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Mud baths aren't just at the spa.
When you're ready to up your 'cross game and are looking for a no-compromise bike that is up to the demands of the weekend mud fests and sandpits during the season—but still not shy about training on the road or gravel throughout the rest of the year—look no further than the Ridley X-Night SL Disc Ultegra Complete Cyclocross Bike. This build takes Ridley's proven race lineage and combines it up with Shimano's durable and reliable mechanical Ultegra double drivetrain and powerful hydraulic brakes.
The Marlux-Napoleon Games Professional Cyclocross team counts on this frameset as they campaign the demanding courses across Europe during the fall and winter, proving what any glance at the geo sheet will imply: this bike is built to tackle technical courses. The classic European cyclocross geometry gives the X-Night SL a fast, nimble, and aggressive ride while the massive clearance gives muddy tires room to spin and prevents detritus from building up on the chainstay/BB area.
Ridley constructs the X-Night SL from a mix of 40t, 30t, and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber that helps dampen rough courses and reduces vibration induced fatigue, while still plenty stiff to transmit every lactic-acid induced effort into propelling you forward. You'll have plenty of matches in your book to launch race winning blitzes or respond to a foe's attack.
The internal cable routing creates a clean and streamlined look while getting the housing out of the way when lifting the bike over the barriers, or while trying to find a foothold on a steep and tricky run-up. As a bonus, the design prevents the shift cables from becoming contaminated in muddy conditions.
At the front of the bike, Ridley drops in its carbon fiber Oryx disc fork into the headtube. It features a 12mm thru-axle to anchor the hubs in the dropouts for precise steering and a better wheel/fork interface with disc brakes. The fork's barely noticeable asymmetry counters the extra torsional forces applied to the left fork leg when scrubbing speed. New flat mounts let the calipers sit closer to the frame and fork, improving braking feel and better dispersing braking loads. A stainless steel scuff plate on the inside of the left fork leg protects the carbon from scratches from the rotor when frantically installing and removing the front wheel in the pits. We know it'll happen, so we're glad Ridley prepared for it.
Shimano Ultegra is one of the—if not simply the—best group for the privateer racer. It's lightweight, works in the worst conditions, and functions identically to the higher-tier Dura-Ace group. This generation sees the first time Shimano officially branded a hydraulic shift lever with the Ultegra label, and—though the the old RS685 levers worked just fine—we're happy to see the return of an old friend to the cockpit. The Rotor 3D30 double crankset provides a wide range of gears and grants the bike versatility outside of the course tape. Spoon on a set or road or gravel tires and enjoy this bike year round.
- A cyclocross race bike with gearing for all-terrain adventures
- Ridley's classic 'cross geometry in high-grade carbon
- Euro-style frame angles for pedal clearance and tight courses
- Double chainring provides a wide range of gears for road use
- Internal routing maintains clean frame and cable lines
- Clement's MXP tires are suited to almost every condition
- Shimano Ultegra remains the self-sponsored racer's group of choice
- Item #RID006E
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
I purchased the 52cm based on the recommendation chart on the web site for my height which happens to be the same size as 2 other bikes I ride. This bike seems to be a larger frame, however it is still a comfortable ride. I really love having the disc brakes. Super responsive and minimal effort to activate. I continue to appreciate the responsive strike of the Ultegra shifting performance. This is my first Cycle cross bike purchased primarily for use on trails and minor road riding in the Dallas Texas area (not a user friendly road bike area nor is their much for good mountain biking). Overall this is an incredible bike for the non aggressive trail riding in the area!
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