Believe it or not, drop bars aren’t as simple as you might think. The myriad of shapes, reach lengths and drop designs can be a bit boggling. Having ridden quite an array of bars over the years, I’m liking the design of the Ritchey WCS EvoCurve bars.
Ritchey WCS Carbon EvoCurve Features:
- Short reach, shallow drop with 4 degrees sweep at the ovalized top section and smooth, double-radius drops
- Center section is aero bar compatible
- No-slip grit at stem and brake lever mounting surfaces
- Cable grooves
- Carbon monocoque design
- Available in 40/42/44cm widths (C to C)
- 31.8mm diameter
- Drop/Reach: 38cm = 130/75mm — 40, 42, 44cm = 130/80mm
- 220g (42cm)
- MSRP: $299.95
EvoCurve is a big deal
With all the flavors of drop bars on the market, how do some stand out above the rest? Some do it with shorter reach designs built to accommodate proper-length stems. Others do it with unique drop curves built to feel better in-hand while descending at breakneck speed. Ritchey has delivered a nice short/shallow reach and drop with an added twist called EvoCurve.
The purpose of EvoCurve is to provide added hand comfort by effectively reducing the reach and increasing the supported surface area of the palms. As your hands dance around the bars on long climbs or flats, it’s easy to settle in either in the drops or on the EvoCurve area of the bars, as shown below.
EvoCurve effectively adds 4-degrees of backsweep to the tops of the bars. While backsweep is common on mountain bike bars, it’s not so common with road bikes. The result, in my miles so far, is added comfort and the ability to further relax my back at times on long stints in the saddle.
I also particularly appreciate the ability to grab hold of the tops more comfortably. Why not take a look at your hands for a moment. Put them out in front of you as if holding onto the tops of your bars. Take note of your fingers — they curve inward from the index finger to the pinky. That natural curvature is accommodated well by the backsweep provided with the WCS EvoCurve (and all Ritchey EvoCurve models).
How about the WCS EvoCurve ride quality?
Aboard the Scott Addict SL, the WCS EvoCurve bars have been fantastic. As mentioned, the EvoCurve design is quite comfortable and the monocoque carbon layup is both chatter-reducing and stiff at the same time. Laying into chattery corners while in the drops, these bars don’t feel mushy at all. Instead, you get pinpoint accuracy with all that invisible performance.
As far as sizing goes, I’ve been running the 42cm, which was standard on the 56cm Addict SL. For my shoulder width, I’m best served with 44cm. Get to your bike fitter and be sure you are ordering the right size for your body shape and keep in mind that Ritchey measures center-to-center (the most common way these days).
- EvoCurve tops adds a nice dose of comfort
- Grabbing the tops feels more natural
- Nice short and shallow reach/drop
- “Point It” confidence
- Accepts clip-ons, if that’s your thing
- Weight is a little more than others in the category (Superlogic cuts that weight gap)
- No 46cm available for the big guys
The Bottom Line
Ritchey’s EvoCurve design adds noticeable comfort on long rides. I quite like the backsweep, which provides more comfortable hand positions when climbing up miles and miles of vert.
Buy Now: Available at CompetitiveCyclist.com