Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling will be racing on Ribble’s Ultra SL R Team Edition this year, and here it is in the UCI Continental Road Team’s livery. It’s a distinctive 2022 Team Edition Custom Colour design featuring a Midnight Ink, Fresh Mandarin and Alpine White palette with a metallic finish.
The team has just been presented with its new race machines at Ribble’s showroom in Clitheroe, Lancashire, before flying out to Calpe in Spain for pre-season training.
As well as Ribble’s Ultra SL R, the team will be using the Endurance SL R and Ultra TT models in the 2022 season, starting with the UCI Europe Tour at Dorpenomloop Rucphen in the Netherlands on 13th March.
We first told you about the Ultra SL R when it was launched in August.
Ribble says that it aimed to produce “the fastest aero road bike in the real world”. By ‘real world’ it means the fastest bike with a rider in the saddle out on the road, as opposed to one that performs well in the wind tunnel with no one aboard.
Ribble says that each section of the frame, fork, seatpost and handlebar has been aerodynamically optimised with particular attention paid to the integration of components.
The frame features truncated aerofoil tube profiles and the lower section of the down tube, for example, is optimised for use with a water bottle in place.
The head tube’s profile is extended with a long trailing edge that is designed to improve aerodynamics at higher yaws while sticking within UCI rules, and the fork legs go straight up vertically from the dropouts before kinking in right at the top, rather than gradually moving in to the fork crown.
Ribble says that all of these design features – and many more – were made to minimise drag across the range of wind conditions that you’re likely to experience out on the road.
Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling riders will use Ribble’s new Ultra combined handlebar and stem which is itself a radical design.
A handlebar has a major effect on aerodynamics because it is one of the first components to hit the wind and it sits directly in front of the rider. However, the profile of the drop section is dictated by the need to take the round band that holds the dual-control lever in place, so Ribble developed a system where the lever bolts directly to the bar, eliminating the need for that band.
Another important feature of the Ultra bar is the bulge on the top section. The idea is that it generates a wake that creates a drag reduction zone for the rider to sit in. The bars are narrow for further aero gains.
The handlebar is designed to be used without tape. Ribble says that bar tape isn’t great for aero efficiency and that carbon provides enough vibration damping so it has given the bar a textured finish.
The Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling bikes are built up with Shimano’s second-tier Ultegra Di2 groupsets with Nova Ride’s oversized pulley/jockey wheels on the rear derailleur.
The riders use Mavic’s Cosmic SLR wheels in 45mm and 65mm depths, fitted with Continental Grand Prix 5000 tyres.
The bikes are a claimed 7.8kg.
The Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team includes eight new riders for 2022 including Harry and Charlie Tanfield. Charlie is also gearing up for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where he will compete on the track for Team England.
The Team Edition finish is available on select models in the Ribble range including Ultra SLR, Ultra SL, Ultra Tri, Endurance SL, Endurance SL Disc, Endurance SL R, Endurance SL R Disc, Endurance SL e, and the Ultra TT frameset.
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 road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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.