The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed Jürgen Roelandts, Andre Greipel and the rest of the Lotto-Belisol squad riding a new bike at the cobbled Classics.
The Ridley Fenix is the Belgian bike brand’s machine for the cobblestones, promising durability and comfort in equal measure, and we’ve just had one arrive for review.
This model, the Ridley Fenix Classic, is based on exactly the same frame as the machine ridden by Roelandts to a third place finish at the Tour of Flanders – so it’s got pedigree. We told you about the frame when we showed you Lars Bak’s bike for Flanders and Paris-Roubaix but let’s re-cap.
The frame comes in six sizes (from XXS to XL) and our medium test machine has a 175mm headtube, 56.5cm effective toptube, 990mm wheelbase, and matching 73 degree head and seattube angles. It’s a fairly racy geometry but by no means extreme and sits between an out-and-out race machine and a more relaxed sportive bike.
The frame is made from a 24-ton high-modulus carbon fibre, as opposed to the blend of 60, 40 and 30-ton carbon fibre used on the super-light Helium SL; the machine of choice for Jelle Vanendert in the Ardennes Classics.
Ridley say the use of a mid-grade carbon fibre provides the right balance of strength, comfort and stiffness required to withstand the cobbled climbs and pavé of northern Europe.
The frame is characterised by oversized, sharp-edged tubing; a design which Ridley say provides plenty of stiffness while being both strong and durable. Out back, the asymmetric chainstays are deep and wide – again promising the stiffness required to power to a podium finish at the Tour of Flanders – while the seatstays flatten dramatically in the middle to improve comfort and stability on rough roads.
There’s also a tapered headtube, a PressFit bottom bracket and internal cable routing that can accommodate either mechanical or electronic groupsets. With durability and comfort – and not weight – at the top of the agenda, claimed frame weight is 1,200g.
The frame comes in the same paintjob as the team issue machine and is a nod to the terrain on which it’s designed to conquer, with cobblestone decals on the toptube (where there is also a cobble-winged pheonix) and broad fork legs. The Lotto logo also features on the toptube.
As for the spec, the Ridley Fenix Classic has been dressed to “conquer the most gruesome road sections”, according to Ridley, and that’s most evident in the selection of 25mm Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tyres (a popular winter rubber for UK riders). The 4ZA Comfort handlebar tape is also slightly thicker than normal to offer more grip and comfort. 4ZA, by the way, is Ridley’s in-house componentry brand and the handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle all come from the firm’s mid-range Cirrus collection.
Otherwise, the shifters, front derailleur, rear derailleur and cassette (11-25t) come from Campagnolo’s third-from-top Chorus groupset, while the brakes are also from 4ZA’s Cirrus range. Rotor supply the (round) compact noQ chainrings and 3DF cranks.
It’s an impressive spec but the pro-level frame isn’t accompanied by a pro-level price tag, with the Ridley Fenix Classic retailing for £2,345. Watch out for a full review soon.
Sizes: XXS to XL
Website: Ridley Bikes