Ridley Orion C20 review

Strong and smooth-riding road bike

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,325.00 RRP

Our review

Floaty ride makes for easy mile-eating and it’s reasonable value
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The sticker on the Ridley Orion C20’s seat tube says, ‘Tested on pavé’, and serves as a gentle reminder of Ridley’s Flemish origins. The Orion C20 sits in Ridley’s Endurance range, although the fact that it shares that tag with half the bikes that Ridley makes tells you something about the company.

  • HIGHS: Forgiving ride, standard components easy to work on, looks great
  • LOWS: Not especially, parts is spec merely okay
  • BUY IF…  You’re looking for a race-style position and geometry combined with comfort

It’s a distinctive-looking frame, although white wouldn’t be our first choice for a Spring Classic. With a boxy, octagonal-section down tube and top tube and a short, tapered head tube, the Orion C20 promises a fast ride.

The rear wishbone joins an octagonal down tube and top tube:
Robert Smith

Ridley has stuck with a threaded bottom bracket, and at the back you’ll find wishbone-style seatstays. With graceful curves, the fork looks the part and is supple on poor surfaces, although the carbon only goes as far as the legs – there’s an aluminium steerer rather than the lighter, stiffer full carbon offerings elsewhere.

The Ridley packs a full set of Shimano Tiagra kit, including the brakes that are a cut above the off-brand callipers often found at this price. It would have been nice to see a hint of 105, but Tiagra is par for the course.

Tiagra’s brakes are a step up from those often seen at this price:
Robert Smith

The compact chainset and 12-28 cassette offer a sensible range of gears, and there’s the option of a triple chainset if you need more. It’s good to see a straightforward wheel setup, with conventional Shimano hubs laced to 30mm deep rims. You’ll have no trouble finding spokes to fit these.

At just over 9kg, the Ridley is fairly average in terms of weight. It has a racy riding position, with a low front end and steep angles, making it easy to put the power down. It’s properly agile too, but without being scary. The big main tubes help keep everything in line and accurate.

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The real strength of the Ridley is comfort. That pavé stuff is more than an idle boast – the Orion really is very smooth on rough roads despite its 23mm tyres and oversized seatpost, and it makes you want to just keep going.

Product Specifications


Name Orion C20 (14)
Brand Ridley Bikes

Available Sizes XXS XS S M L XL
Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech
Brakes Shimano Tiagra
Cassette Shimano Tiagra 12-28
Chain KMC X10
Cranks Shimano Tiagra 50/34
Fork 24t HM unidirectional carbon, aluminium steerer
Frame Material 24T HM unidirectional carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Front Tyre Continental Ultra Sport 700x23 folding
Front Wheel Weight 1330
Handlebar 4ZA 44cm
Headset Type FSA integrated 11/8in
Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Rear Tyre Continental Ultra Sport 700x23 folding
Rear Wheel Weight 1870
Saddle 4ZA
Seatpost 4ZA 31.6mm
Shifters Shimano Tiagra 10-speed
Stem 4ZA Barbore 12cm
Weight (kg) 9.06
Wheelset 4ZA RC30
Weight (lb) 19.97
Spoke Type Black stainless steel spokes. Front: 24; rear: 28
Frame size tested M