Lotto Soudal’s André Greipel won his second stage of this year's Tour de France earlier today and here is the Ridley Noah SL he did it on.
As leader of the points classification, Greipel has been riding a green bike to match his green jersey, although we spotted him out and about on his Noah SL in normal Lotto Soudal colours just before the start of the race.
The Noah SL, launched at Eurobike 2014, is a lighter version of Ridley’s long-standing Noah Fast. A number of changes have resulted ina 950g frame weight, according to Ridley. That’s a highly respectable weight for an aero road bike.
Underneath the paint, Ridley says that it has reworked the resin and carbon layup to reduce the weight without compromising stiffness. If you put out the power that Greipel does in a sprint, that stiffness is vital.
Ridley has been working on the Noah for several years and we were impressed when we reviewed the Noah Fast on road.cc a couple of years ago.
A key feature of the Noah is the use of moulded strips at certain areas of the frame. Ridley calls this its F-Surface treatment. These raised strips are sited at the leading edges and they’re designed to delay flow separation and keep the air ‘attached’ for as long as possible.
The thinking is that when air separates from the surface a small area of low pressure is created and that produces drag. The longer the air remains attached to the surface, the lower the drag. The idea of the F-Surface is to trip the passing air into turbulence, shifting the separation point further along the tube profile.
Another important feature is the F-Splitfork. Two slots run vertically on each fork leg, one above the other, so each leg has a small gap down the middle.
The idea here is to allow air to flow through these slots, reducing the air pressure between the fork legs and the wheel, again to reduce drag.
Rather than the integrated V-brakes of the Noah Fast, the Noah SL is fitted with regular calliper brakes. These are sited in normal positions on the front of the fork and behind the seatstays.
The Noah SL also features an aero seatpost with the seat clamp hidden inside the top tube, a tapered head tube and internal cables/wires. The bottom bracket is BB30. This oversized design is intended to provide loads of stiffness to hold everything in place. That’s super-important when you have someone like Andre Greipel on board.
Lotto Soudal is sponsored by Campagnolo and the riders use Super Record EPS groupsets with electronic shifting (EPS stands for Electronic Power Shift). Unlike with Shimano’s Di2 system, the upshift button and the downshift lever are sited well away from one another; you operate one with your thumb and the other with your index finger so it’s virtually impossible to shift accidentally in the wrong direction when things get frantic.
The wheels are carbon-rimmed Campagnolo Bora Ultras. These are available in 35mm, 50mm and 85mm depths, and those look like the 50s on there. They are fitted with Continental Competition Pro Ltd tyres that aren’t available to the likes of you and I – they’re for sponsored athletes only.
Greipel uses an SRM power meter - with a green head unit while he is leading the points classification - and a San Marco Concor saddle.
His handlebar is a carbon-fibre Deda M35.
The stem is from the Trentacinque range too. That’s alloy with titanium screws.
The pedals are Look Keo Blades and the bottle cages are from Tacx.
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.