Noah SL Disc Road Frameset
Do us a favor: if you haven't experienced the ride of a disc brake equipped road bike, find one, go ride it, and let us know what you think. We're sold on disc and we can't think of any other racing vehicle that doesn't place an emphasis on premium brakes as part of the performance equation. In this past Tour, if you were keeping count at home, 5 stages were nabbed on disc brake road machines and we're confident this number will only continue to grow in the following years. We've already seen pros favor heavier frames, wheels, and components that are more aerodynamic in the name of drag reduction for going faster with less effort, and more and more are discovering that discs are worth adding a bit of functional weight with the tangible benefits of quicker stopping and more control. Now that frame manufactures and racers are on board, we're starting to see the latest trend of aero frames with disc brakes and they don't suffer any aero penalties and offer the peace of mind that comes from completely eliminating overheated carbon braking surfaces and sub-standard braking in wet conditions. This combo gives us the confidence in exploiting the wind-cheating speed, knowing we can go fast and safely slow down. So if you're looking for a new, fast frameset for spirited group rides and racing, have a look at the Noah SL Disc Road Frameset from Ridley and experience a completely new road riding experience.
Cross, endurance, and gravel bikes have almost exclusively transitioned to discs as concerns over weight and aerodynamics aren't quite as critical as on full-tilt road racing rigs, but improved power and modulation in all conditions are. Now, professional road racers want the disc treatment on their race bikes too, despite the weight penalty. Adding weight to a road racing bike is never an easy proposition, however, we believe that the safety and fun discs add while riding and especially descending, more than makes up for the slight penalty in mass.
This Noah SL is based on its rim brake sibling with some slight modifications needed to reinforce the fork and chainstay where the flat mount caliper resides 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 inclusion 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 as it's both expensive and requires expertise in the layup process. The SL also features a tapered head tube for sharp tracking and efficient power transfer, a PF30 bottom bracket shell, internal cable routing, and future-proof electronic and mechanical group compatibility that's all but expected in framesets at 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, with an open channel running down the middle of each leg. This FAST F-Split Fork channel 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 to 5% reduction in drag over frames without the FAST design. This means more speed with less effort, all thanks to a little bit of surface air routing.
- An aerodynamic road frame that's easy at going fast and slowing down
- Top-tier carbon fiber and construction methods reduce weight
- FAST F-Surface and F-Split Fork improve its slipperiness
- Disc brakes compatibility offers more power and better modulation
- Oversized bottom bracket shell efficiently transfers power
- Internal cable routing looks great and is even sleeker
- Compatible with electronic or mechanical drivetrains
- Recommended maximum rider weight of 209.5lb (95kg)