Fenix SL Road Frameset
It’s a good thing that Ridley touts the Fenix as its "all-around" bike because as much as we would all love a lightweight climbing machine, an endurance mile muncher, and an aero criterium racer, we can't pull it off without some serious financial repercussions. Therefore, the Ridley Fenix SL Road Bike Frameset provides the ideal foundation for any cyclist seeking a frameset that's competent during fast group rides and competition while not sacrificing ride quality in chasing weight numbers, stiffness ratings, or aerodynamics. Team Lotto-Soudal puts this exact frame through its paces on the grueling cobbles of the spring classics, and the Fenix SL is a proven jack of all trades that can endure any road environment you can put it through without punishing you for riding anything less forgiving than a velodrome.
The Fenix SL features 30t and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber for its frame and fork construction. Compared to the C version, Ridley claims the Fenix SL is 15% lighter and 18% stiffer, and any number of review articles across the industry and words from the pros at Lotto directly assure us that these gains don't come at the cost of cobblestone-worthy confidence. It's rare to find a long-mile machine with criterium-worthy stiffness in a lightweight package that invites attacks on sharp, punchy walls and long alpine climbs alike.
The Fenix SL maintains a comfortable ride in a lighter, more responsive package than its previous Fenix thanks to a few intelligent designs. These include narrower, flat-section seat stays that cancel out fatigue-inducing road noise while maintaining excellent lateral stiffness. The stays feed into a seattube that houses a slimmer seatpost that's reduced from the previous model's 31.6mm to a more vertically compliant 27.2mm. The flat, curved top tube is another significant redesign, serving as a leaf spring of sorts that works in conjunction with the seatstays and slimmed-down seatpost. The net result is a system-wide increase in vibration damping and compliance for a more forgiving ride across everything from rural chip seal to the stones of Belgium.
The top tube and down tube utilizes a unique multi-hexagonal shape, which is undoubtedly partially responsible for the claimed increases in torsional rigidity. At the front, Ridley utilizes a tapered head tube that's considerably shorter than the notably tall head tube of the previous Fenix. This makes for increased stiffness while torqueing on the bars and exceptional handling and cornering capabilities while sweeping through descents or diving through the final turn before a finishing sprint. It also allows more leeway in personal fit preference, letting you slam the front end. Or not. The point is that the older Fenix's tall head tube ruled that option out by default.
For an extra dose of stiffness, Ridley opts for a beefy PressFit BB86 shell instead of the PF30 model featured in the previous Fenix. The wider bottom bracket shell anchors the oversized drive spine, reducing bottom bracket wag when you're dumping power into the pedals. While this frame isn't billed as specifically aerodynamic, it does boast an integrated fork crown for a smooth transition between the head tube and fork that at least offers the appearance of aerodynamics. You'll enjoy some drag-reduction benefits over frames without the integrated fork crown, and it just plain looks cleaner.
Ridley caps off the Fenix SL Road Frameset with internal cable routing that's compatible with both mechanical and electronic shifting systems for clean lines and a bit of extra aerodynamic advantage, regardless of setup. Please note that Ridley recommends a maximum rider weight of 209.5lb (95kg) for the Fenix SL.
- An endurance road bike that excels in difficult terrain
- Geometry blends snappy racing agility with long-mile comfort
- Lightweight carbon fiber makes climbers and sprinter happy
- Pressfit BB86 bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Tapered head tube tracks confidently through corners and sprints
- Compatible with mechanical and electronic drivetrains
- Internal cable routing improves lines and aerodynamics
- Specially shaped tubing increase durability and stiffness