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Turntables to tarmac - DJ Spoony's Custom Ribble Ultra SL R is inspired by lyrics

Made specifically for those spins away from the turntable, this special edition aero bike is adored with the British DJ's favourite lyrics

DJ Spoony is perhaps more well-known for (record) spinning at the clubs than around Richmond Park, but now the Briton will have no excuse for not showing off his bike skills, too. Inspired by his impressive vinyl record room, the DJ's new custom Ribble Ultra SL R is filled with details, including his logo on the fork and headset top cap, plus handwritten lyrics from one of his favourite songs on the inside of a seatstay. It's a bike that will, for sure, spark conversations. 

"Cycling is all about the social aspect for me and this bike will be a talking point. I love the idea that when I check my bike over before every ride I’ll see the lyrics, the song always puts a big smile on my face and will help me get up the hills," DJ Spoony (Johnathan Joseph) says. 

Ribble x DJ Spoony Ultra SL R bike 2

It was Ribble's in-house design and paint studio that created DJ Spoony’s dream machine featuring a bespoke Gold Flame, Black and Gold paint design which matches the decals on the customised Mavic Cosmic SL45 wheels, and the gold chain. 

> Check out details on the Mavic Cosmic SLR 45 Disc tubeless wheelset

The DJ who recently celebrated 30 years of garage music at this year’s MOBO Awards (an annual British music award presentation honouring achievements in "music of black origin"), got into cycling due to getting injured running. Like many others, there was no turning back once the fire had been lit. 

"I just fell in love with it, really, but I never envisioned how social it was. I didn't realise how many people I knew rode bikes but kind of kept it to themselves, and I've just really enjoyed it ever since," DJ Spoony says. 

Johnathan has been riding Ribble for the past year after he first saw the brand's super aero road bike, the Ultra, at a bike show.

> Ribble launch radical new Ultra aero road bike (+ video)

Ribble x DJ Spoony Ultra SL R bike 1

The Ultra is Ribble's super-aero road bike, coming with a radical frameset design, an innovative handlebar, and some bold aero claims. 

When launched back in 2021, Ribble called it “the fastest aero road bike in the real world” – the fastest with a rider in place as opposed to one that performs well in the wind tunnel with no one aboard.

Ribble says that every section of the frame, fork, seatpost and handlebar was aerodynamically optimised with particular attention paid to the integration of components.

Ribble dubbed it the Bat Bike during development, and you can see why. The frameset features many truncated aerofoil tube profiles; essentially, airfoils with the tails removed, as you’ll find on aero road bikes and time trial bikes from other brands. The whole bike has a high tech vibe to it, all in the name of performance, of course.

The Ultra combined handlebar and stem is pretty wild too. Ribble came up with a system where the dual-control levers bolt directly to the Ultra bar, eliminating the need to use a band to fix them in place. Ditching the band gave the designers greater freedom, allowing them to shape the drop section and the transition between the tops and the drops for aerodynamic and ergonomic benefits.

Another key feature of the Ultra bar is the bulge on the top section. The idea is that the bulge is a wake generator that creates a drag reduction zone for the rider to sit in.

The bar is narrow and there's no tape covering it.

"Bar tape is not that great in terms of aerodynamics and it’s a faff, so we’ve given the bar a textured finish,” Ribble CEO Andy Smallwood told us at the time of launch.

DJ Spoony's specially created bike comes with top-level spec. The groupset is Shimano DuraAce Di2 and the Ultra is finished with the custom Mavic wheels mentioned eariler. The aim is for Spoony to speed through his target event, Ride London, which he first did last year.

"Yeah, 2024 I'm going to do Ride London again! I'm going to try and go for a really good average time. Last year was good, but I think I can be better this time. I'm certainly going to prepare better and get out on the bike once or twice a week and try and do 60, 70 miles a week.

"I'd also like to take the bike to Ibiza and try and get on the roads out there and cycle around the island."

> Entries open on Tuesday for 2024’s Ford RideLondon-Essex – and will be first-come, first-served rather than ballot


In addition to using the bike for fitness, DJ Spoony has hopes of giving back to the community, so to speak, too. If you immediately thought he'd do something similar to Dom Whiting (more commonly known as the drum and bass on the bike guy), nope, that's not what DJ Spoon has in the cards. 

"I would really like to build up my beats and bike cycling club. We were talking ages ago about creating your own ride, trying to raise awareness and get more people from all kinds of backgrounds kind of into cycling. I would love to create my own ride, catering for various standards and various abilities. Cycling should be enjoyed by everybody and anybody."

If the bike itself isn't enough, DJ Spoony has also curated a Ribble X Spoony playlist inspired by this very bike and "designed to get you cycling"…  Having listened to it while typing up this article, it does have a very good vibe and I'll likely get back to it on my next Zwift session! 

Full Spec of DJ Spoony's custom Aero SL R bike

Frame & Fork: Ribble Ultra Aero SL R Disc frame & fork (Toray T1000/T800 Carbon Monocoque frame)
Handlebars: Ribble Ultra Aero Carbon Integrated Handlebar
Groupset: Dura Ace Di2 (9200 2 x 12-speed) groupset with KMC X12 Ti-N Gold 12 speed chain
Wheels: Mavic Cosmic SL45 Tubeless Disc Wheelset, with decals by Silk Graphics
Tyres: Continental GP5000 AS TR Tubeless Tyres, Black, 28mm
Seatpost: Ribble Ultra SL R Seatpost (10mm setback)
Saddle: Fi’zi:k Arione
Paint Scheme: Limited Edition Black & Gold Marble with gold leaf logos & Prince lyrics in DJ Spoony’s handwriting

That's this week's last Bike at Bedtime but if you're hungry for more, we've got a whole bunch of previous editions for you here – and next week we'll come to you with more. As always, let us know your thoughts on this build and custom colourway in the comments!

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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Drinfinity | 1 month ago

Goldie Looking Chain!

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