Tom Ritchey continues with his duties as president and lead designer of Ritchey, a brand that already has products distributed in more than 40 countries. Inspiration often comes to him while he is riding his bike, generating ideas that he then processes as three-dimensional images in his head. This is followed by the creation of initial conceptual models, many of which are created by joining pieces and welded metal tubes. All this is very natural for a person who learned to build bicycle frames when he was a teenager, and who designed some of the first frames and components for the world of mountain biking back in the 1970s. Each year Tom guides the department of innovation both in the search for subtle improvements for existing products and in the development of new products.
Drawings and finite element analysis are great tools in design but at Ritchey they are always willing to try new designs in the real world. They apply rigorous standards in impact tests, which means that before a new design is mounted on a test bike, it has already been structurally tested. Once a product has passed all structural tests, prototypes must withstand the rigorous use of both amateur and professional cyclists, including cyclists sponsored by Ritchey around the world.
At Ritchey they believe that the most advanced engineering is only useful when it provides a real benefit to users. Striking products or the use of expensive materials and manufacturing processes have never been the ultimate goal of Ritchey. That's why "Logic" has always been the best word to distinguish the sophisticated approach that Tom Ritchey has applied in component design.
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