Liz SL Ultegra Complete Road Bike
We think that there's some room for simplifying things in the cycling world. That may mean clean lines and classic kits, but we also think that there may be something to be said for simplifying our bike quiver. That doesn't mean you should minimize yourself to just one discipline on the bike, but rather, reach for a bike that breathes versatility, like the Ridley Liz SL Ultegra Complete Road Bike. With geometry lending towards endurance, this all-rounder combines stiffness, strength, and performance to offer a ride that feels comfortable toeing the line on race day, and long relaxed tours alike. And just as we've gotten to know (and love) about Ridley, the Liz SL continues to match the geometry of its male counterpart, the Fenix SL, with the same carbon layups, and endurance-minded build, but with a few new touch points to better suit the differences in 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.
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.
- Kill the quiver with this do-it-all endurance bike
- 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