The New SRAM Red 22 Hydro disc-equipped X-Night.
Arguably the No. 1 name in cyclocross bikes, Belgium-based Ridley rolled out a revamped top-end carbon fiber X-Night mud machine at the first day of Bike PressCamp 2013 in Deer Valley, Utah, on Tuesday. The overreaching goal of the updated line - "Lighter, stiffer and faster," said Ridley USA sales manager Todd Schmidt.
To achieve this, Ridley ditched the integrated seat mast found in previous models, opting instead for standard 27.2mm seat post. Seat stays were also slimmed down for greater compliance, and the threaded bottom bracket was replaced by a press fit BB30, which Schmidt says widened the shell, adding stiffness and shaving more weight. The 56cm high-end X-Night frame weighs in at 995 grams, claimed Schmidt.
Handling is also improved due to a shorter wheel base (-9mm), a lower BB height (-3mm) and a lower front end (on average, about 1.5cm).
The updated 2014 X-Night, which should be hitting bike shop floors by mid-August at the latest, comes in two builds, a $5,700 SRAM Red 22 Hydro and a $4,700 Shimano Ultegra mechanical Hayes CX5 disc option. Both bikes are spec'd with Stan's Iron Cross Disc wheels. The Ultegra X-Night is actually a blend, and includes a 105 chain and cassette and FSA SLK-Light crankset.
Schmidt says there will only be 50 of the top line SRAM Red Hydro X-Night bikes available in the U.S. which could be due in part to limited availability of the new groupset.
For those who prefer to stick with traditional caliper brakes, or just want to create their own build, Ridley is offering frame and fork sets ($2,700 for the disc-compatible frame, and $2,600 for the cantilever option).
"We truly believe in disc brakes for cyclocross," said Schmidt. "But we also understand that there will still be some holdouts, and wanted to make sure they had an option as well."
The X-Fire, Ridley's No. 1 selling CX machine, remains relatively unchanged.
Below the X-Night are the composite X-Fire ($3,600 with Ultegra mechanical disc, or $2,800 with Shimano 105 and Hayes CX5 disc brakes), and the alloy X-Ride with carbon fork ($2,300 with Shimano 105 and Hayes CX5). And if you're looking for a race - and commuter - ready steed, check out the $1,700 Ridley X-Bow, which comes with eyelets for fenders and racks.