Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem
- Item: RIT0134 Actual Weight:"Actual Weight" means we weighed this item ourselves. 114 g
Alloy cockpits are preferred by many riders in the pro peloton because they inspire greater confidence in the event of a crash or impact, despite the slight weight penalties typically associated with alloy. Stiffness and vibration dampening are usually alloy's greatest nemeses, but with its WCS C-260 Stem, Ritchey has created a more compelling case for alloy. The WCS C-260 is a stem that is not only a full twenty or thirty grams lighter than the lightest alloy stems -- as well as many carbon fiber stems offered by most competitors -- it's also significantly stiffer as well. The WCS C-260 Stem is 3D forged from 7050 aluminum and then internally machined out to reduce weight. Combined with the 260-degree clamp, this stem gives you a significant uptick in stiffness at the aforementioned drastic reduction in weight.
If you look closely, you'll notice the stem's smaller faceplate profile and dramatic bolt angles. Ritchey managed to wrap the stem clamp a full 260 degrees around the bar, evening out the distribution of clamping stress through each of the interfacing pieces. Ritchey also opted to use stiff and lightweight M4-size CrMo steel hardware on the four-bolt faceplate and on the steerer tube clamp. The latter uses three bolts and a specially engineered curved slot to reduce excess clamp stress on carbon fiber steerer tubes and to further enhance the design's overall rigidity.
With to the stem's innovative 260-degree bar clamp, you'll notice that the horizontal opening for the bars between the base and the faceplate is significantly narrower than most stems (which typically open around 180 degrees or so). To mount the C-260, you'll simply need to remove the faceplate, and then slide the bars into place (you may need to first remove bar tape or any other obstructions). If you're still having trouble, this video from Ritchey should help simplify things. Note that due to this 260-degree clamp, the C-260 Stem works best with traditionally shaped alloy or carbon fiber bars.
The Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem is available in BB Black, Wet Black, Wet Red, and Wet White. Choose between lengths from 70mm to 130mm, in 10mm increments. It comes in +/- 6-degrees (an 84-degree rise) and in a 31.8mm clamp size only.