We’ve just been on a visit to Ritchey, Cycleops and Kona importer Paligap at their Avonmouth HQ. Ritchey products have always been no-nonsense, traditional bits of kit that worked well, but didn’t set the world on fire – or at least they used to be. We were really impessed by the bits Paligap’s resident roadie Blair showed us: superlight, real carbon bars (i.e. not alloy wrapped in carbon) with ti reinforcement in the drops for £180; super aero, light and stiff carbon wheels with an alloy braking surface (which is far preferable to a carbon braking surface at £1300; tasty 290tpi “open tubular” race tyres which accept up to 180psi (£45 each – special occasions only!); an alloy stem that weighs a carbon-baiting 100g for £60; and a full carbon seatpin that comes in below the magical 200g mark and has one of the best designed clamping mechanisms we’ve seen for £130.
Ritchey have also jumped on the cyclo-cross specific and micro chainset bandwagon, producing two levels of Cross chainset supplied with 38/48 chainrings (pcd 130mm). Their Micro chainset uses 110pcd chainrings and is supplied with a 34/50 chainring combination.
Paligap also supplies Cycleops equipment and we were very interested to see a hub built up with a Zipp carbon rim. No longer is power measuring something you can only do in training; racers can now measure their performance in competiton too, without adding huge amounts of weight or drag to their bikes. Paligap will be offering these wheels for ’05 for £1100 with a standard Powertap hub. A carbon version of the Powertap is on its way too.
Go to paligapltd.co.uk for full product listings.