Strong collaboration with professional teams
The partnership with our professional teams is a key factor in the development of our products. The sponsorship and collaboration goes much further than only supplying the bikes. We have a close relationship with both riders and mechanics to fine tune the development of our products. Feedback from the riders and mechanics is crucial and taken into account at every step of development. Our teams ride our stock frames. This allows us to test our products in extreme conditions. This way, we can offer our customers the best possible product. We call this Ridley Partner Development Philosophy.
Our Flemish roots and sponsorship of the Belgian teams Telenet-Fidea and Sunweb-Revor explain our commitment to the local cyclocross scene. In 2005, feedback from the riders and mechanics resulted in specific cyclocross features on our frames, and the first full carbon cross frame named the Ridley X-Night. In our continuous search to improve our frames together with the riders, we’ll keep developing the X-Night so that it remains the fastest and most advanced cyclocross frame in the peloton.
In the beginning of Ridley Bikes, we worked with local U23 road teams. This gave us ideal testing opportunities because the riders were spending countless hours training and racing on grueling Belgian pave. In 2005, the UCI launched the Pro Tour UCI and we signed a 4 year contract with the Belgian Lotto team (Silence-Lotto). The collaboration with Lotto took Ridley to a new level. Not only did we win numerous titles, more importantly, we established a good relationship with the riders and mechanics and were able to improve our bikes significantly.
During this critical development timeframe, we found two distinct requirements : superior stiffness and light weight (or ideal ratio between stiffness and weight). Our sprinters wanted a superior level of frame stiffness, and our climbers requested a lighter frame that did not compromise the frame’s responsiveness. We quickly attained the goals for both groups of riders in 2006. The Noah was constructed to surpass the Ridley standard for frame stiffness, and was designed for strong sprinters like Robbie McEwen. The Helium provided additional comfort combined with our best stiffness to weight ratio. In 2007, we set a new Ridley standard by further reducing the weight of the Helium so that a complete bike would weigh significantly less than the 6.8kg limit of the UCI.
With the production of our first Noah, we found that we could build stiffer frames than the riders could handle. With the Helium, we already had a bike lighter than the required UCI limit. Conclusion: aerodynamics was the way to go! The goal was not only to improve the streamline of the bike, like many brands do. For us, a perfectly streamlined bike was just the beginning! We started looking for the real aero drag problems on a bike. Therefore, we launched the Ridley Aero Project (now known as FAST-concept). After 2 years of extensive testing in the wind tunnel and on the track, we introduced the new Ridley Dean and Ridley Noah to the market. Every detail of these frames has been studied thoroughly, and the bikes were equipped with F-Splitfork and F-Surface technology. In the Tour de France of 2011, we introduced the F-Brake, the first “real” integrated brake (for more info at www.fast-concept.com).
In 2009 and 2010, we teamed up with the new Pro Tour Team Katusha. In 2011, Pro Team Vacansoleil-Dcm was our partner. Both parties had the desire to race with the fastest bikes in the world. The riders were all on a Ridley Noah and Helium for the road races, and on a Ridley Dean for the time trial.
At Ridley, we are also involved in triathlon with Belgian based U-Place Triathlon Team (Bart Aernouts, Tine Deckers, Sofie Goos, … ), and the Italian based Peperoncino team. Obviously our FAST concept developments play a key role in our Tri bikes.
In 2010, our company Race Productions NV moved to a 12.000 m² high tech building. The new building is equipped with the newest technology which allows us to build the best bikes in the world. Furthermore, we will build our own wind tunnel within the factory setting in the Belgian headquarters, which will allow us to develop our aero technology in the best possible circumstances.
In 2012, we signed a long term contract with WorldTour team Lotto-Belisol. This long term investment will benefit all parties and enable Lotto-Belisol to nurture home grown Belgian as well as international riders. With riders such as Jurgen Van den Broeck and Andre Greipel, Lotto-Belisol are well positioned for future yellow and green jerseys. For us at Ridley, the Lotto-Belisol project was a perfect match with our goals. A Belgian WorldTour team, with lots of Belgian riders, all riding on a Belgian bike. For us, it can’t get any better than that! We are Belgium!
RIDLEY Partner Development Philosophy