Noah Fast Di2 R8050 Complete Road Bike
The Noah platform is a perennial favorite amongst the sprinters on Ridley sponsored teams as its injection of speed, especially on those chaotic run-ins to the finish, can't be denied. Ridley has carefully evolved this aero frameset since it first appeared in the pro peloton a dozen or so years ago. The Noah Fast Di2 R8050 Complete Road Bike is not only an improvement to the design and the fastest Noah to date, thanks to new aerodynamic structures learned from in-house computer aided design, finite element analysis, and wind tunnel testing, along with real-world feedback from its sponsored pros on Team Lotto Soudal, it also proves that rim brake bikes are alive and well and still favored by the pros. And while better aerodynamics is the primary driver with the Noah, we're impressed Ridley is able to boost stiffness and comfort with the new Fast and drop some grams too.
The new Noah Fast is a stunning machine indeed. Every line, shape, curve, and detail is designed with aerodynamics in mind. While we're used to seeing Ridley's dedication to aero details in the past stem from integrated seat masts, cutouts at the fork blades and seatstays to reduce turbulence, and hidden, integrated brakes, this new design eschews such features as the engineers have learned how to build a faster Noah thanks to the firm investing in a state of the art wind tunnel (along with a couple of other Belgian brands in a collaborative effort dubbed "Flanders Bike Valley") and the time spent there. What we do notice immediately with this updated version is an ultra-slick seat post clamp, and an all-new fork, designed to work with the intergraded handlebar and stem combo to hide the cables.
The key piece to this new fork design is Ridley’s new F-Steerer. Instead of a traditional round steerer tube, the profile on the Noah's steerer resembles that of a half-moon curvature, allowing Ridley to route the housing, sans the front brake housing on this model, fully internal. Cables are able to run from the controls, through the integrated handlebar and stem and sneak down the side of the steerer tube where it's out of harm's way and doesn't interfere with turning the bar left to right. We're not sure exactly how much drag is saved by hiding the housing, but we really like how it gives the bike a clean look. Ridley claims that the redesigned steerer not only allows for the internal housing, it also increases its lateral stiffness for surefooted descending and wag-free sprinting. Final fork aero touches include small wings just aft of the dropouts to improve airflow and a crown that slots in nicely with the headtube and downtube.
One returning feature is Ridley's F-Surface Plus technology that we've seen incorporated on previous Noahs and its time trial model, the Dean. Essentially, it's the application of a textured surface that's akin to dimples on a golf ball, that's strategically placed in high-pressure areas. The dimples create a tiny bit of turbulence causing the airflow to stay better attached the object and follow the shape of the tube. This allows the frame to simply slice through the air and works even better the faster you go.
To this, Ridley adds its F-Tubing, essentially fluted indentions on the leading edge of the Kammtail aero downtube. These notches, much like the F-Surface treatment, tricks the air into becoming more turbulent causing the passing air to better follow the shape of the tube which improves its aerodynamic efficiency by minimizing wind drag, letting you go faster with fewer watts to the tune of a 4.03-percent savings at 50 km/h. Additionally, the blunt Kammtail shape also helps minimize frame weight while increasing stiffness.
Ridley claims that the new fork, seatpost, and handlebar saves around 250 grams over previous Noahs letting you build up this rim brake version very close to the UCI weight limit without the need of super lightweight (read: fragile) components, for a bike that's simply faster everywhere. Based on Ridley complete builds of the Noah Fast rim brake version versus the disc, it comes in at around 500g of just over a pound lighter. Ridley claims the disc is a tad bit more aero though, so choose accordingly you’re your terrain or most desired attribute. New Lotto signing Caleb Ewan will certainly enjoy the increased stiffness of the bottom bracket and head tube over its predecessor, helping to channel every watt from the cranks directly into the rear wheel on those fast sprint finishes. And thankfully the days of speed and aero efficiency being mutually exclusive of comfort is gone and the new lowered seat stays offer a bit more vertical compliance for all-day comfort.
Ridley continues to source its carbon fiber from Toray, renowned in the cycling and aerospace industry as a provider of the world's highest quality carbon fiber. For this model, Ridley uses 60T-40T-30T High Modulus Unidirectional Carbon and places the most pliable 30-ton where it's needed for frame flex, comfort, and resiliency and 60-ton where boosting frame stiffness is necessary.
This version of the Noah receives excellent electronic shifting thanks to Shimano's latest Ultegra Di2. Direct-mount brakes let you reign in the speed while saving around a pound of weight in the process. Fulcrum supplies the wheels in the form of 35mm deep Racing 4 clinchers. Finally, the Ridley Fast Integrated Cockpit allows for internal routing of the housing in conjunction with the fork's F-Steerer design and a wing-shaped top section improves airflow by reducing drag.
- Ridley's aerodynamic road machine, now faster than ever
- HM carbon construction balances weight and stiffness
- F-Surface Plus and Tubing tricks the wind, letting you win
- PF30 bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Internal cable routing thanks to F-Steerer, provides clean lines
- Shimano's Ultegra Di2 drivetrain shifts with precision and speed
- Is around 500g lighter than the disc brake versions