Joining the swell of bike companies offering disc brakes on cyclocross bikes, Ridley choose to spec four of their six cyclo-cross bikes with mechanical discs. Ridley launched their top-end 2013 disc ’cross bike, the X-Fire Disc, at Boulder Cycle Sport in Colorado on Wednesday, and BikeRadar borrowed the bike for a closer examination.
The 2013 X-Fire Disc comes in two spec options: Shimano Di2 Ultegra for $4,395 and mechanical Ultegra for $3,395. We looked at the latter.
With full-length shift and brake housing, plus Clément’s mud-specific PDX rubber, the X-Fire Disc looks ready for some truly epic ’cross conditions.
The bike comes dressed with Shimano’s Ultegra mechanical shifters and rear derailleur, with a Shimano 105 cassette, chain, and front derailleur. Clément’s PDX clinchers are mounted on Velocity Handbuilt wheels. Hayes CX-5 mechanical disc brakes, a Ritchey cockpit and an FSA K-Light crankset with 46/36 rings round out the package.
Ridley uses the same frame for the Di2 and the mechanical Ultegra bike, so upgrading to electric later is an option. As is becoming the standard, the rear wheel spacing is 135mm, so your 29er mountain wheel could be subbed in, or kept for spares in the pit.
While you can’t switch to caliper brakes on the x-fire disc, you can switch to a shimano di2 drivetrain, as the frame is prepped for internal routing of the wires:Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
Routing for the Di2 battery wires, should you decide to go electric
This is the first year Ridley has produced a disc cyclocross bike. Other disc options include the $2,695 X-Fire Disc Apex and the X-Ride Disc Apex. Ridley’s top-end bike, the $5,395 X-Night Red, is a cantilever bike.
To counteract the disc-brake forces, the X-Fire Disc’s 4ZA Oryx fork is designed with heavily reinforced lower legs. The X-Fire Disc’s huge bladed fork connects to the frame at a 1-1/2in lower bearing, and the steerer tube tapers up to a 1-1/8in upper bearing.
Hayes cx five discs provide x-fire’s stopping power:Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
The beefed up fork and Hayes CX Five mechanical caliper