Ridley has two new Arena track bikes, at opposite ends of the velodrome racing spectrum. Pick the aluminum Arena A and you get a no-nonsense exercise on the affordable simplicity of a track bike. Or go to the absolute other extreme with the full carbon Ridley Arena Fast, a pro-level track racer the likes of which has been ridden to set the Hour Record in its previous iteration…
Ridley Arena track bikes in affordable Alloy or Fast carbon
A brand-new 250m indoor wood velodrome recently opened in Belgium just 10km from Ridley’s headquarters at the cycling famous Zolder Circuit. Whether you are looking to race cars, road bikes, cyclocross, or BMX, Zolder has you covered. And now, if you don’t want to cold, wet & muddy on cross bikes in the middle of winter, you can train and race inside on the new track.
So to celebrate the opening of Flanders’ new Heusden-Zolder Velodroom Limburg, Ridley debut two new track bikes.
Affordable aluminum Arena A
In my mind, the Ridley Arena A is actually the most interesting of the two, since very few regular cyclists are just going to go out and buy a super high-end carbon frameset and build up some super track bike. But a modern UCI-approved race-worthy alloy track bike is relatively affordable, and a lot of fun.
Buy one of these for under two grand, and you can train through the winter on the new Zolder velodrome for just 13€ per two hour session.
Alloy Tech Details, Pricing & Availability
The Arena A is a straightforward triple-butted 7005-T6 alloy frame alloy frame with subtly aero hydroformed shaped tubing for max stiffness. Pair that to an aero full carbon 4Za aero fork for a stiff ride, optimized to ride in counter-clockwise circles on perfectly smooth wooden boards.
It comes in 4 stock sizes (XS-L) with steep, aggressive track-proven geometry.
The alloy Ridley Arena A is available exclusively in a single complete bike build for 1900€, with an alloy Miche Pistard build kit & DT Swiss wheels. You can order one now from your local Ridley dealer. Delivery is slated for about 5-6 weeks from now in mid-December.
Now, putting budgets aside, the new Ridley Arena Fast will most likely make your laps around the track noticeably quicker. Developed in parallel with this summer’s all-new Dean Fast time trial bike, the Arena Fast cuts a very similar profile.
Maxed out within the latest UCI technical regulations, the team developed the fastest track bike possible. Most importantly, the newly allowable 8:1 tubing profile rule. Designed in CFD, then proven in the Bike Valley wind tunnel that’s literally next door to Ridley HQ, the Arena Fast should be, well… fast.
Carbon Tech Details
The core overarching design principles were optimized aerodynamics, maximized stiffness, and unwavering power transfer.
Key to the aero performance are the deep F-tubing aerofoil shapes of course.
But the Ridley Arena Fast also inherits the F-Surface Plus grooves along the frontal profile of its headtube and fork. Breaking boundary layer airflow over the bike makes for smoother aerodynamics.
Stiffness and power transfer ultimately come down to a careful mix of four grades of Torayca 24-60T carbon fibers. Pair that to a tapered 1.125-1.125″ headset and a PF30 bottom bracket for narrow but stiff connections.
Adaptability & Maximum UCI-Allowable Geometry
Ridley created the Arena Fast as a single adaptable carbon frameset to be able to race across all track disciplines. Various cockpit setups, even forks with axle flip-chips, and of course different wheelsets can tweak the Arena Fast for everything from sprint to pursuit racing.
The new track race bike features a conventional 1 1/8″ upper steerer set down into the toptube or above with custom spacers, for standard bar+stem compatibility. But of course, the most aero setup is Ridley’s own modular flush-fit 1-piece stem and base bar cockpit.
The full carbon Arena Fast fork is available in super narrow 70mm hub spacing or standard 100mm. And each also features a flip-chip at the bolt-on front axle. That chiefly lets riders pick 35mm or 45mm fork offset for their ideal handling feel. Or even thru-axle compatible flip-chips, too.
Out back, wheel customization (and future-proofing) is the same story, with built-in chain tensioners for the horizontal fork ends. And also bolt-on or 12mm thru-axle wheel compatibility.
Ridley only makes the Arena Fast in two frame sizes (M & L). But, they say it offers enough variation to fit most elite athletes. And they created the Large to provide the longest allowable front center dimension under UCI regulation, “maximizing bike length under current regulations”.
Ridley Arena Fast track bike – Pricing, Options & Availability
The new carbon Ridley Arena Fast track bike is available exclusively as framesets. So, pick from the 5000€ Sprint setup with just the frame, fork, headset & seatpost.
Or pick the 6000€ Pursuit frameset. It then adds in the sleek basebar cockpit topped off with a set of Deda Jet2 aerobar extensions.
Now the limiting factor is availability.
Officially, the new carbon track bike is not yet in-stock, with no official delivery date given. But, Ridley has invited interested pro riders, cycling teams, and national federations to get in touch. Buy the new Arena Fast track bike, and Ridley “can offer track and wind tunnel testing to optimize the [rider’s] performance“, taking advantage of the Bike Valley tunnel and new Zolder Velodrome.