Old Skool Meets New School: Tom Ritchey - Video

Jan 28, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  

This was the first in an upcoming series of ‘Old Skool x New School’ events created by The Bicycle Academy. A collaboration between the legends of the frame building world and the new wave of frame builders creating the future of bicycle making. Tom Ritchey, an icon of the sport and a frame building legend, visited The Bicycle Academy in September 2016 to spend some time hanging out, teaching students and to build a bike with the young frame builders that run the school in Somerset, England.

The Bike

Custom designed and fabricated 27+ steel hardtail mountain bike. Custom machined Ritchey replica integrated tapered headtube, Columbus ZONA 29er Downtube, and Top Tube, Reynolds 631 Seat Tube, Dedacciai DM ZEROUNO Chainstays, custom bent 4130 seat stays and BTR Fabrications bolt through dropouts and disk mount.

Designed by:​ Tony Corke and Andrew Denham
Built by:​ Tom Sturdy
Brazed by:​ Tom Ritchey, Andrew Denham, and Tom Sturdy
TIG welding by:​ Paul Burford (dropouts and disk mount)
Assembled by:​ Tom Sturdy, Gavin Buxton, Aaron Ward and Adrian Bedford


Forks:​ RockShox SID RL 27+
Wheels: ​Ritchey WCS Trail 40 650+
Tyres: ​Ritchey ZMAX Evolution 650x73b (tubeless)
Groupset: ​Shimano Deore XT M8000 1x11 (boost)
Pedals: ​Shimano Deore XT M8000
Brakes: ​Shimano Deore XT M8000
Bars: ​Ritchey WCS Bullmoose Carbon Bar/Stem
Headset: ​Ritchey WCS Integrated 1.125-1.5
Seatpost: ​RockShox Reverb Stealth
Saddle: ​Fabric Scoop Ultimate

Posted In:


  • 75 1
 Tom Ritchey the true Logic behind the mountain bike
  • 8 2
 I see what you did there ;-) well played
  • 4 0
 Yeah, he really welds old school sensibilities with new school ideas.
  • 41 0
 I thoroughly enjoyed that, thank you, Pinkbike.
  • 36 0
 Loved it!! Great to see one of the pioneers of the sport can still wield a torch and produce beautifully radiused fillets. I raise a beer to that man! Steel's still real.
  • 31 0
 I loved my Ritchey Ultra from the late 80's/early 90's that was painted a cool pearl white! Had a Girvin flex stem, solid forks, height rite spring for the seatpost adjustment on the fly and still can't believe the abuse that Prestige tubed bike took and just kept on rolling!! Still have it in my basement...thanks for the good times that bike gave me Tom Ritchey!!
  • 3 0
 Bring that bike back to life,start riding it!!
  • 1 0
 @rideonjon: Only if another flex stem can be tracked down,anything else just wouldn't cut it.
  • 1 0
 @metaam: I got your flex stem
  • 18 0
 Cool vid and subject. Aside from being a master craftsman - Tom's held up! He still is in shape - good for him
  • 15 5
 To all the fetus' that frequent this website. Take a minute a learn about someone who knows where it all truly started. Mad respect for guys like him, Keith Bontrager, Gary Fisher and so many others that we owe so much too.
  • 20 0
 Whatever granddad *immediately melts top tube with zippo and coat hangar
  • 8 24
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 29, 2017 at 14:04) (Below Threshold)
 @2bigwheels: With all due respect to you and to mr Ritchey, If you can show me a "fetus" who would take such advice like yours instead of showing you a middle finger, please call 911. He may need an immediate psychological, maybe psychiatric help. You wouldn't give a fk if you were in their pants. I used to give a lot of fk about what some oldies told me to pay attention to, and half of them turned out to be sour old fks and most of their knowledge useless. World is changing at incredible pace, this is no tribe meeting of hunters and gatherers where the elder tells the kids which berries not to pick otherwise the whole tribe will fkng die an agonizing death. The moment I will be 60, most of I have learned now about anything will be useless. New power sources, new technologies, new interfaces, people uploading their brains, learning to bike by downloading a software. My grand son will have a graphene frame, and I will tell him: if some twat tells you that you should learn who Sam Hill is and that you should ride on something simplier like carbon frame, do me a favor boy, give him a blue pill and tell him to go fk himself

I guess Mr Ritchey got more than enough of respect, probably not expecting much, don't pump the bubble. There are no medals for that. Other than that I enjoyed the video and that bike was freaking sweet.
  • 1 0
 but this is art, it will always have a place!
  • 13 0
 A true original of mountain bikes. Legend
  • 11 0
 Hopefully that bike never gets painted.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, clearcoat and it's done!
  • 5 0
 Great interview, surprised that Tig welding did not enter the conversation. Hard to imagine in a modern bicycle shop that brazing would be preferred over tig. Tig should be Lighter, stronger, potentially less annealing affect.
  • 3 0
 But mainly faster, easier and thus cheaper. I have a custom brazed modern 650B hardtail and love it. Something I've wanted since I was around 16 (so a looong time ago) so jumped at the chance when it came up. www.instagram.com/whishartbicycle
  • 4 1
 Brazing uses less heat, so the tube keeps more of its integrity. You aren't melting the tubes together, you are filling the gap and the fillet material becomes the "weld". Like using a chalk to hold tubes together. It adds some weight, but is every bit as strong if done properly compared to Tig. Unlike Tig, it's possible to replace a damaged tube because the tubes aren't fused together.
  • 4 0
 @oldschool43: you can absolutely replace tubes that are Tig welded. I had the top tube badly dented on my cross bike (a Sycip) and the tube was able to be fully replaced (by Sycip). Looking at it now there is absolutely no evidence that the frame has had any work done after it was originally built. To add, Jeremy Sycip was able to do the work in less than 3 days from start to finish.
  • 4 0
 Thank you to all that made this video happen. To see Tom Ritchey still passing on his knowledge and riding a bike he just built, made my week. Much respect and the more content like this the better.
  • 2 0
 It does not matter where you stand on the whole "steel is real" debate.... a video like that totally makes you forget about carbon. Those of us old enough to live in that era of steel only, makes you want to get on it again. Those young too young... I hope it makes you makes you want to give it a try.
  • 3 0
 Gutted I didn't know this was on. Just down the road and would have given up at least one kidney to go.
  • 1 0
 This is great. I'd really like to be part of a school like that. I ride for a frame builder in Peru, called Marino. I went for a visit last year and helped him cut the tubes etc on some of his work.
  • 4 0
 Full-on Legend.
  • 4 0
 Clap. Clap. Clap.
  • 4 0
 You better recognize!
  • 4 0
  • 1 0
 Great video. Dude does not age!!

My univega (first new bike I bought) had some Ritchey components on it. But my uncles Bridgestone had more and I was so jealous
  • 4 1
 Back in my day, grass was $2 a pound lulz
  • 2 0
 The way he talks and gestures with that torch made me want to say "dont torch your digits man!"
  • 3 0
 Very cool.
  • 5 3
 He doesn't ride with helmet too.
  • 5 1
 Yah not sure what he's thinking,everyone in the ride had a helmet but him.Not very smart in my opinion,but it's his life and he can live it any way he likes. Brilliant fabricator for sure.
  • 3 0
 @rideonjon: "man, Hendrix sure could play a guitar- he smoked cigarettes though, shame"
  • 6 2
 @nickkk: but in the end it was gluten that killed him.
  • 4 1
 I wish he was my dad
  • 2 0
 Tom's trick to brazing : the stache !
  • 2 0
 I would love to have the skills, patience and calm of this man.
  • 1 0
 can't wait for the wednesday Ritchey channel to pop up on here. hum day is the best
  • 1 0
 I'm jealous of everyone that got to see that be there and enjoy a lesson from a legend
  • 2 0
 at 4:09 it looks like he's got a light saber
  • 1 1
 Torch and sandals ends badly. Very badly. I can't count all my little burns from globs of steel. At least put a welding blanket over your lap. Meh, not my lap.
  • 1 0
 Brazing,not welding.No globs of burnt steel.
  • 2 0
 Brazed most of both my bikes in some cheap crocs. If you're getting globs dripping off your joint when brazing you're not doing it right.
  • 1 0
 @shirk-007: Yes brazing is very different to welding, more like soldering. And soldering is not lap friendly either. I don't know, maybe it was that glob of solder that one time that has made my paranoid. Then working as as a body man for seven years with LOTS of torch work and making custom exhausts for another, has just got me quivering at the very idea.
  • 1 0
 Globs are indeed not the problem with brazing. I do however have some nice marks on my legs for wearing shors and having the hot end of the brazingrod grazing my legs... So for me it's also long pants and closed shoes while brazing.
  • 1 0
 wow! some sorta bike wizard rite there
  • 5 4
 Mhm Tom is wearing crocs, that's the only negative thing about him. ;-)
  • 2 1
 Hands up all those who have a Ritchey component/part on their bike(s)!
  • 1 0
 Does Tom Ritchey still own the Ritchey company?
  • 2 1
 I want that Shimano grey shirt!! Where I can find it???!!!
  • 1 0
 If you don't get this, you don't get it. Bikes. Just bikes...
  • 1 0
 nice video from a legend!
  • 1 0
 Such a cool video, more content like this!
  • 4 3
 ya muddafakka
  • 1 0
 That was pure fantastic.
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Tom Ritchey is Bike Bae
  • 1 0
 Just WOW.
  • 1 0
 Loved this!
  • 2 4
 Please make more of those, for normal sized tyres and 160 forks. I'll sign my name right up!!!
  • 2 4
 He kind of looks like the salt bae
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