Liz Carbon Ultegra Complete Road Bike
Sure, some folks may keep a quiver of bikes at hand for every specific kind of riding, but when there are true do-it-all bikes like Ridley's Liz Carbon Ultegra Complete Road Bike, we hardly see the point. This quintessential all-rounder offers a blend of stiffness, weight, strength, and performance, aiming for comfortable geometry that lends itself to long days in the saddle, but takes it a step further by pairing up with unique shaped tubing to elevate aerodynamics, so you can feel just as comfortable toeing the line on race day as heading out for a multi-city weekend cruise. Like we've seen in years past from Ridley, the Liz continues to illustrate the company's view on women's cycling — that we ride hard, and have the same needs as the opposite sex, and it's easy to prove seeing as the Liz continues with the same geometry and carbon layup as its sibling, the Fenix, but with some fine-tuned touch points accommodating our narrower shoulders, and wider hips.
The Liz C is built from the same 24t high-modulus carbon fiber as the Fenix, a move that we can't applaud enough in an industry rife with examples of shrink, pink, and downgrade when it comes to women-specific fare. While its geometry stays the same in both the C and SL designations, this 24t carbon layup is what differentiates the two frames. The SL opts for a more expensive layup with two different gauge carbons, 24t and 30t, the C simplifies things to drop the price. As a result the Liz C is slightly less stiff than its race-ready SL iteration, but still maintains lightweight control on the tarmac.
Ridley maintains the plush ride in a light, stiff as a result of a few design choices. These include narrow, flat-section seat stays that absorb power-sucking road noise while maintaining lateral stiffness. The stays feed into a vertically compliant 27.2mm seatpost, and the flat, curved top tube serves as a leaf spring of sorts that works in conjunction with the seatstays and slimmed-down seatpost. The net result is a system-wide vibration damping and compliance for a more forgiving ride across everything from rural chip seal to the jarring stones of Belgium.
The top tube and down tube utilize a unique multi-hexagonal shape, which is undoubtedly partially responsible for the Liz's torsional rigidity and responsiveness. At the front, Ridley utilizes a tapered head tube that makes for increased stiffness while torqueing on the bars and exceptional handling and cornering capabilities while sweeping through descents or diving through the final turn before a finish sprint.
For an extra dose of stiffness, Ridley opts for a beefy PressFit BB86 shell. The wide bottom bracket shell anchors the oversized drive spine, solidly transferring every bit of power to the drivetrain without any watt-sucking lateral movement. While this frame isn't billed as specifically aerodynamic, it does boast an integrated fork crown for a smooth transition between the head tube and fork that at least offers the appearance of aerodynamics. You'll enjoy some drag-reduction benefits over frames without the integrated fork crown, and it just plain looks cleaner.
- Take on races and endurance rides alike on this trusty steed
- Geometry blends snappy responsiveness with long-mile comfort
- Lightweight carbon fiber construction for responsive handling
- Diamond-shaped tubing reinforces edges, increases impact resistance
- Pressfit BB86 bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Shimano's Ultegra drivetrain delivers precise gear shifts