Old Moutain Bikes

Frame Changes

Through the years several changes were made to the frames, and frames came in different configurations. In order to establish when the changes occurred and which models were effected we need data. If you have an older Ritchey please submit your information.

Here are a list of the known changes. Hopefully they help identify your frame.

Tube Joining Technique

Written definitions taken from Sheldon Brown. Click photo for enlarged view.

Fillet Brazed
A process in which frame tubes are brazed directly to one another, without the use of lugs. The "fillet" (pronounced "fill-it") is the strip of brass melted along the seam to connect the steel parts. The fillet is usually filed smooth, so that the tubes seem to flow smoothly into one another with no sharp transitions.

Ritchey used this tube joining technique on all of the early frames, and on many higher-end frames.

TIG Welded
Tungsten Inert Gas welding. A form of welding by the use of an electric arc. The area being heated is bathed in an inert gas (argon?) to prevent oxidation. T.I.G. welding is commonly used to build lugless bicycle frames. Most current bicycle frame production is done by T.I.G. welding.

Ritchey used this tube joining technique on lower and mid-level frames, as well as on some higher end frames (notably the Ultra).

A lug is a socket that forms the junction between two or more frame tubes. Traditional bicycle construction uses steel tubes and lugs, joined together by brazing or silver soldering so that the space between the tube and the lug fills up with molten brass or silver alloy. Some aluminum or carbon fiber bicycles also use lugs, with glue instead of the brass or silver.

Ritchey frames that are built using lugged construction were built in Japan by Toyo and imported into Canada by Rocky Mountain Bicycles. These frame were produced in the time period just after Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher ended their working relationship with each other. Tom, in search of a new distributor for his bikes, contacted Rocky Mountain who offered to sell whatever he could produce. Tube sets went to Toyo, who only built lugged frames, and completed Ritchey bikes were sent to Canada. At roughly this same time other Japanese-made Ritchey frames were being imported into the US, however these were TIG-welded.

"Fake" Lugs
A small number of Ritchey frames were created with fake lugs. These "lugs" are created by hand as the bike was fillet brazed. The frame is intentionally given the appearance of a lugged frame, but is produced with by a much more time consuming process.

As far as I know, this treatment only appears on the most expensive Ritchey model - the Annapurna.

Also note, that many bikes have a similar treatment at the top of the seat tube.

Additional Fillet Work

Seat Tube

coming soon

Head Tube

coming soon

Rear Dropouts

Written definitions taken from Sheldon Brown. Click photo for enlarged view.

Horizontal Drop Outs
Horizontal drop outs have a longish slot for the rear axle to fit into, which runs more-or-less horizontally along the dropout. They permit the wheel to be placed in various positions front to rear.
Vertical Drop Outs
Vertical drop outs have a vertical notch for the axle to go up into, and the axle's position is not adjustable. With vertical dropouts, the axle cannot be pulled out of position, even if it is not properly secured.

Cable Guides

Written definitions taken from Sheldon Brown. Click photo for enlarged view.

Slotted Cable Stop
A fitting found at each end of a piece of cable housing. It consists of a socket to receive the housing, with a small hole at the bottom, which will let the inner cable slide through, but hold the housing end rigidly in place.
Non-slotted Cable Stops
A fitting found at each end of a piece of cable housing which will let the cable pass through a small hole in the center.

Fork Type

Click photo for enlarged view.

A type of fork in which the upper ends of the blades bend together to attach directly to the steerer, eliminating a separate crown.
Single Crown
A type of fork that consists of two blades that go down to hold the axle, and are attached at the top by the fork crown.
Bi-Plane Crown
Functionally the "bi-plane" fork is the same as a single crown, but extra time and effort was used during the forks production to create a two tiered crown instead of the traditional "solid" single crown.

Frame Stickers

Ritchey Decals
Several versions of the Ritchey decals have been used on bikes. The large "Ritchey" decal on the down tube, as well as the "TR" logo on the head tube and seat tube, can include additional text. Early bikes have "Palo Alto" written on the down tube and embedded in the "TR" logo, while later bikes have "USA" or nothing appearing in the space. Some Bikes have a large "MountainBikes" present on the down tube, possibly representing bikes distributed by Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly (?).

If your bike has something besides the examples listed please e-mail me.

Click photo for enlarged view.

Palo Alto (difficult to read)

To make site suggestions, contact comments@oldmountainbikes.com.
A product of E&S Web.
Donate towards my web hosting bill!