From the Strade Bianche to the Mont Ventoux: how the Ridley Helium became a fixture in the peloton

Few racing bikes in the peloton come close to the reputation of the Ridley Helium. Since 2008, this bike has been at the absolute top. Cadel Evans conquered the yellow jersey on the Helium, and later there were historic victories in the muddy Tuscan terrain and on the moon-like landscape of Mont Ventoux. We'd like to take you on a journey through the glorious past of our favorite lightweight.

We had a dream. In 2008, a certain Cadel Evans was in his fourth season with the Lotto team. The former mountain biker had tasted success in a Grand Tour during the 2002 Giro, until he experienced a huge collapse while wearing the pink jersey. He came closer to winning the Tour with the Belgian team every year. In his fourth attempt, it had to happen, and specially for Evans, Ridley introduced the Helium in 2008.

The Ridley Helium was the lightest frame we had ever made at that time. Our sprinters like Robbie McEwen and classic riders like Leif Hoste preferred the Noah, but Evans wanted to get to the top as fast as possible, both literally and figuratively. He had one demand: "If you have to choose between extra weight or less stiffness, always go for stiffness!" So, the bike's premise remained 'stiffness to weight'. Together with the demanding Australian, we developed a frame weighing 900 grams with round, classic tubes, an integrated seat post, and a curved fork. The Helium ISP was born.

The rest of the story is well known. Cadel Evans finished second in the Tour that year but would win it in 2011. The Helium was also ready for a long period of success. Naturally, the bike was regularly updated. In 2013, the Helium SL followed, where stiffness still got priority and an optimal balance with weight was found. With a narrower head tube, more stiffness in the bottom bracket, and a new carbon composition, another step forward was taken. However, the integrated seat post disappeared.

Yell for Cadel

Cadel Evans is the central figure in the history of the Helium. With him, 'a small Belgian team' almost won the biggest cycling race in the world. The documentary 'Yell for Cadel' became cycling heritage, and recently, there was also a Belga Sport episode about the story. Evans finished 2nd in the 2008 Tour on the Helium, 58 seconds behind Carlos Sastre.


The Italian poster boy Filippo Pozzato, the German powerhouse André Greipel, and the Belgian prodigy Greg Van Avermaet, all chose the Ridley Helium around that time. For aluminum enthusiasts, there was the SLA, and with the Helium SLX, we were able to reduce the frame weight again in 2017, thanks to the ultralight 60T carbon type. The cables were integrated with the introduction of the SLX. With the rise of disc brakes, the Ridley Helium Disc, the youngest member of this family, made its appearance.

The Helium was a success; no one could overlook that. In 2016, Thomas De Gendt won a stage in the Tour de France on the slopes of Mont Ventoux. The finish was at Chalet-Reynard that day, and the king of the long breakaway was rewarded for all his efforts. De Gendt would always remain a big fan of the Helium and won another stage in the Tour in 2019 in glorious fashion.

Like his friend De Gendt, Tim Wellens was also a vocal fan of the Helium. In 2019, he received a special mountain jersey version of the Helium in the Tour. The Frenchman Tony Gallopin was also in love with the Helium, which continued to rack up successes. Tiesj Benoot won the Strade Bianche on this bike in 2018. It was the confirmation that the Helium had become much more than just a bike for the Grand Tours. Classics could also be won on this type of bike.

Everyone's favorite

Until 2023, the Lotto team riders had to choose between the Noah and the Helium. Although the Noah is more aerodynamic, most riders (except for the guys in the sprint train) faithfully chose the Helium. At our test events, our loyal customers always tell us the same story: the riding experience is the best on the Helium. It's the comfortable seat in which, after all these years, you still have the best feeling.

Helium Disc

The flagship of the stiffness to weight movement.

The Helium Disc is light, responsive, stiff, and comfortable. Its unique, oval tube shape provides the perfect balance between stiffness, weight, and comfort. Additionally, all cables are fully integrated because we also use F-Steerer technology here.

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