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by James Huang
October 1, 2020
Photography by Ridley
Ridley hasn’t yet officially revealed its updated Fenix endurance road bike to the world, but one eagle-eyed CyclingTips reader in Austria noticed that the new bike has already popped up on the company’s Japanese-market web site, and it looks quite sharp.
As expected, the new bike shifts to a disc-only format and adopts a number of styling cues from Ridley’s more aggressive road racing models, most notably the sleek integrated one-piece carbon fiber handlebar and stem, fully hidden cabling, and profiled split headset spacers and upper cover for a distinctly clean front end (albeit one that will also be harder to adjust for different rider positions). Adding to the tidier appearance is a hidden wedge-type seatpost binder.
The newly integrated front end certainly imparts a very clean and tidy look to the front of the updated Fenix, but it will also hamper adjustment to accommodate various rider needs.
Maximum tire clearance is still pegged at a modest 28 mm — firmly establishing the new Fenix as a proper endurance machine for paved surfaces, not an all-road bike — but ride comfort is still a priority. The seatstays are still dropped for additional rear-end comfort, the stays themselves sport a decidedly slender and flattened profile, and Ridley has stuck with a traditional 27.2 mm-diameter seatpost, all of which suggests a smooth ride on rough tarmac.
As for the frame itself, revisions to the tube shaping lend the Fenix a more modern appearance, with a diamond-profile top tube and down tube “to increase rigidity and strength”, the same characteristic curve in the top tube as the previous version, and slender fork blades that emulate the rear end in hopes of providing a similarly accommodating ride quality. The F-Steerer fork design features a steerer tube with a flattened front side to make room for the internally routed lines, but the overall diameter is quite normal with a 1 1/8-to-1 1/4-inch taper.
Ridley says the diamond-profile top tube and down tube “increase rigidity and strength”.
Other features include a PF86 press-fit bottom bracket shell, compatibility with mechanical or electronic drivetrains, flat-mount disc-brake interfaces and 12 mm thru-axles front and rear, and a 110 kg (243 lb) rider weight limit.
Claimed weight for an unpainted medium frame is 1,029 g (a scant 11 g drop from the current Fenix SL) plus 379 g for the matching fork with a 300 mm-long steerer.
Additional technical details, pricing, and availability are expected pending the bike’s official launch on November 18.
The split headset spacers will make for relatively simple handlebar height adjustments, though, and most people are likely to be impressed by the look.
The top tube retains the previous Fenix model’s characteristic curve.
There’s no sign of a rim-brake model at this point, nor do we expect there to be one.
The seatstays are slender, flattened, and dropped in the quest for a smoother ride.