Noah SL Disc Aero+ Road Frameset
The road cycling arms race is firmly set on eliminating aero drag in every capacity while at the same time, we're seeing an upswing of disc brake equipped bikes. More and more professional racers are hopping aboard aero-optimized steeds and when it's time to scrub speed, they're reaching for hydraulic disc levers. While we've seen it in cross, endurance, and gravel bikes for years, now full-tilt road racing rigs are equipped with the discs, improving both the power and modulation in all weather conditions. What's more, many manufacturers are claiming that the disc bikes are even faster in the wind tunnel and on the open road by hiding the caliper behind the fork leg and concealing the housing. Additionally, with more energy being focused on discs, the weight is dropping substantially and there's not really much of a penalty anymore and given the peace of mind that comes from not detonating an overheated carbon braking surface or putting up with sub-standard braking in wet conditions, we can easily look past a few measly grams. Ok, if we haven't convinced you that aero/disc road bikes are the future, please look at the Noah SL Disc Aero+ Road Frameset which takes all of the aspects of the beloved Noah SL and adds F-Steerer technology to fully integrate all of the cables into the frame, further boosting aerodynamics while making the look very clean as well.
This Noah Aero+ is based on its SL rim brake brethren with slight modifications needed to reinforce the fork and chainstay areas to handle the disc brake forces. Despite this, its oversized tubes still earn the SL suffix—which we assume denotes the industry superlative Super Light—through Ridley's inclusion of a mix of 60, 40, and 30-ton high modulus carbon fiber. Both the Noah Fast and Noah top out at 50-ton, and the SL's use of 60-ton means it can use less material at key points while maintaining the same efficiency, which in turn lowers weight. As with the rim brake model, the SL's different carbon moduli are placed in different areas of the frame based on desired properties of stiffness, weight, durability, and road-noise damping.
And while a targeted blend of materials is fairly common practice across the industry, few manufacturers go to the extreme of using 60t carbon. The SL also features a tapered head tube for sharp tracking and efficient power transfer, and the PF30 bottom bracket, internal cable routing, and future-proof electronic group compatibility that are all but expected in frames of this level. Unlike other frames, though, Ridley incorporates its Future Aero Speed Technology (FAST) F-Surface design, which involves fluted channels running the lengths of forward-facing tubes to trip air into a manageable layer of turbulence. That tripped layer detaches later and more cleanly, reducing the frame's wake and overall wind drag.
The Noah SL's high-modulus carbon fiber fork looks distinctly different than other forks on the market, internally and externally. Starting off, an open channel runs down the middle of each leg, known as the FAST F-Split Fork channel, its design is revolutionary in its ability to guide incoming air away from the spokes to reduce turbulence and drag, which keeps the airstream around the wheel smooth and fast. By pairing this fork with the FAST F-Surface design, Ripley claims that the Noah SL enjoys a 3-5% reduction in drag over frames without the FAST design so you get a little more speed with less effort, all thanks to a little bit of surface air routing. This Aero+ version features what's known as the F-Steerer, with a half-moon curvature steerer, allowing the internal cable routing to run directly down the steerer tube and into the frame. When paired with the Forza integrated aero cockpit, the bar is still able to turn freely and it reduces drag by up to 40% over the traditional Noah SL and looking very clean. One might worry that the unique shape of the steerer might have reduced the frameset's responsiveness, however, it's quite to the contrary and by optimizing the cross-section of the steerer, it was able to increase its lateral stiffness.
- An aerodynamic, disc road machine built for speed
- High-quality carbon fiber construction reduces weight
- FAST F-Surface and F-Split Fork technologies improve aerodynamics
- Oversized bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Internal cable routing provides clean lines
- Compatible with both mechanical and electronic drivetrains
- Forza integrated cockpit further aids aerodynamics
- F-Steerer allows cables to run internally down the steerer