Ridley’s Helium is the company’s take on a climber’s bike, built to be light and stiff. The range-topping SLX frame weighs just 750g, and this X version uses exactly the same design but a more modest blend of hi-mod and unidirectional carbon fibres for a 900g frame weight, which is still impressive.
The X has a superb pick-up and accelerates with ease; the steering is sharp but never twitchy, making it easy to speed through tight turns with pinpoint accuracy.
The frame and matched straight-legged slender fork look unassuming and understated with their blend of ovalised and round tubes, and the slightly squared-off profile of the down tube.
The seatstays are pencil thin, as I’d expect from a lightweight race bike, but aren’t detriment to the bike’s impeccable power transfer. I love the way the X carries itself over poorer road surfaces. The frame is super stiff, which is great for when you’re sprinting, but it never feels harsh or chattery over broken up, frost-scarred tarmac.
The X has character and gives you a real sense of engagement when onboard; it’s exciting without feeling nervous and hard without being harsh, everything about the chassis screams class and I couldn’t help but be impressed.
Where the Helium doesn’t measure up quite so well is in the finishing. The in-house lineup of Forza components all do their job well; the plain alu compact drop bar, stem, seatpost and actually very well shaped and very comfortable saddle.
The Groupset is Shimano 105 Shifting, with FSA Compact Chainset and Brakes. It comes with Mavic Aksium Wheels and Has an RRP £2399
This Model is a Medium, so approximately a 56cm, Suit 5ft 10in to 6ft 2in
#Picture is not actual bike.
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