Ridley launch Noah SL Disc Aero+ with cable-free front-end; new Fenix SLX Disc lighter than ever before - Road Cycling UK

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Ridley launch Noah SL Disc Aero+ with cable-free front-end; new Fenix SLX Disc lighter than ever before

Super-sleek front end makes this Ridley's most aerodynamic bike yet, while the Fenix SLX Disc endurance bike sheds up to 250g

The Noah and Fenix are familiar names in the Ridley line-up, but the Belgian brand has two intriguing additions on the way for model year 2018. The Noah SL Disc Aero+ takes aerodynamic disc brake integration to the next level, and was one of the stand-out bikes from this year’s Eurobike show, while the Fenix has been put on a diet to shave more than 100g from Ridley’s endurance frame.

Let’s start with the latest version of the Noah, because it really is a head-turning machine. The Noah SL Disc was launched last year and arrived on the scene as one of the first disc-equipped aero road machines, based on the existing Noah SL used by Lotto-Soudal sprinter Andre Greipel but adding disc brake tech to the mix.

The Noah SL Disc Aero+ is Ridley’s most aerodynamic bike to date

The trick with the Noah SL Disc Aero+ is the complete absence of cables and hydraulic hoses. Ridley’s engineers have paid particular attention to the front of the frame, given it has the job of cutting through the wind, and took to the company’s wind tunnel to develop a new fork, which has a D-shaped steerer tube to make room for the shifter cables and brake hoses.

Paired with a one-piece handlebar and stem from component sister company Forza, the Noah SL Disc Aero+ has an incredibly clean appearance, with the only exposed cable coming from the rear derailleur.

Otherwise, the fork retains the Noah’s distinctive split legs, which apparently move turbulent air away from the spokes to reduce drag. The frame also has a rib on the downtube, again with the aim of smoothing air flow.

Those quirky, Ridley-specific features aside, the Noah SL Disc frame uses a series of truncated Kammtail tube profiles, as we’ve come to expect on aero road bikes, with an integrated seatpost clamp, dropped seatstays, and seattube that closely hugs the rear wheels. Again, it’s all in the name of aerodynamics.

This super-sleek front-end hides every cable from the wind

The Noah SL Disc Aero+ won’t be available until 2018 but it’s likely to come specced with Shimano Ultegra Di2, Shimano Ultegra or Campagnolo Potenza, rather than the Campagnolo Super Record show build pictured.

Ridley introduce Fenix SLX Disc – up to 250g lighter than the Fenix SL Disc

While the Noah is for the likes of Greipel – or any rider with a penchant for speed – the Fenix is Ridley’s endurance bike. That said, it still has pro-level pedigree and has been seen in the one-day Classics, so this is an endurance all-rounder with a race edge, rather than a sportive bike for Sunday cruising.

The Fenix SLX Disc is the latest addition to the Fenix range, joining the regular Fenix and Fenix SL (the latter is available in rim and disc brake variations). While Ridley’s new Noah focuses on improving aerodynamics, the Fenix SLX Disc is all about saving weight. We’re not talking a few grams here and there, either – but a claimed 200-250g over the existing Fenix SL Disc.

The Fenix SLX Disc is Ridley’s lightweight endurance bike

That brings the claimed frame weight down to 850g for a size medium, making the Fenix SLX one of the lightest disc-specific frames out there. However, the frame still comes out of the same mould as the existing Fenix SL – the weight savings have come via a more advanced blend of high-modulus carbon fibres – so you still get the dropped and skinny seatstays. Though designed for endurance riding, the bike balances both performance and comfort.

The Fenix SLX Disc will be available in the UK in two builds: with Shimano Ultegra Di2 for £6,099.99 and with Shimano Ultegra mechanical for £3,899.99.

Ridley Fenix SLX Disc road bike (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
Ridley Fenix SLX Disc road bike (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

Further down the range, the entry-level Fenix Carbon has also been redesigned, so the geometry now matches the Fenix SL and Fenix SLX, while also borrowing the same tube profiles of its more expensive siblings. Plus there’s a line-up of aluminium Fenix bikes. In fact, you can check out the full Fenix range below.

Ridley Fenix SLX Disc Ultegra Di2 – £6,099.99
Ridley Fenix SLX Disc Ultegra – £3,899.99

Ridley Fenix SL Disc Ultegra Di2 – £4,099.99
Ridley Fenix SL Disc Potenza – £3,899.99
Ridley Fenix SL Disc Ultegra – £3,099.99
Ridley Fenix SL Disc 105 Mix – £2,499.99
Ridley Fenix SL Disc frameset – £1,599.99

Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra Race – £3,699.99
Ridley Fenix SL Potenza – £2,499.99
Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra – £2,399.99
Ridley Fenix SL 105 mix – £1,899.99
Ridley Fenix SL frameset – £1,399.99

Ridley Fenix C Ultegra mix – £1,849.99
Ridley Fenix C 105 mix – £1,649.99
Ridley Fenix C Tiagra – £1,549.99
Ridley Fenix C frameset – £1,349.99

Ridley Fenix A Disc Tiagra – £1,499.99
Ridley Fenix A Disc Sora – £1,199.99
Ridley Fenix A frameset – £749.99
Ridley Fenix A Ultegra mix – £1,299.99
Ridley Fenix A 105 mix – £1,199.99
Ridley Fenix A Tiagra – £1,099.99
Ridley Fenix A frameset – £699.99

Ridley X-Trail in bike-packing mode

Finally, here’s something a little different – the Ridley X-Trail in bike-packing mode. It may not appeal to your inner speed demon like the Noah, or have the cobble-crushing credentials of the Fenix, but it certainly ignited our adventurous side when we saw it at Eurobike.

If you’re not familiar with the X-Trail, it’s Ridley’s ‘all-road’ platform – so it’s right at home with bike-packing bags strapped to the frame. That frame is available in carbon fibre and aluminium but, regardless of what material you choose, it’s designed for disc brakes and thru-axles, with 36mm tyre clearance and mudguard mounts, too.

Ridley X-Trail gravel bike (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
Ridley X-Trail gravel bike (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)
Ridley X-Trail gravel bike (Pic: George Scott/Factory Media)

The top-of-the-range build we saw at Eurobike came dressed in a SRAM Force 1 groupset, DT Swiss R23 DB and Clement XPLOR MSO 36mm tyres. And the blue and fluoro yellow paintjob was spot on, too.

UK prices for the 2018 X-Trail range are to be confirmed, but the Ridley website also lists spec options with Shimano Ultegra, SRAM Rival 1 and Shimano 105, as well as the alloy frame dressed in SRAM Apex 1, Shimano 105 and two Shimano Sora builds (with hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes respectively).

Website: Ridley Bikes

 

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