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Ridley Fenix SL Disc Ultegra Di2 review

13 Apr 2018
Verdict:

Fast and good fun to ride, though not the most comfortable

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£4,099.99
For 
Precise, direct geometry • Decent Ultegra groupset • Spritely going uphill
Against 
Firm saddle • Unforgiving ride on bumpy surfaces

As suppliers to Belgian WorldTour team Lotto Soudal, Ridley bikes are a well-established sight in the pro peloton. The Fenix is the all-rounder in the range, with comfort being an important element in its design. It’s been a tempting choice for many Lotto Soudal riders over the Classics season, in races where cobbles have been a major feature.

Buy the Ridley Fenix SL Disc Ultegra Di2 review

It is clear that it was designed with racing in mind as it has a short head tube, making it possible to get a low riding position if required, compared to the more upright position of many so-called ‘endurance bikes’.

The bike’s looks are quite traditional, albeit with the addition of disc brakes, and on the road, it is eager to get up to speed, with instant response and no sluggishness.

Although the weight is not especially low, it feels quick and is enjoyable to ride up the steepest of hills.

While it claims to be designed for comfort, it is not outstanding in this respect, with the stiffness of the front end giving a slightly harsh feel through the bars.

Our test bike was fitted with 25mm Continental tyres, although production bikes will come with 28mm Vittoria Rubino tyres, which should make some difference.

When riding the cobbles and rougher roads we resorted to dropping the tyre pressures to 50psi, which helped significantly although it does greatly increase the risk of punctures.

A tubeless tyre option could eliminate this, and while the bike does not come with tubeless as standard, the DT Swiss rims are tubeless ready so conversion would be relatively inexpensive.

Overall, the wheels are a good all-round choice, feeling relatively light and stiff when climbing or sprinting.

Buy the Ridley Fenix SL Disc Ultegra Di2 review

It is impossible to fault the smooth shifting of the Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, although it does push the price up.

The hydraulic disc brakes are equally impressive and perhaps the best praise we can give them is that they just worked without us ever thinking about them, giving smooth, powerful stopping at all times.

Ratings

Frame 8/10; Components 9/10; Wheels 9/10; The ride 8/10

Verdict: The Fenix proved to be an enjoyable bike to ride, feeling fast whenever you wanted to push the pace. Comfort might not be its leading feature, but on most roads it covers ground quickly. While it's price is on the high side, the Ultegra Di2 groupset makes cost easier to justify.

Spec

Frame Fenix SL Disc frame and fork
Groupset Shimano Ultegra 8050 Di2
Brakes Shimano Ultegra 8050 hydraulic disc
Chainset Rotor 3D30, 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-32
Bars Forza Cirrus Pro Carbon
Stem Forza Cirrus
Seatpost Forza Cirrus
Saddle Forza Cirrus Pro
Wheels DT Swiss R23 DB, Vittoria Rubino Pro 28mm
Weight 8.14kg (size 54cm)
Contact ridley-bikes.com

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