CGR stands for ‘cross, gravel, road’, and alludes to the numerous ways that the steel, aluminium, titanium or carbon CGR framesets from Ribble can be built. Versatility is a good thing, so long as a bike does master the majority of its proposed uses.
Available with a wide range of single and double chainring groupsets, 700c and 650b wheelsets, plus tyres and tyre clearance, the CGR has the potential to fulfil many riders’ everyday needs.
My model was upgraded from the standard £1,399 build and came equipped with a Shimano 105 groupset, including hydraulic disc brakes with Tektro rotors and Mavic’s Allroad wheelset with some fetching Continental tyres, plus mudguards.
The finishing kit consists of Ribble’s own Level 1 alloy bar and stem, plus 27.2mm carbon seatpost, topped with a Prologo Kappa RS saddle. SKS mudguards comfortably cover the tyres and there’s a front flap to keep more spray off your feet and drivetrain.
The subtly flared bar is swept back giving a comfortable hand hold when riding on the tops and an ergonomic grip in the drops with easy reach to the levers.
SKS mudguards fit comfortably with a front flap to keep spray off your feet. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Hydroforming gives the 6061 T6 heat-treated aluminium frame tubes their character and performance. The top tube is an upturned triangle, while the oversized down tube is similarly oriented but with a more rounded forward face.
The chunky ovalised chainstays angle away from the threaded bottom bracket shell and are crimped for tyre and chainring clearance, while the dropped seatstays have a wide stance and prominent kink above the dropouts; both have bridges.
Cables enter the down tube on each side and exit from the cowled tube end (at the bottom bracket shell) continuing externally. There’s a third bottle cage mount below the down tube and provision for a rear rack, as well as full mudguards. The full carbon monocoque fork is extremely broad shouldered, but elegantly purposeful, with lots of clearance and internal brake hose routing.
Subtly flared bar gives a comfortable hand hold. David Caudery / Immediate Media
It’s an impressive package, tied together with a colour coded saddle and bar tape, and my medium-sized machine weighed in at 10.08kg.
The 28mm Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tyres measure 31.5mm wide on Mavic’s generous Allroad rims and are a high quality tyre that ensures a good ride feel. I ran 70psi in them for consistency and was very glad to have their confident control on roads almost completely covered in slick mud. Without ’guards, I’d have been looking like a bog snorkeller in no time.
The CGR is obviously built tough, and its strength gives the impression of efficiency. It can certainly cover ground deceptively quickly, but it doesn’t always feel as direct as I expected, as if the wheelset is very slightly holding it back.
The gearing range is excellent, with 50/34 up front and 11-32 at the back, the only thing left wanting will be your ambition, and Shimano’s 105 hydraulic discs are powerful.
An honest and likeable do-it-all bike. Russell Burton
Despite a decent exposed length of carbon seatpost, the CGR AL did transmit some vibration through the otherwise very comfortable saddle. I found the riding position to be almost identical to my preferred 56cm frame setup, and I felt at home. The CGR AL’s handling felt accurate and a little predictable at speed, but not the most informative.
The beauty of the CGR’s frameset design is that a simple tyre swap opens up a whole new route outlook, and there’s the option of 650b wheels and even greater tyre volume, too.
This is a horse for many courses, and while perhaps not the best at any one, it’s an honest and very likeable trier.
Ribble CGR AL geometry
Seat angle: 72.5 degrees
Head angle: 72 degrees
Seat tube: 48.5cm
Top tube: 54.5cm
Head tube: 17cm
Fork offset: 4.75cm
Bottom bracket height: 28.7cm
Bottom bracket drop: 6.9cm
SKS Thermoplastic mudguards: £45 / $50 / AU$80