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The Excalibur is Ridley's best-selling race frame for good reason. At a svelte 1100 grams, it's second only to the Helium in Ridley's spectrum of lightness. So, why the 200 gram disparity? Simply put, the Helium uses a slightly higher grade of carbon fiber, and therefore less of it, netting a lower weight, while the Excalibur relies on 24 ton carbon with 30 ton reinforcements in the high stress areas of the frame. And while this is where the bulk of cost savings are derived, it's also where the smidgen of extra weight comes from. However, don't think that you'll sacrifice stiffness or ride quality one bit.

Unlike the triangulated 'Sharp Edge Design' that you find on the Damocles, or the ultra-aerodynamic tubes of the Noah, the Excalibur is built with oversized round tubes. These create massive junctures at the head tube and down tube, and at the bottom bracket. Combined, you can expect a heightened level of stability under load and at speed, as well as a powerful resistance to torsional and lateral deflection.

And while you might look at the Excalibur and think that it's a mere kermesse bike, the sort of 'grip-it-and-rip-it' rocket ship suited for Belgian circuit races, think again. The Excalibur was the official team bike of the UCI Continental Pro team, Unibet. Unibet riders cracked the top 20 in epics such as Flanders and Roubaix, as well as a host of other rough-and-tumble Spring Classics. And inline with their results, Team Unibet knew that the secret of the Excalibur's success was how the geometry of the Excalibur strikes the ideal balance between compliance and rigidity.

You'll be hard-pressed to find another carbon bike in the Excalibur's price class built with such care (both structural and aesthetic), with similar lightness, durability, smoothness, and with anything even closely resembling its racing pedigree. And with features like a tapered head tube, a full monocoque carbon 4ZA fork, and Ridley's hollow bottom bracket technology, the Excalibur proves itself as a thoroughbred with the hallmark characteristics of frames priced well above it.

The Ridley Excalibur is available in the color Matte Black/red/white and in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large. Given its compact geometry, we strongly suggest that you focus on the effective top tube length as you make a determination of the proper size. The frame comes with a painted-to-match Ridley 4ZA Excalibur monocoque full carbon fiber fork and a proprietary FSA integrated headset. It requires a 31.6mm seatpost, an English bottom bracket, and a 34.9mm front derailleur.

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