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Ridley Noah RS / Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike - 2012 $0.00
We have conditioned ourselves to understand that compromise is something of an inevitability when choosing a bike: comfortable bikes aren't always stiff enough. Conservative builds won't always get you on the podium, either for lack of lightness or reliability. Think of the Noah RS Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike as an anomaly -- defiant of the conventions that insinuate an economical build is neither fast nor comfortable.
The Noah, you may already be familiar with. It's Ridley's most aerodynamic pedigree with a split fork, split seat stays, speedy paint appliqués, and deep airfoil tube shapes. Riding it will make you faster. The Noah RS employs largely the same idea, only without the integrated seatmast. Instead, the Noah RS uses a more conventional telescoping seat post. A telescoping seatpost is significantly easier to adjust and infinitely easier to travel with. The carbon fiber post is still aerodynamically-shaped and made by Ridley, and it comes with the frame along with the seat post clamp. Breakaway artists take note -- the 1200g claimed weight of a medium isn't as feathery light as some frames, but the aero benefits will overcome the weight penalty in many conditions, particularly when you're riding fast and off the front.
The carbon-fiber lay-up has likewise been tweaked to bring the price downward and make the bike more compliant as well. For the Noah RS, Ridley uses 30- and 24-ton high-modulus carbon fiber. The other big difference from the Noah is that the RS seat stays are aero-shaped, but lack the split stay R-Flow design you'd find on the Noah. But they retained this technology on the front of the bike where aerodynamics are crucial. The R-Flow jet foils in the 4ZA Sphinx full-carbon fork reduce drag by 6.4%. It's a full carbon fork with a carbon steerer and turns on upper and lower integrated 1-1/8" FSA bearings. As with the Noah, the RS has R-Surface paint strategically applied to reduce drag by 3.6%. The cables run internally to further maximize aero advantages.
It's certainly rare that a bike with the aerodynamic horsepower and Belgian race pedigree of the Noah RS comes along at this price point, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. With the Noah as an able-bodied platform, Shimano's venerable Ultegra groupset paired with Reynolds Solitude hoops keep you shifting and rolling from 'fondo to race, and everywhere in-between. Easton's EA70 alloy bars and stem-- the same components trusted by Easton's factory-sponsored riders, round out your cockpit, and you'll be perched atop a Selle Italia SL Kit Carbonio saddle. All told, this is much more than a middle-of-the-road build kit; it exceeds what most aspiring racers will ever need, and more than enough to help you maximize your enjoyment of some of the best frame design that Belgium has to offer.
The Ridley Noah RS Shimano Ultegra Complete Bike is available in six sizes from X-Small to X-Large and is available in two colors -- Blue/white/black or the perennially fast Red/white/black.
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