RITCHEY ROAD LOGIC
Tom Ritchey is cycling’s serial innovator. Even before building one of the first mountain bikes in 1978, he’d been forging road frames for six years. Those 45 years of framebuilding 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. That tubing dexterity ensures the Ritchey is the lightest on test, 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 also holds the seatpost firmly by squeezing the seatstays together with an 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 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 own-brand 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 carbon bar. Ritchey’s Streem saddle is a good shape and very supportive, but lightly padded and on the firm side. Ultimately, the Logic wants you to take that extra loop, and rewards you with a ride that combines old-school knowhow with modern sensibilities.