Ritchey's ZERO Mountain Wheelset Gets Funky|
Monday, September 11, 2000
There are mountain bikers and there are mountain bashers. Team DirtWorld.com's got a couple of bashers. This translates into a racer that just punishes gear. Earlier in the race season one of our bashers got a hold of the Ritchey Zero Mountain Pro wheels. Known as "Space Boy" to his teammates, Eric is one of the Northwest's best expert riders. He's big guy (6'2", 185lb.) who picks the fastest lines regardless of what may lie in his way. Space Boy has built a reputation for bending rims and snapping frames so we knew once in Space Boy's possession, these wheels were going to get pounded.
Now for some background, the wheels marry Ritchey's OCR rims with Ritchey's Zero hubs. The result is a zero dish rear wheel allowing equal spoke tension on both sides of the rear wheel. What's all mean? Simply put, a stronger more reliable wheel. Tipping the scales at 785g (front w/skewer) and 992g (rear w/skewer) respectively, these rims are not the lightest but they are not meant to be.
Zero Mountain wheels are compatible with Shimano cassettes and include cartridge bearings for easy maintenance. To add precision braking, machined sidewalls are used. The all cromoly freehub and easy replacing J-bend spokes (double-butted stainless steel Ritcheys by DT) round out the package. Should the unexpected failure occur, each wheel is serialized with full warranty support and the design makes maintenance simple.
"The Zero Dishing makes the wheel look at little funky, but hell I love the funk!" was the initial statement from Space Boy.
Squamish, B.C. (Cananda) was the baptism for the wheels. Gnarly technical sections are a given when riding in B.C. Add a large hard riding expert class racer and it's a recipe for wheel punishment.
While the punishment was delivered the wheels held true. The testing wasn't over. More races, rides and hammering followed. To date the wheels have been nearly maintenance free. A quick twisting of some spokes were required but no major truing. An off-season trip to your local shop for truing and hub maintenance is just good practice, but the Zero Mountains ride as straight as they did the day they arrived.
So whether funky looking or not, Space Boy's final statement was more telling, "I must say that I am very happy with these wheels. I'll be getting another pair next season. Pass me the funk!"
Who it's for...
Big riders and bashers who prize durability over grams
Who should pass...
Weight obsessed gram counting goof-balls