We are Honoured to have been made a ‘Ritchey Ambassador store’ one of only two in the U.K!
Ritchey have been one of our favourite brands as long as we can remember.
The Heritage, the ride quality, the subtle style.. Ritchey are a brand that leads, ignoring industry trends that often don’t really make much sense.
We have a book in our cafe called “Fat tyre flyer” by Charlie Kelly, in which Tom Ritchey features heavily. Tom, Gary fisher and Charlie Kelly coined the term ‘Mountainbikes’ and Tom built the first production run of Ten bikes. Its worth grabbing a coffee and looking over the photos of the early bikes, which are, in so many ways, similar to the ‘gravel bikes’ we’re all riding these days!
Every bike in the current Ritchey Range represents absolute refinement, you won’t see extreme geometry here, just balance, style and pure ride quality.
Heres a bit about our favourite three models
The Ritchey Outback
You’ll hear us say daily, it’s the best gravel/adventure bike ever made, and we believe it!
Its Tom’s attention to detail that sets the Outback apart, he spent two years designing and developing the rear dropout, refusing to accept that adding flat mounts to the previous design would add weight (which it almost always does)
Why 1 1/8 steerer when 95% of the gravel market is tapered/oversized? The question should be, why oversized? Tapered steerers add stiffness, now this is a rabbit hole, so ill keep it short.. the bike industry has been telling us that stiffness is a good thing for way too long now, but after a big day in the saddle the last thing you want is a stiff bike, especially on rough terrain, you want your bike to glide. Smoothness and glide = speed! Have you ever been on one of those vibration plates in the gym? Nah me neither, but Ive heard they are designed to fatigue your muscles, its exactly the same with a bike, that’s why we love steel, supple tyres, and comfortable bikes!
The long rear end scares people, it goes against the trend of trying everything to tuck that rear wheel into the seat tube. Now, as of yet, Ive seen no evidence to prove that a short rear end is faster, if you have, please share. It feels quick off the mark, so I suppose there’s an argument that feeling fast makes you ride fast, but its a trade off. The advantages of a long rear end is that you get more tyre/chain clearance without having to add an ugly/heavy yoke, the rear end is more forgiving therefore smoother, the bikes is far more stable descending and less likely to wheelie or wander when climbing. Already we’ve seen some brands follow suit and brake the ’Short rear end’ trend.
The Outback is light, really light, anyone that may be put off steel because they think it’ll be heavy, should buy an outback. Most builds we’ve done have been sub 9kg!
The Ritchey Ascent
Ritchey brought back the Ritchey Ascent in 2021.. we are so happy that they did, only recently I was sending old Ascent owners messages on Instagram asking them to contact me if they ever wanted to sell their bike… understandably, no one was willing to let one go.
When the previous Ascent was released, no one got it.. they sold terribly in the U.K, despite being probably the most appropriate bike for 90% of U.K riding!
So what is it? Firstly, does it matter what it is? We’d say no, but for arguments sake. Its an old school mtb with 29/27.5 inch wheels and disc brakes.. its a gravel bike with clearance for massive tyres, its a touring bike that’s light and lively, its an expedition adventure bike that’s fast.. its a Steel salsa Cutthroat!? That probably helps, but essentially, its a bike that can do anything, with a 2.2 light, supple tyre and drop bars, its fast! With wide back sweepers and 2.6 knobbies its the ultimate adventure bike, its your everyday bike, your comfortable bike, your workhorse.
We love to see the steel fork on this model, be confident to load it up, rack, fork cages, whatever. Its got that lovely curve too, and a nice bit of flex to iron out those rocky bits.
We’re looking forward to seeing Ascents being used for the off-road Ultra endurance events that we’re seeing more of these days, we can’t think of a better bike for it.
The Ritchey Ultra
Steel Hardtails are really popular, but most in the U.K market are really slack, really long, and often with an extremely steep, uncomfortable seat tube angle, which is great if you’re sending it down steep terrain all the time, but if you want a hardtail that you can cover big miles over a broad range of terrain, there isn’t many options.
The Ultra is an unusual hardtail, its got a longer rear end and steeper head angle than most ‘aggressive’ hardtails. The first thought is that it’ll be less fun, but the combination of the Low BB and light lively tubing make it way more engaging than the geometry figures would suggest. Its low weight and balanced geo make it an amazing cross country or bike packing bike too. As with all Ritchey’s, it’s all about balance.
With courses on many of the ultra distance bikepacking events getting rougher, hardtails are becoming a more popular choice, the Ultra makes the perfect race bike, normally steel wouldn’t be the first choice due to the weight, but the Ultra is of course, one of the lightest, and the balanced geo makes it fast on pretty much any terrain.
Have a look over the many Ritchey’s that feature in our custom build gallery, or contact us to chat about one for yourself.