If you’re going by what is most popular on the European cross scene, cantilever brakes still look like the way to go. But times, they are a changing. As more an more pros make the jump to disc brakes (for personal or sponsorship reasons), it’s getting harder and harder to find new cross bikes equipped with cantis here in the U.S. After moving largely to disc brakes for U.S. cross bikes in 2013, Ridley is making their next disc related move with their new Oryx fork for 2016. To be found on all of their cyclocross race bikes (X-Fire, X-night, and new X-Night SL), the Oryx fork adds a 15mm thru axle plus few smart little features that will make CX racing with discs a bit easier.
Along with the fork, Ridley showed a number of small changes and improvements plus new paint jobs, and of course the new X-Night SL and Noah SL…
The introduction of the new Oryx fork will mean that all three of the top tier CX bikes will move to thru axle front ends for 2016. Still relying on the current 15x100mm thru axle dimension for road and cross, the axle sill simply twist to close. Like other forks from Ridley, the disc fork features stainless inserts in the dropouts to protect the carbon on hurried wheel changes in the pits.
Along the same lines is the stainless scuff plate (covered with blue protective film) on the inside of the left fork blade. The idea being that errant wheel changes could cause the rotor to scuff the leg of the fork, so the steel plate protects the carbon and aids in wheel installation.
If the brake mount looks a bit odd, that’s because it uses the new Shimano Flat mount. When asked if there was a particular reason to use the new standard, Ridley told us that you can still use any current brake with an adapter, but the fork would be compatible with any new disc brakes that might surface in the future. Whether that means even smaller rotors or new brake designs entirely are up to your imagination, but it does hint towards future development.
It’s a bit hard to make out just by looking at it, but the fork uses an asymmetric design to help cope with the additional torsional forces of braking. The tapered 1.5 to 1 1/8″ steerer also uses an aluminum crown race seat for durability and uses internal cable routing for the brake hose. Other details include clearance for 42mm tires and hidden fender mounts for your off season training.
In case you’re wondering where you’ll find that new thru axle fork, we also got a sneak peek at the new 2016 X-Night SL. The X-Night SL will use the same cross race geometry found on the X-Night and thanks to a different carbon layup, will come in about 150g lighter.
The X-Night SL will also be available in these awesome two-sided paint jobs which look like completely different bikes depending on your vantage point.
The X-Night will have a similar paint job without the two-face style.
First spotted at Eurobike, the new Noah SL is just starting to ship out to dealers. With only 20 or so made per week, Ridley points out that these will be limited so if you want one you should get your order in now. Combining aerodynamic technologies like their F-Splitfork and F-surface, the frame is still lightweight for an aero road bike at 950g (claimed). Found under Pro Tour Team Lotto Sudal, and Andre Greipel, the Noah SL uses standard rim brake calipers unlike the Noah Fast.
While we’re on the subject of brake calipers, the Dean Fast is receiving some updated stoppers of its own. After the bike was launched in 2013, rim widths started changing pretty rapidly, so the new brakes are designed to work better with multiple rim widths including the new crop of ultra wide wheels. Complete bikes will begin shipping in May.