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New Ridley road bike breaks cover at Critérium du Dauphiné

Could this new design being ridden by Lotto Dstny’s Maxim Van Gils be Ridley's "one bike to rule them all" model?

There’s a new Ridley road bike in the works, likely to be released in the next few weeks, and it’s currently being ridden by Lotto Dstny’s Maxim Van Gils in the Critérium du Dauphiné.

We spotted the new bike ahead of the start of the Dauphiné in Chambon-Sur-Lac this morning although, as you can imagine, details are scarce.

2023 Dauphine Ridley prototype - 1 (2)

Ridley currently has three high-end road bikes in its range: the lightweight Helium, the endurance-focused Fenix, and the aero Noah. The bike that Van Gils is riding is none of these – at least, none of the current incarnations – and rather than a usual UCI approval sticker, it has a sticker that clearly labels it ‘prototype’... so, yeah, it's new.

Like most road bikes out there these days, it has a slightly sloping top tube and dropped seatstays. The seat tube is cutaway around the leading edge of the rear wheel while the seatpost is held in place by a wedge-type system with the bolt shrouded by a rubber cover. Like the seat tube, the seatpost is aero-section.

The down tube looks to be a Kammtail design and it almost goes without saying that the brake hoses and the cables from the Shimano Di2 battery to the derailleurs are internally routed. What else would you expect?

Of Ridley’s current bikes, the prototype most closely resembles the Noah but we’d say that it’s not an update of this model. Ridley has been highly innovative in giving the Noah aero features over the years and we’d say this new bike just isn’t in that same vein. 

There are certainly similarities but the current Noah has an integrated fork crown, for example, and aero shaping at the back of the seat tube that extends right up to the seatstay junction. Lotto Dstny’s bike doesn’t have these features. We fully expect Ridley to say that the bike has been designed with aerodynamics in mind – what top-level race bike hasn’t been these days? – but not to the same extent as the Noah. 

2023 Dauphine Ridley prototype - 3

So what is it? There has been a huge trend to combine aero bikes and standard road bikes over the past few years. Think about the Specialized Tarmac SL7, for example, the introduction of which saw the demise of the aero Venge, and the latest Giant Propel which looks a whole lot more like a standard road bike than previous incarnations. There’s a big market for bikes that take the best aspects of each and combine them. Could that be what Ridley is aiming at here? 

Maxim Van Gils' bike was built up with a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and 62mm-deep DT Swiss ARC wheels fitted with Vittoria Corsa Pro tyres. Like all of the Lotto Dstny bikes that we saw, it was fitted with a gold-coloured chain from KMC. The one-piece cockpit is from Deda.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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