Fenix SLX Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike
It'd be a very hard sell convincing us to look past a disc brake road machine if we were in the market for a new bike. They simply stop so much better in all kinds of weather conditions and increases confidence on the descents and the pros agree; we're starting to see more and more disc bikes in the peloton. Classics road racing can count Belgium as the spiritual home of cycling, where reputations are made on wet cobblestone and windswept echelons, and if there ever was a bike and brand that epitomized this Flandrian landscape and the toughness needed to excel in these conditions, it'd be the Fenix SLX Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike from Ridley.
As a testament as to where Ridley thinks the future of disc brakes are, the rim brake version tops out at with the SL whereas this disc version gets the SLX moniker meaning its DNA includes 60-ton High Modulus Carbon, like we've seen in the Helium SLX, adding a boost of stiffness and a significant weight loss. The 200-gram give-or-take weight loss difference between the disc SLX and the rim SL version should go a long way in making up for the addition of the superior braking. And when you also factor in the stiff, responsive thru axles anchoring the hubs into the frame and fork, you have a race-ready ride that shares the same spirit as the hardest Flahutes hailing from the region.
Ridley does things a little differently than other brands and it doesn't make concessions if that prevents the bike from being stout enough to handle the riding right outside its front door. Sure weight is still important, however, it strives for a bike that balances weight, strength, stiffness, and comfort. As such, the Fenix SLX is capable in its Flandrian terrain and the addition of powerful disc brakes means it'll handle your most heroic rides in flying colors too. The Fenix is always the go-to choice for the pros at Lotto-Soudal and they appreciate the skillful layup of vibration devouring unidirectional carbon fiber when tackling cobbled classics like Roubaix and Flanders. The addition of 60-ton carbon and the diamond shaped tubing adds an increase of stiffness you'll be sure to notice as you summit the repeated cols and bergs that make up your favorite loops. It employs a blend of 40-ton and 50-ton carbon elsewhere where it adds road-smoothing compliance and strength. Chipseal roads, cobbles, and smaller potholes that feel like kidney punches on other lightweight climbing rigs is simply mellowed out with this targeted blend of carbon fiber. And when it comes time to sprint or chase back on during a descent, that tapered head tube does an excellent job of providing a responsive front end with very little wag.
This Fenix SLX shares the same geometry as the rim going Fenix, which Ridley classifies as "endurance". It’s a far cry from other brand's definition of endurance with only slight changes made to improve handling over rougher terrain in racing conditions, not necessarily tuned with super slack angles and massively tall headtubes. That's why the Lotto crew's setup resembles that of their Noahs and Heliums without resorting to those -20-degree stems seen on other bikes. Therefore, you'll get a stable footprint over packed dirt and rural county roads while still moving along quite speedily and swiftly. You'll also appreciate its 30mm tire clearance providing maximum plushness and traction across a variety of terrain your rides take you on.
This particular build receives a smart part spec ensuring reliability with some coin left over for race entries. The Shimano Ultegra group has loads of stopping power with its hydraulic discs and the mechanical shifting is always precise. Fulcrum Racing 500 DB hoops handle the wheel duties while Ridley house brand Forza takes care of the cockpit components.
- An endurance/fondo steed with disc brake stopping power
- Higher-modulus carbon boosts stiffness and drops weight
- PF86 bottom bracket shell offers efficient power transfer
- Endurance/race geometry balances comfort and speed
- Tapered head tube tracks in corners and sprints
- Flat-mount disc brakes stop with power and precision
- Shimano's mechanical Ultegra group is the self-sponsoring racer's choice
- Diamond shape tubing creates reinforced edges for a robust frame with increased impact-resistance