Road rides may have their place in many riders hearts, but you prefer diving off the beaten path, and deep into untapped wilderness that you rarely get to see on a fully rigid ride. Sometimes it's just a Saturday Cruise in the San Rafael Swell, other times its a carefully thought out expedition that takes months of planning before you hop aboard an international flight to challenge yourself on the Torino - Nice Rally. Either way, as cliché as it may sound, you find it's all about the adventure, and the Ridley X-Trail Carbon eTap HRD Complete Bike is just as eager to hop off of the pavement and dive into the grit as you are. With stiff and light carbon fiber, you'll find a responsive ride, and off-road ready geometry that lets you float over dirt and poorly graded gravel in comfort.
Despite its gravel intentions, it isn't a slow handling slouch and Ridley shapes the X-Trail's frame using ultralight unidirectional carbon, equipping the frame to offer quick accelerations and a stiff, responsive ride for everything from bikepacking weekend trips to off-road full gravel races. Subtly asymmetrical, the Oryx Disc fork is carefully reinforced on the left leg allowing it to more efficiently bear twisting forces applied by disc brakes, and with a 15 x 100mm thru axle in front and a 12 x 142mm in the rear, the frame achieves confidence-inspiring stiffness throughout.
As implied by the above, the X-Trail is a smorgasbord of frame geometries. The result resembles more of a road bike than a classic cyclocross bike like the X-Night; it has a lower bottom bracket, shorter chainstays, and a stack/reach combination that leaves riders in less of an aero is everything, slammed racing position. In contrast to its road racing frames, Ridley extends the X-Trail's head tube by 10mm, bringing the rider into a more upright position to accommodate longer training and touring rides rather than racing exclusively. It's only slightly more aggressive than the Fenix, in fact, but unlike its endurance road cousin, the X-Trail is designed to be run with tires up to 36mm wide on more rugged terrain.
This build rolls on top of Stan's No Tubes Grail Comp Disc wheelset to give you total tubeless protection on the journey, regardless of the surface you ride. The wide rims accommodate anything from 25-millimeter road standards to lofty 36-millimeter gravel donuts that float over the chatter. On this build you'll find a perfect in-between at 33mm, giving you control and low rolling resistance, with just enough cushion. To top off the bike, we've paired it with SRAM's Red eTap HRD groupset that keeps things shifting completely wirelessly, with snappy and crisp modulation, and disc brakes that offer exceptional control on steep descents. A Rotor 3D Plus crankset in the front gives you a huge gear range with the included 52/36t gearing, but can be swapped to oval rings easily in the future, should you want to play with your pedaling efficiency further.
- Adventure lies down all roads atop this steed
- Keep your footing in gravel and dirt with long geometry
- High-modulus carbon fiber frame is efficient and lightweight
- Disc brakes keep stopping on point in inclement conditions
- Stan's Grail Comp hoops give you tubeless protection
- Float over chatter with lofty 33-millimeter tires
- SRAM's Red eTap groupset offers crisp shifting wirelessly
- Rotor 3D Plus crankset is modular and allows for oval chainrings