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Ridley Orion 105 Complete Road Bike $0.00
Don't be fooled by the low price of the Ridley Orion/Shimano 105 Complete Road Bike. High tech frame details, a smart component spec, and a ride quality that traces right back to Ridley's Tour-level Damocles and Excalibur frames make it a superb ride, not just a great value.
In order to maximize stiffness and power transfer, the Orion features an oversized, semi-round/semi-square down tube with a reinforced bottom bracket. In our minds, it's reminiscent of the Cervelo R3's 'Squoval' tubing, with it's rounded, boxy shape. And while it's difficult to explain in words, the shape is directly correlated to its resistance to torsional and lateral flex. In fact, you'll see this design shared throughout the Ridley line, and accordingly, like the Helium and Damocles, the Orion is a pure race bike that's at home in any conditions. However, not unlike the Excalibur, Ridley built the Orion to deliver the same sort of compliant ride that's accommodating on sub-two hour rides, but absolutely necessary when you're out for on a century. So, you can rest assured that its stiffness under power doesn't make it feel like a jackhammer on chip and seal roads.
Also, like other Ridley frames in the peloton, the Orion uses a monocoque carbon construction. This one-piece construction method allows greater quality control and a lighter final structure. Even more surprisingly, Ridley used a high-end, 24-ton carbon fiber. By definition, it has a tensile strength that can withstand 24 tons of pressure per square cm. For a comparison, you'll find 30- and 40-ton carbon used in the Damocles and Noah. So, what's the difference? We'll because the strength-to-weight ratio of higher tonnage carbon is greater, less material needs to be used. Whereas with the Orion, a little more carbon is needed to match the strength of its older brothers. This is where the weight disparity originates from. However, unlike the top-tier Ridleys, the Orion foregoes a 3K weave cosmetic layer of carbon. Instead, it features uses a solely unidirectional fabric that's simply painted. And with all of that said, the Orion weighs in within 100 grams of the Damocles, yet it costs an astonishing 40% less.
Shimano's venerable 105 group handles all of the drivetrain duties, with the exception of an FSA Gossamer 50/34t compact crankset. For the rest of the build, Ridley's own 4ZA components make up the bulk of it. The 4ZA Stratos alloy bar and stem are a great compliment to the 4ZA R-Blade carbon/aluminum fork. Together, they create a steering quality that inspires confidence at speed. And in keeping with that theme, the Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels are light enough to race on, yet tough enough to handle any roads that you'll encounter. Casing the wheels are Continental's Ultra Sport clincher tires.
The Ridley Orion/Shimano 105 Complete Road Bike is available in the color Matte Black/red/white and in six sizes from XX-Small X-Large. Given its sloping geometry, we strongly suggest that you focus on the virtual top tube length as you make a determination of the proper size.
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