Ridley Noah RS $2,394.95
The science of speed.
Ridley has taken the liberty to not only designate its frames by their intended purposes, but to actually design in accordance to the singular characteristics of aerodynamics, stiffness-to-weight, and strength. And, as might already know, the Noah is Ridley's singular aerodynamic offering. At the top of the mountain, you'll find the Noah Fast, where Ridley has applied all of its knowledge and technology. Meanwhile, the Noah RS, found here, takes much of the Noah Fast's FAST-concept wizardry, and dithers it down to a more affordable package.
Ridley's FAST-concept was developed for one purpose -- free speed. At its pinnacle, this concept employs Ridley's F-Splitfork, F-Surface paint, F-Brake, and an integrated seatmast. And here, on the Noah RS, we see all of that technology, sans the F-Brake and seatmast. Instead, the Noah RS uses a more conventional seat post. However, the included seatpost is still produced from aerodynamically-shaped carbon fiber. Additionally, this adds a greater versatility to your position on the bike, and makes traveling quite a bit easier. In terms of the RS' use of conventional brake calipers, we find it prudent to weigh out the advantage of simple service and maintenance over the F-Brake's claimed 4.3% drag reduction.
The carbon-fiber lay-up has likewise been tweaked to bring the price downward and to also make the RS a touch more compliant. Accordingly, the RS uses a blend of 40-, 30-, and 24-ton high modulus carbon fiber. The 'ton' designation means that the carbon fiber is capable of withstanding x tons of pressure per square millimeter before achieving structural compromise. So, the main idea to take away from this is that the higher the tonnage, the stronger the carbon fiber. And, the stronger the carbon fiber, the less that needs to be used. That's why the Noah Fast's carbon range of 50- to 30-ton carbon results in an overall lighter frame.
The other big difference from the Noah Fast is that the RS seat stays are aero-shaped, but lack the split stay R-Flow design you'd find on the Noah. But, Ridley retained this technology on the front of the bike where aerodynamics are crucial. In fact, Ridley claims that the R-Flow jet foils in the 4ZA Sphinx full-carbon fork reduce drag over the frame by 6.4%. It's a full carbon fork with a carbon steerer and turns on upper- and lower-integrated 1-1/8-inch FSA bearings. For further aerodynamic savings, the RS also features the Fast's R-Surface paint technology. These are 'textured' applications of paint that have been strategically applied throughout the RS. Essentially, this small feature increases the laminar airflow over the frame, reducing drag by around 3.6%. Additionally, the RS' cables have been run internally to further maximize its aerodynamic advantage.
The Ridley Noah RS is available in the color Matte Black/red/white and in six sizes from XX-Small to X-Large. It uses a braze-on front derailleur mount because Ridley didn't want to constrain its aerodynamic design with a round seat tube for a derailleur clamp. It uses and English threaded bottom bracket, and the derailleur hanger is replaceable for greater durability.
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Reviews & Community
Unpacked yesterday, rode today!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I'm in the military, and recently moved somewhere overseas where I didn't expect the road biking to be so good. I'd heard that the mountain biking was good, so brought my Intense Spider29Comp and my fixie (Capo), but have since been disappointed with the lack of single track around here. I soon started longing for my SuperSix with Chorus 11 that I'd left in storage back in the US, with no way to get it. So I found myself searching online for a good deal on another SuperSix, and then began to broaden that search. I came across the Ridley Noah RS with SRAM Force 22, and saw comments in the review section from Wes Branham stating that these bikes are custom builds and he could swap out parts. So I emailed to ask about getting it built with Chorus 11 (what can I say, I'm impressed with Campy and my other wheelsets in storage will be compatible once I have them again) and the price was right. In less than two weeks, I had the bike (thanks for shipping via Priority Mail!). The guys at Competitive Cyclist do a great job of packing up the product, so when I got the bike yesterday, it was a simple job to reassemble it and make a few adjustments. I only had to make a slight adjustment to the rear derailleur to get it spot on. Today I took it out for a 25-mile shake down ride after work, and I'm convinced I made the right choice with this bike. I'm undecided on the Fi'zi:k Arione saddle as it feels very different from the Specialized Toupe+ on both my Capo and SuperSix, but I can't say that I really dislike it yet. I just need to decide if it is the right saddle to take on a 200km ride this weekend. But it does break rule #8 about the color of the saddle! Ok, that is somewhat in jest. Competitive Cyclist was great to work with on ordering the bike, the packaging kept it in perfect condition, and in one evening, I had the bike ready for a ride the next day. I don't have any reservations recommending the Ridley, Campy Chorus 11 or Competitive Cyclist!
A comfort bike, it ain't....
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Built up pretty nicely. Not as light as my old Helium, but DEFINITELY has more aero properties. Crazy tube shapes, tucked in rear wheel, and internal cable routing. Speaking of internal routing, I understand it, but what a pain in the ass. The rear brake is full housing, through the top tube, and it was pretty easy, which lulled me into a false sense of security.
The gear cables were the old 'push-pull-until-you-find-the-hole' exercise. It was cool though, as I had a lot of practice with this through high school and college...wink, wink!
It's a race bike. It's not a "comfort" road bike, a la the Roubaix, or Domane, or even the old Helium.
It's comfortable, and smooth, as long as the road is the same. On rough, pot-holed, choppy pavement, the ride is not what one would call compliant. And I'm running 25c Vittorias @ 100-ish PSI.
It's tolerable for a rider that weighs more than 170 pounds, or doesn't mind the harshness. Fortunately, I'm both.
If you want a comfy, plush, cushy ride, look elsewhere.
That being said, yesterday was the first time I put an anger to the pedals, and I can assure you, it JUMPS forward when given the whip. No wasted motion or energy, AT ALL!
Turn in is quick, yet very predictable, like all Ridley frames. No drama in a hard turn. Lean it in, and the Noah rails through.
Outputs occur quickly. There's little need for big efforts to make it change line. Small inputs are all that is needed to get around holes in the road, or drop it into a corner.
It's not twitchy...no way. I rode it no-handed without issue. Let's say...it's direct.
It's a hard-edged sports car in a World filled with Camrys.
The aero thing is truly odd too. At lower speeds, it rides like a normal, really stiff bike. Once the speeds climb into the mid-high 20s, I liken it to a speedboat getting up on plane. It smoothes out, and feels like it wants to go forward. Ridley says it's fast, and it is!