All-new Ridley Raft mountain bike takes on more technical terrain with XC or Trail travel

Ridley hits the trail hard today with a couple of all-new carbon mountain bikes, but the Raft full-suspension bike is good for two bikes in itself, with separate XC & Trail builds. Sharing the same simple & lightweight single-pivot carbon MTB frame platform, the Raft XC gets 100mm of race-ready travel while the Raft Trail drops into more technical terrain with 120mm of travel front & rear…

Ridley Raft versatile carbon mountain bike

 

It’s been several years since we’ve last seen a new full-suspension mountain bike design from Ridley. In that time, elite XC racing has become much more technical, so it seems fitting that Ridley’s new full-suspension XC bike is both more capable and more of an all-rounder.

Ridley essentially breaks it down to the fact that almost every new mountain bike these days is more capable than even a few years ago thanks to the evolution of long, low & slack geometry. XC bikes can push harder through technical terrain, and trail bikes can be built lighter and more snappy. Even their new ultralight Probe RS hardtail can be a trail bike now, too…

Ridley Raft XC 100mm full-suspension carbon mountain bike

all photos c. Ridley

So, that’s where the new Raft sits – at the intersection of cross-country and trail…

100mm XC or 120mm Trail travel & versatile geometry

Ridley Raft XC 100mm full-suspension carbon mountain bike, complete

Pick the 100/100mm Raft XC build if you want the lightest weight and most responsive handling, to float up the climbs. Or go for the singletrack-slaying 120/120mm Raft TR spec with a longer stroke shock and longer travel fork to bleed over into the lightweight Trail bike category.

Ridley Raft full-suspension carbon XC trail bike, geometry

Geometry in either case is similarly capable in steep & technical terrain – with a 67.5° headtube for the XC mode or 66.5° in TR mode to go downhill, and steep 76/75.1° seat angles to get back to the top of the mountain. Combine that with short 435mm chainstays thanks to the simplified flex-stay single-pivot with a linkage-driven shock, and handling remains quick no matter the travel.

Raft Tech Details

The two different moods of the bike are as simple as sticking with the Raft XC’s 40mm stroke RockShox SIDluxe rear shock for 100mm or swapping in the 45mm stroke Deluxe damper for 120mm of travel. Both get the same eye-to-eye length, so matching the fork track from the 100mm SID SL to the 120mm SID is what tweaks the geometry.

Ridley Raft TR 120mm full-suspension carbon trail bike, frame detail

While the new Probe RS is the weight weenies mountain bike, Ridley made sure to keep the carbon Raft light, too.

Ridley Raft XC 100mm full-suspension carbon mountain bike, rear end

Ditching the dropout pivots of the Sablo helped get the carbon frame weight down to a claimed 1750g (unpainted M, without shock), but even a complete Raft TR XX build with the longer travel is still said to weigh just 11.5kg for a large bike (25.35lb).

Ridley Raft XC 100mm full-suspension carbon mountain bike, head tube

Like the hardtail, the Raft gets a 31.6mm seatpost, stealth dropper routing (here internally through the 1.5″ upper headset cap), a flat mount rear disc brake, Boost spacing, UDH, a PressFit BB92 bottom bracket, and 29″ x 2.4″ tire clearance. Curiously, rear brake routing is still through a modular cable port in the left side of the downtube.

Ridley Raft TR 120mm full-suspension carbon trail bike, bikepacking mounts

It also gets a ton of bikepacking-ready mounts so you could adapt a marathon XC build to take on the toughest backcountry adventure races. The carbon full-suspension bike gets toptube bag mounts, a seattube cage mount, and 5 mounting bolts on the downtube (just 3 on size S), so you could mount an Anything Cage and some other tool/accessory mount, as well.

Ridley Raft – Pricing, options & availability

Ridley Raft TR 120mm full-suspension carbon trail bike, riding

Available in four sizes (S-XL), you will be able to custom configure the Raft in either XC or TR builds online starting in January.

Ridley Raft XC 100mm full-suspension carbon mountain bike, angled muddy

Complete Ridley Raft XC cross-country bike builds start at 4200€, while Raft TR trail bike builds are a bit more starting at 5000€, both with mechanical SRAM Eagle build kits and Ridley’s house brand Forza wheels & cockpit.

Ridley Raft TR 120mm full-suspension carbon trail bike riding

The first Rafts are expected to show up in Ridley dealer bike shops in Spring 2023.

Ridley-bikes.com

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marek
marek
1 month ago

Is it their own project or a frame from offshore catalogue?

Jason D West
Jason D West
1 month ago

Looks good. I like the geo and the price seems not too crazy.

Ryan
Ryan
1 month ago

First time…ever(?) that I looked at a Ridley bike and went “huh, I actually really like the look of that!”

Greg
Greg
1 month ago

Kinda heavy considering the Specialized Epic Evo frame, non S-Works, with paint, with rear shock, is 1757g. Lop another 100g for the S-Works version…

Dinger
Dinger
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg

It’s a minor difference. If you don’t plan to ride the narrowest, minimally treaded XC tires then it’s barely even worth consideration.

I’m more interested in who’s suspension works better.

kb benkwith
kb benkwith
1 month ago

Looks a lot like the new BMC prototype…

John
John
1 month ago

On my list for a 120 bike with two bottle cage mounts and normal cable routing through the downtube (rather than trough the headset aero silliness)