Tom Ritchey is one-of-a-kind. He continues to juggle his duties as president and lead designer of our company, which now has products distributed in over 40 countries – and he still logs at least 10,000 miles per year all over the world. 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.
Over 40 Years Of Testing and 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 mandated 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 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.
Over 40 Years Of Sponsorship and Unrivaled Performance
If a bicycle or component can be successfully raced at the highest levels of the sport, there’s no doubt those bikes and parts will perform nobly during more mortal cycling pursuits.Thus, Ritchey has a rich heritage of supporting riders who have won world championships, Olympic medals, national championships, Tour de France stages, cyclocross championships and more. Since the beginning, Ritchey has supported these successful teams and riders with the understanding that the best racers deserve the best products, and such a relationship is a two-way street. Not only do these athletes benefit from the absolute best, but they also help develop and refine Ritchey products. Their insight, suggestions and feedback are invaluable for the bikes and components you ride every day. Ritchey continues to sponsor and support mountain bike, pro road and cyclocross men and women around the world, and at the highest levels. We’re also proud to support the adventurers out there – the people who ride purely for the experience of it all, without all of the fanfare. Their stories are just as important as world championship stripes.