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.