Saturday, February 26, 2011

T.R., have I told you lately...

...that I loved your bikes?  But, sadly, it was an unrequited love.  When I began riding MTBs, there were two brands that I remembered as being prized above all:  Ritchey and Fisher.  Gary Fisher was still doing some fillet brazed stuff like the Mt Tam but was moving fast toward outsourcing to TIG'd assembly line frames.  Tom Ritchey's work was the I-Ching of bikes IMO.  The Timbercomp was my dream bike.  I even loved the name.  It sounded like something you would want to just disappear on over the horizon, dashing and dancing through the Aspens.

There was a local guy that was the Ritchey 'dealer' and he would do these CRAZY big rides back then...50 to 100 milers when we could barely ride ten miles.  He was a small 'g' god.  Even the production P23s and P21s were very cool, even though they were a bit racing focused for me.

But now we have this:  The Ritchey P-29.  Oh baby.

There is a lot of controversy right now on an MTBR thread on just how pure and authentic this is since it will be made on some assembly line instead of being birthed by hand by Tom Ritchey hisself.  Bah.  TIG is just fine.  Brazing is nice for artisans and allows for some give and take in tubing spec, but really it is not an issue.  If Tom actually designed the tubing, and the P-29 is not the realization of some quirky idea that 29ers need to be sporting some super steep and quick handling geo, etc, then this thing will be at the top of my wish list for a steel hardtail.

  • Well, for one it is just drop dead gorgeous.  Some bikes just look right.  Some do not.  No odd bent top tubes like some broken backed camel, no weird angles or twisted sister tubes...just pure triangles of graceful steel.
  • I hope that TR, at this point in time, is not just a bandwagon jumper for the 29er parade.  If he has been on big wheels (and I think he is a pretty tall guy), then I have to believe that he knows how to do it up right.  He sure has the pedigree.  I learned more about bike/frame design in 30 minutes of talking with Joe Breeze then I had learned in years of hanging around other folks.  These guys know what is going on down there and why.
  • Pure emotion.  I love the fade color.  Man, that just takes me back.  And somewhere in the back alleys of my psyche is a signpost that says "Ritchey Parking Only.  All Others Will Be Judged Accordingly."

I will never have a Timbercomp, but the dream just got a bit of a B-12 vitamin shot just seeing the P-29.

1 comment:

Fonk said...

That is a sweet looking ride...