Ritchey’s WCS V4s are simply beautiful. The body is titanium with a polished finish. The axle is chromoly, and although less glamorous and slightly heavier, Ritchey deem it to be stiffer and more reliable than titanium. Don’t panic though – weight is still a miniscule 248g.
The hollow axle spins on bushes and needle bearings, and the spring tension can be easily adjusted via a 3mm Allen key. Engagement is nice and positive, even in the grime, with a loud click from the durable steel jaws, and the five degrees of float allows sufficient movement to ease the knees. We did find the small pedal body slightly more difficult than Shimano's to find and engage quickly, though.
The WCS V4s are compatible with Shimano cleats. This means you can save them for race days and use cheaper pedals for everyday riding without having to faff about swapping cleats.
They're nearly 100g lighter than Shimano XTR (although still not Crank Brothers Eggbeater light), yet won’t require the sale of a kidney to buy a pair. The downsides are that the bearings require regular TLC, and the alloy end caps can get mashed.
If you’re in the market for a pair of race day cross-country pedals then things don’t get much posher than this pair from Ritchey.