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Abolish the limits.
If we said that it took some convincing for disc brakes to start grasping a hold in the peloton it would be the understatement of the year. It was a bit more like pulling teeth, but for most riders it doesn't take more than a day on disc to understand its perks, which would explain why we've been seeing more of it making its way through the finish lines in the European racing circuits. With this, it should be no surprise that the Ridley Fenix SL Disc SRAM eTap Complete Road Bike is ready for another year of taking on the road and cobbles. It offers its stiff unidirectional carbon to transfer maximum power, while soaking up vibrations from the pavé, and race-ready geometry that doesn't completely skip over function to land with elegant form. To top it off we add in SRAM's eTap groupset for wireless shifting to keep your ride completely clean and streamlined for whatever ride lies ahead.
While this Fenix is more than capable in Flandrian sprint finishes and animated road race tactics, its combination of powerful disc brakes and artful layup of vibration devouring unidirectional carbon fibers expand its capabilities beyond buttery smooth pavement into roads (and paths) less traveled. In comparison to the super-stiff featherweight frames in Ridley's line that use up to 60-ton moduli, the Fenix SL utilizes a blend of 30-ton and 24-ton carbon to strike a balance between road-smoothing compliance, rigid efficiency, and race-worthy weight. Poorly graded gravel, cobbles, and other road hazards that would otherwise feel like jarring punches on a 60-ton carbon take on all the disagreeability of crosswalk paint—though the stiff, tapered head tube does provide responsive steering to dodge the unrideable obstacles.
Compared to the original Fenix, the Fenix Disc also has a slightly bigger wheelbase, measuring 2mm longer for a size medium. While this difference is more pronounced in the smallest sizes, even the bigger frames benefit from a more stable footprint for loose gravel and packed dirt roads. The adventure-minded cyclist will also appreciate the Disc model's increased tire clearance, allowing bigger tires for maximum plushness and reliability on everything from summer chipseal and sun-soaked logging roads to loose limestone gravel.
- All-terrain capable steed with geometry for endurance
- Carbon construction blends stiffness and compliance
- Beefy bottom bracket shell for efficient power transfer
- Endurance geometry balances comfort and responsiveness
- Tapered head tube adds responsive control to tracking
- Stop on a dime with hydraulic disc brakes
- Skip the wires for streamlined setup with SRAM eTap
- Item #RID009C
- Q & A
I honestly can't fault this bike. The quality of frame construction is incredible, the paint is absolutely flawless (and looks very fetching in real life), the ride quality is sublime, and the whole bike is oozing with common sense. The biggest impression I got while riding the Fenix SL disc was that Ridley knows how to make really, REALLY smart bikes. They didn't use any silly axle standards, integrated/proprietary cockpit 'solutions', and they didn't abandon everything in the same of light/aero. This bike is simply very comfortable, very stiff under power, and presents incredible value. I would take this bike over a Dogma F10, especially when you consider value. Of course, this takes into account the fact that the Fenix SL is much more reigned-in in terms of handling (they're not really comparable bikes), but the point stands. The Fenix SL is the 'buyers-remorse-proof' bike. For the same money you'll spend on the aforementioned Pinarello (or Factor, or Wilier, or Bianchi), you can have a Fenix SL with a better build kit, that will ride better, and cost you less.
This particular configuration is 100% customization, so you can truly build up your dream steed! I would strongly recommend sticking with the stock Rotor crankset. I was more impressed with it than Red or Dura-Ace! It's noticeably stiffer than anything that I've ridden, and the chainrings will likely outlast the frame.
Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com if you have any questions!