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Plain Old butt cromoly welded frame...

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Plain Old butt cromoly welded frame...

Old 08-19-20, 04:29 AM
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Plain Old butt cromoly welded frame...

Any idea what this POBCWF is? In terms of year /model. Serial number is 149 and looks hand stamped.




Last edited by MMonde; 08-19-20 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 08-19-20, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MMonde View Post
Any idea what this POBCWF is? In terms of year /model. Serial number is 149 and looks hand stamped.


What does POBCWF mean? Plain old butt chrome moly welded frame? This looks to be tig welded and likely good quality steel. Do you think this is plain gauge chrome moly steel? Why? I would have guessed it was quality steel and double butted. Is there a frame tubing sticker anywhere?

This is a cool bike. I'd love to find a Tom Ritchey mountain bike one of these days.

By the way, the bike has a u brake which likely dates it to the late 80s. U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road.

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Old 08-19-20, 05:58 AM
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That looks to me like an early Tom Ritchey fillet-brazed, not welded, frame. Start reading here. While I am not normally a mountain bike guy, I would love to own one of those!
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Old 08-19-20, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
That looks to me like an early Tom Ritchey fillet-brazed, not welded, frame. Start reading here. While I am not normally a mountain bike guy, I would love to own one of those!
Yeah I said it might be tig welded but agree. Early Tom Ritchey bikes were fillet brazed. Plus I'm not sure when tig welding started but I thought it was a little later? Agreed, I'd love to own one of these!

The u brake helps date the bike. They were a late 80s kind of thing.
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Old 08-19-20, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Yeah I said it might be tig welded but agree. Early Tom Ritchey bikes were fillet brazed. Plus I'm not sure when tig welding started but I thought it was a little later? Agreed, I'd love to own one of these!

The u brake helps date the bike. They were a late 80s kind of thing.
There were TIGged bikes by 84- the 84 High Sierra was- and by 87 the High Sierra was TIG welded in the rear and fillet brazed in the front.

To my eye- that looks like clean welds- Usually there’s a buildup around the join. I think the fillet brazed bike usually have that ‘hand brazed by Tom Ritchey’ decal.

IMO (I’m no expert)- 86-89 Ritcheys aren’t exactly “early.”
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Old 08-19-20, 07:19 AM
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This might be a good place to start:

https://ritchey.vintagebicycledatabase.com/history.php

Serial number guide is here:
https://ritchey.vintagebicycledatabase.com/models.php

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Old 08-19-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by rustystrings61 View Post
That looks to me like an early Tom Ritchey fillet-brazed, not welded, frame.
Looks more like TIG to me. Ritchey's bronze fillets were much larger and smoother than the joints on this frame.
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Old 08-19-20, 08:15 AM
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Hi again..

Well.. I posted the bike in the "how much is worth" subforum, just because I was curious to know if these bikes were very expensive when first sold.. A good friend of mine, famous artist actually gave me this bike when he moved, many years ago in NM.. It was unused then and he told me it was a very fancy bike.. I haven't heard of Ritchey bikes before,maybe components.I rode the bike for many years... It had a decal on the seat post, at the bottom that might have read "HAND MADE... or Hand brazed.. Something like that.. With the moustached guy... But the decal just wore off, you can see some remains..
The POBCWF, was the definition another member used to describe the frame in that thread.I thought it was funny and used it to title this thread.. I wrote Ritchey and sent the pictures and serial # and I am waiting to hear from them.. It is all original except for the crank set, that was replaced, and all I can say it's that handles great, and it's super strong, lightweight and plain cool to me.. I commuted for more than ten years in NM and then Portland, Or, and did some touring in both states, usually carrying four heavy panniers and that is a solid frame.. Paint is quite good too, hard coated.. And still in decent shape considering the abuse it took and the color, in real life.. Oh the color!!
EDIT:
So I went to the identifying Frame page that was kindly linked earlier.. And the three digit pattern that my father in law gave me(the bike is in Colorado, I live in Barcelona) doesn't give enough info.. I am sure he missed part of the serial #, so I have to get back to him..
Thanks for stopping by. Glad u like the bike.

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Old 08-19-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
... Is there a frame tubing sticker anywhere? ...
The first photo shows a sticker that reads "[hand?] built with Tom Richie 4130" with some more obliterated text at the bottom ("... tubes ... fork...) that may have once indicated whether it is butted. May be possible to decipher in person.
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Old 08-19-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Sluggo View Post
The first photo shows a sticker that reads "[hand?] built with Tom Richie 4130" with some more obliterated text at the bottom ("... tubes ... fork...) that may have once indicated whether it is butted. May be possible to decipher in person.
The seat post diameter will tell you whether it's butted, as well.
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Old 08-19-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
The seat post diameter will tell you whether it's butted, as well.
That's great info.. Thanks a lot..
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Old 08-19-20, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
By the way, the bike has a u brake which likely dates it to the late 80s. U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road.
Actually U-brakes are great for off-road riding. It's the positioning on the chainstays that can sometimes lead to mud clogging the brakes in wet conditions. Many mountain bikes of the 80s and early 90s were specced with rear U-brake on the seatstays and these worked very well in all conditions, and flex a lot less than cantilever brakes. It bugs me when people think that the brakes themselves were poor performers when the chainstay positioning is actually the issue.
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Old 08-19-20, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
Actually U-brakes are great for off-road riding. It's the positioning on the chainstays that can sometimes lead to mud clogging the brakes in wet conditions. Many mountain bikes of the 80s and early 90s were specced with rear U-brake on the seatstays and these worked very well in all conditions, and flex a lot less than cantilever brakes. It bugs me when people think that the brakes themselves were poor performers when the chainstay positioning is actually the issue.
Well the OP's brakes are on the chainstays which is why I made this point. Even on the chainstays they work well for general road riding.

I don't know if I've ever seen a mountain bike with the u brake on the seat stays unless you're talking about rollercams and even those aren't that common. I like u brakes. They work well even if they are a pain to work on when they are on the chainstays. This is my main commuter and I think the u brakes work very well.


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Old 08-19-20, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Well these are on the chainstays which is why I made this point. Even on the chainstays they work well for general road riding.

I don't know if I've seen a mountain bike with the u brake on the seat stays but u brakes work well even if they are a pain to work on when they are on the chainstays.
A bunch of brands in the late 80s put U-brakes on the seatstays, most notably GT and Schwinn (High Sierras came with seatstay u-brakes for 2-3 years in the late 80s). And almost all the high-end boutique brands in the late 80s and early 90s had seatstay u-brakes (Salsa, Cunningham, Steve Potts, WTB, Grove Innovations, etc...).
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Old 08-19-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
A bunch of brands in the late 80s put U-brakes on the seatstays, most notably GT and Schwinn (High Sierras came with seatstay u-brakes for 2-3 years in the late 80s). And almost all the high-end boutique brands in the late 80s and early 90s had seatstay u-brakes (Salsa, Cunningham, Steve Potts, WTB, Grove Innovations, etc...).
You caught me before I edited my previous response to include roller cams; those I've seen. I don't think of those as u brakes.

I could be wrong but I don't think seat stay mounted brakes were as common as you suggest on vintage mountain bikes.

In any case, I made it clear that I don't have any issues with u brakes except when they are on the chainstays and even then they're not that bad as long as you don't use them to go offroad. So you've clearly misconstrued my first post on this. More importantly I was clearly talking about the OP's bike. So maybe we can talk about the OP's bike since that is the point of this thread, right?

If you want to start a thread on seatstay mounted brakes, I'd be happy to read whatever you might have to say about them.

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Old 08-19-20, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You caught me before I edited my previous response to include roller cams; those I've seen. I don't think of those as u brakes.

I could be wrong but I don't think seat stay mounted brakes were as common as you suggest on vintage mountain bikes.

In any case, I made it clear that I don't have any issues with u brakes except when they are on the chainstays and even then they're not that bad as long as you don't use them to go offroad. So you've clearly misconstrued my first post on this. More importantly I was clearly talking about the OP's bike. So maybe we can talk about the OP's bike since that is the point of this thread, right?

If you want to start a thread on seatstay mounted brakes, I'd be happy to read whatever you might have to say about them.
That's a good point about the roller cams. Schwinn only used roller cams on the High Sierras with the seatstay-mounted brakes. However, many other brands (including GT, like I mentioned) used Shimano (Deore, Deore XT), Dia Compe (AD-990), and Campagnolo (Euclid, Centaur) u-brakes on seatstays. Not to mention the millions of quality off-road BMX bikes that have been produced with seatstay u-brakes for decades.
Regarding whether I misconstrued your original post, your post clearly called out u-brakes as bad, and not chainstay mounting. You wrote: "By the way, the bike has a u brake which likely dates it to the late 80s. U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road." Yet we established that the brake being a u-brake has nothing to do with its poor performance. Considering this is a widely-read public forum I just want to prevent the spread of misinformation regarding a perfectly good component.
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Old 08-19-20, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
That's a good point about the roller cams. Schwinn only used roller cams on the High Sierras with the seatstay-mounted brakes. However, many other brands (including GT, like I mentioned) used Shimano (Deore, Deore XT), Dia Compe (AD-990), and Campagnolo (Euclid, Centaur) u-brakes on seatstays. Not to mention the millions of quality off-road BMX bikes that have been produced with seatstay u-brakes for decades.
Regarding whether I misconstrued your original post, your post clearly called out u-brakes as bad, and not chainstay mounting. You wrote: "By the way, the bike has a u brake which likely dates it to the late 80s. U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road." Yet we established that the brake being a u-brake has nothing to do with its poor performance. Considering this is a widely-read public forum I just want to prevent the spread of misinformation regarding a perfectly good component.
You obviously took my post out of context and you keep repeating the same thing. Why don't you start your own thread on seatstay mounted brakes for mountain bikes?

I was obviously talking about the OP's bike. I'm a little surprised you can't seem to figure that out . . .
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Old 08-19-20, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
You obviously took my post out of context and you keep repeating the same thing. Why don't you start your own thread on seatstay mounted brakes for mountain bikes?

I was obviously talking about the OP's bike. I'm a little surprised you can't seem to figure that out . . .
No need to get offended or frustrated. This forum exists as a resource for people, so I try to call out incorrect information posted when I see it. I don't mean it to be adversarial or anything like that - just want to make sure someone new who got to this thread from Google doesn't see your post and make wrong assumptions.

"U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road" is a general statement about U-brakes and you are not "obviously talking about the OP's bike," nor am I taking your statement out of context. It's important in a community like this to be able to recognize when someone is trying to tell you something useful and not just become defensive and angry. We're all in this together!
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Old 08-19-20, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
No need to get offended or frustrated. This forum exists as a resource for people, so I try to call out incorrect information posted when I see it. I don't mean it to be adversarial or anything like that - just want to make sure someone new who got to this thread from Google doesn't see your post and make wrong assumptions.

"U brakes are fine for general road riding but not great for riding off road" is a general statement about U-brakes and you are not "obviously talking about the OP's bike," nor am I taking your statement out of context. It's important in a community like this to be able to recognize when someone is trying to tell you something useful and not just become defensive and angry. We're all in this together!
I'm not offended. I'm a little surprised by your inability to read a post in context. AFAIK, this thread was supposed to be about the OP's bike and my comments were directed to that bike.

I have a suggestion for you. Not everything is spelled out as clearly as we might like when we talk face to face. This is even more true on the internet. Why don't you exercise a small amount of kindness and common sense in your posts?
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Old 08-19-20, 08:45 PM
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We have to remember these threads, and posts, don't just exist in this context. Years from now, someone might randomly stumble on a single post indicating u-brakes are not good off-road, and, and if there's no clarification, take it at face value. A simple clarification is perfectly appropriate. We're not the only ones reading these threads.
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Old 08-20-20, 12:19 AM
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"U breaks U buys"

I rode the bike mostly on the road, but rural New Mexico was not all paved and there is snow, and snow melting created mud that was soft, sticky and a lot sometimes. So I had mud stucked on the breaks, but I dont remember being a huge issue.. I do remember having to fiddle with a stick to clean some mud off the breaks, and yes you don't want to let that mud drying around the breaks..The Low position is part of the problem,but most of the mud accumulated because the UBreaks Hugh the tire closer than other types of breaks, so the mud on the tire gets cleaned BY the breaks.. Low or high seating U Breaks will have the problem in my experience.. SO.. maybe U breaks are not that great for off road...?.. But I agree.. Here is a good topic for a thread...
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Old 08-20-20, 02:38 PM
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A149


So i got a picture sent of the serial number of the bike.. Besides the three numbers, that dont make much sense by themselves, seems to be an A, barely visible under the plastic guides for the cables.. So if the serial is as i believe A149 the frame would be an Ascent. This serial number scheme is not typical for a welded frame like the ascent, Some ascent frames with this short serial number were made by Tom Ritchey. In the 87 and 88 catalogs the Ascent Comp models look just like my bike, the same Orange 4130 decal, that means that the frames were made with Tange steel designed by Tom and Hand made by Tom, including the fork. The sticker with the moustached guys is now gone, but it read Hand måde by Tom Ritchey..
So i am not 100 percent sure, need to confirm with Ritchey, but I think this is an 87/88 Ascent Comp hånd måde BY tom Ritchey...
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Old 08-20-20, 03:15 PM
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According to the website, the Ascent Comp was TIG welded (which is what yours appears to be) in the US, but probably not by Tom Ritchey, who did the brazed frames. I don’t know how reliable the info on that site is, but I don’t know that you have any evidence yet suggesting that he did make it.
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Old 08-20-20, 03:16 PM
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So this is the third Ritchey to appear here in C&V lately. I wonder if it'd be worth trying to reach Tom via his company, get his take on all these recent discoveries.
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Old 08-20-20, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
According to the website, the Ascent Comp was TIG welded (which is what yours appears to be) in the US, but probably not by Tom Ritchey, who did the brazed frames. I don’t know how reliable the info on that site is, but I don’t know that you have any evidence yet suggesting that he did make it.
İt is tricky...lots of variants.. I saw the info you quote, Then I went through the catálogs..pretty much all of them, and found that the 87 and 88 models had the Orange Decal 4130 Tinge Ritchey steel, Ritchey designed the tubes and all.. Those models frames, Ascent comp 1987 and 88 Were håndmade BY Tom Ritchey. Welded. specified in the catalog.. My bike had the "hånd måde by Thomas Ritchey" Decal,.. I though the Decal could have read "designed by Ritchey" but all the decals i have seen with the moustached guys read "hand made by Thomas Ritchey". So i am pretty sure that is what the bike is, but I sent this info to Ritchey and I am waiting for confirmation.
EDIT.
88 and 89..not 87..and you are right.. 1988 ascent was HÅND crafted by Ritchey Mountain Bikes.. Designed by Ritchey but welded by Ritchey trained mountain bike manufacturers..
I think that is what my Decal actually said Hånd Crafted. By Ritchey..
Anyway... İf Ritchey answer i will post it right away

Last edited by MMonde; 08-20-20 at 04:10 PM.
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