While Tom Ritchey himself may be considered one of the godfathers of the MTB, the company has a serious commitment to road. Their road components can be seen everywhere from NRC battles here in the US with UnitedHealthcare to the Spring classics and Grand Tours with Omega Pharma Lotto and Lampre. Those teams have proven Ritchey bars, stems and seat posts are among the very best available.
For 2010 Ritchey announced a new pro sponsorship with Webcor Builders Women’s team. This sponsorship was a little different, yes, cockpit components were involved, but for the first time Ritchey was also providing wheels to a pro team. With the success of their other components a new focus on wheels by Ritchey cannot be ignored.
Knowing Ritchey’s commitment to quality design and obsessive testing, both in the lab and in the field, we were determined to get some of their wheels in for long term test and they recently provided us with two sets; the WCS Zeta and the WCS Apex.
The WCS Zeta is the go to training wheel and is occasionally raced by the Webcor Team. It is a 24mm deep Vanadium alloy clincher using premium Sapim spokes and German bearings. Ritchey uses 24mm to allow the rims some compliance vertically giving some comfort to the notoriously harsh ride all aluminum clinchers typically deliver. Their quality construction is gaining fans among the Webcor Team with Katheryn Curi Mattis, a former US National Elite Road Champion saying,
“They are stiff and responsive and super durable without being heavy. I never worry about breaking them even on the roughest ofroads…”
The WCS Zeta’s weigh 1545-grams for a set and cost $799.90.
The WCS Apex wheel is a 50mm deep carbon tubular. While the rims are a traditional deep V, Ritchey chose 50mm rather than the more typical 58mm depth for the rim. The reason for this is to provide an aero advantage for riders more concerned about cross wind performance and to help the wheels shave a few grams for those typically smaller riders. Sapim spokes and German bearings round out the cold forged and CNC’d hub shells. The bearings use a wide stance to increase stiffness.
The WCS Apex 50mm carbon tubulars cost $1499.90 and weigh 1397-grams for the set.
Peloton will be putting both sets of wheelsthrough a long-term test here in California. Stay tuned for full video review later this winter.