Liz SL Ultegra Complete Road Bike
The long-standing approach to trendy "women's-specific" frame design has centered around the myth that there's a consistent difference in torso to leg proportions across genders, leaving many women with average proportions wondering why they can't find a bike that fits. Ridley's taking a different approach with its 2017 Liz SL Ultegra Complete Road Bike, giving it mirror geometry to its renowned Fenix SL and adjusting the touch points to better accommodate riders who have wider hip structure and narrower shoulder. Across the size range, this results in shorter stems and cranks, narrower handlebars, and wider saddles compared to similarly sized Fenix SL builds. Inheriting the Fenix SL's jack-of-all-trades ability and kitted out with Shimano's precise and reliable Ultegra drivetrain, this Liz SL is prepared to usher you through all manner of cobbles, chipseal, and buttery smooth tarmac the road ahead presents.
The Liz SL is built from the same 30t and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber as 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. It's a mix that delivers a rare combinations of long-mile comfort and criterium-worthy stiffness in a lightweight package that soars when the road turns skyward.
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 SL'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.
Please note that Ridley recommends a maximum rider weight of 209.5 lbs (95kg) for the Liz SL.
- An endurance road bike for any occasion
- Geometry blends snappy responsiveness with long-mile comfort
- Lightweight carbon fiber construction for responsive handling
- Pressfit BB86 bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Shimano's Ultegra drivetrain delivers precise gear shifts