Ribble Evo Pro Spring Edition review

Budget carbon from the North

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0
£949.00 RRP

Our review

It’s decent value, but there are more exciting bikes available for this kind of money
Buy if, You want value for money on spec and insist on a carbon frame
Pros: Value for money
Cons: Underwhelming ride, flexy brakes
Skip to view product specifications

In addition to supplying what seems like every other winter bike in the land, Lancashire-based value specialist Ribble pumps out an array of budget carbon offerings. The Evo Pro has been updated for 2017, promising more comfort and improved aero (although how much is anyone’s guess), along with a generous spec for this special edition.

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Aesthetically I have mixed feelings. The paintwork is glossy and well executed, with the green highlights giving it a Cannondale flavour, but the frame’s proportions are slightly gawky, at least in a size small, with the slim fork contrasting awkwardly with a chunky head-tube. I don’t care from a performance point, but a tapered fork would add visual harmony.

In design terms the Evo Pro is pretty standard, with chunky carbon tubes and a big PF30 bottom bracket shell that necessitates adaptors for the Shimano chainset. Compact geometry means most riders will have a good bit of seatpost on show, and the sizing tends slightly towards the large, with our small test bike having 378mm of reach and 556mm of stack.

Adaptors will be needed to use Shimano cranks with the PF30 bottom bracket
Adaptors will be needed to use Shimano cranks with the PF30 bottom bracket
Philip Sowels / Immediate Media

If you’re new to road bikes then the Evo Pro will feel light, lively and exciting, but compared to some of the stunning aluminium frames on the market, its ride quality is slightly wooden, something that’s doubtless not helped by the stout 31.6mm alloy seatpost.

While the seatpost is a chunky, utilitarian looking thing, the Deda cockpit is attractive in an understated way

The ride is moderately smooth and not excessively uncomfortable, but there is a distinct solidity to its persona, one that I’ve encountered on other affordable carbon bikes. On broken surfaces it can be quite jarring, which doesn’t instil confidence on technical descents, and the somewhat flexy own-brand brake calipers don’t help here either (although they’re on par with some of the non-groupset brakes offered on competitors’ bikes at this price point).

Standing on the pedals, the Evo Pro’s frame is underwhelming because it lacks real spring, feeling slightly inert under hard pedalling. For this reason, it’s not the most satisfying bike on which to give your all because it feels as though some of your energy is going to waste. This also contributes to a sense that it isn’t a particularly precise machine — it lacks the poise of a truly great bike.

Ribble provides the brakes too, dual-pivot options
Ribble provides the brakes too, dual-pivot options
Philip Sowels / Immediate Media

Brakes aside, I can’t fault the major component choices. Shimano 105 is always welcome and the non-series RS500 chainset is a quality item, even if it doesn’t technically match the rest of the groupset.

The Mavic Aksium wheels are just fine, a cut above the extremely basic rolling stock fitted to some bikes in this category, and they’re clad with entirely acceptable Continental Ultra Sport rubber.

While the seatpost is a chunky, utilitarian looking thing, the Deda cockpit is attractive in an understated way, and the colour coordination of the Sella Italia saddle is a nice touch.

If you’re new to road bikes then the Evo Pro will feel light, lively and exciting
If you’re new to road bikes then the Evo Pro will feel light, lively and exciting
Robert Smith

It’s impressive that in this time of austerity (or rather, weak Sterling) you can still have 105 components and Mavic Aksiums on a sub-thousand-pound bike. For the time being at least, Ribble seems to be resisting the price increases seen across the industry.

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The Evo Pro’s frameset is competent rather than lovable, but as a complete bike it certainly represents decent value for money. The question I’d ask buyers is: how badly do you want carbon? Because if you can stomach spending your hard-earned cash on a metal bike, you might get a better frameset for your money.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Evo Pro Spring Edition
Brand Ribble

Available Sizes XS S M L
Rear Wheel Weight 1790
Wheelbase (cm) 98.5
Top Tube (cm) 54
Standover Height (cm) 76
Seat Tube (cm) 44
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Wheelset Mavic Aksium
Weight (kg) 8.5
Trail 5.9
Stem Deda Zero, 100mm
Shifters Shimano 105
Seatpost CSN Superleggera alloy, 31.6mm
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Rear Tyre Continental Ultra Sport 700x25mm
Bottom Bracket Ribble press-fit
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Headset Type Ribble cartridge
Head Angle 73
Handlebar Deda Zero, 40cm
Front Wheel Weight 1360
Front Tyre Continental Ultra Sport 700x25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Material Evo Pro carbon
Fork Offset 4
Fork Evo Pro carbon, alloy steerer
Cranks Shimano RS500 50/34
Chain KMC X11-93
Cassette Shimano CS-5800 11-28
Brakes Ribble dual pivot
Frame size tested S