The frameset at the heart of Ridley's Helium X 105 Complete Road Bike is typically pigeonholed as a "climber's bike." We take issue with that assessment, and we challenge you to put the bike through its paces on long miles of flat, chip-seal country roads, the start-and-stop traffic of the urban roads you have to take to get there, and—of course—the canyon climbs that mark the end of out in the out-and-back loop. The Helium X breaks the mold of what we expect a climber's bike to be.
The frame is eager to please regardless of the road surface or gradient. It owes its sprightly demeanor to a layup blending 30 and 24t carbon fiber, which is slightly heavier than the Helium SLX but every bit as stiff. When you lay into the pedals, the frame lays into the road. Despite the different lay-up, the Helium X does have the same geometry as the Helium SLX, so it's every bit the aggressive racer that guys like Lotto-Soudal's Gallopin relies on during long Alpine climbs and nervous, winding descents.
- A lightweight racer that loves to suffer over long miles
- Same race geometry used by the climbers on Lotto-Soudal
- Mixed moduli create a carbon blend balancing weight and stiffness
- Shimano's 105 drivetrain continues to surprise us