An all-round bike that Ridley claims could take the place of three others in your garage, we got hold of the Ridley X-Trail Carbon SRAM Force1 HDB
I first rode the Ridley X-Trail Carbon SRAM Force1 HDB on the parcours of the Superprestige Zonhoven Cyclocross course with its famous ‘de kuil’ sandpit.
From the off it was clear that this was a capable bike as it handled excellently, and was just as at home on the sand, on trails in nearby woodland and on the concrete finishing funnel.
Now back in the UK and riding it mostly on the road, it’s quick and great to ride. I’ve only got the bike for a limited time (it’s in high demand), but will be doing as much mileage as possible before the full review appears in Cycling Weekly magazine and then online on this page shortly after.
There are found build options for the bike – three carbon and one alloy, and the one on test is the top end Ridley X-Trail Carbon SRAM Force1 HDB.
That’s not to say it’s particularly heavy, however, as it tips the scales around 8kg.
The Ridley X-Trail Carbon SRAM Force1 HDB’s frame looks great: the paint job is very aesthetically pleasing and the clean lines afforded by the disc brakes and 1x chainset add to the sleek look.
The frame is made from X-Trail C, HM/HR Unidirectional carbon which is responsive and handles excellently on a range of surfaces from tarmac roads to tree root rutted trails.
The fork includes hidden mudguard mounts, which adds to the versatility of the bike without negatively impacting the look.
As given away by the name, this bike comes with a SRAM Force 1x drivetrain, and includes a long cage rear mech and 10-42t cassette.
As such, the range of gears should be wide enough to cope with my training routes.
Stopping power is supplied by SRAM hydraulic disc brakes which give fantastic braking in the wet or dry, and these are mounted over thru-axle wheels.
The bike has clearance for 36mm tyres, and that’s what it was supplied with in the shape of Clement X’Plor MSO 700x36c and is also tubeless ready.
Having already ridden the bike on a testing and technical ‘cross course in Belgium, it will be interesting to see how the bike handles on British roads for the next few weeks.
Having done a couple of short commutes on the Ridley X-Trail Carbon SRAM Force1 HDB, I’ve been very impressed with its handling and how well it rides on standard tarmac roads.
What’s more, despite the geometry being a halfway house between a road bike and a CX bike, and the inclusion of wide 36mm tyres, the bike still moves at speed and does not feel like much energy is being wasted as you pedal forward.
This responsiveness can be credited to the frame which is clearly designed with speed and fun in mind.
The bike can be supplied with mudguards, and if these had been included I’d be looking at a highly versatile winter machine.