Ridley might be better known for their zippy cyclocross bikes here in the States but much can be said about the Belgium firm’s oft-overlooked line up of road bikes. I was so much blown away by the rim-brake Helium SLX during a test ride in 2017 that it left me baffled as to why it didn’t get as popular as the other European steeds. Seriously.
Two years later, Ridley is evolving the Helium line with the arrival of the new Helium SLX Disc. The Helium SLX Disc didn’t come as a surprise – the same model was raced (and won) by Lotto-Soudal’s Jelle Wallays at the Paris-Tours last month.
While the frame retained both the top and down tubes from the SLX, it’s more than just adding disc brake tabs and thru axles. The seat stay has now been lowered by a smidgen and the 12×142 thru-axle definitely adds more stiffness to the already stiff machine. The frame weighs a claimed 825 grams for a size medium that uses a PF30 bottom bracket, a 27.2 seat post, and clearance for 28mm tires. There are also six frame sizes to choose from.
The second update to the frame is a revised cable route. Borrowing a page from the slippery Noah Fast Disc aero bike, the 355 gram disc fork has a half moon-shaped carbon steer tube.
Ridley calls it “F-steerer” and its purpose is to provide a path for the cables to be routed internally from the compatible handlebar through the stem and finally into the the space created by the steer tube.
Not only does such a move tidy up the cockpit, but it also decreases wind resistance by 14%. This is a climbing machine, mind you.
The complete bike will be offered in two colors with either SRAM Force eTAP AXS with carbon Forza R45-c19 DB wheels for €6,999, or Shimano Ultegra mechanical with DT Swiss ER1600 DB wheels for €4,999. The frameset is also available for €3,399. U.S. pricing has yet to be announced. The Helium SLX Disc is also available for build/paint customization via the online Ridley Customizer.