This year,2009, Ritchey Design celebrates 35 years of design, innovation and dedication to the art of high performance. We take this anniversary, as the opportune time to reflect on the intertwining histories of a company, a living legend, and the very dawn of a sport. Stay posted as over the next several weeks we chronicle the beginnings of Ritchey Deisgn, Tom Ritchey and the sport of mountain biking.

The Beginning...

Tom Ritchey, fifth grade, about 11 or 12 years old, stands with his first “good” bike, a Raleigh Super Course. The Raleigh Super Course Series were the least expensive Raleigh model bikes. These bikes were hand-made with 531 Reynolds tubing, equipped with Simplex Prestige 5-speed gears or Huret Luxe 5-speed gears, Williams 40-52 chain wheels, Weinman center pull brakes, alloy rims (27’x1 ¼ “), Dunlop high pressure racing tires, G.B. handlebar and stem and Brooks B-15 racing saddle.

Tom paid for this bike by repairing sew up tires, a skill learned from his father, at Sid Joselyn’s bike shop. Sid Joselyn took a liking to Tom and was happy to have young Tom helping around the shop.