First Look – 2012 Ritchey C260 WCS Stem

Parts

Ritchey unveiled three new products at the recent DealerCamp expo out in Park City, Utah. First of those three products was the C260 WCS Stem. We were able to get some time with one recently and can say we’re quite impressed with the new stem. The stem is noticeably light when picked up (100grams for 100mm), and according to Sean Coffey of Ritchey Design, the C260 passes CEN testing with flying colors. It’s said to be the strongest stem Ritchey has every produced and features some key designs that set it apart from most any other stem.

The stem is first 3D forged and then machined from a special 7050 alloy that Tom Ritchey has meticulously picked out specifically for the C260 stem application. Also, you won’t find any titanium bolts or carbon on this stem. The stem reaches it’s feather light weight due to the new 260 degree clamp design that wraps over the bars. This allows Ritchey to machine more of the alloy away to bring the weight down. The 260 degree design also better supports more of the handlebar, alleviating stress on the hardware and allowing for use of smaller bolts 3mm bolts as opposed to the traditional 4mm.

Speaking of bolts, you’ll also notice the use of 3 similar 3mm bolts at the rear clamp. This setup is unique, with the patented radius cut, a slight departure from the bias cut they’ve used in the past, it distributes the stress across the steerer tube better.

The new C260 stems will be available in the traditional bb black ($109.99), as well as wet red ($129.99), wet black ($119.99), and wet white ($129.99) next month. Sizes include 80mm, 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, 120mm, and 130mm – all will flip-flop plus or minus 6 degree angles.

A carbon matrix version of the C260 will also be available for $159.99. The Carbon Matrix C260 like all Carbon Matrix Ritchey stems features a carbon wrap that adds structural rigidity. Where the C260 alloy stem is 30% stiffer than a Ritchey 4-Axis stem, the Carbon Matrix version is 44% stiffer. The Carbon Matrix C260 is also slightly heavier at 18-22 grams because more of the alloy underneath the carbon wrap is machined away to keep both the alloy and carbon versions of the C260 at the same dimensions.

Video and more Photos after the jump

Sean Coffey Shows us the new Stems recently at DealerCamp, including how to install the stem.

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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