Tuesday, December 3, 2013

1984 Ritchey barn find...

Last week while away on Thanksgiving vacation I was enjoying my morning cup of tea while surfing the web and came upon this unsuspecting for sale post.

I couldn't tell what it was from the pics, but it looked fillet brazed. Upon contacting the owner I found the serial number was 0A3... now my curiosity was peaked. It was either an Everest which is a nice bike in and of itself, or it might be the holy grail of Ritcheys, the Annapurna. Too bad I wasn't going to be home for another 5 days and the seller had no interest in taking a deposit. I was sure the bike would be gone by the time I got there. Lucky for me it went under the radar for a whole 13 days!!! Well, the other day after a long flight followed by a short night's sleep and a big cup of coffee I drove up to Canoga park to check out the bike. I was met the original owner, an elderly gentleman in his 90s!!! He claimed he bought the bike brand new while living in Tarzana. Immediately my eyes focused on the head tube, where much to my amazement (Is this better Holli?) I saw the outline of the beautiful faux lugs indicating that this is no ordinary Ritchey but is in fact the Annapurna

I am not a Ritchey expert, so any attempt on my behalf to tell you what this bike is would end up being nothing more than me parroting other people's websites. So, for more info please navigate over to : Old Mountain Bikes, or MOMBAT.

The owner claimed was only ridden on local paved trails and up and down his evidently long driveway to get the mail. Sadly, the condition doesn't exactly reflect such a low level of use, most likely years in the garage/tool shed can be blamed for the scratches and scrapes on the fork and stays. 

I've since removed the rack and front bag, but along with the twin water bottle cages and portage strap it seems that this bike has the touring package. I think it looks much cleaner without them, but I'll hang onto them just in case.

Aside from the modern seat, grips, tires and chain the bike is all original per the 1984 or early 1985 catalog spec, right down to the Ambrosio Durex rims!!

Beautiful brazing adorns every part of this frame!

Original Phil Wood hubs look worse for wear, but spin just as smooth as when they were new 

Iconic Ritchey logo and Specialized Alloy headset

I am pretty sure somewhere a welding school dedicates an entire semester to this seat cluster alone

Last but not least the super high-rise Twin Strut fillet brazed Ritchey bar/stem combo, really sets off this bike and makes it possible for this 6'1" guy to ride a 20" frame.

I pumped up the massive Kenda tires, threw on a slightly better seat, raised the post and took it for quick spin around the block. Well, I'm happy to report that it's no Klein Adroit, but it's a fantastic bike. The very upright seating position attests the more subdued temperament of this bike, which seems to feel right at home going on a leisurely ride to the local coffee shop as it might on your favorite fire road. Normally this would not have a place in my quiver, but with looks like these I think I'll screw another hook into the garage wall!!

The full restoration of this bike (don't worry, preservation is the name of the game here) won't begin until next year, but I am very excited to get started!!!