I was working on an angle to get this bike over a year ago when the seller and I just couldn't agree on a price that would make us both happy. A bit disappointed, I know opportunities to acquire an old Ritchey road bike in ones size are limited. I let the idea go. While on Vaca in the Bahamas a month ago I got the email from the seller that he was ready and willing to accept my original offer from the previous year. Excited but tapped for cash (on Vaca), it was tough to come up with the money but I wasn't going to let the opportunity pass again. I agreed and sent the paypal planning on selling bike stuff to compensate when I got back in town (yea right).
I spent the rest of my internet time while on vaca researching old Ritchey road bikes. Not sure exactly the vintage, but it appears to be early 80's. The serial number reads 1980 or possibly 1982 but who knows. I have in the past researched most everything I could find about old Ritchey on the internet and was aware of a few pics showing TR and crew riding road bikes on the open trails of Ca. Found these pics and knew my goal would be a logging road cruiser build capable of knocking some miles out on the road but rugged enough for light trail use along the way.
The bike arrived and I went to work putting it together with what I had, a decent early 80's Shimano 600 Arabesque build. It looked good. I took no pictures and immediately acknowledged although an era correct build, it was not going to work for me. I wanted to put some miles on the bike. The cranks (165's) were too short for me, the stem Cinelli was too low, and I really wanted a comfortable ride.
Last summer I took a header on my modern bike that warbled me pretty good. I have put in minimal miles over the past 9 months and still have a pain from my neck down into my right hand. I wanted something dorky tall in the command center and also wanted to emulate my dirt drop TimberComp that I have found to be the most comfortable ride for me since my injury. In fact the number one goal would be comfort this time around. There are miles of logging roads within a dozen or so miles of my house. The little riding I have done this year has mostly been driving out there with the TimberComp and riding from there. With my dog in total disagreement, I wanted to ride to these trails from the home.
Researching tires and the frame I determined I could get some Challenge Eroica's 30's in there with a snug fit around the chainstays. A perfect fit, I would like to squeeze some fenders (geek on, it rains here) in there somehow also. The rest of the parts are a mish mash of mostly 80's vintage MTB/road and whatever was in the garage.
Took it for its first ride Sunday and it was fun. Very stable and capable on the road and dirt. The cranks are temporary until some different ones arrive in the mail. I left the chain long until I make this transition. The stem might be changed out for a Nitto dirt drop to bring the bars up just a bit higher. After 50 miles, my neck felt fine, but I found I wasn't in the drops nearly as much as I usually am on the TC. Who knows, possibly I will bow to peer pressure and put some proper drops on there to try. I can't wait to get out and ride it again. Felt that rush of cool and it gave me the bug.
A few mostly cell phone pics because thats all I have so far. No beauty queen, it's a rider and a bit of an ugly duckling at that. But then, beauty is in the eye of the beholder:
I will take some better pictures when the weather turns.
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Thread: Early 80's Ritchey Road.
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