Handbuilt in USA
Frame & Fork: Ritchey designed Tange 4130 Chrome Moly
Crankset: Shimano Deore MT-60 on Shimano sealed BB
Saddle: Vetta Turbo
Grips: Ritchey True Grip X
Handlebar: Ritchey ProLite
Groupset & Brakeset: Shimano Deore XT (Cantilevers, Thumbies)
Wheelset: Ritchey Vantage Sport rims with Shimano Exage hubs on Maxxis Pace 26x2.10 tires
I've wanted a Ritchey Ascent Comp for a long time and I was lucky to see this one for sale in my region and lucky that the first buyer fell through. At first, because of the magenta/yellow colour scheme, I thought it was a 1988. Upon closer inspection, however, I realize it is a 1989. The giveaway was the switch from a U-brake in the rear for the 1988 model to cantilevers on the 1989 model. This was going to need a lot of work and shopping to make it worthy, but I was excited for the challenge.
This was my third painting project and I think I finally figured it out. The stripped frame showed off the beautiful TIG welds at the head tube and bottom bracket and the smooth fillet brazing everywhere else. I found really close PPG paint matches to the original magenta and yellow and the painting went flawlessly for the first time. For this bike, I didn't make the decals myself and I didn't mask them. Instead, I bought the full decal kit from www.velocals.com. They were premium cast 1-mil vinyl and were super easy to apply and can barely be felt under the clear coat.
This bike wasn't an easy build because it needed some things to really finish it off right. The stem that came with the bike was not original. In fact, it looked like a road stem. Because the bike was so small, I didn't want to install a long stem. I was lucky to find this unknown, chromoly stem that had a nice shape to it and with the stop for cantilever brakes. It was badly scratched but after painting it to match the fork it seemed perfect. The bars were also inappropriate for this bike. I was lucky to find a Ritchey ForceLite bar that was in pretty good condition. So many have the decals worn away. The XT front derailleur was broken and needed to be replaced. I tried hard to find the appropriate Avocet Turbo saddle with no luck but I did manage to find a really nice Vetta Turbo that closely resembled the Avocet. The bike came with a mixed set of wheels and hubs but I found a set of Ritchey Vantage Sports in great condition that worked out well. It had a nice crankset but the cranks were really beat up and scratched. Lots of sanding and polishing took care of that. The bike came with platform pedals but a bike like this needed Deore XT pedals from that era. These are pretty hard to find but I did manage to find a pair and they really added to the bike. It needed brake pads and luckily you can still find Kool Stops in yellow. They match the bike perfectly. In the end, I couldn't be happier! I feel like this is my best work so far. It's been sitting in my dining room so I can see it every time I'm at the computer or walking by. If only it was my size! It will be hard to let it go and I almost feel embarrassed by asking so much but a lot of money and time has gone into this one. Someone will see the value in it and will be a very happy and lucky owner!