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Ribble Endurance AL Disc review

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £1,099
Ribble Endurance AL Disc

Our review

A successful updated disc brake version of Ribble’s tried-and-trusted aluminium classic
Pros: Smooth-riding endurance machine with decent kit and genuinely excellent brakes
Cons: Slightly uncomfortable brake lever hoods and average tyres
Ribble has been the purveyor of bikes since the late 19th century and is still going strong having successfully moved from mail order to the online world.

The Ribble Endurance AL Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.

Ribble Endurance AL Disc frame and kit

This new iteration of Ribble’s Endurance model showcases what you’ll get for around a thousand quid if you want disc brakes — a neatly finished alloy frame and tapered full-carbon fork, both of which have aero features, thru axles, internal cable routing, mudguard fittings, clearance for wide tyres and hydraulic disc brakes.

It also features “seatstay profiles designed for vertical compliance and vibration absorption in order to enhance your ride comfort”.

The frameset is what you would expect these days. Semi-compact geometry with dropped seatstays and a truncated aerofoil down-tube, while the fork has aero-profiling. The 10-speed Tiagra groupset is one down from Shimano 105, but the Ribble has another string to its bow — hydraulic disc brakes.

Ribble’s standard Endurance Disc Al (£899 / $963 / AU$1479) comes with cable actuated brakes, but I’d bust the budget to go for hydraulics.

Ribble’s direct-sales model also allows it to spec some of the best wheels you’ll find at this price — Mavic’s tough-but-not-light Aksiums with 28mm Continental Ultra Sport tyres.

Shimano hydraulic disc brake
Braking is powerful, smooth and controlled
David Caudery/Immediate Media

Disc brakes are still a no-no for some roadies, but it’s hard to know why. Okay, the rotors don’t add to a road bike’s aesthetics but… the braking! Smooth, powerful and easy to modulate come sun or — more crucially —rain.

Braking is virtually instant even in a driving downpour. And while the Pinnacle’s mechanical discs offer some of these advantages, the Ribble’s hydraulic brakes are unrivalled here, the frame and fork’s thru-axles helping the bike make the most of them.

The main negative is a slight (but noticeable) bulge under the lever hoods where the hydraulic hoses exit.

By moving the angle of my hands fractionally outwards I could avoid it, and depending on your riding position and the size of your hands, it may be no issue at all.

That said, I also found the large hood bodies made reaching around the front of them a bit of a stretch, even with the slightly swept-back bar. Swapping to a stem that’s a centimetre or two shorter would fix that, though.

The Ribble's geometry lends itself well to speed
The Ribble’s frame geometry is at the racier end of endurance spectrum
Robert Smith

Ribble Endurance AL Disc ride experience

The ride is precise, smooth and controlled. The bike climbs well in spite of its 10kg-plus weight and the 34×32 bottom gear is very welcome.

Downhill it’s a blast, the hydraulic brakes helping you brake that fraction of a second later, safe in the knowledge you’re always in control.

The sweep of the bar makes it a comfortable ride on the tops, ideal for long-distance riding, and when you get down in the drops for some more aggressive sprinting action, the compact frame balances stiffness and comfort nicely.

It might call itself a distance machine, but the geometry is at the racier end of the endurance spectrum, with a slightly shorter head-tube and wheelbase.

Ribble’s Endurance may not major on versatility, but it lends itself superbly to fast or long-distance commuting, fitness, endurance riding and year-round training with mudguards.

This bike definitely looks the part and, if you’re happy to buy online, it’s highly recommended.

Ribble Endurance AL Disc specifications

  • Sizes (*Tested): XS, S, M*, L, XL
  • Weight: 10.26kg
  • Frame: Double-butted 6061 aluminium
  • Fork: Ribble Endurance AL Carbon Disc
  • Chainset: Shimano Tiagra 50/34
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano Rs500
  • Cassette: Shimano Tiagra 11-32
  • Chain: Shimano
  • Mech: Shimano Tiagra
  • Shifters: Shimano Tiagra
  • Wheelset: Mavic Aksium
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport, 28mm
  • Wheel weight: 1.66kg (f), 2.19kg (r)
  • Stem: Level 1
  • Bar: Level 1
  • Headset: Ribble
  • Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS
  • Seatpost: Level 1 27.2mm
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc

Ribble Endurance AL Disc geometry

  • Seat angle: 73 degrees
  • Head angle: 72 degrees
  • Chainstay: 41cm
  • Seat tube: 49cm
  • Top tube: 55cm
  • Head tube: 15cm
  • Fork offset: 5cm
  • Trail: 5.8cm
  • Bottom bracket drop: 6.8cm
  • Wheelbase: 1,000mm
  • Stack: 54.8cm
  • Reach: 38.8cm

BikeRadar would like to thank Stolen Goat, Lazer, Northwave and Effetto Mariposa for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.