Readers’ Rides: Luke’s 1985 Ritchey Ascent


Readers’ Rides: Luke’s 1985 Ritchey Ascent

Tom Ritchey is one of the founders of mountain biking and this year commemorates 50 years of Ritchey frames. That’s a huge milestone for any framebuilder and in that time, the brand has produced some lovely models, like the Ascent. Luke built up a beautiful Ascent and sent it in to be featured. If you’re a fan of Ritchey, don’t miss this one!

Hey there!

I just got rid of my Swiss Cross canti and wanted to send this in as my submission to Reader’s Rides.

I have to admit that the reason this thing’s so rad is because of the guy who built it, Reuben (also known as @sfbiketrader on IG). He sourced this frame from a collector in the area and put a bunch of period-correct bits on it like the Shimano Deerhead stuff and the super tough black 1.75 Araya rims mated to some high flange XT hubs. The low-key flex on these is the NOS Bontrager tires from the 90s that are Panaracer-made. Plus, this build has one of those silly/awesome roller cam brakes in the rear that’s by Suntour and has “Cunningham Design” printed on it. Reuben then finished it off with a couple coats of olive green from Montana to get what we have here (I added the Velo Orange bell and bottle cage all by myself though).

Basic ESI grips and friction shifting front and rear make this bike a blast to shred on the local trails. I was elated to find a 23” frame as I’m 6’6” and need every last bit of size I can get. The bullmoose bars are a welcome departure from the drops I had on my Swiss Cross and I’m a convert to the triple. No more 1x bs for me!

Oh and lastly: I emailed Ritchey to learn some more about the frame’s origins and got some rad info in the process. The front triangle was TIG-welded by Toyo in Japan and then sent back here to Ritchey HQ where Tom did the finishing work (braze-ons and painting) himself. SICK.

All the best,

Luke Hendrickson

We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!