Ridley Fenix Sl Ultegra Di2
Richard Wittenberg who on episode 31 of the podcast talked in detail about the company Ridley arranged for a review of the Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra Di2. With a Belgian heritage and a penchant for being the working rider's bike, this bike was nat afraid to go places. This machine is branded as the bike that is the go to choice for the Lotto Soudal boys when the terrain gets bumpy. It, however does not appear like most endurance bikes. There is no massive head tube or elastomers or suspension of any kind. It looks and feels very much like a race machine. It does however have extremely thin and narrow seat stays, a trademark for many bikes looking for more compliance. So when taken on gravel or bumps, I was expecting a harsh almost unforgiving ride. It changed my perception of what an endurance bike can be on the unstable terrain. It felt fast and smooth. Even with the stock Continental GP 4000 S II 25c tires, it handled in a variety of situations. Like a WWII era gas station attendant on a Saturday night date, it wasn't afraid of a little grime but also cleaned up and looked sharp on the roads as well.
The most striking aspect was the shape of the top tube. It featured a slight curve and also the tube shapes weren't aero, weren't oversized, well, they were Ridley. It uses a high modulus carbon fiber which makes it not only light and stiff, but compliant. The Fenix SL came mostly stock. Using their house brand Forza components for the cockpit, seat post and saddle it fit the bill. They were trusty aluminum parts and I felt secure on it with much wider bars than I'm used to (I normally ride a size 40) and a comfy saddle. The Fulcrum wheel set provided plenty of compliance when needed and were a welcome choice compared to some finicky aero super light wheel set. The bike also had a pioneer power meter and head unit as a special feature. I did have some trouble getting the settings right and pairing the power meter with the head unit. With the stem slammed and saddle pushed forward, once in the drops on the pavement, I had to remind myself that this was a bike designed to handle the tough stuff. It was still very responsive and nimble once I accelerated out of the saddle.
While in Glendale on some somewhat secret trails, I was able to keep up with my riding partner who was on a Cannondale Slate, a bike with 30mm of travel on the front fork and 650 wheels. He is someone who has spent a fair bit of time in the European theater. He remarked that even though I may think the terrain was a bit steep and tough and that I had to walk sections, it was nothing compared to what the guys endure at Parix Roubaix. In the end, I was sad to see the bike leave my clutches. In terms of aesthetics, you either love or hate orange and black matte finishes and for me was a stark difference from my normal pearly white race machine. This bike can handle just about anything you throw at it and then some. Just remember this bike may just surprise you the longer you have it.
Size Small Price: $4,200 (Not counting Power meter) Weight: 16.98 pounds
For more information about the Fenix SL from Ridley learn more»
- Can do go anywhere design
- Its #betough Belgian Heritage
- Compliant yet sharp handling
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- Uncompromising paint scheme
- Not super light