Ridley X-Night Disc - 2014 $2,595.00
Lucky Number Eight?
You don't need to be immersed in the world of cyclocross to know that Belgium has a stronghold on the sport. But, it's not just cyclocross, cycling is a national obsession. In fact, we've been told that joining one of the 6,000 cycling clubs (yes, you read that correctly) in Belgium is as easy as showing up at the local church on a weekend morning. These hardmen and women ride in rain, sleet, snow, and on ice. It's no wonder that Ridley Bicycles, who has seven World Championship titles to its name, makes its home here.
Lucky seven is a number to be proud of. But, not one to rest on its laurels, Ridley is gunning for number 8 in Hoogerheide, Nederlands, 2014. To this end, it took the already drooled-over X-Night and gave it a complete overhaul. Although its second tier X-Fire was available in a disc-version last season, Ridley patiently waited to release a disc-compatible X-Night until hydraulic road/cyclocross brakes were within reach. Hydraulic brakes provide more braking power and better modulation under harsh conditions -- the perfect match for the X-Night and the hardmen who race it. So when hydraulic groups were introduced, Ridley pounced. It did not, however, just paste discs onto the existing X-Night frame -- they developed a frame specifically for them.
Ridley initially looked at ways to improve upon a frame already drowning in rainbow jerseys . But, it soon realized simply improving wasn't enough. It designed something new. While the previous model was based off of the Damocles road frame, the new model was designed using the lighter Helium SL frame as inspiration. It was constructed using 24-ton high modulus carbon fiber. This means that the material is able to withstand 24 tons of pressure per square inch. Seem like overkill, even for a cyclocross race? Ridley knows that using a stronger carbon fiber means that tubing can be smaller and stronger at the same time. This enabled Ridley to make several additional changes to the frame: The integrated seatmast has been replaced with a removable 27.2mm seatpost. This makes it easier to pack into those size-restricted travel cases. More importantly, using a standard seatpost allowed Ridley to use slimmer seatstays, top tube, and down tube, which makes the ride over hardpack a bit less jarring. The smaller tubing also provides more clearance in the main triangle, making it easier if you like to grab the down-tube while shouldering your bike for that run up the stairs. This redesign shaved nearly 350g, bringing the frame in at under a kilogram. The geometry also received subtle changes, with a slightly lower (3mm) bottom bracket -- still well within the European tradition of higher cyclocross clearances. Also, a shorter wheelbase (9mm) and a lower head tube allows for a quicker handling and a more aggressive front-end positioning.
Ridley used internal cable routing for the entire drivetrain, which means cleaner lines, absence of full-length housing, and a further reduction of 150 gram. Regardless of the lighter frame, the bottom bracket, a PressFit30, and front triangle retain the same stiffness as the previous model. The narrowed tubing has the additional advantage of more interstitial space, which translates to fewer spots for mud build-up.
To complement the addition of disc brakes, Ridley used a full-carbon 4ZA Oryx fork. Oversized as compared to the frame itself, the 1-1/8 x 1-1/2in 4ZA fork uses a reinforced lower leg design to guarantee that you will not feel torsion from the brakes. Larger blades also absorb vibration from rough terrain and provide a stiff front end for the micro accelerations needed after barriers.
The Ridley X-Night Disc Frame only is available in sizes 50cm, 52cm, 56cm, and 58cm in the colors: Black/orange or Black/white.
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Bottom Bracket Drop