By Paul Norman
The big changes to the new 2017 road bike range from Belgian bike brand Ridley come at the top end. The Helium – as its name suggests – is Ridley’s lightweight offer. It’s used extensively by the Lotto Soudal pro team of André Greipel and is the most popular bike with its riders.
Ridley has refreshed the Helium this year, replacing the old Helium SL with the Helium SLX. It’s not lost any weight, but Ridley claims a 15% increase in stiffness around the lower elements of the frame from a new carbon lay-up. Ridley has also redesigned the fork with a straight blade in place of the SL’s curved blades. Prices are yet to be announced.
The other big additions are disc braked versions of the Noah SL aero bike and Fenix SL endurance machine. Both use 12mm thru-axles at the front and 142mm rear end spacing.
Watch: André Greipel's Ridley Noah SL
The Fenix SL Disc also gets a completely redesigned rear end. The seatstays on the SL Disc are bridgeless and Ridley has set them so that they meet the seat tube lower down than in the rim braked model, to add increased ride comfort. Prices range from £3150 with Ultegra Di2 up to £5000 with eTap.
The men’s range also includes the Chronus, an entry level time trial bike with a carbon frame and 105 shifting, priced at £1800.
New women’s bike options
Ridley has also brought out women’s versions of its three main road bike platforms. The Liz is equivalent to the Fenix, the Jane to the Noah and the Aura to the Helium. The Liz and the Jane are also available in SL versions, the Aura as an SLX, mirroring the equivalent men’s ranges.
All are available with disc brakes as well as rim. Prices top out with the Aura SLX with SRAM Red eTap and disc brakes at £7300, whereas a Liz with 105 mix comes in a more affordable £1550.
Ridley has looked at differences in ratios of limb to torso length between men and women and concluded that there’s not really enough difference to justify differences in geometry between men’s and women’s bikes.
So its women’s bikes share the geometry of the men’s versions, but in smaller sizes and with women’s saddles, shorter stems and narrower bars and lower gear ratios. It’s also eschewed feminine paint jobs.
>>> My toughest day: André Greipel
For any of Ridley’s bikes, if you don’t want a standard colour, you can order a custom paint colour for the standard designs for £400. If you want a single colour with just the Ridley logos and without secondary panels, “Pure Line” customisation costs £200. Turn around is 3 – 4 weeks. Ridley is in future aiming to offer the option to customise your bike’s components too.
Cyclocross and gravel ranges
Ridley is a major player in the European cyclocross market, providing bikes to a number of pro teams.
The major change to Ridley’s cyclocross bike range this year is the swap to flat mount disc brakes and 12mm front thru-axles. It’s also added more SRAM 1 options. At the top end, the X-Night SL Disc is available with a Force 1 groupset for £4500. The X-Night SL is also available in a canti braked version with either Force 1 or Ultegra shifting.
All Ridley’s other cyclocross bikes are disc brake only, with the standard carbon framed X-Night range including a SRAM Rival 1 option priced at £2600 as well as Ultegra, 105 hydrauic and 105 mechanical disc braked options.
Drop down to an alloy frame and the X-Ride Disc comes in a variety of builds priced from £1150 up to £1800. The latter buys a SRAM Rival 1 single ring hydraulic groupset.
And Ridley’s entry level X-Bow continues to be offered in part-105 and Tiagra variants with TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes for £1200 and £1000 respectively.
With its cyclocross heritage, it’s no surprise that Ridley has embraced gravel. The X-Trail carbon range includes four models priced from £2200 to £4000, topping out with a Force 1 hydraulic option. There’s also a five model aluminium range priced from £1100 to £1800.