Tom Ritchey is a frame-building legend. He’s always been an all-rounder when it comes to cycling disciplines, but made his name with the legendary P series mountain bikes, the P-22 being the most famous. That bike was one of the last artisan-built frames to dominate racing before the might of corporations and carbon took over.
The Logic, and its stablemates, are a celebration of those heady 80s days, and while no longer made in Ritchey’s American homeland, the Road Logic is still meticulously put together, hand-crafted with some serious skill in Taiwan.
With details such as the forged and machined head-tube, which shaves more than 80g from a standard headset/head-tube design, beautifully controlled welds and signature encapsulated Ritchey dropouts, this is a bike built with serious frame-building pedigree.
Ritchey Road Logic Comp frame and kit
The welds are well controlled and extremely neat David Caudery/Immediate Media
In the past the Road Logic has been a frameset-only option, so you’d either build it yourself or get your local shop to build it to your specification. For 2018, it is being offered as a complete bike, with Ritchey finishing kit and Shimano 105, all for a decent price.
The Ritchey components come from the company’s affordable Comp range, and are all very well-designed. The 4-Axis stem is designed to evenly spread pressure, making it harder to overtighten and damage the bar, and the curve shaping of the bar is one of the very best anatomic compact designs around.
The slender Skyline saddle is well padded and the shape suited most of BikeRadar’s testers. Ritchey’s saddles can often be overlooked in favour of the big name brands, but if the Skyline is anything to go by they are worth checking out.
The Zeta wheels have a decent profile and are wide enough at 17mm internally to make a very good match for the 27mm Tom Slick tyres. The name suggest that these are fully smooth road rubber but actually have deep and defined sipes running from the centre to the flanks of the sidewalls. The deep, soft compound grips tenaciously and they run smooth, but don’t feel as rapid as the lightest race tyres around.
The Shimano 105 drivetrain performs superbly, and Ritchey hasn’t deviated from the group so the Road Logic has far superior stoppers than its rim-braked rivals.
Ritchey Road Logic Comp ride experience
The steering response is quick without being twitchy on climbs Robert Smith / Immediate Media
This bike has serious go when you want it, but the smooth, lively ride of the steel chassis means the Logic is just as at home as an all-day cruiser as it is a sprinting bruiser. It all comes from the class inherent in a triple-butted steel frame. By minimising the wall thicknesses, where possible, you end up with a bike that’s balanced between stiffness and smoothness.
It’s approaching the pinnacle of what steel can do, but the glaring omission for us Brits is that the Logic has no provision for mudguards. It’s easy to be seduced by the Logic’s wonderful character during dry summer months, but for damp autumn, winter and spring, a bit of protection beyond quick fixes and quick-release mudguards would be good.
The Logic rides like a naturally balanced bike, the steering response is quick without being twitchy on climbs, the frame feeling alive without being flexy. On descents its full of poise and stability. It’s one of those bikes you’ll immediately feel at home on.