Pro bike: Klaas Vantornout's Ridley X-Night

Belgian champ scored world cyclocross silver medal on this revamped X-Night

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napolean Games) arrived at the world cyclocross championships in Louisville, Kentucky fresh off his victory at the Belgian national championships  with hopes of a world title. A last-lap bobble put him off the wheel of race winner Sven Nys, but Vantornout's silver-medal performance still made for an impressive debut for Ridley's new X-Night carbon cyclocross flagship bike.

Vantornout's new X-Night bears several key differences from the old version. For one, it's lighter – to the tune of 350g in the frame itself, according to Ridley, plus another 150g reduction since the revamped internal routing no longer requires full-length cable housing. Moreover, Ridley has toned down the old X-Night's ultra-stiff ride, infusing some DNA from the road-going Helium SL in the seat stays, slim 27.2mm-diameter telescoping seatpost, and nominally round main tubes. Ridley claims that bottom bracket and front triangle stiffness, however, have nonetheless gone up.

Mud clearance has improved, too, which could have proved decisive judging by the conditions for the masters racers on Saturday. Luckily, Sunday's mud was sloppy and greasy but didn't freeze on impact.

Older-style XTR pedals still enjoy use in elite ’cross for their mud-clearing design

While still very much at the traditionally European end of the spectrum, Ridley has lowered the bottom bracket slightly by 3mm for more stable cornering while the head tube height has dropped to allow more aggressive positions for riders that want it. We're guessing Vantornout is indifferent to the lower stack given the 25mm of spacers beneath his stem.

Vantornout probably is happy with the new dual mechanical/electronic-compatible routing, however, which provides a clean look for his Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 7970 group (although his frame still had a vestigial housing stop on the chain stay). Shimano also provides the M970-generation XTR pedals and WH-7900-C35-TU carbon tubular wheels, which were wrapped in Dugast's new Fast Bird tires when we stopped by the Belgian team area Friday afternoon.

Klaas vantornout (sunweb-napolean games) recently nabbed the belgian national championship so he requested a special bar tape treatment from his mechanic, bart risbourg: klaas vantornout (sunweb-napolean games) recently nabbed the belgian national championship so he requested a special bar tape treatment from his mechanic, bart risbourg
First generation Di2 and Belgian-flag colors on Vantornout's bars

Vantornout skips over the matching Dura-Ace crank in favor of a machined aluminum Rotor's 3D+, which saves some weight thanks to an oversized, 30mm-diameter aluminum axle instead of Shimano's chromoly 24mm-diameter unit. Rotor fills out the press-fit shell with its own bottom bracket, too.

Otherwise, most of the rest of the build is filled out with Ridley's 4ZA house brand, including a Cirrus Pro carbon bar, forged aluminum stem, carbon-shafted seatpost, carbon-railed saddle, and lightweight narrow-profile aluminum cantilevers (consumers will have the option of disc brakes on the new X-Night when it becomes available in May).

Finishing things off are a pair of lightweight, red-anodized KCNC quick-release skewers and a Belgium-themed handlebar tape job courtesy of mechanic Bart Risbourg.

Total weight as pictured is 7.37kg (16.25lb).

Klaas vantornout (sunweb-napolean games) earned a silver medal at the 2013 cyclocross world championships aboard ridley's revamped x-night: klaas vantornout (sunweb-napolean games) earned a silver medal at the 2013 cyclocross world championships aboard ridley's revamped x-night
Vantornout's revamped Ridley X-Night

Complete bike specifications
FrameRidley X-Night, 56cm
ForkRidley X-Night
HeadsetFSA Z-CX 1 1/8-to-1 1/2" tapered
Stem4ZA Cirrus Pro, 120mm x -7°
Handlebars4ZA Cirrus Pro, 42cm (c-c)
Tape/grips4ZA Stratos
Front brake4ZA Cirrus Pro CX w/ Shimano carbon-specific pads
Rear brake4ZA Cirrus Pro CX w/ Shimano carbon-specific pads
Brake leversShimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970
Front derailleurShimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970
Rear derailleurShimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-7970
Shift leversShimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970
CassetteShimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 12-27T
ChainShimano Dura-Ace CN-7901
CranksetRotor 3D+, 175mm, w/ Specialites TA 46/39T chainrings
Bottom bracketRotor PressFit 4630
PedalsShimano XTR PD-M970
WheelsetShimano Dura-Ace WH-7900-C35-TU tubular
Front tireDugast Small Bird tubular, 32mm
Rear tireDugast Small Bird tubular, 32mm
Saddle4ZA Cirrus Pro
Seat post4ZA Cirrus Pro
Bottle cagesn/a
Other accessoriesKCNC KQR quick-release skewers
Critical measurements
Rider's height1.86m (6' 1")
Rider's weight69kg (152lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t)816mm
Saddle setback77mm
Seat tube length, c-t613mm
Seat tube length, c-c570mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem)569mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical)100mm
Head tube length160mm
Top tube length560mm
Total bicycle weight7.37kg (16.25lb)
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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