My first venture in to road riding was a Specialized Tricross, which I have been using as my trusty commuting bike as well as taking part in a number of Wiggle Super Series rides over the past three year, I felt it was now time to buy something lighter and fast.
Having seen a lot of positive reviews for the “Fastest bike in the world”, the Ridley Noah FB Fast, I was intrigued to see what its more affordable sibling the Ridley Noah RS had to offer.
As looks go the Noah RS is a sleek looking machine, the narrow aero seat tube in particular oozes quality and the paint detailing grabbed my attention when I first set eyes on it.
The bike features a number of neat features from the more expensive Noah Fast to reduce aero drag. The inventive carbon front fork has two vertical splits that Ridley claim helps reduce front wheel turbulence by channelling the air from the fork past the wheels.
The frame also features sections of R-Surface paint which sounds like something you’d find in a sci-fi movie from the 80’s. The claim is that the carefully placed paint strips reduces drag at the leading edges of the frame.
Whilst I don’t have a wind tunnel and testing equipment to show X% reductions in drag I can categorically confirm that the bike felt fast, very fast in fact. My yardstick of riding my usual commute saw me take 2 minutes off my previous personal best on my first ride so it certainly seemed to be faster.
The Noah RS inspires confidence with its super stiff frame, when you get out of the saddle and start giving it all you can it just flies over the tarmac with such a smooth and effortless ride.
When you get to the corners the steering is sharp, giving you the confidence to take them at a decent speed without any concerns, something that I get to test regularly as I descend the rolling hills around Hampshire.
The chosen drive train is the ever reliable Shimano Ultegra which provides fantastically smooth shifting; you just don’t miss a gear change. Couple this with the Rotor 3D crank and you know that you a super reliable base to put all your pedaling power through.
The gearing comes as a 50/34 compact chainset and a 12-25 cassette, which offers you plenty of range when it comes to climbing, making it perfect for those looking for a fast and comfortable bike for riding sportives.
The bike seems to be perfectly suited to ride or race across a wide range of conditions and terrains which is exactly what I wanted from my first proper road bike. The ride is stiff but comfortable; having put it through its paces over a few 100 mile rides it still felt like a good place to be.
If you’re looking for a bike that is fast and comfortable over both short and longer distances you could do a lot worse than taking a looking at the Ridley Noah RS.