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In 1978, Tom Ritchey raced the now-iconic Repack downhill in Marin, California. He rode a borrowed bike, and as an accomplished elite racer, he found it pretty easy to go fast. Though he was on track for a win, halfway down the rough descent his bars slipped and rotated, causing the need to stop and move them back into place before continuing. “My time was not that far off from the winner, even considering the stop,” Ritchey said, “I thought, all I need is a better handlebar and stem and I can win this thing.”
Tom Ritchey was already making hundreds of steel stems to accompany his successful custom steel framebuilding business at the time, so he designed a one-piece bar and stem that eliminated any chance of slipping in addition to offering added stiffness. The design would be known as the “Bullmoose” – coinciding with Ritchey’s first “Mountain Bike” in 1979. as this revolutionary new bike category took off, the Bullmoose was standard equipment on Ritchey mountain bikes and practically every other company’s MTB, making the the Bullmoose bar the first of Tom Ritchey’s many mountain bike innovations to gain widespread acceptance.
Now, over 35 years later, the Bullmoose bar is reborn with carbon fiber construction and a forged alloy clamp. The new Bullmoose is lightweight and thanks to the triangulated shape, it’s designed to add a new level of trail-smoothing bump absorption without excessive flex for a ride feel that’s unattainable with a traditional alloy stem and bar.