Ridley has debuted its new disc clad Noah SL to press, stating that the new build is much “more than just a Noah SL with new holes drilled in”.
With 15 versions prototyped over 18 months, the SL disc has new carbon layups which handle the additional stresses of discs and thru axle adaptation.
An internally routed hydraulic line through the body of the frame and through the left blade of the F-Split fork keeps a clean, aerodynamic design. Mounting is via the new Shimano flat mount system for an ultra-clean (and aero) set up. Braking power is increased approximately 15% with the 160mm disc rotors compared to the caliper brake version.
12 mm thru axles are used front and rear, with the rear end now being 142mm wide versus the standard road dimensions of 135mm. Ridley made this tweak to allow for a wider hub shell to be used creating a stronger rear wheel. Enhanced power transfer is delivered, with rear end twist reduced under load. The front wheel release is on the left rather than right hand side normally associated with thru axles.
“We wanted the race mechanics to have the lever on their right hand side so they could change the axle more quickly when addressing the bike from the front,” says Toon Wills, lead designer on the frame.
All of the Fast Technologies integrated in to the caliper brake version of the bike are included in the disc brake version. The in molded F-Surface Plus, a tech that helps the frame cut through the wind “like a golf ball” are unchanged, as are the F-Stays. The F-Split fork, which reduces the drag associated with the wheel passing through the fork blades, had to be modified to accept the disc brake mount.
“There’s no real change in aerodynamic efficiency,” said Richard Wittenberg, while introducing the frame at Eurobike’s Media Days. “There’s a divergence between racing and what the market wants and we believe this is what consumers are crying out for. It’s UCI legal for Gran Fondos and perfect for wetter climates that need reliable braking.”
Pricing is expected to come in at around €500 euro more than the caliper equivalent.
The Helium SLA
Another eyecatcher debuted last week is the new SLA framset, set to retail for around €800/$800 for a frame and fork package. Complete bike builds come in at $1,300 and $2,000.
Tapering down to 0.8mm in places, the 1,200 gram frameset is fine tuned to deliver performance and comfort. Built with 6000 series aluminium alloy, the SLA carries double pass welding on the head and seat tubes to ensure it’s longevity in high stress areas.
“Our roots are based in making race ready alloy frames”, commented Jochim Aerts CEO of Ridley. “We were one of the first to introduce alloy frames in to the Pro Peloton in early 2000’s. In value for money, you can’t beat them. With the advancement in metallic alloys and welding technologies we can now provide a durable alloy frame at the same weight as some carbon frames.”
It’s no accident that the tubing is reminiscent of the SL carbon, with these tube profiles optimised for maximum stiffness for the given weight. Down tubes and top tubes are hydroformed and the rear seat stays are kept extremely thin to help dampen road shock and vibration.
The frame is suitable for standard mechanical (cable actuated) shifting. All cables run internally within the frame for an extremely sleek look. Seat post diameter is 27.2 allowing the seat post to absorb some of the road shock normally associated with aluminum frame.