Last year, we called the non-disc brake Noah SL “unapologetically stiff,” and named it the choice bike for sprinters. This year, Ridley’s Noah SL Disc follows suit with an exceptionally stiff ride made for straight-line speed. The addition of disc brakes completes the package for a fast and capable ride for the lead-out riders and sprinters.
You won’t find much flex with this aero bike; just about every bit of power you put into the pedals transfers into forward motion. The stiff BB30 bottom bracket saw just 0.48mm of deflection in our lab test, a competitive score for the aero bike category. The head tube is equally stiff at 0.46mm deflection.
The Noah SL Disc handles better at speed, relying on short 405-millimeter chainstays and a 987-millimeter wheelbase for snappy cornering and response. A 175-millimeter head tube is a bit taller than we’d expect from a pure race bike, but it accommodates more rider positions for those of us not throwing elbows in the pro peloton.
While fast and fun to ride, the bike’s race-focused build sacrifices comfort in the name of speed. It feels harsh over bumpy roads or cracked pavement and left us slightly shaken after long rides. It’s not our choice for those few mixed terrain Roubaix-style races but it’s a strong choice for normal paved courses.
At, 18.86 pounds, the Noah SL Disc doesn’t pretend to be a featherweight climbing bike and we noticed the extra chunk on steeper climbs. But this stout race bike is hard to beat for straight-line speed, especially on flat and rolling terrain.
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain with 52/36 crankset and Shimano 105 11-28 cassette; Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc brakes; DT Swiss R32 Disc wheels