The Ribble Endurance Dura-Ace Disc Di2 really is all about endurance, but being from Ribble it also comes with a very large side order of value. We had this built to our own specification, and it was such a success that it’s now available from Ribble as a special order — and its combination of kit and price is also pretty special. It comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Dura-Ace-level hydraulic brakes, with no obvious component compromises elsewhere.
Though endurance is very much the watchword, the frame is also designed for optimal power transfer, thanks to its large asymmetric chainstays and substantial bottom bracket shell. However, that is tempered by slightly more relaxed geometry and tubes that aren’t designed for all-out stiffness. The mid-length wheelbase keeps the handling reasonably relaxed, but our 58cm bike’s 170mm head-tube isn’t that tall, so it isn’t overly leisurely.
It’s effectively a bike of two halves, with the chunkier lower section making sure your speed is transferred and the slimmer top half — skinny seatstays, thinner top-tube — isolating you from poor roads. On a few miles of stone-chipped dual carriageway the Ribble simply swallowed up the bumps and nulled vibrations, helping us to keep our average speed up. We even tried it out on some bridleways to see whether it would cope. It did. With tyre clearance limited to 25mm, or 28 at a push, we’re not talking gravel bike, but this is still an impressively smooth-riding machine.
The Endurance is also a very willing and able climber. The sensible gear spread and efficient pedalling make for rewarding efforts and it never feels like it’s holding you back. Downhill it displays a couple of contrasting characteristics. The Shimano hydraulic brakes are impeccable and a perfect match for the slick Dura-Ace shifting, but push the Endurance hard into corners and that skinny top-tube and slender fork can flex a fraction. It’s initially a little disconcerting and caused us to back off, but when we did push to the limit we couldn’t induce even the slightest speed wobble.
It reminded us of high-end bikes from the likes of Look and Time, which have the same slightly soft character. It’s not necessarily a negative, but you will have to adjust to it. This Ribble requires a light touch, and if you’re the sort of rider who attacks every downhill corner you may find the chassis wanting. Then again, you’re unlikely to choose this in the first place…
We’ve been impressed before at how well Ribble can kit out a bike — and this is no exception. It’s one of its higher-specced bikes and in addition to a full raft of Dura-Ace Di2 and equivalent level brakes you get a quality Deda Zero100 cockpit, a Selle Italia saddle and Schwalbe’s super-tough 25mm Durano tyres. You could go for lighter rubber if you want a little more speed, but the Schwalbes are excellent tyres offering lots of feel and grip.
A build of this quality wouldn’t be out of place on a £4,000 / US$5,000 / AU$6,500 bike, so to get it for ‘just’ £2,799 / US$2,334 / AU$4,700 is a great deal. The smooth-riding Endurance frame and that kit line-up is a killer combination for the competitive sportive rider or serious mile-eater looking to make a savvy purchase.