Ribble Cycles has quietly built a niche among cyclists in the know seeking an affordable frame and the ability to spec a full groupset courtesy of a well-stocked online ‘bike builder’ facility.
We caught up with Ribble brand manager and designer, James Dove, at the Cycle Show, who talked us through new models for 2013 and design tweaks to existing models.
The carbon-framed Sportive 365, one that shares its front triangle with the Sportive Bianco, is a new addition to the Ribble range and a machine we’ll be testing over the winter months. As the name suggests, it’s a machine Ribble believe is suitable for year-round use and comes supplied with Zefal mudguards. Dove told us the rear triangle had been ‘increased’ to accommodate 25mm tyres, a long drop brake caliper and 25mm tyre, as has the fork. It may also accommodate a 28mm tyre, but with the 365 newly arrived in the country, Ribble hadn’t had time to test it before exhibiting it at the cycle show. It will cost £879.95 with a ‘standard spec’ but Ribble’s usual upgrade options will be available, including SKS mudguards.
Another new addition to the Ribble range, and another winter-friendly steed with mudguard eyelets is the Lancashire firm’s steel bike; one fashioned from Reynolds 520 and designed, according to Dove, with a sportive-style geometry. The model displayed at the Cycle Show was equipped with a Tiagra groupset, including a short drop caliper, Deda Elementi bars, stem, and cork tape, and a suitably retro looking San Marco Regal Saddle. Like Ribble’s other offerings, it can be built with an entirely different spec online.
The HF83 is Ribble’s new flagship race bike, dressed to the nines at the Cycle Show in Campagnolo Super Record EPS, with Zipp 404 rolling stock, and a Zipp Service Course finishing kit. A less ambitious build will be included for the entry-level price of £1269.95. Dove told RCUK the carbon frame is made from an ‘open mould’ owned by Dedacciai and licensed exclusively to Ribble in the UK. It has a 27mm seat tube in a bid to induce comfort and alternate mountings for the Campag EPS ‘Brain’ on the top or underside of the downtube.
Finally, long-term Ribble favourite, the 872, a machine finished in what Dove described as ‘stealth black’ has had a slight makeover, with chainstays that ‘kick out’ dramatically as they approach the drop out, and a fork that follows a similar design and has a wider blade than previous versions. Builds for the 872 start at £945.45.