The pros on Lotto Soudal have it pretty good. They have 3 excellent models of bikes to choose from depending on the parcours. A flat day featuring a fast finish will see the sprinters opting for the aerodynamic Noah, whereas on an undulating day with plenty of elevation, where stiffness to weight is king, the climbers reach for the Helium. That slots the Fenix in as the classic specialist machine, ideal for the demanding cobbled races, or like on the ninth stage of this year's Tour finishing in Roubaix and traveling over the same roads visited in the spring campaign. We aren't as lucky as the Lotto Soudal riders with access to all 3 models in the service course and since if we have to pick one, we'd go with the all-arounder. That's why we're offering the Ridley Fenix SL Ultegra Complete Bike for likeminded cyclists seeking a frameset that's built for tough competition and doesn't sacrifice ride quality or stiffness to drop grams or gain aerodynamics. The inclusion of Shimano's workhorse Ultegra group is an ideal pairing for this jack of all trades frameset that handles the grueling cobbles of the spring classics, and is often the training bike of choice for the pros as it isn't as punishing as the higher modulus carbon used on the super light frames or the slippery, yet harsher, tube shapes utilized on the aero framesets.
The Fenix SL is constructed of 30t and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber that allows the frameset to come in at a respectable fighting weight that doesn't wag during 4-digit wattage sprints and full on, out of the saddle climbing that makes up the 'bergs and cols of your local routes. Ridley hails from Belgium and its bikes all have a certain Flemish toughness to them and few brands add a level of cobblestone confidence quite like Ridley. It's a bike we would choose on a hilly century ride and wouldn't hesitate to jump into a crit on it the next weekend.
The Fenix SL achieves a plush ride despite its lightweight and stiff platform with its careful tube shaping. Narrow, flat-section seatstays act as leaf springs, muting road chatter without compromising lateral stiffness. Those stays tie into a seatube that houses a smoother riding 27.2mm post that helps take the sting out of chip seal roads. The flattened bowed top tube is another feature that instills some vertical compliance that works in conjunction with the seatstays and slimmed-down seatpost. Factor in the ability to run up to 28mm wide rubber and the end result is an all-out attack against power robbing and fatigue-inducing vibration, replaced with the compliance appreciated on the rural roads of your regular routes all the way up to one of the biggest one-day races on the calendar, Flanders.
The top tube and down tube utilize a unique multi-hexagonal shape, which brings the stiffness and torsional rigidity levels up to World Tour sprinter standards. At the front end, Ridley uses a tapered head tube that's shorter than the tall head tubes utilized on most endurance bikes and indicate its racing intent. This offers racers that preferred lower position for improved aerodynamics and exceptional handling and nearly telepathic cornering while pushed to its paces on sweeping descents at high speed. The ability to add spacers under the stem provides the leeway needed for personal fit preferences, so you can slam that stem, or not.
The beefy PressFit BB86 shell anchors the oversized downtube and chainstays for instant acceleration while opening or closing gaps. And while this frame won't touch the aerodynamic numbers of its brother the Noah, it does sport an integrated fork crown that smooths the transition between the head tube and fork to ease the passage through the air while also just looking really cool. Internal cable routing hides the mechanical Ultegra group's housing for clean lines and a bit of extra aerodynamic advantage and works with electronic shifting systems if you feel the need to upgrade down the road. Mavic contributes to the reliability department and provides the hoops with its Aksium Elite wheelset while Zipp handles cockpit duties. Finally, a Fizik Aliante saddle, an in-house favorite, provides a comfortable foundation for long hours on the bike. Please note that Ridley recommends a maximum rider weight of 209.5lb (95kg) for the Fenix SL.
- A race-worthy endurance road bike
- Geometry is agile and nimble with long-mile comfort
- Lightweight carbon fiber construction soaks up the road chatter
- Pressfit BB86 bottom bracket shell harnesses race winning watts
- Tapered headtube tracks through corners and standing climbs
- Shimano Ultegra adds to the reliability and durability with precise shifting and powerful braking