It took me a day to decide what I was going to do with the bike, which I’m going to blame my colleague Steve for. Upon arriving at work and seeing me both walking funny, and sporting some pretty good roadrash, he asked me what had happened. But before I could get to the end, he’d got up on his screen a bike that he’d loaded onto the site whilst I’d been off. “You want one of these.” I hadn’t. In fact I’d walked past the same bike several times at Eurobike two weeks earlier. However, the reason I walked past it because I wanted a good look at Tom Ritcheys own hand built road bike. Oh, and that was beautiful. However the bike Steve now had on his screen was a Ritchey, a Ritchey Road Logic. And, it was on the site we both work on each and every day. “We do these?” He looked at me like I’d said something stupid. Which he then backed up with insults. But, he’d done what he’d set out to do, he’d planted a seed…
On the train home that night I searched through my phone looking at the photos I’d taken at Eurobike. I hadn’t taken a photo of it, or Tom Ritcheys own bike. I did remember it though, and I do remember how nice it was and I had seen a lot of nice bikes there. I needed to see a photo now though. The photos on the Ritchey site, were functional at best, and didn’t seem to show the bike off in any way. Scrolling through Google, I couldn’t find either a good photo, or a build I liked. However, that was probably just it, they were all other peoples builds, they were not what I would do. And then, I saw one. I’m pretty sure that it was on the Team Dream Bicycling Team instagram feed, but I saw one basking in the LA sunshine and I was sold.
I had to somehow make it happen. The easiest thing to do was to rescue everything I could from the De Rosa, and then make sure that everything else matched what I had and suited the build. I chose to lose the ridiculously expensive and light carbon skewers I had, as the scared me. But I had a friend who wanted some, so was able to strike up a deal. I had an idea on what saddle I wanted, and it would totally suit the build, but it was a little on the heavy side and would upset some of my friends. It could only be though a Brooks Cambium saddle. I’d used one on Pashley so knew how it felt, and this build was really going to be about comfort. I’d had carbon framed race machine, that was light, and stiff, and would go wherever I pointed it, but that’s not what this build was going to be about. From October to January I gathered together the parts I needed for the build, and then one Friday evening in February after work I bribed Josh at work with beer and Pizza and we put it all together.
Because I’m an utter ponce though, it wasn’t until the first weekend in April until I deemed the weather nice enough to ride it in. It was well worth the wait, and whilst it hadn’t necessarily been love at first sight it was on the first ride. Steel is real. It was so smooth. In all likelihood I’m not going to ever be able to ride is quick on it as I did on the De Rosa, but because it’s more comfortable and the fact that I’m feeling less beaten up by the bike and the road I think I’ll not only be able to ride it for longer but quicker over longer distances. Even though I only started riding it in April, I rode 1391 of the 2286 miles in did in total over the course of the year on the Ritchey, and I’m so looking forward to the weather to brighten up so I can get out on it this year. Is it the best bike I’ve ever ridden? Of course it’s not, but it’s got the best ride of any bike I’ve ever owned or built… and I don’t think it’s finished yet. It doesn’t quite look the same now than it does in the photo at the top of this post, and I think there will be a few subtle changes coming up.
This bike puts such a big smile on my otherwise grumpy face. Oh and if you were to ask me, and I highly recommend that you do, “where can I buy a Ritchey Road Logic?” I can definitely point you in the right direction.