While most manufacturers have decided to attach disc brakes to their endurance bikes, Ridley has gone down a different path by putting disc brakes on its Noah SL aero bike. A prototype version of the new machine was on display at the Taipei Cycle Show, although Ridley is giving no set date for when the bike will be released.
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Although the Ridley Noah SL Disc retains the same middle triangle as its existing non-disc brother, but the fork and rear-end have both received an overhaul in order to cater for disc brakes.
The fork is the same “F-Splitfork” design that is used on the non-disc Noah SL, which means that it is split in half down its length, a design that Ridley says pulls air away from the front wheel to improve aerodynamics. However despite the aesthetic similarities, the fork has been given 12mm thru-axles and flat mounts for the disc brake calipers.
It’s a similar story at the back of the Ridley Noah SL Disc, where the seatstays and chainstays look very similar to the old design (albeit with 12mm thru-axles and flat mounts), but Ridley says it has been able to create a more comfortable ride by being able to use single carbon-fibres that run along the chainstays, around the thru-axles, and up the seatstays, a design that isn’t possible with standard dropouts.
The interesting thing will be to see how the disc brakes affect the aerodynamics of the Ridley Noah SL Disc, as surely the added bulk of the calipers and a couple of extra spinning discs could undermine even the most aerodynamic frame.