WHAT: Ritchey WCS Logic Headset
HOW MUCH: $95.00
There are plenty of headsets on the market. Ritchey's WCS Logic model is designed to compete at the elite level, with the likes of Chris King. At $95, this headset is also priced alongside the best of them. So, what exactly makes it a premium product? Lightweight, machined aluminum cups (7075 aluminum) are paired with durable angular cartridge bearings.
The upper bearing is smaller than the lower bearing. Why? Mainly to reduce weight. The upper bearing doesn't see the same degree of stress as the lower bearing, so Ritchey is able to downsize the upper bearing without any compromise in overall durability. The whole shebang weighs in at 97 grams--pretty darn light. Ritchey guarantees the headset bearings for life.
So, here's the test history. I installed the headset and ran it for two full seasons in upstate New York--lots and lots of mud. During that time, the headset...well, it did what good headsets do, which is nothing. Or at least, nothing funky. It spun smoothly, it made no noise, it never developed that gritty, indexed feel of a headset that was letting in contaminants and giving up the ghost.
Two years, into my using the product, I moved to far northern California. More mud, more water. Now, with four years of use on the headset, it's still smooth sailing. I repack it once a season and that's all she wrote.
I'm impressed. The Ritchey doesn't quite have the spit and polish appearance of a Chris King Aheadset or a Cane Creek Solos, but it holds up pretty damn well and that's really all you can ask of a headset. The WCS headset is also available in 1-inch threadless and old-school, 1-inch threaded versions.