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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:40 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:15 am
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Location: North Yorkshire
Lovely example of Tom Ritchey's first "production" frame. 1985 Vintage. Tig welded front end in Japan by Tange, fillet brazed rear, hand finished in the US.

I believe this was the first MTB to utilise Tig welding, have vertical 130mm rear drop outs, a Unicrown fork and a Splatter paint job.
The frame and fork are both DB Tange MTB specific 4130 and was designed in conjunction with Shimano for their MTB specific M 730 Group.
The Geometry was a move away from, the slack angles of old also, with much sharper steering and a more centrally based weight balance, than the previous offerings.

Some of my component choices are for function/weight rather than mid 80's specific. Although the Mavic mechs' are from 85, work really well and are extremely light also.
Went for DiaCompe brakes, as the Shimano U Brakes were awful and weighed a ton. I must have tried 10 plus stems and the original weighed 595g! The Zoom one weighes 223g. All up weight is 21.1 pounds, which is impressive, but the F&F are very light and it is a small size. The bar is an Original Rocky Mountain alloy.
The paint was passed it's best when I received it a year or two back and I pondered for months over a respray, but decided to carefully "touch up" the original paint, which has been very time consuming and tedious! :facepalm:
First I had to match/mix the paint with something tough, then carefully rubbed down the area where the paint had rubbed/chipped and then hand touched in, matching the original pattern. I then carefully used an Auto refinishing paint reviver compound, that is very gentle and removes a lot of the discolouration from the original paint and it has come up very bright now.
These frames were sold exclusively through the Rocky Mountain shop, as none of the US cycle dealers would sell Tom's frames initially :? :shock: This soon changed of course though! It had no name/model.
A lot of these frames had the U brake mounts removed and then Canti mounts brazed on the seat stays, but I have left the U brake mounts as this dates the frame and with the Dia Compe version installed, works really well and can lock the rear wheel at will.
The ride is extraordinary for a frame 28 years plus old and although these were production frames, they were still pricey BITD.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:36 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: Nth Somerset, UK
I knew Tom Ritchey was always well ahead of the game, but with the exception of the U brake mounts, that bike could have been made anytime between 85 and 95.

Stunning resto, and love the job you've done on the paint, amazing.

I'm not usually that impressed with most of the American stuff, but... WOW!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:55 pm 
Gold Trader / PoTM Winner / RB Rider
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Location: Royal Forest of Dean (Still looking for the Bear !)
NeilM wrote:
I knew Tom Ritchey was always well ahead of the game, but with the exception of the U brake mounts, that bike could have been made anytime between 85 and 95.

Stunning resto, and love the job you've done on the paint, amazing.




You've taken the words right out of my mouth Neil... it looks more 90's than 80's.
I've never been a fan of 80's MTB's even though I'm in my 40's and my early MTB's were aboard rigs from the 80's... but this one looks amazing !


Amazing build ! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:19 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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Location: KEEPING THEM SAFE FROM HARM, ANYWAY I CAN....!
It looks to me like an 87 Ascent from the small pics on the wife phone.. :?

If so, (and im possibly miles out) it was all tig welded in japan and in the U.S Ritchey Added all the Braze-ons himself...? If it is that model and im no expert on Ritchey sadly :oops: , but it was a Brainchild model to expand the Range and bring the legendary name of Ritchey to the masses.

8)

Do you have any pics of it before you started to clean it, id be interested to see.? (was the paint called Airforce or something....?.. :? or was this the two tone blue camo-sky affair.)


Last edited by sinnerman on Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:31 pm 
BoTY & PoTM Winner
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Location: KEEPING THEM SAFE FROM HARM, ANYWAY I CAN....!
Does it have threaded holes in the fork leg,..? If so it could even be an 88 Outback- :?

Edit...Geometry would be a good way to check, if an 85 Ascent it would look so cool with a bullmoose handlebar... 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:01 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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I believe this was the "Tange" production version, TR went to Japan as he needed to up his production rate and reduce costs, this was the original "Mountain Bike" had no actual name.
18 months later, this design became the "Ultra" and the Ascent the Tange production model.
It was designed with collaboration from both Shimano and Tange around the M730 group and the first Mountain quill stem and separate 25.4 bulge centred bar, rather than the heavier bull moose designs.
Not sure what the paint was called, but it was the start of all the crazy colour schemes, like the commando etc. A lot of the Ritcheys' of this era sported differing blue colour schemes, red was not the dominant colour as yet.
The frame has a double diamond stamp on the BB shell (one Diamond around another) with an ES within the Diamonds, I believe this indicated a development or special order frame, but may be wrong.
A few pics of the frame pre work,

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:09 pm 
BoTM Winner / PoTM Winner
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:facepalm:


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:27 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:55 pm
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Location: Lost, maybe Northants
Well that is rather pleasant. Good work.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:46 pm 
BoTM Winner
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[quote="Wold Ranger"]I believe this was the "Tange" production version, TR went to Japan as he needed to up his production rate and reduce costs, this was the original "Mountain Bike" had no actual name.
18 months later, this design became the "Ultra" and the Ascent the Tange production model.
It was designed with collaboration from both Shimano and Tange around the M730 group and the first Mountain quill stem and separate 25.4 bulge centred bar, rather than the heavier bull moose designs.
Not sure what the paint was called, but it was the start of all the crazy colour schemes, like the commando etc. A lot of the Ritcheys' of this era sported differing blue colour schemes, red was not the dominant colour as yet.
The frame has a double diamond stamp on the BB shell (one Diamond around another) with an ES within the Diamonds, I believe this indicated a development or special order frame, but may be wrong.
A few pics of the frame pre work,

Hunh?

Can you document some of these and the original post claims please?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:58 pm 
retrobike rider
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Location: nuneaton warks
hollister wrote:
:facepalm:


whats this supposed to mean ?


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