Project 24.2 Review: Ritchey WCS Carbon 1-Bolt seatpost

See all of our Project 24.2 posts here!

In order to meet the seatpost ideal of solidity, adjustability, and light weight, Ritchey have rethought their long-standing 1- and 2-bolt clamp designs. As others have learned (often the hard way), highly leveraged brittle hardened steel or titanium bolts are not always up to handling the forces generated by big riders and (especially on mountain bikes) hard landings. Ritchey’s new 1-Bolt seatpost design, seen here in its WCS Carbon version, presents a new take -the SideBinder- on saddle clamping. After several months on my single speed and our Project 24.2 race bike, it holds a lot of promise, with only a few minor considerations. Click through for more…

The WCS Carbon 1-Bolt’s SideBinder clamp sees the saddle’s rails resting on a long-ish aluminum lower clamp, which in turn rides on a U-shaped cradle in the woven (as tested) or unidirectional carbon fiber post. All pretty standard stuff. Where it gets neat is at the two outer clamps. Drawn together by a single M5 bolt, the low-profile clamps work against a taper on the cradle to pull the saddle rails down and the whole assembly against the top of the seatpost. Ultimately, the design is harder to describe than to set up or to use. Standard (round) saddle rails are accommodated by the standard outer clamps, while oval rails do call for taller aftermarket clamps.

Once adjusted for angle and position and tightened to the etched-on torque spec, the 205g (actual, 30.9x400mm) WCS Carbon 1-Bolt has done its job without complaint. No squeaking. No creaking. The 25mm offset tested works well for my current setup, though an inline version is also available.

My only complaint is a minor one- pulling the post out of the bike for the second or third time, I noticed that the post’s clearcoat was pretty badly scuffed- more so than other posts I’ve had in service for far longer. Also, before our Project 24.2 frame arrived, I had the WCS Carbon 1-Bolt mounted on an aluminum hardtail. In that application, I found the seatpost a bit too rigid- anyone looking for a bit of that fabled carbon fiber smoothness on a mountain hardtail, ‘cross, or road bike might want to look elsewhere (or petition Ritchey for a more forgiving version).

Bigger or more powerful riders looking for a stiff, lightweight post that’s so far been quiet and trouble free would do well with the Ritchey. The WCS Carbon 1-Bolt’s design is slick, simple, and works well and the price and weight are in line with carbon posts from Syntace, FSA, Crank Brothers, and others. Just make sure that you clean the inside of the seat tube well before inserting.

www.ritcheylogic.com

Comments

don - 02/21/12 - 9:45am

Like the ritchey stuff, but not a fan of setbacks. Is this a default from people riding frames too small for them?

Fisho - 02/21/12 - 9:48am

What I am really waiting for is an affordable monolink saddle and post. Tired of the seatpost clamps prematurely wearing a hole in my shorts and into my skin because of the all these cut-out design saddles.

uglyyeti - 02/21/12 - 10:03am

Seems to be a best of both worlds design combining the easy one-bolt setup that Moots and Eriksen use with the wide, stable platform like the Thomson.

trickle - 02/21/12 - 11:16am

This post is really, really nice. It came on my Scott Scale RC 29er and ive been very happy with it. I was skeptical given that ive always ridden thomson posts, however this thing has held firmly and performed awesome under race/xc conditions.

@don

Since when have setback posts not been the standard? Pretty much every stock bike comes through with a setback post.

dean - 02/21/12 - 1:20pm

it is also reversible for those who need a forward post

teh persons - 02/21/12 - 1:53pm

It does say the post is available in a zero offset as well.

WV Cycling - 02/21/12 - 1:58pm

I love Ritchey products. They’re my component choice on 2.5 out of 3 of my bikes. I do hate how their logos/decals end up disappearing after 3 or so years.

Mindless - 02/21/12 - 2:12pm

@don. Setback helps if you want a frame with shorter reach and steeper seat angle for maneuverability but still want to stretch out when seated.

Loki - 02/21/12 - 2:32pm

@ don One could argue that no setback is for people who ride their frames too large! Most frames are designed around posts with setback and it has a lot to do with seat angle /BB relationship rather than riding frames too small. Generally using a straight post deviates from what the designer intended.

Gillis - 02/21/12 - 3:10pm

Seat angle is a fixed entity for a given frame. For the wide spectrum of riders thigh length is not. A set back seatpost will allow those with longer thighs to put their knee in a more optimal position above the pedal spindle (bdc). Generally this is more important on a road bike where one’s position is more consistent and stable.

Bill - 02/21/12 - 6:31pm

I have the “wet red” version of this post, and it was a pain to install a plain old Selle Itallia SL saddle with AL rails on it. I really had to force the saddle onto the clamps to get around the hooked edges. Having dealt with far worse designs in the past, I won’t say it was a dealbreaker, but I could see the less strong (my girlfriend comes to mind) having difficulty setting it up. And yeah, Ritchey makes light, good looking products, but their finishing leaves something to be desired. The entire “wet” aluminum series chips and flakes really easy.

Mortimer - 02/21/12 - 7:22pm

I have three of these pillars in 27.2 (one is a Superlogic) and one in 31.6. They are on a road bike, single speed, hard tail and XC dualie. Two of these have carbon railed saddles and required the purchase of clamps for the thicker carbon rails. Having used most of the popular high end alu and carbon posts these are the ones I’ve come to like most and have stuck with. I have noticed that on the hard tail and single speed they will occasionally move or tilt even when torqued correctly. But only rarely and with big hits.

On the point of set back I do think this provides some leverage that makes the post flex and gives a small amount of compliance.

Don, the set back allows the rear wheel to be close to the seat tube for a short chain stay.

Danno - 02/21/12 - 8:40pm

Good on Tom for keeping the setback posts when the fads (and manufacturing ease) say straight post. I’ve got 3 WCS posts in the stable and one seatmast cap with a similar single-bolt design. Still longing for the day when I really lust after a set of Ritchey wheels to match my Ritchey cockpits.

Jamey - 02/21/12 - 10:25pm

I must be doing something wrong**, but I have NEVER had a properly functioning/well-crafted Ritchey product. Logos scratch off; clamps slip; aluminum seatposts deform; spokes break (on those gimmicky “Zero Offset” hubset wheels); saddles break; and so forth.

Not here to argue or change others’ minds, just saying that Ritchey stuff, at least in my experience, is little more than a triumph of label engineering.

**not.

jwest - 02/22/12 - 2:43am

@Bill: if you take a little time, you will find that almost zero force is required because the parts can slide together from the back of the saddle, rather than one side first then the other. Finesse it like a little metal puzzle next time and you’ll see there are different ways to skin this cat.

I have the superlogic 1 bolt on my cross bike, and got the kit of different rail size clamps which are a must these days with saddles having various rail heights. I will say that the Easton EC90 setback on my 29er is pretty sweet too with it’s all carbon parts and it goes nicely with the matching EC90 stem.

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