Pairing low weight and a highly aerodynamic design, the 2017 Ridley Noah SL Road Bike Frameset stands out as a nearly compromise-free frameset among a sea of discipline-specific options. Designed to privilege pure speed across long, grueling one-day races and hectic sprint finishes, the Noah SL features oversized tubing, aerodynamic FAST technology, and a relatively low weight that combine to provide efficient power transfer when power is all that matters.
This Noah's 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 original Noah model, the SL's different carbon moduli are used in different areas of the frame based on desired properties of stiffness, weight, durability, and road-noise damping.
This targeted blend of materials is a common practice across the industry, though 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 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, 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, Ridley claims that the Noah SL enjoys a 3-5% reduction in drag over frames without FAST design. This means more speed with less effort, all thanks to a little bit of surface air routing.
Please note that Ridley recommends a maximum rider weight of 209.5lb (95kg) for the Noah SL.
- A light, aerodynamic road machine for fast finishers
- High-end 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