Ridley Fenix, Liz and Helium SL road bikes launched

Plus disc brakes for three cyclo-cross bikes

For 2013, Ridley have created the Fenix racer, the Liz women’s road bike and the Helium SL, a super-light version of the current Helium road model. The company have also gone big on disc brakes for cyclo-cross, with three bikes in the line sporting mechanical versions.

New road bikes

The Fenix has elements of Ridley’s Damocles and Excalibur frames, said Ridley’s US sales manager, Todd Schmidt.

“The down tube and top tube are similar in shape to the Damocles, and with that shaping you get something that is super stiff and extremely strong yet comfortable,” Schmidt said of the tube-to-tube Fenix. “It has much bigger chain stays than the Damocles or the Excalibur. And the seat stays are taken from elements of the Excalibur in that they’re slimmed down and tapered in the middle for comfort.  Andre Greipel was riding this in the Spring Classics.”

Like all Ridley’s new road bikes, the 1,200g frame has a tapered head tube from 1 1/8in to 1.5in, a press-fit bottom bracket and flip-flop internal routing grommets that can accommodate standard cabling or Shimano Di2.

The Fenix will be available in October as a Shimano Ultegra bike for US$3,195

The Liz is quite similar to the Fenix, but in a women’s design. The top tube arc carries into the seat stays.

“This is the first time in our ladies collection that we have a tapered fork and a full-carbon fork,” Schmidt said. “Plus, the head tube is 2cm higher than last year, based on feedback from our customers.”

The Liz goes down to an XXS size, which has a 50cm top tube. It will sell for US$1,595 for the frameset, or as one of two complete Shimano bikes (Ultegra for US$3,195 and 105 for US$2,495).

The new Ridley Liz is essentially a women’s version of the Fenix

The Helium SL came about in response to super-light bikes from other companies, such as the Cannondale EVO and Scott Foil, Schmidt said.

Weighing in at 780g for a medium frame, the SL is 200g less than the current Helium ISP. Part of the saving has come from Ridley shedding the threaded bottom bracket cups for a press-fit 30 system.

“Plus, this [bike] has a much stiffer down tube, bottom bracket area and chain stays,” Schmidt said. And, for the first time in recent company history, a 27.2mm seatpost reappears on the Helium SL. All the other bikes have 31.6mm diameters.

Built up with SRAM Red, Fulcrum wheels and the house-brand Forza cockpit, the bike weighs 14.2lb. It will retail for US$6,895 for the complete bike, or US$2,795 for the frameset.

As the name suggests, the Helium SL is a lighter version of the current Helium

For the new men’s collection, geometry remains the same as on current Ridley bikes.

New cyclo-cross bikes

“We are still a small company,” Schmidt said. “And to have such a deep line of cyclo-cross bikes shows our commitment to the sport. For us, cyclo-cross is not an afterthought.”

At the top of the company’s cyclo-cross range, the X-Night remains a cantilever brake bike. “The reason we don’t use discs is that, for the top-level guys on the World Cup circuit, it’s all about being lighter,” Schmidt said. 

The X-Night will come with Reynolds tubulars this fall

For the first time, the 2013 X-Night will come with tubular tires – Clement PDX tubies, to be exact – and Reynolds Carbon Assault wheels. Other tweaks include Di2 compatibility and a set of water bottle mounts on the down tube. With SRAM Red and and FSA SL-K Light cranks, the complete bike weighs 16.2lb and costs US$5,395. The head tube is shorter than on comparable X-Fire bikes.

“This really is a ‘take it out of the box, glue the tubulars and race it’ bike,” Schmidt said. “But for ’cross in general it’s all about disc this year. We’re pulling the wagon pretty hard on that.”

BikeRadar brought you the first look at the new X-Fire Disc back in May. There are two disc models for the bike – the mechanical Shimano Ultegra Disc for US$3,395 and SRAM Apex Disc for US$2,695. 

The X-Fire Apex Disc cyclo-cross bike is the cheaper mechanical disc option

There’s also a US$4,395 Shimano Di2 Ultegra X-Fire with rim brakes. “For the customer who’s at a point that they’re considering Di2 for ’cross, they probably already have a few sets of high-end race wheels,” Schmidt said.

The Shimano Di2 Ultegra spec comes with Shimano Ultegra tubeless wheels and Avid Ultimate cantilevers.

The third disc-based cyclo-cross bike offered by Ridley is the US$2,195 X-Ride Disc, which is built from a triple-butted alloy frame with SRAM Apex parts.

At the entry level, the US$1,595 rim brake X-Bow features new, more compact geometry for 2013.

Ridleys X-Bow is designed to welcome new cyclo-cross riders to the sport

“This is the same frame that won two world championships in 2002 and 2003, under [Bart] Wellens and [Mario] De Clercq,” Schmidt said. Back then, the bike was called the Supercross, but the X-Bow has the same double-butted alloy frame. 

For 2013, it will come with eyelets on the fork, and stays to mount a rack or fenders during the off-season.

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