Reviewed: Ridley Liz Carbon 30
Lab data: 18.5/20 (.38mm head tube deflection; .58mm BB deflection)
Pedaling response: 11.5/15
While Pepto-Bismol helps settle upset stomachs, the Liz Carbon’s paint job churns ours. The good news is that this bike is available in other colors and is actually a well-rounded and well-priced option for riders making the jump to carbon.
Relaxed geometry — a longer 975-millimeter wheelbase and taller 155-millimeter head tube (for size 52cm) — provides a comfortable riding position for long days. The bike’s slack 72-degree head tube angle makes for a stable ride, even if you hit unpaved routes.
But be aware that the bike does feel stiff and vibrations travel straight through the frame for a chattery ride over rough roads. Ridley engineers designed flex areas in the seatstays and chainstays to help absorb some of these bumps, but we still felt abused after longer rides aboard the Liz. The Fulcrum Racing 5 LG wheels and Continental UltraSport were not much help in dissipating these bumps; an upgrade to something with more compliance would be an improvement.
Despite resulting in a slightly uncomfortable ride, the bike’s stiff carbon layup does feel zippy and responsive when pedaling hard out of corners or up steep pitches. And the handling is snappy when carving down twisty descents.
For recreational riders and women new to racing, the Liz Carbon is an excellent choice that will get you out on the road without breaking the bank. Shimano Ultegra components bump the price up from a lower spec like 105, but this premium drivetrain is well worth the money and kicks the Liz up a notch over similarly classified bikes.
Component highlights: Shimano Ultegra drivetrain with 50/34 crankset and 11-32 cassette; Shimano Ultegra brakes; Fulcrum Racing 5 LG wheels
Weight: 17.92 pounds (size M)