Ritchey forges their stems with a special process called 3-D Net shaped forging, and employs special alloys and shapes so they are exceptionally light and torsionally strong. Extra time is spent finishing the stems to remove sharp edges that cause problems for lightweight bars.
A popular misconception is that CNC machining is the best way to produce certain bicycle components. However, because the raw material used is not cold forged it contains inconsistencies and flaws that can sometimes surface at the wrong time, like on a descent. The process of 3D-Net Shaped forging is the ultimate manufacturing method for dynamic components like bicycle stems. Through this proprietary process, Ritchey is able to forge the maximum amount of material possible into its stems, resulting in finished products that are far stronger than traditionally forged and machined stems. This is achieved by aligning the grain of the raw material and literally pressing out any flaws. This precise cold forging technology most of the machining required to finish hollow portions of traditionally manufactured CNC or welded stems.
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