1985 Ritchey custom: Eric Heiden’s U.S. Pro Championship rig
From issue 02 • Images: Paige Dunn
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This is the bike Olympic speed skating medalist turned pro cyclist, Eric Heiden rode to win the US Professional Cycling Championship in 1985. Heiden was a founding member of the 7-Eleven Cycling Team, which was the first U.S. team to compete in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. The team was sponsored by Murray and later Huffy, but those frames—actually built by Serotta—did not work out for a few of the riders and Heiden asked Tom Ritchey for a custom frame to better suit his needs.
Heiden’s Ritchey-built 7-Eleven Murray used a custom blend of steel tubing and like most Ritchey’s of the era, is fully fillet brazed. Craftsmanship is superb, but equally notable—is the sleek clamp-on stem and steer tube design, an early version of what decades later would become the ubiquitous “threadless” system.