The Ridley Noah Essential is framed as a more affordable version of the brand’s Noah Fast aero road bike.
The Noah was originally developed as a sprinter’s bike for the likes of Caleb Ewan. Ridley says it has developed into more of an all-rounder over time, something that has become a road bike trend.
This Noah Disc Essential is part of Ridley’s Essential Series, launched in February 2022. Ridley says the bikes in the series retain the same characteristics as the brand’s pro-worthy road bikes in terms of stiffness and ride quality, but use a more cost-effective carbon fibre.
As a result of this different carbon fibre, Ridley says the frameset of the Noah Disc Essential is 100g heavier than the top-of-the-range Noah Fast – so not a great deal of difference, then.
The bike has the same aerodynamic features as the top-tier version, and as result, it looks pretty similar, minus the different paintwork.
It has the same geometry, too, which balances the bike’s racing history with its all-rounder potential.
The bike is available in sizes XXS to XL, with Ridley offering the same frame across genders, recommending riders opt for a bike fitting or custom build rather than a women’s-specific road bike.
The Noah I have costs £4,729/€5,195 and has many of the features you would expect of a road bike at this price. These include a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset, Forza carbon wheels and a one-piece bar and stem.
The Ridley Noah Essential should, on paper, ride like the top Ridley Noah Fast but with a marginally increased weight, which arguably isn’t the most important thing for an aero road bike, anyway.
Ridley Noah Disc Essential update three
A new set of wheels
There has been one significant change to my Ridley Noah Disc Essential since my last update: a new set of wheels.
The wheels were an obvious upgrade. With a depth of 38mm and claimed weight of 1,535g, the stock Forza Levanto DB didn’t really seem to match the go-fast intentions of this bike.
Something a bit deeper and a bit lighter seemed an appropriate fit, bringing the Ridley’s overall weight and aero potential more in line with some of the other best road bikes around the same price point.
Fulcrum’s new Speed 42 wheels struck me as a good fit thanks to their depth, claimed aerodynamic advantages and lower weight.
While the Fulcrum Speed 42 wheels aren’t drastically deeper than the Levanto wheels at – as the name suggests – 42mm, they have an internal rim width that’s wider by 4mm at 23mm.
The wider internal rim width should improve handling and comfort, thanks to a larger contact patch between the tyre and whatever pot-holed British road I take on.
I’m yet to get them on the scale, but the