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admin: The Way We Were:

Tom Ritchey is a former national level racer, passionate rider and resourceful product designer with a unique, common sense approach to building the best road and mountain components available.

Tom was on the scene with other pioneers in the early days of mountain biking and he saw numerous ways to improve the equipment they were using. But his desire to build better parts wasn’t rooted in some grand business plan – many parts simply didn’t exist and the ones that did required substantial improvement. Tom saw an opportunity to develop lighter, stronger, better components.

Starting in high school, Tom was focused on saving weight without compromising the strength of the racing bicycles he built for himself. Over the years Tom’s focus has shifted from frame building to component design, but his obsession with functional, lightweight and reliable equipment has not wavered.

Tom’s interest in adventurous travel while having his own bike available, led him to create the perfect solution – the Break-Away travel bike, which easily checks through as personal luggage.

A knack for developing and refining manufacturing processes and using the best resources available has furthered Ritchey’s reputation as one of the most prolific component manufacturers in the industry. Many Ritchey designs and manufacturing methods have become industry standards. The success of Ritchey products in international competition has validated Tom’s ideas and generated valuable feedback to further refine and develop new Ritchey products.

Tom still puts in 10,000 miles a year on his bike, constantly thinking of ways to make it better. These miles of experience and unending passion for bicycles shine through in every detail of a Ritchey component.

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design/programming: todd@consumedesign.com