Starting in July, Ridley's top-shelf X-Night cyclocross bike will be available in the U.S. with SRAM Red 22 Hydraulic Road Disc set-ups and cost $5695, the Belgian bike-maker and its U.S. distributor announced Thursday. This marks one of the first bike makers to confirm it will spec the new system on models released this year.

During development of the new X-Night, Ridley's R&D department already had a disc version in mind. "We worked closely together with the professional riders of the Telenet-Fidea cyclocross team and offered them X-Night Disc prototypes for testing," explained Ridley PR man Jochen Bessemans. "But we were waiting to bring it to the market until road/cx disc brakes entered the hydraulic era. Hydraulic disc brakes offer more braking power and better modulation."

On a personal note, RoadBikeReview can attest to the truth of that final statement. During last weekend's Sea Otter Classic, we had the chance to ride a Specialized Roubaix road bike equipped with Red 22 Hydraulic Disc. Braking performance was both powerful and evenly modulated. The best example was during several steep descents where we were able to slow the bike from approximately 35mph to 10mph while keeping our hands on the hoods and using just one finger on the brake lever. It was truly impressive.

We also liked the taller hoods (which house the hydraulic brake master cylinder). They may look a little ungainly, but the extra surface area provides one more place to grab hold of, which could be especially useful during a muddy cross race.

As for the revised Ridley, according to Ridley USA product manager Maria Benson, the new Red HRD spec'd bikes will begin shipping to dealers in July. And while the version in these photos is slightly different, Benson said bikes in the U.S. will come with the following componentry.
  • Frame: X-Night: Disc, HM/HR Unidirectional carbon, Pressfit BB30, Tapered Headtube, Internal cable routing
  • Fork: Oryx Pro Disc, Carbon monocoque , Tapered steerer, Internal cable routing
  • Headset: FSA No 9, Sealed angular contact bearings
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM Red 22 short cage
  • Front Derailleur: SRAM Force 22 YAW technology, Chain spotter
  • Crankset: FSA SLK Light 46-36
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM PF30
  • Shifters: SRAM Red 22 Doubletap
  • Cassette: SRAM 1170 11-28
  • Chain: PG 1170
  • Brakes: SRAM Red 22 Hydraulic Disc, HSX Rotors F160mm/ R140mm
  • Wheelset: Reynolds Status Pro
  • Tires: Challenge Grifo Tubular 33mm
  • Stem: 4ZA Cirrus Pro
  • Handlebar: 4ZA Cirrus Pro Carbon
  • Seatpost: 4ZA Cirrus Pro, 27,2x350mm
  • Saddle: Prologo Zero II