Over 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, 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.