This is part two of an in depth conversation between Tom Ritchey and Ryan le Garrec where Ryan seeks to identify key periods in Tom’s life alongside key people. Perhaps second only to Tom’s father, it seems that Jobst Brandt had significant influence of the young Tom. Below, Ryan shares excerpts from Tom’s side of their conversation that highlight Jobst’s character, his notorious rides, and his lasting impact. Enjoy!
Tom Ritchey is not what you would call an open book. Rather, he’s a whole library; a labyrinth with many alleys, chockfull of stories, where everything splits and branches like the best network of singletrack, and there are no cul de sacs. Every door leads you to another room. Every answer opens up another question. There are no shortcuts.
The following is just a casual conversation. In it, you might not find all the details of the next frame that he is working on but you may find a better understanding into what it took for Tom Ritchey to become Tom Ritchey.
“I have a public self and I have a personal self. I could answer that question on a public side and tell you I just love riding my bike and being by myself and all (…) That would be an authentic answer but it’s not the whole answer of course. So I’ll give you the personal one too.” – Tom Ritchey
Late August 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany.
Schicke Mütze, a bike shop, and cafe in Düsseldorf organized a visit of Tom Ritchey and a gravel ride together with local cyclists and enthusiasts. they let me in on that beautiful day, the following is the account of a conversation and video interview with Tom Ritchey.
You ever lay awake at night wondering what Tom Ritchey feels about carbon, oversized downtubes, and other modern-day bicycle details? Well, this interview with Tom from last year – which I’m just now finding out about thanks to Rivendell – is very insightful. Check it out as one of the most influential bicycle designers discusses modern bikes…
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!
Tom Ritchey stars in this video from the Bicycle Academy doing what he does best from his visit in September 2016 to spend some time hanging out, teaching students and to build a bike with the young framebuilders that run the school in Somerset, England.
Check out some images of the completed bike below!
Tom Ritchey, Thoas Frischknecht, and Nino Schurter met up at Sea Otter last year and discussed MTB’s roots in this video…