The Ritchey WCS C260 stem blends light weight with high strength performance to give you a cockpit that tracks straight and true. The WCS line for Ritchey is the gold standard for performance and the rainbow stripes represent Ritchey's numerous World Championships won on Ritchey products.
Right off, you notice that the clamp on the Ritchey WCS C260 wraps a full 260 degrees around the handlebar to distribute clamping stress more evenly through the handlebar, faceplate, hardware, and stem body. Ritchey can make the WCS C260 a bit lighter because the handlebar clamping force is supported more by the stem then by the faceplate. The steerer clamp on the Ritchey WCS C260 also receives similar treatment with 3 smaller then normal M4 bolts to reduce clamping force on the steerer tube.
What is more difficult to see is Ritchey's aim at keeping the WCS C260 stem strong and fatigue resistant. The Ritchey WCS C260 passes CEN certification (one of the industries most rigorous standards for safety in the bicycle industry), this despite weighing in 20 grams lighter and stiffer the Ritchey's own 4-Axis stems. The Ritchey WCS C260 is built using 7050 aluminum that is 3d forged and internally machined to reduce weight. Premium chromoly bolts are used throughout in a smaller M4 size to save weight without compromising strength.
The Ritchey WCS C260 is available in BB Black (Matte), Wet Black, Wet White, and Wet Red. Due to the 260 degree handlebar clamp, the WCS C260 will not fit handlebars with aero section flat tops.
Claimed weight: 111g (110mm)
Suggested Use: Road/XC
Handlebar Clamp: 31.8mm
Rise: 6 degrees
Steerer Clamp: 1 1/8"
Will not fit drop handlebars with aero section flat tops
Super light, relatively stiff and good looking, what's not to like? Yes, install can be tricky with the rearward facing faceplate bolts but it wasn't nearly as bad as some of the reviews I've read. Do it once and you should have no problems doing it again.
I've used this for mountain bike riding and have had no problems. I've mounted and unmounted it several times, the small bolts take longer to install and are a bit more fiddly than normal stem bolts, but they have held up great. The tolerance on this stem is really great, it fits very snug on the steerer and bar, and the threads on the bolts and stem are the same, very well done so there is no worry of them stripping despite their small size. It may not fit every application, but its a really well engineered part that is strong, light, and dependable. It also looks great on a steel frame IMO, because it is not as chunky at the clamps as most stems, making it noticeable that the diameter matches modern steel tubesets nicely. You do also get the feeling the clamping force is constricting around, rather than crushing, the stem/bar, and that despite the small torque you apply, it has a great hold. I can't recall it ever slipping, including numerous MTB crashes.
I paired this stem with a carbon stearer it has 4 torx nuts, (not allen) to distribute the torque when attaching to carbon bars and stems. I note that these are torx nuts because I stripped one using an allen wrench -- hence the props to Ritchey customer service (above) for sending me a new set within a few days. The instructions actually suggest using the Ritchy torque key and I suppose that is an important detail if you don't plan on purchasing a Ritchey torque key because you have your own torque wrench. (It's probably my fault I missed the Torx nut detail -- but I do leave it open that this important detail isn't in the instructions in leiu of the suggestion to simply use/purchase the Ritchey torque key)
Anyway, this is an aluminum stem but is extremely light.
Ritchey is a name brand I trust for decent quality.
PROS: Ritchey Customer Service, Made For Carbon Steerer, Lite, Nice looking
I got this in 90 mm in wet white. It looks amazing on my orange mountain bike. Shaved some grams and it really feels solid. I just wish it would fit the new aero road bars I got for my road bike but due to the wrap around design it won't. I would get another if it did.
PROS: Easy To Install, Attractive Design, Durable, Lightweight
BEST USES: Upgrade, Road Biking, Casual Riding, Mountain Biking, Racing
This stem is super light... and stiff. I purchased a 110mm and it's pretty much what I thought it would be. Using it for an XC racing MTB with carbon bars. Some have complained about the installation of the bar with the 260-degree clamp on it, but you just need to place the bar further down towards the grip and then slide it back to center before replacing the face plate. Tighten the faceplate BEFORE installing the stem onto the steerer. Simple as pie.
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