RITCHEY ROAD LOGIC

£2699 › A log­i­cal de­ci­sion?

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

Tom Ritchey is cycling’s se­rial in­no­va­tor. Even be­fore build­ing one of the first moun­tain bikes in 1978, he’d been build­ing road frames for six years, and rac­ing his own bikes with great suc­cess at USA na­tional level. Af­ter per­fect­ing his fil­let braz­ing tech­nique, Ritchey be­gan us­ing larger, of­ten ovalised tub­ing in his lu­g­less frames, and with the ar­rival of TIG weld­ing, de­signed his sig­na­ture Logic butted tub­ing in 1984. The heat-treated, triple-butted tub­ing on to­day’s Logic frame­set is de­rived from the orig­i­nal con­cept, with short butted sec­tions op­ti­mised for TIG weld­ing and weight sav­ing.

Those 45 years of frame build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence are brought to bear on the Road Logic, where its forged and ma­chined ta­pered head-tube saves 80g com­pared to a con­ven­tional de­sign with ex­ter­nal head­set cups. We tested a 55cm ex­am­ple, with its claimed frame weight of 1769g, plus 345g for the car­bon fork, and with a high qual­ity build, the only dif­fer­ence in over­all weight be­tween the Logic and a sim­i­larly-equipped car­bon ma­chine is the frame’s 800g or so additional mass.

At 7.82kg (M), the Ritchey is the light­est on test, and helped by its full Shi­mano Ul­te­gra com­pact groupset, and by the all-Ritchey com­po­nent list.

Neat touches abound, from the cast dropouts to the split seat­post clamp­ing sleeve that strength­ens the top of the seat-tube, and holds the seat­post firmly by squeez­ing the seat­stays to­gether with a neatly in­te­grated bolt. But if that slen­der tub­ing gives the im­pres­sion of be­ing too spindly to per­form, think again.

There’s a par­tic­u­lar feel­ing that comes with rid­ing steel, and even though mod­ern in­car­na­tions are tem­pered by hav­ing a car­bon fork, and seat­post too in this case, it’s un­de­ni­ably unique. When seated, it

45 years of frame build­ing ex­pe­ri­ence are brought to bear on the Road Logic

feels sim­i­larly ef­fi­cient to car­bon, if a lit­tle more talk­a­tive, but when stand­ing, you feel the in­her­ent lat­eral flex more. Climb­ing out of the sad­dle ac­cen­tu­ates the frame’s nat­u­ral spring as you push through the power phase of each rev­o­lu­tion.

Ritchey’s WCS Zeta II wheelset has shal­low, slightly aero­dy­namic rims, asym­met­ric at the rear, with bladed spokes and a wide stance up front. They’re use­fully re­spon­sive and although just 22mm wide ex­ter­nally, in­crease the vol­ume of the own­brand 25mm tyres to a plump 27mm, just within the frame’s rec­om­mended 28mm max­i­mum. That ex­tra size equals more grip, and the Logic seem­ingly con­forms to the road sur­face in cor­ners, push­ing against the tyres be­fore fir­ing out again.

The frame com­mu­ni­cates road feel well, with sharp bumps and ex­ces­sive vi­bra­tions smoothed by the tyre vol­ume, car­bon seat­post and clas­sic bend car­bon bar. Ritchey’s Streem sad­dle is a good shape and very sup­port­ive, but lightly padded and on the firm side. A more cos­set­ing per­sonal choice could im­prove long range com­fort. Our 55cm bike has 73.5-de­gree seat and head-tube an­gles, en­sur­ing quick, lively han­dling, but it’ll still de­scend with so­lid­ity and feels sharp when turn­ing in to cor­ners, which it whips through like a snake.

The Logic wants you to take that ex­tra loop, and re­wards you with a ride that com­bines old-school knowhow with mod­ern sen­si­bil­i­ties.

Be­low The Ritchey Logic butted tube de­sign has been around since 1984 Bot­tom Shi­mano Ul­te­gra com­pact groupset helps to save weight

If you ever em­ploy Logic in a buy­ing de­ci­sion, this is where you might end up

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