Fenix Carbon Ultegra Complete Road Bike
Though we can only aspire to the greatness of those who push their way through the spring classics, and the Napoleonic-era cobbles of 'Roubaix, we see no fault in coveting a bike that's done just that, like Ridley's Fenix Carbon Ultegra Complete Road Bike. Now, the groupset may be admittedly an unlikely feature under the Greipel, but for those of us who are still aspiring, and haven't yet signed a contract, this Fenis is an ideal stage for us to train, race, or simply ride.
The key to the frame's limitless ride is Ridley's artful layup of vibration devouring 24 ton unidirectional carbon fiber. While the harsher, purely weight-focused frames in Ridley's line use 50 to 60 ton moduli, the Fenix's carbon strikes a balance between smoothing the road and promoting rigid efficiency. Potholes, cobblestones, and other road hazards — which may feel like repeated hammer blows to the kidneys on 60 ton carbon — take on all the disagreeability of crosswalk paint. We do occasionally tire of wantonly riding over road obstacles, though. In such cases, the stiff, tapered head tube nets responsive steering to dodge through debris with ease.
Comfort and handling aside, the Fenix is meant to get angry when the road turns up or when you start turning the screws. The built-up bottom bracket junction, PressFit 30 bottom bracket, and burly chainstays address power transfer needs, ensuring that comfort doesn't come at the cost of a uselessly wagging drivetrain spine during hard efforts. The seat tube is also squared-off at the bottom with gradually softening edges as it rises to the seat collar. In our experience on this frame, that shaping makes for less lateral flex where we're putting power into the road and a more compliant ride across everything from buzzing chip seal to particularly punishing railroad crossings.
This particular build is finished off with Shimano's crisp-shifting Ultegra groupset, along with a smattering of FSA in the mix. This grouppo strikes a balance between the weight-saving concerns of race day, and pocket-friendlier application, enabling those of us who have to keep our bank account in mind to experience Shimano's precision, without the hurt of a full Dura-Ace group.
- An endurance steed capable of devouring spring classics
- 24-ton carbon layup is stiff, but damps vibrations
- Burly chainstays and PF30 combine for supportive base
- Diamond shape tubing reinforces for impact resistance
- Frame balances weight, performance, strength, stiffness
- Longer rear triangle increases stability and comfort
- Shimano's Ultegra derailleurs offer clean shifting