Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ritchey WCS Alloy Zero-Offset One-Bolt Seatpost

In the wide world of cycling, just about everyone riding accepts the stock setback of their seatposts without even a momentary thought.  Just get on and ride, then adjust the saddle, and maybe the stem to suit, right?  Well, the point is, we do not have to accept this regime at face value.  Why do bicycle manufacturers expect the consumers to blindly accept the almost universal 20-degree setback, thus leaving riders with the often fruitless game of finding the most comfortable, efficient stem length and saddle position?  Well, we don’t, if one just puts some thought into it.

I finally got tired of being the victim of the post setback I was innocently dealt and had, unfortunately, grown used to, since it pretty much was all which was offered off the showroom floor.  Besides, everyone was running with 20-degrees, anyway, right?  So, a plan of action went into effect.  First, a confession; I really, really like Ritchey seatposts.  They are extremely functional, have an ingenious one-bolt rail clamp system, provide some compliance, and just look darn good, to boot.  However, I almost gave that all up in my search for something with less than a 20-degree setback by going with another manufacturer.  Almost.

Recently I switched to a Shimano PRO Vibe 7S alloy bar and stem, so naturally, I went looking to the PRO Vibe 7S seatpost, as well.  I mean, it looked really good, promised to be stiffer than the Ritchey WCS, and offered a 15-degree setback.  Well, only it didn’t.  The Shimano catalog showed a Vibe 7S offering with the aforementioned 15-degree’s, and a Di2 post, also with 15-degree’s of setback.  Well, the reality of the situation is they only offer the Di2 post, and, as some of you may have already guessed, in only a 20-degree option.  Bummer.  So, back to the Ritchey catalog I went, and BAM!  I came across a WCS, zero-degree offset model.  It was the same WCS post I had come to love, it had the reduced offset I was looking for, however, unfortunately, it did not come in the gloss, red paint which looks so, so good.  OK, black it was to be.

And, the results?  Well, I have put a few hundred miles on the zero-degree offset post, and we, my backside and I, are extremely pleased with the additional range of saddle adjustment (for the record, I use a 120mm stem).  Doing all of the proper measurements for my body geometry, I quickly found my personal “Sweetspot.”  I feel more comfortable on the bike, and most importantly, I feel much more efficient, and my sector times on training routes bear this out.  I am slightly more upright, but I am able to produce more power, more comfortably, for longer periods of time.  What’s not to like about that? 

No longer will I be limited by the 20-degree seatposts of the world.   

The Specs:
  • 3D Forged TR741 Alloy
  • Available in 27.2, 30.9 & 31.6mm diameters
  • Available in 300, 350 & 400mm lengths
  • Interchangeable clamps provide compatibility for all popular rail sizes
  • 0mm Offset
  • 7x7mm saddle rail clamp included
  • Saddle Clamp Torque Spec: 12Nm
  • Available in black only
  • 195g (27.2/350)
  • Retail price: $89.95 USD

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