NEARLY 40 YEARS OF DESIGN INNOVATION
Tom Ritchey is one-of-a-kind. He continues to juggle his duties as president and lead designer of our company, now distributed in over 40 countries, while still logging 10,000 miles a year all over the world. His latest passion is Project Rwanda, which strives to further economic development in Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle. Inspiration often comes to him while out on a ride, generating ideas that he then processes as three-dimensional design images – in his head. This is followed by the creation of initial concept models, many of which he creates by fillet brazing pieces or scraps of frame tubing. It all comes naturally to a guy who taught himself to build frames as a teenager, and who designed some of the burgeoning mountain bike industry’s first frames and components back in the 1970’s. Every year Tom guides our R&D efforts in pursuit of both subtle improvements to existing products, or large-scale advances leading to new ones.
NEARLY 40 YEARS OF TESTING & VALIDATION
Drawings and finite element analysis are great tools, but we are always eager to prove our new designs in the real world. Starting with fatigue cycle testing, we strive for at least 2x the standard laid out by CEN (the European Committee which determines minimum safety standards for bicycles and components sold in Europe). We apply the same stringent standards to impact testing, meaning that before a proposed design finds its way onto a tester’s bike, it has already been proven structurally and then some. In 2006, we aligned ourselves with a respected German test lab in order to verify our own testing results. This outside authentication keeps us honest and ensures product releases meet the highest standards. Once a product clears machine testing, prototype samples endure rigorous use by both amateur and professional riders alike, including our sponsored athletes around the world. By the time you put it on your bike, it has passed a global testing and approval process second to none.
NEARLY 40 YEARS OF SPONSORSHIP & UNRIVALED PERFORMANCE
We believe state of the art engineering is only useful when it delivers real benefit. Flashy products or the implementation of expensive materials or manufacturing have never been our end goal. That’s why “Logic” has always been the very best word to distinguish Tom’s sophisticated yet sensible approach to component design.
Ritchey sponsored teams enjoyed another stellar year. In Europe, our association with Saunier-Duval/Prodir, Gerolsteiner and Lampre yielded impressive race results, including a whopping 7 stage wins at the Giro d’Italia, 2 stage wins at the Tour de France, as well as victories and podiums in the Spring Classics. Legendary MTB racer Thomas Frischknecht again led his Swisspower team to a strong showing on the World Cup Mountain Bike circuit this season, and as he continues to defy the perceived limits of age and time, he is also passing his torch on to young guns guns Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel — both podium threats at any World Cup they line up for. Thomas and Tom have been colleagues and friends for many years, and we still look to Thomas and his entire team for invaluable product development feedback. In the US, Healthnet presented by Maxxis continues to post dominant results and improve its international renown. On the North Shore of Vancouver BC, traditionally the epicenter of free riding, there also exists a strong road racing tradition; Ritchey is proud to sponsor the formidable Symmetrics Road Racing squad, a talented Division 3 pro team boasting the likes of Canadian cycling legend, Eric Wohlberg. Ritchey Design (USA) continues to work with over 100 regional grassroots and collegiate teams in all disciplines – road, cyclo-cross, mountain and triathlon – this year working more closely with clubs’ and teams’ sponsor bike shops. Across the water, Ritchey International (based in Lugano, Switzerland) happily continues to support countless road and mountain teams all over Europe. We will always support and be involved with racing, because it’s a cornerstone of our existence. Values like this come from the “top down,” as Tom Ritchey began his own career as an accomplished Junior road racer.