While the majority of us don’t push the limits of aerodynamics, the improvements achieved by endless wind tunnel and real-world tests can be felt by non-professional riders. And, currently, non-professionals are the only ones that can benefit from the improved stopping in all conditions that disc brakes provide. So, while the WorldTour is awaiting the re-introduction of road discs at the professional level, the rest of us should embrace them and the new Ridley Noah SL Disc is a great example of what your next road bike should be.
The latest version of the Noah SL was introduced last year. This slippery all-rounder has since been modified for the specific needs of disc brakes. The aerodynamics are the same, but the carbon layup and axles have been chosen to specifically accommodate the needs of disc brakes.
According to Ridley CEO, Jochim Aerts, it took them 18 months and 15 iterations of the frame to get it just right.
“Optimizing a bike for discs required us to completely revise the fork and rear triangle. The loads of the disc brakes and thru axles require new lay-up schedules formulas to handle the stresses and torques these stopping mechanism generate. It took us over 18 months and more than 15 iterations to get it right,” said Aerts.
Slippery Aero and Disc Brakes
As one of only a handful of aero road bikes with disc brakes, the new Ridley Noah SL Disc stands out from the growing masses of disc-equipped road bikes. As with all Ridley bikes, the Noah SL Disc doesn’t utilize gimmicks or add-ons to improve comfort or performance. The folks at Ridley believe that dropping a few psi in your tires is the most effective way to improve comfort, if desired. And, as far as aerodynamics are concerned, I’m told the Noah SL Disc is more-or-less identical to the rim-brake version. So, look for the Noah SL Disc to deliver professional-level performance with the extra stopping modulation and consistency of disc brakes. I’ll add that I think this bike is the best-looking color scheme I’ve seen from Ridley to date — and it looks even better in person.
Key features of the Noah SL Disc:
- Completely re-engineered fork and chainstays to accommodate disc brake forces
- Utilizes F-Surface and F-Splitfork technologies for increased aerodynamics
- 12mm thru axles front (100×12) and rear (142×12)
- Unique, left-sided front thru-axle for easier servicing
- 25mm tire clearance (officially)
- Flat-mount disc brakes with 160mm front and 140mm rear
- Geometry remains same as rim-brake Noah SL
- Available in Ultegra Di2 ($5900) or Ultegra ($4800) builds — final pricing tba
More Info: Visit Ridley-Bikes.com