We walk you through the road bikes available from Preston based bike brand, Ribble Cycles
Ribble Cycles is a Preston based brand founded in 1897. Bikes from Ribble are masterminded at their UK headquarters, produced in the far east and then built up back in the UK in Preston and Birmingham.
One of the greatest attractions of buying a bike from Ribble is that customers can select their own spec via the online bike builder.
Ribble bikes are purchased direct via the company website and the lack of retailers involved cuts down costs for the buyer, too.
It is possible to visit Ribble’s showroom in Preston, Lancashire for advice and bike fitting services or the company’s newer store in Birmingham.
As well as bikes, Ribble stocks a range of components, clothing and accessories including kit from its own cycling kit brand – Nuovo.
Ribble is one of the UK’s largest bike manufacturers, and it also has branches in Australia and Germany.
Useful links for road bike shoppers…
Ribble bikes: the range
In our guide, we’ve listed ‘from’ prices, these are the RRPs for the cheapest build option. In all cases, you can alter the components for a higher end creation.
Ribble CGR: ‘cross and gravel
‘CGR’ stands for cross, gravel and road.
This year, Ribble is offering the frame in aluminium, carbon, steel and titanium. All models come with a thru axle ready carbon fork to dull out buzz and drop weight whilst maintaining stiffness.
The chassis has clearance for up to 47mm tyres, plus mudguard and rack mounts – with aluminium, steel and titanium versions having a carrying capacity of 20kg. They’ve all got internal cable routing which keeps shifting clean and crisp.
The geometry is relaxed, with a medium sporting a stack and reach of 589/380mm, to suit the all-day nature of gravel rides and the control requirements of off-road riding.
The steel model uses Reynolds 725 tubes (hence the name ‘CGR 725’) and a Tiagra build will set you back £999.
The ‘CGR SL’ is the carbon model, and offers some exciting frame features thanks to the capabilities of carbon, and it’s a model that would be well at home at endurance road events with a tyre swap.
The seat stay profile is dropped and kinked, which Ribble says offers vertical compliance and absorbs vibration, whilst there are some aero nods in the use of a truncated aerofoil downtube and seat tube, aero fork and there’s even the option of adding a carbon integrated cockpit. Prices start from £1499 with Shimano Tiagra.
Read more: Ribble CGR review
Ribble Sportiva: women’s endurance
The Ribble Sportiva is a carbon framed women’s specific model, which is available with rim or disc brakes.
The frame is constructed from a blend of T700/T800 carbon, in a bid to offer comfort and stiffness.
The geometry features an even shorter top tube than Ribble’s other endurance bikes, with a lower standover height too. A medium comes with stack and reach of 547/371mm.
The brands says that this women’s specific design helps “give the rider greater control and confidence in the ride, perfect for sportives and club runs.”
The wheelbase is kept short, however, to allow for quick-footed handling. The steerer is tapered for stiffness, and tyre clearance allows for 25mm whilst the disc model uses thru axles.
It is worth noting though that some women get on well with unisex bikes, as long as touch points like the saddle and handlebars are swapped – actions which are made particularly easy and come free of extra charge thanks to Ribble’s bike builder.
A Shimano Tiagra model comes in at £999 with rim brakes or £1199 with discs.
Ribble Endurance: endurance/race and electric
Things get a little bit confusing here. The Ribble Endurance frame family has a slightly different geometry depending upon the model you choose – some of the Endurance bikes are classed as ‘endurance‘ geo (as you’d expect) and some as ‘race’ (erm?).
Things are simple when we look at the aluminium builds – the Endurance AL (from £799) and Endurance AL Disc (from £899). A size medium features a stack and reach of 548/388mm respectively.
The basic AL uses double butted 6061 tubing and comes with a tapered fork steerer and oversized head tube along with a beefed up bottom bracket for control and power transfer. There’s some aero additions – in the carbon aero fork and truncated aerofoil down tube. Cable routing is internal and max tyre width is 28mm.
The disc model (pictured above) shares the same frame material, but comes with bolt through disc brakes and can support 30mm tyres.
There’s also a steel build, which uses Reynolds 725 metal. The geometry here is a little more relaxed at 551/388mm stack and reach in a size medium. The Endurance 725 rim starts at £899 and the disc at £999.
The Ribble Endurance SLe is a pretty incredible creation. Ribble calls this the ‘world’s lightest e-bike range’ and at a built weight that can go as low as 11kg (11.6kg for a Shimano 105 option), it’s certainly an impressive feat. The rear hub motor system weighs just 3.5kg.
The power is delivered across three modes, and riders access up to 250watts. The assistance will cut out at 15mph – the UK limit, but you can go faster if your legs will let you. A Shimano Tiagra model costs £2599.
The stack (541mm in a size medium) is a little lower and the reach longer (390mm) than the AL and AL disc – and these measurements apply to the carbon models below, which sit in the brand’s website under ‘race’
There’s several options if you want to go for the slightly more aggressive carbon version: Ribble Endurance SL (from £1499), Endurance SL Disc (from £1799), Endurance SL R (from £2499) and Endurance SL R Disc (from £2899).
All models come with kinked seat stays to add compliance and reduce vibration, plus bolt through axles for discs and 28mm/30mm tyre clearance. They can all be built up with an integrated carbon cockpit.
The difference between the ‘SL’ and ‘SL R’ models is that whilst both models use a blend of Toray T800 and T1000 carbon, the SL R uses more of the latter, whilst also using carbon at the headtube and for bottom bracket inserts. Low weight paint and decal finish also reduce grams, saving about 300g in total vs the SL.
Ribble R872: endurance
Listed as an endurance bike, the Ribble R872 features a short reach and taller top tube when compared with the Endurance (554/380mm in a size medium – are we the only ones who find this confusing?).
Regardless of naming convention, the R872 is a long term favourite at Cycling Weekly with the latest version being selected for our 2018 Editor’s Choice awards.
Our reviewer commented: “With all the trimmings you’d expect from a modern carbon frame, the Ribble R872 undercuts the competition in terms of ride quality and value for money.”
The frame features plenty of compliance adding trinkets, such as the dropped seat stays and and lengthened chainstays for stability, but there’s also the likes of an aero profile fork and oversized profile to ensure stiffness.
Tyre clearance is 28mm across both disc and rim models (25mm with mudguards) and cable routing is internal and Di2 compatible.
Most notable, you can get a rim or disc model for £999 with Shimano Tiagra or £1199 with Shimano 105.
Ribble Aero 883: aero race
As the title would suggest, this is Ribble’s aero road bike – it was developed alongside Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) in Sheffield, a company have worked elsewhere on Formula 1 and MotoGP mobiles.
The chassis sports its Kamm Tail seat tube and down tube – designed to reduce turbulence – with an integrated seat clamp. There’s a rim and disc version on offer, the former accommodating aero Direct Fit brake calipers and the latter sporting 12mm thru-axles.
A shorter top tube is included so that you can mount clip on aero bars and gain a good position. The top end T1000 and T800 carbon is manipulated to keep weight low and stiffness high.
Prices start from £1599 (rim) and £1699 (disc) with Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium wheels.
Ribble TT & Aero TT bike
Ribble has three options for wind cheaters: the Aero TT (from £1249), the Ultra Tri and Ultra TT (both from £2199).
The Aero TT time t rial bike is the first step on the ladder. It comes with a carbon frame, tear drop down tube which hugs the rear wheel to reduce drag, and a ‘shark fin’ fork designed to cut through the air. The seat tubes are curved, which reduces the wheelbase for a more quick footed ride that will suit sporting courses. The seatpost clamp is integrated, and the post itself is shaped to cut drag too.
The Ultra TT (pictured here with Zipp 454 front and Super 9 disc, with Di2 and USE base bar for £8999). The brand calls it its ‘fastest ever bike’ and its been optimised using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and real world testing with fine tuning by National Time Trial Champion and WattShop founder Dan Bigham.
The tubing has been optimised, with Kamm-tail airfoil profiles, and brakes are covered. The cockpit is designed to be highly adjustable and seatpost allows for multiple positions, creating seat post angles from 76 to 49 degrees.
Ribble says it saves around 23 seconds over a flat 25-mile time trial, when riding at 29mph, and it’s UCI legal – and the ‘Tri’ version comes with additional feed boxes.
Ribble CX5 & CX cyclocross bikes
Whilst the CGR is for cross and gravel, the CX and CX5 models are cyclocross racers.
Both models feature a carbon fork and 12mm thru axle, flat mount disc brakes. There’s space for tyres up to 35mm and cable routing is internal, which keeps muck out and ensures tangle free shouldering.
The distinguishing feature is frame material. The CX (from £899) is aluminium and the CX5 (from £1349) is carbon.