Although our rides may be charged by batteries and driven by motors, we are at our very core bike enthusiasts of any kind. The sight and sound of anyone breaking new ground in what is possible on two wheels will always be exciting to us. That’s why when Eurobike 2022 came around there was one name that stood out to us as the perfect tribute bike to make.
Few people are as instantly recognisable in the world of biking as Tom Ritchey, with his thick head of hair and ever present moustache. But, for those of you who may be reading this that aren’t yet familiar with him, we have gone ahead and put together a brief history just for you.
Born in 1956, the American bicycle frame builder, racer, fabricator and designer is one of the godfathers of the sport. At the age of just 16, Ritchey earned the nickname, ‘The Senior Slayer’ after he won the prestigious Crockett-Martinez race in May of 1973.
A force to be reckoned with from a very early age, he retired from road racing at 20 and turned his attention towards designing his own bikes and the mountain trails of Marin County, California. In the 5 decades since Ritchey’s love affair with bikes began he has gone on to design bicycle components that have been used in winning some of the biggest races on earth including the UCI World Championships, the Tour de France and the Olympics.
Crafted and refined in California, mountain biking began as a way to make use of the trails and fire roads burrowed into the foothills and mountains of California. What began 50 years ago as a niche pastime for teenagers looking for a new way to ride their bikes has gone on to become a worldwide sport.
In the early days of mountain biking the bikes they used, affectionately known as klunkers, were built from the 1940s and 50s Schwinn, Colson and Shelby bikes. Stripped down and built back up with better brakes and fatter tires to handle the rigours of downhill racing. These bikes were made and ridden by the likes of Charlie Kelly, Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze who have all been instrumental in the pioneering of mountain biking both in America and across the globe. Spurred on by competition at what was referred to as “Repack Races”, innovation was a constant feature in the early mountain biking scene with tests and trials being conducted on all kinds of designs until they grew into the mountain bikes we know today.
Now that you’re an expert in all things Tom Ritchey let us tell you about the bike we made. The base for this creation was a SUPER73-ZX frame. Donned with the classic Tom Ritchey red white and blue colourway, we have taken the spirit of Ritchey’s innovation and created "The SUPER73-ZX Team" as an ode to the early stages of mountain biking. Ritchey clipless pedals, 34T Hope front cog and ten-speed gearing provide the drive for this creation. Hope Tech3 disc brakes and floating rotors give you top-tier stopping power while Ritchey grips and a wide, low-rise handlebar give you that signature mountain bike look. Gumwall tires and a perforated leather seat with world-champion colour details complete the look of this one-of-a-kind bike.SUPER73 bikes.