The Ridley Orion 105 is an ideal ride for hardworking racers that need an upgrade, but dont want to blow the entirety of their savings on a frame, components, kit, and everything else that inevitably comes with those upgrades.
Strengths: Value for money, stiffness, comfort and versatility
Weaknesses: 4za generic factory crap, but it cuts down on costs and allows for ugrading.
Got my Orion last year and haven't looked back. Best value ever in a road bike. I was saving money by buying it. All Ultegra 6700 apart from callipers and it's as tough as an old boot. I put a set of Ksyrium elites on mine and used it in an adventure race about 6 weeks after I got it. I weigh over 100kg and I took this bike over some very rough terrain during that race where you normally wouldn't dream of taking a road bike. I have difficulty climbing out of bed but being in the saddle on this bike all I want to do is look for mountains. I love my orion and know that when it comes to upgrading or replacing it I'm going to have a job doing so. This bike is excellent value, it's comfortable on long rides (60-100miles), and it moves like stink.
Similar Products Used: Terry Dolan, ALluminio with CXP30's and full campag.
Bike Setup: Ultegra6700 groupset apart from callipers which are v. Good 4za self centering cam breaks. 50-32 front chainset and 25-11 shimano 105 cassette. Standard bike as seen in shop apart from Mavic Ksyrium elite wheels.
Strengths: Value and versatility. I built up my own framesets, which allowed me to configure it to fit my body and intended uses. While it isn't the sexiest frameset on the market, it still inspires me to ride.
Weaknesses: A touch on the heavy side, but I could stand to lose a few as well.
Actually, I have 2 of them- a 2009 and a 2010. Both are pretty much identical setups. The '09 is my commuting/training bike and the '10 is my race bike. I tried a lot of bikes before settling on the Orion. Bang for the buck, it's a very solid and versatile package. It's stiff enough for my bulk, doesn't beat me up on long rides, climbs better than I do, is stable on descents... pretty much a jack of all trades. Plus, it's Belgian, which evokes a Northern Classics vibe of cobbles, rain, and frittes. You could say I'm a fan.
Strengths: All the strengths of a good caron frame for less $$. Very comfortable ride. Does a great job absorbing the road.
Great all around road bike. I have been riding for over 20 years and have been on many bikes and for the money it has been a great bike. There are better carbon bikes out there but I have not been able to find a better bike for the money.
Weaknesses: Quick steering may not be for everyone. There are lighter carbon frames as well, but you'll spend thousands more to shave off a few ounces.
Bike is actually 2008 model - pull down didn'y have this option.
A carbon bargain: A very nice frame. Alignment is spot on. Head tube is not too short and not too long, only needs a couple of 1 cm spacers. Suggested sizing on Ridley's website is spot on for me. Smooth ride that helps diminish vibrations one often gets on the chip sealed roads that are common where I live. It seems "stiff" enough to me (I can generate about 20 watts/kg power in a sprint, and despite this high number, I really don't seem to have any problems with frames (this one or others) being flexible - I think this is an overblown issue). Finish (white) is attractive.
One thing, however - this bike, at least in a small size, has lightening quick handling and steering response. If you tend to have a lot of upper body movement while you ride, or are not a competent bike handler, you may want a more stable bike.
Strengths: Climbs like a mountain goat. Stiff but still comfortable for long rides.
Weaknesses: A little heavier than I was hoping for but I don't really feel it when I'm riding.
I'll start by saying this is only my second road bike and my first carbon bike so I might not be the best person to write a review. I rode a few Tarmacs and Roubaixs around from the shop I use to work at but never really got a great feel for what these bikes are like in comparison. My first bike was a 2007 Specialized Allez Elite and I must say that the Ridley is a huge step above that bike, which it should be since it costs about three times as much. The Orion is just a great bike. From the first ride I could feel a huge difference in the bike. It feels so much stiffer and yet is more comfortable for long rides even on rough pavement, of which there is a lot in Idaho. It is so much faster when I really step on the pedals too. Climbing is amazing. The power is just instant and when I get up out of the saddle the effect is even more dramatic. The bike lurches forward with every pedal stroke. Everytime I get on the Orion I'm amazed at how nice it is to ride. On the scale it is a little heavier than I expected it to be at this price range but I think this is mainly due to the bottom end Ritchey cockpit that came on the bike which will be the first parts I upgrade. It's my first high end road bike but I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking at a bike in his price range. The components are great too especially the Fulcrum wheels which are a little heavier than the Mavic Ksyrium Equipes I put on my old bike but seem to roll faster and feel stiffer. My only complaint with them is the cheesy skewers that come with them. They are heavy and look and feel like the same ones that come on $400 mountain bikes. All in all it's a great bike. I can't wait to put many more miles on it since it is such a joy to ride.
I've been riding a CAAD10 now for almost two years, and it is a terrific frame. But... I've had a recurring issue with the bottom bracket making a clicking noise every 2-3 months. I remove cranks and re-grease... good for a while, and then over again. If I ride in the rain, I can guarantee the 'clic ... Read More »
Looks like a sweet deal from Competitve Cyclist for an entry-level full carbon frame bicycle with some nicely upgraded components. Wheels are lame, but the Rival component group is nice at this price point.
[URL="http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=PRODUCT&OPTION=LOAD_PRODUCT_BY_ID&PRO ... Read More »
In March I bought my first road bike, a DiamondBack Podium 2. I didn't want to drop a lot of coin in case I didn't enjoy it. Well, I'm up to 70 miles on my weekend ride and lets say I'm hooked.
Anyway, my 18 yr old son decides he wants to start riding with me on my shorter, weekday rides. ... Read More »
Found a nice deal locally on a nos 2008 Specialized Tarmac with Ultegra/Dura Ace, that I was able to test ride. Liked the ride, but not super pleased with the gold graphics, and slightly old school exposed shifter cables.
Also came across a nice deal on a 2011 full Ultegra Ridley Orion, for abo ... Read More »
Trying to decide between the 2011 Cannondale Synapes 3 w/ Ultegra for $3100 or a killer deal on a 2010 Ridley Orion w/ Rval $2100. Im looking for a bike to ride centuries and both bikes fit really well and I know the c'dale is great for this purpose but the Orion is such a great deal at $1000 less. ... Read More »