1989 Ritchey Ascent Comp
I have always been a Ritchey fan.
Just like the road bike aficionado who fell into Colnago, De Rosa, Pinarello or Eddy Merckx camps, early mountain bikers tended to be Gary Klein, Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher or Salsa (Ross Schafer) boosters. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you rode one of these bikes, it just means that you wanted to.
To be a Ritchey fan meant an appreciation for early West-Coast mountain bike design. Elements like slack head tube angles, forks with a lot of rake, oversized (and force-directional) Japanese steel tubing, wide Bullmoose handlebars and fillet-brazed frame joints are all in fact either Ritchey firsts or ideas that Tom championed.
This Ascent Comp is a beautiful example of late ’80′s mountain bike cool. The bike rides smoothly over rough trails thanks to the aforementioned force-directional Tange steel tubing and slack frame angles. There’s no bullmoose-style handlebar, but there is a Ritchey Force stem with an integrated cable hanger and a 22″ wide Force bar. The components are all modern marvels.
The Shimano Deore XT M732 shifters are indexed (7 speeds in the back!), the brake levers operate with two fingers instead of your whole hand, the rear hub holds a cassette of cogs instead of a screw-on freewheel, and the chainrings are oval Biopace shape (or were. We changed them out for round ones).
This bike is also outfitted with the original Shimano off-road clipless pedal, the M-737. No toe clips? We’re probably more nostalgic about old bikes than anyone, but toe clips and straps were awful, so a vintage SPD pedal for your vintage mountain bike is really the best way to go.
If you’re a Ritchey fan like we are, this bike can be yours. This Ascent Comp is a 20″ size, so it’ll fit a rider between 5’7″ and 5’10″ the best. It’s in great shape and it’s about half the price that you’ll find on Ebay for something similar at only $1399