|The "Captain America" rig with the Ritchey Venturemax bar|
Even before this, getting flared drop bars was no joke. It was really not a very easy thing to find. WTB probably can be blamed for putting flared drop bars on the map, and Specialized/Nitto also helped in that regard, but even those were super rare. Not many folks had a use for such a beast as a flared drop bar.
Compared to those days, you would have to consider thinking about how these days, flared drop bars are almost commonplace. This is the "golden age" of flared drop bars, if you will. There are more companies than ever offering them, and you can even get carbon fiber ones now. I never figured on seeing that happen, by the way.
So, now there are more flared drop bars than you can count with both hands. One of the late comers to the game is Ritchey. They have a "Venturemax" model out, which they have sent me to test for RidingGravel.com. The overall flare, sweep, and drop is probably most like a Cowchipper. That's what I've found the best comparison is. But when you look at the thing, it looks kind of like the cross between a Cowbell and a Bell Lap bar, which were both Salsa Cycles offerings. That "ergo bend" in the drops.......I am not sure about that.
And I know that now days that everything is trademarked, so coming up with a name for a product is a real pain. Names that are obscure, mythical, ancient cultural things have become names for components and bicycles. It's almost as if you are taking a World History and Ancient Religions classes when you are trying to figure out names for things like tires and forks and the like. So, Ritchey uses a naming convention that is a bit of a uninspired thing in a world of oddball names. Their names are almost campy and hearken back to a time when "valley girls" meant a way that you walked and talked. I mean, "Venturemax"? Like, venture to the max, Dude.
Well, at least they are consistent with their names. More on the bar to come.....
Ritchey sent the Venturemax drop bar for test and review to RidingGravel.com at no charge. I have not been paid nor bribed for this review and I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.