Noah RS - 2012
In a world of compromise and sacrifice, it's nice to find an exception to the rule. The Ridley Noah RS is a solution to the "if only that bike had this or that" situation. It's a fast, high performing frameset, and its aero benefits come with convenience and a great price.
The Noah, you know already. It's Ridley's most aerodynamic road frame with a split fork, split seat stays, speedy paint appliqués, and deep airfoil tube shapes. Riding it will make you faster. The Noah RS employs largely the same idea, only without the integrated seatmast. Instead, the Noah RS uses a more conventional telescoping seat post. A telescoping seatpost is easier to adjust and easier to travel with. The post is aerodynamically-shaped and made of carbon-fiber by Ridley, and it comes with the frame along with the seat post clamp. The 1200g claimed weight of a medium isn't as feathery light as some frames, but the aero benefits will overcome the weight penalty in many conditions, particularly when you're riding fast.
The carbon-fiber lay-up has likewise been tweaked to bring the price downward and make the bike more compliant as well. For the Noah RS, Ridley uses 30- and 24-ton high-modulus carbon fiber. The other big difference from the Noah is that the RS seat stays are aero-shaped, but lack the split stay R-Flow design you'd find on the Noah. But they retained this technology on the front of the bike where aerodynamics are crucial. The R-Flow jet foils in the 4ZA Sphinx full-carbon fork reduce drag by 6.4%. It's a full carbon fork with a carbon steerer and turns on upper and lower integrated 1-1/8" FSA bearings. As with the Noah, the RS has R-Surface paint strategically applied to reduce drag by 3.6%. The cables run internally to further maximize aero advantages.
The Ridley Noah RS is available in six sizes from X-Small to X-Large and is available in two colors -- Red/white/black and Blue/black/white. It uses a "braze-on" front derailleur mount because they didn't want to constrain their aerodynamic design with a round seat tube for the derailleur clamp. The bottom bracket threading is English. The dropouts are carbon-fiber for light weight, and the derailleur hanger is replaceable for greater durability.