Ridley understands that, when shopping for a new bike, your eyes are often larger than your wallet. Rather than considering a move into a relative's basement, take a step back and consider the 2016 Ridley Helium Force 22 Complete Road Bike. As the more affordable younger sibling of the Helium SL, the Helium comes with fewer luxurious finishes than the Helium SL, but the two offer almost equal potential to a cyclist with a strong enough engine and large enough ambitions.
While the top-end Helium SL gains its ultra featherweight status with a blend of 60T, 40T, and 30T high modulus carbon fiber, the Helium utilizes a blend of 30T and 24T high modulus carbon fiber, which adds just a handful of grams while maintaining the stiff and responsive ride feel we've come to expect from a Helium and reducing the cost considerably.
The Helium features rounded tubing emanating from the seat tube juncture, which slowly becomes box-shaped as it approaches the head tube and bottom bracket junctures. As Ridley puts it, this system creates a clean transition from stiffness up front to comfort in the rear. Supporting this ideology, the rear triangle employs a blend of the two shapes. The asymmetric, flat chainstays provide a stiff platform for power transfer to the rear wheel, while the ultra-thin seatstays create a vertically compliant ride quality without sacrificing rigidity.
Ridley specs the Helium with a reliable SRAM Force 22 drivetrain and Mavic wheels. For serious racing at Cat 3 or above, carbon wheels may be in order, but this spec means you can ride your bike straight out of the box without immediately making a list of upgrades you need to buy before it performs the way you want.
- A race-ready bike that thrives on climbs, flats, and descents
- High-modulus carbon fiber frameset
- Geometry lends itself to competitive and endurance riding
- Force 22 is SRAM's racing workhorse drivetrain
- Included wheels are equal to training mile abuse
More Helium builds
View more Pre-Configured Road Bikes
Boardman Bikes SLR Endurance Disc 9.2 Dura Ace Complete Road Bike - 2016
Boardman Bikes SLR Endurance Disc 9.0 Ultegra Complete Road Bike - 2016
Helium size by rider height
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
Bottom Bracket Drop
Reviews & Community
Good to go stock, great for upgrades
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I got this bike back in January and have put about 2500 miles on it since. I love it. I rode it stock for a bit and have slowly put on upgrades over the past few months. It's listed as coming with Mavic Aksium One wheels and a PG-1130 cassette, but mine actually came with Aksium Elites and an 1170 cassette, both of which are even better. This bike is good to go straight out of the box, but also a great platform for upgrades.
For reference, I'm 5'6", 138lbs with a 785mm inseam (crotch to floor). The XS fits me great, although I wouldn't mind if the headtube was a bit shorter. I did swap the 90 stem for a 110 and run 40cm 3T Ergonova bars (38 at the hoods and 40 at the end of the drops). I also swapped out the 172.5 cranks for some 165's and now this bike fits me perfectly. It's pretty snappy under hard acceleration/sprints (I typically put out 1200-1300W in a sprint) and climbing, but not quite the stiffest. I would give it an 8.7-8.8/10 for pedaling stiffness with the Williams carbon clinchers I have on now. The rear end is quite compliant and I have no complaints about comfort there, but the front end is definitely very stiff and a little jarring at times with that beefy headtube. At the same time, that contributes to a very precise steering feel. At 50mph, this thing feels absolutely rock solid and I've never once thought it was twitchy or unstable in any way. That's not to say it's sluggish. It just does what you want, nothing more, nothing less. I have lots of twisty descents where I live, and this bike really inspires confidence on the dh, which is what I love most coming from a mtb background.
One thing that would be nice is if it had clearance for larger tires. I have 25c GP4000s II's on 17/26mm (internal/external) width rims and they come out to being 27mm wide. There is absolutely no more room and the tires are just a few mm away from the top of the fork and rear brake caliper. With brand new tires, the little excess nipple things on the front tire from the mold will actually just barely scrape along the top of the fork. Overall, it's a great bike and I'd say pretty good looking as well. Mine weighs in at right about 16 pounds with the pedals and bottle cages on there.
What is the crank arm length on size small?
What is the length of the crank arm that comes with bike? Frame size small
This is my third Ridley, Damocles, Excalibur then this Helium. All were great but this is the best of the bunch. It has the perfect combination of stiffness for power transfer yet comfort for those long rough days. Very neutral handling, not twitchy but still descends great. It does exactly what you tell it to do.
The Force 22 is great and shifts perfectly. I rarely have to make small adjustment for cable stretch but thats it. Swapped to Red brakes. The Force/Rival brakes are good but the Red's are great.
You cant go wrong with this deal. A first class bike at a bargain price. Now you can add those carbon wheels without scaring your wife!
I'm 5'11.5" w/32" inseem. Am
I better with the size M frame or size L?
Hi, can I have the shipping dimensions and weight of the box?
Need to quote a courier service for a friend in the us to buy and ship this one for me.
Ps: it's for the L size.
The shipping dimensions for that bike will be 48x35x11 (inches), 122cm X 89cm X 28Cm. The shipping weight is 22.41lbs, 10.17kg. I will email this to you as well.
Just adding a geometry/size chart for this bike. Let me know if you have any fit questions.
Fantastic bike so far
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I recently made a huge jump from a aftermarket bike with shimano claris to this beast of a machine and so far I could not be happier. It is super light and super stiff, not to mention it is a stunner to look at. SRAM force is snappy and responsive and at this price you definitely have a winning combination.
Can you swap out the 52/36 crank for a 50/34?
We are not able to do a straight swap, but we can certainly have a 52/36 included on the order and installed, and the stock crank shipped out with the bike.
Yes, though you would have to shorten the chain.
I have this bike with Ultegra. I too was worried about the 52/36. I put on an 11-32 cassette and I adjusted pretty quickly. I'm 5'6" 110 lbs and do not put out a lot of power. You'll love it if you just go with an 11-32.
What's the widest tire size this will take? Could I make this a gravel bike?
Hi Shane, 25mm tires are the recommended max width.
At this price? Yeah, it's a steal
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The Helium is one of the best all around bikes out there. Climbs are a joy, sprints are snappy, chip sealed roads are more comfy. And with this build it's a screamin' deal. This is a price/spec/value the big 3 can't touch. Light, efficient and cost effective. The Sram Force 22 grouppo is crisp and ergonomic. You will get miles and miles of smiles out of this bike. Hit me up directly with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org 801-204-4557
ride it or race it
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
my first helium was 10 years ago and it cost me twice this. It did start a love for Ridley I still have and have owned several of their bikes. The Helium was my favorite being a smaller rider and a bit of a weight weenie. Although light is was still very solid in fast descents and I felt totally confident on it all the time. Sizing is just a little tricky because they do run a tad small compared to other brands in a similar size. I am 5'7" (barely) and rode an XS. feel free to contact me with questions on the Helium or sizing. email@example.com