July 8, 2014
Tom Ritchey has just announced possibly the most bizarre melding of old school looks and new school technology by launching a full carbon (apart from the stem clamp, that’s forged ally) bullmoose handlebar!
The venerable bullmoose design dates back to 1978/9 when Ritchey was a bike racer and frame builder. Having raced Marin Country’s famous Repack race and had his bars slip in the stem (costing him the win) Tom Ritchey went home and designed a brazed bar and stem combo that would eliminate this weak spot. Ritchey’s bullmoose bars would go on to become standard equipment on those early production ‘mountain bikes’ and it was only years later that designs like Salsa’s Moto stem offered reliable grip and lighter weight that caused its slide into obscurity.
But no more! 35 years later, thanks to a time machine, an iconic moustache and a carbon fibre component factory, Ritchey has reinvented this bullmoose design as the Ritchey WCS Bullmoose bar.
This time, Ritchey’s goal is different. “I wanted to make a light, strong and stiff front end for the modern mountain bike and the original Bullmoose design has a number of advantages,” Ritchey said. The triangle is a very strong shape, and by combining that design with added strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fiber and a forged alloy clamp, I was able to design a very light, very stiff front end that manages the increased torsional flex brought on by wider handlebars,” Ritchey said.
The new carbon bullmoose comes in at 350g for the bar/stem combo, which compared to a separate bar and a stem is pretty light. The width of the bar increases with stem length: the 70mm length is 720mm wide, the 80mm stem is 730mm and the 90/100/110mm lengths are 740mm.
Price will be €270 – so probably a couple of hundred pounds by the time it gets here in the autumn.