Can a bike that was designed in the last century still be on the pulse of the time? We were joined by the decades-old Ritchey Logic in Mallorca to throw convention to the wind and soak up the freedom of cycling on this steel steed. And yes, there were cowboy hats on site.

The succulent lamb splits in my hands. The meat is juicy; its delicate flavours engulf my palate. Delicious. The work has been done, and I’ve found a sparsely populated corner of Mallorcan countryside in which to unwind. The restaurant is quiet, the house wine is a treat to sip and this place has an undeniable charm. It’s the kind of location that was hipster long before the term had even been christened (and it’ll long outlive the trend).

The Ritchey Logic slots perfectly into this image. After all, it’s a bike that hails from the days when steel wasn’t the exception, but the rule. Yet the Ritchey Road Logic is much more than just vintage; first launched at the end of the 1980s, it has undergone a multitude of revisions and revamps, before settling in its current format from 2014, which is now stood beside my table. Does it appear to show its age? Not at all.

Yet the Ritchey Road Logic is much more than just vintage.

The incarnation of a modern classic, the Ritchey marries the charm of an old timer with the valued presence of up-to-date components. Since last year, Ritchey have offered the Road Logic as a complete bike for the irrefutably fair price of € 2,699. Yet there’s a catch, which we’ll reveal later on.

A steel-framed bike is for slowing down, offering the opportunity to escape from the technological warfare of short-lived models…
…and the fast-paced hamster wheel of a society that’s willing to sacrifice anything for performance.

Ritchey haven’t broken any new ground when it comes to the spec, choosing to rely on tried-and-tested components like the Shimano Ultegra groupset and parts from their in-house brand like the 25 mm-wide Ritchey Race Slick WCS tires, Ritchey Road WCS carbon fork, Ritchey NeoClassic WCS Blatte bars with a width of 420 mm, solid Ritchey Zeta II WCS wheels, Ritchey Link WCS carbon seatpost… The list of Ritchey parts could continue as far as the headset, but this should suffice, shouldn’t it?

But then another wheelset turned up to our office – along with ‘thicker’ tires in case we wanted to ‘experiment’ with the set-up, explained Ritchey. Naturally, we obliged – although perhaps not in the most conventional manner. We went for 28 mm Ritchey WCS Alpine JB tires on the 38 mm-deep profile WCS Apex carbon clincher. The tires were definitely a looker with their tan Skinwall aesthetic, prompting more than just a few second glances.

We went for 28 mm Ritchey WCS Alpine JB tires on the 38 mm-deep profile WCS Apex carbon clincher.

It was met by the same admiration in the café, but I’d already decided the tire clearance was just too tight. If you’re planning to tackle any gravel sections then you’ll be wiser to ride with 25 mm tires, and the bike’s standard set-up with aluminium clincher wheels and 25 mm tires are much more suited to everyday riding. Plus, it’s a lighter at just 7.87 kg, while the wider tires and carbon wheels add another 200 g.

The cowboy hat, rings, a leg of lamb, woolen jersey, and baggy shorts – doesn’t sound much like a road ride, but who cares?
… but with the right hat-carrying approach, you’ll never be without your favourite item, such as this one from Brixton. Nothing is impossible!

Whatever the terrain, the Logic is comfortable and composed as it glides over the ground, unperturbed by potholes and sudden maneuvers. It’s certainly capable of city limit sprints, but it won’t offer you the stiffness that you’d crave for serious racing. The Logic doesn’t possess razor-sharp handling, but it has a sense of generosity that forgives minor errors with a beguiling smile. With the positive stem and compact reach, it creates a satisfyingly upright position that lends itself to exploring, allowing you to take in your surroundings: a coffee stop here, a selfie over there. And even though it sounds cheesy, the Logic isn’t assiduously pursuing KOMs, it’s about eschewing convention and riding as fast and as far as you feel like.

Interesting accessories open the door to…
…interesting conversations…
…and new contacts – much like the Ritchey.
Simple but delicious: all the cook needs for Cordero is olive oil, lemons, onions, salt and pepper – and, of course, home-raised meat.

Steel is undergoing a veritable revival right now. In a society that’s focused on mass production, there’s a real, growing appreciation for artisanal crafts with simplicity and timeless quality. Ritchey haven’t just invested all of the above into the Logic, they’ve also disproved the theory that you have to recreate the wheel year after year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Ritchey is more than just a bike; it’s a loyal steed for long days in the saddle, the dream of any outlaw, cowboy and trail-blazer that fancies a break from the daily grind every once in a while.

And what was that murmur about its cost? While it retails at € 2,900, it’s actually discounted right now to €2,600 on the Ritchey website. So if you’re drawn in by the lure of saving € 300, don’t hang around.

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Words: Robin Schmitt Photos: Julian Mittelsteadt