I picked up the Ridley Fenix SL Disk to replace my 20 year old Trek 5500 (Greg Lemond's tour bike). There has indeed been a lot of progress made in bike design over the last 20 years.
The Ridley is a really fantastic bike, and quite frankly, at this sale price, it's an incredible deal. I was nervous purchasing this bike online, not being able to test the sizing. I read that these run large. However, the medium fits me perfectly. I'm not a large man, 5'9", but I have a long body and long arms and I like to be stretched out a bit when I ride to flatten my back. The medium fills the bill for that.
What is so great about this bike? Well, first off, it really just goes. Sometimes I feel like the power transfer is so wonderful it's like it has an electric motor. It accelerate and climbs really well. I honestly didn't think my old bike was that bad until I got on the Ridley.
Secondly, the handling is just perfect. Today I took the Ridley down a long bumpy tight decent, and the steering was rock steady, even over the bumps. And with the disk brakes, which are so linear and powerful it fills you with confidence. I've always liked descending fast, and frankly, I'm pretty good at it. But the Ridley takes it to a new level.
Third, the bike is really comfortable, soaking up the bumps. It's crazy, because it's so stiff in transferring power to the ground, but at the same time, it soaks up the rough stuff really well. There must be a lot of engineering behind how they designed this bike, but I can tell you, it really works. Of course, this helps my descending fun too.
Also, the bike actually looks very cool to me. I was hesitant getting a black bike, but the Ridley logos and all the accents inside the forks and stays really looks quite good.
On the bad side, for me at least, the seat is an implement of torture. Even though it doesn't look that narrow, it somehow misses my sits bones altogether. Also, the bike could come with nicer wheels, but they're not that bad. At least they're tubeless ready rims, and they can easily be replaced later on.
What else can I say. I don't know how many of these Competitive Cyclist has left, but if this is in your budget, grab one of these bikes. You won't be sorry you did.