Ritchey WCS V4 Mtn Pedal - Pro Review
Ritchey WCS V4 Mtn Pedal - Pro Review
By: Karl Etzel from http://ride424.com/
Date: July 25, 2006
[SIZE=-2]Photo ©: mtbr.com[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]Click to enlarge[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]Click to enlarge[/SIZE]
It has been about 8 years since I last experimented with pedals, having grown content with the reliable performance of my Time ATACs. I got hooked on their mud shedding ability when I lived on the east coast and was willing to live with the weight penalty. I've also grown to appreciate the positive engage/disengage feel of the ATACs, there is never any wondering if you are in or out. So these are some of the benchmarks I have in mind when I evaluate a new set of pedals.
When Ritchey showed me their polished titanium WCS V4 mountain pedals at Interbike last year I thought I might have finally found reason to look into a new option. They are way lighter than my old school ATACs, and feature a very open design that ought to shed mud well. They also move the cleat closer to the spindle centerline than the ATACs (allowing me to drop my saddle 3 mm). In addition they are simply gorgeous, reminding me of some of the road components released by Campagnolo back in the 90's that had an almost jewel like appearance (you remember, way back before carbon fiber became de rigueur in bling).
So when I got a chance to try out the pedals I jumped at it. After you get past the polished Ti finish, the next thing you notice about these pedals is what appears to be a really long spindle. My first thought was, there goes my Q factor. It turns out to be an optical illusion because once I put the pedal next to the ATAC it became clear that the actual location of the cleat over the pedal was right about the same spot relative to the crank face. I've now spent over a month on these pedals and raced them at US Marathon Nationals in Sonoma. Here are my impressions.
The cleat design allows you to rotate it and slide it laterally on your shoe more than the ATAC cleats, so I feel like I can get a more neutral position over the pedal. This is a good thing for those who might struggle with alignment or position issues. They seem to have less float though than the ATACs, so this might be a factor to consider. The float is also less smooth than the ATACS.
Spring tension is adjustable, I just left it in the middle at the factory setting and have been very happy with it. I cranked it all the way up and did not notice any "non-linear" behavior, sometimes the engage difficulty shoots off the chart but the Ritchey V4s seemed to provide predictable engagement effort with spring tension. Engagement is easy and crisp but not as decisive as the ATACs. After my max-tension experiment I reset the tension to the middle of the range and have left it there.
Having been on these pedals a short time I can't say much about durability, but I do notice a small amount of lateral bearing play in one of the two pedal sets I have. If this does not grow over time or lead to shortened bearing life, then I will probably chalk it up. We'll have to keep an eye on this. The little cover for the internal bushing came off one pedal, I pushed it back on it has been ok since then.
Several near-wash out experiences gave me the chance to evaluate the pedals in emergency bail out mode and I was able to get out & back in with no trouble.
Finally, advertised weight on these is 248 grams/pair, and the scale says Ritchey is right on - they came in at 247.
So far my only gripe is that the pedals seem to release awkwardly when I am doing cyclocross dismounts and my weight is on the left pedal as I am clipping out. I need more time to evaluate this fully, so tune in as cross season approaches and I'll have an update on this. I'll also be evaluating the mud performance during cross season, I'm a little late in the year to be doing that now.
- Low profile
- A little bearing play will need to be watched for degradation over time
- Float is not as smooth as some other pedals
- Need more experience with cross dismounts to see what is up with the funky release
I give these a "provisional" 4 chilis out of 5, with final rating tbd after more miles & cross experience
WCS model is $249.95
Pro version (non-titanium) is $119.95
Mtbr.com User Reviews. Read or post your own review:
Pro Review written by: Karl Etzel
Last edited by francois; 07-26-2006 at 05:27 PM.
IPA will save America
Great post! I'm riding the Time Atac XS Titatanium pedals myself which are awesome. Gonna hold on to them a little longer, although the Ritchey's seem interesting ;o)
this is good news, a great review of the Ritchey pedals. I don't need to look no further!
What cleats do they use?
I have bought V4 road pedals for my new road bike build up and I liked them so much I bought a pair for my mountain bike.
Those are beautiful. If I ever become discontented with my Eggbeaters, I'll give those a shot. Nice review.
The Ritchey pedals come with a cleat by Ritchey. Very similar to Shimano SPD cleats. my Shimano cleats won't click into my V4 pedals but my Ritchey cleats do work on Shimano pedals that I have on another mountain bike.
Unless these pedals are much improved upon last years V4 model: save your money and spend them on much-longer lasting pedals such as the Shimano 520/540's or perhaps even the new XTRs. I do like these pedals for their low profile and their low weight.
1. But they lasted only six months, bearings destroyed due to poor sealings, lots of play.
2. I destroyed the aluminium bolt on one of 'm when trying to open the housing to put some grease in there.
3. Also the thin aluminium cover on the inside came loose continuously.
4. Another grief: spring tension is too low, after a couple of week I already had them set to the max.
me2: having grown content with the reliable performance of our Time ATACs. We've also got hooked on their mud shedding ability, esp. when I raced the Downieville XC Classics. We've also grown to appreciate the positive engage/disengage feel of the ATACs, there is never any wondering if you are in or out, esp. during hard pedaling over short, but steep technical ascents.
Due to this fine review, we will now consider these Ritchey WCS V4 Mtn Pedals..., esp. since Ritchey is a kind sponcer of norcalmtb.org, high school racing league.
The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.
Were you using the Pro version? I had a set of the pros last season, and had the same issues. I ditched them for eggbeaters and candys.
Originally Posted by djska
I ordereded the 'Ritchey Pro V4 MTB' on Aug 2 2005, they where the only available V4-type back then.
Originally Posted by YonderUnit
The new pedal looks exactly the same, so I expect them to last just as long as the earlier version. The thin alloy cap on the inside of the pedal is still there. Back then I was practicing moves like a 180 bunny hop and these caps came loose after only a couple of rides. You can press it back into position but since it's only an alloy cap it will be slightly deformed and prevent the body rotating.
I had a similar bad experience with the first EggBeaters, absolute crap, requiring continuous maintenance. I'll never go back to CrankBrothers pedals again...
To put this into perspective: never have had to perform maintenance on Shimano/Wellgo/DMR-pedals.
Last edited by djska; 11-20-2006 at 12:55 PM.
any updates?would love to know If they last.