Belgian bike maker Ridley was started in 1997 by Jochim Aerts, a highly-skilled frame builder and painter whose company Race Productions NV had been producing frames for Belgian bicycle companies since 1990. With the aim of building the fastest racing bikes in the world, Ridley bikes were at first only distributed in the local market.
As the company expanded, it started its own branded component line in 2001 called 4ZA (pronounced ‘forza’), and by 2002 Ridley’s headquarters had doubled in size to 5.000m². In 2004 it broke through into the international market, delivering racing bikes to countries around the world. In 2008, a second production site in Moldova was founded and in 2010 Ridley Bikes moved to its brand new 12.000m² HQ in Paal-Beringen, where it remains to this day.
It was Jochim’s partnerships with racing clubs and his eye for advanced racing technology that created Ridley’s early success, and he was soon working closely with the successful Belgian racing team Lotto to fine tune his products. Lotto rode Ridley bikes in the Tour de France in 2013, with team member André Greipel winning stage six.
The home of Ridley Bikes is Flanders, the Flemish region of Belgium infamous for delivering some of the harshest cycling conditions in the world. Riding in the rain, on cobbled non-category climbs, on snow and on ice are the norm for Belgium’s 6,000 cycling clubs, and these are the conditions under which Ridley bikes are hammered into raw form and refined in competition.