Refurbing a Ralph Cycles MTB

Posted on May 05, 2009 by 1 | 4 comments

While we all love the Shark around here we still often ride other bikes. The Ralph Cycles 17-inch hardtail shown here is being refreshed with a good, thorough cleaning and some parts replacement to bring it back to serviceable condition. [caption id="attachment_144" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Ralph Cycles MTB frame circa 1995"]Ralph Cycles MTB frame circa 1995[/caption] This particular Ralph frame was one of 6 built by Tom Teesdale in about 1995 for the Ralph Cycles racing team. This frame is serial #3 and I raced it inthe WORS series as well as MTB races in Minnesota and Iowa. It is in pretty darn good shape considering it was my primary MTB for about 3 years but has been mostly siting around since. Built from Reynolds 853, it is a strong, light frame and incorporates Ralph's T-Bone seat stay that we used to help keep the seatstay flex down with the then powerful V-Brakes. For this refurb job we are going to leave the color original for a couple of reasons.
  • I like it
  • Paint is still pretty good
  • Can't get Ralph Cycles decals anymore
The RockShox Judy fork is a pretty stock unit but has Arlo Englund Air Cartridges in. Hopefully those still work but I am not opposed to going back to urethane or whatever the bumpers were. This will not be a competition bike any more and may even get a ridged fork. More as the work progresses. If you have an older but loved bike consider throwing some love at it! If you haven't got the time, shoot us a note. We'll treat the old girl like she was one of our own.

Posted in In the Shop, ralph cycles


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4 Responses

Greg
Greg

March 19, 2015

Greg,

I was Ralph’s partner in crime back in the mid-90’s so here is a bit of background.

Ralphs were made in very limited numbers. Originally by Ralph Henderson, an Iowa bike racer, and then by Tom Teesdale who built them for a few years. Not sure how many total were made but in the 20 to 25 neighborhood. Maybe. I still have an original Aermet frame that Ralph built along with the Red TET built frame here.

The T-shirts were made for Interbike and the saying was all Ralph! There was a companion version that said “It’s a Ralph, now go lay down by your dish!” I still have a few originals!

Greg (too!)

Greg
Greg

March 19, 2015

Love the bike. I was looking for more information on the Ralphs, but it’s hard to find. You’d love my Ralph tshirt that I found in our local Salvation Army. Someone customized the back to say, “Because not every BIKE is born in a factory in Taiwan.” Later!

Mark Vice
Mark Vice

March 19, 2015

I love it!

Greg
Greg

March 19, 2015

Thanks for the 411. I am considering making a counterfeit Ralph out of my Mongoose Beast fatbike. For laughs of course. Should have some pics on www.gravelo.blogspot.com in the next weeks coming. I remember seeing Ralphs at Decorah Tt as well as Sugarbottom races. Someone broke a prototype stem in Decorah but finished still. Thanks again and keep those originals for posterity!

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