Thursday, September 22, 2011

2012 Ritchey WCS C260 stem - the controversial choice

What is it?
Its the new 2012 Ritchey WCS C260 stem, one of the lightest alloy mtb stems on the market. Not only lightweight, but also strong and stiff. Its 3D forged and machine cut from 7050 alloy, nothing extraordinary there, but what sets this stem apart from others is the 260 deg clamping area. This clamping area wraps around the bar, and has allowed Ritchey to cut more alloy away, whilst still having an extremely stiff stem.

So how light is it?
This light.

Surely thats too lightweight for AM use?
Thing is ive allready been riding this stem for 3 weeks, with no issues at all. No sideflexing, no creeks, no snapped bolts and no lateral/vertical flex. So far its no different than my previous PRO Koryak AM stem.
Apparently the CEN testing score (international strength testing) got passed with flying numbers, and Ritchey says its the strongest stem they have ever done.
Heres my thought about it: Sure its lighweight, but you have to take into account that im using a 70mm version, that's a whole different leverage ratio than, say, 120mm. Shorter is stronger. I did some research, I couldnt find a single broken alloy 70mm stem out there (no I didn't count older stems, nor freak accidents). Thing is, stems breaking today, is extremely rare - You are more likely to snap something else on the bike.

(click to enlarge)

260 deg clamping area
(click to enlarge)
Small 3mm bolts, and there is 3 of them in the back, along with a sweeping clamping system (its hard to see in this pic tho'):
(click to enlarge)

70mm, anodized black, 7 metal bolts in total:
(click to enlarge)

Im still stressing this stem. Stay tuned.


  1. like a syncros fric!

  2. Agree, there are definately some similarities. Isnt Syncros actually owned by Ritchey?

  3. V.P. is correct Syncros is owned by Ritchey and both items ship out of the same warehouse.

    We have also noticed, here at TWEAKED SPORTS, that this stem doesn't fit that great with bars with dramatic drops such as the FSA K Wing Carbon Bars. This is due to the 260 degree clamping area.

    Additionally, a freshly weight 80mm C260 weighs in at 96 grams or 3.4 oz.

    Check them out on our site and let us know what you think. Just in time for the holidays, around Thanksgiving, Ritchey is getting a fresh batch of C260's including the carbon version from their factory. So if you don't see the particular stem that you want check back in with us from time to time.