NAHBS 2011 – Ritchey: New 29er Mountain Bike, Swiss Cross Cyclocross and Tom’s Dad’s Bike
Oddly enough, just a few days before the show I overheard some folks talking about how Ritchey has had blueprints for a 29er (and a full suspension bike, too) on and off the drawing board for years. Every now and then they get pulled out, dusted off, tweaked, then shelved again with no particular impetus to bring the projects to fruition.
Then, lo and behold, the P-29er mountain bike took center stage in their booth at this year’s show.
Displayed in both geared and singlespeed version, with two different paint options under consideration, the steel frames are named in accordance with their historical project naming code. Years (decades) ago, they’d name a bike based on the target weight – the P23 would be a 23lb bike, etc. – except that this bike is definitely not 29lbs. Like most of Ritchey’s high-end SKUs, this one’s geared toward racing.
Check the specs, and their all new Swiss Cross steel cyclocross bike and other surprises after the break…
Note the super thin headtubes…we’ll cover that in a minute.
Sliding dropouts with swappable mounts let you choose between geared and singlespeed. For geared bikes, this means you also have a bit of leeway in setting up your effective chainstay length. Price will be $999 for frame and headset. Complete bike with gears is around 23lbs, and 21lbs as SS.
Both the P-29er and Swiss Cross below use Ritchey’s new 1″ head tube with flares for the bearings. Technically, it’s not actually 1″ because then a 1-1/8″ steerer wouldn’t fit it in, but that’s what they were calling it. Why the super narrow tube? The thinner diameter makes for stronger tubes at a given wall thickness with steel…basically, the bigger the diameter, the more “coke can-ny” it’ll get. The flanges at either end flare out to house drop-in bearings. The design allows the top and down tubes to join a bit farther apart and to “wrap” a larger contact patch around the sides of the headtube more, all of which makes for a stiffer, stronger frame.
Additionally, both bikes use Tom’s new Logic II chromoly steel tubing, which has differentially butted tubing with different thicknesses not just through the diameter, but top to bottom.
The Swiss Cross is their new top of the line cyclocross bike. Sure, you can race their folding bike on the grass, too, and they’ve done it, but when you’re ready for a more performance oriented rig, this is it. Price is $1,299 for frame, paint-matched WCS full carbon fork and headset. Red and white match their “wet” component colors perfectly, so you can deck it out super matchy-matchy like this one.
Bike as shown with full WCS alloy components is around 18lbs, frame target weight is just under 3.9lbs.
Production bikes will be tig welded, available in August. This one was fillet brazed by Tom himself to get it ready in time for the show.
This road bike was built by Tom Ritchey in 1974 for his dad. Considering the year, it’s got some remarkably forward-thinking ideas integrated into it.
Bolt on stem – and check out how little contact area it’s holding onto. Quill stems were pretty much the only game in town back then.
Integrated seatmast with one-piece saddle/post.
Pass-through rear brake cable.
Miniature brake cable guide.