This article originally published on BikeRadar
In a world where unyielding stiffness, ultralow weights, and slippery aerodynamics are seen as requisite ingredients for performance, a frame made of mid-grade carbon fiber weighing 1,200g hardly seems noteworthy. Yet for Lotto-Belisol's Jürgen Roelandts, Ridley's new Fenix Classic was more than up to the task at the Tour of Flanders, carrying him to an impressive third-place finish.
Ridley introduced the Fenix as a mid-range model earlier this year with an impressively attainable price tag of US$3,610/£2,326 with a Campagnolo Chorus group and Rotor crankset – about a third less than what Sky and Movistar's Pinarello Dogma K frameset sells for on its own. The Ronde van Vlaanderen's short but bumpy cobbled climbs put less of a priority on weight and more on smoothness and durability, though, and Ridley contends the Fenix's smoother ride and more damage-tolerant 24-ton carbon fiber is a worthy trade-off.
Key features on Ridley's latest model include a tapered 1 1/8-to-1 1/2in front end, an oversized BB30 bottom bracket shell, internal cable routing that's convertible for electronic or mechanical drivetrains, and flattened sections on the seat stays to promote vertical flex on rough ground. Aside from that, it's a fairly standard modular monocoque frame that nonetheless found itself on the podium of one of the most prestigious one-day road races in the world.
Roelandts' frameset may have been mid-range but the build kit was decidedly high-end, including a Campagnolo Record EPS electronic group and matching Bora Ultra Two deep-section carbon tubular wheels wrapped with 25mm-wide, team-only Continental Competition Pro Limited ProTection tires. The Belgian rider's cockpit was also on par with the rest of the peloton with a forged aluminum Zero 100 stem, carbon fiber Superzero seatpost, and aluminum Newton Shallow traditional bend handlebar – in an increasingly common 40cm width for aerodynamics and double-wrapped with Lizard Skins DSP tape – all from Deda.
Even so, there were still a few nods to workhorse-level gear such as the all-steel Campagnolo Chorus cassette, Xsilite-railed Selle San Marco Regale saddle, and Look KéO 2 Max pedals.
All told, it added up to a 7.72kg/17.02lb package without the SRM PowerControl 7 computer – heavy by modern superbike standards but clearly still plenty fast thanks to the legs that powered it.
The opening at the bottom of the down tube provides a convenient exit point for wires and cables