Since his humble beginnings as a teenager repairing tubular tires and repairing broken bicycle frames in his parents’ garage in California 50 years ago, Tom Ritchey has continued riding, researching, designing, and building legendary bicycle frames and components that have inspired generations of cyclists to experience great rides, influenced legions within the bicycle industry, and have won countless championships.
While 2022 will see us celebrate the many milestones since Tom first touched a torch to metal tubes, the party goes deeper than just himself and the company he founded – it's a celebration about the bicycle, itself. As Tom says, "To me, the simple bicycle represents a handed down gift of something mostly unchanged in any significant way, over my entire lifetime. Whether it's a wooden bike or a Tour de France winner, people all over the world still smile when they see and connect with another person on a bicycle! It’s a freedom tool and a smile machine!"
Tom and his important innovations and inspiration have literally provided the means by which we ride every day – be it the simple idea of riding wherever the spirit takes us or the tread patterns on the tires that help keep upright when we get there.
Tom has created bicycles and components that have revolutionized what and how we ride, and he has provided products that have gone on to win countless championships at the highest levels of the sport. Yet Tom's vision remains as humble as when he first started fixing broken bikes: The bicycle's true function is as a great equalizer that offers the simple pleasure found in the freedom that is riding. The purpose of the bike isn’t found in jargon or data points, but in the adventure and inspiration that occurs when on a ride.
We have some fun stuff planned to celebrate Ritchey's 50th anniversary. More specifics will be announced throughout the year, but as a preview of what's to come.
Ritchey has unveiled a special logo that recalls the brand's roots and Tom's journey to becoming a pillar of bicycle and component design. The traditional Ritchey wordmark logo retains the blue and gold of the original logo while including 'Palo Alto, California' – the spiritual center of Ritchey and where Tom got his start welding broken frames so many years ago.
We will be releasing a wide range of special branded apparel and other accessories. You can expect about one new item per month. First up is the 50th Anniversary Long-sleeved T-shirt (US / EU). But keep an eye out for things to keep your head warm in the winter months and something from which you can enjoy a cool drink when the weather turns hot – plus a whole lot more.
There's more, too:
The Tom Ritchey Podcast – intimate conversations with friends, colleagues, and collaborators
We'll be releasing a few videos throughout the year where we'll see Tom build up some bikes, talk about his history, and give a glimpse inside the Ritchey universe
We have a trove of previously unseen photos from Tom and other Ritchey memorabilia from along the journey, and we'll be sharing that throughout the year. Keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram and this blog.
Finally, without letting the cat too far out of the bag…You can expect some special framesets this year – featuring limited-edition colorways and the aforementioned commemorative logos.
It's been an exciting adventure, these past 50 years, and we look forward to celebrating the journey with you - here's to 50 years.