Over time, steel frame bikes were replaced by aluminium to lighten their weight and increase rigidity. Then came the ‘be all and end all’ of frame building materials with the arrival and introduction of carbon frames, giving cyclists the enjoyment of stiffness and lightness, and the bonus of customisable comfort. Since its inception carbon has been virtually unquestioned as the ultimate frame building material. Ritchey has totally bucked this trend with this steel frame combined with a number of carbon components to give carbon frames a run for their money in every department.
As soon as I laid eyes on this amazing looking bike I could not help but become fond of it. With a full race setup of superbly fitted carbon componentry, the best of 11 speed mechanical components and a pair of high end deep carbon clincher wheels, I dare say anyone who chose to jump on it and enjoy all its pleasures would feel the same way.
Tom Ritchey has been building and developing steel framed road bikes for more than 40 years. All the homework needed, research and studies on this bike have clearly been done. From top to bottom, there has been nothing left out and nothing I could fault.
After spending the majority of my full time cycling life in the early 1990’s on a steel-framed bike, the return to steel on this bike was an absolute pleasure. With the complete bike coming in just on 8kg’s, I reckon it could mix it with the best carbon bikes on the market, but still gives the pleasure of that steel framed feel.
I began to grow more impressed with this bike as the review went on, and spent more time on this bike than I have during any other test. At the risk of overstating how this bike performs, I think it coped superbly with any kind of conditions I rode in.
Ritchey has developed their own forged and machined integrated head tube that uses standard drop-in bearings and saves 80 grams over a standard head tube design. This, combined with the full carbon fork allows this bike to handle and corner with precision and ease, and giving the front end of the bike a real feel of comfort and confidence.
The carbon fork and steel frame combination made this bike rigid but still smooth and very responsive. Whether cornering, climbing or sprinting, this bike has every answer to any challenge. After spending some time racing this machine and even motor pacing with it, there was not a single request I made of this bike that it couldn’t complete.
Ritchey has developed their Logic Road Frame to come in at just 1.77kg at the 55cm size. They then added almost a complete range of Ritchey components to this bike (that can also be purchased individually) along with a Dura-Ace 11 speed mechanical groupset.
In the absence of the suitable road version at the time of review, the bike was fitted with a Ritchey Trail saddle and a Ritchey Trail carbon seat post that are both usually found on a mountain bike, however both were more than comfortable for this test. Another great feature of this seat post is the ability to reverse the seat clamp enabling greater adjustment, giving the user every chance to get that perfect bike fit.
The handle bar and stem combination on this bike were very good too. Ritchey has developed their new super logic oversized carbon stem that has an increased boom diameter and a wider clamp. Gram for gram, it is the stiffest and most advanced stem Ritchey has ever developed. Coming in at just 125g, this stem has the looks and strength to make it one of the best stems on the market. And combined with the Ritchey super logic 42cm evo-curved carbon bars, comfort and stability in this area is well in hand. The bars have a shallow drop which suits this bike well keeping the front end tight for a good road feel.
The only very small downfall with the bars and stem is the bar tape needs to be removed back to the levers to be able to remove or change the stem. Once this small obstacle has been overcome the benefits of this stem-bar combination far outweigh the disadvantages of this. Ritchey Pro cork tape also added to the comfort level of these bars.
Along with these Ritchey components, is in my opinion the best and lightest 11 speed mechanical group set on the market. With Dura-Ace brakes, levers and front and rear derailleurs, every gear change and braking requirement was second to none. A clever addition to the front derailleur was a Token frame clamp fitted with an anti-drop chain bracket allowing you peace of mind whenever changing from the large to small chain ring. Ritchey also chose Token to supply the bottom bracket for this bike, which blended in well with the Dura-Ace cranks.
Undoubtedly the best addition to this quality road-racing machine is the outstanding choice of wheels. Ritchey has fitted their own carbon clincher Apex II wheels along with Ritchey WSC race slick tyres. This wheel and tyre combination weighs just 1,526g has turned this bike into a true racing machine. These wheels can also be purchased separately from Ritchey at the price of $2,500. This would be money very well spent to anyone serious about their racing and chasing a good clincher wheel. The wheels are 20 hole radial front, and 24 hole radial / two cross rear, laced to Phantom flange hubs. Combining the efficiency of straight pull spokes and the superior strength and durability of J-bend spokes, these wheels are constructed with the latest technology to produce a quality race wheel option.
Ritchey also included a pair of WCS Echelon V2 BB Black pedals. These Look KEO compatible pedals complement the other Ritchey components nicely. I thought another nice touch on this bike was the inclusion of Ritchey carbon bottle cages coming in at just 27g each. These lightweight designed cages will not only fit any size bottle, but hand on tightly to your bottles so you won’t lose them on rough roads.
Ritchey has not only given everyone an attractive option in the Road Logic which you can buy as a bare frame, but has bundled up a package here that is near impossible to resist, creating a bike that is a compelling mix of new age bling and classic ‘old school cool’.
Quality: This bike has quality from head-to-toe. It has the latest technology, full steel frame with superbly fitted carbon components from Ritchey. When you combine this with the latest Dura-Ace 11 speed ensemble, quality on this bike is just brilliant.
Performance: This bike performed well and accomplished any task it was required to do. It was stiff and rigid, whilst still being comfortable and handled all road conditions, whether cruising along or under full racing pressures.
Value: With the total value of this bike coming in at $8,928 you could possibly think it could be a little overpriced for a steel framed bike. However, given its performance and the superb carbon fittings, Dura Ace ensemble and carbon wheels, this bike could easily match any other bike within this price range.
Overall: I became extremely fond of this bike, and it was hard not to give it a great overall rating. It has outstanding looks, all of the latest carbon technology and the best mechanical group set on the market. This machine would make almost any user a very happy and satisfied person.
Frame: Ritchey Road Logic.
Fork: Ritchey WCS Carbon
Headset: Ritchey WSC Drop-in 1 1/8-inch.
Stem: Super Logic C260 Full-Carbon.
Handle Bars: Super Logic Evo-Curve O/S 42cm.
Saddle: Ritchey WSC Trail Black.
Seat Post: Ritchey WSC Carbon Link Trail.
Shift Levers: Shimano Dura Ace.
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace.
Front Dérailleur: Shimano Dura Ace.
Rear Dérailleur: Shimano Dura Ace.
Cassette: Shimano Dura Ace 11 Speed 28-11.
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace.
Crank: Shimano Dura Ace 170mm.
Bottom Bracket: Token TK 878 EX.
Wheels: Token Apex II Carbon.
Tyres: Ritchey Road Slick WSC 700x25mm.
Pedals: WSC Echelon V2 BB Black.
Price: $8,928 as tested.
Distributed by Kobie International