Ridley X-Fire - 2014 $1,695.00
Homage to an obsession
Cyclocross and Belgium go hand-in-hand. Actually, cycling and Belgium go hand in hand. In homage to this national obsession, Belgium's Ridley Bicycles keeps one-upping its designs to keep its bikes on top of the podium. The Ridley X-Fire is right at the top of the list of bikes that has multiple championships to its name, and while it may not be as lauded at its big brother, the X-Night, the X-Fire has seen its share of podiums.
Ridley's X-Fire frame was constructed from 24-ton carbon fiber and a full-carbon 4ZA Oryx fork. For the carbon itself, the 'T' in 24t stands for ton — meaning that the X-Fire's carbon is capable of withstanding 24 tons of pressure per square inch. This level of strength might sound weighty, but the opposite is actually true. Ridley knows that with stronger carbon, less is required to receive greater results. Accordingly, this application sheds weight while increasing torsional and lateral rigidity. Aside from carbon, Ridley's decades of 'cross experience bred a few frame features that you'll be happy to have when you're running in the mud. For one, the X-Fire has a squared top and down tube for a heightened sense of comfort and grip when you're shouldering the frame. In turn, this feature also stiffens the bottom bracket juncture for greater power efficiency. For added protection from the elements, and for unencumbered dis/re-mounts, Ridley incorporated internal cable routing for the shift cables and the rear brake line. Ridley even designed the fork shape to shed excess dirt and mud.
The frame has increased mud clearances. This means that the bike will shed mud faster and clumps will not inhibit braking. Also new for the X-Fire is 135mm rear spacing. So now, you're able to keep your 29er wheelset in the pits as an easy backup or change-out option.
If you're able to think of it, Ridley has already done it. The X-Fire is the culmination of a long list of Ridley innovations — the first full-carbon cyclocross frame, the first oversized carbon cross fork, and the first 1-1/8 x 1-1/2in cyclocross head tube.
The Ridley X-Fire Frame is available in the color Black/blue and in seven sizes from 50cm and 52cm.
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