We usually think spring classics and cyclocross when we hear Ridley’s name, but the Belgian bike maker also builds fast mountain bike too – like this new summer special edition of their latest Ignite SLX cross-country race hardtail. The colorful Ignite SLX SD is the first in the brand’s Special Designs series, highlighting their in-house paint customization. And after a first limited edition SRAM build sold out in less than a week, they’ve put together a similar Shimano build for another very limited time…
Ridley Ignite SLX limited edition lightweight carbon XC bike
Ridley first started talking about the new SLX carbon update to their Ignite XC bike line the middle of last year, but the first I recall seeing anything of the new carbon hardtail was over the winter. An update to the previous Ignite CSL, the new SLX is a whole new animal – a modern, lighter take on the ultralight carbon XC race bike.
XC race geometry
With a claimed 990g frame weight (M), Ridley says it drops 160g off the previous version, while stepping up to Boost spacing and more responsive & aggressive geometry. It still focuses on fast, less technical cross-country riding & racing, so it isn’t especially long & slack. But it still grow 5-10mm in reach depending on size, and slackens the head angle out a degree to 70°. The new Ignite SLX also drops the older model’s idea of smaller wheels for smaller sizes – going all-in as a 29er, with four frame sizes available (S-XL).
The big visual differences in the new frame boil down to the kink in the toptube just behind the headtube which allows for a stiffer front end, and the move to super thin seatstays to offer some bump-compliance comfort at the rear end.
A new integrated seat clamp also is meant to keep debris out of the frame while giving it a modern, sleek look.
The new high modulus carbon XC bike features Boost 148 rear spacing, internal routing and compatibility with 1x & 2x drivetrains, either mechanical or electronic, and of course a stealth routed dropper seatpost. It does however stick with a 27.2 post limiting dropper choice a bit, getting a tapered internal 1.5″ headset, PF89.5 bottom bracket, a removable E-type front derailleur mount, post mount brake tabs, and max 2.25″ tire clearance.
Ignite SLX – standard edition customization options & pricing
Besides this special summer colors edition of the race hardtail, the frame is available separately from 1800€ in six different graphic designs from classic & simple to fades that you can fully color customize on your own. Then there are plenty of builds to choose from – including a 2300€ GX Eagle with a rigid carbon fork, all the way up to the 5600€ SRAM XX1 Eagle mechanical build.
Ridley Ignite SLX Special Design in rainbow summer colors
The colorful Ignite SLX SD paint job is the first in Ridley’s new series of ‘Special Designs’ to showcase the capability of their Belgian-based paint shop. It is now only available to order from today until the end of June 2020, and comes with a single fixed spec. The first SRAM X01 build sold out in a week, so now you get a Shimano 12-speed version.
That build includes a 100mm travel Fox 32 Float 29er Rhythm fork, a mostly full Shimano 1×12 SLX groupset & brakes, mixing in an XT crank & XT rear derailleur for the best drivetrain setup. House brand Forza bars & post round out the cockpit with a Selle Italia XLR saddle, and it rolls on DT Swiss X1900 alloy wheels with 2.25″ Vittoria Barzo tires.
The complete limited edition Special Designs XC bike is available for order now direct from Ridley’s website or through any of their dealers for just 2900€ until the end of June. delivery for the limited edition bikes is slated for September 2020.