Ritchey WCS NeoClassic handlebar

Alloy bars offering plenty of bang for your buck

Tom Ritchey founded his eponymous brand more than 40 years ago, with the goal of shaving weight off the hand-built bikes he made for racing without compromising strength. His focus shifted to component design shortly afterwards, but the ethos remained the same – functional, lightweight, reliable.

In fact, the American brand, which supplies finishing kit to British pro Mark McNally’s Wanty-Groupe Gobert team among others, is still guided by a mantra of ‘logic’, as opposed to flashy products and the unnecessary use of expensive materials.

Sure, there’s some kit in the range which will make your eyes water, but, all things told, Ritchey supply plenty of components which offer a lot of bang for your buck – like the WCS NeoClassic handlebar.

Ritchey’s WCS (World Championship Series) alloy bar range consists of four models, with the NeoClassic joined by the Logic II, Evo Curve and Streem II. There’s practically nothing between them price-wise with the biggest difference essentially being the shape of the drops.

The NeoClassic, as the name suggests, is a modern take on Ritchey’s timeless handlebar, offering the traditional round drops still favoured by many pros, but updated to offer a shorter reach and shallow drop.

Ritchey do, of course, also produce carbon bars – the 190g, £265 Superlogic II topping the range – but the WCS NeoClassic is such a good ‘bar, in our opinion, that you can save money without worrying about quality or even looks.

In fact, the ‘blatte’ finish (it’s a black matte, get it?) offered by Ritchey even gives it the feel of carbon as you unbox it. It’s a stunning finish but Ritchey also offer a ‘wet black’ if you’re not keen.

In terms of fit, the NeoClassic has a 73m reach, 128mm drop and a traditional round bend, with the drops extending far enough to offer more possible hand positions than anatomical or ergo bends, according to Ritchey.

As a result, this is a really comfortable handlebar whether riding on the drops or on the tops, with plenty of space to rest your hands on both. When testing this handlebar, we actually found we used the drops more often.

RCUK 100 2017 - Ritchey NeoClassic handlebar
RCUK 100 2017 - Ritchey NeoClassic handlebar

Ritchey WCS NeoClassic Handlebar

As we mentioned at the top, Tom Ritchey’s original goal was to shed weight without compromising stiffness, and these ‘bars stick true to those goals. We found them plenty stiff enough, and there’s enough of a split in the pro peloton between durable aluminium handlebars and their lightweight carbon counterparts to prove it ultimately comes down to personal choice.

All that’s left to mention, then, is that the ‘bar is made from a triple-butted 7050 alloy and is available in three sizes (40cm, 42cm and 44cm). Claimed weight is 260g and we found that to be pretty much spot on, with the 42cm ‘bar adding just three grams.

As far as we’re concerned, the Ritchey WCS NeoClassic is a winner. Pair it with a Ritchey WCS c220 stem, as we did when we had the finishing kit in for review, and you have an excellent cockpit at a reasonable price. It’s performs like a dream and looks so, too.

[monetizer101 search=’Ritchey WCS NeoClassic Handlebar’ price=’90’]


Selected for The RCUK 100 2017

View the full 100
Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.