Helium SLX Disc Road Bike Frameset
Admittedly, classic road bikes have us hankering for a taste of the gourmet. We want stiffness, we want weight to stay at minimum, and you can bet your left leg that we want it to be stunning as well. Ridley's Helium SLX Disc Road Bike Frameset ticks all of these boxes, equipping us with a strength to weight ratio that's eager to tackle grueling stages that point skywards, like the Giro's Montoso, while still providing stiffness that handles your maximum efforts during the breakaway. Traditional tube shapes remain aesthetically pleasing, but don't let the classic aesthetic fool you, this road weapon is a beast of technology, packing in an featherweight and tough carbon layup, and aggressive, racy geometry that keeps you ready to attack at any moment. Engineers press technology forward in some ways that are more subtle than others, like ultra-thin seat stays crafted from meticulous carbon layups to enhance comfort on jarring terrain. Stepping foot into a more modern world, this Helium SLX is built to roll with flat-mount disc brakes, which may have taken some time to become a norm on road bikes, but provides unbeatable stopping power and modulation on hairpin turns down steep, alpine descents.
You'll find a climb-happy personality from this elegant ride, starting with a blend of 60, 40, and 30-ton high modulus carbon fiber. The result is a World Tour-worthy frame that efficiently transfers power while shaving about 30g of claimed weight compared to the SL. The front end sees a slightly different curvature at the tube junctions, a small change that Ridley claims boost stiffness by 15% and translates into even snappier, more responsive handling while carving high-speed turns in the canyons or climbing hard out of the saddle.
As with the SL, the SLX 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 to comfort. Supporting this ideology, the rear triangle blends 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.
- Versatility is key in this climbing-cum-do-it-all frameset
- Technical descents are a breeze with race-ready geometry
- High modulus carbon layup drops grams from the SL
- Updated headtube junction shape increases stiffness
- Internal cable routing with molded internal channels for a clean install
- Beefy bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power