Long rides, at a reasonable pace, at any time of year? Enter the Ribble Sportive 365. Despite the benefits of a lightweight, non-corroding frame for winter riding, there are very few carbon fibre frames that will accept full mudguards – even fewer that come with deep-drop calliper brakes giving clearance for 25mm tyres and mudguards at the same time. The Sportive 365 is one of a very small breed.
- HIGHS: Great value, enormously practical and versatile, mudguards are cool
- LOWS: Frame not as sophisticated as the big-name competition
- BUY IF… You want a lightweight performance bike for year-round use
There’s no getting away from the fact that Ribble, a bike shop in Preston, doesn’t have the R&D budget of a brand like Giant or Specialized. The 365’s frame lacks such features as a tapered head tube. It’s a straightforward, honest frame – practical rather than showy.
Ribble’s online bike builder lets you fiddle around with the specification to fit your needs, wants and budget. The Sora build comes in at under £900, but our test bike had a bunch of upgrades. Most notably, a Shimano 105 transmission is within the scope of a £1,300 budget.
Impressively, the test bike came in at a hair under 9kg – with full mudguards. The Ribble felt at home in the rather wet test conditions. There’s a whole generation of riders who’ve never experienced mudguards; they’ve missed out. Being able to go for a ride on wet roads without drenching yourself is simply a more pleasant experience.
But don’t think that the Sportive 365 is just a posh winter trainer. Ribble has used carbon’s ability to accommodate all sorts of tube shapes by designing in room for mudguards without having to extend the chainstays or fork length, so the Ribble’s geometry is actually quite racy.
Many bikes pitched at sportives are notably tall at the front, but while the Ribble’s not as slammed as a full-bore race bike, it still has a relatively low-slung front end.
The low weight gives the Ribble a definite spring in its step – unbolt the mudguards and there’s no reason not to race it. The frame’s not as stiff as the more highly developed competition, but if you’ve only got room or budget for one bike you can’t argue with the Sportive 365’s versatility.
|Name||Name, 0, 10, Name, Sportive 365 (14)|
|Brand||Brand, 0, 20, Brand, Ribble|
|Available Sizes||Available Sizes, 2, 0, Available Sizes, S M L XL|
|Bottom Bracket||Bottom Bracket, 2, 0, Bottom Bracket, Shimano 105 external cups|
|Brakes||Brakes, 2, 0, Brakes, Shimano BR -R451 long reach|
|Cassette||Cassette, 2, 0, Cassette, Shimano 105 11-25|
|Chain||Chain, 2, 0, Chain, Shimano CN5701|
|Cranks||Cranks, 2, 0, Cranks, Shimano 105 50/34|
|Fork||Fork, 2, 0, Fork, Carbon, aluminium steerer, mudguard mounts|
|Frame Material||Frame Material, 2, 0, Frame Material, Ribble Optimal Power Transfer carbon|
|Front Derailleur||Front Derailleur, 2, 0, Front Derailleur, Shimano 105|
|Front Tyre||Front Tyre, 2, 0, Front Tyre, Continental Gator Skins 700x25|
|Front Wheel Weight||Front Wheel Weight, 2, 0, Front Wheel Weight, 1260|
|Handlebar||Handlebar, 2, 0, Handlebar, Deda RH M 02 compact 42cm|
|Headset Type||Headset Type, 2, 0, Headset Type, 11/8in integrated|
|Rear Derailleur||Rear Derailleur, 2, 0, Rear Derailleur, Shimano 105|
|Rear Tyre||Rear Tyre, 2, 0, Rear Tyre, Continental Gator Skins 700x25|
|Rear Wheel Weight||Rear Wheel Weight, 2, 0, Rear Wheel Weight, 1710|
|Saddle||Saddle, 2, 0, Saddle, Sella Italia SLS|
|Seatpost||Seatpost, 2, 0, Seatpost, Carbon 31.6mm|
|Shifters||Shifters, 2, 0, Shifters, Shimano 105 10-speed|
|Stem||Stem, 2, 0, Stem, Deda Zero 2 11cm|
|Weight (kg)||Weight (kg), 2, 0, Weight (kg), 8.96|
|Wheelset||Wheelset, 2, 0, Wheelset, Fulcrum Racing 5|
|Weight (lb)||Weight (lb), 2, 0, Weight (lb), 19.75|
|Spoke Type||Spoke Type, 2, 0, Spoke Type, Front: 18 radial spokes; rear: 20 radial/two-cross|
|Frame size tested||Frame size tested, 2, 0, Frame size tested, L|