Ribble’s overhauled range of bikes is simply huge with models for every discipline and builds for every budget. There’s no shortage of standard builds, often in up to three colour options, and Ribble’s online Bike Builder allows you to customise any bike to your personal preference, or budget – at least up to a point.
The basic price of the R872 Disc I have here is £1,399, but it was supplied with a couple of upgrades from standard.
A carbon seatpost replaced the alloy one and the tyres were switched to Continental’s sublime Grand Prix 5000s. I didn’t choose them, but, had I been a customer, those would be two elements of any bike high on my list for potential improvement.
Narrow-bridged seatstays limit rear clearance. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Even then the Ribble still comes in a lot cheaper than the other bikes that were also on test (see below), but boasts a component specification equal to or better than its competition.
This is largely due to the R872 Disc’s frameset costing less than its opposition, which could be viewed as comparatively budget, or simply good value. It’s also an opportunity, because the Bike Builder permits you to upgrade several other components.
Lighter alloy or carbon bars and stems are available, plus multiple Fizik or Prologo saddles, alternate Mavic wheels, and even a left-side 4iiii power crank. Ribble now also offers custom-painted framesets for an extra £299.
In truth, I’d planned to have a more expensive Ribble in for test, but the potential of the R872 made it so appealing that it got the nod instead. Is this a tale of a plucky British underdog kicking the establishment in the bottom bracket and taking the spoils? Well, let’s see how it got on.
Its 11-32 cassette means the gear range should suit everyone David Caudery / Immediate Media
Ribble R872 Disc ride impressions
One part of the R872’s build that can’t be altered online is the groupset. You’re stuck with a Shimano 105 hydraulic disc groupset with RS-510 non-series 50/34 chainset, but that’s no bad thing as it’s a proven performer and all works perfectly together.
With its 11-32 cassette, the gear range should suit just about everyone, even the aspiring racer, and the disc brakes never fail to impress.
The house brand Level handlebar feels good with an ergonomic shape and, together with the Level stem, resists twist and undue flex well.
Drop the brand snobbery and enjoy the fun of the R872. Robert Smith
Prologo’s Kappa RS saddle is well shaped and comfortable with the carbon seatpost preventing most road buzz from reaching you, but it’s the lowly Mavic Aksiums, and rather more special Conti tyres, that literally sing once you inject some powerful pedal strokes.
Inexpensive they may be, but the Aksiums deliver lively performance and really feel quick.
With the tyres measuring 26mm, and with 75 to 80psi inside, the Ribble has constantly chatty surface feedback. It’s not a smooth ride and road vibrations get a little more obvious at higher speed, but the ride quality isn’t harsh or uncomfortable.
I actually enjoyed the feeling of not being disconnected from the road as, added to the frisky wheelset, the R872 Disc showed its composed nature.
The ride is composed when things turn rough, and very communicative… an amazing value package. Robert Smith
The Ribble’s handling is predictable and sound, its Contis helping to gather up any filthy backroad over-exuberance but still allowing me to push the bike’s limits and exploit its speed.
It romps uphill with greater urgency than anything else on test and willingly accelerates over the top, then descends with assurance.
Mounts for full mudguards tick the practicality box but the clearances at the fork and stays look a little mismatched, with heaps of room up front and probably just space for a 28mm tyre at the back. All of the control lines pass through well-sealed ports and the frameset sports lots of reflective graphics.
The choice here is between heart and head. For many riders, their heart may crave something from a big-name brand, but budget may insist otherwise. Brand snobbery may be a consideration, but if you can hop aboard the R872 Disc, you’ll realise that it’s just excellent, fast fun.
Ribble R872 Disc geometry
Seat angle: 73 degrees
Head angle: 72.5 degrees
Seat tube: 50.2cm
Top tube: 53.8cm
Head tube: 16cm
Fork offset: 5cm
Bottom bracket height: 27.2cm
Bottom bracket drop: 6.9cm
How we tested
This bike was tested as part of a five bike grouptest of bikes priced at around £2,000 that have been searched for the most online in the past year and are still available.
The bikes were tested against each other to find out which one provides the best blend of comfort and performance.
Bikes also on test: