How Ridley's new Noah Fast will live up to its name

Concave channels for better aero

Ridley has overhauled its aero road bike with vortex-generating channels, an integrated cockpit and rim- and disc-brake variants. While Lotto-Soudal is racing the bike with Campagnolo at the Tour de France, the Ridley Noah Fast will be sold as a frameset or a complete bike with Shimano Ultegra Di2.

Ridley moulds in channels near the leading edge of the bike’s tubing (and headset spacers) to reduce aerodynamic drag. The idea is to form a tripwire that creates a small vortex generator, which keeps air flowing more smoothly and thus faster across the frame’s surface. 

Trippy! The new Ridley Noah Fast employs frontal-edge channeling to form a tripwire for better aerodynamics
Trippy! The new Ridley Noah Fast employs frontal-edge channeling to form a tripwire for better aerodynamics

The same principle applies to airplane wings or even the dimple designs you will have seen on golf balls, Zipp wheels and, recently, Castelli skinsuit shoulder panels.

Ridley calls its channelsF-Surface technology”, and has employed it on previous Noah bikes on the down tube and seatpost. Now Ridley put it on head tube, fork legs and headset spacers.

Ridley has used what it calls F-Surface treatment before on the down tube and seatpost, but the new bike has more extensive channeling
Ridley has used what it calls F-Surface treatment before on the down tube and seatpost, but the new bike has more extensive channeling

Ridley previously had a fork with a small opening through each leg that the company claimed reduced drag. That idea has been abandoned, evidently.

Another aero design comes in the form of nubs on the fork’s dropouts on the rim brake, bike and in a similar place on the disc version. Ridley calls these “F-Wings” and claims that they reduce turbulence caused by the front hub.

These little protrusions are another drag-reducing feature
These little protrusions are another drag-reducing feature

Also, the thru-axle lever can be popped off the disc bike for a cleaner profile.

New integrated cockpit, new seat clamp clamp and everything internal

The Noah Fast sports a very slick integrated cockpit
The Noah Fast sports a very slick integrated cockpit

Ridley has a new one-piece stem and handlebar that comes in six lengths and an unspecified numbers of widths (3 or 4 are common).

Ridley claims that while aerodynamics of the whole system was prioritized while designing the bike with CFD and wind-tunnel study, comfort and adjustability were also considered.

The way these headset spacers slot together and form channels is very satisfying
The way these headset spacers slot together and form channels is very satisfying

Ridley also tucked the seatpost clamp and brake/shift lines inside the frame and out of the wind. The latter run inside the bike all the way from the levers, passing through the bar and stem and down into the frame.

Ridley claims bottom-bracket and head-tube stiffness were increased while comfort is improved thanks to smaller and lower-mounted seatstays. No figures for these claims were provided.

Similarly, while Ridley says the Noah Fast Disc is “about 250g lighter”, no claimed weights are provided for the framesets or complete bikes for the rim or disc bikes.

While Ridley hasn’t yet notched a stage win in the 2018 Tour de France, the Belgian brand is hoping for a repeat of its past Tour greatness with the Noah, such as when Robbie McEwen raced in the green jersey or when André Greipel won on the Champs-Elysées.

Ridley Noah Fast pricing and availability

Availability is to be confirmed and we only have Euro prices at this time, which are as follows:

 Noah Fast Disc Shimano Ultegra — €7,899

Noah Fast Rim Shimano Ultegra Di2 — €7,399

Noah Fast Disc Frame — €4,499

Noah Fast Rim Brake Frame — €4,299

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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