Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem

Priced: $91.00 - $130.00 Rated:   - 1 stars out of 5 by 1 review.
Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem
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Color: Wet White
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Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem -

Alloy cockpits are preferred by many riders in the pro peloton because they inspire greater confidence in the event of a crash or impact, despite the slight weight penalties typically associated with alloy. Stiffness and vibration dampening are usually alloy's greatest nemeses, but with its WCS C-260 Stem, Ritchey has created a more compelling case for alloy. The WCS C-260 is a stem that is not only a full twenty or thirty grams lighter than the lightest alloy stems -- as well as many carbon fiber stems offered by most competitors -- it's also significantly stiffer as well. The WCS C-260 Stem is 3D forged from 7050 aluminum and then internally machined out to reduce weight. Combined with the 260-degree clamp, this stem gives you a significant uptick in stiffness at the aforementioned drastic reduction in weight.

If you look closely, you'll notice the stem's smaller faceplate profile and dramatic bolt angles. Ritchey managed to wrap the stem clamp a full 260 degrees around the bar, evening out the distribution of clamping stress through each of the interfacing pieces. Ritchey also opted to use stiff and lightweight M4-size CrMo steel hardware on the four-bolt faceplate and on the steerer tube clamp. The latter uses three bolts and a specially engineered curved slot to reduce excess clamp stress on carbon fiber steerer tubes and to further enhance the design's overall rigidity.

With to the stem's innovative 260-degree bar clamp, you'll notice that the horizontal opening for the bars between the base and the faceplate is significantly narrower than most stems (which typically open around 180 degrees or so). To mount the C-260, you'll simply need to remove the faceplate, and then slide the bars into place (you may need to first remove bar tape or any other obstructions). If you're still having trouble, this video from Ritchey should help simplify things. Note that due to this 260-degree clamp, the C-260 Stem works best with traditionally shaped alloy or carbon fiber bars.

The Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem is available in BB Black, Wet Black, Wet Red, and Wet White. Choose between lengths from 70mm to 130mm, in 10mm increments. It comes in +/- 6-degrees (an 84-degree rise) and in a 31.8mm clamp size only.


  • Will not fit drop handlebars with aero section flat tops
Jenson USA
Ritchey WCS C260 Stem.

The Ritchey WCS C260 stem blends light weight with high strength performance to give you a cockpit that tracks straight and true. The WCS line for Ritchey is the gold standard for performance and the rainbow stripes represent Ritchey’s numerous World Championships won on Ritchey products.

Right off, you notice that the clamp on the Ritchey WCS C260 wraps a full 260 degrees around the handlebar to distribute clamping stress more evenly through the handlebar, faceplate, hardware, and stem body. Ritchey can make the WCS C260 a bit lighter because the handlebar clamping force is supported more by the stem then by the faceplate. The steerer clamp on the Ritchey WCS C260 also receives similar treatment with 3 smaller then normal M4 bolts to reduce clamping force on the steerer tube.

What is more difficult to see is Ritchey’s aim at keeping the WCS C260 stem strong and fatigue resistant. The Ritchey WCS C260 passes CEN certification (one of the industries most rigorous standards for safety in the bicycle industry), this despite weighing in 20 grams lighter and stiffer the Ritchey’s own 4-Axis stems. The Ritchey WCS C260 is built using 7050 aluminum that is 3d forged and internally machined to reduce weight. Premium chromoly bolts are used throughout in a smaller M4 size to save weight without compromising strength.

The Ritchey WCS C260 is available in BB Black (Matte), Wet Black, Wet White, and Wet Red. Due to the 260 degree handlebar clamp, the WCS C260 will not fit handlebars with aero section flat tops.

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Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Claimed weight:111g (110mm)
Handlebar Clamp:31.8mm
Rise:6 degrees
Steerer Clamp:1 1/8”
Suggested Use:Road/XC

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Ritchey WCS C-260 Stem Review:


Ritchey, Ritchey, Ritchey...
You thought you were just buying a "regular" stem, right? You know, one of those most basic - most simple - pieces of a modern bicycle. Ritchey is here to shock you, awe you, and absolutely disappoint you with this marvel of modern engineering, the C-260 stem. Reinvent the wheel? No, Ritchey has folded it in half, run it through a trash compactor, popped it out the other side, and presented it as a legitimate contender in this not-hot market segment.
If you read the copy, you'll note that - circa 1989 - you do, in fact, need to slide the bar through the mount instead of simply removing the stem faceplate. Classy. I'm sure there's a morphological reason, right? Oh, but Ritchey's own WCS Evo Curve bar won't fit in the clamp. So much for matchy-matchy. Another high point behind reinventing the wheel? Full 3mm hex bolts, so you can be certain to get the clamping force of a three year-old's tiny fingers on a monkeybar. Yes, even a torque wrench and carbon paste won't hold your bars in place as you roll over a manhole cover in a corner. Perhaps some epoxy should come with this engineering foible.
I guess it looks okay. And kind of matches my bike. Which is really like hearing a funny joke while all of your ribs are broken.

Nate King at Backcountry.com on 11/20/2013