The 2017 Ridley Jane SL Ultegra Complete Road Bike marks a bold step for Ridley as it launches a full line of women-specific bicycles, and we're happy to report that the company's done a lot of things right. Kicking back against the common myth that there's a consistent difference in leg to torso proportions between genders, Ridley opts for mirrored geometry to its Noah SL while adjusting the touchpoints to better suit riders with narrower shoulders and wider hip structure. Across the size range, this manifests as narrower handlebars, shorter stems and cranks, and wider saddles compared to similarly sized Noah SL builds. This particular Jane SL also gets outfitted with Shimano's exceptional Ultegra 6800 drivetrain with semi-compact gearing and an 11-28 cassette to offer a wide range of gear options for riders of all abilities.
In a world of shrink, pink, and downgrade, it's fantastic to see Ridley give the Jane SL the same top-tier carbon blend as the Noah SL, ensuring a snappy, high-end, race-ready ride that doesn't make any compromises in stiffness or weight. This Jane's oversized tubes earn the SL suffix—which we generally assume denotes the industry superlative Super Light—through Ridley's inclusion of a mix of 60, 40, and 30-ton high modulus carbon fiber. The inclusion of 60-ton means it can use less material at key points while maintaining the same stiffness, which lowers weight without sacrificing efficiency. As with the original Noah and Noah SL models, the Jane SL's different carbon moduli are used in different areas of the frame based on desired properties of stiffness, weight, durability, and road-noise damping.
This targeted blend of materials is a common practice across the industry, though few manufacturers go to the extreme of using 60t carbon—an inclusion that demonstrates the Jane SL's pedigree as a race bike for the top sprinters in the world. The SL also features a tapered head tube for sharp tracking and efficient power transfer, and the PF30 bottom bracket, internal cable routing, and electronic group compatibility that are all but expected in frames of this level. As with the Noah SL frame, Ridley incorporates its Future Aero Speed Technology (FAST) F-Surface design into the Jane SL, which involves fluted channels running the lengths of forward-facing tubes to trip air into a manageable layer of turbulence. That tripped layer detaches later and more cleanly, reducing the frame's wake and overall wind drag.
The Jane SL's high modulus carbon fiber fork mirrors the Noah SL's with a look that stands out as distinctly different from other road forks, with an open channel running down the middle of each leg. This FAST F-Split Fork channel design is revolutionary in its ability to guide incoming air away from the spokes to reduce turbulence and drag, which keeps the airstream around the wheel smooth and fast. By pairing this fork with the FAST F-Surface design, Ridley claims that the Jane SL enjoys a 3-5% reduction in drag over frames without FAST design. This means more speed with less effort, all thanks to a little bit of surface air routing.
Please note that Ridley recommends a maximum rider weight of 209.5 lbs (95kg) for the Jane SL.
- A stiff, aerodynamic road machine for sprinters and rouleurs
- High-end carbon fiber construction reduces weight
- FAST F-Surface and F-Split Fork technologies improve aerodynamics
- Oversized bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Internal cable routing provides clean lines and reduces drag
- Touch points for riders with narrower shoulders and wider hips
- Compatible with both mechanical and electronic drivetrains
- Ridley gets women-specific racing technology right