Ridley is hitting gravel roads hard with the new Kanzo gravel bike family, now adding two performance carbon bikes – the Kanzo Speed & Kanzo Adventure – plus an alloy version to the e-gravel Kanzoe that debuted back in April. Designed for either fast moving on big 700c wheels or more of a loaded bikepacking adventure on 650b, both build on decades of grinding unpaved Belgian roads before gravel was a thing. Then, if a gravel bike isn’t fast enough for you, Ridley’s premier Helium SLX road race bike gets a long overdue disc brake up date, too…
2020 Ridley Kanzo performance carbon gravel bikes
Ridley has built X-Trail all-road & gravel bikes for several years as a natural progression of their well-established endurance road and cyclocross bikes, but the Kanzos are the first to get the official gravel name. Using light, hi-mod carbon in either 700c race or 650b tour specific frames, the Speed & Adventure versions get geometry, tire clearance & details unique to their chosen focus. Then, the alloy bike comes in as pretty much a combination of the two as a direct evolution of the X-Trail Alloy.
2020 Kanzo Speed fast carbon gravel race bike
Ridley has made the Kanzo Speed a faster, gravel race version of the X-Trail, tweaking the quick all-road handling and ride feel, with room for only 36mm tires on 700c. That might seem like a lot, but they see this frame being built as a light road-like setup to race long distance, but not overly technical races where lower rolling resistance, and maybe even riding in a pack will win the day.
Plus, with more of a road feel, the Kanzo Speed will cross over well to riding asphalt too. This bike is generally built up with a road double groupset, and includes hidden mounts for a rear rack & full coverage fenders. It of course gets flat mount discs, 12mm thru-axles, internal cable routing.
The Kanzo Speed frameset is available starting at 1700€ in two main color options, plus the Ridley online customizer, Pure Line builds, and complete Dreambuilder spec customization. Complete bikes start at 2800€ with Shimano 105, 3300€ with SRAM Rival1, 3600€ with Ultegra, or around 54800€ for this Campagnolo Chorus & carbon Forza wheel build.
2020 Kanzo Adventure carbon adventure gravel bike
Answering the question that the Kanzo Speed (or the X-Trail before that) just wasn’t capable enough for tougher gravel riding, the simply named Kanzo, a.k.a. the Kanzo Adventure goes bigger. With a similar 30T hi-mod carbon frame, the Kanzo Adventure generally gets longer chainstays and a shorter reach to make room for bigger tires and a less stretched out, more comfortable position for longer adventure rides.
High volume tires max out at 700c x 47mm or a bit more at 650b x 50mm for even more exploring off the beaten track. And Ridley says flex zones in the seatstays add an extra level of rider comfort.
The Kanzo Adventure still gets quick all-road inspired handling, so I would guess this is for riders still looking for a snappy ride, even if bikepacking bags are part of the plan.
The Kanzo Adventure also gets a full suite of attachment points, with extra cage mounts on the toptube, under the downtube, and standard (not anything) cage mounts on the fork. It also gets rear rack mounts, plus fender mounts, and can be run with or without a front derailleur, too. It also similarly gets flat mount discs, 12mm thru-axles, internal cable routing, and a full carbon tapered steerer fork.
Also available as a frameset for 1700€, the Kanzo Adventure starts complete at 3000€ with Ultegra, 3300€ with Rival1, or 3800€ with Force1. There a slightly fewer Ridley customizing options (just Pure Line & Dreambuilder) but this build with Force 7 carbon wheels (but without bags is priced at 4355€.
2020 Kanzo A affordable alloy gravel bike
On a more affordable budget, the Kanzo A offers pretty much all of the same do-it-all gravel mentality. The Kanzo A has a shorter rear end than the Adventure, but can still fit in a 650b x 50mm tire, or 700c x 42mm keeping much of the same versatility on of off-road.
Kanzo A geometry is a bit more relaxed, but still gets the same overall fit and wide size range of the Kanzo Speed. Bolt fenders on for commuting, or strap bikepacking bags on for adventure. The triple butted 6061 alloy Kanzo A frameset sells for 900€, with Apex1 builds from 1500€, 105 builds from 1900€, and Ultegra from 2100€.
2020 Helium SLX Disc light carbon road race bike
Want to go faster? Ridley’s top light road bike finally gets a high-end disc brake update. The new Helium SLX Disc does the same as the rim brake bike did, mixing subtle aero improvements proven on the Noah with a carbon frame design to be as stiff as it is light.
Ridley says the Helium SLX Disc frame is just 820g (size M), or just 60g heavier than the rim brake model. And this one is even stiffer, in large part to the 12mm thru-axles. The 60T hi-mod frame fits 28mm tires, gets flat mount discs, and a straight blade fork.
Notice a lack of cables? Without opting for a wild looking integrated cockpit, Ridley does much the same with a D-shaped F-Steerer which allows fully internal cable routing within a more conventional headset configuration.
The Helium SLX Disc is available in six sizes (48-63cm) as a 3400€ frameset, or in any of Ridley’s customization tools. An Ultegra build starts at 5000€, or from 7000€ with SRAM Force eTap AXS. This Dura-Ace Di2 build with carbon wheels carries a pricetag of 9075€.