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Eurobike 2010: Ritchey looks ahead to the future, reflects on the past

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The integrated front brake housing stop on the Ritchey WCS Logic Cross headset includes a lot of drop to clear slammed stems.

The integrated front brake housing stop on the Ritchey WCS Logic Cross headset includes a lot of drop to clear slammed stems. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey has added several new tapered models to its range of headsets.

Ritchey has added several new tapered models to its range of headsets. (Image credit: James Huang)
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While they're unlikely to ever become widely popular, tubular mountain bike wheels still seem to be gaining traction among the cross-country race crowd.

While they're unlikely to ever become widely popular, tubular mountain bike wheels still seem to be gaining traction among the cross-country race crowd. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Crow's-foot spoke lacing on the driveside is intended to boost lateral stiffness on the back wheel.

Crow's-foot spoke lacing on the driveside is intended to boost lateral stiffness on the back wheel. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey says its Superlogic carbon road tubular wheels weigh just 1,157g a set.

Ritchey says its Superlogic carbon road tubular wheels weigh just 1,157g a set. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey's new Superlogic headsets are fitted with hybrid ceramic bearing cartridges.

Ritchey's new Superlogic headsets are fitted with hybrid ceramic bearing cartridges. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Ritchey Pro Apex Zeta aluminum clincher road wheelset features an offset rear rim and crow's-foot spoke lacing for better lateral rigidity.

The new Ritchey Pro Apex Zeta aluminum clincher road wheelset features an offset rear rim and crow's-foot spoke lacing for better lateral rigidity. (Image credit: James Huang)
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External nipples on the Ritchey Pro Zeta road wheels will make for easy maintenance.

External nipples on the Ritchey Pro Zeta road wheels will make for easy maintenance. (Image credit: James Huang)
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This Ritchey-equipped Scott (check out the tubulars!) belongs to current UCI cross-country world champion Nino Schurter.

This Ritchey-equipped Scott (check out the tubulars!) belongs to current UCI cross-country world champion Nino Schurter. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey's latest Curve bend features semi-anatomic drops and a relatively short reach.

Ritchey's latest Curve bend features semi-anatomic drops and a relatively short reach. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The silver finish on Ritchey's aluminum Classic line should appeal to riders that seek a more traditional look.

The silver finish on Ritchey's aluminum Classic line should appeal to riders that seek a more traditional look. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Even with the popularity of riser bars, bar ends are still very popular with cross-country riders, especially in Europe.

Even with the popularity of riser bars, bar ends are still very popular with cross-country riders, especially in Europe. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey offers its WCS Apex carbon road tubulars in 38, 50, and 88mm depths.

Ritchey offers its WCS Apex carbon road tubulars in 38, 50, and 88mm depths. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey offers its 10D bend in a number of different styles.

Ritchey offers its 10D bend in a number of different styles. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Ritchey's 10D bar features a wrist-friendly 10-degree sweep but the clever bend doesn't require you to swap to a longer stem to mimic the fit of more standard bends.

Ritchey's 10D bar features a wrist-friendly 10-degree sweep but the clever bend doesn't require you to swap to a longer stem to mimic the fit of more standard bends. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The new Ritchey Z-Max Shield (left) is intended for racing and hardpacked conditions with its fast-rolling low-knob design while the new Z-Max Grip features full-height knobs and soft rubber for better traction. WCS versions of both models are tubeless-ready with UST-type beads and standard casings to reduce weight.

The new Ritchey Z-Max Shield (left) is intended for racing and hardpacked conditions with its fast-rolling low-knob design while the new Z-Max Grip features full-height knobs and soft rubber for better traction. WCS versions of both models are tubeless-ready with UST-type beads and standard casings to reduce weight. (Image credit: James Huang)

Ritchey continues to build on its extensive range of wheels for the 2011 model year, and not just at the ultra-high end so consumers with more realistic budgets can get themselves into some new kit, too.

Time trialists and triathletes may take interest in the new Apex Carbon 88 road tubular wheels, built with a wind-cheating 88mm-deep profile and Ritchey-branded forged and machined aluminum hubs. Rather than use bargain-basement bearings, Ritchey upgrades to German SKF units along with a six-pawl ratchet system and an alloy freehub body.

Despite the modern look, the rear wheel's so-called 'Trifecta' spoking pattern is decidedly old school and dates back at least fifty years. Otherwise known as crow's foot lacing, radial and crossed spokes are used in combination on the driveside to lend greater lateral stiffness than crossed spokes alone would typically provide.

Standard two-cross lacing is used on the non-driveside rear and one-cross is used up front. Sapim stainless steel spokes are featured all around, and the externally located nipples should make for easier maintenance – especially with the glued-on tires.

Claimed weight for the pair is 1,684g and suggested retail price is US$1,850 including a set of titanium skewers. The Apex Carbon wheels will also be available in 50mm and 38mm depths for US$1,500.

Last year's semi-anatomic Curve road bar bend will get a more evolved stablemate called Evo Curve. The new version adds a four-degree rearward sweep up top matched to a slightly longer 83mm reach (though when combined with the sweep, it'll feel the same as the 73mm-reach standard Curve), plus a tight forward bend to maximize grip space on long climbs. Drop is set at 131mm.

Ritchey will offer four versions of Evo Curve road bars for 2011: the Pro for US$89.95; the WCS in bead-blasted black for US$109.95; the WCS in Wet Black for US$119.95; and the WCS in either Wet White or Wet Red for US$129.99.

Riders preferring a more traditional look can instead opt for the new 'Classic' road range of components, all of which are finished in a semi-polished clear anodized silver hue. The Classic collection will include Ritchey's 4-Axis stem, the Curve road bar, 10d Flat mountain bike bar, and a two-bolt seatpost. Pricing will be the same as on Ritchey's standard black finish bits.

Remember the Ritchey Z-Max tire? We certainly do, and for 2011 Ritchey will debut a new version called Z-Max Grip. Sporting a similar 'Vector Force Analysis' tread pattern as on earlier iterations, the latest model subs in a softer durometer rubber compound and taller, more aggressive knobs to better dig into loose ground.

The matching complement to the new Z-Max Grip is the faster rolling WCS Shield with its tighter and lower-profile central knobs paired with taller shoulder knobs to retain cornering traction.

Both tires will be available with easily convertible tubeless-ready beads for US$59.99. Claimed weight for the WCS Shield is 540g (26x2.1") while the WCS Z-Max Grip's more generous allotment of rubber will creep the weight up to 650g (26x2.0").