Need a new stem. Ritchey WCS C260 or Zipp Service Course SL

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by jspaceman

I'm building up a Trek Domane 6 frame. It looks like I'll need a new stem, as the Deda Newton from my old bike is too short. I'm considering either the Ritchey WCS C260 or the Zipp Service Course SL. Both are aluminum. The Zipp has Torx bolts and I think the Ritchey has Torx bolts now (I read elsewhere that it originally came with hex bolts, but those were stripping for some people).

I have Zipp Service Course SL bars on the bike, so the Zipp stem would match those. The Ritchey seems lighter (103g for 100mm vs. 120g for a 100mm Zipp). But the Ritchey seems like it would be a pain to install due to the 260 degree clamp and the way the bolts face towards the rear.

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by Oswald

Looking at a few online shops the Zipp is roughly 25 EUR more expensive and over 15 gr heavier.
Seems like a no brainer to me.

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by gospastic

I have a teammate who is switching from the Ritchey to the Zipp stem. The bolts did indeed strip on his. Another issue is that the steerer clamp would not tighten correctly. The wheel would start off centered, but once he started tightening the bolts to spec it would shift slightly so that by the time they were torqued the stem was noticeably not straight.

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by Grill

The newer C260 ships with better bolts. FWIW I have 2 and never had an issue (original bolts although the rep sent through new ones). Also never had a problem getting it straight and never had slip (all torqued to spec). All in all it's a really nice stem.

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I have two C260s and am happy with them. They can usually be found pretty cheap on ebay. If you have trouble with the bolts stripping (I did), Ritchey will happily send you bolts that use Torx heads instead of hex. They are fairly stiff as well and feel great when you're out of the saddle.
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by Shortsocks

Of the two, Ive only ever used the Zipp Service Course SL Beyond Stem in 17degree and 6 degree. Never had a problem with either of them. One issue I did have which wasn't a problem but just more irritating was how small the face plates are.

They are so so thin, a little bit more difficult to center and I really didn't like the bolts. Not a big problem just irritating.
I got Mrs.Shortsocks a 80mm for her Bianchi and I switched out the bolts. I dont need her messing with the "normal bolts" and stripping them....

I was really surprised on how light the stem was for a non Exotic stem. I weighed in my 110 6degree at 119 grams. Its not an extralite but I did buy it for 45 bucks. So im not complaining.

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by Rick

I have used 2 C260s now, and they both have hex bolts. I deliberately bought the hex bolt version just because the older stock is on sale and is cheaper.
I have had no problems at all with the bolts, but I always use a torque key, and because I know they are small, I make sure the hex head is solidly engaged before torquing.

They seem exceptionally stiff; but I don't know why, because I guess they actually didn't show up as stiff in the actual stiffness testing. I can't explain that.

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by eric01

Have both a C260 and Zipp. Started off with the C260 but then switched to Zipp because I wanted a 10mm longer stem and wanted to try something different. If I don't look down, I can't tell the difference between the two other than the length difference
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by Thanh

I had 3 ritchey c260 and always happy with them, light and won't break the bank. Go for c260 ;)

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by ToffieBoi

They both are good stems. (Regarding to my researchs)
I used Zipp, -17 degree model for a really long time and it was quite good. Now my 100kg friend is using it and he was really happy with it.

You can't go wrong with any of them, but;
Since you have Zipp handlebars, Zipp stem will be better.

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by topflightpro

I bought a couple C260 stems a couple months ago.

They work fine. The bolt placement is kind of a PIA to deal with. I bought a new Ritchey Torque key for it because it was too much work to use my regular torque wrench with a torx bit, and my old Torque Key was only a 4mm allen wrench.

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by Miller

I have a C260 on one bike, has been there a couple of years now. One thing I really like about it is that it has a very clean look. Because the bolts are minimalist and tucked away to the front of the bar, the stem/bar combo looks quite integrated.

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by jspaceman

In the end I opted for the Zipp Service Course SL. It has a gloss black look that better matches my bike, whereas the Ritchey was more of a matte black. Ritchey does have a C260 stem in a gloss black, but I believe it's not just aluminum but rather an aluminum body with a carbon 'skin'. Plus it's more expensive and would have given me minimal weight savings. And the Zipp stem comes with Ti Torx bolts, whereas the Ritchey had CrMo Torx bolts.

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by Oswald

I just installed my C260 and was a bit concerned about the bolts. They are very tiny indeed. It said to torque them to 5Nm max, but I stopped at 4Nm.
The front end feels stiffer then the Ritchey 4 Axis and the Easton EA90 stem that were on the bike previously. It came in at 121 gram for a 13cm.

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by Imaking20

Glad you went with aesthetics. Of the alloy stems I have (Ritchey 4 axis, C260, Zipp SL BB, 3T Stealth) the finish on the Zipp is the best. It just looks very sharp and like a quality product. The C260 is cool because it's different but it's definitely a pain to mount most bars, you have to unwrap the bars to change stems, and I think anyone who tells you one of the stems I've mentioned feels stiffer than another is pulling your leg.

My 120mm Zipp stem is 120g. My 110mm C260 is ~109g. I'll take the weight penalty.

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