Ritchey commit to 27.5in
By James Huang in Park City, Utah | Thursday, July 26, 2012 6.27pm
Ritchey is launching a new 27.5in-wheeled steel hardtail for 2013 called the P-27.5 James Huang/BikeRadar
Ritchey is undergoing a frame renaissance, with road, cyclo-cross, 29er hardtail, and even travel-bike options in both steel and titanium.
Adding to the pile for 2013 is a new P-27.5 hardtail built around – you guessed it – 27.5in (aka 650b) wheels for riders looking for a classic steel ride but with the greater maneuverability of the medium-sized hoops.
The P-27.5 draws much of its DNA from the existing P-29er, including a similar triple-butted Logic steel tubeset, the same forged and machined 1 1/8in straight steel integrated head tube, and even the classic red, white and blue fade paint job.
Ritchey moved away from the P-29's versatile slider dropouts for the P-27.5 in favor of more conventional socket-style vertical drops for geared applications with IS-style brake caliper tabs welded on to the chain stays. This saves some weight but, according to Ritchey marketing manager Sean Coffey, it also makes for a softer ride since the seat stays can now be a little thinner and smaller.
Claimed weight for a medium frame is 2.02kg (4.47lb) and the price is $1,100.
Thin seat stays mean more comfort, according to Ritchey
Going along with the new P-27.5 frame are new WCS Vantage II Alloy wheels with 20mm-wide (internal measurement), tubeless-ready alloy rims and aluminum hubs that are convertible between 9mm and 15mm fitments up front and 135mm and 142mm standards out back. Claimed weight for 27.5in size is 1,587g per pair while the 29in version is 1,768g. There will be no 26in option.
Retail price is $799 per pair while the matching low-knob WCS Shield tires will add another $69 apiece.
Rounding out the 27.5in package is a new rigid all-carbon fiber fork with a one-piece carbon crown and steerer, bonded-in round legs, carbon dropouts, and carbon fiber post-mount brake tabs. As with the Vantage II Alloy wheels, there will also be a 29in version but no 26in variant. Claimed weights are just 615g (1.36lb) for the 27.5in fork and an extra 10g for the 29er. Retail price is $499 and all of the new 27.5in bits will be available beginning in November.
Heaps of new components
Ritchey has bolstered the 2013 range with gobs of other new components.
Highlighting the range is the new Superlogic collection for the road, which includes a new molded carbon fiber stem and lightweight handlebar. According to Coffey, the Superlogic stem's large-diameter extension makes it nearly as stiff as PRO's monstrous Vibe Sprint model but nearly half the weight at just 125g for a 110mm length. Retail price is a heady $299 and Ritchey will offer it in 90-130mm lengths.
The new 125g Superlogic stem
The matching Superlogic carbon fiber drop bar is now the lightest in Ritchey's road range at just 195g, utilizing the familiar Evo-Curve semi-anatomic bend with its slightly backswept tops, relatively short 75mm reach, and shallow 128mm drop. Retail price is $319 and it will be available in 38-44cm (c-c) widths.
Ritchey is finally addressing recent trends in the mountain bike market with a new Trail collection, which focuses more on strength and stiffness than light weight. That being said, the new WCS C220 Trail forged aluminum stem is still quite light at a claimed 115g for a 70mm length but with the extra beef required of 5- to 6-in travel rigs. Ritchey has also tweaked the 31.8mm-diameter handlebar clamp with a 220-degree wraparound instead of the road version's 260-degree layout for easier installation of riser bars.
Available lengths will range from 60-110mm and retail price is $99.
Pairing with the new Trail stems are new carbon and alloy Rizer and 2X flat bars with widths up to 740mm and weights ranging from 180-276g depending on model. The 2X flat bars will feature a clever flip-flop design that offers 5mm of drop or rise depending on the orientation in order to provide more sizing flexibility.
Prices for all of the Trail bars vary from $85-170 while the 2X family will stretch from $65-200.
Rounding out the Trail range are new seatposts, too, with updated reversible two-bolt heads with 5mm or 25mm of offset and optional Selle Italia Monolink compatibility that will carry across most of the Ritchey family. Tuned flex patterns on the carbon version supposedly make for a smoother ride, too.
New seatpost options abound, in 27.2 and 31.6mm diameters, plus Selle Italia Monolink compatibility
The $109 alloy model will be available in 27.2mm and 31.6mm diameters while the $220 carbon version adds an extra 30.9mm size. Both are offered exclusively in 400mm lengths.
Ritchey readily acknowledges that its earlier mountain bike clipless pedals weren't exactly up to snuff but says the new Paradigm model should scuttle those demons. The new forged aluminum body spins on a chromoly steel axle on an updated needle bearing, cartridge bearing, and bushing system while selective machining helps pare the weight down to just 225g for the top-end version.
Even better is the WCS Paradigm's price: just $159.
For owners of Canyon road bikes or Giant's latest offerings, we also have one final note: Ritchey will finally make its popular WCS 4-Axis 44 stem in 1 1/4in steerer clamp diameters widely available to the public, although cyclo-cross racers with persistently finicky headsets might want to pay attention, too. When combined with an aluminum shim, using a 1 1/4in stem on a 1 1/8" carbon fiber steerer makes for a much more secure setup that's far less prone to loosening on rough ground.
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