1984 Tom Ritchey Timberwolf

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atilly

Look Ma, No Hands!
I just finished saving a classic. This magnificent bicycle was left outside and suffered many atrocities.

foto_n10.jpg
 

Santuri32

Look Ma, No Hands!
I just finished saving a classic. This magnificent bicycle was left outside and suffered many atrocities.
Congrats on rescuing a bike, specially a very nice one. How do you tell the year? If you don't have an accurate way of measuring the geometry, going about it based on the components may lead to mistakes. In the website for these bikes some report 1984 Timber Wolfs but Ritchey was reorganizing at that time, selling bikes through Palo Alto (Team Comp and Mountain Bike, models) I'm sure he was selling bikes directly, but there wasn't a catalog until 85 so there's no documentation. I'm just curious to learn if you know a way. Nevertheless that a great bike and well done.
 

atilly

Look Ma, No Hands!
Congrats on rescuing a bike, specially a very nice one. How do you tell the year? If you don't have an accurate way of measuring the geometry, going about it based on the components may lead to mistakes. In the website for these bikes some report 1984 Timber Wolfs but Ritchey was reorganizing at that time, selling bikes through Palo Alto (Team Comp and Mountain Bike, models) I'm sure he was selling bikes directly, but there wasn't a catalog until 85 so there's no documentation. I'm just curious to learn if you know a way. Nevertheless that a great bike and well done.
You know your bike history, that is clear. What year is it FOR SURE you ask? Well, without bicycle carbon dating I honestly don't know, and I hope confirmation bias has not lead me to such a mistake as you mention.

I have a bit of personal information, I bought my first mountain in 1985. It was a "MontareMountainBikes" which I believe was a cross-pollination effort with Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher between, after, or at lease penecontemporaneous with the Palo Alto Bicycles collaboration. The Shimano deer-head components align with a mid-80's age, as do the Nitto handlebars, specialized forged cranks, Tange headset, etc. My conclusion is this bike smells like the same age as my MontareMountainBikes.

The next bits of information I have less control over as I relied on the Ritchey Project site. This frame has SN 1B82 apparently the 82nd 21" TimberWolf made. Comparing the build order to other frames listed indicated it could be in the range of '84-'85. I also found some nifty advertisements, sales brochures, Imron color charts that seemed to align with my guess.
 

Santuri32

Look Ma, No Hands!
You have done your task well. What I undestand about Montares, is that there were two early bikes, Canadian with crowned forks and US with Unicrowns, I think they call them both 85 model year bikes but the Canadian came in Spring of 1984, my two nerdy cents on that. Anyway I don't know the whole story there so take it with a grain of salt.
On Ritcheys, I have been able to obtain geometries from several printed sources (most online catalogs, etc.). Geo was 68HT/70ST (84 Palo Alto), 69/72 (85 Timber Wolf), 69/73 (85 Timber Wolf), also the chainstay length was 17.4" in 86 and it was the same at least in the 85 Ascent, it was possibly 18" in 1984. That could help date your frame. I do use the model year for bikes and others use the frame fabrication date. I think this causes confusion. I am curious to know if you there's a silverbullet for dating the mysterious 1983-5 Ritchey years. I am sticking with geometry for now.

Sorry for the too much info.
 

atilly

Look Ma, No Hands!
Measuring head-tube seat-tube angles? Geesh, not within a degree and without a frame table.
Chainstay length is 17-7/8"
 

Santuri32

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sorry this is so nerdy and hard to follow but here it goes. I have been trying to learn about the 1983-1985 Ritchey and Fisher period bikes.

Note on the geometry. I have measured with a smart phone app setting the 0 with floor and keeping the bike as straight as possible on its rims. But I'm sure I'm off by more than 1 degree. I imagine very carefully aligning the right size protractor could be used as well, but you are right on the way to go.

About your bike. I do think that long chainstay belongs to an older bike. The 1984 Palo Alto gives the chainstay length at 17 3/4" for a 22" like yours (see insert), and it used threaded BB, and the water bottle braze-ons were on the down tube just as the 1984 Mt Tam (special orders were an option on Everest, but I imagine special orders were a decision of the client and his money).

You may have a rare late MT Tam. I know MountainBikes MT Tams were B frames in 83, they may have changed to T in 84 and they did for sure in 85, but I imagine Palo Alto MBs were B frames based on 83/84 MT Tams. The 1984 MountainBikes MT Tam had a 18" chainstay and had the pressed-in BB. We know Ritchey sold Mt Tams to MountainBikes until late 83, so its possible some early 84 MountainBikes MT Tams (Fall/Winter 83 made) bikes were made by him as Teesdale took on the MountainBikes contract in January 1984 and may have taken a time to start spitting out frames.

I'm unsure who owned the MT Tam's name but the early 1985 Ritchey catalog (the one with many typos) mentions that the Timber Wolf replaces the MT Tam. For what one can read there the Timber Wolf was a new model for 85 and it likely came with a threaded BB ("Ritchey special sealed" as mentioned in the 84 Palo Alto, when it was threaded). Reading between lines that catalog says the Commando was introduced late summer 84. The Commando was basically a cammo-painted version of the MT Tam. So it appears that either Ritchey was still making MT Tams for MountainBikes until Summer of 84 or that he was selling bikes under the MT Tam name or that he considered to be MT Tam for the first half of 1984 simultaneously with MountainBikes.

So if your bike is an 84 as suggested by the long chainstay it may either be an early Ritchey-made 84 MountainBikes MT Tam or a Ritchey MT Tam from that 84 period post relation-end with MountainBikes with a special order on the water bottle bosses location. Or your tape measure is stretched out :).

Nerdy and confusing enough?

Nevertheless a good rescue

1507715
 

atilly

Look Ma, No Hands!
Measuring head-tube seat-tube angles? Geesh, not within a degree and without a frame table.
Chainstay length is 17-7/8"
I found a reliable way to measure the seat-tube, it is 72 degrees relative to the top-tube. I'll work on the head-tube.
 

atilly

Look Ma, No Hands!
Congrats on rescuing a bike, specially a very nice one. How do you tell the year? If you don't have an accurate way of measuring the geometry, going about it based on the components may lead to mistakes. In the website for these bikes some report 1984 Timber Wolfs but Ritchey was reorganizing at that time, selling bikes through Palo Alto (Team Comp and Mountain Bike, models) I'm sure he was selling bikes directly, but there wasn't a catalog until 85 so there's no documentation. I'm just curious to learn if you know a way. Nevertheless that a great bike and well done.
Here is some documentation for you, purportedly from 1982, I am not sure if you will consider this a catalog.
1981 front cover  cataloge.jpg
1982 inside cover joe monty.jpg
1982 03 cataloge.jpg
1982 04 cataloge.jpg
1982 06 cataloge.jpg
1982 07 cataloge.jpg
1982 08 cataloge.jpg
1982 09 cataloge.jpg
1982 10 cataloge.jpg
1982 11 cataloge.jpg
1982 13 cataloge.jpg
1982 14 cataloge.jpg
1982 inside back cover.jpg
1982 back cover cataloge.jpg
 
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