ritchey logic steel frameset

ritchey logic frameset

if you will allow me to anthropomorphise for a moment or two, steel has been really sneaky, quite probably out of necessity. it was firstly usurped in the early 1990s by the bauxite derived aluminium, which appeared seemingly from nowhere and drove the beloved lugged steel frame into hiding. though titanium had a stab at steel's former crown in competition with aluminium, all were eventually subsumed by mike burrows' burnt plastic and it has been ever so since.

ritchey logic frameset

during this period of hibernation, the faithful have not deserted the apparently drowning (steel) ship. richard sachs and dario pegoretti have contrived to design and have produced pegorichie tubing as well as many of the necessary cast lugs to allow others as well as themselves to continue the tradition. and through all that has befallen the metal in the interim, at least as far as bike building is concerned, has been tom ritchey who, like his above mentioned peers, has remained faithful to the ferous material through his rightly famed logic tubing.

that i might avail myself of such so-called retro luxury, ritchey europe kindly sent a ritchey logic steel frameset in beautifully understated, gun-metal grey metallic paint with the much sought-after ritchey lettering on the downtube and the tr monogram on the headtube. as a dyed-in-the-wool, self-confessed luddite, it gives me great pleasure to recognise that, when i write the word tube in relation to a part of the logic frame, i really do mean tube.

ritchey logic frameset

and on that note, there's no denying that tom ritchey's logic frame looks positively anorexic in comparison to some of the carbon sitting in the bike shed. though i believe i should probably keep my prejudices to myself, for me (and at least two other members of the sunday morning peloton) that is a (very) good thing. the logic tubes are conjoined by the more contemporary method of tig welding, though there is what appears to be a sleeve atop the seat-tube, aiding and abetting the thin seatstays to meet the rest of the frame. the stays also house the seat clamp bolt, making everything neat and tidy. and in these days of fashionable internal cable routing, i was most relieved to note that all the wires on the ritchey travel along the outside.

i mention the latter because, as advertised in my heading, this review concerns the frame, rather than the bits that add up to make it a bicycle. since yours truly was responsible for fastening all this together, i'm much happier with external than internal cables.

ritchey logic frameset

those spindly seatstays join with equally thin chainstays by way of steel, hooded dropouts, which in turn arrive at a normal bottom bracket shell. eschewing any attempt at contemporary flavouring, the considerably less than obese downtube remains pretty much round from top to bottom, while the head tube contains a ritchey logic headset within flared sections at both ends. mr ritchey is, however, scarcely a luddite himself, recognising that the performance of a steel frame can be enhanced by means of a gently curving carbon fork. in so doing, he has resisted any ostentation by having them painted the same colour as the rest of the frame.

to take account of those who might enjoy riding further and faster, there are bottle cage bolts on both down-tube and seat-tube.

ritchey logic frameset

ritchey also supplied a classic seatpost, stem, traditional curve handlebars and some remarkably stylish and comfortable black bar tape, along with a ritchey, slotted skyline saddle. to make the frame into more than just an elegant sculpture, i fitted a campagnolo chorus groupset, a set of wheelsmith tubeless-ready wheels shod with mavic's yksion ust 28mm tubeless tyres (yes, that logic frame sports sufficient clearance for 28mm tyres. luxury.) to complete the package, i fitted a pair of ritchey wcs offroad pedals.

going for a ride

though there may be expert reviewers with the ability to separate frame from componentry when time comes to ride the bike, i'm really not sure i'm one of them. though i seriously doubt there are any groupsets on the market today that fail in their designed mission, at least when new, any perceived lacking in the gear changing or braking departments can have an adverse effect on appreciation of the frame's qualities. in this case, as you may have read recently on the post, campagnolo's third tier groupset offered a quality well in keeping with that of the frame to which it was attached.

ritchey logic frameset

for those who have never had the luxury of riding a steel frame, they have a quality all of their own, substantially different from that of carbon. as if to underline its ubiquity in the professional peloton, the latter has been the subject of a continued journey towards the ultimate stiffness, mostly to satisfy the alleged needs of their riders. though steel was once employed in every section of the sport, there are currently no world tour or pro-continental teams that i know of riding metal frames of any description.

it has become something of a well-worn cliché to announce that 'if it was good enough for eddy...' and since eddy's five-hundred plus victories were aboard a steel frame, there may still be a ring of truth to that statement. the great god stiffness has often seemed to be an end in itself as opposed to a means to an end; not all of us want to ride or race particularly stiff frames. in an almost perfect example of a tail wagging the dog, the majority of contemporary carbon frames are designed for the incredibly small majority of the velocipedinal population with a professional contract in their jersey pockets.

ritchey logic frameset

though i have often asked the question as to why seatpost saddle clamps had to change from campagnolo's original single adjustment bolt, that on the ritchey post was quite ingenious in its conception. yes, i had an unwanted degree of faff fitting the saddle in the first place, predominantly due to user error, but ultimately, there's only a single side-facing allen bolt on the drive-side that alters both fore and aft placement along with angle. simplicity itself.

the ritchey logic steel frame rides like the dream the elder statesmen amongst us always knew it would and the dream that the less ancient may not yet have experienced. the balance is impeccable, whether simply riding in a straight line, heading steeply upwards, or careening downhill, just barely in charge of our own destiny. though i generally favour steel forks on a steel bike, the efficacy and comfort of ritchey's carbon edition is hard to argue against. it is they that undoubtedly conspire to offer rail-like steering and handling, that would have you convinced the bike had your very best interests at heart, even in the face of descending adversity.

ritchey logic frameset

i have long used the highly unscientific method of apprising the rear triangle's resistance to squirming under pressure, by leaving the brake pads scarcely a millimetre from the wheel rim. should there be any undue movement at all, a bit of welly uphill in completely the wrong gear is pretty much bound to find its hiding place. aside from the utter joy of a bottom bracket resilience that must surely have been designed to encourage ascending well beyond my capabilities, the only unrequired contact between pad and rim seemed to arrive with a coating of belgian toothpaste. those carbon obsessed pros mentioned above, would probably have no difficulty in realising unwanted movement at the bottom bracket, but unless i'm a lot weaker in spirit than the rest of you, i don't think it's a factor that is like to trouble the majority of us.

though i've managed to cover a few hundred kilometres aboard the logic, there are still more than a few more to go, all of which i'm happily looking forward to. these will include this year's attempt at rapha's festive 500. it would be quite naive of me to expect that you'd believe my conclusions after such brevity of acquaintance, so i'll revisit the situation in the new year.

ritchey's logic steel frameset and fork as reviewed, retailed at £1050. the second version of this frame, now painted skyline blue, costs a few pounds more, at £1120, something of a steal for this quality of frame. sizes range from 51cm to 59cm in 2cm increments. size reviewed: 55cm.

ritchey logic frameset

thursday 21 december 2017

twmp ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................