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Ritchey 2016: New Apex and Superlogic Zeta II wheels and Tom Slick gravel tyres

Ritchey adds carbon and tubeless disc brake wheels to 2016 range plus new Tom Slick gravel tyres

Ritchey has several new products up its sleeves for 2016, including new carbon fibre wheels with tubeless and disc brake compatibility, and Tom Slick tyres aimed squarely at the growing gravel and adventure segment.

New wheels first. The Superlogic Zeta II is the company’s newest aluminium road clincher wheelset. Ritchey has incorporated LogiCote, an ‘electro-ceramic surface-hardening treatment’ that is intended to make the brake track last longer. Ritchey reckons this treatment ‘virtually eliminates’ wear from braking. That's an eyebrow-raising claim. It’s also reckons to provide better braking performance in the wet.

The wheels weigh a claimed 1,391g, with a pair of Phantom Flange hubs and 20/24 DT Aero Comp spokes and alloy nipples. The rims are tubeless-ready.

The WCS Apex Carbon 38mm disc brake clincher wheels are new. The market for disc and tubeless-ready wheels is a small one, but is steadily growing. These have a claimed 1,747g weight and use a disc-specific rim profile, with a 18.4mm internal width. They’re tubeless compatible and the hubs uses the Shimano Centrelock disc mount standard.

The hubs are compatible with most axle standards using interchangeable hub endcaps. The front hub accepts QR9, 12 and 15mm thru-axles, the rear hub QR10 or 142x12mm thru-axle. The WCS disc hubs use offset flanges to increase the spoke bracing angle for a stiffer wheel, and there are 24 spokes in both wheels.

A WCS Apex Carbon 38mm Rim Brake Clincher wheelset is also available. The rims are also tubeless-ready with an 18.4mm internal width, and are laced to WCS Phantom Flange hubs with 20/24 spokes. They weigh 1,560g, a sizeable 187g lighter than the disc version.

Now onto tyres. The Tom Slick is designed for the growing gravel/adventure/allroad/roadplus/call it what you want market. It’s a slick tyre with ‘grip-boosting VFA grooves’ and  reinforced casing intended to ensure the tyre can hold up to some rough roads and resist cuts and holes. It’s also intended to allow lower pressures with no compromise.

It’s available in a number of sizes, 700c and 650B in 27mm width, and two 26in sizes as well. The 700c version weighs a claimed 285g.

With the cyclocross season now under way, it’s a good time to talk about the new Shield Cross Tubeless Ready tyre from Ritchey. While most serious cyclocross racers are rigidly sticking to tubular tyres, there’s a growing number keen to go down the tubeless path. There’s more wheel choice, but tyre choice is still the hurdle. The new Shield Cross tyre features a tubeless-ready casing with a low-profile tread pattern, designed to offer all-round suitability for a range of conditions. It’s 35mm wide and weighs a claimed 398g.

Lastly, ever get a puncture out on a ride but forget to pack your tyre levers? Ritchey’s new Barkeeper Lever replaces regular bar end plugs with one incorporating a tyre lever. So whenever you ride, you’ll always have a pair of levers to hand.

We'll have prices and availability soon. More at

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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KiwiMike | 8 years ago

I thought the tyre levers were a cool idea.

Then I remembered the inevitable untidy mess that repeated removal and reinsertion of the plug is going to make of your bar tape.

Of course, YMMV regarding fit, thickness of tape etc, but generally I'm glad to ram that barend plug home and leave it there until weather, friction and debris dictate it's time for New Tape.

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