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by Dave Everett
April 6, 2015
Photography by David Everett
Heading to team hotels before the start of any big race is always a privilege, it’s also a prime place to get chatting with the mechanics of the teams as they toil away outside on the team bikes while the riders are inside keeping warm with their legs up.
On a visit to the hotel who were hosting team Lotto-Soudal I managed to get a look at their new Ridley bikes that will be getting some attention even if they don’t come across the line first on Sunday.
Lotto-Soudal’s team mechanics had a row of all the new Ridleys lined up. All in stealthy black with white logos. I was told by Fredrick Holmes, the team mechanic, that the new Ridley frame is yet to be named, or more precisely, that Ridley won’t be revealing the name until July when the Tour de France visits the cobbles in the early part of the race.
The bike has been developed throughout the past year (since the end of last year’s Spring Classics campaign) where the people at Ridley in conjunction with a small group of riders at Lotto-Soudal have been working on the project.
Information on the new bike is pretty scarce, though we do know from simply looking at it that it has a longer than usual wheelbase, and the head and seat angles are a slightly more relaxed.
Tyre clearance is improved over Ridleys previous frames and now can accommodate up to 30 mm tyres. Ridley took advice from the mechanics who said that they need to take Dugast tubulars as the standard fit.
Most of the details are closely guarded, though one big bit of news is that Ridley have been working with a Dutch and a Belgium University who have experience in aviation design.
Fredrick Holmes when pressed gave his view on how the riders feel about the new bike:
“Everybody here is really really happy with it, it’s something that they’ve wanted for a while and it’s to go up against the likes of Specialixed (Roubaix) and Trek (Domane), it really is a truly high end frame, there is no doubt that this is built to battle it out with the other guys.”
When asked about its development he had this to say:
“The development to get the bike to where it is now has taken three steps, a computer modelled version, a 3D printed version that they have tested in the wind and then the final step of a singular sized prototype.
Jurgen Roelandts was the tester for the first bike as Ridley had to first make a single size due to only making one mould.”
Until further details are officially released by Ridley, here are some photos for your enjoyment: