Urban Cyclist - - On Test -

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.

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