Ridley Fenix/Shimano Ultegra Complete Road Bike - 2014 $3,395.00
Race bikes aren't supposed to be this comfortable.
Ridley is best known for two things — Belgian pride and incredibly fast race bikes. So, what do you get when some of the hardest folks in cycling combine the best attributes of the Damocles and the Excalibur? The result is the Ridley Fenix/ Shimano Ultegra Complete Road Bike. And while its racing pedigree is beyond question, the real surprise is the all-day comfort that sets the Fenix apart from other ultra-efficient race machines.
As previously mentioned, Ridley tuned the Fenix to combine the best attributes of its Damocles and Excalibur lines. But you're probably wondering what exactly these are? Well, starting with strength, Ridley incorporated the same Sharp Edge tube design that was developed for its first carbon frame, the Damocles. Essentially, the engineering ideology at work here is that of form following function. If you've ever taken a gander at Ridley's logo, you'll notice the Ridley "R" encased in the outline of a diamond. This isn't just a flamboyant demonstration of Belgian wealth and prosperity. In fact, it's a representation of Ridley's design philosophy — taking cues from natural, proven designs. Accordingly, Ridley has designed the oversized carbon tubing with the shape of the diamond in mind. The "sharp edge" means that the focused areas of the carbon layup are at the edges of the tubing. This not only guarantees a high level of strength and impact-resistance, but it also translates to a lightweight composition. So, like the Damocles, the strength lies at the forefront, but with pages taken from the svelte Excalibur, the Fenix's strength-to-weight ratio goes off the charts.
Like the Excalibur, Ridley placed a focus on lowering the overall weight, while increasing stability and comfort. Accordingly, the Fenix has been constructed from a 24-ton, high modulus carbon fiber. This means that the carbon is designed to withstand 24 tons of pressure-per-square millimeter. So, the stronger the carbon fiber, the less material that needs to be used. And the less material used means a lower overall frame weight. However, the light carbon design also translates to heightened levels of rigidity, which directly lends itself to an efficient power transfer to the rear triangle. Complementing this attribute are the Fenix's asymmetrical chainstays, oversized tube junctures, a PressFit 30 bottom bracket, and a tapered, 1.125 x 1.5in head tube.
For comfort, the Fenix features a tapered design down the seatstays that thin towards the middle before regaining their original size at the axle. Essentially, this creates a forced flex area for shock absorption on rough roads. And further along these lines, Ridley also gave the frame a medium-height head tube for increased vibration absorption and a comfortable position in the saddle. However, this isn't to say that this is a cushy gran fondo design. In fact, Mr. Greipel opted to ride the Fenix at the 2012 Paris-Roubaix. The tall, tapered head tube also permits a high level of stability, maneuvering, and control across the gamut of speed. These features are further accentuated by the use of Ridley's tried and true 4ZA carbon fiber fork.
For the build, Ridley spec'd the Fenix with a Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-speed groupset. The drivetrain is comprised of a Ultegra 50/34t crankset with a 30mm spindle to take advantage of the Fenix's oversized bottom bracket shell. It's been mated with an Ultegra 12-25t cassette out back by a KMC X11 chain. For the cockpit, the build features a 4ZA Stratos handlebar, seatpost, saddle, and stem. And in terms of wheels, the bike rolls on a pair of Fulcrum Racing 7 that have been cased in Continental Grand Prix tires.
The Ridley Fenix/ Shimano Ultegra Complete Road Bike is available in the color Black and in six sizes from XX-Small to X-Large.
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop
Reviews & Community
What is the best size for 5'6 - 1/2 with...
What is the best size for 5'6 - 1/2 with 78cm inseam?
This bike will run a bit larger than the US made frames. My medium specs up with a US 56cm frame. I compared to Trek's Madone as I tested a 54 and a 56 of that model. I went with the medium and it rides a bit "big" but I'm OK with that.
All things aside I'm 15 days in on my new Fenix and I'm really happy with it.
Compare some US bikes
us54 -- ridley s
us56 -- ridley m
Hope this helps,
Great bike but do your homework first
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I love this bike. With that said, you have to do your research first and know what you're getting before you buy it, otherwise you might be a bit less than thrilled. As others have said, the frame runs large. A medium in this is more like a large in most other manufacturers. The stock stem is long, too long in my opinion, for the frame size (110mm on a medium frame). Combine it with the setback seatpost and you're very stretched out. I'm 6 feet tall, 32 inch inseam, arms per fitted shirts are 34. I bought a medium and replaced the stock stem with an 80mm, 6 degree one. I run the saddle just a bit forward of dead center on the stock seatpost and it's a very comfortable fit.
It's stiff. Definitely not a gran fondo type bike, but much more comfortable than a pure race bike. I have a few rides on the bike so far, the longest at 40 miles. I didn't feel beat up at all at the end but if you ride lots of road miles on less than ideal pavement, lower the tire pressure a bit. The bike handles very well coming down (even with the 80mm stem) and is a competent and efficient climber IMHO.
My bike came about 90% right. The wheels and tires were different than what was originally listed on the website which was disappointing as it was a factor in my decision to buy it. CC made it right though. (I see the specs have now been corrected). I had to adjust the headset (wasn't snug enough) and like other reviewers, the front derailleur was not adjusted correctly. Did it bother me? Not really, but I know how to work on bikes. Just a few minutes for adjustments and that was it. Should it have come adjusted properly, yes. If you want to be able to have the shop you bought a bike from make those adjustments, spend a bit more money and buy from your LBS. You can also take it to your LBS and pay for the adjustments or...learn how to make them since you'll most likely have to anyway after cables stretch. Sweet ride and glad I bought it. Test ride before if you can.
A better bike than I am a rider
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
The bike is a bit large -- I'm enjoying the longer top tube as I have shorter legs and a long trunk.
I had some minor issues with the front derailleur but that was due to change anyways, I re-ordered the stem and spacers.
The rear derailleur and the brakes were dialed in perfectly. I'm tempted to setup a shorter stem -- this bike will then remind me of Gary Fisher's Genesis Geometry from the 1990s :D
The bike came with 700x23s the spec reads 700x25s. I was looking forward to hitting the road on 700x25s.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a Shimano chain and not the lower end chain on the bike.
Out of the box mods were
1. zero offset seatpost -- short legs and deep setback seatposts don't mix.
2. Arione saddle -- love 'em or hate 'em. I'm a fan boy :D
3. 11-28 cassette I have OFS == Old Fat and Slow and that 28 tooth helps in Western NC.
Looking forward to my first big ride with climbing, the frame is so much stiffer than my 2006 bike. It snaps with a quick acceleration versus lumbering slowly :-)
UPDATE -- rode for the first time and noticed the quick snap when accelerating. I have a great downhill left turn I like to take -- the bike cornered well and the tires laid into the turn nicely @ 24 mph.
I need to get my local mobile mechanic to help with a fit but this bike is amazing -- it's a better bike than I am a rider, it's making me more excited about riding.
So far so good, but...
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Just went on my first ride (maybe 10 miles?), and I'm feeling pretty good about the frame. It feels stiff, but it's extremely forgiving through the bumps. This thing runs HUGE by my assessment. I'm used to riding mountain bikes, though, so take that with a grain of salt. Although, I have ridden a few mediums in other brands recently, and this one feels the biggest by a good margin. I immediately pushed the seat forward, and silently wished for a slightly shorter stem, but when I got going, I appreciated the extra length and what it does for bump absorption. The wheels seem okay, but I'm not familiar with Fulcrum at all, so I can't say much more than that they seem decent so far. The reflectors must go (forgot to take them off before my ride) as they make all kinds of weird noises while I'm riding. They could just be improperly tightened onto the spokes, but I don't tend to ride with reflectors anyway...other than what's on my shoes and my camelback.
On to the critical part:
The shop did a piss-poor job of tuning this sucker up. When I put it together, it wouldn't drop onto the smallest sprocket in the rear, and the trim was all wonky up front. I got chain-rub on the front derailleur in pretty much every gear (small sprocket AND large). I did some minor adjustments, but I'm not a road-parts expert. I'm used to adjusting my XTR stuff, and that's pretty simple since there's no trim adjustment there...and with the 9-speed, the tolerances are a little less strict when it comes to fine tuning. Anyway, I got rid of the rub by adjusting the front D, but it's still having trouble getting into the small sprocket in back. It also seems to be pretty slow shifting, but maybe I'm expecting too much, again, because I'm used to the XTR gear I run on my mountain rig.
For a first road-bike, I feel pretty good about it, but will update if my experience changes.
Pre-ship tune-up: 2/5
Value/price ratio: 5/5
Frame quality: TBD
Overall quality: 4/5
The wheels that come on this bike are actually Fulcrum Racing 7's