Last week, at Press Camp 2014, we previewed Ridley’s extensive new cyclocross lineup, which should load the market with 18 different models. In part one, we looked at the X-Night, the X-Fire, and the all-new Fenix Disc. This is part two of our two-part preview, with the attention now on the aluminum X-Ride, the X-Bow, and the Kids Cross 26.
2015 Ridley X-Ride
The 2015 X-Ride serves as Ridley’s top-level triple butted aluminum frame, which comes fully built with four different models, following the trends of the full-carbon X-Fire. Like the X-Fire models, all X-Rides will come with a 46/36 FSA Gossamer Crankset to accommodate Shimano’s lack of a BB30 system. With the exception of the X-Ride 10 disc, which carries the same 4ZA Cirrus CCD30 wheels as the X-Fire 10, the other X-Ride models will come with Fulcrum wheels one level down from the X-Fire equivalent models.
The X-Ride 10 and X-Ride 10 disc are both accompanied by Shimano’s Ultegra 11-speed mechanical system, and will come with respective price tags of $2,550 and $2,700.
With the introduction of SRAM Rival 22, it appears that few race ready bikes of 2015 will carry any 10-speed parts. Ridley’s race entry models, the X-Ride 20 and X-Ride 20 Disc follow suit as both will be equipped with the Shimano 105 11-speed component group. The price for getting the Belgian brand’s entry-level race models? $2,000 for the cantilever model and $2,100 for the model equipped with disc brakes.
2015 Ridley X-Bow and X-Bow Allroad
With the matte colors, the matching brown grips and saddle, the mudguards and affordable component group, it looks as if the Ridley X-Bow Allroad is taking the fight to companies like Raleigh, who in the last few years have been targeting the niche market of affordable, utility-minded and styled cyclocross bikes. Unlike the steel-centric companies, Ridley applies their experience with aluminum and carbon fiber to a bike designed to tackle all roads.
From top to bottom, the X-Bow is loaded with Shimano Sora 9-speed components. This speaks to Ridely’s direction with this rig: the X-Bow Allroad’s shifters and drivetrain are more touring focused than race ready. Still, the rider who is ready to pull off the mudguards and bring this machine between the race tape won’t be disadvantaged in the mid-category fields.
The X-Bow Allroad also comes equipped with a Zonryc carbon fork with an alloy steerer tube alongside some handy Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes. The X-Bow is still far more ‘cross bike than touring bike, and the cables are all properly routed for shouldering during run-ups. Coming stock with Continential Cyclocross Speed 700x35c tires, the X-Bow will look at home on both long, gravel roads, wet commutes and on the most demanding courses.
For cyclocross racers on a budget, Ridley still offers its affordable X-Bow 10 and X-Bow 20 cyclocross models, with both canti and disc brake options. The X-Bow 10 comes with Shimano 105 11-speed componentry, while the 20 comes with Shimano Sora 9-speed options. Pricing on these aluminum models is still TBD.
2015 Ridley Kids Cross 26
We are glad Ridley resisted the temptation to appeal to a younger generation of cyclocross racers by labeling their children’s model the X-Box. Instead, the Kids Cross 26 is aptly named for sizing down the wheels from 700 to 26, and equipping them with Schwalbe CX Pro 26 x 1.35 tires. This Kids Cross joins a Ridley road model to make up two different pint-sized bike options for the future stars of our sport.
This model is equipped with the 8-speed Shimano Claris, which provides an affordable drivetrain that any kid can happily beat on as they bomb through trails behind the school or on the muddy cyclocross course. The 46-34 chainrings offer a slightly more dynamic range than the standard 46-36 sizing standard on most adult ‘cross bikes. The 155mm cranks soundly keep kids’ sizes in mind, echoed by the slopping geometry of the frame, which might not allow for the easiest of shouldering techniques, but will provide a better experience for riding and mounting. To slow down, Tektro RX3 V-brakes prioritize stopping power over mud clearance.
With the new American generation of cyclocross racers starting at an earlier age, some who have no trouble at the toughest courses, the Belgian brand might be smart to target the younger generation, at least here in the States.
Stay tuned as we plan to test one of the new 2015 models.
2015 Ridley Cyclocross Bike Line Photo Gallery: