Clrk says:

    WOWOWO beauty

  3. dthio says:


    love the cable routing and integrated seat-clamp. geo-wise comparable to the Timberwolf?

    • John Watson says:

      There was a story about it being a degree or so steeper due to a little bit of head tube trimming. haha.

      • Andrew Denham says:

        Yeah, Tom likes to flow the brass around so that he gets a meaty internal fillet, so he worked on the mitres we’d created to give them a ‘loose fit’ to make sure that the braze “flows right in there”, but of course that had an affect on the head angle when it was all brazed up. It’s cool though, makes the bike more lively and is a fun story when people ask about the specifics of the geometry.

  4. rocketman says:

    wish Ritchey would put something like this on the market… ( tig welded of course) beautiful!

  5. Jon B. says:

    that new blue road logic tho… <3

  6. Harvey Wood says:

    I had the absolute privilege of attending the frame building course at the Bicycle Academy last November (which I cannot recommend enough) and got to ride this bike on the local pump track. Despite it being way too small for me, I was still super excited about riding something that living legend Tom Ritchey had brazed up, which might have resulted in me getting a little #rubbersideup, and now you can probably guess where those dings in the prototype (seriously, my luck…) carbon bar came from!

  7. marty larson says:

    Such a rad bike! I went back and watched the previous video. Amazing to watch Tom dance that frame on the table.

  8. nothingfuture says:

    I really, really like this bike. Ticks a lot of boxes, for me.
    I’d be prone to running a fork with a bit more travel, myself- but that’s just me.
    Clear coat over brazing should be a factory option.

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  12. Any news on that Outback frame they announced last year?

  13. Bart says:

    Clear coat over raw …steel?