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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:51 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 41
Hello everyone - I've finished the renovation of my 1989 Ritchey Ascent Comp, including a full respray in the original red at a professional frame builder and some nice old and new components. The aim of the refurbishment was to make a cool bike for commuting to work. Rest assured the bike is now ridden many times per week.

This bike is one owner from new. I bought it in Texas in October 1989, and raced it in the early nineties, including at the Malvern Hills Classic. It only ceased to be my main MTB in 2001 when I moved to France and bought a Commencal Supernormal.

The only components from the original bike are the thumbshifter and the seat clamp, the rest is either properly recent, NOS from this forum, or was bought in the 90s, like the derailleur (so probably classes as retro these days)

Here are some pics, and the spec is below:

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By a8jtw at 2012-03-30

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By a8jtw at 2012-03-30

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By a8jtw at 2012-03-30

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By a8jtw at 2012-03-30

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By a8jtw at 2012-03-30

Frame: 1989 Ritchey Ascent Comp. The cro-mo frame was mostly made in Taiwan and then the seat-tube junction and brazings were done by hand by Tom and his team in California. The tubes are a blend of different Tange cro-mo.

Fork: Ritchey cro-mo

Headset: FSA
Stem: Syncros Cattle Prod
Handlebar: Ritchey Comp
Grips: Ritchey
Brakes: Avid SD7
Brake Levers: Avid SD7
Shifters: Shimano Deore XT
Rear Derailleur: ProShift
Cassette: HG70 13-28
Chain: Shimano
Cranks: Brick Lane Bikes 44t single
Crank Bolts: Titanium
Bottom Bracket: Shimano HG50
Pedals: Wellgo flat
Hub Skewers: Ritchey
Rims: Mavic
Hubs: Shimano XT
Tyres: Maxxis Advantage
Saddle: Ritchey
Seatpost: Brick Lane Bikes 26.8 silver
Seatpost Binder: Shimano XT


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:35 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:00 pm
Posts: 5611
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
love these frames, the bike deserves some older parts though, namely the brakes!

any plans?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:52 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 41
Well I bought those brakes when they came out to improve the power compared to the original Deore XT cantilevers. And they were and are a massive improvement!

I still have the old brakes, which are anodised black, so as I wanted to keep the vibe more silvery than black anodised I stuck with the Avids.

I do have some nice old silver brake levers that may make their way on there.

The overall aim wasn't to have a fully retro bike, but a functional semi-modern bike, a couple of fixie style things and some real old skool touches like the Hite Rite. It had one on it from 1990, but it was really rusty so I bought another one last year. I reckon they are actually a really cool innovation.

I bought the Syncros stem in 1991. They are so cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:56 am 
Feature Bike
Feature Bike
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: York-ish UK
A few months ago I'd have probably agreed that the frame needed a period build. But let's face it, the last thing the world needs is another hardly-used pristine old bike. Bike transport is cool and worthy so respect for building this how it works for you and riding it. When something wears out replace it; when it gets beaten up - repaint it, etc.

That said, the rear mech stands out a bit. Isn't it a rare and fragile cnc item that will get quickly trashed in commuter world? Why not sell it and fund some more elegant pedals and a brooks saddle to compliment your hite rite?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:22 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:15 pm
Posts: 41
The CNC derailleur has been on there and working for about 11 years now, so I don't think it's especially fragile. It looks pretty good now that I've cleaned it up. I don't run it indexed, just old fashioned friction shifting - in fact I gave up on SIS on the thumbie back in about 1994...

I still have the original Deore XT derailleur too - it was a lot more worn out because it lived on there when the bike was raced and ridden off road, as opposed to used mainly as a commuter in London and Lyon.

I agree the pedals aren't especially splendid - and I've kept the reflectors on there because I actually do ride it at night in winter on an unlit road for a couple of kms to get home.

The bike does get off road occasionally in the vines around my house. I took it night riding off road in winter, and it sometimes comes out for some green-lane type mixed off and on road riding. It's a good lesson in bike control to ride rigid again after so many sorties on my seemingly invincible Meta 5.5.

I suppose the aim was always a kind of modern retro, thinking more Weissmann than Morgan, if you know what I mean.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:33 pm 
Feature Bike
Feature Bike
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:13 pm
Posts: 1143
Location: York-ish UK
tristanspeed wrote:
The CNC derailleur has been on there and working for about 11 years now, so I don't think it's especially fragile. It looks pretty good now that I've cleaned it up. I don't run it indexed, just old fashioned friction shifting - in fact I gave up on SIS on the thumbie back in about 1994...



Fair play - it's obviously up to the job. Totally agree on SIS too: all my rides are friction now.


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