New Ridley Helium SLX Disc adds disc brakes and internally routes all cables

Jelle Wallays of Lotto-Soudal takes the win at Paris-Tours aboard new model

2020 Ridley Helium SLX Disc

The Helium is Ridley’s lightweight race bike and, for 2020, it gets a disc brake option with the Ridley Helium SLX Disc. 

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The Helium SLX Disc was first spotted at Eurobike 2019 and has already seen racing success this year, with Jelle Wallays of Lotto-Soudal taking the win at Paris-Tours.

Called the “king of racers” by Ridley, the new Helium SLX Disc is visually similar to the rim brake model, but adds 12mm thru-axles, dropped seatstays and subtle aero improvements. 

2020 Ridley Helium SLX Disc key specs

Jelle Wallays' Ridley Helium SLX Disc
Jelle Wallays rode the new Ridley Helium SLX Disc to victory at the 2019 Paris-Tours.
Ridley
  • 780g claimed frame weight (size medium, painted)
  • 360g claimed painted fork weight
  • Fully-integrated cables
  • Dropped seatstays
  • Aero improvements
  • Claimed 14% decrease in drag compared to outgoing model
  • 28mm tyre clearance
  • Two builds and frameset option (€3,399) available
  • Available through Ridley Dream Bike customisation programme

Ridley describes the Helium SLX Disc as the “ultra-gourmet” (yes, really) frameset in its lineup and, for 2020, it has been brought up to date to make it a deliciously appealing (?) option for the road rider looking for a top-end lightweight disc bike. 

Ridley Helium SLX Disc seatstays
As is almost to be expected these days, the seatstays on the new bike have been subtly dropped.
Ridley

In keeping with industry-wide trends, the stays have been ever so slightly dropped on the new bike. This is less pronounced than on comparable bikes from other brands but is still said to add a degree of compliance without sacrificing stiffness. 

Ridley Helium SLX Disc down tube
The new bike uses many of the same tubes as the disc bike.
Ridley

The tube profiles are very similar to the rim brake model — in fact, the disc version of the bike uses the same down tube and top tube as the rim brake version.  

Ridley has adopted its F-steerer profile that was first seen on the Noah Fast. This squared-off steerer profile allows Ridley to internally route all cables down the front of the head tube, making for a very clean front end. 

Ridley claims that by hiding the cables the bike sees a “decrease in wind resistance of 14%”. 

Tyre clearances have also been increased on the new bike and the Helium SLX Disc will take tyres up to 28mm wide. 

The new Helium SLX Disc frame is said to weigh 780g in a size medium. This is the weight for a painted frame and is claimed to be only 60g more than the rim brake version of the same bike. 

On that note, unlike some manufacturers — who seem to be abandoning rim brakes en masse — Ridley will continue to offer the rim brake version of the Helium alongside the disc model.

The bike is available via the Ridley website in two builds: a SRAM Force eTap AXS build will set you back €6,999 and an Ultegra R8000 build comes in at €4,999.

A frameset-only option is also available for €3,399 through Ridley’s customisation programme. The bike is available in six different sizes. 

2020 Ridley Helium SLX Disc SRAM Force eTAP AXS specs

  • Frame: Helium SLX Disc
  • Fork: Helium SLX Disc
  • Derailleurs/shifter: SRAM Force Etap AXS
  • Crank SRAM Force DUB 48/35
  • Cassette SRAM XG-1270 10-28 12-speed
  • Brakes: SRAM Force flat mount
  • Wheels: Forza R45_17cc, DT Swiss 350
  • Handlebar: Forza Cirrus Pro Aero Comfort Carbon
  • Stem: Forza Cirrus
  • Seatpost: Forza Cirrus Carbon-Alloy
  • Chain: SRAM Force 12-speed
  • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR
  • Tyres: Vittoria Corsa
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2020 Ridley Helium SLX Disc Shimano Ultegra R8000 specs

  • Frame: Helium SLX Disc
  • Fork: Helium SLX Disc
  • Derailleurs/shifter: Shimano Ultegra R8000
  • Crank: Rotor VEGAST 52/36
  • Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-30
  • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra Flatmount
  • Wheels: DT Swiss ER1600 DB
  • Handlebar: Forza Cirrus
  • Stem: Forza Cirrus
  • Seatpost: Forza Cirrus Carbon-Alloy
  • Chain: KMC X11
  • Saddle: KMC X11
  • Tyres: Vittoria Rubino Pro