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Ridley X-Bow - 2014 $0.00
If you’ve been following the recent technological advancements in ‘cross bikes, you know that while the discipline is downright barbaric, some of the new bikes are starting to look more like spaceships than the rudimentary battleaxes of years past. The Belgian cyclocross aficionados at Ridley have undeniably been leading the charge with their composite, disc-equipped bikes, but thankfully, they’re still offering the aluminum, rim brake ready X-Bow frame. This is both for the luddites among us, as well as everyone who cringes at the thought of spending an entire season racing a costly carbon wunderbike through the grime-infused pressure washer that is a ‘cross course.
The X-Bow’s 7005 aluminum frame forgoes the aggressively butted tubing and tapered head tube of the X-Ride, but borrows heavily from the geometry. It maintains the relaxed head angle and higher bottom bracket of classic ‘cross race bikes, for aggressive cornering in the dirt. The handling is the most relaxed out of Ridley’s lineup, owed mostly to mellowing steering geometry, but don’t think for a second that it won’t dice up turns with the best of ‘em. A short wheelbase keeps the handling lively and means that you won’t have any issues throwing it into turns at full speed.
While the straight gauge tubeset won’t win any awards for revolutionary design, it does get external tube forming that helps it cope with the stresses of cyclocross. Specifically, the down tube is heavily formed -- with a horizontal squash giving it greater weld surface at the head tube -- and manipulation on the vertical plane to provide maximum weld surface at the bottom bracket shell. When you factor in the slightly flattened portion at the bottom of the top tube, which enhances carrying comfort, it becomes clear that the X-Bow has racing written all over it. But since it will likely do double-duty for commuting, training, and just generally messing around, it gets dual water bottle mounts to enhance the versatility.
Ridley includes a 4ZA Zornyc fork with the X-Bow, which features carbon fiber legs for lightness and vibration damping, mated to a durable 1-1/8” aluminum steerer tube. Also included is an integrated headset. It accepts a 31.6mm seatpost, and will require a top-pull front derailleur with a 35mm clamp.
The Ridley X-Bow frame is available in sizes X-Small to X-Large and in the color Black.
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