Blaze Your Own Trail.
Aggregate assaulting has morphed from a once niche discipline into a mainstream activity that has spawned quite a few gravel specific bikes. Folks wanting to ride in "road-like" conditions and avoid cars are finding the allure of riding bikes designed to excel on dirt roads. Ridley has long been a staple in the European cyclocross circuit and the pro peloton so they know a thing or two about riding and racing dropbar bikes on and offroad. A few tweaks to their road and cross racing bikes, which we will delve in below, turns out building a fine gravel frame and the Ridley X-Trail Carbon Frameset is ready to join you off pavement to embrace all manner of tarmac, gravel, and even some single track.
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.
- An all-road adventure bike
- Long, stable geometry keeps its footing on gravel and dirt
- High-modulus carbon fiber frame is efficient and lightweight
- Disc brakes keep stopping on point in inclement conditions
- Clearance for 36mm tires roll fast and offer traction
- Expands Ridley's X series beyond the limits of cyclocross