Ribble bikes: which model is right for you?
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One of the largest UK bike manufacturers, Ribble Cycles have gained a strong following, largely thanks to their online bike builder.
Based in Preston, the company dates back to 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. Not only does this allow you to customise your bike as you want it, but it's incredibly fun. You may find yourself procrastinating at work constructing your dream build...
>>> All of Ribble's bikes reviewed here
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 stores in Birmingham and at Bluewater in Kent.
The company co-sponsor the UCI Continental team Ribble-Weldtite. As well as bikes, Ribble stocks a range of components and accessories - everything from inner tubes to CeramicSpeed-like oversize ceramic jockey wheels.
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Ribble bikes: the range
You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.
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.
With each product is a ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Best Deal’ link. If you click on this then we may receive a small amount of money from the retailer when you purchase the item. This doesn’t affect the amount you pay.
Ribble Endurance SL R
The Ribble Endurance SL R Series is the one for racers who want to be comfortable. It's available with rotor stoppers as the 'Endurance SL R Series Disc', and though this is a more relaxed frame than the full race aero creations, the front end is a few mm lower than the aluminium Endurance builds.
The key talking point with the SL R Series is weight; this is Ribble's lightest ever production bike. The chassis uses top quality T800/T1000 carbon, and specced out with the very top end full carbon Lightweight wheels, THM carbon chainset and Cane Creek EE brakes it comes down to a jaw-dropping 5.4kg.
>>> Ribble's Endurance Disc is now available in titanium
The difference between the 'SL' and 'SL R' models is that, although 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.
The SL is still fast and responsive - our Shimano 105 disc build came in at 8.6kg in a size large on test, impressing the reviewer enough to gain a 9/10 score. As per the SL R, rim and disc models are available. Recommended builds begin as low as £1,699 with Shimano 105.
The Ribble Endurance SL e electric bike 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 250 watts. 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 £2799.
The aluminium Endurance option has now gone disc brake only, with the Endurance AL Disc priced from £999.
Read our Ribble Endurance SL Disc review
Read our Ribble Endurance SL e review
Ribble Endurance AL Disc
The AL Disc 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 are some aero additions - in the carbon aero fork and truncated aerofoil down tube. Cable routing is internal and max tyre width is 30mm.
There's also a steel build, which uses Reynolds 725 metal. The geometry here is a little more relaxed, with a slightly higher front end than the aluminium choices. The Endurance 725 starts at £1399 with Shimano 105 in either rim or disc brake format.
The newest addition to the Endurance range is the titanium disc brake model. The Ribble Endurance Ti Disc shares the range's endurance geometry but made in polished 3Al/2.5V titanium alloy. Prices start at £2299 with Shimano 105.
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 and there are frameset-only options for some models.
Ribble R872: Endurance
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Listed as an endurance bike, the Ribble R872 features a short reach and taller top tube when compared with the Endurance lineup, making it a more thoroughbred comfort bike as opposed to a comfortable race bike.
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 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 model for £1099 with Shimano Tiagra, or go disc from £1199.
Read more: Ribble R872 review
Ribble CGR: 'cross and gravel
'CGR' stands for cross, gravel and road. Ribble offers the frame in aluminium, carbon, steel and titanium, and there's also an electric version of the aluminium frame. All models come with a thru-axle carbon fork to dull out buzz and drop weight whilst maintaining stiffness.
The chassis has clearance for up to 47mm tyres and 700c or 650b wheels, 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, to suit the all-day nature of gravel rides and the control requirements of off-road riding. As you'd expect, the aluminium (CGR AL) option is the entry-level choice, from £999, if you opt for a Shimano Tiagra build.
The CGR Ti (titanium) model uses triple butted tubing and carries a five-year warranty. Ribble has chosen to offer Shimano's new gravel-specific GRX groupset, although there are 105 and Ultegra options too, with models starting at £2299.
The steel model uses Reynolds 725 tubes (hence the name 'CGR 725') and a Tiagra build starts at £1299. The 'CGR SL' is the carbon model, and offers some exciting frame features thanks to the capabilities of carbon. 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 £1599 with Shimano Tiagra.
The electric Ribble CGR AL e uses much the same technology as the Endurance SL e, with the motor system located in the rear hub and adding around 3.5kg. Models begin at an affordable £2299 with a Shimano Tiagra group.
Read our Ribble CGR AL 105 review
Read our Ribble CGR review
Ribble Aero 883 Disc: aero race
Ribble's aero road bike was developed alongside Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) in Sheffield, a company that has worked elsewhere on Formula 1 and MotoGP mobiles.
The chassis sports a truncated aerofoil seat tube and down tube - designed to reduce turbulence - with an integrated seat clamp. The top tube is short enough that you can mount clip-on aero bars and gain a good position. The top-end T1000 and T800 carbon is designed to keep weight low and stiffness high.
Prices start from £2299 with Shimano Ultegra and Mavic Aksium Disc wheels.
Ribble Ultra TT and Tri bike
The carbon-framed Ultra has 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 features Kammtail aerofoil profiles with a claimed frame weight of 1.2kg. The cockpit is designed to be highly adjustable and the seatpost allows for multiple positions, creating effective seat tube angles from 76 to 79 degrees.
Other nods to speed include a teardrop seat tube profile that hugs the rear wheel to reduce drag, and a 'shark fin' fork designed to cut through the air. The seat tube is 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.
Ribble says it saves around 23 seconds over a flat 25-mile time trial, when riding at 29mph, and it's UCI legal. The 'Tri' version comes with three additional feed/storage boxes.
Models start at £1599 with Shimano 105 and Mavic Aksium wheels and there's a frameset-only option for £1299.
Ribble CX AL, CX SL and CX5 cyclocross bikes
Whilst the CGR is an all-rounder off-road bike, the alloy CX AL, carbon CX SL and latest carbon CX5 models are cyclocross racers with more aggressive cyclocross geometry.
All bikes offer single-ring options, with the CX AL starting at £1099 with SRAM Apex 1, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels and Challenge Baby Limus tyres for £1099. Move up to the CX SL and the starting Apex 1 build with Challenge Grifo Comp tyres is £1599, while the Rival 1 build of the CX5 is £1999.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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