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Conversations with Tom Ritchey Part One: Tommy, Thomas, Tom

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Conversations with Tom Ritchey Part One: Tommy, Thomas, Tom

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

Vintage Bikes Are Compounded Stories: John’s 1980 No Serial Ritchey

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Vintage Bikes Are Compounded Stories: John’s 1980 No Serial Ritchey

Every bike has a story, but some intrinsically harbor more nuanced lore. As you might have noticed, over the past few years, I’ve acquired a few Ritchey frames from the 1980s. We’ve previously covered my Everest and the story of Tom’s early Bullmoose designs; I also have a 1985 Annapurna, and this no serial number 1980 Ritchey, which might be the best build yet.

This era of mountain bike design and development is my favorite. In the late 70s, guys like Joe Breeze built beautiful bikes inspired by balloon cruisers and klunkers. Tom Ritchey, inspired by the frenetic energy of the mountain bike genesis, began making fat tire frames in the late 70s. From 1980 through 1981, several bikes left Tom’s shop, including the fabled ‘chicken coop’ bikes, and a few were built void of any serial number.

This bike is the latter, and boy, does it have a story…

A Different Kind of Merckx Mondays

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A Different Kind of Merckx Mondays

While I missed this in time for this morning’s Radar Roundup, I had to share it!

I love browsing Bring a Trailer if for no other reason than gems like this. Vintage cars, much like vintage bikes have a panache unmatched by their modern counterparts. Take, for instance, this 1977 Volvo 244 DL that was refinished in Molteni Orange, one of Eddy Merckx’s teams in the 1970s, and covered in team decals like the original TdF chase vehicles.

These little 2.1-liter inline-four Volvo engines are legendary, yet that is no Merckx. Check out more photos at Bring a Trailer.

From The Pro’s Closet: Raúl Alcalá’s 1988 7-Eleven Huffy Funny Bike

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From The Pro’s Closet: Raúl Alcalá’s 1988 7-Eleven Huffy Funny Bike

The late 80s and through the 90s brought in a sea change of experimental bicycle design, namely in the time trial events. From the banked walls of a velodrome to the bitumen, several bikes pushed the limits of design in this era. Today in our From The Pro’s Closet series, we have Raúl Alcalá’s 1988 7-Eleven Huffy funny bike, reported by Noah Geller and documented by Joey Schusler. If you’re pining for some classic 7-Eleven history, don’t miss this one! Let’s get to it…

John’s 1983 Ritchey Everest MTB: A Happenstance Acquisition

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John’s 1983 Ritchey Everest MTB: A Happenstance Acquisition

What’s this? Another grey, size 23″ Ritchey? Well… yes!

Over the past year, I’ve revisited my love of handmade, vintage bikes and have honed in with particular interest on the work of Tom Ritchey, a builder at the fore of early mountain bike design. My goal in this case study of sorts is to provide a few examples of the major shifts in Ritchey’s production, primarily through the 1980s, with a single specimen representing these stages. My catalog of Ritchey frames includes a recently acquired anonymous 1980 model devoid of serial number, a 1985 Annapurna (arguably the finest bike model Tom ever brazed), and a 1982 Tam that is now being replaced by this 1983 Everest.

Earlier this year, we looked at my 1982 Tamalpais, built to catalog spec and in pristine condition. Yet one thing never really sat well with me about the build: the Bullmoose bars. You see, these early Ritcheys had a very unique Bullmoose that was more complex than the quill stem Bullmoose bars found in the late 1980s.

It’s a long story but one I’ll unravel here…

From The Pro’s Closet: Ross Shafer’s 1984 Salsa Cycles Custom

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From The Pro’s Closet: Ross Shafer’s 1984 Salsa Cycles Custom

I doubt the readers of this website need an introduction to the brand Salsa Cycles, but what about the brand’s genesis? Today’s From The Pro’s Closet bike features Ross Shafer, the founder of Salsa’s 1984 Custom. This bike, much like Salsa itself, is riddled with lore, so we pinged the lore meister himself, Tasshi Dennis, to dish out the goods. Grab a bowl of chips and a dish of salsa, and get yourself a big scoop below…

Restoring a Classic MTB Part 01: John’s 1990 Team Yo Eddy!

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Restoring a Classic MTB Part 01: John’s 1990 Team Yo Eddy!

Vintage bikes have always had a home on The Radavist. From shooting Sky’s wonderful collection from Velo Cult, to showcasing stunners in Los Angeles, and basket bike/resto mod conversions in Austin, there’s something about these 26″ wheeled, friction shifting, hand-made beauts that have always caught my eye. Over the past year, there’s been an uptick in the number of vintage bikes we’ve showcased, in part because joining with The Pro’s Closet gave us access to TPC’s Museum bikes, a veritable treasure trove of exciting and influential builds to unpack. Each bike is an earmark in cycling history, each with its unique story to tell. Additionally, I have had the time and resources to work on such restoration projects for the first time in years.

This year, we’ve featured my 1982 Ritchey Tam and my 1984 Mountain Goat, representing what I love about the early 1980s mountain bike design. With flat top tubes, big tire clearance, friction shifting, and geometries still relevant today, the 1980s bikes were more geared toward exploration than the racing geometries the NORBA era brought about. I couldn’t buy one of these classics when I first started riding in the 90s (my first bike was a rigid Gary Fisher Tassajara), but I could always count of Mountain Bike Action and my local bike shop to keep the eye candy in steady supply. Since then, one elusive bike model has remained the apple of my eye: an early 90s Yo Eddy! When Mike Wilk wrote about TPC’s Grello Yo!, it made me nostalgic tailspin.

I casually reached out to Martin at Second Spin Cycles, who had just bought a big Fat Chance collection from out West. I asked if he had a Yo Eddy that would fit me and, as luck would have it, he did. But it needed some work…

Teenage Dreams: Building a Replica of Miguel Indurain’s Pinarello Banesto

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Teenage Dreams: Building a Replica of Miguel Indurain’s Pinarello Banesto

Miguel Indurain was the king of the Tour de France in the ’90s, winning five times consecutively. He was one of my teenage cycling idols, and coincidentally he and I share almost the same bike measurements; however, the similarities end there! I always thought it would be a fun project to build an everyday rider that was an Indurain Pinarello Banesto replica. Here’s how I got my “Big Mig” bike up and running.

Alex and His 1987 Bridgestone MB-1 Basket Bike

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Alex and His 1987 Bridgestone MB-1 Basket Bike

While we’re huge fans of restored, period-correct, catalog spec vintage mountain bikes over here at The Radavist, there’s something special about basket bikes made from 1980s and 1990s mountain bikes. Hell, it’s not that long ago that we saw Bailey send it on his Rocky Mountain or any of the countless basket bikes we’ve featured over the past fifteen years we’ve been publishing. I’ll always drool over a minty Potts, or my build projects like my Ritchey Tam or Mountain Goat, but there’s something immortal, heroic, and even godlike when it comes to a shreddy basket bike built upon a classic chassis. These bikes continuously live on…

When Alex came to town with his Bridgestone MB-1, we went on a ride here in town, and then, the following day, I photographed his bike. Let’s check it out in detail below!

I Learned to Fly… On A Mountain Bike: Wende Cragg Documents the Birth of Mountain Biking

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I Learned to Fly… On A Mountain Bike: Wende Cragg Documents the Birth of Mountain Biking

As a kid, I wanted to fly. Like Superman. The recurring dream never materialized but the fantasy took flight when I met the mountain bike. The history of the early mountain bike is often seen through the lens of a handful of guys who modified their old Schwinns back in the mid-1970s. However, as the lone woman participating in those early riding adventures, I snapped a few photographs along the way, capturing the age of innocence often associated with those seminal days. A small group of trailblazers, pioneering a new course of action riding these old relics, would soon change the future of cycling.

A Pit Stop at Roly Poly Coffee in Bozeman: Vintage Threads, Old Trucks, and a Madrean Touring Bike

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A Pit Stop at Roly Poly Coffee in Bozeman: Vintage Threads, Old Trucks, and a Madrean Touring Bike

I still look back at my time in Austin, Texas, with the fondest of memories, thanks to the many people I met while living there. I got to know the most amazing, down-to-Earth, truly unique souls in the five years I called Austin my home. Many of which I’m still quite close with today. A few have since moved on to other cities and are doing big things in their respective new homes.

One of which is Taylor Wallace, a fella I met at Flat Track Coffee years back and have since gotten to see the life he’s made for himself in Bozeman, Montana, where I’ve been visiting for a little over a week now. Taylor owns a coffee company which he operates with his brother, Gavin, called Roly Poly Coffee. We haven’t featured many coffee shops here at The Radavist but Roly Poly, as an extension of Taylor himself is much, much more…