Ridley 2010 preview: lots of changes for aluminium models

New road and cyclocross models, and a mountain bike

We’ve been to Ridley’s Belgian headquarters for a preview of their 2010 range which includes many changes to the company’s aluminium road models, plus the addition of a new mid-range aero bike. There’s plenty on offer too for cyclocross riders, and for fans of the dirt, a brand new carbon hardtail mountain bike.

Road: lots of changes for aluminium models

Riders who lust after Ridley's recently revamped Noah aero road bike – but can't afford one – will have a less expensive aluminium option for the 2010 model year called Phaeton (our preproduction photo sample was still marked with its earlier working name, Gryphon). 

The Phaeton will feature a giant deep-section down tube and bowed top tube like the Noah, along with a deep-section seat tube as well. The cutout on the Phaeton seat tube will be accomplished via a welded aluminium plate though and the Noah's integrated mast is traded for an extended semi-integrated one for the alloy version. 

Phaeton will also borrow the Noah's unique split-blade 'R-Flow' fork leg design (similar to Oval Concepts' JetStream fork), which Ridley say diverts air away from the front wheel's churning spokes for reduced drag. However, the new fork will make do with a straight 1 1/8" steerer and the R-Flow treatment will not be used on the seat stays as on the Noah.

Naturally, all that aluminium will add up though: claimed weight for a medium Phaeton is 1565g vs. the Noah's 1,200g but cost will be a much more attainable US$1,150 vs. the Noah's US$3,450.

The new Phaeton mimics the shape of the flagship Noah but in aluminium instead of carbon for a much more attainable price point (this prototype was still called 'Gryphon').

The mid-range Icarus will be reintroduced for 2010 complete with scandium-enhanced and butted 7005 aluminium tubing and a choice of sloping or traditional geometries. 

Claimed weight for a medium-sized sloping version is 1320g. Women will also get a new Tempo aluminium road frame but Ridley will otherwise cut most of their aluminium models from the range – the Boreas, Heracles, Triton, Triton S, Triton C, Aedon and Scandium are all gone for 2010.

The 'entry level' Orion carbon road frame will get a new R-Blade fork for 2010 but otherwise all Ridley carbon road frames are unchanged for 2010 save for updated paint.

Bring on the mud!

Ridley will continue their two-pronged cyclocross approach in 2010 with all-new versions of the X-Night and X-Fire carbon frames.

Ridley offer high-end carbon fibre 'cross machines - the X-Night and X-Fire - with two distinct geometries to suit rider preferences

The US$3,000 X-Night frameset features a more Euro-traditional tall bottom bracket height and drops a substantial amount of mass from last year – claimed weight is now just 1,150g with an uncut integrated seat mast. 

Even so, stiffness looks to have gone up considerably as well, especially up front with a newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" steerer, bigger crown, and more widely spaced legs on the updated Oryx fork. 

In addition, the 2010 X-Night will feature a BB30-compatible bottom bracket shell and internal cable routing for more consistent shifting and braking performance in muddy conditions.

Riders favouring a more conventional bottom bracket height can look to the heavily revised X-Fire, which gets the same tapered Oryx fork as the X-Night for reduced brake shudder and more precise handling. 

Ridley look to have taken a page out of their road frame design manual here as the X-Fire's chain stay diameter has gone up considerably while the seat stays are slimmer for a more responsive drivetrain but presumably more comfort on the race course. 

Claimed weight for a 54cm frame is a svelte 1192g – just 42g more than the X-Night – and suggested retail price is half that of the X-Night at US$1,500.

As Ridley has done with the Noah and Phaeton, X-Fire will also have an aluminium counterpart in the new X-Ride.  

Weight goes up a bit as well (to 1370g for a 54cm frame) but X-Ride will also use the same tapered Oryx fork and cost just US$950.

The Ignite carbon hardtail gets new tube shaping and a slacker head tube angle.

Ridley isn't typically the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to mountain bikes but their Ignite carbon hardtail is noteworthy. 

For 2010, the current version's mostly round tubes are replaced with more geometric and angular shapes for additional rigidity and head tube angles are slightly slackened for improved high-speed stability. 

Cable routing will now be internal and Ridley will offer versions with conventional or integrated seat masts.

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