Ridley, much like their home country of Belgium, are perhaps a lot better known for their road and cyclocross exploits than their mountain bike range. However, they've released two new models to their range that, while far more suited to cross-country than more extreme forms of riding, are by far the most progressive off-road bikes Ridley have released.
The refreshed range is made up of two models: the Raft and the Prone RS. The former being a short travel 29” XC race bike, and the latter being a hardtail.The Raft
The Raft, according to Ridley, “absolutely shreds on rough and rowdy trails.” Which, even with the new wave of certified downcountry-fied short travel bikes seems somewhat out-there. In fact, a lot of the language used to describe the Raft could have been pulled straight from a Brett Tippie interview.
The bike will be available in a 100 mm XC version and a 120 mm TR version. They run the same frame, and tweak the shock stroke length between 40 or 45 mm to give different amounts of travel. The TR version sports a 120 mm fork and a head angle of 66.6 degrees, whereas the XC model has a 100 mm fork and a head angle nearly a degree steeper.
Changing the axle-to-crown length on any bike will tip the frame upwards and backwards, resulting in a slackening of the seat tube angle. The Raft is no different, and the 0.9-degree change in the head angle between the two models is repeated in the seat tube angle, with 75.1 and 76-degrees respectively.
The bike uses a flex-stay rear end, and makes use of seat stays without a bridge to give ample clearance.
The frame weighs a claimed 1750 grams for a medium, and the TR model in a size large with an XX1 build weighs a claimed 11.5 kg.
The frame also has mounts, and rather a lot of them. In all sizes but small, there are five individual mounts on the downtube, two on the seat tube and then an additional set on the top tube.
The Raft comes with SRAM’s universal derailleur hanger and will be available in stock in Spring 2023, and available in Ridley’s online configuration tool from January.
The Probe RS
The other new release is the Probe RS hardtail. The bike, Ridley says, uses their Advanced Position Geometry, which gives the bike the best weight bias for tackling steep and technical climbs.
Similar to the Raft, the Probe is compatible with both 100 and 120 mm forks. The weight for an unpainted size medium is a rather svelte 760 grams. The Probe RS is equipped with a total of 3 bottle cage positions: two inside the front triangle and one under the down tube, and uses a universal derailleur hanger and has flat mount brakes, a BB92 and an integrated headset.
The Probe has the same lead times as the Raft for both stock and availability in Ridley’s configurator, and can be expected in early 2023. For more information please visit ridley-bikes.com