For 2017, the Belgian cobble tested and gram-counter approved Helium SL gets some slight tweaks and a new name to usher in the year. The new Helium SLX Road Bike Frameset takes its predecessor's nearly unicorn-like mix of minimal weight, stiff power transfer, and knife-like handling to the proverbial extreme with a few grams of weight savings and claims of even stiffer, snappier control.
The SLX brings back the super light blend of 60, 40, and 30-ton high modulus carbon fiber to create a World Tour worthy frame that efficiently transfers power and a 30 gram weight savings over the SL (for a size medium frame). 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 when diving into switchbacks and sprinting towards the finish line.
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 has been designed with 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.
- A featherweight road frameset
- Race-ready geometry handles technical roads with ease
- High modulus carbon layup drops grams from the SL
- Updated headtube junction shape increases stiffness
- Internal cable routing with molded internal channels for clean install
- Beefy bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Clearance for tires up to 25mm and external rim widths up to 28mm