Perhaps no other bike brand understands the passion of cyclocross quite like Ridley. The Belgian brand got its start building competition-worthy CX bikes before branching off and building high-quality road and MTB bikes. The X-Night SL Disc Force 1 Complete Cyclocross Bike is all-new this year, incorporating some modern features without losing the traditional Euro touches that make their bikes so popular. If you're looking to pin a number on a skinsuit and slog through muddy stretches, attack sand pits, and shoulder your bike up calf searing run-ups, this is your rig.
Ridley makes no bones about the fact that this bike is made for a power hour between the tape and over the planks. It has other bikes that are more competent for gravel events. Compared to those bikes, the X-Night is much more compact with a slightly steeper head tube angle and a drastically shorter wheelbase. It also has a taller bottom bracket, which prevents pedal strikes when negotiating off-camber slopes and lets you get back on the power to create a gap on tight turns. When conditions force a dismount, the level top tube offers a generous main triangle for plenty of room to comfortably shoulder the bike on steps or unrideable stretches of sand.
It's important to note that the frame is so 'cross centric, it only has one water bottle cage mount on the downtube. The classic European cyclocross geometry gives the X-Night SL a nimble and agile ride making quick work of technical and twisty courses. The bike always finds the right line throughout all the accelerations and decelerations that define cyclocross. The frame is plenty adaptable for fast and dusty West Coast races and has plenty of clearance for sticky New England mud.
As with the previous generation, Ridley builds the X-Night SL from a mix of 30T and 24T high modulus carbon fiber and adds in 40T for weight reduction that tips the scales at a super svelte 850g. This blend of carbon sops up fatiguing vibrations and tenaciously transfers every watt into forward motion for a fast yet cushy ride worthy of even the harshest race conditions. Its internal cable routing makes for a clean, streamlined look, with the added bonus of eliminating pesky cable pinches when shouldering your bike up and over the flyover.
On the front, Ridley realizes that disc brakes are the new norm and the 12mm thru-axle version of its Oryx Disc carbon fiber fork features flat mounts. The Oryx Disc has a slight asymmetry that counters the extra torsional loads applied to the left fork leg under braking. Thru-axles anchor the hub to the dropouts and a scuff plate on the inside of the left fork leg keeps sharp rotors from making contact with carbon during frantic mid-race wheel changes. The flat-mount design allows for 140 or 160mm rotors.
The frame gets the new flat-mount treatment as well, allowing for the same size rotors and thru-axles, which have become the standard for newer 'cross rigs. This improves stiffness in the rear of the bike and keeps the rotor from grazing the pads. Get the holeshot and keep the momentum going with the stiffness necessary to propel you forward all the way to the finish.
The frame is built up with SRAM's Force 1 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes. The lack of a front derailleur means one less opportunity for mud or mechanicals to interrupt a race, and the combination of a 42t chainring and a 32t bailout cog help ensure you're geared for punchy climbs. The DT Swiss ER1400 wheelset has a generous 20mm internal width to plump out the MXP tubeless tires.
If you live for 'cross, the X-Night SL Disc Force 1 is the bike you'll want and it'll help you achieve all your goals this fall and winter. What originally started as a sport to stay fit during the winter has now become an obsession and entire seasons are focused on CX success. 'Cross is full of pain, grit, and determination and this Ridley has the DNA needed to help you give it your all.
- Ridley's top-tier cyclocross race bike
- Geometry proven by the Marlux-Napoleon Games team
- Euro-style geo for pedal clearance and tight courses
- Superlight carbon construction for quick accelerations
- SRAM 1x drivetrain for race-ready simplicity
- DT Swiss wheels are built for CX tires and conditions
- For generations of Belgians, Europeans, and now Americans, Ridley is 'cross