Liz SL Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike
Some of us believe in the N+1 theory when it comes to bikes. That is, the correct number of bikes in our quiver is always one more than we've got, but Ridley flips that theory on its head with the Liz SL Disc Ultegra Complete Road Bike. This do-it-all endurance machine is capable of hammering centuries and hill sprints alike, and carries its strength through to race day when you're toeing the line with the podium on your mind. It manages to capture so many categories by combining a meticulous carbon layup with diamond constructed tubes that reduce aerodynamic drag, while elevating stiffness for putting the power down. This year's Liz continues Ridleys trend of offering the same race-proven geometry to women as it's men's line, but with different touch points that better suit our anatomy, like a narrower bar, and female-specific saddle.
The Liz SL is built from a blend of 30t and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber, just like the Fenix SL, 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, the SL features a blend of 30t and 24t carbon layups to differentiate the two frames. The SL opts for a more expensive layup with two different gauge carbons, 24t and 30t, offering unbeatable stiffness, while maintaining intensely light construction. This particular model pairs its stiff frame with disc brakes, as opposed to the classic rim brakes. While they may scale in just a couple of grams heavier than their rim counterparts, the Ultegra 8000 brakes on this SL offer impeccable modulation, and the power to stop on a dime on the steepest pitches,
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.
- A do-it all endurance rig with all-road prowess
- Disc brakes offer impeccable modulation and control
- Top-tier carbon fiber construction for responsive handling
- Geometry blends snappy responsiveness with long-mile comfort
- Diamond-shaped tubing reinforces edges, increases impact resistance
- Pressfit BB86 bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Shimano's Ultegra drivetrain delivers precise gear shifts