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While we don't like to rate a frame by the accolades that its riders have received, a World Championship is a World Championship, and Ridley cyclocross frames have won seven of them. Obviously, Belgians know 'cross. That's why we know that you'll love the 'form follows function' design of the Ridley X-Fire, with every centimeter having been designed for the muck and mud of Belgium winters.

The X-Fire is made primarily of 24 ton carbon fiber that gives it just the right blend of toughness, stiffness, and light weight. Its flowing lines blend the elegance of an Italian road racer with the utility necessary to survive the Belgian mud. The squared down tube is part of what gives the X-Fire an immediate jump when you mash on the pedals, and its oversized juncture with the bottom bracket and chainstays ensures torsional strength. When you unclip to dismount, you'll feel the stability as you weight your left leg and steer toward the barrier. The full-carbon fork complements the stiffness of the frame with a tapered steerer and a 1.5in lower bearing to keep the front wheel tracking straight over unseen bumps or through frozen ruts.

This latest version has a few new details that make it more appealing than ever. Rather than top-routed cables like the old frame, this one uses internal routing. Ridley made a wise choice and ran full-length cable housing for both derailleurs and the rear brake. The housing simply glides through in-molded sleeves within the frame tubes. Setup is a breeze, and the protection afforded by the closed system keeps you shifting accurately race after race no matter the conditions. The clever routing of the front derailleur cable allows use of a normal road bike bottom pull derailleur. The changes continue to the bottom bracket, where you'll find a Pressfit 30 shell. While you can use any crank with this system, you'll maximize stiffness and heel clearance with a BB30 crankset.

The Ridley X-Fire is White/red and is available in eight sizes from 41 to 60cm. It comes with a full carbon fork and FSA 1-1/8 to 1.5in tapered integrated headset. It requires a 34.9mm clamp-on bottom pull front derailleur and a 31.6mm seatpost.

Please be aware that the X-Fire frame geometry was designed to strike that fine balance between standover height and room for your elbow to pass if you prefer to grab the downtube as you shoulder the bike. Because of this, please be aware of the sizing and focus on the top tube length when you consider your purchase. You'll likely want to go shorter here than your standard road bike sizing. The X-Fire, like all cyclocross bikes, will have a higher top tube than modern road bikes with sloping geometry. Please don't be alarmed about this. If you have questions about fitting a 'cross bike, please feel free to call and speak with one of our sales staff.

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