Review: Ritchey SuperLogic EvoCurve Handlebar & C260 Stem
Ritchey’s SuperLogic components sit at the top rung of their line, representing the lightest and most advanced parts they make.
Two of the more recent items for road bikes are the C260 stem and EvoCurve handlebar. Both debuted last summer in the new matte black finish, with stems for both road and mountain bikes getting 260º openings. Compared to a 3K woven carbon WCS bar I had from just a few years ago, the UD SuperLogic EvoCurve is just as stiff but rides much smoother. And the stem is stiff as can be, which is what you’d expect from something with it’s girth.
They’re also super lightweight, and the bar’s shape is perfectly comfortable for my larger hands. Click on through for actual weights, shapes, details and the full review…
DETAILS & WEIGHTS
The SuperLogic C260 stem is Ritchey’s first full carbon stem. Only the bolts and faceplate are metal. The overwrapped opening for the handlebar is supposed to reduce stress on the faceplate bolts, but it also holds the bar in place safely in the event one of the bolts does break mid-ride. Well, safely enough to come to a stop without everything going horribly awry.
The faceplate bolts start from the rear and thread into the faceplate, putting all threads into the alloy part and eliminating the need for metal inserts in the hi-mod carbon body. The three bolts in the rear alternate directions and thread into small “nuts” that are basically stuck in there. Seems like a good solution without getting into comolding metal parts into the stem body. The bulk of the threaded section does extend a bit more than some other stems, and I’ve brushed it with my knee a few times when standing and cranking, but it and the bolts are rounded enough so it doesn’t scratch the skin.
The SuperLogic EvoCurve handlebar is a carbon monocoque bar that’s heavily shaped. The center section is OS 31.8 and clip-on aero bar compatible, but it drops down slightly as it moves outward. The flats have a 4º sweep and ovalize into a broad perch. Not only does it more closely match the position of my hand, but it spreads the load over a bigger area, reducing pressure points. On long rides, it helps prevent hot spots and numbness.
Drop and reach are a shallow 130mm/80mm for sizes 40, 42 (tested) and 44. A narrower 38 is also available and has a 75mm reach. The curve is a dual radius, giving it a slightly flatter section at the bottom without resorting to hard bends like the SuperLogic II.
The bottom has cable grooves on the forefront, which end up giving it a rounder total profile once wrapped with bar tape.
Weights are 122g for the stem (90mm tested) and 199g for the bar (42). Pretty darn light.
The backward sweep is more obvious from this viewpoint. The shape cable placement combined with Zevlin’s fairly thick (and comfortable!) bar tape makes for a nice fat resting place.
The stem could look out of place on thinly tubed bikes, but man is it stiff. There’s no rotation or flex at the bar.
The EvoCurve shape works great with hands on the flats, but depending on how you like your shifter placement, they might have too much of a slope on the drops. I tend to align the forward part of the flats with the angle of the stem so that they’re inclined just a bit, then try to get the hoods inline with that so I have one long, flat section for my hands. On these, this meant the drops are sloped down a bit too much for extended riding in them. But, I spend 99% of my time up top, so it’s not a big deal. I’m likely going to slide the grips up just a bit further on the bar next time I freshen up the bar tape, though, which might let me rotate the bar down a bit and fix some of that slope.
The SuperLogic EvoCurve bar and C260 stem are a great combo. I tend to ride mostly endurance pace and a little more upright to enjoy the scenery. For this, they do a great job of soaking up the vibrations…better, as mentioned in the intro, than their older woven carbon bar. Those were stiff at the expense of the damping that carbon bars are supposed to provide.
Now and then, though, I do have to hammer or outsprint a friend. In those cases, their stiffness is up to task.
On top of all that, they’re exceedingly light. That checks all the right boxes for me: Comfortable, stiff and very light. As for durability, I tend to ride rough roads, drop off curbs and do other things pure roadies scoff at…and I weigh about 185lbs. I haven’t broken them yet, but should something happen, I’ll update the post. Given my experience with a number of Ritchey components I’ve owned over the past fifteen years, I don’t anticipate any problems.
The only downside? They’re really, really expensive. Bar is $320 and stem is $300 at suggested retail. The good news? The WCS-level counterparts are only a few grams heavier and offer similar performance at much lower prices, particularly the stems.