When a cyclist selects a handlebar, not only do they have to know what they like and want, but they have an incredible set of options to choose from. This is great from a consumer perspective, as abundant choices mean you will likely find the perfect bar for you. A major consideration in modern handlebar selection has to be current shift/brake lever design and placement. Almost all of the current shift lever options have been developed to give the rider a better hand placement off the bar, with the brake lever blade angle perpendicular to the ground. So called “classic” bars are still the favorite of many cyclists for the smooth contour shape of the drop and bottom of the bar. The problem with the new renditions of this concept is that they just haven’t mated smoothly with the newer levers. Enter the WCS Neo Classic from Ritchey.
It sounds simple. Just re-design the top of the curve for the new levers, right? Well it has proven difficult. This design from Ritchey has cracked the code for most classic bend lovers. The long reach of the classic bars actually was over accentuated by the longer lever top, and thus pushed the levers too far away. The new trend towards short and shallow handlebars has largely be defined by the increased reach of the new lever designs. Ritchey maintained the shorter reach, redefined the the classic curve to match, kept the bar shallow, but made sure the end of the bar was flat and long enough for true hand placement flexibility. The drop is accessible and comfortable for most riders. The only drawback is for riders with very large hands, as the shallow configuration could be less than ideal. All in all, the WCS Neo Classic gives traditionalists something to cheer about, and may well recruit many new acolytes. Oh, and yes, this is a WCS alloy bar, so you get excellent Ritchey quality and attention to detail in an affordable bar at 260 grams (42 width). The Neo Classic was developed with considerable input from Ritchey sponsored pro cyclists, many of whom have been racing with it ever since. Now it is your time to turn back the clock.