Tom Ritchey began building bikes for the Palo Alto Bike shop and its national mail order catalog in his early years, having built approximately 200 frames before his senior year of high school. It was around this time that he honed his fillet brazing or “lugless” method of fabricating frames, challenging bicycle industry standards for frame tubing diameter which were constrained by fixed dimensioned lugs. By the 1980s, Ritchey had produced over 1,000 frames on his own, including this one predating his use of serial numbers.
Special thanks to The Pros Closet
for the information and original photography.