Ritchey recently showed us a few new and updated bikes for tackling gravel roads and adventure riding, but on top of their frames they’re also continuing to roll out a slew of new components. Often some of the most affordable and solidly performing gear out there, we’re really interested to try out their new mountain bike dropper post. The new WCS Trail Dropper seatpost comes in two travel lengths and uses a unique 3-position stepped drop. At the same time Ritchey has introduced a new shaped & flared VentureMax bar that promises drop comfort on your off-road adventures. Plus there is a new tire each for gravel, cross, and plus-sized mountain, as well as a few updated saddles, a new trail wheelset, and even a more affordable pedal. Get a close look at all of it after the jump…
WCS Trail Dropper
We first saw a prototype of the WCS Trail Dropper back at NAHBS, but now the details are in. The post is available in two diameters 30.9 & 31.6mm, and comes in two travel options 90mm or 125mm. Both of these get a 3-position drop, not infinite adjust like many on the market. Its key feature is supposed to be reliability, with a more simple mechanical internal mechanism, vs. more error-prone hydraulics.
The shorter travel 90mm post is XC focus, and steps down 40mm in the first move, then all the way. The 125mm trail post steps down 35mm then fully. The longer first move of the XC post was designed to work more on hardtails where if you are dropping, you likely want a not more at first.
To hit that first position, you have to unweight the saddle, tap the remote and sit down to that first click. It took us a few tries to figure out how to get it there without having to go all the way to the bottom or real past the first stop, but if you put it on your bike, you’ll likely get the hang of it. Already riding other droppers, these 3 positions are a good approximation of how ride even with infinite adjust, so if this makes Ritchey’s dropper lighter, cheaper, or more durable, we say why not?
The $350/380€ WCS Trail Dropper gets a two-bolt head, and uses stealth routing only and claims a weight of 417g for the 30.9×90 or 449g for the 30.9×125 without the remote. The all alloy remote lever can work with Shimano or SRAM integrated brake clamps or its own thin bar clamp.
The WCS VentureMax handlebar is a an ergonomic bend 7050 aluminum drop bar designed for off-road riding. Designed for adventure, the really wide flared drops are designed to offer more hand positions than most travel bars to better suit the growing off-road adventure touring and bike packing markets.
The bar gets a new style of measuring, based on the width at the first bend where you mount the levers, since width at the drops is so different.
The bar has 6° of sweep on the tops, and a 24° flare in the drops. It comes in 38, 40, 42, 44, & 46cm widths (at the hoods), has 76cm of reach and 102mm of drop. The WCS VentureMax sells for $95/100€ and weighs 275g in the middle 42cm size.
WCS Alpine JB
In an homage to Tom’s mentor Jobst Brandt who died last summer, Ritchey has a new road tire designed to roll as well on road as off, for the kind of riding they did together. The WCS Alpine Jobst Brandt comes in 700c both in 28mm & 35mm widths. The more narrow tire is more for fast-moving road riding and gets a tan sidewall, but the all-black 35 expects to see some rough action so is tubeless-ready at 348g a piece. We saw the tire first in it bigger guise on Ritchey’s new Outback gravel racer.
The WCS Megabite Cross reworks the old Mount Cross with lightened knobs in a new dual-compound tread in a new 120tpi tubeless-ready casing. The $50 tire comes in the same as the original big 700 x 38mm sizing.
WCS Z-Max Evolution
The WCS Z-Max Evolution isn’t new, but this plus sized version is. The 650b x73mm tire equates to a big 27.5x.8″ according to Ritchey. At $60/86€ the tubeless-ready tire will go nicely with a set of new…
WCS Trail 40
WCS Trail 40 650b wheels grow their previous rim width by a full 10mm to suit plus-sized tires. The new 27.5+ rim has a 40mm external width and 35mm internal, paired with an offset 24.2mm deep profile.
It uses 5mm of Ritchey’s OCR rim offset for better spoke tension, but even offsets the rim channel to keep the wheel light and easy to set up tubeless. Their two piece hub design lets Ritchey offer the wheels for either Boost or traditional spacing. Both options get 28 DT spokes on both ends and a claimed 1930g weight for the set.
In the continuing quest to shed a few grams at a time (and a lot form your wallet), Ritchey has introduced a new top-end to their short reach, shallow drop round drop road bar. The new Superlogic Neoclassic keeps the same 73mm reach/128mm drop with a classic curve. The UD carbon bar gets a wider clamping area for your bolt-on accessories. It will be available in 40, 42 & 44cm widths, with the middle one claiming a weight of 205g. Pricing is to be $320/345€, which is about a $40/45€ premium over the WCS Carbon version that weighs just 7g more.
A first for the Streem saddle shape, Ritchey has added a Superlogic level saddle. With a full carbon shell and rails it trims the weight down 10g from the original to 135g. That 10g doesn’t come cheap though; the price climbs to $300.
WCS Carbon Streem
New on the WCS Carbon Streem is the addition of width options. The popular saddle now gets the choice of either a wider 145mm width, or the new narrower 132mm. Pricing is the same for either at $160/175€.
The WCS Skyline saddles are a new ergonomic curved shape with a big perineal relief channel and cutout and 145mm width. At $150/160€ in the carbon version at 245g, it also comes with a regular nylon reinforced shell for just $100/110€ and a weight of 268g, with either white or black perforated synthetic covers for each.
Comp Trail Pedal
The Comp Trail Pedal gets the same shape and mechanics as the high end WCS pedal at a lower price and a bit more heft. The 402g pair of Comp level pedals will come in white, red, black, and blue, plus maybe that green.
Some of the new components have already made their way onto Ritchey’s website and into the supply chain, but most everything is slated for availability at the start of 2017.