Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hey I've got a bike for you...... The Ritchey Road Logic project

Yesterday I was sitting out in front of my favorite coffee shop enjoying the improving weather and got to talking with one of the other regulars, my friend Pete.  I was telling him about the silly prices people wanted for their garage sale bikes last weekend when he pipes up and says "Hey I've got a bike for you!".  It turns out his brother-in-law had left an 80s-ish road bike with him when he decided to upgrade and the old bike was moldering away in Pete's garage.  Wow, I just had a great idea for an HGTV show, "Old bike garage rescue" kind of a make over show for old dusty bikes where they go from garage prisoner to shiny fixed up bike, hmm wonder if Brooke Burke is available to host......but as usual I digress.

As it turns out its a Tom Ritchey built road bike with a few issues and challenges but an interesting project.  At some point Pete had taken the bike to a LBS and was given a quote of about $100 to fix it up and that it might be worth around $400 when finished.  His proposal to me was that he fund a rebuild and then we would split the proceeds on a sale.  Intrigued I had him send me a photo, and then further interested when I saw it was a Ritchey, I asked him to bring it by for a closer look, and I picked it up at the coffee shop this morning.

What it lacks in lugs - appears tig welded from the above shot - it makes up in interesting components and issues to solve.  You probably noticed the tri-bars. apparently the brother-in-law was an avid tri-athlete who adapted this road bike to use in triathlons and left it behind when he bought a dedicated tri-bike.  So the first challenge will be putting this bike back to its road bike roots.  That means...

from the front

From the cockpit

The tri-bars gots to go, and the nice down tube shifters will get moved back to their traditional spot on the um ..down tube.

The kind of cool co2 canister holder will probably go as well, proper frame pumps were too bulky for triathletes.

And I will remove the venerable Avocet wired cyclo-computer but if I can revive it with a new battery it might find new life on another project.

You probably noticed the one glaring deficiency for this bike, that it has no seat post or saddle.  Pete thought he might have it rattling around somewhere so there is still hope the original will be found. If not I have saddles galore and I should be able to sleuth the seat post size as I need to do some sleuthing anyway on the year of the bike and the year and model of the components.  Speaking of which..

One of the first things I noticed was the Campy components - standard road crank-set


exiled shifters - at the end of the tri-bars

Quick release skewers and hubs, always thought these looked classy.

And brakes .  This being a Ritchey built bike it does diverge from the Campy theme in one area..

only logical it would come with one of the makers flagship parts - the Ritchey Logic headset, rather than a Campy one.  There was one other thing I couldn't put my finger on immediately that seemed wrong to me..

And then it clicked, these non-areo old school bike levers had been bastardized into areo brake lever cable routing - you can see the housing coming out from under the bar wrap.  Understandable as the loopy areo cabling would have interfered with the aero triathlon bike position, but it still looks like crap.  And there are also no campy-hoods on the levers and they can be hard, and expensive to find, however..

fortunately Velo Orange has started selling campy reproduction hoods from Rustines and I had purchased some a while back for a pair of drilled campy levers I picked up on ebay years ago and they are still in the box.

Its also nice to know I'm not working on a bike with just standard old tubes, this bike has Super tubing.  As always I am eager to jump right in but before I turn a single wrench or remove a spec of dust or grease I need to do some research and also come up with a parts list so Pete knows what he is in for before I start the project.  We'll see how that goes.  Who knows maybe I will become a vintage bike consultant.

In other news we are experiencing a warming trend locally so I hope to be following my own advice in the next week - Ride.Smile.Repeat.


  1. This one does look really interesting. Looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.

  2. I agree, this project looks very interesting! But first, I must say I rather like the old garage rescue program. I would be a huge fan of this series. sign me up!

  3. Thanks Annie, I suspect they are a number of dusty old bikes moldering in garages and basements and sheds just waiting to be found....

  4. I just left a long comment over at Coach Jim's that is (kinda) on this subject. I'm curious, based on personal experience, what fixes the LBS had in mind for a hundred bucks. A seat post, saddle and chain lube?

    Certainly not the piece of art you are capable of producing, but sadly, it still might be just a $400 bike.

    Got in 16 miles today, riding lugged steel. Can't seem to get the left side crank snugged down properly, resulting in an irritating creak. I know it's the crank because it was making a LOT more noise (both sides) before I cranked them down hard. Now the right side is silent but the left side is still creaking, albeit quite a bit less. I'm afraid of breaking something if I exert too much of my super-human strength on the bolt. It never ends.

  5. There is always something Tim Joe, I'm sure Saint Sheldon the Brown has some wisdom on that issue, congrats on getting 16 miles in today - Cool! I am hoping to get 1.6 in on a trip to the farmers market -we'll see.

    When I was adding up costs for consumables I too was wondering exactly what they were gonna do for a C note, now for all I know this was 5 year ago but still with shop rates I can't imagine its much. We'll see how the ol' Ritchey turns out, might be a bit different than my normal build.