Ridley X-Night Disc Brake Cyclocross Frameset - 2017 $1,800.00
Though American cyclocross bikes are skewing ever more to the longer, slacker gravel side of things, Ridley's latest X-Night Disc Cyclocross Frameset proves that the European 'cross bike is alive and well in the elite CX fields of Flanders. Compared to the SL version, the standard X-Night gains between 100 and 200g, depending on size; despite that weight gain, though, the X-Night has the same pedigree, making it ideal for tight, technical courses and muddy or sandy terrain.
We'll get into the reasons behind the weight difference a little later, but for now, we'll dwell on the X-Night's most important asset: the geometry. Compared to most American 'cross bikes (indeed, most 'cross bikes, period), the X-Night is tight, steep, and high, so it's better equipped to handle the claustrophobic hairpins and muddy days that tend to define Flemish cyclocross. It helps avoid pedal strikes while pressing the gas in corners, so it keeps the pressure on when the course is punchy, but it does tend sacrifice pure speed on wide-open courses. Despite that compact footprint, the frame's generous main triangle still provides plenty of room to comfortably shoulder the bike on Belgian stairs.
The weight difference with the SL stems from the fact that, as with last year's model, 2017's X-Night is built with 24T carbon fiber instead of a curated blend of 30T and 24T. The shorthand explanation is that, since Ridley omits the higher-modulus 30T carbon, key areas of power transfer and structural integrity require more material in order to hit the same stiffness numbers. More material means more grams of weight—and, well, you can see where we're going with this. The frame is still just as responsive, but there is more mass to propel.
Despite the different frame material, the standard X-Night is built with the same fork as the SL. Ridley officially bestows its Belgian benediction on disc brakes with the quick-release version of its Oryx Disc carbon fiber fork. The Oryx Disc is built with features a barely noticeable asymmetry that counters the extra torsional forces applied to the left fork leg when scrubbing speed. The dropouts include stainless steel inserts to protect the carbon from scratches and a scuff plate on the inside of the left fork leg fends off errant disc during frantic mid-race wheel changes to keep the fork free of unwanted wear. It's tailored to fit 160mm rotors with no adapter required.
The frame is built for post-mount calipers and 140mm rotors, but Ridley claims it can accommodate up to 160mm with an adapter. In our experience, 160mm rotors can run into clearance issues, though, so we recommend sticking to 140mm in the rear. The frame is also built for quick-release skewers, not the thru-axles which have become the standard for new 'cross rigs. The benefits to this are immediately obvious: the frameset immediately works with your current race wheels with no adapters or hub upgrades required, and—more importantly—mid-race wheel changes are themselves virtually immediate.
If you happen to have an entire spare race bike in the pits, then a flat with thru-axles won't drastically delay you as you just have to hop on the new bike. If you only have spare wheels, though, a thru-axle swap can effectively knock you out of the race. Quick-release skewers are also emblematic of the Euro' XC scene's conservative stance on adopting new standards, a position typified by the fact that van Aert, himself a Belgian, won the 2016 world championship on cantilever brakes.
- Embrace your inner Flandrian in proper cyclocross style
- Compact, traditional geometry for tight-quarters agility
- Slightly heavier carbon adds weight compared to SL model
- Disc-brake stopping power with quick-release convenience
- Generous main triangle for comfortable run-up shouldering
- Internal cable routing keeps mud off cables and hoses
- Rear rotor spacing limited to 140mm
- From Flanders fields to the Pacific Northwest, few labels enjoy the 'cross pedigree of Ridley
More X-Night builds
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X-Night size by rider height
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Reviews & Community
Can this frame accept thru axles?
This is not a Thru-axle frame, as of yet.
Can this frame run a 40 mm tire? Thanks!
Hey Steve - You can fit up to a 40 mm tire on this Ridley X-Night frame. It is a great choice if you want to run a wider tire. Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions or if you would like help building this frame into a complete bike.
- Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - email@example.com - 801-736-4337