You’ve caught the cyclocross bug and are all in on the racing game, but not quite ready to limit your bike’s utility off the course by dropping a heap of cash on a one-by drivetrain. Enter the 2017 Ridley X-Night SL 25 Disc Ultegra Complete Cyclocross Bike, which pairs Ridley’s storied ‘cross race pedigree with Shimano’s much-loved Ultegra double drivetrain and powerful hydraulic brakes. Add in a set of DT Swiss wheels wrapped in Clement’s versatile (and now Tubeless-ready) MXP tires, and this is a bike that’s set to scream off the line while maintaining the versatility to go beyond the tape to handle your gravel and multi-surface aspirations.
Ridley fashions the X-Knight SL from a mix of 30 and 24t high-modulus carbon fiber. It’s a similar blend to that found in its cobble-conquering Fenix, so you can rest assured it’s capable of sopping-up fatiguing vibrations and tenaciously transferring every watt into forward motion. It’s a fast yet cushy ride worthy of even the harshest race conditions. Its internal cable routing makes for a clean, streamlined look with the added bonus of eliminating pesky cable pinches when shouldering your bike. Classic European cyclocross geometry gives the X-Night SL a fast, aggressive feel while its wide tire clearance gives it the versatility to tackle everything from sloppy mud to dry grass.
At the front, Ridley outfits the X-Knight SL with its Oryx Disc carbon fiber fork. It features a 12mm thru-axle for a solid, stable ride and a barely noticeable asymmetry that counters the extra torsional forces applied to the left fork leg when scrubbing speed. The dropouts include stainless steel inserts to protect the carbon from scratches and a scuff plate on the inside of the left fork leg fends off errant discs during frantic, mid-race wheel changes to keep the fork free of unwanted wear. This means more fun in the mud, and less time worrying about the integrity of your bike’s front end.